Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Monday, 10 June 2013


I am still recovering form the emotional roller coaster of my ordination last Saturday 8 June to the Permanent Diaconate. It all went well so I am told and many people found it very moving. I am still collating photos, here are a few.

With Bishop Pat and all the attending clergy

Some of the crowd in the Hall after the event

The cake

With Father Arbo

Withe Deacon Peter

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Maureen Grace - RIP

I have just received this email:
Dear all,

For any who may not know me, I am Maureen's youngest daughter, Elaine. 

It is with great regret and sorrow that this message is one of bad news. Mum passed away on Friday 31/5/13 at Coventry Walsgrave hospital. I am sorry this message has come in an e-mail, unfortunately this is the age we seem to be living in.

Mum was quite a private person and her passing will come as a shock to many of you I am sure but, Mum had been battling a very aggressive form of lung cancer which spread to her brain and eventually overcame her after fighting for just over a year. She did not want anyone to know. Typical Mum.

Even though we knew Mum was very ill, this has still come as a great shock to us all, especially as we lost Dad just last year. Helen and I are going to see the funeral directors tomorrow and will have details of funeral dates and times. The Funeral will most certainly take place in Churchover near Rugby, where Mum grew up. All are welcome.
I'm happy for anyone to phone me if they feel the need to.

Sorry to bring this news.

Julia and I had known Lawrie and Maureen since the mid-sixties. They were a great couple and they are the first couple of "our" gang of friends to die. Life can be a bitch.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Retreat at Douai Abbey

With my fellow ordinands I spent last week on retreat at Douai Abbey just outside of Reading, click here for the Abbey website. It is a Benedictine Abbey and we joined the monks for their services, starting with Matins at 6:15. It ended with Compline at 19:55 - by then we all felt rather tired so it was a week of early nights and early mornings!

Abbey grounds

Abbey Church

Inside the Church

Side chapel

This retreat is required by Canon Law before we can be ordained. It gave us all the time to reflect on our calling to the Diaconate and to prepare ourselves for the changes that will inevitably happen. One of my colleagues was ordained on the Friday evening at his parish church in Shoreham-by-sea, some of us made the trip to take part in his special service. Julia caught the train to Brighton where I met here before driving to the church. I arrived at Brighton a few hours before Julia and spent a great afternoon with my cousin Lesley and her daughter-in-law Maria. It was great to have time for a chat and gossip without it being a funeral which is where we normally seem to meet these days.

Saturday saw us for our final session at St John's Seminary at Wonersh. I have opted (foolishly?) to convert my Foundation Degree to an honours degree which means that I have an extended essay (5000 words) and a dissertation to write; so there is no peace for the wicked.

My year group with wives

After the day at Wonersh we went to, Barnett Hill,  a nearby hotel and enjoyed a "last supper" together. It was good to be all together  and the hotel and its fabulous grounds made it a great evening.

Early morning sun

The main building

Pre-dinner drink

A stroll in grounds

The grounds are great - particularly when it is sunny!