Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Thought for the Day

In the mess of the ugly, untidy industrial landscape, James Tilley and Rachel Willetts ended up living next door to each other in 1873.

Last week I went to the wonderfully named Bumble Hole in the Black Country where James and Rachel, who became my great grandparents, lived. I liked the idea of my family being mineral prospectors searching for wealth. But, I discovered, that as the Dudley coalfield was explored, all sorts of service occupations moved in. There were many Tilleys in the area - painters, shopkeepers and publicans. Not many of my family did mining or foundry work.

I live near Tyntesfield now and love its time-capsule nature. There's nothing romantic about the Gibbs family heritage either. It's built on guano. Bird poo to you and me.

Recent discoveries under the floorboards, we hear today, have added to that sense of the house being a place in which real people lived and worked. Bits of old magazine and a dropped box of matches are interesting - because they reveal actual humans to us.

In my church we've been studying some of the great characters from the Bible who heard God give them a mission - Abraham, Moses, Samuel and Isaiah all got serious jobs to do believing God had given them that task.

It's weird, having such a sense of calling. Not many get it. Most of us just follow the money.

So how did I end up a vicar in North Somerset? Well if you believe my family history it's because it's indoor work with no heavy lifting.

Although I carry with me a deeper sense that I know a bit more about where I come from and have arrived where I am meant to be - for now.

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