Monday, 3 February 2014

The Times They Are A-Changing

One of the bonuses of being in interregnum (as we at St. Mary's have been since last August), is that we are privileged to see and hear a huge variety of clergy of all shapes and sizes officiating at the various services here.

We have been blessed by visits from the Archdeacon, the Bishop, the Dean and a dozen or so other Rev's from various local churches and semi-retired local ministers.

Some. (most), are in our own Anglo-Catholic tradition, others rather less so, and one particular individual from a very different one.

This can be illuminating, inspiring, or on occasion, somewhat disconcerting, but since we are assured by those in a position to know, that we are going to acquire an incumbent of our own persuasion - eventually - we must settle for what we are offered in the interim.

Change is all around us, and even the day-to-day running of the church is constantly shifting ground and altering time-honoured procedures in order to adapt.

In some ways it has brought us closer together as a community but in others cracks are appearing.

As so  many other people are looking at their roles whether paid or volunteer, I decided to make some changes of my own.

The Space - listening ear drop-in organisation which is a flourishing part of St Mary's will now have the benefit of more of my time (poor souls, they won't know what's hit them).  While the parish office will see rather less of me (cheers resound).

Additionally I will now be a one-morning a week meeter and greeter, and hopefully will have a bit of training in the rich history of the church so I can officially bore any unwary visitors who make the mistake of asking questions.

The choir has not yet objected to my bass-baritone groaning on Sundays, so that will continue until they do.

Oh, and my face is at last clear of eczema so I look nearly human again.

All we need now is for the weather to change while there is still some of the country not underwater and joy will be unconfined.


  1. Good for you, Ray! Glad your eczema is gone and glad you've been able to visit your priorities and come up with treasures both old and new. The time between vicars is a good one for stepping up into new roles!

    1. I think it's more a question of developing further the things I already do, but with less of the sedentary stuff. It is a huge relief to be able to face the world without feeling I need to apologise for my appearance, so at least I don't frighten people anymore.

  2. Interegnums are always good for throwing up new talents. People discover skills previously never know what you might end up doing...but you seem happy for the challenge!

    1. Yes, interesting times Jean and as you say, a good time to try ourselves out in unfamiliar roles.

  3. Glad to hear the eczema has finally departed. You've certainly been pondering to some purpose and your new balance of involvement sounds interesting and worthwhile.

    I'm sorry it's taking so long to find a new incumbent for you. Even if one is appointed tomorrow, there will inevitably be a delay while the new person serves out the required notice in their present parish.

  4. It is a huge relief to have a 'clean' face again, and not to feel I need to ring a bell when approaching people. There are still patches on the insides of my elbows, but even they are itching less. Thank Heaven.

    At our present rate of progress I think it unlikely we will see a new incumbent in less than six months, but at least it gives us a chance to see what we don't want, as well as knowing what we'd like.

  5. Good to know you are at last finding relief from all the discomfort of the dreaded eczema. Blessings on your church as it goes forth on it's search for a new priest. Many years ago I was part of a search committee and it was certainly a challenging, but ultimately worthwhile experience.

  6. Thanks Broad, it is good to be able to look people in the eye again.
    Thanks also for the Blessings on our search for a new leader.
    So many people are involved in the selection that we must surely get it partly right.
    Meanwhile our activities continue more or less as previously, just without the reassuring presence of our dear Father Shane.

  7. Glad the horrid ezcema has gone. What did work in the end, by the way? Interregnum at my church was a pleasant experience for some of the reasons you list - different faces and different methods but I was not closely involved with the selection process so was able to stay away from the cracks, as you put it.

  8. I honestly don't know Jane. I still have some on my neck and the insides of my elbows, so maybe it is just wearing itself (and me) out.
    My involvement with the selection process is merely by virtue of being in the parish office and privy to all the conversations which take place.
    The parish is invited to a series of meetings where the type of incumbent we need and would like is discussed openly, but that is not to say that in the end we have any influence.

  9. Hope your new regime is going well and that your face is back to normal. Blessings from Dalamory.

  10. Thanks Freda, yes it is going more or less to plan. My face being back to 'normal' is a scary thought.
    The eczema is still putting in the odd reminder, neck and insides of elbows, but not, thank heaven, where the whole world has to see it.
    Blessings to you also, and keep on dancing.