Tembu’s Ordination

My favourite line in Father Ted is Ted’s comment to Dougal, ‘It makes you think, Dougal’  So behind the cover of the cloud of incense today, I did a bit of thinking about the strange thing called vocation – on the 30th anniversary of my own ordination.  Mike Fuller preached about the marks which ministry leaves on you – and I thought about funerals and hospital chaplaincy and about the times I just couldn’t get people to do what I wanted and the times people just didn’t trust my leadership even though they couldn’t bring themselves to say so, and the moments of madness and hilarity and about the fact that it has never ever been dull.  And I looked through the cloud at Tembu and Mike and all the other people – particularly clergy – whom I have come to know, respect and trust this last year.  And I could see that vocation lives in them too.  There is no other explanation for what they do and how they do it.  Mark Russell, newly appointed head of Church Army, writes in the Church Times this week and describes it as a ‘churning of the stomach’.  May it continue to churn.


  1. No problem at all, Sandy. I was just using it as a cover for thinking my thoughts about whether it was all worth it. I’ve always liked the aroma of the church after incense has been used. But I’m sure people would hardly notice if I used a head torch underneath the mitre – just to make sure I could find my way around.

  2. Dear +David,
    Having a wonderful time catching up with your thoughts.
    You mentioned “clouds” twice, and sincerely hope this is not a reproach to the use of the cloudy stuff, and therefore presume that there will eventually be a silver lining, perhaps.?

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