A Diaconal Detour

This is a guest blog from our part-time curate Carol

“As some of you will know I have been absent from HPC for a few months.

The reason for my absence was so that I could take up a placement with the Mirfield team parish.  God must have had his own plan for all this because things didn’t always go to our human plans!

Although I have been a Curate at HPC for quite some time there are some gaps in my experience. Due mainly to the fact that HPC does not host many occasional offices in the form of funerals. We tend not to get the funerals of people who aren’t church goers simply because we don’t have the local population in the same way that parishes like Mirfield do.

So having spoken to Rev.d Hugh Baker I disappeared off to St Mary’s Church.

It was quite different from here at HPC in a few little details, but I have to say that the people of St Mary’s welcomed me with open arms, I very soon felt like part of the family.  It did feel strange, in a good way, to be able to walk to church. The good part was that it often meant I met people along the way. It’s always lovely to get a cheerful ‘good morning’ from someone as they pass. (Even more so if the person has a dog with them).  Since I now live in Mirfield, being involved in the local church felt like being another step into the community.

The first Sunday there I was offered and accepted a lift home after the service, that in itself was really nice. As I got out of the car, Val invited me to join some of the ladies the following Friday evening at the local Indian restaurant. Never one to turn down an invitation to eat out I gladly accepted. Another step into the community.

I was invited to join the ladies on the cleaning team, again accepted.

Those small differences I mentioned: The services are slightly different times, although very similar in style to HPC. There is a small, robed choir, servers but only 2. The wording in parts of the communion are different and having got used to those I find I have to read the service sheet very carefully. But these things are good as they make me take notice and concentrate.

As I stated at the beginning, the reason for my placement was to have experience of leading at occasional offices, particularly funerals. That went really ‘well’ to begin with. Sadly, for the families concerned, we had a few, with the plan being for me to build up to the point of preparation and planning then leading by myself.  Then things came to a halt. The entire population of Mirfield became healthy! Hence having spent a few months on the detour, I have learned a lot, both about myself and how other parishes work. So although the main aim of the placement might not have been fully addressed, it was a very useful, informative time and certainly a time of personal growth.

It is quite likely that once I am signed off my curacy I will move to another parish; I will miss HPC of course but moving feels like the right thing. The Diaconal Detour turned out to be a really good one, although not in the ways we might have planned, but God’s hand is very clear in the midst of it all.

Rev Deacon Carol.

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