Part of the deal as a newly ordained curate is attendance at "Continuing Ministerial Training", a programme of assorted workshops, study days etc spread out across the year. Ever since the timetable arrived last autumn, the dates 24-26th January have been tinged with dread...We were scheduled to spend the time with the armed forces chaplaincy department, learning all about how chaplaincy works in a military context. As a paid-up pacifist, this was not something I could muster any enthusiasm for...and there was the additional fear that there might be awful assualt courses involving high ropes and fast flowing water. Not to mince words, I was scared stiff, but a feeble "Please sir, do we have to..." had fallen on deaf ears when I tried it on the then-CME officer.
Having not received any details of the programme, I reluctantly phoned up this morning...only to discover that,- hallelujah-, my name had somehow erased itself from the lists. Further phonecalls to Church House confirmed that I DON'T HAVE TO GO
It's ridiculous how happy this makes me feel....I've been singing around the house all day as a result and the time restored in the diary has the flavour of a holiday, even though it means I can do Monday's funeral and a meeting or two as well.
Now, of course, if mark is going he'll probably tell me that it was a wonderful and wholly life-enhancing experience...but my life feels hugely enhanced by this escape.