Last night I came back from a most enjoyable weekend break in Cheltenham, centred around Jon Guppy’s stag do on Friday, and Dave and Carolyn Kania’s wedding on Saturday.
Although stag events have a reputation for being wild occasions, Jon’s on Friday was a pleasant, congenial meal at an Indian restaurant – the only rowdiness being provided by the chillis in the curry. I’ve known Jon for a number of years from Trinity Church, and we’ve shared holidays twice, along with best man John Linney: once in Scotland and once at New Wine. He met Maria a year and a half ago at the first “Hosting His Presence” worship event in Cheltenham – and he’s been a new man ever since! They are so right for each other and I’m absolutely delighted for them both.
The wedding on Saturday, between Dave Kania and Carolyn Robjohns, was one of the best I’ve been to. It was such an enjoyable occasion – not least because of Dave and Carolyn’s own delight, and the happiness of both sets of parents. It was relaxed, there was a warm and welcoming atmosphere, and managed to combine generous hospitality with being unpretentious.
Dave was part of a prayer group I was in for a couple of years, and I came to value both his steadfastness and his people skills: he’s very gifted with diplomatic skills amongst people with strong personalities!
The prayer group itself was an exciting and landmark experience for all of us who were part of it, so it was great to be able to hang out again with some of the other guys who were in it.
You might have thought I’d already eaten well enough for a weekend, but there was a third great meal to come! On Sunday morning I drove my mother up to the Wirral to drop her off with an old friend of hers, Chris Baines. Chris is also my godmother, and a most generous one at that. Not one to be idle, she went on a trip to Antarctica a couple of years ago, and is off to Norway imminently to see the Northern Lights.
This week at college is schools week – so Phil Morton and I are off to St. Aidan’s Academy in Darlington to gain some much-needed experience. It could be very formative!