With a fortnight to go before I move (Thursday 4th..) I felt it was about time I wrote again on my blog. I can’t imagine who’s reading with any interest… But I’m so touched by the lovely feedback I’ve had on previous posts.
This has been a bizarre month – a very different way of living. It’s been a month full of lasts and firsts. Usually I’m planning events and projects several months in advance, and there’s been none of that – planning extends no further than the immediate move on September 4th, getting things together and hoping I won’t forget to buy anything really essential in advance (I remembered to put toilet roll on the list last night). Although there are hints and ideas forming about what I’ll be doing in Sheerwater, it’s quite a blank canvas and very much a role I have to mould myself, with guidance of course. Whatever I end up doing day-to-day it will be busy, varied and no doubt challenging.
At times August has been quiet, none of my usual rushing from one meeting to another in the village – I’ve had my last PCC meeting, Village Hall meeting, etc.. I have my last Panto meeting the evening before I leave. But there have still been lots of little projects to finish off, which has ended up taking up a lot of time. I’ve also been busy sewing my cassock.. The test version made from floral fabric is complete and the black cotton gabardine has been cut out and is ready to sew together as I write.
Most emotional perhaps are the ‘last’ services I’m celebrating as a member of St. Cyr’s Church. I’ve been a member of the Church for my whole life, and all my big faith moments have been played through that building and the people who make up the family there. Although I’ll return occasionally of course, as a member of the congregation there I’ve been to my last BCP Evensong, I’ve had my last service sat in the pews, and this Sunday is my last service there – where I’ll have the honour of acting as Deacon again. Only God knows the future, and I may well end up being turned down by BAP (the Bishop’s Advisory Panel) and returning, penniless, with my tail between my legs.. But I’ll cross that bridge if and when!
Although I’m around the following Sunday, we only have Matins on a 5th Sunday and I did want my last service here to be Eucharistic – so I’ll be heading to Gloucester Cathedral that day instead. Again, a place with a lot of meaning and a family I feel a part of – albeit on the very outer fringes. It will feel like both a ‘sendoff’ from the Diocese to spend my last Sunday there, but also a sign of the possible future (all the DDO (Diocesan Director of Ordinands) meetings take place in a room with a window looking straight out onto the Cathedral… As if you need reminding what you’re talking about!).
But despite all the changes it’s not sadness I feel, because it all feels ‘right’. Among all the lasts there are plenty of firsts too – first time giving Communion from the Reserve, first time visiting my new flat, first time meeting many new and interesting people and (perhaps scariest of all actually) first time wearing all black clothing… I was aiming for Dane from ‘The Thorn Birds’:
“It’s the only way I know to show God how much I love him.”
But I probably end up channelling Carmen Ghia from ‘The Producers’:
“Listen you broken-down old queen. He was drunk. He was hot. You got lucky. Don’t ever call here again!”
Anyway, that’s quite enough to be getting on with. Thank you for reading this far, and if you did feel able to spare me a prayer in the next fortnight I’d be very grateful.