Monday, July 17, 2006

It's Nailsea

Last week it was announced that I had been appointed as a vicar about 100 miles away from Leamington. This left those to whom the secret had not leaked (and it was the worst kept secret in Christendom) working out where it might be and thinking London or Liverpool. It's just south of Bristol, for those who still don't know.

Nailsea means 'Island in the sea' and is in that strange, low-level bit of land where the sea used to be, so in the Stone Age or thereabouts it was an island. You drive over a causeway to get into town and do go across fertile, but in places marshy, ground. There was a tsunami in the seventeenth century and it became an island again. All this means that it is not really on the way to anywhere so you don't go there unless you are going there. 20,000 or so people live there. Big enough for Specsavers and Boots; too small for Starbucks. Didn't notice a McDonalds.

It is not far from Gordano Services at Junction 19 of the M5 so coffee on the way to your holidays in Cornwall is always a possibility.

I will be Associate Vicar in the Nailsea Local Ministry Group with responsibility for the Trendlewood Church Plant from Holy Trinity and also for Fresh Expressions of ministry in the whole town, working with three parishes (six churches). I hope this means I will get to do all the fun and entertaining things while everyone else does the dirty work. Er yeah. I will be working hard to talk emerging church language rather than F***h E*********s.

Liz has been given a new area by Cargo so she can keep her job. We will hope to move in late September and I will be licensed on October 9th, which is a Monday evening. Come and throw things.

Liz managed, by extreme coincidence, to crash a meal with some old friends in Bath on the same night that the Bishop of Bath and Wells and his wife were coming to dinner and I haven't yet heard that the job offer has been revoked. Come to think of it if all potential employers had met Liz first I might have had more job offers. Despite the Black Adder episode which suggested it, he doesn't eat babies. Not for dinner anyway.

Anyway it's kinda exciting but we've been in Leamington 14 years and the roots are deeper than the flippin' bindweed which is now attacking our delicious potatoes.

I notice my old friend Jon Russell is going to move from the Isle of Wight to Allendale so we may pass on some motorway or other.

Enough local and personal news. Will try and write some more interesting stuff over the next few days. We haven't had a heated debate for a while.


Tim Sudworth said...

why emerging church rather than f***h e********n ? intrigued

Kathryn said...

Congratulations,- sounds like a really good place - great re-ordering too. Disappointed by the lack of baby eating bishop, though :-(

Anonymous said...

There is no McDonalds, Praise the Lord!
The Causeway is now only a minor route into Nailsea sometimes used by locals. Most residents use one of the 3 other routes.We do NOT live in the middle of a marsh, this is the 21st Century.

Chris said...

That all sounds quite exciting, but what's going on in the photo on this page?!?!

Martin said...

Expect many visitors in October half term (It's on the way to Torquay).

St said...


Tim. I think Fresh Expressions would be a great name for a paint colour or a personal hygiene product - think those toilet smells away with Fresh Expressions - but emerging helps me think about something new coming out of something old. So it's personal prejudice not theology.

Anonymous. Obviously I drilled straight into the nerve of your small-town complex. Be comforted. I can be even more insensitive in person. I know you are part of the mainland now. I've driven into town on all, er three or four of the minor roads and also the major B road. This Friday I hope to try the railway line. Exciting isn't it this 21st Century living stuff?

Chris. Photo was taken at the Larkins farewell party before the cosmetic dentistry. Didn't realise it would be ending up quite so public.

Martin. You can't all come for coffee at once. Draw lots. Losers come.

Andy Mackay said...

Nailsea... been there once - remember it being small but really quite nice. Kinda cool its near Bristol so your not really in the middle of no where

Rich Burley said...

Congratulations on your new post! I guess with the emerging stuff in Nailsea there's more than a good coffee shop to keep you sane.

'Fresh Expressions' does seem to give off a slightly dumbed-down vibe - perhaps a kind of 'Conversion of Constantine' moment for the emerging church, although I hope not.

Thinking of writing a Fresh Expressions rap to the tune of "The Theme from S Express", Anglicans trying to be cool and all that!

St said...

Rich, come and deliver it at my last cafe. September 22nd. Be the special guest. You were always the brains behind the operation. I was just the getaway driver.

Rich Burley said...

Steve, I'd love to, but we're travelling back from Hong Kong that day.

We're been wanting to come back to Cafe Create all year but haven't been able to do any of the dates. Have had many reports (including yours) of its continued success.

Perhaps we should arrange to come back to Leam at the same time and have a "Cafe Create blasts from the past" evening, or Mel and I should visit "Cafe Nailsea".

St said...

Easy Tiger.

david k said...

The 'official' story is that fsh xpsns was chosen because it was 'deliberately bland' (Graham Cray), typical of Anglicans to get excited about blandness. Congratulations on getting the post, I'm being licensed to a similar job in Yeovil 3 days before you.

St said...

Cool. Let's do some talking.

Caroline said...

so glad that you have worked out what next, hope you don't totally stop writing ..

agree with you about Fresh Expressions ... fresh expressions of the same old let's-all-get-together-and-look-as-though-we're-having-fun...

shame the rest of the world doesn't work that way about spirituality any more

funny, but neither did the church for a long part of it's history

so emerge with Trendlewook in a way that helps the others of us trying to hack our way out of the bindweed of churchiness

Caroline Too

Dizz said...

Steve, Have to say the move to Nailsea is a little odd for me. As it is the parish I grew up in (my parents are still there, and I was married there 2.5 years ago). It's exp odd as we now live in NZ, and have just visited the town (unfortunately we did not manage HT), for the first time since emigrating! Anyway I loved it and still have loads of great friends there - all the best, maybe we'll catch up the next time we're back - Love to you both.