How to get the Church to do what you want

Great session this week with my CMD 1-3 group. (That’s Continuing Ministerial Development for curates, in case you are wondering.) I had asked the Provost of Glasgow Cathedral to come and teach my little flock on the subject of the Structures of the SEC (how Synod works, what all the committees do, etc). The Provost is a Synod groupie and even gave up his precious day off to trek across the country because he believes so passionately about this subject. He also feels passionate about ongoing training for curates which is something he and I lacked. It is good to have passionate people in our Church.

He changed the title to ‘How to get the Church do what you want’. Well, would you want to come out on a dark and stormy night to hear about Structures of the SEC? It worked a treat and brought forth lively discussions. Best session ever, someone was heard to say. So, thank you Kelvin!

The Weegies done good

What a night it was! After a rather long and tedious journey stuck in traffic which took over two and a half hours from Edinburgh (but what stimulating company!) we made it to St Mary’s cathedral in Glasgow. Our plans for dinner before the service were therefore scuppered and our attempt to grab a morsel from the tables groaning with goodies were met with frosty looks and smacked hands. All we wanted was a wee pork pie to stave off the hunger pangs!

However, all that was forgotten when the mass began. The Very Rev Kelv was there bedecked in gold with tassles – yes, tassles, front and back – ready and willing to be installed in his seat in the cathedral. The music was wonderful and there’s nothing like a burst of brass to make it all the more joyous. Parry’s I was Glad is always good to hear, but you would make a mistake if you closed your eyes to bask in it, for then you would have missed the Primus leading Very Rev Kelv by the fingertips to his stall. A sight to behold indeed.

Moving intercessions by the new Provost with some space for silence which was much appreciated. I only wish someone had told the thurifer for we heard lots of jangling chains and clunking of thuribles. Great sermon by the Bishop of St Andrew’s which you can read on his blog

And let’s not forget the BVM whose day it really was. Well, she certainly was not overlooked. Ye who Own the Faith of Jesus (sung lustily by the nearby Presbyterian clergy), the Magnificat as part of the sermon (what a great idea) and the haunting Totus Tuus by Gorecki.

So a great night was had by all. And now the cathedral congregation can look forward to a new start and an exciting future.

busy bee

I can’t believe I am half way through my last week here. It has just flown by and I have not even had time to blog or check all the other blogs which I read. My ‘To Do’ list is growing by the minute, but the minutes are decreasing rapidly and I just know I am not going to get everything done. Getting round town is becoming more and more difficult too as people stop me for a farewell chat. I can’t just pop in to the Post Office now to redirect my mail without conversations with the woman behind the counter and a man who once heard me speak at the local Rotary last year.

However, it has been a week for good news too. My friend Kelvin (see the link to his blog at the side of this one) has been appointed the new Provost of St Mark’s Cathedral in Glasgow. This is great news and I’m sure the cathedral will grow spiritually and in all sorts of exciting ways in his tender care.

Taize evening

Last night the Rev’d Kelvin Holdsworth from Bridge of Allan came to lead a Taize evening at St Peter’s. Some of his choir came too and there were about 22 of us singing our wee hearts out and making a jolly fine noise too. We also sang one of my favourites which is not from Taize:

Take, oh, take me as I am
summon out what I shall be
set your seal upon my heart
and live in me.

So many happy memories attached to that wee chorus. Sr Gill and silk scarves and candles and Lladro. (You had to be there!) And a certain young and handsome deacon prostrating himself on the ground before ordination. And a friend who is a nun and uncertain about her future. Take heart, little ones, all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well.