This term I am on sabbatical – study leave away from the Chaplaincy. After 21 years since ordination it’s a time for refreshment and study. And after ten years as a Chaplain I am having time to reflect on some key experiences of the work.
The idea of sabbatical originates from Judaism and it’s weekly ‘Shabbat’ – day of rest. Theoretically sabbaticals come every seven years but that seems rarely to be the case. Anyway, it’s a time for taking stock, for getting re-energised and hopefully spending some time being reminded of the key reasons why I got into this way of life in the first place.
It will not be a surprise to some readers that I am reading about conversation and dialogue between people from different cultures, religions and world views! These are the recurring themes of my work as a university chaplain.
So, in straight forward style, I started exploring ‘conversation’ with a seven-day silent retreat in France. But more about that and the links between ‘silence’ and ‘conversation’ another time.