09 Jun My favourite things…
I love kitchen tables…
I know that sounds like a strange thing to say, but it’s true.
Recently a friend asked me ‘“What’s your favourite possession”. Without hesitation, my answer was ‘my kitchen table’!
It’s not because it’s particularly valuable. It’s not even particularly pretty. But, I bought it when I got my first pay-rise in my first ‘grown up’ job because I wanted to be able to host people for supper comfortably! I love that stories, milestones, meals and work all happen here. That hope, disappointment and despair is shared around this simple piece of wood.
This table has seen many of my favourite memories: It’s seen dinner parties in Watford with some of my favourite friends and colleagues; it’s seen mentoring sessions; it’s been my desk at college; it’s hosted breakfast parties; it’s hosted meetings; it’s seen gravy, PVA glue, wrapping paper, numerous letters, tears, flowers, the occasional bit of blood; it’s been the place where I’ve had some of the most significant conversations of my life.
After we pulled out of pursuing a future at Highfields farm last year, I sat at this table and asked God – “What do I have in my hands, that I can give you to help make this happen?” and the response came – “Your time and your table”.
So for the past 10 months I have been exploring what my time looks like, and how best to use my table.
A while back we mentioned that we were working on some things that we would finally be able to tell you about… I sit on the Elvaston Development Board, this is an unpaid post where we grapple with how best to use the estate, we still dream of doing much more there, but we know we need to be patient while the right opportunity works it’s way out. I’ve also been invited to sit on the board for Mill Street, a wonderful Victorian old school house in Derby, owned now by the diocesan board of Education, the development plans are in the very early days but I hope to be the voice of the young people we hope to impact. Unfortunately there are still 2 local opportunities that we can’t yet share with you at the moment, as they are still in the negotiation stages, but as and when things progress I can’t wait to share that
Under the guise of Ruach, I am also getting involved in prison chaplaincy at the local Young Offenders Institute (YOI) as part of my Ruach role, as well as a local ‘fresh expression’ and parish church as part of my Church of England curacy, all of which deepens my connections locally, and helps me feel increasingly rooted in Derbyshire.
Most excitingly, the trustees decided that we’d love to have an apprentice involved in our scoping work. Since Shannon and I have started devoting two office days per week for our scoping work, we realised we’d love to work with and mentor a young person for this. I suddenly realised I am no stranger to running office apprenticeships after my time at Soul Survivor, and this feels like the natural next step. We’ll finally be meeting our charitable objectives more directly, and getting a young person to help shape our work, meaning that, with their input, we’ll be delivering something with more integrity too. And I finally get to use my kitchen table to mentor, putting my table at the very heart of what I am doing.
So here’s to the future, to adventures, and to many more stories shared around the kitchen table.