Mike, husband and vicar of St. Matthew’s here in St. Leonards-on-Sea has recently embarked on a 4 month sabbatical. At the half way mark I thought it would be a good idea to see how things are going both for Mike and our church family.
St. Matthew’s (SM)
We hope you are enjoying your, er, well it’s not a holiday strictly speaking is it? We’re slightly confused when Lisa refers to it as ‘swanning off’ but we feel sure everything you are doing is in order to recharge the batteries.
I’m enjoying my sabbatical greatly thank you and please correct my wife when she sees fit to cause mischief! You are right in that it’s not a holiday, though I did receive a great deal of grief from my family during my recent pilgrimage to Israel. It didn’t help that the weather in England was dire when I flew out. I had to promise on pain of death that:(A) I wouldn’t enjoy myself and (B) not come home with a tan. In fact my stay there was unbelievably hot but a great experience. There is so much conjecture about whether the sites in question really were historically accurate; the garden tomb, the place of Christ’s birth. But Jesus would definitely have heard the sounds of Lake Galilee, just as I did and I found that an amazing idea.
So you are at the Rectory but not at church? We say to Lisa each week be sure to tell Mike we miss him. She says you have been under her feet and still ignore the ironing pile.
It’s true that I’m actually mostly at home whilst not actually serving at church. Unfortunately Lisa has been tempted to see this period of time as having a ‘house husband’ and frequently has lists of things for me to do round the house! Putting that to one side, the sabbatical has been a great chance to have chunks of time to think and pray about the direction we at St Matthews are going. It has also been an opportunity to read some inspirational books which have helped me as I think about the future and where I believe God is taking us. As you know I’ve walked the South Downs Way which I used as an opportunity to fund raise for CMA.* I’ve also been to a monastery for a retreat weekend. As for church attendance, it has been a useful time to visit other churches in the local area and support them.
During this time we wouldn’t dream of invading your personal space. Should we bump into you in Asda’s perusing L’Oreal Men’s Anti-Fatigue face cream shall we pretend we didn’t see you or would you welcome a greeting?
It’s a sabbatical so no need to treat me like Typhoid Mary! Please say hello! However if in the next breath you are informing me that the curate has absconded to Rio with the parish funds; please save it till September when I come back to work.
Love in Jesus,
* CardioMyopathy Association.