Well, it appears that the hope of starting back quietly and easing myself in has been a pipedream. I’m shattered, and off to bed soon.
Did I plan it this way? No, of course not. But there are limits even to how far ministers can control their diaries. Yesterday, the car was due its annual MOT and service, so it seemed a good idea that my first weekday back would be one where I ploughed through all the emails, saved and/or printed minutes and documents that had been sent, noted meeting dates and so on.
Unfortunately, the garaged failed to ring and say the car was ready. Phoning them at 4 pm, I discovered one of the tyres had failed the MOT. It was 4:50 pm before they confirmed it would be OK for me to sort out the new tyre today. Thus, a rush job to pick up the car, a trip to the chippie for our dinner rather than a proper cooked meal, whizzing the children through bath and into bed, and out to a stewards’ meeting from which I didn’t return until nearly 11 pm.
Today: most of the morning with our lovely superintendent minister being briefed about happenings in my absence. Also, a discussion about ‘stationing’, because my appointment here currently runs out next year, and wheels have to be put in motion depending on whether there is a will on our part or the churches for us to stay. Then, the new tyres and back to the garage to get the MOT. A sandwich around 2:30 pm, then off to our Messy Church event, the date of which had been altered for unavoidable reasons while I was off. That also left us too late to cook a meal and get the kids to bed at their normal time, so we beetled up to Sainsbury’s café. Then back for their bath and bed routine, and rushing out for another stewards’ meeting at a different church. Thankfully, that didn’t end so late, but now it’s time for a quick supper drink and bed.
Tomorrow, I shall be hitting the M25 (perhaps in frustration?) as I make my annual slog pilgrimage to the Christian Resources Exhibition. I have various things to look out for on behalf of my churches: electronic music systems to replace organists we don’t have, kneelers and pulpit falls, etc. Hopefully I won’t succumb to any books. I’ve got too many waiting.
Then at least I don’t have an evening meeting. Debbie will be out at a circuit training event for pastoral visitors. I might finally begin to think about worship for this coming Sunday.