First RectorySo far, life in rural Norfolk is good. We've been made very welcome by the many communities we now belong to and we've settled in well to our new house. Confusingly, I'm a Team Vicar but we live in a Rectory. Slowly but surely, we're beginning to take the garden into hand, and the signs of Spring bring fresh excitement about the good times we hope to have here. We're gradually working our way round the house, making improvements here and there. It already feels like home and the children love having more space to play in.
First AnimalsOf course, the cats have travelled with us through my training for ministry, but this week we have taken delivery of a new hen house which, weather permitting, will be assembled tomorrow. One of our friends from the Cawston congregation has a couple of bantams ready for us to take, so here comes the Good Life. There will be a couple more bantams and there's a hope that we might be able to add a dog into the mix at some point this year, but that will be depedent on money.
First time as a VicarOn the work front, I've been very busy since starting in November. There's plenty to do in these apparently sleepy Norfolk villages. Getting started quickly with children's work has been really good. There's so much going on here already that we've really hit the ground running. At the other end of the age spectrum, I've been pleased to be involved in the busy funeral ministry of the Team. I've always found this to be a fulfilling and rewarding area of ministry.
After all the years of training, it's nice to finally be in a community where we can begin to lay down roots and make links with families through the twists and turns in their lives. I can already see the benefits of this kind of incarnational ministry in just five months as a Team Vicar. Curacy is an incredibly valuable preparation, but the knowledge that you will soon be moving makes it hard to have this experience in your training parish.
First time in a Ministry TeamI'm not new to team working, having spent much of my working life working in that context. But ministry in a team is new to me. There's so much for us all to learn about how we work together, but the early signs are good. The Team Rector is supportive and collaborative, and we look forward to the arrival of a new Curate in the summer (from Westcott) and a further Team Vicar after that. Needless to say, we work together with a range of retired clergy, lay readers and other lay workers, whose commiment to the church is admirable. This makes us a large team and I'm genuinely excited about the possibilities this brings.
Anyway, that's probably enough for now. I need to sleep so I can focus on building poultry accommodation in the morning before the rain comes.