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Monthly Message

On learning, f-learning and thriving


In July this little group of six churches will have an occasion to celebrate. Lots of us are going to Salisbury cathedral to see Richard Holness ordained as deacon because he will be coming to serve with us as curate. Now if you are thinking of curates and vicars as seen on television, Richard is not going to be curate in the style of Father Ted or Fleabag. On the other hand, those of you who know me will know I'm not really like the Vicar of Dibley - physically there might be  a slight resemblance but in terms of my  sense of humour and my ability to tell a joke I'm much closer to Alice Tinker than Geraldine Granger. Richard has been part of these churches longer than I have - he lives in RWB with his wife Fiona and their daughter Ruth and Broad Town is the parish that has married them, christened Ruth and helped develop his sense of being called to serve in ministry. Richard has already been doing this as a Lay Worship Leader but now he's going to have the very strange experience of being dressed up in a collar and apprenticed to serve the whole group while still working full time and being husband, dad, friend, colleague, IT geeky person and himself.


My task is to help him continue to find out what that all means for him - Richard has already learned lots - he's been at college in Salisbury studying part time and now our task is to do lots (or at least as much as can be sensibly fitted in around full time work and life) of f-learning on the job.  F-learning is not Rachma having a bad language moment but the skill she has begun learning from the local schools of seeing making mistakes, and failing as a route to greater learning. Failure-learning - abbreviated to f-learning A curacy is a time and place for experimentation trying and succeeding, and sometimes trying and failing so that one can learn and learn to fail better next time. Much of the trying and failing will be done by Rachma not by Richard!  It’s a compliment to all the churches in the groups that they thought we were willing to be experimented on and supportive of this apprenticeship element of Richard’s preparation for life as an ordained minister seeking to serve God at home, at work, and sometimes here in our churches. As you get a chance to welcome him over the next few months and years at both church and community events please be kind, say hello and find out what our favourite f-learning has been!

when I see you again

I will trace the tears on your face

with a wondering finger

as we both weep

when I see you again

I will hold you close and long

as if we were lovers

and I would never let you go

when I see you again

I will marvel at your fragile form

and imagine holding your precious life

in the palms of my hands

when I see you again

we will laugh like thirsty travellers

finding water in the desert

flinging gouts of joy into the sky

when I see you again

I will be grateful for all I took for granted..

and by God’s grace

we will live fresh-eyed and wondering in the world

like creatures newly born


Author Tina Hodgett 3 January 2021 

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