Ordination training involves a series of goodbyes. Here’s the first in a series of goodbye letters I’ll be writing over the course of my training.
Dear 2019 Wycliffe Hall Leavers,
Your reports are written, assignments are in; you’ve been commissioned and the dust, or rather glitter, has settled over College following last night’s ball. It’s time for you to go. But, if I’m honest, I wish you weren’t! You have all meant so much to me and I do not have the words (or the ability to type through the tears) to adequately express my deep love for you and gratitude to you for all you have done for me.
So, thank you.
Thank you for being so welcoming, for providing encouragement that vicar school is hard and crazy and that it’s normal to feel overwhelmed. Thank you for the coffee and cake breaks where you patiently listened to me. Thank you for setting the best example of what Christian leadership looks like. Thank you for those late nights and early mornings in the garden of 2A with slightly soggy cigars. Thank you for being rowdier than a hen party and thank you for yelling cheeky words under the Bridge of Sighs!
Thank you for preaching with tenderness. Thank you for sitting with me and the other women in our pain. Thank you for asking how to champion the women in your churches. Thank you for fighting for us when we had lost the strength to. Thank you for when you dispersed yourselves through the chapel so that each woman would be sat with a man who never for a moment doubted that God had called her to be there. Thank you for seeing the image of God in me – it helped set me free.
Thank you for your humour. Thank you for your integrity. Thank you for your deep, deep love of Jesus and the Bible and mission and proclaiming his truth throughout the world. Thank you for long, squished car journeys to Blackpool and hours in the freezing rain. Thank you for inviting us to your homes. Thank you for letting us cuddle your babies. Thank you for trusting us. Thank you for roses on Valentine’s and anonymous pick-me-ups left in pigeon holes. Thank you to your husband and wives who loved us too!
Thank you for taking the time to get to know us. Thank you for loving us. Thank you for loving God in such a way that it made us love him all the more.
I don’t want you to leave. It’s too painful! And College will be so dull without you! But I also can’t wait for you to leave. I can’t wait to see what God has in store for you. I can’t wait to see those dog collars in and sexy shoes on (N/A guys!) and watch you change the world for God’s glory.
So thank you, friends. It is an honour to be your friend and to have spent this time with you. So, go tell the story of God’s love – I’ll catch you up!
Are you an ordinand? Would you like to write for ‘Confessions of a Trainee Vicar?’ Use the ‘Contact’ page to get in touch, I’d love to hear from you – and I know others would to!