Saturday, 24 May 2014

It's walking time again!

 I can hardly believe that it is a whole year since our first Valley walk. It was our real introduction to the wonderful Dorset landscapes that can only be found away from the roads. It is the first event I can remember clearly since arriving in the parish last March (of course we had beautiful weather to make it truly memorable). We walk from church to church, with a short 'service' in each. It is about eleven miles in all. People are sponsored to raise money for TRUSTchildren's Home in rural south India or Double-Joy Children's Farm in south western Kenya or one or all of our beautiful valley churches.

Our Tess will be raising money by walking the walk with me. She was born just when we found out that the Rector@6 was coming to Dorset - hence the name Tess. One of our churches has links to Thomas Hardy - and has delightful carvings designed by him. He used to cycle over to read the lesson at evensong. Of course all these beautiful old churches cost the small congregations a lot of money to keep in good order. So Tess will be walking for them and trying to raise plenty of sponsorship.

Learning the ropes from Dad

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Daring to do things differently

What I have learned so far is that things can be done differently ...but only when the time is right. This applies very much to my life and to the churches in our benefice. The Rector@6 has been here over a year and gradually there are little bubbles of change surfacing - some only just visible - some might rise too quickly and burst and others will hopefully continue to grow, so that everyone can enjoy them. The need for change is becoming more urgent as the ministry team is depleted at the moment and you can only stretch a rector so far!
It is about trusting that we are working together and considering everyone's needs - not following an individual agenda. It is about listening and hearing God and what people need. It is about waiting - waiting until the resources or ideas are right for everyone. And that's what the Rector@6 has been doing - inevitably he will be too slow for some and too fast for others but hopefully no one will be lost from the flock that way.

English bluebell woods smell amazing!
Applying the same approach to my life has been difficult - there have been times when I would have loved to get involved - and would end up taking the lead I suspect (a trait of many teachers!). I am learning to stand back - I am able to run off to the horses and breathe deeply - and things still happen. I have been truly blessed (yes blessed - I would never have used that in the past) with the surroundings we have found ourselves in.
This morning's new foal up at the farm
Tess finds rural life suits her very well

Evening rides are very special.

Thursday, 1 May 2014


Here is the real reason why this rector's wife has been unable to blog very often. A month ago I became the owner of these beauties - (the Rector@6 says he owns one of them). They are our retirement narrowboat or place in the sun or whatever we thought we would do when we reached retirement age! I must stress that we have not reached retirement age but have foolishly spent the money early!
They are a driving pair of friesians who came off the lorry from Holland five weeks ago. I have never driven horses but they can be ridden - with a little work.

They were much loved in Holland and their owner and trainer followed them over to see how they were settling in ten days later. We had a chance to see them being driven and they were parked up outside the rectory for lunch, on two days.

We have been getting the boys used to English ways and traffic. We have met blacksmiths and saddlers and the Rector@6 and I are on a very big learning curve.

My head is buzzing as I am the one who goes up to muck them out in the morning and tuck them up at night most days. The Rector@6 is coping with the annual round of 6 Annual General Meetings. He is trying to juggle a service rota with fewer staff members and is keen to explore some new ideas - but where is the time? Standing with the horses in their fields and gazing at the glorious countryside is proving to be a real opportunity to unwind.

Those of you who have followed this blog, know that I am very fond of Clydesdale horses - who are the old farm work horses and have very affectionate natures. These friesian are the Dutch farm horses and they are friendly, curious and very entertaining! We are so enjoying getting to know Fryso and Edel  (Eddie and Freddie). If you had told me a year ago that we would be owning two horses, I would not have believed you. What an amazing world it is!