A day in the life

Bath taps

Who says that clergy don’t have interesting and varied days? Not me, for one.

Mine began, as usual, waking up to the Today Programme on BBC Radio 4. When I got up, boy was I sore from weights and cycling the last two days. Having read something the other night in a small Men’s Health booklet I rediscovered that long, deep, white bucket in the bathroom and soaked myself for 20 minutes while reading the latest edition of Private Eye that Mr Postman had kindly delivered. What a decent fellow he is.

Just as I was about to go out to see my Spiritual Director the telephone rang. It was a retired medical doctor ringing to get help with his Psion Series 7 and copy of PsiWin (the software that allows you to connect a Psion to a PC).

That sorted and the promise of a follow-up email about connecting a Psion Series 7 to the internet I headed out for my six weekly appointment with my Spiritual Director. The theologian Kenneth Leech prefers the term “Soul Friend” but the idea is the same. As Leech says

“The spiritual life is the life of the whole person directed towards God”
(Soul Friend, p.30)

During these sessions I speak about what is important in my life, what is happening on all levels, not just my prayer life but everything. My Spiritual Director listens and asks questions; usually the right questions.

Today we focused a lot on what I’ll do once my current post ends at the end of April. My Spiritual Director helped me to look beyond my immediate feelings of guilt about leaving a full-time stipendiary ministry post to explore the next stage in my personal development and journey. What I do next — whatever it is — is not about me giving up my ministry or my priesthood. Rather, it is a continuation of it, and further use of the gifts that God has given me, some of which I’m not able to use fully in my current role.

This afternoon after lunch — which had to be quickly replanned after I discovered that the low-fat mayonnaise I’d just dolloped onto my can of tuna was seven months out of date — I prepared for a meeting with my colleague Nicola this evening, where I would begin to hand over information about St Salvador’s, as she will be heading-up the St Salvador’s end of things at the end of this month. Our official handing-over service will be on Sunday 29 January; the Sunday after next.

During the afternoon I followed up an email from my cousin Zack in the US who is currently working on a screenplay. I ended up phoning South Eastern Trains to ask them what they announce aboard trains as they are about to enter terminal stations. Never a dull moment my life, I tell you!

This evening, having returned from the handover meeting, and having discovered how much the church would like from us in rent should we stay on in this house after April, I helped the Americans overthrow a Chinese military coup. Like you do.

Oh, in Battlefield 2, I meant to say. And now Jane has returned from her two-and-a-half day work-related jaunt in Highland, Caithness and Moray.

Still no word from Eddie and Rebecca about how Owen is. He got out of SCBU yesterday and was back on the ward. They were due to get home today.

What did you do today?

Published by

Gareth Saunders

I’m Gareth J M Saunders, 52 years old, 6′ 4″, father of 3 boys (including twins). Enneagram type FOUR and introvert (INFP), I am a non-stipendiary priest in the Scottish Episcopal Church, I sing with the NYCGB alumni choir, play guitar, play mahjong, write, draw and laugh… Scrum master at Safeguard Global; latterly at Sky and Vision/Cegedim. Former web architect and agile project manager at the University of St Andrews and previously warden at Agnes Blackadder Hall.

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