We heard this week that Andy has been selected to begin training for ordained ministry after a successful National Selection Conference at the end of May. It's been a long journey - it was more than 10 years ago when he was first encouraged to consider that God might be calling him to this - so blame Fr Tim Jones if you so wish!! We've been exploring the call in different ways ever since.
It was 2 years ago when it really all became clear that now was the time to pursue it. After a family day out at Great Notley at the tail end of a back injury that I had suffered, we found some space and time to think during one of Matilda's naps and came to the conclusion, from different perspectives that the call was still 'live' and the time was now.
So after monthly meetings with the Diocesan Director of Ordinands, a practice selection conference weekend at Audley End, interviews with Archdeacon and Vocations Advisers and lots of paperwork - as well as copious prayers, tears, stomach churnings and other associated nervous twitches, we finally got the call to say 'YES', 12 days after the selection conference had finished!
What now? Well, the house is sold in Maldon and we're moving to Billericay so Andy can easily get into London for training/lectures one day a week at St Paul's Theological Centre (part of St Mellitus College). We'll be based at Emmanuel Church, Billericay where Andy will serve as an ordinand on placement and learn the ropes for 3 days a week. Another day a week of study and some family time and his week is complete! He finishes at Plume School at the end of August and we hope to have moved in early August, giving enough time to get the house in order before my husband and daughter both start in education!!
Lots to do before then - the practical things of packing and clearing out and downsizing as well as the emotional elements of saying goodbye to friends and moving on from the youth group we started last year...we're not going far but we are moving into a very different way of life...
And then there's just the small matter of Baby Squid arriving sometime in late September/early October...so plenty to keep us busy!
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(maybe this is more Andy's style?!)