My sabbatical draws ever closer (10 days to go) and I find myself into that time when I want to get everything completed and prepared to hand over to Revd. Gordon who will be acting Superintendent up until the moment he leaves.
It’s a strange feeling as I am prepared and ready for the time away but also apprehensive as I don’t really want to go! You see, I really do consider the people of this circuit to be family to me and if I were to ask you to stop communicating with your physical family for three months you might get some idea of the sense of loss I will feel. It can`t be the same but that sense of loss takes the edge off the excitement somewhat.
However, as I say, I am ready to go but what will I be doing ?
Initially for the first couple of weeks it’s just relaxing at home and spending some time with Alison, including a trip to the Harry Potter studio tour and Bletchley Park. I will be visiting Blackpool for the Superintendents Conference, as well as trips to see friends and home to see my Dad on a couple of occasions. I will hopefully, be asking some questions re “how the Church treats deaf people” and following the life of St. Cuthbert including a pilgrimage of the Cuthbert sites in the North East. I`m currently undertaking an online course in Celtic Christian Spirituality so it will tie in with that form of study. I`m also hoping to organise a trip to Liverpool to see the Anglican Diocesan advisor on deaf matters and I had hoped to organise a trip to Iona and another to Ffald-y-Brenin in Wales but it doesn`t look as though I`ll have time for either of the last two (maybe another time).
In the midst of it all I will have the privilege of conducting the wedding of Ellie and Andy; as with her sister, Julia, I have long considered Ellie to be a part of our family even regarding them both like God-daughters. Several years ago I had the joy of conducting Julia`s wedding to Joe and now its Ellie and Andy`s turn. I am so looking forward to it.
However, because Alison will still have to fulfil her part time work with MHA she will not be able to travel with me so I`m reluctant to be away from home too much. However in the middle of the sabbatical we are going on holiday to Orkney, partially to stay with friends, partly to explore the Celtic connections there and largely to relax and enjoy each other’s company.
Towards the end of the Sabbatical I will be around to say farewell to Revd Gordon and Sue, and then be back to welcome our new member of staff Revd Sue Preston.
Throughout it all the Manse will not be empty, as Alison and Sasha will be around to protect the premises and when we`re away a very good friend will be staying and/or my Dad.
I`m also, to give thanks for my health recovery and to celebrate life with type 2 diabetes, taking part in the Birmingham colour run (5Km) on August 15th. This will raise money for Burton YMCA and if you wish to donate then please go to my Virgin money giving page (http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/burt0n877) where online donations may be made.
So as you can see it’s quite a busy and packed three months.
I`ll be continuing to maintain my blog at https://mikeredshaw.wordpress.com and so you`ll be able to follow my adventures on here. In this way I`ll continue to feel a part of the great Trent and Dove family.