End of College Year
Well, today I gave in my last essay, last week we had our end of year 'Wild West' party, and on Saturday was the valedictory service when we said goodbye to all the leavers who are going off to their curacies, which felt very wierd. I can't believe how quickly this year has gone. It's very strange to think that in a year's time it will be me saying goodbye to the good friends I've made at Trinity and moving off to who knows where.
I now have a week of chilling (along with doing some research, of course) before I start my summer placement at Christchurch, Clevedon. I'm looking forward to it as they seem like a very friendly and encouraging church. It will be good to see what the day to day business of ministry looks like. Then we're off to Cornwall for a week's camping with friends which I'm really looking forward to.
This year has been quite a challenge for me. Whilst on the whole I have enjoyed my time at college, and it has been a real privilege to meet so many amazing people and be part of a fantastic community, I found myself quite early on having a crisis of self-confidence which knocked me for six. It has taken me all year to get work through it, and I'm not quite there yet if I'm honest. It manifested itself in me becoming extremely introverted and shy at times. When this happens I find it really difficult to express myself in a group, or even in writing or blogging or whatever. I then start to think that I can't express myself, or that I have little to contribute, or that I'm too quiet or not dynamic enough or whatever. It is a vicious circle which I'm sure may have a spiritual dynamic to it. In a strange way, training at college can be quite deskilling. Thankfully I have made some great friends at Trinity who have prayed for me and encouraged me. At the valedictory service on Saturday we had a fantastic sermon from the Bishop of Barking who was basically saying that the basis of all ministry is to know that we are loved by the Father, and that he is well pleased with us, like Jesus heard after his baptism. So simple but so profound. I need to know this in my bones if I'm to survive in my future ministry.
The other week I had to write a years worth of 'learning journal' in a day. 16 entries of reflection on various aspects of my training at Trinity. Never one to miss an opportunity to recycle stuff I've written (no matter how low the quality) I thought I might post some of the entries on here. Should take care of a couple of week's blogging.