On Sunday, I am leading a service in a Methodist Church for the fist time since 2019 so I am quite looking forward visiting Centenary (sent’n’ri) but I do wish we were not wearing masks and allowed to sing! If I am not leading a service, I would really rather be at home in my study running the ZOOM service in comfort.
Zoom is to the fore tomorrow (Saturday 12th) when some brave men and women who have felt a call towards Reader Ministry, have to tell a story, attend a lunch (online) with the Warden’s committee and have a searching interview. They will be informed at the end of the day whether they have been selected. It is not a competition and all, some or none may go on.
On Wednesday I attended my third C2 session in 10 days with another on Monday – at least as a trainer I can also get my own safeguarding up to date which meant that I have had to redo the reflections and exercises but I have found it very beneficial in Benefice terms and it has prompted me to make some forms to collect details form all our churches about DBS checks, training levels and risk assessments. It is the first step in encouraging the next round of training, although some of the Church Wardens tell me they are on a waiting list for C2 courses because so many people want training. It is a good sign when people are looking to be trained.
On Tuesday I went to the Bishop’s Study Day which I found both informative and thought-provoking although on a different day I might be quite critical of some of the technical bits of the presentation. I would love to have another session on the topic but this time focussing on Cornwall’s demographic and how we encourage greater diversity in our churches. When the first speaker was telling us about being turned away, or not exactly being welcomed at services in her own diocese I could not help but picture her arriving at the doors of St Andrews Redruth, or actually any of our benefice churches. Her problem would not be being turned away but how to escape the clutches of the welcome, and avoid being on the PCC, helping with the Arts Festival and being signed up for the Toddler Group before the end of her visit. That might sound a little flippant but Mean it in all seriousness – the only group that might have real problems of prejudice might be those who look like they might be drunk or on drugs, or “not altogether ‘wholesome’! ” However, I really have not investigated attitudes in our churches but I would imagine that there is a wide range with some fringe extremes as their are about women’s ministry. Interesting and needs more work….. I just don’t know how!
The other big event was leading the first of the Living in Love and Faith sessions on ZOOM. Having gone through the first session again with our Rector, Caspar, we felt that the lack of any story videos in the first session was to miss an important element so we decided to insert two. It proved a good decision because they were easily the highlight that provoked most discussion and deep thinking. The two young presenters reminded at least one participant of ‘Play School’ presenters – wonderfully earnest, enthusiastic, bright eyed and wholesome. We are looking forward to session two and some more deep and thought-provoking breakout room discussions. I really do think that all our church members should be engaging in the course in one way or another and that perhaps the equalities issues need a similar treatment.
Perhaps the highlight of the working week was as spiritual director…. or really spiritual accompaniment which I always find as helpful as I hope my directees do.
The Barney the collie stories continue on his page!