Actually, this is about the lack of them. When I see kids dropping litter (a not irregular occurrence), I ask them to pick it up and explain that there are no cleaning fairies and that we all have to pay to have someone from the council to clear up after us on the street. Sadly, when stuff is dropped in our churchyard, it’s unlikely that the council will clear up, and so it’s left to our congregation. We often see bags of clothes dumped on the streets around here and then rifled through. I’m not sure who does it – but it’s jolly annoying. And here is this morning’s cleaning challenge – or opportunity, if you want a handbag, which is what this collection seemed to mainly consist of:
Posted in Church, Inner city | Tagged Churchyard, cleaning, flytipping, Inner city, litter, rubbish | Leave a Comment »
Alas, the harmony is not between the Vicarage children, but possibly more surprising than that. I’m not sure whether it’s due to the advanced age and slothfulness of the Vicarage cat or the generally winning personality of the Vicarage rodent. But the cat shows no inclination to make micemeat of the degu. In fact there are occasions where it looks like they are sharing a small kiss. I’ve not yet managed to capture that, but here is a sample of their chilled relationship from yesterday evening.
Almost the lion laying down with the lamb…
Posted in Fun | Tagged cat, degu, Fun, harmony, pets, rodent, Vicarage | 1 Comment »
Vicarage life has been as busy as ever this weekend. A few highlights:
- Gone is back. He’s just out of prison and has set up camp under our hedge. He had a hostel place available, but he hates hostels so hasn’t gone there. He spent his release money on an mp3 player and a mobile phone (which he’s already lost). The Vicar gave him a hat, scarf, gloves and a big coat. The coat is also lost. We also provided a sleeping bag, blanket and mat. But it’s pretty chilly there out under the hedge and Gone is frailer again. Trouble is that he’s one of those people who struggle to operate within the system that’s provided. He reminds me of the Lady in the Van whom Alan Bennett wrote about. Do pray for him and for all those trying to help.
- We had a Ladies’ Craft Night. Dreamer had printed lovely fliers and told lots of people about the evening. And she and I had a meeting on Monday all about the crafts and plans for the evening. But then family illness meant she had to be away from the parish. So a couple of valiant church ladies stepped into the breach and helped me to set up and heaps of people helped to clear up afterwards. And somehow, by God’s grace, I managed to prepare the crafts AND a talk – all very simple, I hasten to add. And we had a wonderful night of chatting, creativity, delicious puddings and thinking about how Mary prepared for Christmas. Happily, the only problem was that there wasn’t enough time. So plans are now afoot for an Easter Craft Night – a great way to get church and friends together and share both the gospel and our lives.
- We went out for Sunday lunch at SOMEONE ELSE’S HOUSE. An unusual experience for us – and a lovely one. Our friends are Tongolese so we ate rice and fried chicken and sweet fried dumpling and lots of other yummies with spicy sauce on the side. It was so so lovely to have a Sunday off catering and God’s timing was perfect – the Craft Night was the previous evening.
- A couple of people have posted reviews of The Ministry of a Messy House over the weekend: Rachel found it encouraging and Gary‘s favourite story was the one about the communion bread (I think this is everyone’s favourite). Martha hasn’t posted a review, but an interview with me about the book.
- My kitchen is very chilly. So much so that I’m even going to do some ironing and hope the heat from the steam will defrost my fingers.
Posted in Church | Tagged Alan Bennett, Amanda Robbie, Christmas, Church, Cold, Craft, faith, Food, Gary McMurray, Gidsy and Jo, Gone, Inner city, Ladies' Night, Lady in the Van, Martha Moger, Rachel Maynard, The Ministry of a Messy House, Vicarage | 1 Comment »
The window men have been to the Vicarage today. And not just for measuring up (as has been the case over the last four years). They haven’t given us double glazing everywhere, alas, but there are now cosy new windows in the attic. Our ministry trainees no longer have broken panes and drafty sashes, and 170 yearsworth of dust has been dislodged over the upstairs rooms, into the garden and over the window men. There are still a couple of windows to go upstairs, and another contract for the remaining ones in the rest of the house, but for now we (and especially the attic dwellers) are extremely happy to have some added insulation in the Baltic top floor.
Posted in Vicarage | Tagged attic, Cold, double glazing, house, insulation, Vicarage, windows | 5 Comments »
For my devotions recently I’ve been reading the bible on my tablet, using the YouBible app and the Book of Common Prayer reading plan. The reading plan often includes 4 or 5 psalms, which I have been finding very helpful. Yesterday the set readings included Psalm 94, which spoke right into a busy week filled with sadnesses for people I love:
When the cares of my heart are many,
your consolations cheer my soul.
Reading the Bible and meditating on it are one of the consolations that God provides. And since Advent is coming I’ve been thinking of finding a devotional to take me towards Christmas. We’ll have our family Jesse Tree of course. But I see that the e-book Good News of Great Joy is available again this year. I very much enjoyed following John Piper’s rather eclectic thoughts which often take you in unexpected and stimulating directions, so I think I’ll be returning to that again. I’ve also just been reminded of David Murray’s Children’s Bible Reading Plan which looks very easy to use and has been designed for his 8 and 7 year old children. I might wave it at the Vicarage kids and see if any of them are up for giving it a go over Advent. Or even starting this week.
Posted in Church | Tagged Advent, Bible, Children's Bible Reading Plan, David Murray, devotional, e-book, Good News of Great Joy, HeadHeartHands, John Piper, Kids, meditation, Psalm 94, reading, tablet, YouVersion | 3 Comments »