I inhabit a variety of spaces on the peninsula.
In the summer there are lots of benches to sit on. Well … they are there in the winter too but it is not as comfortable sitting on them then.
During the colder months I have taken to sitting in Cafe Pura and Craft. Both are spaces with coffee but both are very different spaces. Cafe Pura tends to serve the residents from GMV while Craft tends to serve more the workers of the peninsula plus those passing through.
Even before I moved here and started the role a question was, and still is, who am I to serve here as the team vicar?
Am I to try and connect with the residents and birth church with those that are interested, or should I link with those that are here in the day and work in the buildings around.
And what about the 280 or so students that live on the peninsula … is there a role to play in supporting them while they stay here?
Then there is the building workforce … I can count 17 new buildings between me and The Thames that have been built in just the 16 months that I have lived here. There is a large workforce that makes that happen. oh … and the thousands of visitors we have each day … what about them?
Of course the answer is ‘Yes’.
In an ideal world we should be looking to engage and serve every single one of those communities. But I am not in an ideal world. I am part time team vicar for 4 days and then school chaplain for 2. I also only have a 3 year contract which we are nearly half way through.
Those ‘limitations’ means we have had to focus whilst keeping an open mind and willingness to hear what God might be saying. This has meant I have been ‘inhabiting’ all these spaces and waiting to see where I come across the people of peace that want to work together to serve the various fledgling communities on the peninsula. While being in these spaces and listening and watching I believe it has been important to intentionally have a blank sheet … so that whatever we grow here grows around the people that are involved rather than the other way round. So … in other words I am looking for interested people to develop something with … not looking for people to get involved in something I have already thought up.
There is a possibility that I have now moved from seeing no ways forward to now being in a position where there are a variety of avenues to walk along to support and bless the people of the peninsula. 2017 is looking bright … er!
Over the next few weeks I will be using the blog to reflect on these and push ideas around … and I invite you to join me in that conversation as you have done in the past.
This will probably be the last post this side of Christmas …. apart from the customary photoshopped design Christmas Card that will appear here tomorrow.
See you on the other side …..