The next twenty-four hours will be, for my family, as significant as they can be. Tomorrow will be the Twins Aculae's first day at school, and also my Institution as the next Vicar of Ss Philip & James here in Whitton.
As I write this, I am a former Assistant Curate and kids pre-schoolers. Mrs Acular is a 'between jobs lawyer'. Tomorrow, we will all acquire new places in the world in which we live. I mention the missus because she, without any choice or say-so, takes on the mantle of "Vicar's Wife" - which brings with it expectations and projections not of her making and for which she received no training. Please remember her in your thoughts and prayers.
To date, I have done all the stuff you have already known about in the months prior to now. Then I moved house and have been largely hidden away with the family as we come to terms with a new home. A few meetings have happened to give me a briefing of what may lay ahead - and then there is the Big Day (tomorrow 7.30pm).
Now you might imagine that I favour being in the spot-light. Being a gob-on-a-stick might lead you to conclude that so being makes me fond of being the centre of attention. You'd be mistaken. I am happy getting on with getting on, and although I like to bask in whatever success I might precipitate, I prefer to do so from the sidelines, not in the middle where everyone can see me. I've surprised you, haven't I. The thing is, and my fragrant wife likes to remind me in song: "Here I Am Lord, Neon Sign Lord". We laugh and I inwardly shudder a little.
Anyway, there is not a thing I can do about any of that except be grateful glad and thankful for every bit of it. Some much loved people are travelling great distances to share the moment with me tomorrow, and I can't wait to see them. I am blessed by some very faithful loving and wonderful friends. I shall miss the ones who can't be there, knowing that they would be had they not been tied up on a prior engagement.
Then Thursday morning. That dear friends, is a very big matter which you will have to read about then.
Please pray for this unworthy servant as he begins a new ministry. Pray too for my remarkable family who make all that I do possible. Pray for the people of the parish where I will serve, and those in the wider community. These are exciting times, and I just cannot wait to get going.