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My Blog - Holy Week Shadowing

People often say to me: “Wow it must be easy to train to be a Vicar.” Well they couldn’t be more wrong! The amount of work and studying I’ve done this last couple of months has been staggering – I’ve barely had time to even watch my new Kylie live DVD (haven’t even started on the special features) and those who know me well will know ‘odd’ that’ll sound. The home study course has had me studying parts of the Bible, looking at ministry (using the Parish of Buckley & Bistre as a case study) and exploring mission and I must thank Bill Harrison for his help on this module as Robbie was away.

I was supposed to do a four week placement with Robbie consisting of two days and two evenings but after discussion with him we decided to give me just one week – Holy Week – and to make it intensive.

The week started on Palm Sunday with me participating in the 9:30 Eucharist at St David’s where I was serving. I also read at St Mark’s and attended Evensong.

Monday saw us doing the admin side of the Parish. There’s lots of forms for weddings, baptisms and funerals and all need to be correctly filled in and also the Parish Inventory, kept at St Mark’s, needs to be regularly inspected to see what the Church has.

Tuesday was a really touching experience for me as we visited Llys Eleanor Care Home in Flint to visit Miss Evans, a long standing St David’s congregation member. It was lovely to reminisce with her about the past and it put a smile on her face when she saw the pictures of St David’s and of members of the Church I had stored on my phone.

On Wednesday we went to visit Doris and much amusement was had when I told her about the last of Bill’s infamous quizzes. “I’d have given him lots of grief over it had I been there!” was what Doris said with a smile.

Thursday was the highlight for me as Robbie took me to St Asaph Cathedral for the Chrism Eucharist which contained the blessing of the holy oils and the renewal of the Priestly Vows. I was deeply touched when Bishop Gregory came over to say hello and to ask how my course was going. It was also great to see Rev Stewart Evans, much missed by all of us here in Connah’s Quay. He wishes everyone well. In the Evening we celebrated Holy Eucharist at St David’s and stripped the Altar which is an occasion which always brings a tear to my eye.

Good Friday saw the annual Cytun organised Walk of Witness which both Robbie and I did. Afterwards Robbie took me into St Ethewold’s and explained how the lady chapel operates and also where the consecrated bread and wine are kept. Afterwards we did the Good Friday Vigil and Robbie served up dinner at his of picked fish and quiche with gorgeous homemade hot cross buns served by Diane.

Easter Saturday was a quiet day with a visit to St Mark’s in the morning to watch the Church being decorated for Easter and in the evening we celebrated the Easter Vigil with my carrying the paschal candle, which unfortunately meant for me I had the ‘pleasure’ of having the incense thrown at me, thanks Robbie!

The week ended with a busy Easter Sunday. The service at St Mark’s had a baptism, which was interesting to watch and see how it’s done after seeing all the admin and paperwork that goes into it earlier in the week. The final part of the week was robing up for a full Evensong as it was Fr Bryn’s Parish farewell and I squeezed in next to the Choir and pretended to sing! Fortunately for them I didn’t as I am totally tone deaf.

May sees the end of the first part of the discernment process as I complete the “Here I am Send Me” pre selection course with a study day at St Michael’s College in Llandaff. But the rest won’t be for long as I will be soon starting the Exploring Faith course which formally starts the training as I work up ready to be going up for selection. I’m hoping to be ready in 2016 but it’s all up God to when I’m ready. I must continue to thank everyone who’s helped so far namely Robbie of course and Bill, Dorothy, Dave, Denise and all the regulars at St David’s. Also thanks for all the hep during my placement week with Robbie have to go Ann and Julie down at St Mark’s for making all the time I spent there so enjoyable.

Sorry for the long article this month, hope you’ve all enjoyed it. Next month I’ll be talking about my day at St Michael’s College. Promise it won’t be as long as this! I’m off for a well deserved

Steven - 20/04/2015
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