The end of term is nigh. I have now had all the teaching I will get in Cambridge, and am looking at the pile of work that needs to be done between now and the dreaded submission date in May; not to mention the small matter of revision for four exams. So whilst I'm nearly there, it's fair to say there's much more still to do. That said, we're most definitely on the home straight, and looking towards the next phase of our life in Clitheroe.
We'll be sad to leave Cambridge in many ways. We've made some friendships here that we sense will be important constants throughout the rest of my ministry in the church, and despite our hard experience of life at theological college with a toddler in tow, Westcott is home. We're not looking forward to 'Leavers' Week'. Saying goodbye is hard.
On a personal level, the last 24 hours have been up and down. Yesterday we heard that some friends are expecting a baby. This was great news - smiley faces all round! Then today I heard of the death from cancer of a member of my family back in Lancashire. Even though his death wasn't a surprise, it still hits hard. We hope to get to the funeral, but saying goodbye will be hard.
The perspective brought by these two items of news is sobering. The emotions of ordinand life are thrown into sharp focus when we have to face up to the end of life, or wonder at the miracle of new life. It reminds me of why I'm doing all this vicar stuff in the first place. It makes me realise I'm doing something worthwhile. These are precious times, and the church has a duty to help people when they need it most.