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I mentally wrote this post in the shower this morning (if that isn’t too much information for you) and I still want to write it, even though the day has intervened and popped any sense of delight which I might have had standing in the shower. Sadly, it will no longer sound quite the same as it did in my head, as my sense of wonder and amazement has been swept away by other things. But, that keeps me humble, so I guess those couple of hours of delight will [have to] be enough.

Saturday evening was such a lovely service – much more relaxed than last year, and though I have genuinely no idea who stretched out their arms towards me, it’s wonderful to be able to see my sending ‘vicar’, the cathedral chaplain and my incumbent on the photo.

Keith Blundy photoThere were plenty of friends and others I knew in the clergy coven, some who I hadn’t realised were going to be there, so I’m guessing and hoping there were a few others reaching out for me too. So many more…

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A touching story someone shared on Facebook last week about a transgender twin, being supported by her family to be who she knows herself to be came back to me the other day. I commend her father for his support and for his honesty about his wrestling with the situation.

It’s the fourth Sunday of Advent. The Sunday where we rejoice at Mary’s acceptance of her part to play. Not a socially acceptable part, not one that she would likely have chosen for herself, but her fear, trust and acceptance in who she was and that she was chosen and favoured by God. more…

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…with those who are mistreated.

I don’t quite yet know what God wants me for, I just kind of got on the bus and came along for the ride, trusting the driver was going to let me know my stop.  I have spent this week – aside from finishing craft projects for cheap but lovingly created presents – working on my pastoral portfolio pieces. I’m beginning to shift from the first one, on the exclusion of the homeless, to the second one, on the need to get out of the church building and where/if chaplaincy can help us be counter-cultural and more prophetic in wider society. There’s a lot of words needing to be written before I head over to mum’s for Christmas, so it’s a fair schedule. I just hit a saturation point and took a quick break to Sainsbury’s, thinking as I crossed the road, my, it really is winter now, so very cold out. And turned the corner from Jesus Lane to pass someone huddled down in the entrance to the travel shop next to Sainsbury’s. more…

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I was skimming through Alison’s book Crafts from the Creative Ideas series (if anyone needs to buy me anything ever, they’re on my wishlist…!) and was profoundly struck, since I’ve been reading for and writing an essay on Aquinas and the common good, by one idea. The feast with raffle. So easy, and yet so hard-hitting, one would hardly wish to use it, and I suppose therein lies its power. Invite all the church family to a feast. Give everyone a raffle ticket on arrival. Before the feast, work out more…

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What a week. A week ago we were anxiously awaiting the reformation of our community here with the arrival of the new students, hoping that they would bring as much desire to be a part of things as we have. We have not been disappointed.

In and amongst Martin’s evocation of Benedict’s ministry of holding one’s tongue, and the introduction of the elected common room officers and the ‘crown appointments’ (offices chosen by the House); we have also seen and introduced them to more…

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I’m feeling humble. Humble, but not not worthy. Believe me, that’s something a therapist would be pleased of me for. I’ve written to accept my curacy, and am humbled by both the letter from the vicar there to the bishop saying he would “be delighted if I were to go there” and that he would “think it a privilege to be her incumbent”, and by my college principal  instantly responding “and so he should”. more…

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I went out for tea with Teresa yesterday and found myself prompting one of her self-reflective questions with Jesus telling the young man who had given away pretty much anything and then asked what else he had to do, to give up everything else. Reminded myself of it this morning, as I gently placed (if it wasn’t a heavy glass vase, it might conceivably have been ‘stuffed’) the last item that will fit into my storage unit into it. Having emptied my house to be rentable, storage is bankrupting me, and when I re-open the storage unit door, I wonder more…

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In the old days, it was handy if a relationship broke up in the autumn, because then you could be extremely prompt with your Christmas cards, and sending them out before you began receiving them, signed only by you rather than by both of you passed on the minimum required information to friends you didn’t see every day.

I guess the opposite of this is the finding out you’re being dumped by someone changing their relationship with you to single on Facebook – but I want to focus on the positive of social media for a moment while I’m speeding up the country in the train in sunshine (presumably because I’m back over the border in Yorkshire, it was raining when I left Manchester…)

In the week that I spent in ICU back in 2007 when my Dad was taken suddenly ill, Facebook more…

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One of the (albeit perhaps trivial in the grand scheme of things, but important none the less) reasons for returning to Durham diocese to serve my curacy is more…

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We’re half way through. I’ve been holding the emotions of the last fortnight meaning to write before we finished exams, got the results, started the goodbyes, got bishop’s meetings confirmations, lived through painting week, received bishops’ letters, were given tickets for ordinations, had the leavers’ service. Didn’t get around to doing it then, so have already made a seismic shift in those activities, from where we were to where we are now. more…

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