Friday, 18 February 2011

Job satisfactions

Clare started off for Kenilworth this morning, and had to wait so long for a 61 bus that she missed her train. It happens now and then. The regular service goes erratic with no warning, buses start coming and going in pairs instead of evenly spaced out. I made an effort to go into town earlier today, having received an email saying the Friday tea room team would be short handed. I too had a longer than usual wait, ending with two buses arriving in convoy. It's hard to wean people off the use of private cars in the city if you can't build confidence in the stability of the service. All the more reason to invest in trams or light rail routes to link with existing rail infrastructure. It'd be possible to have a circular rail route from the centre out and around Cardiff commuter suburbs with low impact, by connecting Coryton station across the Taff at Forest Farm to Radyr station, but I guess if it hasn't been done so far, it's probably too costly to contemplate.

I arrived at St John's just after noon. Prayers with the midday Mass congregation were being led by Pauline, who'd come down from the tea room dressed in her pinafore to apologise because the priest appointed to the task had not turned up. I smiled and thought to myself how good it was that priest or no priest, the prayers of the people were still being offered at the heart of the city. But, no sooner than I had taken my coat off to get to work, Pauline was behind me, asking if I'd be willing to go down quickly and take the service, before the faithful finished their personal prayers and went away.

It's lovely to be asked to celebrate, as opposed to having to as a matter of occupational duty. It's something to do with imparting a sense of freedom instead of obligation into the heart of my prayer life. A voluntary priest was what I hoped to become after training, but it never happened, as one vocational door after another opened to me throughout full-time ministry. I accepted these duties freely and willingly, but somehow, solemn obligations of responsibility carry with them a burden of anxiety. Now I am free, I still ponder on the reason for this, and whether it is inevitably so.

The congregation of nearly a dozen were so welcoming and appreciative. I prayed for my newly appointed successor, for the welcome St John's will extend to her and for a blessing on her ministry. In the week after the appointment was made public, it felt like a privilege to be able contribute to the fund of good will which  makes new ministry possible for any new priest arriving and seeking to make their home in a new community. Then it was back to washing up and clearing tables and chatting, as usual.

With Clare away, it meant I could stop later in the office afterwards, as I would be returning to cook supper for myself. Yesterday I had time to install a redundant laptop from home for use as a reference file library, and today attempted to tidy up the workspace, following the arrival from various sources of file cabinets and stuff from storage to be sorted out eventually. I also got a pile of repair invoices ready for posting following the arrival of a shipment from the suppliers' workshop. Pre-Christmas preparation work is now bearing fruit, so a good flow of revenue is improving our operational resilience, and consolidating the business to make ready for its next phase of development. 

Since the Business Crime Partnership was set up five years ago, Cardiff Business Safe has worked closely with City Centre Management. After nine months of coping with problems due to operating out of different premises, the CCM team has now moved to the building we're working from, and into the same large open plan office space. Along with the Civil Parking Enforcement CCTV and radio network monitoring system opposite us on our small island of desks, this entire arrangement couldn't be better for us. It will greatly improve the efficiency of our activity, and make everything less stressful to maintain. It's great to see what we've been working towards starting to fall into place at last.

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