Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Isn't this your busy season?...

The widely held opinion that clergy have their "busy season" in the run-up to Christmas generally has me nodding withou much argument. At least everyone else is so busy that we don't get so troubled with the more routine matters.

But that's not proving true this year. There seems to be no let-up from the routine, extra non-seasonal work has come along and preparations for Christmas are still hardly begun. The church's tree is at least ordered (and arrives on Thursday) but I hadn't got round to finding one for the Vicarage - any time I've had a free moment it's either been raining, sub-zero or dark, not ideal conditions for open-air tree choosing. So I've finally caved in and bought an artificial one. Decorated by my younger son, it looks pretty good, but I think it's the last of its type in stock at the Consett branch of Argos (I'm afraid the others didn't look up to much - and ours is no longer in stock online).

So this evening has been a breather between the general busy-ness and the pre-Christmas rush. Kaydar which uses our church hall in its work with people with learning disabilities is putting on its Nativity Play tomorrow, Thursday finds us in a local residential home for a Carol Service, on Friday morning the Toddler Group has its party, and later in the day it's our mega-concert with the Leadgate Gleemen and St. Cuthbert's Handbell Ringers. Sometime I might think about what we are going to be doing in church, apart from cleaning it on Saturday morning! Our seasonal big clean holds out the inducement of bacon sandwiches made by one of our Readers, Paul Heatherington.

That's not all he does - he's a very busy person, and you can find the sermon Paul preached last Sunday online. I always think that two weeks of John the Baptist is a bit much in Advent, so I'm glad that I got the first of them - while Paul has carried on from my points about the perils of punctuation to bring the insights of a lawyer and to bid us again hear the Baptist's call.

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