Tuesday, April 19, 2011


I'd love to write an emotional piece about my feelings on preparing to leave St Catherine's and moving away from being a full time vicar.

I'd love to do this, but you know - I'm just not the most emotionally demonstrative bloke on the block. I did write a piece, but then deleted it. It kind of said stuff that was kind of true, but it wasn't true to who I am in that - I just wouldn't really say that sort of stuff.

Suffice it to say: being part of a Christian community is about loving & being loved. We do this in our own idiosyncratic ways, and that's part of the joy of it. Please don't go around hugging me, I won't terribly enjoy the experience, and please forgive me for not being effusive with the physical contact I proffer - but that doesn't mean my love isn't real and that I don't value the love I have received.

Words spoken over these days have touched me deeply. But more so has just seeing everyone. I know your stories. Yours & mine; they got locked together somehow, didn't they?

In the photo the then Bishop of Monmouth playfully resists handing over his license to the newly ordained priest (ah, for the days when I had hair); there are hearts and lives and futures written on that license, and mine intertwined with them all. It is a heart-breaking and life-giving slip of paper. It is a privilege, not a right. In retrospect, it was not merely the bishop's hands that presented it to me. And so I find that it is now who I am, regardless of what my job title is or where I might live.

Hmm. So I spent a Sunday suddenly looking backwards and feeling the pinch. But life throws you forwards, and as I turn my gaze that way a whole different range of anticipations come right at me...

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