Here I am, starting my final week on placement, the practical part. Once finished here I will have to start about to think about putting my thoughts in some sort of order for the written piece of work that I have to produce.
It's a very busy week, although I have some 'down' time today. It's nice to be back and continuing the routine of morning and evening prayer. The church was quiet again this morning with Fr Clive and I saying prayer together. We lit candles and prayed for those near and dear and in particular, Lawrence, who is at his BAP this week. May this part of his discernment lead him and those advising to a 'right' decision over his ministry. May God be with him over the next couple of days.
Yesterday was a great day. There were 15 Confirmation candidates with an additional number of baptisms for those either getting confirmed or their sibblings. The Bishop of Fulham, +John was presiding and it was interesting being his chaplain during the service and seeing the confirmation from a different angle! He was very good pastorally, seeking people out to talk to before the service, to reassure the candidates and then again after the service. He preached very well and it was a joy to watch so many being baptised and confirmed; of all ages.
Again, in the church hall, I had the chance to speak to a few people; those who were only here in support of a family member being confirmed, but also some of the regulars and in particular a couple who had only been to St Augustine's the week previously but were looking for a regular church to attend. Hopefully, they'll become regular members of St Augustine's.
As we headed back to the Vicarage after tidying up and putting various things away (I've learnt that the role of the Vicar covers many many tasks, including sweeping of floors and stacking of chairs), we relaxed and barbequeued, the food helped down with some very pleasant Bombadier. It was a mentally draining day, having to concentrate; not as much for me, though as for Fr Clive who had been planning the service for sometime and had the candidates to look after and watch over.
This week brings some pastoral visits, a tour of the local funeral director's behind the scenes workings, school masses, visit from the youth worker, lunch/dinner with parishioners and finally a visit to prison. I will continue to blog on my week.