Spring 2023 update from the Friends of the Diocese
An update from the Friends of the Diocese Secretary, Jeanne French.
Life has been overwhelming recently following my husband’s accident after which he was hospitalised. I have been beamed into an alternative universe where everything is alien. I have had to find a new vocabulary and understand the way in which such institutions work to get the best out of a challenging situation. Many of you will have experienced something similar. Gratitude to the nurse on a weekend duty, who helped my husband shave off a fourteen-day beard (way beyond the fashionable stubble stage) and found his own pyjamas. This was a small kindness with a big impact.
In all the chaos I was profoundly glad that I was communicating in English, my first language. That is why I, along with the members of the Friends’ Committee, on your behalf, like to support language tuition for the clergy of the diocese because you never know what is around the corner either personally or professionally that will call upon a skill in the local language.
Services may be in English, though not always, but day-to-day life and ministry in the larger community will be in the national language. It should be also remembered that a level of attainment in the national language is increasingly a requirement for obtaining a visa without which it is impossible for clergy to live and minister in a particular country. The Committee was told recently that the post-interview processes for appointees have become challenging, time consuming and, as a result, expensive. It would good if the Friends were able to do more in this particular area but current resources are modest making it difficult to make a real impact.
At the February meeting three language tuition grants were approved with a fourth a few weeks later. The recipients have expressed their gratitude to you.
An update on the outline plan for the Annual Service is not available but hopefully there will be something to report soon.
If the season of Lent has been full of Good Fridays for you too, knowing that Easter is on the horizon does provide a focus of hope.
With all good wishes for Easter and beyond,