its been a while….

Was asked about blogging recently, and that reminded me I had long-neglected a bit of randomness.

Life moves on a pace, parish life goes from busy to manic and back to busy, but I love it.

I miss the simplicity of the Scottish church – the hierarchy and the church machine in England are so much bigger and more public.  At times it is wearing to be part of it, at times painful.  But i am here, and despite the media reportage of what the hierarchy says or does, God is here too

facebooked

been spending a lot of time on facebook of late, much to the neglect of random wafflings.

its such an easy way to stay in touch with friends and family I no longer see as much as I used to (moving 400 miles does that to a person!), but i am conscious of the limits of FB – I only add people I know* , so the conversations are largely pally, catchup or wanders into the downright bonkers.  I miss waffling and ranting on here – expressing my thoughts, insights, ups and downs; i miss the depth of conversation which can appear here even with those i speak to regularly through other means; and i miss the buddies who commented here but aren’t on FB  (you know who you are!).

so i’ll be back from time to time – whether courting controversy, being utterly & completely waffly and random, thinking aloud or having a good old fashioned whinge.  do join in 🙂

*apart from the 2 (yes, only 2) fb friends i havent yet met, but have conversed with on lots of occasions and who are trusted friends of those i know.   I’m looking forward to chatting with them  over a glass of vino or 2 at some point in the future.

Some things are worth breaking blog lethargy for

Over the last few months, as part of my getting to know this town and its people, its issues and its aspirations, I’ve been chatting to some thoroughly cool and exceptionally caring folk at the Iceni Project.  Brian (one of the founders) and Sarah (one of the service users) came a couple of months ago to Deanery Synod, and shared some of their story.

Iceni was started by Brian and a pal, who saw a need for drug support and rehab in the town and decided to do something about it.  From humble beginnings (tearing a urinal out of a loo so they could fit in a desk) they have grown into one of the best programmes in the country – helping drug users in this town, supporting police and doing what they could to keep young women safe during the Ipswich Murders in 2006.  They won the Guardian Charity Award in 2008, and have advised councils up and down the country, in addition to being involved in the Olympic planning.

I’ve spent a little time at the Iceni Project’s centre in town, chatted to staff, volunteers and service users and seen the brilliant work which happens.  But now it is under threat.   Suffolk Drug and Alcohol Team turned down their funding bid last week, a situation which is currently under review thanks to the hard work of Ben Gummer MP.

This morning I was on local radio – BBC Radio Suffolk, talking about the campaign to keep The Iceni Project open.  Their one-stop-shop phased approach is innovative and effective – it works, and they have a proven record over the last 10 years.  You can hear me on Iplayer at 1hr 18 minutes, and Ben Gummer MP at 2hrs 25mins.

Please also read the Iceni Website, and consider signing the petition to save Iceni, whoever and wherever you are.  what else can you do?  please contact your MP and ask them to support Ben Gummer MP in all that he is doing for Iceni and to challenge the funding process.  And please pray lots.

Thanks

apologies…

to all of you who have been worrying that the lack of a blog may be a return to the difficulties of 2 years ago, I’m fine and having a blast in Englandshire. The lack of updates is merely a break to get my wee brain around the new stuff.  I’ve not got it all in a coherent enough place to blog it yet.

But life is good, the job is great (and busy!), and praise be –  yesterday  i got the whole of the way through the maze that is common worship without losing the place, getting bits back to front or sidelining the deacon.  It’s slowly starting to make sense, and soon i shall be playing around with it like a true pro  – scary prospect!

All good things…

only 2 Sundays left to go here in Glasgow.  Seven years suddenly seem to have flown by, and every so often I start wondering what I am doing leaving this place for the south of England.  Yes, the last 18 months- 2 years have been tough, marred by illness and lack of support from them that should know better, but i really am going to miss the people here, even the ones that wind me up something awful! (they know who they are :-))  There have been some extremely good times too, and there is sadness in moving on, but it is the right time, and the right place to move to.

The drama has continued to the end, with yet more hassle at Knightswood.  This time it comes in the shape of Vandalism – the Willful Fire-raising variety to be exact.  The Boiler, which has had so many plagues upon it over the last few months is now deceased. Defunct. Cremated.

Packing is moving on apace, and the diary for what comes after Glasgow is beginning to take shape.  Inductions into the inner workings of the C of E, the normal stuff of ministry to get on with (if there is such a thing), settling into a new area, new home and getting to know those strange beings south of the border.  I’m excited by the challenges of all that is new, reassured by all that will be familiar, and looking forward to being in a team once more – such luxury!

The blog will be sporadic over the next few weeks as we pack and then unpack.  then hopefully life will get back to normal

Big Stuff and holidays

Sorry the blog has been a little quiet of late – too much going on in my head and not enough time – elections, volcanoes, planning trips to see friends and family in England, wedding anniversary looming, work stuff, house moves, job moves.  Lots of big stuff to get my head around, but all is good.

On holiday this week, & our original holiday plans were scuppered so nipping to see my mammy down in Yorkshire – a trip we make far too infrequently.  If we’re lucky we see each other every 18 months or so, and we’re both useless at phoning, so lots of news will be shared over a short visit.  From there, down the A1 to the south and hoping the roads won’t be too stacked with irate people trying to get home after expensive ferry journeys – being stuck in traffic jams on the A1 is not a pleasant experience!

The trip south will be an adventure – I’ve been down a couple of times over the last 2 months, and we will be making a permanent move to East Anglia in the not too dim and distant – a new job for me, a new home for the pair of us, life will certainly be different.  We’re taking the opportunity to visit the new house (Alan hasn’t seen it yet), get to know people a little better, and generally relax.  We’re both excited at the prospect of the move, although the enormity of it all is a wee bit daunting at times.  Mixed feelings too – we’re going to miss the people we know and love here.  Skype is a wonderful thing!

It will be the first time Alan has lived south of the border (so all a bit alien for him), and getting my head around the big machine that is the Church of England is definitely proving to be interesting – its 17 years now since I moved north, and I’ve never seen the English church from this perspective before.  Lots to read, learn and inwardly digest as I prepare, whilst at the same time keeping my head and heart in the tasks to be done in Glasgow for the present time.  All is busy, but good.