I’m giving up the cathedral for Lent!
I find that the cathedral takes up an enormous amount of my time. I have found myself visiting and wandering through it, on average, around 6 times a day. Quite often I loiter and chat with people instead of simply passing through and and can often be seen sitting with someone in one of the side chapels and listening to what they have to share. I’ve even taken to blessing crosses and babies when asked my concerned parents and people buying crosses from our gift shop.
It’s clear that the cathedral is taking up a massive amount of my time … far more time than facebook or twitter accounts do. On some days I have even worked out that I have spent more time actually in the cathedral listening to others than I have listening to my own family. I think if it was any other activity then people would be saying this was not ‘helpful’.
So …. I am giving up the cathedral for Lent. The last time I set foot in the building was yesterday, and the next time will be April 16th (which schedules in a post Easter break in Cornwll!)
On a more serious note …. today I start a 6 week parish placement at St. Stephen’s Chatham as a formal part of my training. I’m going to be involved in ‘parish stuff’ rather than cathedral ‘stuff’ and balance that with my ‘pioneering stuff’. So although I will be staying away from the cathedral it will business pretty much as normal with Wetherspoons, Deaf Cat and the gathering. I expect to learn some stuff which will help me in the future … whatever that may look like.
If you are the praying kind … please pray that I have the grace to be open to learning and gain and give all that I can … as I will be honest and say I really wanted to spend my last Easter at the cathedral with my cathedral family … and I admit to feeling a great sense of loss being away from that what would have been my last major festival with those I have grown to love over the last few years. I am required to be at St. Stephens which, in effect, cuts the period of saying bye and I sense some pain in that. But … that sense of loss and pain can be quite a healthy attitude for me to be starting the Lenten journey with.
So … Lent …. and I’m off to St. Stephens for the 10am Ash Wednesday service.
(Oh yeah …. as an aside … if you thought my giving up the cathedral ‘ditty’ was a dig at those giving up facebook for Lent … well spotted! I mean … come on … if Facebook and Twitter have really taken over your lives so much that you feel they are getting in the way and you need to give up for Lent … shouldn’t that be a concern for you for the other 46 weeks in the year … just saying!?)