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Posts Tagged ‘Vicars’ Wives’

The September sunshine is streaming through the Vicarage living room windows as I type. Yesterday the Engineer was off school for a teacher training day and we had a lovely time at the park with his friend, playing in the early Autumn warmth. I’ve been quiet on the blog this month, but not only because of trips to the park and the temptation to sunbathe in a garden that has usually been warmer than the house. In addition, I was writing some other things, explained below.

Our sunny September park

Our sunny September park

At the beginning of the month I took the plunge and put my name forward to stand for election to the General Synod of the Church of England as a representative of the laity of Lichfield diocese. There are 22 candidates for six places, and you’ll find me fifth from bottom of the list and can read my election address. You can also identify me by my surprising middle name. With so many people standing, I am praying for wisdom for the electors and trusting God’s sovereign will to be done throughout the next synod.

And at the end of the month – this weekend just gone – I got to speak about mess to a group of clergy spouses from Chelmsford Diocese at their annual retreat in the beautiful surroundings of Pleshey. Following publication of The Ministry of a Messy House my Twitter friend from the diocese, who organises it, asked me if I’d be the speaker and didn’t seem to mind that my speaking experience was very limited.

It was a real pleasure to meet her face to face and to share some of the things I’d learnt whilst contemplating (and writing about) mess. It was especially good to talk with a group of people who I know are often overwhelmed with extra mess not of their own creating – ecclesiastical, emotional and spiritual. We laughed a lot and encouraged one another. We shared recipes and tips for mess containment. We prayed and we sang and we gathered around the Lord’s table. I enjoyed myself very much and came home encouraged and surprisingly energised, with some new recipes to try and thankfulness to God for the work of the gospel in Essex and East London.

October is kicking off with the excitement of joining the youth group on their first ever weekend away together. I suspect there will be as much chatting as the weekend just gone, but with added running around and screaming. The joy of youth work, eh?

[Edited to add some words I lost in a draft and then found again]

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What do wives of Christian ministers do when they get together, other than talk (obvs)? Last week at Hothorpe Hall we managed to take in some great bible teaching, pray together, swap tips for local church ministry and still had time to walk in the Spring sunshine (some of round fields, others between charity and coffee shops in Market Harborough). Er, and there was eating and a frock swap and crafty type things.

I also took time to assess the important question of what Vicar’s wives are wearing. A while ago I blogged on this and thought I would revisit it when I observed this year’s trends. So I am able to share with you that the current Vicarage/Manse look is likely to include one or more of the following:

  • Long boots with skinny jeans or leggings (very popular)
  • Converse sneakers (when boots don’t quite work)
  • Long sleeved t-shirt worn under short sleeve tunic or similar
  • Scarves are definitely in (possibly in place of necklaces, which were less in evidence than previously)
  • Fewer gilets this year (perhaps because of the milder weather, or people had remembered that the conference centre is about 20 degrees warmer than our houses).

Some of the essentials for this year's must-have Vicar's wife outfit

 The enjoyable frock swap run by Frock Chick Hilary Nicholls was a fun way for us to get rid of not-quite-right-for-me clothes – the wide-legged jeans and short boots etc. We were able to get new clothes ourselves and also think about whether such a thing would work as a women’s event back home. I’m not sure a clothes swap would work here (our women are probably too diverse in age and fashion sense), but I think an accessories one would. Seems like a fun option for an evangelistic event at church – just add refreshments and a short talk and you’re done.

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