It feels a bit as mother bird must feel when she pushes the fledglings out of the nest to fly for themselves. So last night we launched Paul, my final curate in Seagoe, on his new ministry on the Donegall Road in Belfast. Here’s the Sermon if you want to read it. There’s a sort of worrying-parent dimension to all this. But then Paul isn’t worried so why should I be?
It was great to meet my old friends from the parish. One of the strange things about parish ministry is that when you go, you go .. don’t look back .. close the door quietly behind you. But these are people whose lives were intertwined with ours for many years in good times and bad. So it’s painful to do that. Anyway, they all told me I was looking great and I said they hadn’t changed a bit either. And they asked me if I was having a good time in Scotland and I said it was all wonderful. They asked if I had a Scottish accent yet. I said that was unlikely because I hardly ever heard one. And half of them had been reading this blog anyway so they know as much about it as I do. The danger is that they may believe it.
I did think for a micro-second that it would be great to be back in the middle of it all again. But then I thought about the sheer hard work of it – and the grass growing in two acres of Rectory garden. So I thought instead about what a wonderful job Terence is doing. And then I stopped thinking about it.
Meanwhile, Poppy has returned to Blogstead from the capucchino belt in Edinburgh and is not a happy cat. She retreated in a sulk deep into the field of head-high oil seed rape – talked to us at some length from about 20 yards in – and eventually was retrieved by Alison.