The time I had spent over the past year picking the brains of those with good pastoral experience and skills, coupled with the thoughts of others present on the day, meant that I finally felt I understood what BAP Advisors expected to see in a candidates response. Even more encouragingly I felt like I might be able to write one that would at the very least be acceptable and not spat out like a rancid piece of food. That was just as well for the DDO dropped a bombshell into the conversations that shook several of us to the core. There was no sugar-coating of the pill, there was just the bare facts: the funding and training pathways for ordination had changed.
Turn on the TV, listen to the radio, open your social media apps and one thing is clear, we don’t seem to be able to get on which each other very well. For a supposedly tolerant society, tolerance is in short supply. Continue reading
The Bishop’s report came as I was heading home from work. I was a passenger in more ways than one and leapt to the email like I had done with each incoming email throughout the day.
The opening complimentary paragraph passed me by as I went straight to the reason that I wasn’t recommended. It was frustratingly short, vague and confusing. Concerns had been expressed against some the selection criterion but the explanation was limited at best.
I didn’t recognise some of the person being described and there were things that were simply unfair. What was more painful though was the person I did recognise. The Advisers had not taken to me.
It is done. My Bishops’ Advisory Panel is over. It was quite an experience, quite a week. There are many people’s experience of a BAP that can be read, many practically focused, some even dealing with the pain of not being recommended. This is my account of my experience; an account of the emotions, fears and joys that someone has and can go through and that needs more words than other types of accounts of going to a BAP.
So if you’re willing and ready, read on! Continue reading
I’m worn out. I haven’t even got to the Bishops’ Advisory and I’m worn out.
I knew this was coming. It wasn’t a word from God, a message from the Holy Spirit. It was far more mundane than that. It was a mixture of circumstances and the compression of 6 months BAP preparation into 6 weeks.
After putting our house in market last week, in an equal act of faith and practicality, we had been overwhelmed by the response. We had put our house on the market previously and had 1 offer in 10 months. This time, admittedly with a different set of economic conditions, we had 4 offers in 4 days. The house was sold, subject to contract, in under a week.
Now if God isn’t part of our house sale I will eat my hat, and believe me when I say that I don’t like eating hats. Continue reading
The clock is ticking but the time is being used unexpectedly, to an extent.
Last week was supposed to be much like the previous week, but quieter. The only thing I had in my diary was another meeting to help me articulate my understanding of the things I might be asked about at my forthcoming Bishops’ Advisory Panel.
It proved to be anything but quiet.
We had planned to put our house on the market this year irrespective of whether we were still looking into ordination or not. Our family and lifestyle has changed a lot since buying our current, and first, home. Continue reading
Exploring ordination means preparing for a future life that may never happen. There are no guarantees, no certainties. Getting to a Bishops’ Advisory Panel is not a given, nor is a recommendation that I train for ordination. Yet I have to prepare for the possibility that I will be recommended. It means investing significant amounts of time, thought and prayer for something that may not happen. Continue reading
Are somethings too good to be true? When things appear to come so simply and easy, do you question them like I do?
Right now I can sense God rolling His eyes again.
In a break from redrafting my BAP form I had my first visit to a theological colleges and the first experience on this journey where the whole family were involved. I knew that as I drove towards the college that it was going to be was the easiest and the hardest college to visit. It was my local one. Continue reading
After an intense period of writing over Christmas (see my last three posts at the bottom of this post) I had a momentary break from thinking and writing. It had been a fruitful period and God had helped me make some great progress in finding out who I was and might become. Continue reading