Asked how he felt sitting atop a rocket and about to become the first American in space, astronaut John Glenn once commented that he felt the same way anyone would feel sitting on top of $2m worth of equipment all of which had been supplied by the lowest bidder in the US space system's procurement process.
The average age of our Deanery Synod has got to be in its late fifties. Some new lay members who look suspiciously forty have joined but it still feels pretty old.
The clergy are also getting on a bit. The Synod consists of all the clergy of the Deanery plus elected lay members.
On Wednesday night we discussed vision.
Now I am an old cynic, which at least means I may be a bit wiser than when I was a young cynic, but I suspect that the churches in the Deanery have not provided their finest people as part of the procurement process (or elections, as we call them). Indeed I wonder how many people who stood for election to Deanery Synod were elected unopposed. The parish I spend most of my time in could not fill its vacancies. The go-getters feel they have better things to go get.
So we have a collection of reluctant, or self-appointed, reps trying to shape the direction of a group of churches.
The people I shared with around the table were lovely. But they had to be constantly redirected to the actual question we were discussing and when that happened there were blank looks and silences. What could we do together? How could we co-operate? Dunno. One comment was that things were better in the contributor's non-conformist church which she left forty years ago but they had monthly church meetings in which everyone could share.
This is my fault. I have often felt Deanery Synod a waste of space - definition is sometimes 'a group of people waiting to go home'. I should get the room full of the best, youngest, most visionary folk from the churches where I have some influence. Then some of the ideas I wrote about a few days ago might have some champions in the room.
Now. Who will take the challenge?