Monday, 14 February 2011

An answer to prayer

For once yesterday, we drove in the rain rather than walk over to the Cathedral for the Sung Eucharist at eleven. We were again treated to a Mass setting by Barclay, plus Byrd's 'Ave Verum Corpus'. Despite nearly five centuries between these works they fitted well together for my hearing pleasure. Curate Julie Baker preached superby on Jesus meeting the woman of Samaria, giving the impression that she'd really got inside the story in order to recount and intepret it. I floated through the service with a smile of enjoyment on my face.

That smile got bigger on learning the announcement had been made this morning at St John's of my successor as Vicar, nearly a year after the search commenced. Liz Griffiths will be in place by the end of June. She's teaching pastoral theology in Norwich, and has to wait for the end of the academic year to change jobs. She's also worked at St Martin's in the Fields and so has that rare type of background experience in urban mission that can make all the difference to the church at the heart of a city centre. To the distress of its members as well as that of parishioners and well-wishers, the diocesan Patronage Board was unable to recommend someone for the job over ten months. It's a credit to Archbishop Barry, responsible for continuing the hunt, that someone suitable has been found. It's an answer to prayer indeed. I was beginning to feel guilty about quitting when I did, and hated people saying 'You're a hard act to follow', when the problem is that so few clerics are trained and experienced in urban mission any longer.
After supper, we watched the second pair of episodes of  'The Promise', even more moving, and true to my experience of how things are in the Land of the Holy One. I was browing the web page relating to this after the showing, to see if there was any fresh feedback. Last week there was a live forum on-line, though not this week. I then came across the Twitter feed, and although it didn't say much, I was impressed with the technology, and decided to subscribe. As well as reading themed Tweets, I can write my own. I couldn't be bothered to think up an alias, so I shall tweet as @keithkimber - how dull is that? 

Valentine's Day today, and it caught me by surprise. The Church in Wales lectionary celebrates Slav cultural heroes Kyril and Methodius today. By the end of Matins, Monday's date had come into focus, sending me out of the house to get a card and some daffs for Clare, who fortunately had gone early into town, leaving me free to prepare a little surprise while she was out. Then, mission accomplished, I went in to the office, and spend a couple of fruitful hours of detective work eliminating question marks, filling in blanks in the 2010 account sheet. This will enable Ashley to send in the VAT returns pronto - although according to me, they owe us money at year's end. I hope they'll agree. Oh yes, after a week's interruption, our internet service was once more working. Getting all four devices attached to the router to work properly took a little time, but all's well that ends well. Now we can get on with a letter of complaint. This breakdown shouldn't have happened, and has all the symptoms of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing at British Telecom.

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