As I entered our ancient church building for Sunday service, there was a certain buzz in the air. Rural churches are usually more OAP heavy and there tend to be more women than men. Our churches aren’t any different. We do have a handful of young people but they were not in church yesterday. I quickly gathered that the reason for the buzz was obviously the football match later that evening. I was very surprised as I wasn’t expecting that at all.
Since moving to England, I have never come across such excitement in church but then England have never qualified to the final of a men’s football tournament in many years.
I have never experienced this in Scotland either albeit for a different reason. There the people that I encountered in church felt that they shouldn’t be talking about “unholy” things on the Sabbath. Sadly, it was difficult to get them to talk about sports on other days too. The men I knew loved football. Rangers to be precise but felt that they couldn’t declare their love for football. I think it is very sad when one has to suppress their feelings in order to be religious! No wonder the heathen thinks that the God of the bible is a monster!
Anyway, back to our parishioners….. There was a 90 year old lady who was wearing England’s colour (Red and White). She looked so cute!!! In fact, there were quite a few of the ladies in red and white. I spoilt the party by turning up in something totally different!!!!!
Sadly, England lost the game but I will remember 11 July 2021 for a very long time because of the lovely buzz that I experienced in church that Sunday!!!!
POSTGRADUATES PASTOR screamed the advertisement in the latest Church Times. Hang on a minute. What on earth is a postgraduates pastor?
I was intrigued by the title and decided to read further. This church is a Church of England but just that they don’t seem to be very proud to be part of the CoE because there is no where in the advert this is mentioned. I had to go to their website to get this information and even then it is in very small print at the bottom of their webpage.
Anyway, back to the main story… They are basically looking for a Vicar for postgraduate students! Why? Will their usual Vicar not do? The advert ends by saying that many of these students have the potential to be future world leaders!
This jogged my memory to the time when the Mhinisteir was an ordinand in Edinburgh. We used to worship in a Church of Scotland that used to call itself a professional church meaning it was a church for high flying professionals! Its no wonder that the homeless man outside the church never came in!!!!
For the last two years, I have been closely following the Post Office scandal thanks to the Private Eye. I think it is absolutely shameful that some post office workers had to go to prison thanks to an almighty IT glitch. It beggars belief that alarm bells were not ringing when the workers expressed concern about the phantom shortfalls.
What shocked me most was to discover yesterday that the former Chief Executive of the Post Office is an ordained minister in the Church of England! She is a non stipendiary minister.
In the tradition that I grew up in, being a minister is a calling and a vocation so I had never heard of a non stipendiary minister before I joined the Church of England. I still am not sure about non stipendiary clergy as I am not convinced that they can commit a 100% to their calling if you can call that.
This morning I woke up to a blocked toilet. Yes, one of our toilets had become blocked overnight. Last Saturday it was our boiler, this Saturday it was the turn of our toilet. I decided to ignore leave it until I had finished my Saturday jobs including a cooked breakfast. In between jobs, I googled “blocked toilets” to see what I could do to rectify. If you notice, I haven’t mentioned the Mhinisteir yet! Regular readers will know that he is hopeless with his hands. I am marginally better. I decided I won’t involve him.
I tackled the blocked toilet with some bicarbonate soda and vinegar, a brand new bottle of Sarsons malt vinegar to be precise! I also followed it up with boiling water afterwards. Thankfully the toilet is now unblocked.
I have never had to unblock toilets in my life before. As they say, there is always a first time!!!!
It is Ash Wednesday today and I have just come back from Church but without the cross marked with ashes on my forehead. Due to Covid19, we didn’t have the imposition of ashes.
Ash Wednesday marks the first day of Lent. My Protestant Christian upbringing was heavily influenced by the Reformation so we didn’t mark holy days which means that we don’t observe Lent. Keeping the Sabbath day holy was all that mattered.
In the Church of England and in England as a country, things are very different, almost everyone observes the Lent season and the favourite question is “what are you giving up for Lent”? It can get a bit awkward when you say you are not giving up anything because it makes one sound irreligious! I have never given up anything for Lent and I don’t intend to begin now. I will use the Lent season to pray and meditate on God’s word which is something I do on a daily basis anyway.
On Monday, We received our first Christmas card for 2020! Since then we have received two other cards.
I never send out Christmas cards. I wait until January before I write to people with my New year cards!
Previously I started my card writing in September to post in December as we had hundreds of Christmas cards to send and we received hundreds too. The truth is there is never enough time to read the cards properly and it is also difficult to keep track of the senders.
In Scotland, especially up in the Highlands there are some protestant Christians who don’t celebrate Christmas because of the Reformation so what they do is send New Year cards. In fact, you will be able to find New Year cards in selected bookshops!
Anyway, I borrowed that idea not because we don’t celebrate Christmas but because December is a month of party and celebrations, January tends to be bleak and so I decided that a nice little surprise in the post in January will not go amiss!
I was brought up a Protestant Christian so I didn’t follow the liturgical Calendar until I joined the Church of England.
Yesterday was the Feast of Christ the King, marking the end of an old year.
Next Sunday will be the start of Advent which marks the start of a new liturgical year. Just based on observations, I used to think that the start of advent was the start to the party season!!! That was when Office Christmas parties and Christmas shopping got underway.
Advent according to the liturgical calendar is similar to Lent where Christians are in a penitent mode fasting and praying. For this reason, I am not sure who came up with advent calendars filled with chocolates, gins etc!!!!!!
Well that was what the weather was like for us on Saturday. In fact, the whole of last week was cold and wet. It felt like as if I was back in bonnie Scotland!
Sadly, I was feeling as rotten as the weather. Due to health reasons, I spent a lot of time in bed. I was playing agony aunt for the first half of the week which made me emotionally tired. When people share their problems and asks you for advise, you are bound to feel their anxiety and tension. Whatever advise I give has to be done prayerfully. I don’t like to be known as the Vicar’s wife for this reason….People somehow think that you are holier than them! They are wrong (obviously) but I don’t blame them. However, prayer not only takes up a lot of physical energy but emotional energy too.
Thankfully, I am feeling a lot perkier this week even though I am still physically quite tired.
Lesslie Newbigin’s A South India Diary caught my eye when I was browsing through the Mhinisteir’s library. The reason why it caught my eye was pedantic. I just had to take the book out to be sure that Newbigin did indeed have two Ss on his first name!
As you can see from the photo, This is a very old book published in 1951. The title was too attractive for someone fascinated by India. Furthermore I realised that Newbigin was first ordained in the Church of Scotland.
Lesslie Newbigin was a British Clergyman who became the first Bishop of South India. The book is really a diary of Newbigin’s time in India as the first Bishop of South India. It is a very interesting read even though at times it can feel repetitive as his days were very long and usually taken up by the same things (meeting people, attending meetings, conducting worship, solving disputes etc). It was an eye opener to read about another culture but also to learn of the challenges faced by converts to Christianity in that culture.
As Newbigin had a good way with words, this book gets a 3/5.