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.