There's lots of 'firsts' around at the moment, but my first Sunday at SMR is one of the more significant ones.
It began at 8am, when I deaconed (assisted) at the Eucharist. Other than vergers and the other priest, I did know at least one of the congregation, who used to attend at Cotham. Nice to see a familiar face.
My real beginning was the 9.30am Eucharist. There were about 200 people there, but it felt good to be leading worship again after a break. I preached my first sermon (on the first two commandments) and sang the first part of the eucharistic prayer. It was fun, and with the help of servers, vergers and others I didn't do too much wrong. There were lots of young people involved and the choir were superb.
One complete change of robes later, and by 11.15am I was taking Mattins. The choir sang a beautiful anthem (a negro spiritual) and I led some prayers. No sermon expected, fortunately.
After Mattins, we had lunch. Lots of people had stayed and we had a very good time. It was farewell (for the moment) to the priest who had been working very hard during the interregnum and who is taking a 6 month sabattical, and hello to Jacky and me. There was plenty of wine and food and great fun. There's no way I'll remember all the names, however.
After lunch a couple of hours off - we collapsed at home for half an hour before taking advantage of the weather to walk along the harbourside (ferry trip included). We've never really done that before, and it's nice to be able to do it from our front door. Lots of things to look at and do, and great to take friends and visitors.
Back to work with the Redcliffe Rebels - a post-confirmation group of 10-13 year olds. They were very lively and good fun, although it took them a while to warm up and think of some questions to ask me. I look forward to lots of fun with them!
Straight from the Rebels to Evensong. I sang the Office and the choir were, once again, excellent. It was nice to finish the day as it started with some familiar faces in the congregation.
By this time I was shattered. So Jacky and I repaired to a local hostelry for some food. The day ended with us sitting listening to some live jazz, with a large glass of red wine and some good food.
A great way to spend a Sunday, imho.