New Year, New Term, New Student…
Having only heard tht I’d been recoomended for training in late June, and having a fairly busy summer with the family, I was still processing the reality of it all when September hit!! Slowly the information began to trickle in from college and thanks to the wonders of 21 C technology all of us new first years were able to talk and start to panic each other! It is a very strange experience to start work on a course with a distinct year group, with whom you know you are going to be working, but not to have met them yet, nor to have a First Day of Term!
One unit of the first module down, our first residential weekend was a fortnight ago, a beautiful sunny late September weekend in the perfect setting of Salisbury Cathedral Close. My previous four years of study 20 odd years ago, began in the not architecturally dissimilar surroundings of Cambridge, on similarly beautiful autumn days so it did feel familiar!
The weekend was great – very encouraging, and energising, time to start getting to know the others with whom we would be working for the next 3 years, and plenty of wondering exactly how we got there and pinching ourselves as it still didn’t seem real! Real it very much is though and I think we all left on the Sunday afternoon feeling ready to get on with the study and really enjoy the next few years as we prepare for what God is calling us to.
As a rather fitting finale to the weekend, 2 of my fellow students & I slipped into the start of the 750 year celebration of the consecration of teh Cathedral in 1258. The Archbishop of Canterbury had preached & presided that morning and in the afternoon he was due to consecrate the new font – which is a thing of incredible beauty & symbolism, in a special service. We knew we couldn’t stay for the whole service and indeed would not have attempted to as we’d been told it was ticket only and packed out – however we managed, with the help of some sympathetic stewards, to stand unobtrusively by the south door, hoping to see the processions – what we hadn’t realised that ++Rowan was making his entrance through the massive West doors, to where the choir and cathedral chapter had processed, we were literally yards away, right next to the offical film camera! It was quite a spectacular entrace, with trumpets, the choir singing and colour and amazing sound everywhere. Salisbury certainly were giving him a welcome!
Sadly we had to slope off then, but it was a fitting end to a fairly amazing weekend!