Yesterday was a first day.
A first proper day of working in the prison.
A first day of wandering Gillingham High Street.
A first day of being a priest missioner in GIllingham deanery … whatever that may be.
My first day went quite well. Some highlights included sitting in the exercise yard with some lads and learning a little about their stories. Another was popping in the club in Gillingham for a drink with a friend and my dog collar on … there was a hush for a little while before they realised it was me!
Of course there were lows as well … the frustration and pain I could see in peoples situations. The hopelessness in the daily routines of so many. But with that hopelessness comes a desire to see change, and part of my role involves me in looking out for those people that wish to be involved in something transformational; both personally and collectively.
The day ended with a pretty special experience when I got together with some young people and their leaders to plan a youth service. I’ve not done this in a while, but I am still smiling from the privilege of that creative experience. I look forward to working morre with this group as they try to create something different.
So … all in all a pretty interesting day …. I have to go now and do something similar all over again …. the beginning of a new work, I remember, takes a lot of time, repetition and patience.