The smell of elderflowers

A window at the Church of St. Cross which I visited on 5th June for it's flower festival
A window at the chapel of St. Cross, Winchester which I visited on 5th June for it's flower festival

A rather rambling update… it must have been the scent that went to my head!

Today was the first time all week I’ve had chance to give the dog a good walk. It was lovely to be up on the airport in the breeze, and as I came out onto the tarac at the top the scent from the elderflowers was really quite intense. They seem to have lingered well into June this year, as I normally associate them with late May.

A simple dog walk but a lot to see: Kestrel, Stonechat (m), Meadow Pippit, hawking dragonfly zoomed past in the breeze but so fast I couldn’t see what it was, Small Heath and Meadow Brown butterflies, and best of all a little brown bird which had a piercing two-tone note and a pale coloured chin… with no binoculars with me I couldn’t see an eye-stripe but I think it was probably a Chiff-Chaff. There was a Skylark singing as well, but like often, I couldn’t actually see it against the sun.

Life has been frenetically busy because last week and early this week, was full of conversations: those important things that build relationships and help us understand where people are and what their needs are… even if they don’t quite tell us what they really mean. There was a special chance to catch up with my placement vicar who gave me much to think about, and a few ideas for some of the issues floating round my patch at present. I’m looking forward to more opportunities to work with them in Basingstoke, at some point in the not to distant future.

But all that valuable talking meant I got behind with other things. I’ve spent the rest of the week battling with a bumper issue of ‘Archway’ for Mothers’ Union Diocese of Winchester, 28 pages of inspiring and useful stuff. I’ve just posted off the proof copies to be read by those with more eagle-eyes than mine.

Next up: a service and sermon for Mid-Week Morning Prayer next Wednesday, and far more worrying an assessed presentation for Sat 27th June which is the next Reader Training assignment. I need to think about the theology of ‘redefining ability’… why we should, and how, we make what we do in church life more accessible (and I don’t mean physically) for those with ‘labels’ remembering that we don’t always know what those labels are, as some people will try and hide their difficulties. It’s the thinking about why we do this, and how God (in full trinitarian guise, according to our assessment criteria) can take an active role in it, that needs to form the main part of my presentation, as it’s being marked for theological reflection rather than presentation skills.

Currently I’m very short of source material… oh, and time!



  1. Hi….
    I just turned on my computer to have a last look at the Chester Diocesan Magazine before sending a copy to our printer, when your message came up on google alerts for Mothers’ Union.
    Good luck with all you do.
    Were you at Croydon? I’ve just got back from there – hence finished our summer edition with an article on that!
    I know what you mean about being in the right place – I had just retired when I got further roped in to Mothers’ Union.
    Best Wishes


  2. Delighted to find a Mothers’ Union friend out in the world of the web… Unfortunately commitments meant I couldn’t get to our General Meeting in Croydon, but I will be attending the Mothers’ Union marketing conference at Swanwick in September, just 10 days before my Licensing!

    September is going to be a very busy month… wedding, guests from Tanzania speaking at church (with me leading the service), residential weekend, MU conference, pre-licensing retreat… over an above the day-to-day tasks of wife, mother, daughter….


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