Since preaching on Christmas Day, I have enjoyed a quiet period (which perhaps is just as well as we continue to unpack and sort out our new home). This preacher has been in the pew!
My next commitment is at Gonville and Caius College for their evening worship at the end of January. It is a joy to be reconnecting with the Cambridge scene. Past experiences of preaching in different University college chapels (always followed by dining on High Table) stand out in my memory.
Occasionally, my Baptist principles and practice have shown up very obviously! On one occasion, I was given permission by the Mistress of Girton College to hold a believers' baptismal service in the college indoor swimming pool. Several students were baptized and it seemed that the whole community turned out to stand several deep right around the edge of the pool. A reporter and photographer from the local paper, the Cambridge Evening News, hovered to record the occasion. I guess the great majority of people had never witnessed such an event before. Indeed the reporter attached himself to Carol and with insistence and minimum sensitivity plyed her with questions throughout the entire service: 'What's he doing now? Why is that happening?' (Apparently this article was recently reprised in the paper's column: ' Twenty Five Years Ago'.)
On a personal note I also need to record that the pool was unheated and as this took place early Spring I turned blue as I entered the water. Each candidate gave testimony at the pool edge and was mercifully only in the water briefly, but I suffered in my role that night!