Thursday, 19 June 2014

Last Post (for a while)

It is time to stop. Blogging is no longer the correct medium to be recording the journeying of the Rector@6 and I. The words won't come (or if they do - I fear I might be indiscreet!). I must write positively if this is where we are meant to be. I can't write about the relentless turning of the hamster wheel that goes on in the rectory - sermon writing, newsletter writing, meetings with agendas and minutes and service preparation for six churches - each wanting to keep their service pattern and format. I can't write about the lack of real friendship and support from those who understand the life in a public house. (I don't mean that sort of PUBlic house!) I can't write about that feeling of isolation, after having had a working life - I haven't met another clergy spouse whose other half is employed full time by the church - where are they?.
I can't write about the evangelical judgements made by some in the past (and I still hear today) that have left people damaged and refusing to have anything to do with the church. I can't talk about the inherited team that didn't seem to want to be a team. I can't write about a property department that does not care or that is stretched too widely with too little money. I mustn't mention the endless hedge and grass cutting in our lovely large garden and the lack of time to do it. I must have no opinion about the people who are supposed to care for the new clergy and their families but seem to have no interest in getting to know them. I am a box ticked because I have stayed here.
In this country, where people are getting bigger and diabetes is a recognised problem, but I mustn't mention the cakes that fuel the coffee mornings or the lack of encouraging Fairtrade at the expense of taste. Even the children's work have cake related names and cake is served.
I must ask politely about the exotic holidays people are disappearing off on - when we can't even manage two consecutive days off. I can't write about not having weekends to visit friends and family who work on weekdays.
As you see - this blog would be an endless list of moans and groans - and no one wants to read that. I must focus on the positive - the increasing number of weddings and baptisms, the beautiful countryside that we are surrounded by, two amazing horses and two lovely dogs -and then I find myself reaching out for that sense of awe and wonder in our world. So often God seems to get lost in the day to day running of a rural patch. There is little time for reflection or contemplation for the Rector@6. The phone rings late a night with requests from people who have been out at work during the day. A two minute walk to collect the paper can take half an hour - fine when you have a spare half an hour. Fending complaints from people who don't come to church, about the Christmas star on the tower, the state of the graveyard and the noise of the bells ringing are all part of the job. Even prayer with others seems to become a long list of requests to God to do this or that.

We are losing the abilty to laugh - and that is serious! I am sure that is not what God intended when he called the Rector@6. I used to find that blogging allowed me to vent my frustrations ( you see I can still do it!) and put things in perspective. Now I am looking over my shoulder and wondering who will be judging my honesty. So I must stop blogging. Rectory life is not a golden bubble and it does need some adjusting. That will take time and space- so blogging must stop for now.
Thank you for your support - especially those clergy and clergy spouses who have been there, are there, seen it, are seeing it and done it or are doing it - your comments and emails have been great encouragement. The Rector@6 and I are not done yet - we just need to concentrate on God's service......(and each other).
Thank you for journeying this far with me - do stay in touch!

Saturday, 14 June 2014

We walked, we talked and we are working hard (and playing too).

We have been blessed with beautiful weather for days now. Our Valley walk was dry and warm and it really is a delightful event. Tess made the walk about six times longer by running to the front of the group and then back to find me and then repeating this - she loved every minute and she was much better behaved in church this year!
Life in the Rectory hasn't stopped for a moment it seems - and then the grass is growing and needs cutting in the garden, the vegetables need planting and the horses need riding. The Rector@6 is getting a steady stream of enquiries about baptisms and weddings - which are always a joy. These need care and preparation so that the 'church experience' (often the first for a very long time) is a positive one.

Two church building projects are almost complete so that three of the six churches now have kitchen and toilet facilities - not bad going for small country churches! The latest project has involved putting a mezzanine floor in the bell tower for the bell ringers and a kitchen below this. What a successful result! We have a new view of the church and we can now see the bell ringers as they ring and they can see us!

 It's not all work - we are discovering many beautiful places here in Dorset - either with our dogs or our two Friesian horses (of's not Dartmoor!).