Holy Week as a Priest: Tuesday

8.34am

Up, showered, dressed and a migraine has stopped play. Back to bed for an hour!

10.35am

I’m in the church office getting on with the day. It was frustrating to have a migraine first thing because even though my head hasn’t been too painful, I get flashy lights across my vision which means that I can’t do anything that involves looking at stuff. The only thing to be done is to go back bed and wait it out! Thank God for cocodamol though, because I’m now feeling better, just a little bruised.

1.30pm

This is Cassidy’s. I go every week to buy fruit and veg. It’s great because it’s local, independent and it means that most of the veg we cook with is in plastic free packaging. I went today and got a load of veg to pack into a bolognese sauce for tonight. Currently, the slow cooker is working it’s magic and the house is starting to smell nice.

3.45pm

They say that good teachers don’t have favourites and I try not to have favourites either. But when I come back from visiting a couple who are just lovely to chat to, with no fewer than 6 cakes and a box of chocolates, I can’t help but feel happy!

These people who I’ve been to see are super special. They have been very involved in church over the years but as they got older, they stepped back with good grace and made space for other people to take things on. But they are no less interested in what’s going on at church, and they are no less supportive! They are funny, sweet and generous, and visiting them is never anything but a joy. Today, we’ve been talking about family and comparing spaghetti bolognese recipes. Like I said, they’ve also gifted me with enough cake to see me through the week! Nathan will be chuffed.

Now, I really need to get on with this sermon. It was decided this morning that I would give my Good Friday sermon a run out at the two mid-week communion services tomorrow, so time is of the essence!

8.38pm

Huzzah! The sermon is written and printed for tomorrow and I’ve also done the last of six Start! Course sessions.

I’ve been running a Christian basics course since the mission last month and I’ve really enjoyed it. It’s been good to discuss philosophy, history, the Bible, ethics and a whole load of other things that I don’t usually get to talk about so much. Numbers varied but one person in particular really engaged and they brought me a bottle of wine to say thank you!

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I probably should say that it is a really rare day today- I don’t usually get given cake, chocolate and wine!

10.12pm

I’ve been thinking about Notre Dame a lot today, as I’m sure we all have. I did a bit of study during my MA about sacred space and what makes something holy. Does consecration make something holy? What about frequent prayer? I think Notre Dame will be more holy for being rebuilt. It’s a huge tragedy, of course. I’ve been thinking about the church buildings I love the most: All Hallows, Ordsall, Durham Cathedral, the Chapel of St Mary the Less (also in Durham) and St Michael and All Angels, Altcar. I would be devastated if any of them suffered half as much damage as Notre Dame has. But the altar cross still stood shining in the charred darkness when the doors were opened this morning.

This is a hugely powerful image, which reminds me that even though something horrendous has happened, Jesus is still both inside and outside the building.

Even in tragedy, God works.

Even in darkness, God shines.

Even in death, God lives.

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