Several people have prompted me that I have not updated on "the move" for quite a while - so this brief update will save me repeating myself.
+ I am now in my last three weeks at Oakworth with my final Sunday on May 18th - I hand over to the Wardens and the Ministry Team in the week beginning 5th May, and then the final week beginning the 12th is a dizzy round of farewells and visiting individuals. It is hard to put into words how strange this already feels - and I can't see it getting better until the deed is done. I will hugely miss Oakworth and its people.
+I have already started shedding my other commitments in youth work, spiritual direction and music some of which go back over a 15 years. To date this "moving on" has been a very positive experience - it is sense groups and organisations move on without me at a time of considerable strength for most of them. The personal farewells are inevitably more difficult.
We are moving to an excellent Chaplaincy House in Linlithgow which is both easily accessible to the motorway networks for the national part of the role and to Grangemouth where I will have a two day a week face to face base. Details of address and telephone etc will be emailed out when they are finalised. Initially I will be working from home until I can review the advisability of an office base for the work.
+ From a family point of view the house is different from No 18 - much more modern but smaller in some respects. Scots will understand me when I say that it is in the important secondary school catchment area - and we look forward to life in Linlithgow as a town - and the access to many leisure and music places as well.
+ We are moving 27-29th May, and I start the chaplaincy work on 2nd June. The initial few weeks will be taken up with induction and orientation and during the early part of July two weeks family holiday.
+ There will be a commissioning/licencing service in September at a time and venue yet to be agreed. This feels good to me because it will be a gathering of people that I have already had the chance to meet. I will post the details here when they are known.
Having past 50 without too much sense of its significance last summer while I was sabbatical - I now move towards celebrating 30 years of full-time ministry in the July with a whole new range of opportunities in front of me.
I realised the other week travelling down from Scotland that this kind of move would have scared me witless only a few years ago!
Now perhaps age has blessed me with a new realism while at the same time adding experience, and hopefully none the less energy.
I have much appreciated people's encouragement and support, (particularly from Scotland) over the past few months as we negotiate this move.