09:55:21 From Hugh Nelson : This is the report on Reader ministry that Imogen has just referred to – https://transformingministry.co.uk/publications-handbooks/#resourcing-sunday-to-saturday-faith
09:56:04 From Hugh Nelson : And you can read Kingdom Calling here – https://www.churchofengland.org/sites/default/files/2020-10/Kingdom%20Calling%20Web%20Version.pdf
09:57:04 From Lydia Remick : Thank you +Hugh
09:58:53 From Hugh Nelson : https://transformingministry.co.uk/
10:13:40 From Lydia Remick : Amen, thank you Imogen
10:36:59 From David Fieldsend : We seem to have a tension between training that could be accessible and modular and losing the benefit of training readers and clergy side by side.
10:37:03 From Claire Salzmann : We 5 agreed to disagree!

10:37:37 From Lydia Remick : My husband is drilling so I will type. Biggest things in our room were concern about ‘dumbing down’ of training if it was modular v’s the accessibility if we want working age people to be able to training with more flexibility.

10:37:48 From Sue Wilcox : Encouraging ideas and thoughts from Imogen
10:37:53 From Robin West : We thought modular was a good idea but must ensure we do not dilute theology study.
10:37:55 From Deborah Crocker : I liked the idea of modules to top up training but was less certain of that as a way to do initial training as the danger was losing the benefits of a group working through tricky material together and supporting one another
10:38:19 From Richard Laugharne : Richard from Room 2: we agreed with Imogen that the idea of modules was a good one; but character formation and supervision is as important for leadership and accountability. Need both skills and attitudes suitable for spiritual leadership.
10:38:35 From Richard Laugharne : Happy to speak
10:38:58 From Jane Kneebone : Ordained ministry and licensed lay ministry are different and distinct callings. 

10:42:47 From William Hazelton : In favour of modular bur should be core basics on fundamentals. Anyway, why distinction between lay and ordained?!
10:42:56 From Kay Short : Do we have local reader groups for continued learning and encouragement post licensing? I miss the theological discussions we had when training!
10:43:04 From Claire Salzmann : Why would modular = dumbing down / lost? It strikes me that there would be no need to water down the content just because it is being delivered in a different manner.
10:43:29 From Lydia Remick : I agree Claire, I don’t see the link between modular and dumbing down…
10:44:21 From Robin West : I do not think we were suggest it would dumb down, but fear that it must be keep in check that it does not.
10:45:17 From Kay Short : With modular would there be a core set of modules that everyone did need to do, then a choice of modules so you could play to your own particular calling? But how might you discover God is calling you to something you haven’t thought of if you don’t experience the wider range of modules?
10:45:25 From Lydia Remick : Some of us started weird and don’t plan to change!
10:49:55 From Kay Short : Could there be an option to do additional modules after licensing?
10:50:36 From Jane Kneebone : Foundations in Christian Ministry fulfils some but not all of these functions.
10:51:37 From Jane Darlington : the Readers in my group and those speaking seem to have been Readers for twenty years….. so trained in 30’s why are we not appealing to this age range to train now? Because we have none in our congregation’s week by week only once a month or festivals, nor at Lent Groups. We need to grow disciples in our church. I find I am approached more in my day to day life or when sitting on the train because of comments to my badge.
10:52:00 From Kathryn : For myself I see my calling as being to my Parish & although I am happy to do stuff in the rest of the benefice I would not want to be licenced to the Deanery and even worse to the Diocese
10:52:45 From Kathryn : Sorry I don’t know why my post said ‘me instead of ‘Kathryn’
10:52:53 From Andrew Hicks : could not to whom you are licensed be a choice?

10:53:14 From Jim : does the age of those coming forward to reader training reflect the ages of people in our congregations? If you don’t have the younger people in worship how can you foster their vocations?
10:53:18 From Lydia Remick : As I tell my LWLs being licensed to benefice doesn’t mean they HAVE to work across the benefice but it means they CAN. Same could the same for deanery or diocese. Doesn’t we have to work across the area but we could if needed.
10:54:14 From Kathryn : We can minister anywhere now if invited by the parish priest, Kathryn
10:54:20 From Deborah Crocker : Your point is very true Jane, at 63 I am one of the youngest people in our benefice – before training younger readers we need to find ways to bring younger people back into church or there will be no one to train.
10:54:24 From Martin Smith : it would be ones own choice as to where you practise,
10:54:25 From Anthony W : When someone feels called to ministry, is there an inherent focus (which may be implicit) towards ordination? Is Reader ministry given the same ‘weight?’ There appears to be a lot of younger vicars but not Readers/LLMs

10:54:58 From Sheri Sturgess : Thank you Imogen
10:55:29 From Lydia Remick : There is also something about needing younger people up front to encourage younger people through the door in the first place… It’s all self perpetuating.
10:55:29 From Caroline-Iain : thank you Imogen – so much to think about

11:09:01 From Don McQuillen-wright : Although I have generally been very fortunate with the clerics with whom I worked I have of many instances where Readers feel very unused. Committees fill me with dread but teamwork is in my view an essential element of parish operation. Incumbents will on occasion meet up with Church wardens and sundries others but no the Readers. Somehow any training should ideally include building relationships with clerics from the very start.
11:12:00 From Andrew Hicks : training alongside clergy was a huge benefit to me 

MESSAGES FOR CARRIE

11:20:01 From Claire Salzmann : A huge thank you to Carrie for all your support and hard work behind the scenes, we wish you every blessing on your Road Ahead.
11:20:27 From Sheri Sturgess : Hear hear
11:20:56 From Paul Arthur : Thank you so much for your massive support and keeping me ‘on task’. Blessings, Paul
11:21:00 From Andrew Hicks : great communication, support, and friendship
11:21:03 From Lydia Remick : Care and concern for us as people. Being there to listen when it was tough in parish and the advice she gave me.
11:21:15 From David Watters : Thank Carrie for your wisdom, kindness, understanding and the love you brought to your role as our Diocesan Secretary!
11:21:16 From Jane Darlington : always smiling
11:21:22 From Robin West : Ever kindness
11:21:30 From martinadams : Thank you, Carrie, for keeping me on my toes when I failed to do things, and for warning me when a deadline was coming up. All done with great personal concern and love. Thank you!
11:21:32 From Kay Short : Thank you for all your help Carrie, in getting my license transferred to Truro and making sure everything was in place.
11:21:37 From Jane Kneebone : Carrie, you’ve been an invaluable support to me over several years. I have valued your support, love, efficiency, early prompting to get jobs done and attention to detail.
11:21:44 From Kathryn : Thanks for always asking my questions and reassuring me I am not an idiot for having to ask them, I will miss you! love from Kathryn
11:21:45 From Martin Smith : thank you Carrie for your love and support. may the grace of our Lord go with you.
11:21:50 From Sheri Sturgess : Your efficient administration and organisation. Your friendliness.
11:21:50 From Tony Le Fevre : Thank you so much for keeping us all together so very well
11:21:55 From Claire : Constant support and encouragement. Thank you Carrie. Every blessing for your future.
11:21:55 From Alan Coode : Thank you for carrying the torch for so long!
11:21:56 From Margaret Sylvester-Thorne : Thank you, Carrie.
11:22:01 From Susan Irving : Thank you for being a true shepherd to us all and me in particular
11:22:02 From Mrs Claridge : we trained together and you got me through thank you. Good luck for the future and the new adventure that you will be starting.
11:22:12 From Jim : https://youtu.be/uXxXWKeEfhA interview with Carrie
11:22:16 From Don McQuillen-wright : Always there
11:22:17 From Matt Frost : always helpful and kind. God Bless you richly on the road ahead
11:22:17 From Debbie Mitchell : Thank you for holding us and this space with such gentleness
11:22:28 From Sandy Massie : Thank you Carrie for the extraordinary way that you organised our Reader Licensing in the Cathedral in the midst of Covid restrictions. You did it with such kindness, thoughtfulness and skill.
11:22:29 From Tim and Zinnia Symonds : For all your hard work and efficiency I am most grateful.
11:22:31 From Penny : Thank you for all you have done, blessings
11:22:36 From David Fieldsend : Thank you, Carrie for your support in times when I needed it.
11:22:40 From Eileen : Thank you for all your help and for welcoming me to the Diocese in 2018.
11:23:00 From Richard Laugharne : Always patient when I forget to reply to emails! Thank you Carrie
11:23:41 From Michael : Thank you for everything you have done for Reader ministry in Cornwall. Love & prayers for the future.
11:23:57 From David : Quiet care, consistency and patience. Thank you. May God bless you.
11:23:58 From Wendy Earl : God bless you Carrie in your future ministry. You have been an absolute star in organising events and keeping tabs on us all for so long. VERY many thanks, Wendy xx
11:24:02 From Sue Wilcox : Thank you Carrie for your understanding and kindness when there were difficult times. x
11:24:13 From Esther Brown : Thank you for your support
11:24:21 From Rebecca Greenough : Thank you for steering me in the right direction. Becca x
11:24:46 From Peter Simmons : Thanks for all your care and encouragement will miss you lots.
11:25:13 From Claire Salzmann : Although you are crossing the border, please remember it will still be jam first! Cx
11:25:46 From Mike Waring : Transferring to Truro Diocese was so easy with your help and guidance. Thank you and every blessing for your future ministry.
11:25:54 From Helen Purchase : Thank Carrie for always being there, so patient and such a fount of

knowledge. I have always known that you would sort things out. Every good wish for you future.
Helen x x x

11:32:38 From Kathryn : Robin, you will enjoy it, I did when I did it and only stepped down because of health issues, Kathryn

11:49:21 From Andrew Hicks : Reader calling, at least mine, is changing. thanks for this encouragement!
11:51:38 From Wendy Earl : The world is changing with so many challenges. Where is the prophetic voice?
11:57:48 From Kathryn : What Bishop Hugh said reminded me of an old Hymn – “How good is the God we adore, our faithful unchangeable friend; His love is as great as his power and knows neither measure nor end. Tis Jesus the first and the last whose spirit will guide us safe home; we’ll praise him for all that has passed and trust him for all that’s to come.” Kathryn
11:58:45 From martinadams : Thank you, Kathryn.
11:59:52 From Andrew Hicks : …with Christ at the centre…
12:03:56 From Kathryn : I love the concept of being On The Way; In the Hausa Language a Christian is a ‘Maibi’ which translates into English as someone who is ‘On The Way’. Kathryn
12:38:33 From Jane Kneebone : Hear hear!
12:41:34 From Wendy Earl : A big thank you David! Some very encouraging reommendations.
12:42:10 From Kathryn : I agree
12:44:33 From Robin West : My group basically wanted to say – A Reader is a Preacher and Teacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ
12:45:15 From Kay Short : A lay minister helping others to be who God calls them to be
12:55:19 From Tony Le Fevre to Jim(Direct Message) : no audio!
12:55:26 From Hugh Nelson : You might have to sing for us David!


13:02:00 From Andrew Hicks : Thank you all
13:02:20 From Mrs Claridge : Thank you to everyone as always it has been good to meet together even if it is over zoom.
13:02:42 From Jane Darlington : Thank you all x
13:02:44 From Kay Short : Thank you everyone – good to ‘meet’ you
13:03:01 From Anthony W : Thank you
13:03:07 From Martin Smith : thank you everyone. lovely to see you all .until next year. deo gracia

Each Monday morning for the past year a group of readers in various combinations has met to chat between 10 and 11:30. The mixture of topics has been fluid and for the most part there is no set agenda but after a chat with William we are going to trial spending at least half an hour each week looking at the lectionary readings for the following Sunday which will help any of us who are preaching.  TheSunday following the next Monday morning is Pentecost when I shall be preaching from St Euny so I have a particular interest in wanting folks to join in and share their experience and learning!  The link is in the email and the room is open from 9:30 – there is no waiting room!!

with services resuming in churches across the benefice Zoom continues to be a popular way to worship especially for those who are not able to come to church for a variety of reasons from the infirmity of age to having to work and from being resident in a hospice or hospital to being out of county.

St Andrews has a telephone line with a broadband link  so Zooming from church was comparatively simple there. St Euny, where they hoped to open a sort of internet café to teach people who are not confident with the technology.  Getting BT to put in a line proved to be full of obstacles and so through O2 they obtained a 4gb hub (with a grant) which would provide access for enough devices at the same time. The rest of the benefice has found the hub invaluable for streaming / zooming services from the other churches. A service typically uses a few gbs of data and the cost of the rental is roughly £1 per gb  so pretty good value even without a grant. 

The nature of the ZOOMING will certainly change over time without the need to stream music from St Martin in the Fields or YouTube but Zooms are set to continue because they are a way of reaching our most vulnerable at the time they need the church the most.. the challenge is reaching those who do not have the technology or no longer have the capacity to use it,  

Morning prayer on ZOOM (link by request) is at 9am every morning and continues to be a delight especially when most services begin after we have calmed the participants from a fit of mirthful laughter about the topic of conversation of the morning. There are rarely less than 8 people and often as many as 18 each morning experiencing a variety of styles from Northumbrian Celtic office to Common Worship but usually with the thread of lectionary readings and psalm. One we can go back to church, I don’t see this transferring but rather being a permanent electronic fixture. 

Barney a.k.a. Mr. Dog or Barnabus is  cultivating his own fan-club on my Facebook page (link here: (3) Jim Seth | Facebook) and so everyday there is a small but growing group for whom I publish pictures each morning and update on his behaviour and training progress. 

I am also trying to take a picture a day I can put on Twitter with a prayer focus. This morning was a photograph of fern fronds of bracken unfurling in the midst of the still smelling gorse fire-scorched land with the words,

“bracken like a phoenix arising from the ashes of the gorse fire – in the depths of the blackest moments something is waiting to grow…. I am praying for those who are waiting today.”

 

I like twitter for following certain folk – if you would like to follow my prayer posts they are here:  Jim (@Trewirgies) / Twitter

 

Ball please! Your serve.....

Last Monday at the Coffee and Conversation Chat we had a frivolous ten minutes coming up with possible straplines for those considering reader ministry…..  I wonder if you have one to add?

  • Want some high adrenalin adventure…..? become a reader
  • Feel called to feed sheep? Be a Reader
  • Reader ministry reaches the parts that others don’t
  • Probably the best preaching in the World
  • Reader Ministry – Just do it
  • Reader Ministry because you’re worth it…..
  • Cornish Reader ministry- not jam tomorrow – Jam first
  • Reader ministry – have it your way…
  • Reader ministry – is it in you?
  • Reader Ministry- we go the extra mile.
  • Reader Ministry now appearing in pulpits everywhere
  • Reader ministry – it gives you wings,,
  • Reader Ministry- Any time anywhere
  • Reader ministry- we can pass the buck
  • You don’t have to be crazy to be a reader but it helps…
  • Keep Calm and carry on …… preaching
  • Become a Reader- your country needs you
  • Reader ministry- work rest and pray.

I am looking to hearing more from Bishop Hugh at the Readers Day tomorrow and from other readers about what they think their role is in succinct, easy to understand terminology.  Below are four definitions offered to the current working party which will be presenting its report very soon. David Fieldsend will be sharing more information about it at Readers Day. 

  1. Community (or lay) theologians who enable everyday faith.
  2. Licensed Lay Minister is a key role (?) embedded in the local church and community. Teaching the gospel in word and action, in work and in play
  • A multifaceted role grown from the gifts of the individual.
  1. A wide-ranging ministry, from Bible-Studies and House Group leadership to mentoring worship leaders and taking funerals backed by accredited theological training enabling the Reader/LLM to bring the gospel to the people.
  2. A Reader is a Lay Minister working under episcopal license and in agreement with their incumbent, theologically trained and qualified to preach, teach, lead church services and interpret the Christian faith to other lay people from a position of understanding of secular life and to offer pastoral care in the name of the church to all sorts and conditions of people in sickness and in health, in dying and bereavement. They are also to assist in mobilising fellow laity for mission and helping to build discipleship

Life with Barney a.k.a. Mr Dog enters its second month with more early morning walks. This week the tide has been fairly low first thing so we have gone down there most days. Mr. Dog is very good at returning the missiles launched from the ‘Chukkit’ and so exercises hard for an hour. If he needs a break he chases the waves instead while we take in the joys of being alive under heaven from the dawn and the sea air. 

 

One end of Portreath Beach is freezing and the other end is warm once the sun begins to get to it. Prayers today were for those who for one reason or another cannot enjoy the warm enfolding of the rising sun or the Risen Son. (I post on photos and prayers on Twitter @Trewirgies )

An Interview with Carrie Tucker as she leaves the Diocese and he role as Secretary to the Readers. 

So in attempting to replace Carrie with three people we have so far received enquiries from er…. one person.  Readers / Licensed Lay Ministers we really do need you if you have minute taking skills, enjoy organising events or just want to help your fellow Readers in a practical way. I asked Carrie the question that we so often ask those discerning their vocation to become a Reader which is; If you could only preach one(more) sermon what would be the topic and why?  Carrie only thought for a moment before saying that it would be a bout practical love – all very well to follow Jesus commands to love one another but practice has to follow intent and rally that is what Carrie has done, to love her felw Readers through service and for that we are all hugely grateful. In the interview she says what she enjoyed and some advice for us all – please do pray for Carrie and pray for your own evolving vocation and ask God if it is something to which you should contribute some time.

Unconscious Bias

I attended the course yesterday ably led by Dawn from somewhere in the South East on ZOOM. It is always good to be reminded of these things although through my work as a Governor and in my pre retirement career in primary schools I was steeped in the culture of non-discrimination and often had charge of writing the equalities policy. the racial abuse policy and the bullying policy as well as the school access plan so I probably did not learn anything new. 

When I moved to Cornwall from London having been brought up in Birmingham where my friends were from a variety of ethnic backgrounds I was actually surprised by the level of racial prejudice. Examples were often preceded with the phrase, “of course I am not racially prejudiced but………………..”  At the time (1978) I was teaching 38 children in a temporary classroom in a medium sized village school. When plotting where the children had been on holiday I was amazed that 10 had never visited the beach and  only five had been abroad and one of those was Plymouth!  Racial prejudice, like all prejudice I suggest comes from ignorance rather than knowledge.   

As a church we discriminate against the over 70s, the divorced, the non-heterosexual and even those with a different coloured skin. 

Mind you, I should probably not refer to holiday-makers as emmets or suggest that a number of them will  be abusive to till staff.  

It is easy to become comfortable in our own skin and not question the values we hold and whether they prevent us from loving our neighbour as ourselves, or loving each other as Jesus loves us. 

 

Living in Love and Faith

The Readers Post Licensing Group met on Saturday to look at and discuss the “Living in Love and Faith Materials”

The Truro Diocese LLF Page

The Church of England LLF resources

The discussions were certainly frank and varied!

We can however, recommend looking  at the Preview of the Course Materials which are really good, professional looking and stimulating for conversation.  Course: Introduction (churchofengland.org)

So what is God asking you to do in the near future?

Vocation evolves, it does not stand still and it is not restricted to accredited ministry. We  should all leave regular space in our prayers to ask God about what we should be doing, or exploring.

I am sure many of you will have stories about where God has dragged you out of your comfort zone into something which you realise is what was needed.  As a young reader when i was teaching I was a preacher and teacher and specialised in anything to do with children from assemblies to youth groups and from family services to drama groups. I did the funeral training, and discussed pastoral visiting and even took a few home communions but I never envisaged doing much of those things and in fact avoided anything to do with funerals, age and illness. 

35 years on and funeral ministry turns out to be something that I am actually quite suited to and sitting listening to the bereaved and teasing out the stories about the departed is s huge privilege. 

That I was asked to be chaplain was a surprise too – but  that is another story. 

So why am I writing this now? 

Well as you will have heard, Carrie, our brilliant, hard working, efficient and tireless secretary to readers is moving out of the county and away from the job. She did so much that after some thought we have split the role to make it more manageable by ordinary human beings rather than Super-Carrie who would be almost impossible to follow! Below are two links to documents from Bishop Hugh! Readers / Licensed Lay Ministers we really need you to pray for the discernment process and to ask yourself whether you might be called to one of the roles. 

Clergy colleagues are asked to pay and give their readers a nudge if they think they might have the skills…. 

and other readers with a small ‘r’ are asked to pay that we find someone 

 

2021 April 28 – letter to Readers re Admin roles

Readers Administrator role descriptions

 

Please do contact me for further information or to chat through the commitment. 

This Mixed Week....

it has been another interesting week…. time seems to fly past at alarming speed, I am surprised Barney does not bark at it as it whooshes by!

Lez and I had our second covid (Pfizer) jabs on Wednesday and both felt a bit groggy yesterday so dog walking was  a bit of a chore but either side of that Barney and I headed over Carn Brea in mist and in sunshine and prayers were said. 

I was booked to do a funeral yesterday but it had to be postponed for a week for lack of official paperwork which was something of a blessing because I was not at my best! 

It has been wonderful to see the grandchildren this week who are all desperate to play with Barney – eleven year old Ellie, on hearing that I had had my second jab asked, “Does that mean I can hug you now?” She was as disappointed to hear that she could not as I was in telling her.  My prayers this week for all those grandparents who cannot see their grandchildren and for all children who are missing hugs. 

 

In the beginning was the ball, and the word was ball

Dog looked at the ball and gave it freely expecting that it would be thrown

And it was thrown

And Dog saw that it was good…..

 

Then created was the walk,

And dog was told that he may partake of any pleasures in the walk excepting the fruits of chasing cars, cyclists or eating joggers.

But the seed had been sewn and dog saw only the moving cars, the delicious cyclists and the scrumptious joggers no matter whether they were lithe and fast or large and wobbly…. And dog could not resist.

 

Thus there was much gnashing of teeth, of cries in the wilderness and elsewhere and there was much anguish.

 

Thus came the great commandments

 

“Closer!” – thou shalt place the ball within easy reach if thouest wants it lobbed verily.

“Sit!” – Thou shalt sit, an remain sitting until thy owner allowest movement

“Stay!” Thou shalt remain, until told “good boy” or instructed otherwise.

“calmmmmm….” Thou shalt sit, make an attempt at relaxing  and breathe – and take in the good air

“Oh Barney / Barnabus !!!” Thou shalt consider what sin thou hast committed and repent with an

appropriate sorrowful expression.

“Get DOWN! ?Get Off!” Thou shalt not attempt to climb into thy owner’s ear, nor trample the flower  beds, or share the duvet.

“Come to me/ Barney come!”  Thou shalt come.

Nb. The final commandment currently needs more work.

 

(With thanks and credit to Simon Cade who created a version of this on Facebook a few years ago and from whom I pinched the idea)

 

 

Barney the 10 month old Collie has been with us for a fortnight and progress has been made albeit slowly… but the taste for cyclists and joggers in going to be hard to break. The head harness has stopped the pulling to a large extent which means I no longer have to stop to recover while I sew my arm back onto my shoulder!

 

Saturday morning’s dawn expedition yielded something of a breakthrough when a jogger ran past without much reaction from Barney and he did not jump at any cars until the final one before we got back through the gate.

 

A fortnight ago I was celebrating a year of solitary morning lockdown walks when I prayed, wrote sermons in my head, rehearsed sermons and mulled over the issues of the day. Then suddenly all changed and all focus was on whether a jogger might be around the next corner or whether I could grab his collar at the sound of a car which has rather curtailed the spiritual meditative rhythmic pacing in the dawn light along the mineral tramway and the Great Flat Lode.

 

Life changes suddenly and lurches off in a different direction from that which you expect, sometimes in a good way and sometimes in a way that can devastate.  As chaplain, a spiritual director  and as a licensed Lay Minister who now has a funeral ministry I talk to all sorts of people about tragedies ranging from  grief for a recent bereavement to the diagnosis of a serious illness and from family issues to the loss of faith and consequent heart break.  It was never something that was on my radar to do, Lez is much better at that stuff than me and my ministry was always from the pulpit or with children, I never thought I was equipped. God has other ideas however and the Holy Spirit provides us with the wherewithal to accomplish the tasks he sets for us whether we are in good health, in adversity or even at the point of his calling us home. “Do not fear,” says Jesus on countless occasions… but I think being nervous of doing something we are called to do outside our comfort zones is air enough.

Zoom Transitions

 

Love Zoom or hate it, in one form or another it is here to stay. There are times when I love it and some when I hate it but all things considered I would not want to be without it, or its equivalent.   Our morning prayer crew are still faithfully there across the week at 9am each day but they would certainly not gather so faithfully if that service was in a church. Meetings are so much better on ZOOM or Teams

  • You don’t have to travel which saves time, fuel and the environment
  • You have time before a meeting to make your coffee as you like it and roll into the meeting punctually
  • If it is really boring or if someone is irritating beyond your endurance you can always feign a connection problem and switch off.
  • You don’t have to travel in the dark….
  • You can have a comfortable chair!
  • You are not near anybody else’s germs.
  • You don’t have to wear a mask
  • and very importantly it is possible to have a meeting with folk who are geographically very distant.

So I rather hope that training sessions will continue on Zoom along with governor meetings and study groups….  Though I really am missing going to my favourite restaurants and the theatre!

Saturday 24th

So this morning was a walk with Barney on my 5 mile trek through Wheal Euny, a section of the Great Flat Lode and around Carn Brea.

Dog did well although he greated a standing cyclist having a rest and admiring the early morning view across the valley rather enthusiastically.  The cyclist proceeded to tell me about his recent return to cycling following a quadruple heart bypass after a previous heart attack, his move from Falmouth and how he was discovering the  Great Flat Lode…. and much more. Barney lay down at my feet and waited patiently while two ladies with half a dozen assorted dogs between them passed by and the life story continued.  The last half hour was the most trying for him with a few cars that made him a bit twitchy but at least he did not rear up barking!  Job done….. Lez can entertain him in the  garden!

Reflective walking continues….. 🙂 Thank you God.

 

From Saturday Morning prayer – the Ester Bonnet parade on Zoom before our rather solemn service with much prayer for those in our thoughts for various reasons. 

I am giving Zoom a miss next week as far as I can,  and will be walking the newest addition to the Seth household who is travelling down from Bristol today.

Apparently he is a bit of a handful…. but we are looking forward to the challenge and the delights of having a dog again. 

It may have influenced my choice of the Easter Picture further down the page! 🙂 

and on the dog theme here is Jac’s story on the diocesan website A story about Percy, God’s dog – Truro Diocese : Truro Diocese

 

“The Elephant in the Church” 

Clicking the title will take you to an interesting piece in The JC (The Jewish Chronicle) sent to me by an old friend from college days, Pauline, who worships at Hatch End Reformed Synagogue.  

For me, I do not think of the  condemning crowds before Pilate as being Jewish, I think of them as representing countless numbers of human-kind across the millennia who when faced with oppression and injustice can be manipulated by religious or political organisations.

When you look around our world today it is repeated over and over again with mobs, factions, rioters, violent extremists all looking to blame, to shame and often to maim. The resurrection  of Jesus gives us hope that somehow we can rise above, be something more forgiving, more loving and caring, more discerning about what we are told.  The general populace is swayed by the media that tells us what to think, the loud voices of the tabloid press, the stirring up of anger by the likes of Piers Morgan and by the well oiled machine of spin that is the stuff of Government. 

I feel rather sorry for Judas….. a man who took his own life realising that he had got it so badly wrong.  A zealot who was probably manipulated himself to think that what he was doing was for the best- I just don’t buy the “dishonest thief who stole from the common purse” picture, that is a Piers Morgan type catch-all simplification. How could anyone be around Jesus as a disciple with that intent? But I can believe that he thought that precipitating action by his hero would bring down the powerful oppressors. How deluded was he and how desperate he must have felt! 

From the Easter hope we need dialogue, understanding and above all the love of the risen Christ.  Not only between the world’s religions, between countries and continents but between ourselves. When  women are still not seen as equal to men, when we discriminate on the grounds of race, colour, creed and sexuality  and when we cause hurt to others because of our views, whether or not we have been manipulated into thinking them, we are not being loving.

Simply, the message from Jesus is to love everyone and that through the resurrection and the gifting of the Holy Spirit we do have the wherewithal to do it.  as the canticle from the Northumbrian Daily Office puts it

Christ, as a light
illumine and guide me.
Christ, as a shield
overshadow me.
Christ under me;
Christ over me;
Christ beside me
on my left and my right.
This day be within and without me,
lowly and meek, yet all-powerful.
Be in the heart of each to whom I speak;
in the mouth of each who speaks unto me.
This day be within and without me,
lowly and meek, yet all-powerful.
Christ as a light;
Christ as a shield;
Christ beside me
on my left and my right.

Happy Easter One and All.

Jim

One of my favourite Ester images from Craig Aitcheson

Contact – some thoughts from Sandie Massie, a Reader from the Lizard Peninsula 

It’s hard to believe that Easter has arrived again, yet so much has happened to each one of us over the last year. We have had to find a new way of living and being, which has caused us to miss one of the most precious gifts; that of human contact. Yet isn’t this what Easter is really about? Certainly not about chocolate eggs and fluffy bunny rabbits, or indeed ancient rituals of worship – traditions that did not exist in Jesus’ earthly ministry. Why did Jesus become God Incarnate, God in the flesh, in human form? To be the living sacrifice given once for all for the forgiveness of sins? Yes, most certainly; but Christ also came to make contact with humankind. During his earthly ministry, Jesus touched people – literally. He touched the eyes of the blind and covered the ears of the deaf. He breathed on the dead to bring them back to life. He laid hands on the sick and the lame to restore normal function. He made contact with people. 

 

In particular during Passiontide, Jesus washed his disciples’ feet and held out bread and wine to them at the Last Supper.  He touched and healed the ear of the soldier wounded by Peter at Gethsemane. He locked eyes with his mother and with John, the disciple he loved, as he hung on the Cross, committing them to one others’ care. Contact – even reaching out to the men hanging beside him at Calvary. And then he was gone; taken down from the Cross and laid in a tomb. He was out of reach, out of touch, out of contact. 

 

Then came the miracle of miracles- Jesus’ resurrection from the dead as good triumphed over evil. And what was the first thing the risen son of God did? He made contact with Mary Magdalene and some of the disciples. Later he invited the doubting Thomas to place his hand in Jesus’ wounded side. He shared a meal of fish with his disciples on the beach. 

 

Later he ascended into heaven to be with his Father. But Jesus kept in contact with humankind. The Holy Spirit came and touched Jesus’ followers; and it’s the same today. That same Holy Spirit is here with us to keep us in contact with our Saviour and our Father. 

 

'There’s One Thing I Know . . .’

It is 4.30am and I’m lying in the dark, in an unfamiliar bed, feeling rather miserable. It’s not just the discomfort caused by the varied symptoms of post-surgical radiation therapy, though I’m beginning to wonder how I’ll live with these ongoing symptoms. Will I continue to be able to ‘do it anyway’ – my life-long policy when faced with things that could stop me or inhibit my plans – or maybe this time, will it really prove too much for me? Does God want me to get licensed as a Reader in October and move into that ministry? Or perhaps God is saying ‘Time to give up – you’ve done your best, I know. No shame on you but let it go.’

This is also the morning of my seventieth birthday. Who would have thought I’d be spending it in a city far from home, undergoing cancer treatment, in the middle of a Covid-19 pandemic with all the restrictions that we have/have not got used to. Well, that’s the reality, I think. So get over this misery moment and cheer yourself up before your hubby starts to stir in the bed beside you. Get ready to enjoy your birthday, and give thanks you are still around to celebrate your ‘three score years and ten’.

So I find my phone and put in my headphones, searching my music library for the right music. Maybe my lovely Bach, my favourite composer – who shares my birthday, though he was born in 1685, not 1951. No, I know, I’ll play my CD of the Penguin Café Orchestra. That always cheers me up. I love the joy these musicians express in their playing together. So I click on the first track, feeling calmer and anticipating the opening strains of the cello section. But – what’s this? This isn’t the PCO. It’s a work by Gavin Bryars that I haven’t listened to in years.

Jesus’ blood never failed me yet,
Never failed me yet,
Jesus’s blood never failed me yet.
There’s one thing I know,
For he loves me so . . .

Click the Picture NOW for the music- while you read!

How did this happen? I don’t even have that CD in my music library! What a mystery!

* * *

Gavin Bryars composed this work in a novel way, at the time. He began with a recording he had made when he happened to hear an old homeless man singing under the arches near the river in south London. The man was singing words from this hymn he’d remembered, maybe from childhood, who knows. He may have been drunk, but his voice is so touching, singing this hymn of comfort with such feeling. Bryars added orchestration that gradually joins in with the voice, reaches a crescendo, and then fades away, leaving just the solitary sound of the old man singing, until that too fades away. The sound continues to haunt you long after the music stops.

As I listened to this work, on my seventieth birthday, I heard the message very personally. ‘Jesus’ blood never failed me yet.’ I thought of all the times when Jesus has brought me back from dangers and traumas and other illnesses. It is true: he has ‘never failed me yet’. I thought of the blood of the communion cup and could almost taste the sip, as in my imagination I knelt at the rail. ‘There’s one thing I know, for he loves me so.’ Indeed he does. Now I knew I was going to enjoy my strange birthday – and I did. Later that day, as I walked with my husband along a local seafront, as we ate our fish and chips in the salty air, the voice of that unknown wanderer, without a home to go to, remained the soundtrack of my day.

Patti Owens (Reader in training)

Penguin Cafe Orchestra

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Carrie Tucker -
Our Secretary is Moving!!

Carrie is moving house when Covid restrictions allow the details to be sorted out to be closer to family in Plymouth. So as she is leaving the Diocese we will be saying goodbye to her with huge thanks for her amazing work and support of Reader/LLM ministry – without her the admin would look very different. 

I am interviewing her on ZOOM in the very near future and hope to post it on here next week. 

In the meantime… here are a couple of links to Carrie articles.

Maundy Money arriving by post not pageantry – Truro Diocese : Truro Diocese

 

Kathy Lang - Methodist Local Preacher - RIP

Many Readers/LLMs will have known Kathy Lang who was a Methodist Local Preacher in Looe who preached occasionally in St Martins Liskeard. She died last night having discovered a few months ago that her cancer had returned.  Even though she knew her time was limited she managed to come to some of our Monday Morning Sessions where she joined in discussions enthusiastically and even came this Monday though she did look poorly.

 As a serial attendee at any training day many will  miss her presence, her sharp mind and often witty responses.  

I met her properly wen she came down to St Andrews in Redruth to hear me preach before booking me for the choir festival in Looe that summer…. she was a woman who knew exactly what she wanted but her love of the Lord never faltered. 

Rest in Peace Kathy….. and rise in Glory.

Malcolm Bowers
So sorry to hear this news. I valued her as a friend. Her faith was at the centre of her life. She had a sharp mind and loved music winning cups at competitions. The Lord will certainly say “well done good and faithful servant”.

Jane Darlington
Rest dear Kathy x

Jacqueline Haines
A very special person xx

John James Kendrick-Crawshaw
Oh my gosh, I’m so saddened to hear this, Kathy has touch so many peoples lives, from her preaching to her ‘at home’ get togethers. Rest in Glory Kathy Lang xxx

Ross Isbell

So very sad to hear this news. Rest in peace dear Kathy. 🥰 💛 xx

A Cartoons I found on Social Media.....

tis week!
DISCUSS 🙂


Maybe a Monday morning theme?

Morning Prayer continues on ZOOM with a growing congregation at 9am each day.

There always seems to be much hilarity before we begin, on the day of Mary’s hat several of us were wiping tears of mirth from our eyes…but if you want the story you’ll have to join us …. before 9 when all goes still and we pray together. 

The link is in the weekly email! 

So this week, having discovered that the roof of the shed was no longer completely watertight I bought some special sealant from Screwfix and set about painting it on…… that was at the beginning of the week, it took two attempts over two days and I am still aching having discovered pains in muscled I had forgotten I had.  But the sky was blue, the sun was shining and I did manage to climb up there safely and complete the task and for that I am grateful! I am even more grateful that my neighbours offered to come and complete the job for me at the point of the photograph…. people have been so generous with time in the last year  and although I did not need the help it was nice to have it offered. Who can we offer help to this week?

Ministerial Development Review - over Carn Brea

I am always on about the importance of communication within ministry teams. Caspar and I went for a walk for a couple of hours to discuss ministry and to reflect on the past couple of years. The rock behind me is where in normal years, the cross would stand on Carn Brea. Amazing that Caspar managed to look far more intrepid than me! So we managed exercise, being appropriately socially distant and had a good conversation. We might have to do the same thing when it is time for reviewing my working agreement…. which should be sooner rather than later. From my point of view it is an example of good practice in action. Thank you Caspar.

An Esteemed Otter

Bishop Philip pointed out that I had written to Esteemed Otters…. so I could not resist ‘Googling’ (or more accurately ‘Bing-ing’ some. 

Another Esteemed Otter

Reader David Watters found this heartwarming tale on social media

Katharine Hepburn, in her own words:
“Once when I was a teenager, my father and I were standing in line to buy tickets for the circus.
Finally, there was only one other family between us and the ticket counter. This family made a big impression on me.
There were eight children, all probably under the age of 12. The way they were dressed, you could tell they didn’t have a lot of money, but their clothes were neat and clean.
The children were well-behaved, all of them standing in line, two-by-two behind their parents, holding hands. They were excitedly jabbering about the clowns, animals, and all the acts they would be seeing that night. By their excitement you could sense they had never been to the circus before. It would be a highlight of their lives.
The father and mother were at the head of the pack standing proud as could be. The mother was holding her husband’s hand, looking up at him as if to say, “You’re my knight in shining armor.” He was smiling and enjoying seeing his family happy.
The ticket lady asked the man how many tickets he wanted? He proudly responded, “I’d like to buy eight children’s tickets and two adult tickets, so I can take my family to the circus.” The ticket lady stated the price.
The man’s wife let go of his hand, her head dropped, the man’s lip began to quiver. Then he leaned a little closer and asked, “How much did you say?” The ticket lady again stated the price.
The man didn’t have enough money. How was he supposed to turn and tell his eight kids that he didn’t have enough money to take them to the circus?
Seeing what was going on, my dad reached into his pocket, pulled out a $20 bill, and then dropped it on the ground. (We were not wealthy in any sense of the word!) My father bent down, picked up the $20 bill, tapped the man on the shoulder and said, “Excuse me, sir, this fell out of your pocket.”
The man understood what was going on. He wasn’t begging for a handout but certainly appreciated the help in a desperate, heartbreaking and embarrassing situation.
He looked straight into my dad’s eyes, took my dad’s hand in both of his, squeezed tightly onto the $20 bill, and with his lip quivering and a tear streaming down his cheek, he replied; “Thank you, thank you, sir. This really means a lot to me and my family.”
My father and I went back to our car and drove home. The $20 that my dad gave away is what we were going to buy our own tickets with.
Although we didn’t get to see the circus that night, we both felt a joy inside us that was far greater than seeing the circus could ever provide.
That day I learned the value to give.
The giver is bigger than the receiver. If you want to be large, larger than life, learn to Give. Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get – only with what you are expecting to give – which is everything.
The importance of giving, blessing others can never be over emphasized because there’s always joy in giving. Learn to make someone happy by acts of giving.”
~ Katharine Hepburn
(from Everything Good in the World)

The Living inLove and Faith Launch

 Last week’s emailing to Fellow Readers/LLMs, Church Family and Esteemed Otters (Others) was hurriedly sent around the Living in Love and Faith Launch last Saturday morning. I  had written a piece about that Launch but Bishop Hugh’s letter that arrived in inboxes yesterday says it so much better that I have linked it here in case you cant find it in your inbox.  It was a very worthwhile morning, and where I do not think it will change much in the way of canon law etc in the near future, I do believe it is a good way forward to promote understanding and a dialogue that is rooted in our love for one another.

LLF Letter follow up Bishop Hugh’s Letter  

I propose that as Readers we might actually do the sessions and go through the materials in a ZOOM format sooner rather than later with perhaps one group meeting in the evening and another during the day. (it would be helpful to have some keen folk to facilitate this though I am happy to set up links. 

Please do read +Hugh’s letter and then let me know what you think.

https://www.churchofengland.org/resources/living-love-and-faith

Truro Diocese Living in Love and Faith Pages 

St Piran's Awards

I am now the proud recipient of a St Pirans cross which I shall wear alongside my Reader’s badge when I wear a jacket which is rare these days. For now it is pinned to my computer screen with my Reader Badge and a cross made by Reader Robin West for the Readers in Training residential  at Epiphany House.  Note-my ready Webcam for this morning’s Morning Prayer Zoom.

The service on ZOOM was  uplifting in hearing and seeing all the people who were doing things to support their various communities from technology support to food bank and feeding people in poverty.  If you have not red the citations, they are really worth reading on the Diocesan Website as are the articles written by Jac.

Scroll down the News page to find them: News – Truro Diocese : Truro Diocese

Lockdown Evening Viewing

Finally, our evening TV (channel 4)  has included the wonderful series with Martin Sheen as president of the United States, “the West Wing” here is a clip of  the president talking to a right wing journalist relevant to the Living in Love and Faith Debate even if I am not sure about his point scoring tone…. which is not in the spirit of LLF.