Margaret and I are both orphans, now. Yesterday at 8:00 EST/1:00 GMT, Patricia P Bamforth died in her sleep at her hospital in Augusta, Maine. I’ll post an obit later, but for now suffice it to say that we were neither surprised nor fully prepared. Just Saturday she had agreed to moving to a place in a very pleasant care home, and she seemed to be on a resurgence; but Sunday she had changed her mind and asked that all life support be removed, and Monday morning she gave over mortality.

I did not run yesterday; I did this morning, as part of reinscribing us in some sort of normal life, reasserting forward momentum to amplify the gyroscopic power of daily routines. We need all the power of dailiness to carry us onward, through the disconcerting memories and realisations of the last few weeks.

Working Preacher

Full day at church — after having run my two miles and said Morning Prayer and showered and dressed, all before 7:15, I made my way to church for the 8:00 service. Then I came home to say Good Morning to Margaret, then back to church to walk through the special service for the Thanksgiving for Children, then the service itself in which I preached again, then a break before I led the parish Faith Forum on The Sacraments, by the end of which I was capital-K knackered.

License Put To Work

Ran (walked part of) my two miles, Morning Prayer, hot breakfast, and now to work up a sermon for tomorrow and a Faith Forum on ‘the sacraments’ (‘On the Very Idea of a Sacrament’ for you Davidson aficionados).

As I Was Saying

I ran all three of the last mornings (short route on Wednesday, as I was short of sleep and a bit achey from so much standing up). I had been putting off blogging, partly because I have had a full plate of things to do and partly because I was hoping to be able to link to a recording of the service. That is still in the offing, I trust, but I can’t stall indefinitely. For now, the story is that I am well and truly licensed; it was a lovely service, including a psalm setting by Nate; my Wednesday then was a full-on work day. I’ve also had some marking to sort; that’s almost done. And I must work up a sermon for Sunday, when our parish observes Candlemas.

Life is good.

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.