Sunday, 12 July 2009


Went down to some friends' home in Porthcawl for a few hours yesterday. The plan was to have a BBQ - but the big question was would the weather hold out? Well, it did, although a few times over the tasty lunch a few spits 'n' spots fell on us. The collective prayers of everyone there managed to keep the rain up in the clouds at least until desserts, which we were happy to have indoors.
I've always felt that it's vital for priests to have some really good friends among families. After all, our living situation is out-of-the-ordinary, and we need to be well "earthed" not just so that we can relate to family life and fulfil our ministry - but also for our own sanity! It's easy sometimes for clergy to sort of drift off into a churchy dreamworld, or allow things to get dramatically - and sometimes tragically - out of proportion or off track. It's surely one of the roles of a good friend to sometimes pull you back from the brink, tell you the truth, or just put an arm around you to let you cry - whichever is appropriate! Sometimes people refer to me as "down to earth" or some such phrase. If that is true, I take it as a compliment, but I put a lot of it down to the friends that God has given me over the years.

The picture shows an icon from Taize in France. It's called the Icon of Friendship, showing Jesus with his arm around a saint.

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