What's Actually been Going On?

I think it’s probably about time for one of those updates where I explain pretty much exactly what’s been happening over the past few weeks, months and years. Well, weeks and months anyway. I should warn you at the start this may be a long one, and may involve something known as “emotions” and “feelings” which I don’t really blog about much 😉 (Don’t worry, it’s not that bad…)

As I have already mentioned a few times, I’ve been talking with the Chelmsford Diocese about training for ordination in the Church of England. Two weeks ago I went on a Bishop’s Advisory Panel (BAP), which was basically the culmination of that process. I won’t go into details about what actually happened on the panel, but essentially I was interviewed by each of the three advisers, as well as having to prepare and deliver a group presentation / discussion and write a letter given a pastoral situation.

Anyway, as mentioned the other day, the results of that were positive: they have decided to recommend me for training! I will be going to theological college next year. The college I have applied to is Oak Hill, who are a good evangelical college in the CofE. I went there today for an interview, and unfortunately I won’t know the results of that until after we’ve come back from New Word Alive next week. But in general I think the major hurdle is over (i.e. getting through the selection process) – I think the college application is much simpler!

So. It’s going to be all change come next year. I must admit that the full reality of it hasn’t hit me yet. When I go back to work tomorrow, and then back after Word Alive, it will just feel… normal. I feel like we have a life here – we have jobs, we’re involved with church, we have friends, we have a nice house… and it kind of feels like, not that we’re throwing that all away, but that we’re somehow giving up security in order to do something which really doesn’t have much security attached to it. Especially at the current time – who knows what’s going to happen to the CofE?

I must admit that the whole experience, looking back on it, has actually been moderately stressful. At some points more than others. Everyone reacts differently under stress, and I think in my particular case it’s involved me not being myself a lot – poor old Phil has to bear the brunt of this! But if you’re a friend and have noticed me being… well, strange – I’m sorry. Stress is probably the reason and I hope things will return to “normal” soon. I say “normal”, obviously with me things are never normal. You could say, in fact, they were not normal… but let’s not go there.

All that said… I was thinking last night (and I posted as much on Twitter) that I feel ready for change. I’ve been in Colchester now for 10 years (not continuously, but I first started at the Uni in October 2001). I think that’s the longest time I’ve ever lived anywhere. I’m not getting bored of it here (in fact I really like living here), but… I just sense that things are ripe for change. I don’t like change, but as someone commented to me the other day: staying the same can be boring 😉 (Note: that may seem like a contradiction in terms. I’m not bored with it here, but at the same time change can bring excitement. Yeah, that’s a better way of putting it!)

Right. That was the touchy-feely bit. (Not so bad, was it?) If we do get a place at Oak Hill, we will be moving to London by the beginning of September (term starts on September 5th I think). But all of that is still up in the air at the moment – I just wanted to update with the possibility.

I think that’s pretty much everything. I just wanted to update to bring everyone up to speed with what’s been going on. And explain my occasionally cryptic tweets and so on. So now you know! 🙂

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