Monday, 9 November 2015

Unexpectedly Awesome

Exactly three years ago today we learned that we were to move from Dartmoor in Devon to Deepest Dorset. The interview had been successful for the Rector@6 and we would be on our way, in the following February, to his first incumbency. I remember the interview days so clearly. I remember the sense of excitement and I remember what we were told. How different it all was! And how much harder it was than we expected. For many months, I wondered if we were going to surface...or survive. So I stopped blogging.
But we did survive and now I feel able to write again - although I wonder if I will be able to find the time. Life is so full, often random events clutter a day, unlike the ordered days when I was working. As well as the random events, I have two beautiful dogs and two amazing horses to sort out. The horses are an unexpectedly awesome addition to our family since we have been in Dorset. They make sense of being in the middle of nowhere, with no family or friend links, no nearby train links and no decent shopping for miles! They also tie me here!

This weekend has been more hectic than usual as we were supporting three candidates from our Benefice at the Confirmation service at Salisbury Cathedral. We don't often escape the valley to go to Salisbury - and Saturday was not looking promising with the rain and gale force winds but by the afternoon we drove the straight road to Salisbury with an awesome setting sun in the rear view mirror.

The Cathedral was bathed in the golden light when we arrived which just emphasised its magnificence. There was to be a rehearsal for the candidates and their sponsors (and the rector) while I could go off for tea in the Chapter House and view one of the best copies of the Magna Carta. (click  read more) I really wanted to go shopping in Salisbury but couldn't quite make my escape!

It was dark outside when the service began. It began in darkness in the cathedral with a reading from Isaiah 43:1-3a,6b-7. We all sang the Taize chant 'Veni sancta Spiritus' as Genesis1:1-3 was read. It was all very atmospheric. After the candles were lit, the candidates for baptism and confirmation were presented. They then moved down the central aisle to the magnificent font where the baptisms took place. Everyone then moved on towards the spire crossing where those to be confirmed, were presented to one of the three bishops. The congregation was encouraged to move through the cathedral with the clergy and candidates - it was an unexpectedly awesome experience!

At the end of the service the west end doors were opened and everyone followed the Bishops outside onto the steps of the cathedral. The night was clear and dry and there were distant fireworks exploding into the sky. Here we were able to group with all the people who had come to support from the Benefice - what an unexpectedly large turnout! The Rector@6 was thrilled by the number of people who had come to support the candidates form the Benefice.
And after everyone had left - The Rector@6 and I found ourselves in an empty cathedral! I don't know how it happened but people drifted away - others had gone to change in the vestry and suddenly we were all alone! You feel very small and very conspicuously in God's sight - now that is unexpectedly awesome!


  1. What a magnificent cathedral. I can hardly imagine standing in its huge emptiness. I am so glad you have decided to write again, and look forward to you and the Rector@6 having new adventures. I can well imagine that you are quite busy.

  2. Hi Bonnie - good to hear from you, I am interested to see who is still around the blogsphere as I really have not looked for over a year. I think my sense of humour is coming back but often tends to be a bit irreverent - especially when tired!

  3. Wow, Salisbury Cathedral without people and at night. That won't be easy to forget. Our middle grandson's confirmation was in Selby Abbey one cold February evening and the atmosphere was deeply impressive.