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Posts Tagged ‘Cake’

Today we had our second meeting of Cake and Chat over Zoom, the app of the moment. No cake is provided, although a few of us made breakfast as we chatted. It’s still a great joy to see one another and catch up with everyone’s locked down weeks. Meeting remotely loses much – it’s not true Cake and Chat when we are physically apart. We miss the break out conversations and more in depth chats.

Being together bodily makes it a true meeting, shared cake eaten together makes it a true meeting. The physicality of being in the same building makes our meeting a true meeting. So this Zoom Cake and Chat will do for now. But it won’t do properly. And that’s a little like Holy Communion not being possible when a church is unable to meet. We look forward to the time when we can truly taste and see that the Lord is good, when we are back together for Cake and Chat and for our communion services.

Loaf cake & biscuits just out of the oven

Our usual Thursday morning feast

Cake online is not truly cake. But noise outside is real noise. And tonight we joined neighbours outside in the 8pm #ClapforCarers #ClapforKeyWorkers. The Joker decided to up the noise quotient by bringing out my frying pan and a wooden spoon, and I’m sure that some of our neighbours only remembered because of the enthusiastic vigour that he used. There was some enthusiasm on the street for more pans and spoons next week.

Perhaps the Joker will bring his trombone out, following the example of my excellent nephews who live out in the countryside. They made sure that their #ClapforCarers was heard by playing their bagpipes.

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We’ve been here in our parish for eleven years now – we moved in February half term in 2009. Almost since the beginning I have hosted a weekly coffee morning for people from the church and the community – including school gate mums, bringing baking from the Vicarage kitchen. We call it Cake and Chat, which captures the essence I feel.

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Pistachio and citrus peel cookies and blondies were on offer this week

The group who meets includes those who’ve been coming for eleven years and others who’ve joined us in the last few months. We moved last year from meeting in the hall  which is tucked away from the road and has an echoey floor. Now we gather in the church itself, where we now have some café seating and can have the main doors open.

Over the last few weeks we’ve discussed what we’d do with a lottery win and the allure of gambling machines, we’ve chatted about the local lads who race their cars up the dual carriageway on Sunday nights, we’ve wrestled with Bible verses and with questions of identity and relationships. Our group includes Christians and Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs and people of no faith at all. Mostly we speak English but other times you can hear Polish, Punjabi and Patois. We begin around 8.30am and can still be chatting at noon. Some of my most precious times in parish life has been spent with this group.

The God of the Bible is the God who speaks, who breathes everything into being through his Word of life. Is it any surprise that chatting brings such joy and delight? Speaking makes things – it can make relationships. As we seek to build relationships of love in our community, time taken to chat (especially when there’s cake aswell) is never time wasted.

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Didn’t get time to write a proper blog post this evening. Sorry. I was baking for our weekly community coffee morning, Cake and Chat. And watching Midsomer Murders. The Vicar didn’t do it this week.

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Madeira Cake, Chelsea buns proving and splendid new kitchen sign from Father Christmas

 

 

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And training, and the opportunity to preach and to lead youth work, school assemblies and Sunday services, the experience of living in a busy inner city vicarage with a messy family which includes a couple of teenagers (and a younger one), and a year or two seeing what God is up to in multi cultural West Bromwich? Anyone?

The Shropshire Lad is moving away next month to a new job and to be closer to his beloved. King is spending another year in the attic and so now we are looking for an attic mate for him. Maybe you? Or someone you know?

Our Ministry Trainee scheme has produced three ordinands to date, two of whom are now curates. Another is waiting to hear about his BAP. So it’s a great way to explore vocation in the Church of England – and our Diocesan Director of Ordinands is very friendly and helpful. But you don’t have to be thinking about ordination and others have joined us and taken the skills they’ve learnt into other fields. There are many opportunities to serve in the church – music, technology, visiting, evangelism, teaching the Bible to all sorts of people in all sorts of ways. There is great flexibility for development of existing gifts and discovery of ones you never even knew you had. And it’s lots of fun. And there is cake.

Generally our MTs attend the Midlands Ministry Training Course one day a week and there are opportunities to attend other training conferences and courses through the year. The Vicar meets with the MTs for supervision and there is also training in youth and children’s work with Dreamer, our Families and Community worker. Our church website is a bit undeveloped at the moment after it fell over a few months ago, but details of the post can be found there (and if you can do websites well that would be great too!).

And did I mention the cake?

Muffins and cheese straws NB Church hall table cloth!

Muffins and cheese straws (please excuse the church hall table cloth)

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Well, I’m giving it a go. Blogging again. Although I may struggle to write in under 36,000 words now…

 

So a Vicarage news digest for Monday:

 

  1. Did I mention I’d FINISHED THE BOOK? It’s with my editor and I just have to sort out the blurb for the back cover and book catalogues and take a trip to Nottingham to enthuse at the sales reps.
  2. We have anew Ministry Trainee, Red, who has joined Radiohead in the attic. He has a trumpet and is proving handy with a teatowel. Radiohead has decided to leave at the end of August so an attic space will be available if you or someone you know would like to join us in the mess for a year or two to learn about ministry and the consumption of cake.
  3. I have lots of shiny new books to review.
  4. We saw Gone the other day, who was walking with crutches (he was assaulted recently and had to have an operation on his hip), was a bit vague about whether he’d been evicted (we think he hasn’t) and was carrying a bottle of Frosty Jack in his pocket.
  5. I am typing this with a sleeping baby on my knee. His mum is asleep in our spare room. I have just managed to adjust him so I can type with both hands.
  6. Going back to school was a trauma for the whole household this morning and I am looking forward to our holiday jetlag being reversed. The Queen wasn’t asleep until after 11pm…
Vicarage cake available for  one lucky applicant from September

Vicarage cake available for
one lucky applicant from September

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I have kept on forgetting to blog this – I was too tired before the summer and now it seems a bit late. But just in case there’s someone with massive skills in rapid filling of forms, a desire to serve alongside the Vicar in our multicultural inner city parish, and a good appetite for homemade cake, how about checking out the advert on our church website for a Families and Communities Worker. The deadline is this Friday, so you’ll have to get your socks on if you want to apply!

If it’s not the job for you, do please pray that the Lord sends us just the right person, and that God’s kingdom will grow here.

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The Joker had his ninth birthday party a couple of weeks ago. He had an old-fashioned party games do in the church hall. Since the Joker and his brother are currently obsessed with Dr Who, the theme for the party was obvious. A bit of crowd-sourcing of games using Google and Twitter and we were sorted.

The Joker with his amazing cake. And an alien jelly.

The wonderful Bee, fiancee to Rocky and Vicar’s-Wife-In-Training, made a fabulous topper for the cake – Dr Who and Amy standing in front of the Tardis. Since my only cake decorating method is slathering butter icing and sweeties all over and sticking a few plastic toys on, this was a great improvement in looks and sophistication. The Joker placed his Christmas collection of Dr Who incarnations around the cake for the full effect you see above.

Our games were heavily Dr Who influenced – even playing musical chairs to the Dr Who theme tune. And as well as the cake, I produced alien jellies – with added sweetie snake lurking inside the lime jelly beneath the spray cream. We didn’t quite manage the games within a story party that one organised Twitter friend sent me, but we had lots of fun. And the tuna sandwiches were eaten up and not the jam ones. Kids and catering, eh? You never know what will be popular. Apart from cake and sweeties, obviously.

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