I forgot to mention one of the strangest things about the consecration – behind the video camera and an array of flat screen TV’s worthy of a World Cup Final was my old friend, Alex, of New-Way Video, Portadown. I used to star in his wedding videos but he also had cornered the market in Drumcree – filming the parade and selling the result in large quantities to Orangemen. How did he come to be in Christ Church, Dublin? What skills did he learn as police and Orangemen laid hands on each other at Drumcree which would serve him well at a Consecration?
You may have noticed that Dublin Airport was closed for two hours by a bomb scare. Ryanair responded by cancelling my flight. I regret to say that I did what sensible parents do in those moments – rang Mark in Glasgow and he booked me a ticket on the last Aer Lingus flight to Glasgow before the queue had even formed at the Ryanair ticket desk. But I still had the car park ticket for Edinburgh and was due to collect Poppy in Edinburgh before returning to the airport to meet Alison who was arriving from Belfast. Meanwhile Anna arrived in Heathrow from Kuala Lumpur and found her flight to Dublin also long delayed.
So it’s feet [carbon free] on the ground for a while. And, in the study leave so kindly provided by Ryanair, I read Steven Croft’s material, Focus on Leadership – and was suitably challenged by the suggestion that successful leadership in the church is much more about character and values than about skills – the journey to the interior being what makes possible effective engagement with the world outside. I accept that – but I still believe that there are functional, skill-related aspects of leadership which can be consciously learnt and practised. Of which more another time.