Ellen Loudon

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Archive for June 2008

getting ready for retreat

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We have managed to get the house sorted for the visitors expected for ordination weekend. The family are travelling from far and wide to be here – no pressure then! The beds are all made up and I have planned menus for most of the days I am away (cake baking begins in earnest tomorrow). The rehearsal is on Wednesday and the retreat starts on thurs evening. In preparation for the weekend I have been sleeping as much as possible, catching up with friends, seeing the new stuff that has been built in Liverpool since I was last here (e.g. the Liverpool One shopping centre, the urban design centre, the echo arena) and reading a Surprised by Hope by Tom Wright. I a afraid I am not being all that holy. I’m not being not holy but I thought I might find myself being more holy this week but there are still shelves to put up, trips to the dump to do etc. Finding heaven in these ordinary things has been a challenge but God has been there in it all! I realised this when I was at Christ Church yesterday (my sending church and the place where all this ‘being a vicar’ stuff began). I looked up at the stained glass window from the pew I always sit in and remembered the day that I felt that calling for the first time (I was breast feeding Eva at the time and about to hand her on to someone else to hold her because I had to play the guitar), I had jut been declared bankrupt, had not long been married, was living in a hippie commune and struggling with my faith in a way that I had never experienced before. In the past my faith was a theory, at that time I was clinging on to it for grim death and was living it so tightly I could hardly hold on.

But, during the process of bankruptcy I had for the first time accepted that I was forgiven and that God loved me more than I would ever know or feel – it was an assurance of love that was so deep that I didn’t even need to feel it. And as I sat there that day it felt like I could give myself back to God – give up hanging on to my life and it occurred to me that I could be a priest, that I could serve God in a way that was public and transparent. That I could also serve the church (the fragile church that I have had so much beef with over the years!)…and that was it. I made a commitment to God then to pursue that calling and haven’t ever felt any differently about it since. That is where it started! Now I am about to make that commitment in front of everyone else and start my new job. So, this week I am trying to be ordinary, getting on with the stuff of life, but just remembering the journey from there to here .

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June 23, 2008 at 12:36 pm

Posted in ordination

new house

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Well, we are in Liverpool and are starting to get settled. It has been ages since I have blogged or even gone on-line. The problem is that thee is no internet connection here – the only way to get on-line is to piggieback on someone else’s connection or go to an internet cafe! Both have their own problems neither are effective really and I have very little time at the moment to sort it all out. Anyway, enough of all that – Liverpool is great, the house is getting great and once we have things under control (as much control is possible in the circumstances) I am sure I will feel a bit better. This in between stage of not being student any more and not starting my new job is quite odd.

I would love to blog about this more but unfortunately my time has run out. I will be on-line properly sometime next week and I hope to get some more time before then to check email etc. If you are trying to contact me then the best way is to phone my mobile or leave a comment here or email (as long as you can wait) and I will get to it asap.

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June 18, 2008 at 5:04 pm

Posted in back in Liverpool

valedictory 2008 – pictures

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This is a lovely picture of Elise, Eva and I with Bishop Roger Sainsbury and his wife Jenny at yesterday’s valedictory service.

I no time to blog! Here are some more pictures of the valedictory on Marks Picassa site

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June 8, 2008 at 10:23 am

last day with my Trinity friends

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So, today was the last time together here at Trinity. The valedictory service went off ok…no tears, only a small fight with Mark at the start and a last chance to say goodbye to people. My head is so full of moving that I was hardly able to take it all in. But it is all done now.

The house is now in complete chaos and it sounds like our new house is a bit chaotic too. The carpets can’t get cleaned until the day we actually move in so I have a feeling that the carpet cleaner and the removal people are going to meet on the stairs. hey ho.

Mark has nearly finished cleaning the cooker and there is only Eva’s room to sort and the outhouses to clear. So, we are on target. I can’t remember it being this last minute when we left Liverpool.

Right I am off to try to sleep. Got to still my head and quieten my heart. The apprehension has kicked in now and worse case scenarios are playing away in my head. My fertile imagination isn’t helping very much!

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June 7, 2008 at 11:10 pm

wilson keppel and betty

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I needed a bit of cheering up and Ravi reminded me that music hall is always a good cure for..well almost anything. So I have been searching youtube for music hall act. I am not using this act as part of my PhD nevertheless they are very good. Are they a dance act? A comedy trio? A foreign turn? I never really know where to place WK&B. But they always make me laugh and confuse me. So, if you haven’t already had the pleasure – Ladies and Gentlemen I give you Wilson Keppel and Betty:

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June 6, 2008 at 4:38 pm

Posted in music hall

clearing up

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There is a lot to do at Loudon HQ. I have made a start today and managed to fill 4 bin bags and made some tough decisions about nick nacks! In addition I made some interesting phone calls to insurance companies to find out how much it is going to cost us to insure the car and house in Liverpool 6. I made some unpleasant discoveries: With my current providers the car insurance was going to go up £400 to £923 and the household £180 to £340. Now that is a steep increase from leafy Sea Mills to lovely Everton…and one that is at once shocking and is surely an injustice. No wonder poorer people don’t buy insurance – they pay twice as much as the rich!

Anyway, I made a number of phone calls and managed to get some really good deals with Ecclesiastical Insurance who not only made good discounts for me as a curate but also gave a first policy discount and discount for taking out two policies. The saving was great but the price difference is still shocking.

I am going to sort out some more stuff, clean some more stuff, move bits and bobs about and make sure I get an early night. I am getting excited now about the move (only 3 sleeps left!!!!). The excitement has nearly beaten the fear.

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June 6, 2008 at 3:57 pm

Bridget and Liz H

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Liz H has had a little boy – Tobias. He was born in the early hours of the morning. I am so made up because that means I get to see him before we leave. I am so excited for Phil and Liz that they have a little boy, they are coming out of the hospital later tonight and tomorrow Bridget and I will go and visit the brood.

I have had a great day – after my feeling strange day yesterday I am relieved that I managed to turn some of the negativity around (see as the classic Sunday school songs says – “a little talk with Jesus makes it right all right”) I problem shared with God is not much of a problem after all. Not to say that the anxiety has magically disappeared but just when I needed to feel like I had a friend I got a great morning shopping, chatting and eating cake with Bridget. I know we left it a bit late to get to be good friends but I love Bridget and she is great.

I am going to miss both Liz and Bridget a great deal when I move. The risk of being good friends with anyone is that you will miss them when they aren’t about any more. Love is a crazy thing isn’t it: Love only works if you take the risk and that is what makes it hurt when it goes. Not that Liz, Bridget and I will not love each other anymore just that not being in the everyday of each other’s lives will mean that we have to renegotiate our relationships. So, that hurts a bit. But I have to say it has been worth it.

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June 5, 2008 at 5:43 pm

Posted in friends