Saturday, 21 May 2011


A year today I pulled up outside the Rectory in Dunoon. I was in a people carrier loaded to the gunwhales, with a trailer loaded to its gunwhales. I had just driven from Gloucester to Dunoon via Arrochar and the Rest-and-be-thankful.

It was very early in the morning, on the 21st of May.

We had just moved from England to Scotland, from the Church of England to the Scottish Episcopal Church. It's still a few days more until the anniversary of my licensing up here, but it's good to have a few days to reflect on the first year of ministry in a new place.

And its still a new place, with people to learn about, new ways of doing and being and a different culture and context. And that's from me, born and brought up in Scotland, living here until I was 32. It's all very different. Religion is different to religion in England. Being an Episcopalian is not the same as being an Anglican (although to nail either of those is beyond the best minds in the land). And to make either of those grow and flourish and zing - well, there's a challenge for us all.

So a few reflections will follow over the next little while on being one year in.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

All at sea...

At last, after nearly a year on the west coast, I managed (with son) to get afloat in something not driven by a diesel engine (well, not all the time) - we went sailing!

Gordon (a serious, many decade experienced sailor) was the skipper, and Pete and I were, well, ballast.

Not so much wind about - a squall or two got us up to a little bit of speed between Cumbrae and Bute - but the sense of water fizzing below the hull and the angle of the world aboard Tantina II were exhilarating!

Do you think we will get hooked? Maybe not, but it was great to be one of those little white triangle flying up and down the approaches, rather than just looking out at them!

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Coming up for air...

Quite a lively last couple of weeks - Holy Week and Easter, of course, which is rather an intense time, especially the first year in new churches. Mary was getting to the end of her duties as a team leader in the census - lots of miles, forms, admin. And our new business venture, a small self-catering flat, had (has, as I write) our first guests come to stay.

All very intense, and an interesting counter-balance with each one drawing attention away from the others. I'm never one to completely disappear below the surface during Holy Week (too many years in the real, uncaring world to let myself be quite so self-indulgent, maybe?), but it was an interesting experience to multi-task so strongly.