is the slightly infelictious way in which the Bishop suggested that we announce this morning that the period of scanning small ads and wondering (and worrying) is over for the Curate's family.
I spent Wednesday being interviewed by parish reps from Cainscross and Selsley and at tea-time that day the phone rang
"We'd love you to come..."
I'm still trying to sort out my thoughts and my feelings.
I loved the people whom I met on Wednesday and the little glimpse of the two parishes (which have been a "united benefice" for a while now) - and I'm bowled over by the brand-new vicarage.
(It has, praise the Lord, a fireplace - so, for my family, I'm onto a winner come what may!)
The two communities, one urban, one rural, are very different - and both have so much to offer, so many strengths to build on, so much potential to tap. But I'm very aware that there are challenges, both obvious and unimagined, ahead. When I left the interviews on Wednesday I said to Longsuffering Clockmaker
"I have no idea whether I'm up to the task, but I'd really love to work with those people...so we'll just have to see if God wants me there"
Given the final outcome of the interviews, I have to believe that God does, and that He will give me the gifts I need in order to love and serve those people for his sake.As Hattie Gandhi pointed out, twenty-five years after leaving university - I've finally got a responsible job!
I want to leave here well - to tie up as many ends as are mine to tie and to ensure a smooth transition for the Dufflepud, who is in the run-up to GCSEs next summer, so I'm hanging on in Charlton Kings until after Easter. I know that may look like malingering to my new congregations, who have had a year of vacancy (though their NSM Associate Priest, who trained with me, is a real treasure, and they could not be in better hands) - but with such an early Easter I could not in all honesty be ready to leave here before Lent began - and it seemed wrong to arrive for Easter without walking through Lent with these people.
So I have four months to prepare, to read, to plan, to pray.
Please pray too for the parishes of Cainscross and Selsley, and for the whole Good in Parts family as well. I'm so looking forward to discovering where God wants us all to go together.