May 2019 - A Challenge

“There is nothing like a challenge to bring out the best in man.” Sean Connery

Dear friends,

I'm getting older! One can detect this by changes both in appearance and attitude. Sometimes my main purpose in life seem to be wandering around the house, grumpily turning off all the lights that teenagers have left on, muttering disconsolately. I have less patience with politicians and priestly hierarchies, and it now takes more than one hand to count up the bits of me that ache each morning. And most shocking of all, all least to me personally, is that I seem to be growing into a micro-monarchist (or is it a royalist? I can never remember the difference...which is another sign!).

I find I get profoundly annoyed with non-inclusive language, casual racism and any exclusion of those whose sexuality or gender is considered to stray from the norm. On the bright side, I'm fully embracing growing into the role of grumpy old man, and learning to enjoy it!

However, I do still relish a challenge, be it learning a new skill, training children to replace used toilet rolls (perhaps the biggest challenge yet), or setting out on a new venture. To this end, I've set my 'big goal' for 2019, and am hoping for support.

Six mornings a week, Carecent, a York charity, provides breakfast for some fifty homeless, unemployed or otherwise socially excluded members of our community. As well as food, they can provide clothes, a place to wash, and friendship. Having visited Carecent, and knowing both its leaders and some volunteers, I can only count my blessings as to how privileged my own life is by comparison to their customers. It's also salutary to hear stories of those who once had houses, jobs and families, but, because of various troubles, have now slid to a lower rung on the social ladder. Like the game of snakes and ladders, it can be a short move for any of us.

With fifty homeless people in mind, I turn fifty myself at my next birthday, and so arises my challenge (which may or may not bring out the best in me, but Sean Connery is still the best Bond!). My challenge, on Friday 7th June, is to run fifty miles in aid of Carecent – Whitby to Dunnington. Fifty miles for fifty people before I turn fifty: 50450b450

So if you would like to sponsor me, then forms can be found in each of our four parish churches, and also in the Methodist Church. Or you can sponsor online – https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/runningrector. Even if you would just like to pay to see your vicar suffer, then that's okay by me. I do love a challenge.

Nick Bird

Your Rector

This letter from Revd Nick Bird appeared in the May 2019 issue of The Grapevine