We have good news to announce to you! Kevin has been offered a curacy with the church of St Peter’s in Maidenhead, starting next summer after Kevin completes his training. We are really delighted to have found a great church local enough that although we will move house, we need not take the kids from their schools. We won’t be starting from scratch all over again as all the kids friends are a short 20 minute drive away.
Finding a curacy is not an easy task. I (Kevin) hear from my colleagues the challenge of finding a place where we can be pioneering rather than just have a standard curacy. However, St Peter’s is very open to us coming as pioneers (they have had a pioneer curate before) and we think we will get along really well with everyone there. There are many similarities with Emmanuel and I have already taken Emmanuel’s building committee to meet some of the St Peter’s folks, as they have completed a similar project and had much to teach us from their experience!
So we are looking eagerly forward to our new placement. We will start to work on the details in the new year, as the housing is not secured yet for one. I get ordained on 30th June at Christchurch, Oxford, that I do know! The family are looking forward to it, although they were initially feeling nervous about moving. Luc in particular has a specific desire for a bay window to his bedroom!
The family have been up and down, and the stress of thinking about a curacy was magnified by the sad events that meant we needed to return our dog Marvel to the rescue centre. We had Marvel for six months and it was hard to send him away, but he bit Joshua rather badly for a second time, completely unprovoked. We realised we could not trust him with our kids or the many other children who visit us. He needs a more specialist home. It was really painful but as I write this it looks like he is being adopted again and has found a new home. For all of us this was a difficult and unhappy time. Joshua is not hurt or angry. However, we are starting to make plans to find a new dog as we feel ready to do that.
This season has been training orientated. Both of us are back to Church Mission Society for our courses. Nicki is working hard on her ‘Mission History of the Church’ on Mondays and I zip in on Tuesdays to do my ‘Missional Ecclesiology’ module. We miss coming in together but as CMS is expanding its student numbers it is ultimately a positive happening. This is the final component of Nicki’s certificate. She has done really well and it has been an amazing achievement given the amount pressure we have been under these last years.
I have also been away for two specialist weeks. The first was a placement to Bristol Cathedral, which was fascinating, but terrifying in equal measure. The team at the Cathedral were welcoming and gave me lots of experience and opportunities. Joining their Evensong celebration in the dark evenings, sitting right next to the choir (all are welcomed into that area if they wish) was a different but delightful spiritual experience for me.
I also went for a week of ‘Missional Entrepreneurship’ (which I highly recommend) that helps you go from an idea for a missional or social enterprise, refine it and prepare you to pitch it to a ‘Dragon’s Den’. It went well for me and I have a couple of business ideas percolating away now!
For our next phase we have some clear goals, which is to complete well all that we have started at Emmanuel. That is not a small task as Nicki’s Fusion club is now well established, we have numerous links and connections into the community, new services to build strong teams to support and many other plans and responsibilities to conclude.
We hope to be able to see as many of you as possible in the new year as we want to get back to both Plymouth and Stroud as we complete the final part of our training journey.
Lots of love,
Kevin, Nicki, Sam, Ellie, Luc and Josh