Thursday, 14 January 2010

Malcolm’s Sab Notes

1. The journey so far…..
January 7, 2010
Last Monday I started a 3 month sabbatical. It is 1994 since my last one and a lot of water has flowed under the bridge since then. We left Woking, after 16 years as Vicar of a busy town centre church, and moved to Wiltshire as I had been appointed Director of Ordinand’s and Curate Training for the Diocese of Bristol. A fascinating, creative and privileged role yet also at times the obvious frustrations for people like me. (answers on a postcard…)
Related to all this was a personal coming to terms with a deep sense of loss having left our ‘community’ and family in Woking and the subsequent change in leadership role. In all this I became more aware of how far short of ‘wholeness’ I really am, and of the amazing, unlimited yet not ‘cheap’ grace of God and the love he’s given me in family and friendship.
In future blogs I will seek to share with you my journey over these coming weeks. Time being spent with people whose life and call is to encourage the C of E – the whole ‘laos’ as it were – to focus on our core calling as church to be engaged in contextually sensitive mission. I will also share some of the reasons I believe that my experiences as Vicar of three churches in West London, in probably one of the most culturally diverse areas in the UK, has led me to consider that there may-be systemic reasons why the Church of England is inhibited in this regard. (He said humbly.....)
The big issue, as we all know, is how we as church are engaging and being Good News with people whatever lifestyle choices they make, sexual orientation they are or cultural context they inhabit. This, I think is more about me not ‘them’. As a Christ follower will I take the risk of being seen to compromise and to focus on ‘tabernacling with’ others. Like Peter am I expecting the Lord to reshape my cultural (including ‘churchworld’) assumptions and with Paul even contemplate surrendering the freedom I have so that others may be blessed with the grace of God in Jesus.
Just to bore readers even more I am seeking to visit some old friends in terms of books that I have known and loved over the years and see if they still push the buttons as it were. Ward, McClaren, Croft,Reid, Smail, Yancey, Nouwen, Hybels, Bosch, Ortberg, Lewis, Willard, Frost and Hirsch etc etc Any other suggestions gratefully received as are your contributions to this blog.


  1. Well done for getting your blog set up! Looking forward to following your journey. x

  2. Malcolm

    thanks for sharing this journey with us, and somewhat publicly.
    Iam looking forward to the next installment

    Best Wishes, Stephen

  3. Great stuff Malcolm. Hope you enjoy the journey.