Incredibly moving, encouraging and amusing night Sunday night as I got to be guest, without responsibility, at the confirmation of the oldest member of our small group, a sprightly 80 something who came to faith through an Alpha course we ran a few years ago.
She was terribly nervous. Bless. As the Bishop of Taunton entered Holy Trinity, Nailsea she led the candidates in behind him. 'Just follow the bishop' someone had obviously said to her. So she walked one foot behind him like in a Madness video. When he reached his chair he stopped and turned only to have Beryl six inches from him. Grandmother's footsteps. The bishop loses. Beryl did the only thing she could do in the circumstances (what can I give him?) and handed him her large-print service order. The chaplain gave it politely back.
It became apparent that no words of rehearsal had stuck with Beryl. She was happy to be being confirmed and her minder, Linda, shepherded her around perfectly for the rest of the service. 'We need more Beryls' said the Bishop to me later. He is right. She grasps little of the complexities of the faith into which she is being confirmed. She likes being loved and included and this is one of our values in the Nailsea pioneer community. There's a party going on. Join in.
Mrs T said she wanted to talk to the bishop. She had that determined look with which I have learned not to argue. I took her over to meet him and she kissed him and said 'Thank you for 'getting' my husband.'
I pointed out that it was obvious I was punching above my weight. 'You always do' he said. Because he gets me and that unexpected, well-worded complement was just perfect. Thanks Bish.