Strange but good to be back in Holy Trinity, Belfast, after nearly 30 years – my goodness, I am getting on a bit. Surprisingly, there were lots of people whom I remembered. Correction – there were lots of people and it surprised me how many of them I could remember. Learning things? How utterly dreadful that phase of the troubles was. How amazingly brave was the ministry of my Rector, Jim Moore. I hope he will write it up – if he doesn’t, I’ll start writing it up here! How much of what one learns in ministry one is unaware of – until suddenly you recognise its value years later. I think I learnt that good pastoral relationships were wonderful to live with – but are really there to be put under stress for the sake of the gospel. True?
Not sure if that is why they are there, but the surviving of that stress (and not all parishes do survive it in reality) can provide the witness that stops people in their tracks. Where else can it be readily found in a society where so often “being true to ourselves as individuals” is paramount?
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