And We’re Off

I ran my miles, of course, and had a cup of coffeee and fruit. Will take tea upstairs to Margaret, clean up, and head to Morning Prayer, then shop for groceries and return home to pass the day tidying and helping Margaret. And in the evening, will welcome parishioners and friends to the official beginning of my new ministry at St Helen’s, St Michael and All Angels’s, and St Nicolas’s. Be there, or be… whatever geometric solid you prefer.

Oh, and Sancte Carolus, Rex et Martyr, ora pro nobis!

If You Give a Vicar a License…

Ran my short route this morning — just felt like it — and came home to coffee, hot breakfast, a leisurely clean-up and change into church clothes, morning Mass, for the last time not-as-staff.

This licensing business is beginning to seem like a classic mild, but utterly incongruous, English film comedy. The heart of the matter is an old codger who couldn’t get a job is being enrolled as a part-time member of staff here. Yet the Bishop of Dorchester, the Archdeacon, the Area Dean, the Mayor, the Deputy Lieutenant, and one or two other local dignitaries are all trooping up for the occasion. Add in a number of our friends from furth of Abingdon, and all the elements will, be in place for cases of mistaken identity, for mishaps with precious ceremonial items, visitors getting lost on their way to our somewhat tricky-to-navigate municipality.

Unwinding Saturday

And it’ll be my last for a while, since — if I read the rota correctly — I’m preaching at St Helen’s every Sunday for the next four weeks. Two more (chillier, 2°) miles in the book, cup of coffee, and about to say Morning Prayer. I expect Margaret and I will do some tidying up, as well, looking ahead to visitors on Licensing Day. Plus, time to push into essay-writing as well as homiletising…

Morning, History, Seminar

Two miles, fruit breakfast, Morning Prayer, coffee in town (at Throwing Buns — gluten-free scones for Margaret), chemist’s, library for some books about the history of Abingdon, then into Oxford for the New Testament Seminar. It’s a long, long bus ride home at rush hour on Fridays, but then I’ll come home and put my feet up. After I cook dinner.

Big Day

Big teaching day in the family: Margaret had her two-hour lecture in East Oxford, and I had two tutorials at Oriel. Add in the to-ing and fro-ing of getting to town, and we’re well tired. I did run my miles this morning, and of course said Morning Prayer and finished marking the essays for today’s students. Still, a nap would have been nice.

Dare We Hope?

The weather was warmer this morning (9°), as the third blustery, rainy storm to cross Great Britain in the last few weeks passed through. I had a wee bit of a lie-in, ran my two miles, had some coffee and fruit, said Morning Prayer and consulted with my colleagues, picked up some groceries, and got hom a little before Margaret left for tea with an Abingdon friend. Today is for marking, so I’ll devote the rest of the day to tomorrow’s tutorials and thesis consultation.

Another Day

Two miles in the morning, coffee and fruit, Morning Prayer, then coffee with MArgaret in town, a wee trip to W. B. Smith and Waitrose, home for lunch and an academic meeting, by then some odds and ends relative to my project toward articulating a chantry list for St Helen’s. Busy day.


Ran my two miles, fruit and coffee, and off to the church for Morning Prayer. Should pick up some groceries, and then home to read and study, and I have a student thesis to peer into.


I set out on my run this morning. It was a balmy 6° (after a spell of subzero temps), though the air was lightly seasoned with drizzle. I figured that a mist was easy enough to negotiate granted the appeal of a warmer atmosphere. The mist, however, turned out to be more like drizzler or even rain, and after about a third of a mile, I turned back. At least I got two-thirds of a mile in the metaphorical books.

Then off to St Nicolas’s for the 8:00 service, the first Mass I’ve said in donkey’s ears, which went well, all things considered. A cup of coffee and croissant in Costa in the square, then down to the river to pray at St Helen’s, which (once again) proceeded adequately. Both congregations have welcomed Margaret and me enthusiastically, and I’m cautiously confident that I can add something more than just clergy hours to parish life.

Now, however, it’s time to rest, perhaps even nap for a short while, before Evensong and home for dinner.


Sermon done, just before dinner. This is the first time two of the parish’s congregations will hear me preach, so the stakes are different from what they’d be if everyone already knew to expect to be bored.

Not So Cold

…so I did run my short (~1.5 mi) route, short cause of my knee, then came home for coffee and hot breakfast. Since then I’ve been doing online errands to avoid finishing tomorrow’s sermon. That looks like the shoape of my whole day, unless I finish my sermon in a rush this afternoon.

Limping in a Circle

Not really limping, nor really a circle, but I did make a very unambitious, very gentle jog along my short route. My knee is still feeling wobbly; the temperature was -4°; but I get uneasy if I skip two days in a row, lest I start getting lazy. Coffee and easy peelers, tea in bed for Margaret, a shower, and off to Morning Prayer.