I often begin by giving my week a rating out of 10, but this can be quite tricky! Any week can vary so much, from day to day, from context to context, from one conversation to another. This week has been more varied than others and so, it’s getting 6/10.
Last Friday, Nathan and I went to see Les Miserables in Liverpool. Nathan gave me the tickets for Christmas so I’d been looking forward to it for months and it did not disappoint! It was absolutely wonderful and very emotional. By the end, I was a snotty, sniffing mess, having used some of those lyrics to pray for a dying friend a couple of months ago. Nevertheless, tears are healing, and I feel better for them.
Saturday was our first completely chilled day off in ages. We had a sleep in, we read, watched TV, Nathan mowed the grass and I cleaned the bathrooms.
Sunday, thankfully, was less manic than last week. I took the harvest communion at St Michael’s in the morning and later on, I preached at the Pause For Hope service for people affected by cancer. Anyone who read the check-in last week may remember that I was quite nervous about it. Overall, I am pleased with how it went. It helped that the service was written by and taken by my kind, dedicated and thoughtful husband!
Monday-Thursday were spent with fellow curates at the annual training week. On Monday, we looked at the processes involved in moving to our own churches. On Tuesday, we met the first year curates and learned about faith and mental health. Wednesday was a day for thinking about growing churches and yesterday we had a fabulous day on building and sustaining resilience in ministry.
It was nice to spend some time out of parish this week, although I was a bit naughty and carried on with parish work in the evenings, which we aren’t supposed to do. But hey, Alpha won’t run itself, and I’m enjoying it far too much to miss a week if I don’t have to!
This morning I took communion to a lovely couple who are struggling to make it to church at the moment. While we were sitting around their table and praying together, I thought how precious it is to be there for people. It might have been just the three of us at their small dining table, but there is no table I could ever preside at which would be more important. Every communion matters as much as the next.
The highlight of the week for me this week was work from earlier in the year coming to fruition. Trinity St Peter’s School has been awarded the Church School Partnership Award 2. Nathan and I, along with the leadership team, did a lot of work on this and it’s just lovely that it paid off!
My weekly star this time is Ray. St Michael’s church is fairly rural and has very little lighting on the road outside. Ray put overhead lights up in the churchyard so that we could have harvest evensong without fear that someone would trip in the dark. With Ray, ask and it shall be done! But I should also say how beautiful the inside of the church looked for harvest. Edwina, Hilda and team worked very hard all week to make the space look stunning. So, this week I am cheating and having three weekly stars. Here’s to Ray, Edwina & Hilda.
More next week.