“He, too, is a winner of wars”

It feels good to be back for my first full week of work since Christmas. As Monday is my day off, today is the first day of the week for me.When I first started this job, I found not having any time off at the weekend very difficult. It meant that I didn’t have the same day off as any of my friends, and I felt like they were all out having “wild times” on Saturdays whilst I was stuck doing church set-up and covering myself in glue and glitter, preparing for the Sunday school. Yet, these days, I find it a bit of a relief to have some time completely to myself on Mondays and to do things that I enjoy with very little compromise, especially as it often feels like the rest of the week is filled with lots of negotiating! This morning was our first team meeting when everyone was back after Christmas, and it was exciting to think about the coming weeks ahead. As we’re already into the middle of January, I feel even more acutely aware that the next 7 months will go very quickly and I’ll soon be at theological college where there will be no chance of “normal” parish life for the next three years…

I’m busy developing a computer system to help us measure some of the impact of the community projects that we run, and when I’m not doing that, much of my time is filled with thinking about February half-term and trips and events for the children and young people. There’s likely to be plenty of food, mess and a healthy dose of complete chaos! I’m also thinking ahead to camps and residential trips for the teenagers and older children for the summer holidays, and wondering whether risk assessments achieve anything other than complete panic on my part. And then, towards the end of the day, there came the news of the death of an elderly member of our community. As our parish is predominantly filled with families, we are unusual in that we don’t have to face the inevitability of death too often. Yet, when a person is ready for the end, this can make it slightly easier for those left behind. The person in question was a fighter, and as I think a bit about him this evening, I am reminded of the last two lines from R.S. Thomas’ “A Peasant”:

“Remember him, then, for he, too, is a winner of wars,
Enduring like a tree under the curious stars.”


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