Some time to reflect at the end of a busy few days.
Mum to hospital for 7:30am, drop off Funeral Order of service (finished it at 1am) on the way. As soon as she was taken off for the op (2nd cataract) I left and went to visit a Church member in nearby Kettering Hospital. Then home to cook for WOT in the afternoon (sweet and sour pork in a slow cooker as still no kitchen at Church).
Couple of phone calls and emails, plus making tea/coffee for the men working on the driveway.
Then took some time of for lunch at Cortado in Kettering before visiting Mum to check she had come round ok.
Then home to pack a car load of stuff for WOT, down to chapel by 3pm to be ready for the first kids at about 3:20pm. Just under 30 people this week. Everyone leaves at 6pm. I leave rest of clearing up to Jane and Debbie and give Sylvia a lift home at about 6:20pm then pack clothes bag for the night.
About to leave for Circuit Meeting at 7pm giving Sylvia (a different one) and Pam a lift. Got projector, laptop, screen all packed. Then get a phone call to say the Scouts can't get into Church – someone has vandalised the lock in the 15 minutes between Jane leaving and the Scouts arriving. jane goes down to sort them out and I leave for Wollaston.
10pm Circuit Meeting finished, Peter gives Pam and Sylvia a lift home so I drive down to my sister in Crowthorne for the night. Get there before midnight.
Up at 6:20am, leave at 7am to drive to Portsmouth. Take Liz as she had broken a toe the day before. Arrive at Big Yellow Warehouse at just after 8am and meet Bob, our brother.
By 12:30pm we leave having cleared the store and returned it nice and clean. Picnic lunch in Queen Elizabeth Park where we review and divide up the last personal items.
Drive to Crowthorne, drop off Liz and visit loo. Drive home. What a nightmare. M25 completely blocked and A43 closed for British Grand Prix. Make way home by Aylesbury, then long queue from Milton Keynes to Olney.
Home in time for a 30minute snooze before heading off to Thrapston to help with the Prayer Room preparation. Hang some flags and offer moral support.
One son off to London to visit a Uniuversity open day. Another off to Birmingham on a School activity (never did find out what it was).
We take youngest son to open house with Alison (District Chair) and Dave. Son enjoys Dave's wierd collection of medical electronics (things that give you an electrical shock, popular in time of John Wesley).
Then shopping for some audio connectors I need for the complicated funeral on Monday, plus replacement iPod speakers for me (last lot got broken at WOT), plus looking for new oven for manse as old one is broken.
Back to be dropped at Thraspton prayer room for my session 4pm to 6pm.
Take oldest son to party in Northampton, middle son gone to friends for a meal so take youngest son to Pizza Hut before Tesco shopping. Two trolleys to til just as shop is closing at 10pm. Drop off Mum's shopping (Jane had brought her home on Friday).
Review Sunday sermon.
Collect some PA equipment and Communion wine from Chapel, put up extra reminder signs that the service is joint with the CoE at St Peter's.
Arrive St Peter's, mess about with PA, make sure Jane and Debbie sorted for the puppet sketch they are doing.
Worship. Including me preach and assist with Holy Communion. Service for whole Benefice (4 parishes) plus us Methodists. St Peter's is a big Church but I don't like the huge pillars, you can lose a whole family behind each one. People stay behind for the Flower Festival. I disappear for a couple of hours in the Thrapston prayer room (grab some lunch on the way at M&S).
Home for an hour before going to Ringstead to lead a Cafe style afternoon service.
Home at 6:15pm, snooze then watch Bremner, Bird and Fortune and a bit of Top Gear.
Collect eldest son from girlfriends. Finish watching Top Gear, nice to see The Stig unveiled.
Now blogging and working on urgent Bible Studies for A Word in Time.
Tomorrow is a big funeral in Thrapston. We have to move the Raunds PA and set up with video to provide an overflow area downstairs with sound and vision due to the numbers expected to the service. Still need to finish my sermon. The Eulogy is a bit more complicated as I follow others and need to pick up the bits they don't cover.
Plus a Raunds Leadership team meeting in the afternoon to prepare for. Fortunately the rest of the week is quieter.
It does feel good to have emptied that store, a weight off our minds. The time at the Thrapston Prayer room really helped this weekend. Just wish we could take the step of a permanent prayer room covered by a 24 hour rota on an ongoing permanent basis.
Also interesting to spend a while in the prayer room reflecting on my developing relationship with Worship. Today was probably bigger than largest congregation I had preached to before coming to this circuit, also I had no experience with preaching in a "proper" Anglican service (middle of the road, robes, choir, no incense). Yet I felt comfortable in the right ways while still on edge in the right ways (at least in my opinion). I am free to focus on the message rather than be self-conscious about the setting or the numbers, but the importance of the message still hits hard and is still an awesome privilege.
Mind you I do like informal worship as this evening where we open Scripture together and challenge each other.
Now back to those Bible Studies.