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

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Learning to Fly

Actually that's one thing Jody Stowell won't be doing while she's with us in these parishes. Even though she could ...

But my title is intended to paint a picture of ministers taking flight, both in terms of the ordinations that have just happened (I'm feeling surprisingly emotional looking at the from page of the Church Times with its pic of David Stancliffe taking part in his last ordianations before retirement) and more relevantly here, the arrival of Jody on placement from Ridley Hall in Cambridge to spend 4 weeks here observing what Anglican vicars do.

Although it was a long time ago I have to admit that my behaviour as a placement supervisor is entirely lifted from the bloke who supervised me all those years back. That is to say, carry on pretty much as normal except precede each encounter with "This is Jody, she's training to be a vicar", or "This is my colleague Jody" for short.

Of course you probably realise that when I'm talking about "what Anglican vicars do" I am referring to the business of grassroots parish ministry. Anglican vicars do other things, like battering each other in General Synod over the issue of Women Bishops (on which I have already written ages ago), but parish placements I feel should be about the coal face of gospel ministry, "being with God with the people", or to use our current jargon, making connections.

The best thing about having someone visit like this is it gives me the opportunity to look in the mirror a bit, and reflect on my own ministry. It is also goood to get an objective viewpoint of  situations we have observed together. I'm looking forward to the next time this happens, in the autumn.

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