Having started off blogging almost every day it’s now been a few days since my last post so I thought I better get myself back in the groove and let people know what I’ve been doing with myself (the Twitter widget on the homepage should have kept people slightly up-to-date should they have been popping by on occasion!)
It’s been a mixed week, that has involved: administrative things like working out a budget (I’m not good with my own money, though I’m fine with organistational finances), dealing with my bank and the insurance company, and sorting out more stuff to do with my studying here in Cambridge – attempting to work out where the line is in the relationship between my College (St Edmund’s), my House (Wesley) and the Theological Federation can be quite a struggle, especially when their minds are not yet focussed on students actually being present; spending time with the wee one, such as going to feed the ducks after school and helping out with her homework project, for which I have had to contact my folks to get info on Victorian ancestors for a family tree; housework, such as finally getting the flat as we would like it, doing the cleaning and tidying, and switching over the fridge so we have one that is (slightly) more useable in terms of space; and, of course, following the cricket on BBC 5Live Sports Extra, as they offered commentary from around the country (well, the north of England, and to be honest most of it came from Chester-le-Street since that was the only place that got significant amounts of play each day!) in the final four days of the LV= County Championship – I was gutted as Alison Mitchell commentated on the third wicket at Old Trafford that meant that Nottinghamshire had beaten Somerset to the title, Somerset having never in their history won England’s First Class cricket competition and having spent so much of the week in pole position (although Notts did start the week at the top and only the weather in Manchester had allowed Somerset to build up such an advantage over the first 3 days).
Hopefully this evening will bring a better result for this particular Westcountry Boy, as we are all off to Northampton to watch the Bath Rugby boys take on the Saints in a top of the table clash – with the winner becoming the only team in the Aviva Premiership to maintain a perfect record after 3 rounds of matches. With a 7.45pm kick-off it will mean a very late night for the wee one, but this may be one of only a couple of chances we’ll get to see the Blue, Black & White play this season and she doesn’t have school tomorrow so we’re happy to make allowances.
And away from the sport the dominant news item has, of course, been the arrival of the Pope here in the UK. As a theological student and a Student Minister it would be remiss of me not to at least mention this particular occasion. I have to say that I am not bothered about the Pope coming here, by which I mean that it doesn’t actually grab my interest. In other words, my reaction to the statement “The Pope is here in the UK” is “So?” I don’t mean this in a condescending manner. I am pleased for all those who think it is important that he comes here, in particular for those friends of mine who are Catholic and who will have a rare opportunity to see the head of their Church (or, as they would see it, the head of the Church). But I also share some of the frustration of those who feel this should not be a State Visit – while I accept the Pope is, under some technicalities, a Head of State (and I know some who argue that actually, under the proper technicalities, he’s not a Head of State) his influence is not based on being so but on being the head of a Christian denomination – when was the last time we had the Head of State of Monaco, Liechtenstein, Andorra, San Marino or Malta here on such a grand visit, all of whose nations are bigger than the Vatican? In the end, having him here doesn’t do much for me – I’m not a Roman Catholic, though I would use the term catholic (with a small ‘c’) to describe some of my faith positions, mainly to do with the use of liturgy and sacrament; I know what the official RC positions on most major articles of Christian faith are and I know the current Pope is a conservative and won’t be changing them any time soon – if he does then my attention will certainly be grabbed; I know what he looks like and don’t have a personal desire to see him in person; what he says will not change my mind and make me a Roman Catholic nor will anything he says stop me from disliking how he and other senior Catholics have dealt with the scandal of child-abuse (present in other denominations and, no doubt, other faiths as well) but also recognising that just because some priests/nuns/laity behaved like that doesn’t mean the majority should be painted with the same brush. So, I wish the Pope welcome, I wish those who have or who are going to see him a joyous time, and I suggest to those who, like me, aren’t bothered by his visit to just carry on ignoring it – oh, and to those who wish to spend the whole of his visit being nasty about him, I’m not listening to you either!
It would also be remiss of me not to say “Welcome” to Lanky Anglican, who I am reliably informed has safely arrived in Cambridge to begin studying alongside me in a couple of weeks time. So, welcome Lanky and family, and I look forward to meeting up with you soon.