Friday, July 02, 2010

Where did June go?

Once upon a time I used to blog almost every day...Some posts of the "What I did at the seaside" variety and some reflective writing inspired by life in the parish...I loved writing these, and treasured the community that gradually gathered, the friends I made in places I had never visited...Blogging was an important part of myself.
When I moved from my curacy to become priest in charge here, things changed.
It no longer seemed appropriate to do quite so much thinking aloud. After all, parishioners have the right to expect their priest to know what she thinks on matters of faith BEFORE she hears what she says...and of course the unbloggable, confidential matters multiplied too...As did general busyness...It multiplied, and multiplied and multiplied again - so that last month I managed just 6 posts, (of which one was a sermon and one a "Friday Five"). What price interesting reflective blogging now, then?
But I can't quite give up.
I cling to the hope, however unrealistic, that one day I might regain control of my diary and find the space and time to write more. I really found it helpful, on so many different levels, and though I enjoy the instant communication of twitter it really isn't the same.

So...what HAVE I been doing in June? It's been a rather good month, and I'd hate to lose track of it.

Back on 1st June I hit another decade...This was NOT something I was planning to take in good part...the problem with being a relatively energetic vicar in a somewhat elderly church is that you begin to believe in your own the idea of being old enough to qualify for a Saga holiday was almost enough to push me over the edge. Until, that is, my delightful (if devious) children threw a surprise party for me. Now, instead of being appalled at the passage of time, I find myself overwhelmed at the thought of the many wonderful people whom I can call "friend", whom I've collected over the past 50 years...From S & T ,who have been part of my life for as long as I remember, to C whom I met in the sandpit on my first day at school, A., with whom I spent my teenage years playing piano duets, N., who got me through vicar school, M., the WonderfulVicar who made my curacy pure joy, J who keeps my head above water in more ways than I care to consider,  F & S who gave me the gift of laughter as I learned, and K who ensures that I'm never lonely here...SUCH wonderful people gathered in the vicarage, and paddled in the paddling pool, and ate gin & orange jelly...

And as the evening wore on I realised that 50 wasn't a burden but a gift, and remembered that my children were the greatest gift of all, and rejoiced in loving and being loved.

That first week of June also saw the arrival of the chickens I've wanted since first we moved from London to our Georgian farmhouse in the Cotswolds...Delightful in themselves, but do you know - they even lay eggs!

Then my curate, the Herring of Christ, was ordained priest in a splendid service at the Cathedral, and presided at the Eucharist with just the right balance of confidence and transparency, and I heaved a sigh of relief that, despite the vaguaries of his training incumbent, he is now safely priested and ready to serve the Church.

And my two valley communities, Church & School, had a wonderful combined which lots of money was made but more importantly the community life was celebrated and strengthened

And my youngest child finished his A levels and left school, making me a trainee empty-nester (oh deep c**p) 

I also sang in Bristol Cathedral as part of a rather wonderful choir at the memorial service for Jonny Leonard, a hugely gifted musician and good friend, who died untimely...and found myself remembering that I really CAN sing quite reasonably, and that good choral music is actually quite necessary to me ("quite necessary" as in "air is quite necessary")

And the two parishes continue to delight and confuse and madden and sadden and stimulate and exasperate me (mostly in the space of any given 24 hour period)

And the Church of England seems intent on subjecting ordained women to another round of "Is your priesthood really valid" as synod prepares to vote on the ordination of women to the episcopacy.

I really should have blogged sooner, shouldn't I.
No idea what July might entail, but I'll try rather harder to stay in touch, even if I'm the only one left reading by now.


jo(e) said...

Nice to catch up with everything! I too am wondering what happened to June -- it seems like time goes by faster all the time.

JP said...

"... even if I'm the only one left reading by now."

Nope - I'm still reading!

Minnie said...

I'm still reading, Kathryn (and repeat the 'many happy returns' of a previous comment). Still here, in spite of cuts, collapses and near-eviction (which, as I'm technically homeless, would have made me so de facto. Fun, eh? Oh, and all down to somebody else, not me). But I'm sure this decade will treat you far more kindly than it did me - my hope for your is that this kindness is multiplied by a factor of 100!

Kathryn said...

Thank you, all 3. Minnie - that's sorry (though glad that you write of a near eviction, so hope that your roof is safe for the moment?)

Tony said...

I do hope all you lovely women won't give up on the Church of England in spite of the frustrations and what feels like one slap in the face after another. Your ministry is hugely valued by everyone who has been privileged to receive it: the people who don't value it are mostly those who have simply not allowed themselves to be ministered to, or to be given the light - a bit like the dwarves in C.S.Lewis' The Last Battle.

Never forget that it is - all appearances sometimes to the contrary - God's church, not ours. The existence of women priests at all,, is proof that he hasn't yet abandoned us.

Minnie said...

Thank you, Kathryn. Prayers much-needed, as all else has failed.
I loved Tony's comment, and hope it gave you cheer and courage. He's right, of course. That wonderfully erudite and sensitive art critic and cultural historian, Sir Kenneth Clark, once commented to the effect that an indice of true civilisation is the weight and importance given to the female principle in art and to women in life ...

jante said...

Great to have you back posting- and many Happy returns even if it is late. 50 isn;t too bad I've found :)

Michelle said...

I'm still reading, too! And your ministry thereby extends beyond the boundaries of church on the hill and church in the valley.

Just so you know, those of us on the far reaches of the earth still enjoy and are graced by an 'itinerant' preacher/blogger who can appear but a few times a month!

Anonymous said...

Still reading here! Much love xXx

Chris said...

Still reading, even though I have to catch up even on that from time to time! And you'll never be as old as I am ...

Chris said...
This comment has been removed by the author.