Daily Reflection – 8th November 2020

A week in the life of…..

If I had a pound for every time someone has joked with me that being a vicar mean I only work on Sundays I would be a rich woman! Of course I know when people say this they don’t genuinely think vicars only work one day a week (or I hope they don’t!) but have you ever wondered what us clergy types get up to when we’re not in the pulpit so to speak? Well this week I thought I would use the daily reflection slot to share with you the part of the week when I am perhaps not so visible! Now I have to say at the outset that even in “normal” times no two weeks in ministry are ever the same, which is one of the reasons why I love it so much, but as you can imagine a week of ministry in Covid times is even more wide ranging – there are so many things they DON’T teach you at vicar school and being a priest during a pandemic is definitely a gap in the curriculum!

So hold on to your hats and here we go…..Now there are some things that do actually stay the same each day ( or at least most days!) and the most important of those is my times of prayer. As a priest in the Church of England we commit to keep to say the Daily Office, that is Morning, Evening and Night Prayer. I try to keep to a regular pattern for this but such is life that the timings do sometimes go awry – I don’t think God is clock watching though! Back in the day I would say Morning Prayer in St Andrew’s on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays alongside whoever else may have come along. I must confess that I do miss those times, praying with others is just so special but instead I use my prayer space at home which I know I am very fortunate to have. As well as Common Worship, I like to use the Celtic Daily Prayer liturgy and this week I have decided to follow that for the week. Each day there are a series of bible passages and a reflection as well as prayers and my favourite part is the canticle which I share below 

“Christ, as a light

illumine and guide me.

Christ, as a shield

overshadow me.

Christ under me;

Christ over me;

Christ beside me

on my left and my right.

This day be within and without me,

lowly and meek, yet all-powerful.

Be in the heart of each to whom I speak;

in the mouth of each who speaks unto me.

This day be within and without me,

lowly and meek, yet all-powerful.

Christ as a light;

Christ as a shield;

Christ beside me

on my left and my right.”

I find these words incredibly comforting and affirming and they really set me up for the day ahead.

So prayer time over I head over to St Andrew’s to help with our Re-Store project. Twice a week a team of dedicated volunteers put together food parcels for those people, both families and individuals, who need a bit of extra support. Unsurprisingly the project has grown over the past few months and I never cease to be thankful how God always provides the resources we need – even if He does sometimes leave it a bit near to the line! 

Following a bit of admin time ( you would be amazed, or maybe not, at the volume of admin that is required to lead a church!) I have a zoom meeting with Nikki, our awesome Children and Families Worker! Normally we would meet face to face over a cuppa but obviously that isn’t possible at the moment. However it is good to talk through some great ideas Nikki has for Christmas and also to pray wit each other. We are both activists so I know Nikki shares some of my frustration in not being able to “do” all the things we would like to so we instead we focus on what we can do rather than what we can’t! 

After a quick bit to eat I decide that I’m going to take a walk and post some of the letters I’ve written during the morning as well as deliver a couple of news sheets. My activism sometimes makes it hard for me to accept that it’s ok to take the time to walk rather than jump in the car to save time. One of the hardest lessons for me to learn in ministry has been that it is just as valid to be as to do and I constantly have to remind myself that if Jesus felt the need to take time out from ministry to be at one with His Father and simply pray, its ok if I do that and I find my walks a great aid to prayer as I lift to God our community. My walks always energise me for the rest of the day so here I am back in my study, writing this before getting on with some more paperwork and then saying Evening Prayer. I don’t have any evening meetings today so I shall look forward to cooking dinner and then a bit of TV and reading before bed! See you tomorrow! 

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