while the rest of the country (and a good few of my friends and acquaintances) are planning to head up to Scotland for the Make Poverty History rally in Edinburgh, I'll be confronting my Bishop in a crowded Cathedral and affirming that "as far as I know my own heart" I believe that God has called me to be a priest in his Church.
Some of those who won't be in the Cathedral asked me what they should do...my ordination or the MPH event? Clearly, there isn't a choice: they can pray for me as they march, if they are so minded, and I'll know they would have been with me if they could..but if they came to Gloucester, the impact would be rather different.
But it does make me feel a bit out of step with my own life, as it were. I would love to be going to Edinburgh, but at least I could join our Churches Together MPH march last Saturday, an amiable of about 300 souls straggling through the shopping precinct, amid shoppers dawdling in the sunshine. Cheltenham town centre is definitely on the affluent side of OK, and it really brought it home to me how very much work there is still to do, in making Third World issues real to a huge part of society. Most of those we passed just didn't give a flying fig....for all our chants and whistle blowing, despite even the African drums, we might as well not have been there. We just didn't figure on their radar at all...Salutory, if uncomfortable.
I was encouraged, though, by the number of people who did turn up to march, by the press interest and (purely personal this) by the fact that my church-hating son and I were able to do something together for the Kingdom. He even led the procession. Attempts to produce photographic evidence failed in the face of the quality of the newsprint...but at least I know he was there :-)