Monday, 27 September 2010

60 is the new 40

for several years I have heard people say this and this morning Harriet Harman was reported as saying that life begins at sixty. I wonder what happens at forty now?!
Apparently I was 'over the hill' at thirty, and found my 35th birthday very difficult - I'd reached the halfway point to three score years and ten!
In my forties I went back to college to train for the ministry - a complete change from the world of creating wedding dresses. I hadn't done much reading before then and now my walls started to become covered in books on shelves.
In my fifties, I moved house and became an 'earth mother' as predicted by my fellow students, leading the 'good life', growing our own veggies and baking bread, and followed the ministry of being available to those who wanted to make use of my counselling skills and theological training.
In my sixties another change, another house move and the call to be the minister of the local Chapel.
So what is so good about being 60?
I think it is that I am happy being me. I don't have the desire to be anything different. But is that because of my age or is it because I am so fortunate to have the ability to live where we do and have enough money not to worry? Maybe it is because I'm old enough and have lived long enough to have worked out what is important in life; a knowledge that I am loved by God and others, and everything else is secondary.

Sunday, 26 September 2010

harvest and back to church Sunday

It was a beautiful morning as we walked to Chapel - chilly but the sky was bright blue, the sun was shining and the leaves were just starting to turn.
The Chapel had been decorated by eight of our ladies on Friday afternoon and the smell of the apples as we entered was lovely.
As our theme today was Jesus' saying of "I am the Bread of Life", we had coffee with Barabrith, the traditional Welsh teabread after the service.
Although we didn't have anyone coming back to church our numbers topped 20 which is a lot for us. 
But we did have a couple of visitors who were on holiday staying at a B&B run by one of our members.
The husband knew that his family had originally come from this area but we were all surprised to find out that although they had never met before - his uncle's sister is one of our deacons! So we had a family union over coffee and Barabrith, where six 2nd cousins were able to chat to each other!


I'm still learning as to how this blog works! and still can't find out how to make comments on my own blog!
So thank you to both Angela and Catriona for your comments.
It is lovely to be part of the blogging community - one feels hugged from afar!

I haven't actually jumped through all the hoops...
In the various Baptist churches of which I have been a member it was agreed that no husband and wife should be on the same committee. So when I entered the room for my min.rec. interview and saw the small panel - only 6 out of the usual 12 and two were married and had already made wild assumptions about me - I knew I wouldn't get it.
However, the college said still come and get min.rec. later. At a later date I had another interview at college for them to say whether they thought I was suitable minister material before going back to min.rec.
Then my personal circumstances changed, I didn't go back to min.rec. and now it is too late.
I think a lot of it has to do with pensions but I already have mine!

Friday, 24 September 2010

it's my age

at least, I assume that's the problem - no one has told me exactly why...
I've received confirmation that I am now a BU recognised 'lay preacher', and will get my hand shaken at the next Baptist Assembly.
Although I undertook a three year full-time BD followed by an MTh, and have been called to be the minister of the local chapel, there seems to be no way that I can be recognised as a 'proper' minister, apart from waiting five years. We moved here to retire and I already collect my OAP pension - in five years time the chapel and myself could be thinking that I really ought to step down from the pulpit.
Having had my little rant - I don't mind being called a recognised preacher, but I do object to being called a 'lay' preacher. I was called to the ministry 18 years ago, giving up a successful business designing wedding dresses. My ministry is my work and has been since leaving college and I wouldn't change a thing - except my title!

Wednesday, 8 September 2010


As well as the usual floral tributes at the roadside where the young man died 10 days ago, we have become aware of who his friends are on our estate - as their cars are covered in messages; 'RIP', 'gone but not forgotten', heart shapes, the year of his birth and death and his name - written in lipstick?

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

am I part of a herd?

I was half listening to Woman's Hour while cleaning the bathroom, when I heard a woman who used to live in Baghdad say that she didn't agree with any sort of religion as it turned people into a herd. Of course it was at this point I tried to start listening with my full attention while wondering why folk have this impression.
Several years ago I was often asked if I was a 'born again' Christian but I wasn't quite sure what they meant or even if they knew what they meant! Are there really two classes of Christians?
But I am aware that every Christian is at a different stage of developing - just as we develop physically and mentally over the years.
As I have aged I may have become even more questioning of the church and the ways things are done - but for me, following Christ has meant that I have slowly become and am still becoming the person that God created me to be - different from everybody else.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

at last

Many weeks ago I received a message via facebook of a couple celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary and she was wearing her wedding dress that I had made for her all those years ago!
I hadn't seen either of them since their wedding day and was quite confused as neither of them looked 25 years older. With the wonders of facebook, I was able to get the permission of the bride to put it on my blog and then as a bit of a novice to the blogging game, I had to work out how to get it from facebook on to my desktop and then to my blog - I hope it all works!
Many, many congratulations to S & S, and especially to the bride for staying the same size!