Chris and I are quickly settling into our new home. It’s – cosy – in comparison with the Rectory but we felt we ‘belonged’ here from the day we moved in. And there is so much for which we are thankful apart from this lovely house. The fact we have a small patio garden; the quietness of the area and cleanness of the air here at the very top of Shooters Hill; magnificent views across London from outside the house and, a stone’s throw away, wonderful views over north Kent. And then the ancient Oxleas Woods at the end of the road where we walked on Sunday and were filled with a sense of lightness as we relished the space and beauty of the place. Ancient trees and open spaces, pathways leading in many directions and a feeling of being in the countryside. But we also have a choice of railways into the City or West End!
We have almost completed the work we wanted to do on the house and bought what was needed to fit into this smaller space. But there have, inevitably, been teething problems, some of which are irritating, and some expensive! Guess it’s always the same. But the one, on-going and seemingly unsolvable problem is that there is virtually no mobile phone coverage in the area. And that in spite of (or because of?) the array of masts on the Hill, one of which towers above our home. Strange how such a recently introduced devise has become an essential part of life.
I have been to Mass at the parish church (Christ Church) and it so reminded me of St. Andrew’s – even to the singing of ‘Happy Birthday’! Evening Prayer is celebrated just once during the week, so I hope to join the parish priest on Thursday’s. But I intend exploring other churches in the area and will next attend Mass at All Saint’s, Blackheath.
Chris is now well into his studies at UCL and, after some problems with the internet, is now able to do the required online work. Gone are the days of written essays! I have begun work on the London Course in Spiritual Direction again and am looking forward to offering a Course in the City on ‘Exploring Christian Spirituality’. But I want to have six months without making any further plans for the future, a period to rest and settle into this new way of living and see what emerges in the process. At present I am still, technically, Rector of St. Andrew’s as my resignation of the Living doesn’t take effect until October 28th. And then, for the first time in 35 years, I will not be within the structure of a community. And that will be strange…