Queen's counsel I

September 2001

I have been overwhelmed by the support that I have been given from all quarters, not least from Alan Harper and from everyone within the parish, as I have explored becoming a non-stipendiary minister over the last year or two.  So, thank you all for your continued prayers as I take on part-time training at Queen’s College, Birmingham this month.

May I say first that all expressions of encouragement and delight in my progress have helped to consolidate my vision that I really do have something to offer.  However, whilst I may have contributed a little already, it does seem to me that I have a tremendous amount to learn – perhaps we can find ways in which we learn to share this search together.

How I balance my time between theological study, mechanical engineering, home life and worship in the parish has yet to evolve but Tuesday evenings will find me at Queen’s and not at meditation with you in St. Nicholas church.  As recompense, I thought it might be nice to start this journal of insights gained there in my growth into ministry.

I heard on 6th July that I had been accepted for training just before going on holiday to Scotland and the Outer Hebrides.  The weather was very kind to us and we also happened on music and festivals wherever we turned.  The fishermen’s mass at the harbour on Barra was the most spectacular: a traditional open-air catholic mass on the pier turned into blessing of the assembled boats, plenty of barbequed fish (not burgers !), pipe music and many of the folk taking to the fishing boats for the annual race out to a buoy and back.  An expression, it seemed to me, of the importance of living life to the full and of relating faith to the everyday, rather like the Celtic tradition we thought about in earlier meditation articles – a  holistic approach to life.

In taking a part-time course in applied theology alongside full-time work as an engineer, I hope to draw links between faith and the world of work amongst other things.  The fishermen of Barra certainly seemed to find this of value and the gathered local people did much to encourage them.  In similar vein, the Iona Community use the following prayer in their daily worship:

O Christ, the master carpenter, who at the last, through wood and nails, purchased our whole salvation, wield well your tools in the workshop of your world, so that we who come rough-hewn to your bench may here be fashioned to a truer beauty of your hand.  We ask it for your own name’s sake.

This site was developed to contain work by Mike Fox relating to the WMMTC course
This page was last updated on 2001-09-02

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