Monday, 26 April 2010

All Quiet on the Western Front

Too quiet on here, so a Reader tells me. Easter days have passed in a haze of joyful Paschal Liturgies, together with Weddings, Baptisms, Annual Meetings and Funerals, or, to put it another way, the everyday stuff of a parish priest. There have also been a myriad bits and pieces for our Vacant Parishes, arranging cover and (more) Annual Meetings, and 24 hours away in Ilkley trying to learn how to be a Rural Dean. One Son has celebrated his 18th Birthday, while another prepares for his forthcoming Marriage, (via the stag weekend in Edinburgh at the Rugby League.)

As the May Bank Holiday weekend approaches, we are busy preparing for the All Saints Art Festival, and to welcoming new and returning visitors. The 'home team' work tremendously hard to put all this on, together with the good will of the Artists whose work we exhibit.

The following weekend we are off down the A1 and the A17, for the Parish Pilgrimage to Walsingham.

We already have many prayers to offer, many candles to be left at the feet of Our Lady, for individuals in joy and in sorrow, for our Parish, as we try to move forward with our Transformational Plan, building on our strengths, aware of too many pressures, especially financial ones, and for our Anglican Church, in days of confusion and uncertainty.

God willing, we return from Walsingham spiritually refreshed, physically knackered, to host the Archdeacon's Visitation for the Calderdale Deaneries. I have been ordained long enough to have caught the last echoes of the system whereby, as a very junior Diocesan Deacon/Priest, I was formally summoned to the Archdeacons Court of Visitation (togther with the rest of the serving Diocesan Clergy), the letter bearing some terrible threat about what was to be done to my members and appurtenances, if I failed to appear. Sadly however, I don't recall the then Archdeacon of Leeds wearing Gaiters