The predicted heavy rain started this morning and The Collie and I ventured out onto the moor in the early morning. It was too blustery for The Lakeland, even if she was dressed in her wax jacket, her double layer coat soaks up the rain and it takes all day for her to dry. I was tasked with the dog walk as The Curate had his first experience of 'the big church' in the nearby town. This is a large church with a congregation of around 150 people. Its tradition leans towards formal but it is warm and welcoming and has a fantastic musical tradition. And it is quite a long way from The Curate's Methodist roots and church experience.
When The Curate started his journey, I was reluctant and unsure about seeing my husband in a cassock and I remember asking him never to wear a dress ( that was when he was training as a Methodist Local Preacher). Well I have been nudged along by a very gentle God as The Curate has been trained by the Church of England. Little by little I have found that my toes have stopped curling up and that I can relax and accept my husband in this new role. I have hardly noticed myself changing yet both of us started with very strong views about wearing vestments and felt that vestments made a minister less accessible. I have written before about The Curate's view of wearing a collar and he reluctantly bought his cassock and surplice at the beginning of his curacy and now wears them confidently. Milestone after milestone is passed and today he wore vestments. The thought of wearing these had been a huge hurdle for The Curate and he struggled with his decision. It was interesting to see how his gradual acceptance and realisation that it was not about how he felt but about serving the church - and this church expected to see their priest in vestments.
Just to add to the experience The Curate found out only this week that the Diocesan Director of Ordinands was delivering the sermon as it was Vocations Sunday. No pressure then! The Curate was not responsible for choosing the hymns and we were both stunned to find 'Living Lord' was one of the hymns. This has followed us through our life together, often appearing at times when a little reassurance is needed. I am pleased to be able to report that The Curate did not trip over his alb (first time of wearing), did not send the communion wine flying with his flowing robes and covered up forgetting the collect prayer by moving it to later in the service (when he realised)......and my toes didn't curl once!