We’re in the run-up to our Clergy Conference next week – the first since I arrived here. Our congregations are spread out over huge areas of Scotland so the clergy don’t get to meet one another as often as they would like. To be together for a couple of days is a big encouragement for everybody. Somebody once described the task of managing church life as being like herding cats – one of the bishops I served under said of clergy [did he mean me?] ‘Clergy begin by being individualistic and end by being idiosyncratic’ Whatever the truth of that rather gnomic comment – most clergy that I meet are cheerfully doing what is a very difficult job. They do it because of deep vocational commitment and, for many of them, it involves a lifestyle which is sacrificial. I’m looking forward to being encouraged by them.