I was off to Edinburgh for three days this week, one day at Provincial Standing Committee and then two days of College of Bishops. As usual these meetings were long and involved and therefore tiring, yet it is also good to spend time with people from across the province. It is very easy to become so wrapped up in the diocese that you lose sight of some of the wider issues. It was also a delight to meet up with Mara as father and daughter headed out for dinner on the Tuesday evening, we had a great time catching up with each other’s news.
I also added another new event to my calendar. On the Saturday evening Jane and I joined the Cathedral bell ringers for their annual dinner. We had a lovely meal in good company, then realised we had to play party games, a round of charades and a guess the person, we both joined in and it must have been okay because Jane was still speaking to me as we headed home! Mind you she had lots to tell. The ringer she sat next to turned out to be from her year group in the same school in Owaldtwistle, Lancashire!!
Ash Wednesday was approaching rather quickly. I had time to meet with a group of Beaver Scouts on Monday and on Tuesday with the Diocesan Secretary, Diocesan Director of Ordinands and an ordinands before I was rushed outside to burn the Palm Crosses for the Ash Wednesday ash. I therefore approached the beginning of Lent at a bit of a trot and needed to slow down. This was achieved by leading a number of thoughtful and prayerful services throughout the day. The first service was early in the morning, one at lunchtime, an afternoon one with the L’Arche Community and a Choral Eucharist in the evening. The rest of the week consisted of meetings and interviews and an attempt to clear my desk for the Lenten Season.