Sorry about the sudden throw-back – and about the loss in transmission. Tim the Geek has had to rescue me from some dark corner of the blogosphere – and many thanks to him.
So you’ll be glad to know that spring is on the way around here. There are few bits of snow still in the Blogstead courtyard – but people are at work in the polytunnels between Dundee and Perth and on the road north from Perth. So we should have fresh strawberries soon.
Welcome also to the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity – and to what I understand is National Obesity Week. I’ve been rushing about a bit as I usually do – Religious Leaders of Scotland offering an inter-faith gathering; another lurch in the search for a ‘Whole Church Mission and Ministry Policy’ and a sojurn in the trenches of diocesan life.
On Unity Week, I simply note that there is not a single item in my diary which relates to it.
What has been occupying us has been the important question of whether I can go to the Primates’ Meeting in Dublin without needing a passport. My former parishioners in Portadown were quite certain that Dublin was a foreign country – but it seems to be possible to fly there with photo-ID only – provided one flies with Aer Lingus. That means that my passport can be sent off into the black hole of Indian government bureaucracy to get me a visa for a visit to our potential companion diocese of Calcutta in three weeks time. So I was in a meeting today – attempting to be impressively primatial – when I received a text from Sharon who now runs my [working] life. ‘Did I have any distinguishing physical characteristics?’
You had the advantage over some of your Northern Ireland colleagues, of knowing that Dublin wasn’t in a foreign country. Some time in the mid-1980s, a senior clergyman from the Diocese of Connor was a guest preacher at the church we attended in Dublin. At that stage, he was approaching retirement – it was his first visit to the Republic!
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