7.30am Soph awake! This is the best night’s sleep we’ve all had in ages. Thank you Sophia!
9.35am We’re on the train to Liverpool for the Chrism Eucharist at the Cathedral. This is a service where the special oils for baptism, anointing of the sick, and chrism are blessed. The oils are then dispensed into lots of little bottles and distributed around the diocese (see picture at the top!). We also get to renew our baptism and ordination vows, and all clergy are expected to attend.
I forgot to ask how the oil thing works at ASSF, and Nathan forgot to bring his bottles. So we’ve come up with a plan.
We’ve bought drinks at the train station vending machine and we’ll wash the bottles out when we get to the Cathedral. Not ideal, but better than nothing!
9.50am Plan B has become plan C as we have decided to try and get some bottles at the zero waste shop or TK Maxx.
10.00am TK Maxx is our friend!
11.45am Well that was absolutely lovely. I was a bit nervous because the last Diocesan thing I went to involved various smug sounding clergy asking me questions along the lines of ‘what went wrong with you and The Good Shepherd?’. It wasn’t the nicest of experiences. But today was super and within minutes of arriving, a friend from my former deanery walked towards me with arms spread wide.
The service was beautiful and powerful too. The Bishop’s sermon was really encouraging and it’s made me feel like I can face the week that is to come. I also felt like I was sat near a celebrity as my Father-in-law, Martin, got a name check because he is the new officer for clergy wellbeing. I’m so pleased that other ministers are going to be able to benefit from the wisdom that I have at my fingertips all the time, and that I so often take for granted.
1.00pm Nathan and I have snuck off for lunch together. We find that we have to be really intentional about spending time together in Holy Week otherwise we just don’t. I know it sounds stupid because we live together and our studies are across the hall but if we don’t schedule in a meal and a coffee together we won’t do anything apart from have functional/churchy conversations all week. So we have ordered hummus, falafel and shawarma from a restaurant on Bold Street.
3.30pm So,having lunch together was lovely, but the food didn’t come all that quickly, and I ended up getting back to Aintree when I should have been meeting to pray with other local clergy in Crosby. Thankfully, they were very understanding and lovely about it!
4.05pm I’ve popped into Asda to do the bulk of the shopping for our Family Fun Afternoon on Saturday. I’ve picked up fifty chocolate bunnies and 152 hotdogs. The thought there is that if each child brings two adults, there will be enough bunnies for fifty kids and enough hotdogs for every family. But if it’s anything like last year we’ll be sending runners to the shops for more!
5.10pm As I was out anyway, I headed over to nursery to pick up Sophia. Nathan will start tea when he gets back from dropping off a colleague at Hightown. We’re having curry from Costco. It’s an experiment to see if it’s any good. If we like it, we’ll know it’s worth buying in bulk for church functions/parties/whatever else we get up to!
6.30pm Toddler parenting in Holy Week is going like this:
Me: would you like some tea?
Soph: no no.
Me: OK. Would you like tea, Daddy?
Nathan: Oh yes!
Nathan and I go and sit down at the table and eat tea (normally, Sophia would be in her highchair from the beginning but I didn’t have the energy to fight). Sophia plays in her car for five minutes before she comes into the kitchen and points at her tea.
Soph: un car, un car!
She wants to take her curry to her car.
Me: you need to eat your tea in your highchair.
Sophia cries actual tears for a couple of minutes before eating 3 grains of rice and licking a piece of chicken. She plays with an ice cube out of my glass. She asks for a spoon. She asks for the spoon to be taken away. She asks for a different spoon. She throws it in the floor. She eats another two grains of rice. She asks for Bubba (my Dad).
Sophia: ‘nee, nee, Bubba’
I put Sophia on my knee and video call my Dad and the rest of the crew.
So that was teatime.
9.05pm After bath and bed and getting lost down a TikTok rabbit hole on ‘honour walks’ (don’t do it unless you are prepared to use up a pack of tissues and get very puffy eyes), I’m in my study doing some prep for Friday.
I’ve found Holy Week preparations really hard this year and it took me a while to work out why. It’s because I can’t visualise anything! It’s all new to me. Not Easter. Easter is not new to me. But Easter at ASSF is, and everything is taking about three times as long to think through.
Not to mention, we are in charge of leading the walk of witness in Crosby village this year. It’s hard to plan something you’ve never seen done, knowing that everywhere does it differently. Anyway, I need to crack on with finalising my stuff for Friday.
10.45pm Right, I can deny it no longer. I’ve got a cold. I know, how original, who’d have thunk?! It’s not like I’ve had about 17 since Christmas. Anyway, I’m fairly happy with the Friday morning stuff so I’ve made a drink for us both and I’m going to bed.
This is Granny’s recipe of freshly squeezed orange, an effervescent tablet and honey. If this doesn’t see off the cold quickly, nothing will!