2009 - my first full year as a Real Live Vicar.
No huge life changes for me personally, which was quite a relief after the tearful upheaval of moving on from my curacy.
Some complicated unbloggables (but isn't that always the case for those of us who live in the real world), alot of routine but also some golden moments along the way.
Or at least, that's how the year looked from this perspective, til I began a closer examination of a year on the blog...
January was a month of semi hibernation, enlivened by a wonderful trip to the bookshops of Hay on Wye with my beloved daughter
February opened well, with FabBishop's Candlemass visit to Church in the Valley, but took a nose dive when I fell in the kitchen and broke my arm. The wretched arm dominated March too but April brought my first Holy Week & Easter here, and a due measure of resurrection.
May was made very special when Bishop Mary from our link diocese of El Camino Real came to visit, and presided at a WATCH Eucharist at Tewkesbury Abbey....bringing with her the gift of hope for so many. In June I was joined in ministry by the Herring of Christ (TM), who has brought many gifts, not least a splendid sense of humour which has improved many aspects of life hugely in the intervening months. Julysaw a much needed escape to London, where I revelled for 24 hours in being responsible for (and to) absolutely NOBODY, learned a good deal about just how heavily I was carrying the load of responsibility for these parishes, and had the joy of meeting an online friend irl. It was also the month in which Hattie Gandhi graduated with a 1st class degree...I am so very proud of her, but wish the growing up process could have been slowed down somehow. It's not reasonable that she's not even an undergraduate any longer.
August saw some time working on Polyphony and a few days cruising too, plus the wonder that is Greenbelt, September was a Patronal Celebration in the valley and lots of excitement around Back to Church Sunday, October was the month of a zillion funerals and a very protracted death-bed ministry which left me more drained than I would have believed possible, November was more of the same, and then suddenly December arrived and I was up to my ears in carol services, nativity plays and the unbelievable mountain of photocopying & folding that is the prelude to the great festivals in this benefice.
If you've nobly soldiered through that lot, you have my profound admiration. I am, I have to say, really rather shocked. Do I have a life outside my ministry at all, I wonder? Looking back at the year it would seem I'm in serious danger...
I had resolved not to make resolutions this year, since that way guilt and madness lie, but I will record here my sincere hope that I can manage something a little more balanced in 2010. If my blog shows signs of ONLY being about work, would someone kindly remind me that we're called to life in all its fullness, not its churchyness