I have found a lady who needed help with her heavy horses - so I am riding regularly again - and on a shire cross and a Clydesdale. When I left Dartmoor I thought that was the end of riding Clydesdales. Leaving Major, the Clydesdale, was very hard. When I arrived in Dorset, I answered an advert, not knowing what sort of horses I would be helpng with. God certainly moves in mysterious ways! This riding is outside any of the parishes and I find that I am really able to relax because of this. I have yet to commit to activities in the parish.
The Rector@6 is getting to grips with six diverse churches and is attempting to draw them together but, understandably, they want to keep their identity. The question is - how does the Rector@6 reduce his work load? He has a small ministry team - so he is not alone but they can only be stretched so far - however enthusiastic they are. Drawing the churches together has to be a priority and when we have had a joint service, there is a definite sense of optimism.
It's not all rosy - while many are keen to support and help the Rector@6, there have been others who have been waiting for the new rector so that they can address issues that are troubling them. He has had to learn to handle these unexpected telephone calls and not to take some comments personally, as these issues have often been brewing for some months before the Rector@6 arrived. He has found this a difficult side to the work and I have seen him chew over such issues for longer than he should. And then the sermon preparation gets squeezed - and if the sermons are not sorted - the day off is not a day off, as the Rector@6 tends to be preoccupied and not much fun!
and clear skies mean that we have been exploring our surroundings and finding those places that are 'awesome'! (We have followed up on useful suggestions from fellow bloggers) We have spotted the first bluebells in the ancient woods that fill the landscape and we will soon be surrounded by seas of bluebells. We see deer regularly and yesterday I saw a tiny fawn in the undergrowth while I was out riding. The deer tend to stay still when I ride rather than run off as they do when I am walking. We are learning to look and see the beauty of the diverse countryside that surrounds us. There are ancient woodlands and sandy pathed forests. There are vast flint ladened fields and acres of pastures. There are miles of well signposted footpaths and bridleways to explore. I missed the sea when we first moved to Dartmoor - now I miss the moor but through the camera lens, I am learning to look with fresh eyes and the landscapes are opening up their splendour.