Well in fact we have been back a few days after a half-term break. Just taken a while to catch up enough to blog anything.
We spent a few days in our caravan in the Lake District and then in Cannock Chase. The weather was not as wet as we had feared it might be.
I got several rides on my fixie in. I thought it was particularly crazy to take a fixie to the Lake District but the riding was great. I did have to walk up a few hills but there were quite a lot of lovely quiet roads signed for cycle routes – absolutely gorgeous and as soon as you get off the main roads very empty. On one ride with Andrew we went along a green road, I managed fine on the fixie but when we came off it after 1 mile Andrew had two flat tyres, one of them with a big gash in the side – so we cut the ride short.
We also had a good ride at Cannock Chase, an interesting green island on the edge of the Birmingham conurbation. Again lots of up and down but no walking (just a rest half way up one long hill).
The only disadvantage of going away when you are a minister is the catch-up rush when you get back. Finding out who has died or is now sick, who has been in hospital, who is in hospital etc is something I don’t look forward to. On the other hand all the forms and reports at this time of year are also not something I look forward too. Still I feel that I have made a small dent in it all now so will get sometime off tomorrow (don’t tell Sally but I do have 1 meeting, 1 person to take to hospital and one visit to do).
I am looking forward to Sunday especially as I seem to have been planned for almost a week off I am taking the very small and informal service at Stanwick at 9:30 and then at the morning service (from 10:15 this week) in Raunds we are being a little experimental again. A team of folks from our Sunday evening re:fresh event are taking the service which will be quite non traditional. Nobody who knows us will be surprised that they have decided to start the service with coffee, tea and danish pastries – given that it is a parade service we expect to get through a lot of pastries
In the afternoon I have a funeral visit and then will be at a circuit service at Wollaston which is going to include a talk on the work of the Leprosy mission. So no normal sermon to prepare this week – which feels quite strange.
This afternoon we had our now normal "WOT" event, the first this half term with some new faces which was great, I’ll be missing the next two and then we will be into advent themes.
Part of the rush of reports at the moment is because Raunds has it’s Church Council next week. That means stuff on the building, on safeguarding and also on the working out of our 2020 vision into real action all need to be done.
There are a few other interesting things in the pipeline which are taking some preparation too. I am taking two sessions for the current Alpha course (which is not using the video). Then yesterday I seemed to volunteer to come up with a proposal for a lent course for Churches Together in Thrapston on reconciliation and healing.
At the end of next week I am taking a short time away (it was going to be a bit longer than it will be), the Methodist Church calls these quarter days and I am supposed to take them away from home for reflection and renewal. They have got a bit squeezed so it will be from Wednesday 3pm and back home to take part in the short service at 11am on Saturday (11 am on 11/11). I am taking the Caravan, fixie and some books to an undisclosed location.