JUST BACK from a quick canter over to Mirfield to restore our ordinand, Paul Deakin, to the bosom of the College and Community. Even in late evening light it looked glorious in Autumn colours. First Evensong for All Saints was quiet, measured and just right, and I’ve been imagining a rather glorious Feast Day scenario ‘pon the morrow. It was great to meet some of Paul’s fellow ordinands and Fr Peter, the new Principal, the warmth of whose hospitality was matched by a splendid dinner of gammon and chips! :).
It’s especially good that Paul seems entirely at home there already. Six weeks in – and notwithstanding that I know he’s a happily married father of four – he looks, in cassock and scapular, as though he’s been a member of CR for years. There’s a glow about him, and he speaks warmly, as do some of his fellow students, of having a sense that there’s a purposeful programme of formation taking shape in their lives. It’s impressive that some speak openly of the difficulties that that involves for them, even as they speak of having “been led to the right place”. I loved my training years in Salisbury 30+ years ago. At dinner tonight I found myself wishing I could begin again. But don’t we all?