Quick blog post about the news about a change of direction

Discernment Process

This may or may not be the worst-kept secret in Christendom. Judging from the response from Twitter & Facebook, there are plenty of folk who were still surprised.

On this diagram, which more or less explains the process, I’m at the ‘buy a new pencil case’ stage. In September I move to Westcott House in Cambridge to begin training for the priesthood. Which in plain English means I am (probably) going to become a vicar. And I began at the bottom left corner of said diagram in about January 2012. (Thank you, Dave Walker, for permission to use this).

I have known since mid-March this year that I had been recommended for training after the selection panel, but my plans were not 100% definite until I had confirmation that I would receive a grant enabling me to study full-time. Confirmation of that arrived last week, and so today I could resign.

It explains, if explanation is necessary, why this blog has been quiet for a while. So much of what I have been doing that was bloggable was related to the process of discernment – deciding whether the idea that I might be called to ordination was inspired, or just the result of too much cheese close to bedtime – that I have had to self-censor. I have blogged, more or less anonymously at changeschangesfleeting.wordpress.com but as I now can be more public about what is happening, that will be mothballed from now on and the story will be picked up here.

And it also, I think, explains why I haven’t picked up the threads of professional library activity again after the post-PhD ‘year off’ I promised myself. The space has just been taken up by reading, preparation, activity related to the discernment process. Watching the tweets from Vancouver, and being at BIALL in Harrogate was A Bit Weird. I would have loved to have been in Vancouver, but I knew it was not a sensible way to spend time or cash, when I don’t need to ‘invest’ in my library career. Knowing there are great SLA colleagues I might not see again was hard, though. Just one last cocktail with the Kentucky chapter, or one last BNA/Bloomberg breakfast with Legal Division…? (Quick edit: am looking forward to final bash with SLA Europe colleagues on 16 July).

In practical terms, I will be handing the keys back on Batty Towers on 8 September, and I finish work at Linex on 21 August in time to go to Greenbelt on 22 August. Most of my belongings will go into store for the time being. I go to Cambridge on 27 September, for two years, probably following the BTh programme.

Many, many people have encouraged and cheered me on over the last two or three years –thank you for those who kept confidentiality. It is now Officially Common Knowledge, and I can breathe easily. It’s not been terribly easy leading a double life – lucky I am headed for the C of E, and not the CIA…


  1. Ha, the CofE could teach the CIA a thing or two about labyrinthine intrigue and secrecy 🙂 Anyway, if you fancy a placement in a rural setting, bear us in mind.

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