Thursday, October 30, 2008

Frances Ellen McLean

Frances McLean died in the Royal Infirmary last night at about 7:30 pm. She has been a non-stipendiary minister at St James and St Mungo's for many years - ordained to the priesthood in her sixties following a long and varied ministry including many years as a missionary nurse and midwife in South Africa.

Frances underwent a major operation on Tuesday for an aneurysm of the aorta. She rallied initially and then began to fail on Wednesday morning. She was visited by the Bishop at around lunchtime and received the Sacrament later in the afternoon. She'd had occasion to ask her nurse whether it was expected that she would survive and was told that there were grave concerns as to whether this would be the case. She was surrounded by friends up until the time she died. At nearly 87 years old, Frances died "in the saddle" - involved in an active ministry to "old people" for whom she was an enabler and a source of spiritual comfort and with questions as to who will do her work now that she's gone.

I'd say a pretty good innings by any estimate.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

One of my colleagues here in Edinburgh Diocese mused in a public forum the other day about whether she should abandon her Parson's Pocketbook (that comforting symbol of God With Us when carried in the hand of a clergyman/woman on the rounds of the hospital or the neighbourhood - for a Filofax (probably a black one looking like the monolith in the opening of 2001 A Space Odyssey).

I have no doubt that there are even other clergy eager for preferment with eyes darting back and forth who've switched to something electronic, allowing them not only to manage their contacts and arrive at appointments in a timely manner but to profit from those long walks along hospital corridors by finally achieving the status of Jedi Knight of Orath-Ping in world seven with extra ammunition for their Circadian Orc Slayer.

It never ends, does it? All this innovation!

Real priests carry paper! No pasaran!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Proud owner of a greenhouse

After all these years. I purchased it second hand on Ebay and drove down to Livingston today to disassemble it. I have absolutely no clue if I'll be able to put it back together again. On the plus side, there was no glass breakage. On the minus side - I note that there were a few bits which had bent nicely together and belong together so that even if most of the uprights and roof slats are identical they now belong in a certain relationship to each other.

I will let you know how it goes. I shall be heading off to my yearly clergy conference on Sunday and returning on Wednesday. That's when the fun begins.