while my friends across the Atlantic were making history, I spent the day taking my "line manager" the Archdeacon around the parishes.
His visit is part of a diocesan strategy by which every incumbent has a visit every 3 years from one of the Bishops or Archdeacons...It's supposed to be an encouraging and positive experience, but of course beforehand it feels very much like a kind of parish OFSTED.
How will I find enough things to show the AD?
Baldly, what on earth will I do with him ALL DAY???
Will he think i'm doing OK?
If he's bored, will that reflect badly on my ministry?
And....when am I going to do all the things I needed to get done on Tuesday that aren't really open to visitors...the funeral visits, the desk stuff, the uncomfortable phonecalls?
In the event, despite all these questions, I really enjoyed the day.
We did 2 Home Communions, spent lots of time in schools , met PCC members over a pub lunch and later at a lovely tea in a Warden's home...We walked some of the parish and reflected on the issues that seem to be uppermost for those who live here.
When he departed shortly before 5.00 I was almost exhausted, but quite delighted that I had made so many real connections in my first 6 months, that there was so much in the life of these churches that I am proud and happy to show off to visitors.
So, against all expectations, the day was a real encouragement.
Glad it won't happen again for 3 years, though!