Rather a breathless rush today. We did a 7 am start to drive to Keswick for the Memorial Service for Penny. Penny was the wife of my cousin John and a remarkable person – an artist and a supreme enricher of the lives of her family. As John told the congregation, ‘Not many people would receive a terminal diagnosis and move on to conduct a bible study on heaven.’
Back to Perth in time for Patrick’s Institution at St John’s, our church in the city centre of Perth. It’s a great moment for the congregation and for us as a diocese – as we receive another bright, active and experienced young priest. The Vestry and congregation did everything possible to make Patrick and his family welcome. I felt a bit wistful and sentimental as I watched Patrick and Alison and their two young children making the commitment to the kind of long term ministry which will give their children stability as they grow up – and I thought about 1986 when Alison and I made exactly the same kind of commitment to Seagoe Parish with our young children. Parochial ministry is almost never easy. But it is the richest background imaginable against which to work out your family life and child rearing. At least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.