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Stebbing, Great Dunmow, Essex, United Kingdom
The occasional blog of an Anglican priest in rural Essex

Saturday, 28 February 2009

Lord they give me all so much, they pick me up when I'm feeling blue now how 'bout you

Well that was a bit of a roller coaster week. It must be busy if all I have time to do is write comments on other people's blogs.

Tomorrow we have the diocesan Bishop coming for a confirmation, at which originally there were to have been 5 candidates doing different things - renewing vows, being received into the church and actually getting confirmed. After a week when (to re-use a phrase I coined earlier) everything has gone not just pear shaped but avocado pear shaped - heavy stuff with a big lump in - 4 candidates have dropped out; I did wonder about calling it off but the remaining person is actually quite ill and is going into hospital on Sunday afternoon, so the timing seemed right.

Also this week we have had some trees pollarded in the churchyard, bringing forth howls of anguish from people who (a) don't read or understand faculty notices and/or (b) think they know more about trees than our tree surgeon and tree warden combined. So the wardens and I have been fielding this "LOI" (land-owner issue) when really I wanted to get on with other stuff like booking New Wine (LSE) and gearing up for the ECHT Hosanna 09 conference at Chelmsford Cathedral.

Stuff for the Lent course arrived this week also after what seems like about a year in the post and "D'oh", I had mis-ordered so there won't be enough resources to go round the groups, giving me another headache for next week ...

So I was ready to let my hair down (if I had any outside my ears and nostrils that was long enough to let down) by Friday night, which was the school PTA 70's/80's disco. It was just for the parents too which meant that I could actually have a dance. You see, I suffer from (or maybe I should say profit from) a condition called "dads don't dance" which prevents me from being able to strut any kind of stuff let alone the funky variety in the presence of my children (or even other people's children come to that).

However, the hiring of a Travolta Saturday Night Fever suit led to an extremely enjoyable evening, very much in the style of the school disco's [yes there should be an apostrophe, for abbreviation] we all knew and loved, except that there was no-one being sick outside, and we could complement each other on dance ability or style without fearing being accused of chatting each other up. It was a cracking night and will I'm sure feature again in the PTA calendar and this blog (maybe even with photos next time!)

am also currently brewing a post about Jade Goody

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Que Sera Sera ..

Still not a post about the synod (although I am pleased to see that all the business of today all went off peacefully and in order)
Found this sign generating site thanks to Pluralist. Have fun punning etc.
I expect its more likely Villa will score as Torres is crocked, but as there is Merseyside blood in my veins (to come out of the closet so to speak), I had to go for Fernando on the sign. Then again, Villa might score in the sense of Emile and Gaby up front for us ...!
See you at full time

Monday, 9 February 2009

One voice one hope, one real decision

Not a post about synod (yet)
I am yet to cross post between my blogs but this Sunday's sermon was such a monumental effort, (only just managed to get to my feet to announce the next song) and seems to have had such a huge impact on Stebbing's congregation that I though you might like to have a look. do comment here rather than on the tgsermons blog.

Saturday, 7 February 2009

I've got all the right money and all that please thank you

Just got home from the annual "Marriage Preparation Day", held in the benefice every year to enable us to provide the (canonically necessary) teaching and encouragement and resources for those who are to be married in our churches this year (first one is next Friday and yes I have seen the date so yes I will be preaching about superstition).
It was most encouraging - as usual all the couples rock up not sure they want or need this kind of thing, probably expecting me to tell them about sex (one lot have been living together for 17 years), and all leave most thankful for the opportunity to have talked with their partner and others about stuff like arguing, expectations of marriage, initmacy needs, with the good old "Mr and Mrs" game as a warm up. The day took place in the Friends' Meeting House that gave its name to this blog.

When I got in I checked the email and found this, which I will admit to sniggering at but which I do not think is "serving the planet". The reinforcement of gender stereotyping (and this from a dutch firm) kind of shot me down, having spent the day rejoicing with those about to wed (and those who have been married a while who came along as home team) in the joyful unity of egalitarian marriage (ain't nobody in my churches gonna say "obey" in their vows).

I always liked Amstel better anyway. Maybe my sense of humour is lacking that continental something ...

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Keep right on to the end

This is a poster that was prepared for publication in the event of a national catastrophe at the dawn of WWII.
I've seen it before from a Sunday newspaper, and my parents, who are both 1930's born, have it on the wall in their kitchen.
The BBC thinks this is a good slogan for handling the credit crunch, but I like it as a motto for weeks like this one when I have an almost inconceivable amount of work to do and very little time to fit it in!

Monday, 2 February 2009

Children playing, having fun, and adults going to church!

Like most in the Essex 'sphere I'm snowed in - literally though, not sure you'd get out of the village without 4WD.

Strange isn't it, how kids can't wait to get out there, then do nothing but whine about how cold they are, even after you've risked excommunication in getting them to wear the right amount of clothing.

So snow goes from fun to not fun very fast, usually at the point when we are the at furthest possible point from home.

This is Stebbing St Mary the Virgin, across the road from our house. (posted direct from Picasa)Someone waled around it during the night, judging by the prints in the snow this morning.
H/T Peter Kirk for this from Andy Griffiths - churchgoing no longer in decline, yeehaa!
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