Monday, 30 June 2008

Deanery Finance Committee

I attended the Deanery Finance Committee tonight. This was a break in my sabbatical, but one that I'd planned back in April. The reason for the occasion is that the diocese has just released its figures for 2009, we are therefore able to set parish shares for 2009.
We found 3 mistakes in the diocesan figures. They don't affect our figures this year, but they might be significant for the future - and it would be daft for the diocese to budget for posts we no longer have...
We set our share allocation (most of it) following the formula we set in place last year. This moves slowly towards an 80% target in 2013 and a 100% target in 2018 - long term planning is the only way out of the MK muddle. We'll get there, as long as people can find the share we've negotiated...
There are a couple of parishes which we still need to talk to, so we can set an achievable target. We'll do that in the autumn.
It was good to see people again.

Sunny Day

It's been a lovely sunny day and I've been inside writing...
Time to get out!

Not quite a smashed record

I thought I was going to break the 24 minute barrier when I went for my run this morning. I managed the first mile in 8 minutes flat and the second in 8:22. I was on target to finish in 24 minutes but somehow couldn't squeeze the extra speed out for the last mile, finishing in 24:40. Still a good time but not quite as fast as I'd hoped... Maybe next time...

Sunday, 29 June 2008


We went with James to the Ashridge Estate and had a rather splendid picnic. This was followed by a pleasant walk. A good afternoon. We rang our friend Dave, who is apparently back in the UK from Prague, but he didn't answer.
"A tree in summer;
a tree in winter;
a bunch of flowers;
April showers"

Izzy attacks James with some grass...

Leighton Buzzard

We went to Leighton Buzzard today for their 9:15am Matins service - which felt incredibly early after two months of sabbatical. We had decided to visit our friend James who took us to church with him. The girls enjoyed the Sunday Club and Isla appreciated a full choir. It was a good morning.
It struck me that the resources of a market town like LB enable them to produce a high quality "performance" - including choral music which their own notice sheet described as beautiful. This is a church which deserves to be "mystery worshipped" because it stands or falls on the basis of its public face...
This, of course, is in stark contrast to some of the smaller rural churches we've been visiting in which the "performance" is never going to be quite so slick but the depth of community is lifegiveing...
You can't really compare churches. They're all prescious to God...

Saturday, 28 June 2008

The Healthy Churches' Handbook

by Robert Warren

The material in this book has been around for a while and has become fairly influential. This felt like a good time to re-read it.

Put briefly the argument is that churches grow (towards wholeness) when they exhibit seven key characteristics or marks:

  • Energised by faith
  • Outward-looking focus
  • Seeks to find out what God wants
  • Faces the cost of change and growth
  • Operates as a community
  • Makes room for all
  • Does a few things and does them well
The book explores these seven marks in more details and sets out how a congregation might use them to develop and grow. There's also a super section about relating to the "angel of the church" which develops a Walter Wink style concept of corporate spirituality. This is good stuff.

Healthy Churches has been on my mind for a number of reasons:

1. Back in 2005 we suggested that parishes use Natural Church Development (a similar but more expensive project), Healthy Churches, or some other mechanism as a way to encourage development. This was part of our Deanery Plan - and we set aside money for it! It's odd that no single church took the money or gave it a go. Why? As we start the deanery planning process up again is there some way we can learn from the past and incorporate this more fully in our thinking? What would be required?

2. In his new vision, Sharing Life plus, bishop John also mentions Natural Church Development and Healthy Churches. This concept is clearly back on the agenda.

3. The LSM Project Group is thinking of developing a system of companions/mentors who work with communities who are working towards LSM. There is a reasonable overlap between the intention of the companions and the ideals of Healthy Churches. The Handbook has a lot to say about the need for fascilitators, which I found helpful in my thinking, particulalry in its' discussion about training. Robert Warren suggests minimal raining with ongoing support and mutual reflection. This may be helful for us in our thinking...

Bringing all this together I wonder if there might be a place for Healthy Churches within the new Deanery Plan and whether the LSM Project Group might incorporate it as part of its development work... What do you think?

Trip to the sea side

I missed a great day out today. The people of ST Frideswide's in Water Eaton have been knitting balaclavas for sailors. They've made between 70 and 80 and went on a nice day trip today to deliver them. Apparently the coach company ran out of vehicles so they were given the MK Don's coach!
I was invited to join them but unfortunately had other commitments - and am on sabbatical. They have promised to provide pictures and I'll post them as soon as I get them.

Friday, 27 June 2008

Collaborative Ministry

by David Robertson

It's not often that I find a book that I think other people must read, but this is one of them. David Robertson has written a classic, which explains in very simple and straightforward ways what collaborative ministry is, why it's important and how you might develop it in an ordinary church.

He begins by exploring some of the theory behind collaboration contrasting the classic pyramid approach to leadership with the "Jesus model" which puts Christ at the centre of a circle. He says, "If Jesus is replaced with the minister, then the church is proclaiming, in effect, that Jesus died on the cross but never rose from the dead."

This is one of the finest critiques of current leadership thinking that I have yet seen and challenges the current habit of viewing incumbent clergy as CEOs, leading the church in mission. The minister is one amongst many disciples gathered around the risen Christ, sometimes s/he leads, sometimes s/he follows... This is a view of leadership that emphasises faith, gifts and community.

Having established what he thinks CM is, Robertson then takes us on a journey through Acts, demonstrating how God always act collaboratively. One example of this involved Peter (appropriate for this weekend) who was involved in a collaborative journey with God and Cornelius as the Church opened its doors to the Gentiles...

Robertson also looks at images of priesthood, marriage, temple, body and covenant, demonstrating how our misunderstanding of scripture has tended to warp our concepts of leadership and church.

The final section explores how collaborative ministry might evolve in practice. He takes us through the development of CM in a classic Anglican parish (which can be extrapolated to other contexts). The journey to CM begins when the minister takes the lead (since only the minister has the power to do so). This is followed by a period of learning, moaning, and collaborative leadership - which eventually morphs into true all member collaborative ministry. The end result of the process is usually a minister with more time but less prestige... A lot of this was fairly familiar, but good to see in print.

As I say this is a book that should be read. Every member of the All Saints' Servant Leadership Team should own a copy, and the St Frideswide leadership team, and the Watling Valley Ministry Team, etc, etc...

There is a danger that Collaborative Ministry is just another cheap phrase that is dropped into mission plans without being thought through properly. It can easily be confused with delegation, or shared ministry, but it is more dynamic and more challenging. David Robertson's book sets this out very clearly.

My one criticism of this book is that it doesn't go far enough in thinking about how churches might be structured and ministry developed when there is not one vicar per church. He assumes a fairly traditional inherited model of church - which is backed up by Anglican rules and regs. Unfortunatley we are already moving into an age when this can no longer be assumed, and may infact need to be challenged. How many rural churches have a resident vicar? How should a fresh expression or emerging church model collaborative leadership?

David Robertson has written a really super book which will be invaluable to anyone who really wants to get stuck in to collaborative ministry, but further thought is probably needed if small and emergent communities are to reap the benefits...

Thursday, 26 June 2008


Seven miles this morning.
Otherwise this has been a quiet week with little to report. I've spent most of the time writing, which isn't an exciting thing to blog about...

Monday, 23 June 2008

Eye Test

I've spent the day working on a re-write of my introduction and a chapter on the purpose of church.
This afternoon I popped into town for an eye test, which I've been meaning to do for the past two years, but never really been able to justify - time wise. My eyes haven't changed much but I do need new frames to hold the new lenses properly in place - apparently.
I followed the eye test with a quick trip to the gym. I'm clearly still recovering from Friday...

Sunday, 22 June 2008

40th Birthday Bash

Today we celebrated our friend John's 40th birthday with a party in Grange Farm. Another "East Malling in Milton Keynes" event with familiar faces from years ago. Isla enjoyed the event, but probably felt a bit unsure about where she was...

Saturday, 21 June 2008

Eleven Miles

Ran eleven miles today. Still feeling a bit tired...

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Common Purpose

Today I took part in a Common Purpose course in Milton Keynes. Common Purpose is an initiative to provide community "leaders" with an opportunity to learn more about their community and network with others. It was a fascinating course to be part of and I did learn more about the city - although I've been here for 8 years.
Under the rules of the game, I have to be careful what I say about who said what, but I was struck by the continuing visionary and entrepreneurial nature of MK enthusiasts which I found encouraging and inspiring. We do have an interesting problem with the 19+ age group and the "brain drain". I am now a believer in the idea of an MK University. I'm also reflecting on the formula:

basic skills + emotional intelligence + creativity = future workforce skills

An interesting day which will undoubtedly lead to more...

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

New Computer part 2

I spent today sorting out the new computer. This involved a long process of loading programs and files onto it and trying to set it up properly. Internet security proved tricky since most packages are not compatible with a 64 bit XP system...
By the time the girls came home I still hadn't tackled email, but at least I can now get on line...

Bought a new shirt today for my course. Haven't bought a white shirt in a few years...

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

New Computer

I spent the day with my dad, building a new computer. We ordered an assortment of parts over the internet and spent the day putting it together. Remarkably, nothing major went wrong - in fact it all came together very well. The star feature of the whole project is undoubtedly the massive fan sitting over the CPU - it's really quite something - shame you can't see it when the whole thing is closed up - makes you fancy a transparent case...
Got home late...

Monday, 16 June 2008


Following a very busy weekend, we were pleased to discover in Iona's bookbag this morning that she had been selected to throw a cricket ball at this evenings sports event in MK. Suddenly we had to be in three places at once, since Isla had her final course tutorial, Izzy had gardening club and Iona now needed to be in Stantonbury - with only half an hour to spare before her choir! This all made the evening somewhat fun but we survived - although I may have had a moment of despair when Iona returned from her choir rehearsal without her rucksack...
This was never going to be a great day - following such a busy weekend - but we weren't expecting this... (or the Spanish Inquisition)

Sunday, 15 June 2008

Walthamstow Hall Reunion

Isla went down to Sevenoaks today for her school reunion. There were only three girls from her year group, but they had a good time.

Baptism in Manchester

We went to Manchester today for the baptism of Isabelle Daisy Dew - daughter of Simon and Alison. I'm now her godfather - poor child!
It was a long day, but a good one. We set off at 6am and returned home at 6pm - six hours of driving, an interesting service, a good party and a lot of chat. All good fun!
It was good to be able to get to the service since I can't usually make weddings and baptisms for family and friends. We wouldn't have made it this time if I hadn't been on sabbatical - so thank the Lord for sabbaticals. Once again, I get to find out how the other half live...

Father's Day

The girls bought me a badge today. We're still trying to work out whether it says:
No! Dad or
No one's dad or
Number 1 Dad
It does change the meaning...

Friday, 13 June 2008

Eight Miles

We're slowly pushing up the distance: 8 miles today...

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Mutual Ministry in Bristol

I had a super day in Bristol today. It involved getting up at five o'clock and spending several hours in a car, but it was worth it.
I met with a very interesting man called Alister Palmer who is working in one of the estates in South Bristol where he's doing some really interesting work with "transformation" - particularaly with the non-church community.
He was instrumental in setting up Enabler Supported Ministry in Tasmania with a group of six (now nine) congregations, and has recently been back to review the life of these communities as part of a sabbatical. He was particulalry interested in looking at the missionarly life of these communities (which he thinks is developing) and at their leadership. I've already seen the first draft of his report which is fascinating...
Alongside Alister I also met a group of people, most of whom had been part of a visit to Auckland a couple of years ago to take part in Enabler Training. We had a really good conversation about Mutual Ministry which I hope they found encouraging...
A couple of issues came out of the day. First, there is the whole question of leadership/mission. This visit confirmed my suspicion that the Church of England is currently focussing on a model of leadership which is primarily individualistic, heroic and inspirational - and laying this model on vicars, priests, LLMs etc... who are to be "Leaders in Mission". This tendency has some major weaknesses, not least that it doesn't recognise the richness and diversity of call - the Spirit may have other ideas... It also reafirms the traditional identification of clergy with ministry - if we are to have churches which are thriving as missionary/ministry fellowships we need to encourage collaborative approaches rather than heroic leadership.
I mentioned the book Wikinomics which I've been rereading recently - "How mass colaboration changes everything". As churches we often think that we need to learn the "command and control" techniques of business, when, in fact, there are people in the business world who are promosting and exploring a very different way of doing things... There was a rich strand in this conversation about chaos theory, self-organisation and collaboration. Some interesting stuff here...
The second lesson I took away from today was the need to do more work on helping people to understand the underlying theology of collaborative/mutual/local shared ministry. The Bristol group were plunged into enabler training in Auckland without first taking part in the AMEND course which is normally used in NZ to introduce the concept to members/ministers etc...
This fits in with some of my recent reading, e.g Thew Forrester's "I have called you friends..." and David Robertson's very helpful book, "Collaborative Ministry". Both of these contain some very deep and moving theology, which is probably needs to be grapled with before people can begin thinking and acting in a collaborative way. I've begun toying with the idea of a short course which I'm going to propose to the LSM Project Group...
We all agreed that this had been a good day and we'd like to keep the link alive. Maybe "mass colaboration" will help us all...

So back to MK and time for a bit of sleep...

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Playing Churches

I've spent most of the day thinking about ministry. On the one hand, there is a need to re-invent the concept of "the minister" so that we stop focussing all our attention on "professionals" - but on the other hand we have the reality that we do have ministers to deploy... This is a thorny issue...
I noticed a while ago that some of our denominations have key posts that they simply couldn't exist without. This is why the directory of churches in Milton Keynes lists Church Secretaries and Treasurers for each congregation - because those who produce the directory assume that the Church Secretary is the most important person in the Church - which doesn't always follow. There must be a secretary in each Church, otherwise no-one would know who to talk to - apparently. The same goes for Team Leaders, who, I was once told, only exist so that the Mission Partnership knows who to send communications to...
We have Vicars, Rectors and Pastors because people need to have some way of relating to a church. I am often rung up by people who ask, "Is that St Mary's Church?" I'm never quite sure how to answer. I'd like to respond in a deep stone-like voice...
It's a convenience, but it also plays into the image of a church as a "community gathered around a minister". Having a single, individualised, minister in each church (when financially possible) makes everyone feel safe, but also disempowers the people of God, isolates the clerical professionals and denies the leadership of Christ - amongst other things...
So, what's the alternative?
Well, there are probably thousands of different ways of remodelling a parish. Take Watling Valley for instance. At the moment we have a vacancy for a URC minister. There will probably be a rush to fill this vacancy with another multi-functional URC minister. If I were to leave we would also look for another multi-functional Anglican minister. Why? Because that's what everyone expects... but hang on a minute, if we were to assume that Watling Valley can afford three full-time ministers (which is just about possible) wouldn't it be more sensible to think through what we actually need and then employ/call the appropriate people?
Here's an alternative mad plan:
Let's have a couple of non-stipendiary priests or LLMs in each congregation working within a local ministry team. We'd need a couple more, but we've probably got a few likely candidates. These local ministry teams would sustain and grow the churches.
In order to sustain the local ministry teams, volunteer ministers, etc... we'll appoint one minister as "Ministry Enabler" for the whole partnership. He or she would be responsible for supporting ministers and churches.
Alongside the "Ministry Enabler" we'll appoint a "Youth Minister" and a "Pioneer Minister" who will each support teams who work in those areas. Sorted!...
Or, we could make one church a Minster and make one minister the "Leader" of a ministry team (lay and ordained) who serve the whole area...
Or, we could...
The list of possibilities are, of course, endless... (and I'm not going to push any one idea.)
We need some more radical approaches to ministerial deployment if we're going to tackle the challenges of church development and mission in postmodern Britain. It's time for a few more dreams...
A few years ago I suggested to Deanery Chapter that it would be a good idea to cut back on our parochial ministry (to what we could justify financially) and use the "spare" clergy for primary mission. I received a few blank looks - why would you want to? A few years further on and we're slowly reducing our clergy numbers to a sustainable level. In the meantime we've lost the opportunities that our relatively high numbers would have provided! We need to stop holding on to inherited expectations and start investing our "human resources" in growth.
It's time to "play churches" with a bit more courage and creativity - and hope.

"I have called you friends..."

by Kevin L. Thew Forrester

This is a wonderful little book by the Ministry Development Coordinator for the Diocese of North Michigan. It tells the story of Mutual Ministry in North Michigan (briefly) but also explores some of the underlying thought. He borrows heavily from feminist theology, and picks up Walt Winks' concept of "domination". He also hints at choas and organisation theory, implying that order emerges from chaos through a process of self-organisation. Hence church leaders should resist the temptation to impose order, since a liberated community will generate more creativity...
Although he does have a lot to say about the practicalities of Mutual Ministry, this is not a "how to" manual, so much as a "why do" introduction. Thew Forrester acknowledges that Mutual Ministry became possible to meet the needs of small rural communities, but sets out a strong and enthusiastic case for change based on a Christ-centred call for justice. Patriarchy and dominion are overcome by mutuality and awareness...
I liked this book, but recognise that the flow of his thought may not be to everyone's taste. Some of our more thoughtful reflector -theorists would probably love it, but some of my colleagues would wonder what he was talking about...
Jesus said, "I have called you friends..." Kevin Ther Forrester, would like to show us how to turn clerical domination structures into the kin-dom of heaven. Amen to that!


Twenty minutes on the cross-trainer, fifteen on the treadmill, ten on the rowing machine, and a few weights - and then I remembered that I hadn't had breakfast...

Monday, 9 June 2008

Collaborative Leadership

I've been trying to write about collaborative leadership today and struggling, partly because I want to keep it brief, but also because words and terms are used by different writers in very different ways...
I am still convinced by the concept of circular leadership in which each individual relates to Christ. Around the circle, all are fellow servants, exercising leadership/ministry according to gift and call. Alongside this, I do recognise the need for an individual to act as guarantor, guardian or holder of the circle - note my refusal to use the term "overall leader" which is used by John Adair and others... The person who chairs, presides or oversees must not become the leader - although he or she will lead occasionally - because if this happens, Christ is supplanted...
I was struck by the image of a diocese in the States where the bishop does all his episcopal business with a team who meet once a month - apparently it's a very small diocese. I like this idea of modelling collaborative leadership but recognise the challenge that it lays down - can I, in my "leadership" roles, create and maintain an authentic Christ-centred collaborative model?
The danger is that we slip back into the far simpler pattern of DIY - Decide it Yourself - because that's quicker and easier to do, but not as empowering for other people - and not good practice in a discipleship focussed church...

Good Run

My fastest run of the year so far: 5k in 25:41 - it's been a while since I've done it this fast, although I have beaten 25:00. I think I could have pushed it a little more this morning... It might be easier on a treadmill, since I could pace it more accurately.

Sunday, 8 June 2008

False Walls

We went to Bourn today to go to church with some of our friends. It was an all age service - Patterns for Worship with sermon and children's activities. The pianist was brilliant - and delivered the sermon - his third. The girls gave this service a high score, largely, I suspect, because they had friends with them. This was a good service, but the girls' reaction confirms my suspicion that it's people and relationships that ultimately make a piece of worship work...
Which brings me to Wimpole Hall, where we had a picnic in the afternoon. There's a wonderful folly on the hill, which we really wanted to visit. After various attempts we succeeded. The great thing about it is that behind the stone façade, it's made out of bog-standard red bricks - all neatly hidden away. On one level, I was disappointed by this blatant bit of cheating, but I also enjoyed the brazen trickery of it!
Worship is a bit like the Wimpole folly, it can be made to look perfect, with all the right bits put in place, but the real measure of worship is found behind the scenes in the structure that holds it all together - the Church. The quality of the community is crucial, which is why I believe in the local church as a force for good. It doesn't need money, or massive resources to change the world. All it needs is people who love...

Saturday, 7 June 2008

Family Day

Quiet family day: gym, music centre, rain, games, Doctor Who... a couple of pages written...

Friday, 6 June 2008

Time to be

Had a great evening with Ernesto and Marie. We took the kids round for pizza and ice cream after school and had a good time together.

Some Definitions

There is a tendency to speak about a number of different movements as if they were really the same thing. I think we need to tease them apart in order to understand what we're trying to do:

Fresh Expressions: A fresh expression is a form of church for our changing culture, established primarily for the benefit of people who are not yet members of any church. (See the Fresh Expressions web site.)

Emerging Churches: Emerging churches seek to explore and create new forms of church that both understand and challenge our emerging postmodern culture. According to Gibbs and Bolger, "Emerging Churches (1) identify with the life of Jesus, (2) transform the secular realm, and (3) live highly communal lives. Because of these three activities, they (4) welcome the stranger, (5) serve with generosity, (6) participate as producers, (7) create as created beings, (8) lead as a body, and (9) take part in spiritual activities." (See Emerging Churches, SPCK, 2006.)

Mission Project: The work of any group or community focused on (1)
proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom, (2) teaching, baptising and nurturing new believers, (3) responding to human need by loving service, (3) seeking to transform unjust structures of society, and/or (5) striving to safeguard the integrity of creation and to sustain the life of the earth. (See the Five Marks of Mission.)

While there is clearly an overlap between each of these, I think it would also be helpful to hold them apart in our thinking. While an emerging church may fulfil the criteria to be a fresh expression, a fresh expression may not necessarily be an emerging church, etc, etc...

I'm not arguing that we should focus on any one of these, or require all of our groups, communities or projects to fit each definition, but I think it may be helpful to recognise the distinctions between them so we understand what each of our activities are trying to achieve...

Thursday, 5 June 2008

Befriending the Scapegoat

There is an old line about escaping from a bear. How fast do I need to run? The answer: faster than you!

For various reasons, groups and communities often feel the need to identify an individual who is the slowest runner, or the one perceived as "the problem". In a time of crisis or uncertainty this need is aggravated. The crisis can lead to "violence" between groups who could otherwise co-operate. Removing, or marginalising this scapegoat can restore peace and order within the group bringing about co-operation and general well-being - at least for a time.

I've just been reading an interesting paper by Thomas A Michael which looks at the issue of scapegoat. It's on the web: How to Scapegoat the Leader: A Refresher Course. I'll just quote his final paragraph:

"Both the authority and subordinates are fearful of chaos, so everyone demands rules, procedures, hierarchies and prohibitions to maintain order. Any member of the group who becomes too much like the leader may be accused of causing trouble. Any member who deviates too much from the norm may be singled out for scapegoating. When there is a lack of differentiation, the tendency is to search for one who is different. If the disorder becomes too widespread, so that nobody within the ranks can be singled out, then the result will be the scapegoating of the leader. It is not just because he or she is in a position of authority, but because by being in that position, the leader is Other. “Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.” (Shakespeare, Henry IV, part II)"

As I reflect on my experience of churches, groups and communities, I've seen this phenomenon take place a number of time, and I have to confess, have often been one of the people who was glad not to be the slowest runner when the bear is loose. How many times have I been happy that someone else was identified as "the Other" so that I had a hope of being part of the newly reconciled group?

Reconciliation through scapegoating does have some biblical resonance, but it's Christ who achieves peace by being set aside as the ultimate "Other" on whom all our "violence" is placed. He achieves peace by absorbing our weakness. Atonement could be described as a divine decision to turn and face the bear...

Within our churches, groups and organisations we do indulge in scapegoating, either consciously or unconsciously. Victims can include those perceived as a bit odd, those who's opinions are a bit "off the wall" or those who challenge our perceptions about how things should be... Bishops and other church leaders are not immune from the process. I remember Richard Holloway saying that there was a vacancy for a nutty bishop in the UK and media picked on him...

What's the Gospel message for us. Well, I suspect we start by recognising that scapegoating does happen within our organisations and that we all have a natural tendency to indulge in it - largely out of self defence (to avoid the bear). The awareness that it happens - and how it happens may help us to avoid participating in it... Perhaps we should also start to befriend our scapegoats, since a) we can't really get rid of them, and b) they are ultimately within Christ's redemptive will... Reconciliation is best achieved by hugging your goat - not abandoning it...

Of course, I also recognise that many of our clergy, and lay leaders, easily become scapegoats for the churches they serve. This is not an easy burden to bare, but is, as Thomas A. Michael suggests, an inevitable consequence of being "the Other". Perhaps this is another good argument for Mutual Ministry - or Collective Leadership - since our churches would then have to deal with one another, rather than bury the hatchet in the nearest available authority figure...

In the meantime, I'm tempted to get a t-shirt printed (there's a cartoon in here somewhere) which says "Love your Scapegoat".

Seven Miles

Our first seven mile run - 1:12:30

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Team Meeting

Another break in the sabbatical - this time for the Ministry Team, to discuss All Saints.
Back home in time for "You've been Fired" - not suprised it was Lucinda, but thought she was a good project manager. She blew it when she needed to follow...

Keith Lambdin

Went to Oxford today for a session with Keith. We discussed collaborative ministry, priesthood episcope and the deanery. Much to think about.


Just ran 3 miles in 26:56

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Gill Calver (Kent)

Today, Bev Hollins and I went down to Stapplehurst in Kent (where Bev was brought up) to meet the Rector, Gill Calver. Gill has visited the diocese the Diocese of North Michigan where they have a very well developed approach to Mutual Ministry. It was really good to compare notes on the research we've each done; comparing Auckland, Michigan, Nevada, Tasmania, Christchurch, etc... She gave us an abreviated version of the presentation she usually gives to groups in Kent, which we thoroughly enjoyed. After lunch we continued the conversation, and spent some time thinking about the developement of Mutual/Total/Local Shared Ministry in the UK. We agreed it would be good to keep in touch and possibly meet up again with others in the UK at some point...
It was a great day, although I would rather not have spent six and a half hours in the car!

Monday, 2 June 2008

Training Day

Most schools in MK back to work (including the college). Christ the Sower has a training day. Isla is at work and I have the kids for the day. We do some reading, Star Wars Monopoly, lunch at Morrisons and watch the Golden Compass. The girls seem to have enjoyed their day.

Sunday, 1 June 2008

Great Horwood

Today we decided to go on a trip down memory lane, visiting Great Horwood, where I lived from 1976 to 1983. Mary Saunders (who must have overlapped with us slightly) did spot me - but she works for the Diocese. A couple of people remembered our family, although many of the people in the congregation seemed to be relatively new. The Norwoods are not entirely forgotten - which seems strange to me. It was odd to go back to a place I once knew so well.
In the Church I particularly remember the backs of the pillars, and the sides of the pews, which probably reflects the parts of the building I spent most time staring at during services. We went for a wander around outside and they still have the old oil tank that we used to hide behind. Either it's shrunk or I've grown - I couldn't hide behind it now....