July 3, 2018


I know they are gift, not reward.
I know they are scriptural and God-ordered.
In my experience they are a blessing to those who receive them, and I trust and hope that they have been to those who received from such ministry thereafter too.
I have heard at Conference this year, and other years as well, and agree wholeheartedly, that we must recognise and emphasise our Methodist understanding of ministry which is Presbyteral and Diaconal – ordained – and, importantly, lay. This means – for Presbyters and Deacons – working with many, many volunteers. They are crucial and the focus of the life of our church.
I cannot fathom therefore why the Conference seemingly nodded through a reduction in the time to wait before a first sabbatical. It seems to me that Agenda item โ€˜21/13โ€™ creates greater pressure on those volunteers in Circuit and a lack of parity within our ordained ministry as a result of this change – that Sabbaticals be taken after 7 years, not 10 years, of initial service for those who’ve not had one yet (I paraphrase!). I am saddened that there was not greater debate nor greater emphasis of the issues, and the seeming need to speed through business meant that only one speaker – pro the issue – came up to the tribune.
I know of the pressured existence of ministerial staff. I understand he juggling act of vocation and work, family and life. I strongly empathise with the need for wellbeing and flourishing in our churches.ย As I understand it however, there are processes for dealing with needs for time out, and compassionate leave, for a variety of reasons within Circuits. Our excellent new supervision processes are designed to support and uphold ministry in order to enable such needs to be noticed and met. A sabbatical is for other purposes and not to be mistaken for such. I would have spoken to resist it if I had been able to be present. I think thatโ€™s clear.
I believe that this decision will have ramifications through the Connexion, upon the wellbeing of our membership and communities, and that in what we have done today, we have done a disservice to the Methodist people.

So. Ahem… erm…

May 14, 2014

Well, it seems ‘even the best laid plans of…’ etc. etc. etc.

Simply put, it changed! It changed from the point I was at, to the point I got to, and to the end (which I am now past!). Therefore I am now sharing things in a slightly different way than was originally anticipated.

I am fine with that – and you don’t have a choice – so in the next few days a few posts will appear with some summarised aspects of the experiences I had whilst sabbaticalising and I will share those forthwith!

Thanks for hanging in there and thanks to all who have supported, hosted, prayed for and shared company with me over the past few months.



Three weeks (10%) in…

February 1, 2014

A couple of times over the last week I have hit a wall of seemingly being without purpose. Which has been strange.

Not being occupied 14 hrs a day with church thoughts, church words and church related activity has been a bit odd, unsettling even… And on two occasions has put me in the foulest moods I’ve been in for a while!

Which must have been fun for those round me! ๐Ÿ˜‰

But: I am now ready.

So… Reflective posts will begin. Sabbatical starts in earnest… (After the weekend!)


Day one… Sabbatical has begun.

January 26, 2014

And I’m not going to do nothing until I’ve rested a bit.

So check back?!


What beat do 12 drummers drum?

January 26, 2014

A month since Christmas and the days have gone fast, everything seems to have been on double time.

That’s fine obviously but it means I’m a bit behind. So.

Now I’m there, actually stopped, what next? Who sets the pace, who calls time, who leads?

It’ll be just grand I’m sure. A parade worth watching?


9, 10, 11… Dancing, Leaping, Piping… Ladies, Lords, Pipers… What a weekend!!!

January 5, 2014

Christmas 2: Epiphany: Covenant… 4 congregations, 2 denominations (at least!), 1 location… Food after… And that was just this morning!

Was it worth it? Totally.

And the best bit; 140 people from under 1 to over 90 praying together:

“I am no longer my own but yours.
Put me to what you will,
rank me with whom you will;
put me to doing,
put me to suffering;
let me be employed for you,
or laid aside for you,
exalted for you,
or brought low for you;
let me be full,
let me be empty,
let me have all things,
let me have nothing:
I freely and wholeheartedly yield all things
to your pleasure and disposal.
And now, glorious and blessed God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
you are mine and I am yours. So be it.
And the covenant now made on earth, let it be ratified in heaven.”

Ok, so maybe the under 1 year old wasn’t praying per-se… But you know what I mean. Maybe it’s the swell of voices, whatever it is, it’s good!

And there is also the most excellent privilege of being the one standing at the front watching (glancing up between lines of text) the range of diverse people and faces praying these particular words.

There is something about the fact that for some these are hard words to pray. Yes, they are challenging, they are inspiring and they are important, but they are hard. They are about letting go of control, they are about being vulnerable, they are about opening our hearts and minds – our whole beings – to the possibility that our faithful and amazing God does indeed desire to be our God and for us to be His people. Us. You and me.

One night left…

The wreath is down, the decorations are heading towards boxes, the boxes are heading for the loft…

So just 350 or so days until we have to get them down again for next time! :0)


On the 8th day…

January 2, 2014

So this blogging thing is an interesting process. And going with a theme is even more so!

I mean what do you write about milkmaids…? I wondered about this for some time… And then decided: FACTIOD!!!

Milkmaids helped cure smallpox.

Google it if you don’t believe me?! ๐Ÿ˜€

And as I have now passed the busyness of Christmas and the jollities of New Year, I am beginning to think of the weeks ahead. The work that must be done. The lists that need ticking off and completing. But also the people and places to go and see.

The next priority; Covenant Service and Epiphany all in one. So a nice gentle ease in…

Philip Turner

Just another WordPress.com site


Just another WordPress.com site

Kalpana Sivaramakrishnan

Food for thought


Just another WordPress.com site


Wisdom and wit


Just another WordPress.com site


news and thoughts from a derbyshire garden

Calvin T Samuel

A topnotch WordPress.com site

Critchyboy's Blog

Ramblings & Musings of a 40 Something's Mind!


In the beginning was the word, the Word was made flesh...........and a long time later I was called to ministry....even much later, I responded....

The Blog Chooses the Blogger

An American Living in Kent, reflecting on life through Harry Potter analogies.


Free Sheet Music Composed by Regan Starr


Where I muse and moan about things...

5 Year Project

Building a Gentleman's Wardrobe