Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Envisioning One Vision

Apart from being among my favourite Queen songs, 'one vision' is fast becoming my stalking horse. Actually, the words of the song are helpful for many church communities, but that is besides the point!

I am, as you may have noted already, in a liminal space. I am slowly leaving one ministry while at the same time mentally engaging with the next. Yes, that engagement is more to do with the temporal issues of housing and schools, but in the background a whole array of mental processes are springing to life.

Actually, that is not true. If my 'Whitton' stream of thought were a garden, it would be an overgrown jungle of a mess. I have not enough time left on this planet in the best case scenario to ever see through every idea and passion that is growing like bindweed in my little bonce. If I took the time to write them down they may even extend beyond the realms of the humanly possible over centuries. Call it ecclesial daydreaming, but whatever else, it is a nice thing to do. 

However, there is a danger. The vision for Whitton will only be partly mine, and entirely rooted in the 'then and there'. My daydreams are currently out of context and very probably rooted in the happy idyll of curacy. Whilst this daydreaming is good, it is mostly in vain - mostly. In the end, the vision for my next ministry is mine, and only in that it affects me. Any vision I may have for the parish will need to be based upon much listening and talking. That excites me no end. 

Curates who are (or have been) blessed with the prospect of the next job will know what I mean in all of this. For us our dreams are slowing coming true and the aspirations of many years of religiously based fantasising have but moments to draw close to life and light. The tendency is perhaps for us to seek to run before we can walk, of charging in like bulls in china shops - a tendency that we absolutely must temper. All I know with complete certainty is that the transition will be a bitter-sweet thing from a much loved ministry into the unknown, and that in working towards that Whitton One Vision I must take time, work hard and enjoy the journey. It is also worth noting that the soon-to-move-cleric can probably see the most potential in a church - reason enough that we move around from time to time.

I can't wait. 


  1. Hold it tiger! You may be ecstatic at the thought of leaving us for your new life, we are not so happy!

    While not wishing to 'rain on your parade'and while hoping you and the family will be really happy in pastures new, you will leave a 'tiger shaped' hole in the congregation. Could you please try to restrain your jubilation and temper it with the odd tear or two?

  2. New role, new vision, new mission. Heck of a lot to be thinking about, let alone having to pack up, move, settle in and orient the whole family.

    I am a believer in change, tempered by less haste, and much listening. Sharing ideas can either empower or frighten people, particularly as I suspect that their expectations and anticipation of a renewed ministry with a new Vicar might be quite high.

    I have a feeling that some of your blogger and wider audience will be praying for and with you as well as sharing the journey as it take shape in a vicarious fashion.

    In the army, I always faced the next posting with a mixture of excitement and trepidation, particularly if it involved a promotion with new rank and additional responsibilities. I found that the best way of coping was in a way to 'bluff' it a little. To hide my feelings inside an external, self-confident exterior. I would relax once I had got to grips with the job and situation and knew that I could cope.

    I suspect that this particular approach in a ministry context, will not work, I would soon be seen through. I have a suspicion that congregations expect their Vicar to arrive, 'all singing and dancing' and ready for the challenge they wukk inevitably be faced with.

    I'm sure your new role will be fulfilling and wish you well with it.



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