Photo credits

The Embalse de Riano in northern Spain. The picture was taken by .... me!

Tuesday, July 19

More church confusion

Since our Church crisis around the turn of the year, we have been attending an Anglican church in the next town, about 10 miles away.

After a slow start, it has been very good, and we are beginning to start to feel that we belong. People have taken us into their hearts and been very supportive during my wife's illness.

But there is the rub of the problem. She is ill. Part of our intention for joining this church was that they have an excellent children's work both on Sunday and during the week. Mrs was planning to exercise her gifts in this children's work. In fact, in my resignation letter to the old church I said that I was going to put her somewhere where she would flourish.

It's not worked out that way. Her illness and her inability to drive mean that to go to the midweek activities she would be reliant on a bus and a long walk. And when she has tried it, especially with her illness, it has not been practical.

Furthermore, in a separate story, or young daughter is moving to a new nursery which meets on different days which means that Mrs is n longer available on the days she would be needed for the children's work at the church.

So she is not flourishing. My purpose in taking her there has been thwarted.

Meanwhile, in what she sees as a divine encounter (on a train to the city) she met an old friend who is from a different Anglican church within our own town. We had previously dismissed this church as not appropriate for us. But apparently they have a new curate, new plans, a new vision for children's work, etc.

So Mrs is now keen to at least visit, and see what it is like. Is it better to be a big cog in a small machine, rather than trying to get involved in a big church where they don't really need you?

Its a good plan. I hate change, but I can see the merits, and i see strongly the need (as promised) to put my wife somewhere where she will flourish.

The drawbacks:

This church shares a Vicar with another one where the Readers are all people who left our previous church, people that we don't particularly want to fellowship with, but if I were to act as a Reader in this church I would almost certainly have to go to team meetings with them.

Its a dead church in a dead suburb. (but God likes breathing life into dead bones)

The children's work is (apparently) dire. (but we want to be a part of the change)

And most importantly - our 11-year-old son is just moving up to the youth work at the church in the other town. This is an outstanding youth work, which he is very keen to continue with, and which we want to keep him in, and we have always said his needs are one of our priorities. we asked if he would be interested in joining his older brothers and sisters who remained at our old church, and he was strong in his reply that no, he wants to stay at the remote church.

Given this, we don't want to disturb him by experimenting with visits to this new church.

Also, it is now summer and everything is quiet and not a true picture, but we don't want to delay our experimental visits until September.

also, with the new church, we haven't even managed to find their service times yet because they have no Internet presence. We hope that we could somehow coordinate taking our son to the remote church while going to this one ourselves, but I can't see tat working in practice.

So. there is a need for my wife to find fulfillment. There is a need for my son to be enthused by the faith and not disrupted by frequent changes of church. there is a need for me also to be in place where my Readership will to go to waste.

Its a mess, and we don't know where to turn.

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