Happy New Year to all our readers. New Year’s Eve was spent visiting various Civic Amenity and Recycling Centres in the Belfast area in weather of unsurpassed dreadfulness. I also managed a Radio Scotland Thought for the Day.
Meanwhile, congratulations to the priests from Halifax who are using a calendar to promote vocations to the priesthood. At least they aren’t taking the Calendar Girls ‘bare-it-all’ route – at which the mind begins to play with the various images which might emerge in the SEC version – modesty concealed by various strategically-placed stoles, scarves and .. ahem .. mitres. Our own dear PDO would, of course, have to lead off as January’s child.
But the intention is serious enough – because it pays proper attention to the importance of providing good role models if younger people are to be attracted to the idea of priesthood. Yes indeed. I can see all sorts of bright young people who might look at my life and say, ‘Yes I’d like to be just like that.’ There is a ‘chicken and egg’ about all this. Unfortunately if too many of our clergy begin ordained ministry in middle age, our church will tend to be middle-aged as well – since we apparently work best with people ten years either side of our own age.