Sunday, October 02, 2005

New Beginnings

Well, I've been told off for not posting on here often enough, so here's a post-Freshers' Week update.

I've now been back in Reading 2 weeks. The first week was pretty ok, just getting settled in and finding my feet in my new job as Chaplaincy Assistant. This basically means being a spare pair of hands in the Chaplaincy, helping the new Chaplain (Mark) and also starting a new group on campus for Christian students who don't feel catered for by the existing groups (i.e. Christian Union and CathSoc). This may take the form of a 'Focus' type group. I'm also involved in admin, etc. in the Chappy when Susie (the secretary) isn't in.

Last weekend I went to visit James in Newport. The journey there was so much easier than the one to Northampton ever was. He's got a nice place - lodging on the top floor of private house with his own bedroom, lounge and bathroom. All newly done up, so it's pretty comfy. He seems to have settled in well. :o)
We spent the weekend exploring Newport really, and went to the wackiest service I have ever been to (& I've been to a fair few!). All in all, a good weekend. :o)

This week has been Freshers' Week and (school productions excepted) was one of the most busy weeks of my life! For 2 weeks now, I have been trying to get some teatowels printed with an advert for the Chaplaincy on to give to Freshers. Various hiccups have meant that they won't arrive until this week. Oh well, we gave out loads of delicious Fairtrade cookies (thanks Sabine!). Aside from the teatowel saga, early in the week wasn't too bad. However, a long discussion with Michael and Mark on Tuesday afternoon about conversion and what that means, meant that I was in the building for 10.5 hours straight, ie. 8am-6:30pm! Was good fun though and good to get the debating skills back up to scratch after they have gone a bit rusty over the summer.
Wednesday, Thursday and Friday were Freshers' Fayre. I was on the stall on and off for all 3 days. We had lots of people come past and around 60 signed up for Chaplaincy info or took details of local churches, etc, which is great. :o)
Wednesday night was the most amazing night I think I have ever seen, however. I was going to stop going to Small World Cafe this year, as I have graduated. SWC is a free weekly cafe run on Wednesday evening on campus for international students, with a presentation on an aspect of British life and an basic optional Bible study. So, as I said, I wasn't planning on going, but was still on campus when people arrived in the Chappy to start sorting out the food (this week was a free ploughman's-style meal), so I thought I'd help out and go along. Well... basically, we took the food over and set up the room for the Internationals who were arriving at 7:30pm. I was still setting up the food and drink at the side of the room at 7:30. When I turned around at about 7:35, I was greeted with the sight of virtually every seat in the room filled and people still pouring in. When every seat was full, there were still 30 people literally queuing in the corridor! We had catered for 60, because we normally get around 50 students at the start of term meal, with that figure dropping to more like 20 over the term. Well, we were faced with lots of people and nowhere to put them so the wonderful porter (Thanks Andy!) went looking for more chairs. At some point someone remembered about Fire Regs, so we couldn't cram any more people in, so we put 3 tables out in the foyer/corridor! During the grace before the meal, I took the opportunity to do a head-count while everyone was standing still. I counted 110 internationals and 9 team! Awesome!!
The truly amazing part was that although we had catered for 60-70, no-one (apart from the team) went hungry! Genuinely miraculous. God does provide and he will bless us if we rely on him!

Also, at C.U. on Thursday, there were around 130 people. I was there to 'apprentice' Dan for the Powerpoint controls (for lyrics). He did a good job, given the circumstances. :o)
Yesterday was the CU/Chaplaincy Joint 'Walk to Sonning & Barbecue' (a village just up the canal). I chose not to go on the walk, but went to the Chaplaincy to set up the barbecue so there was hot food when they got back. All went according to plan and there was plenty of food. :o) Then spent a little while playing "Frisbee-Piggy-In-The-Middle" with Michael, Tim C, Tido, Dan and a couple of Freshers whose names I forgot to ask. Oops. We did that till it got too dark and we (me, Dave M, Marie, Tido & Michael) then cleared up and decided to wander down to BoB (Wetherspoons - Back of Beyond) for a quick drink, etc. We would have stayed at the Chappy, but then I would technically have been working (no fun!).
This morning I went to Trinity Church and came back via Asda. I went in to get some lunch, bread & milk, but I decided to treat myself and got a pack of Merrydown Cider (yum!). I then got ID'd at the checkout and had to persuade the guy (who was almost certainly younger than me) that a credit card would do, as I haven't replaced my driving license since it was stolen last Easter. A little humiliating though.

Anyway, that's what's been happening in the world of me. I will try to keep this updated a little more regularly. :o)


hatchris said...

Get a driving licence, silly billy! By the way, Sonning is actually down the River - the Thames, not the canal. Duuh!

Sally said...

Ah, well, I thought I'd hedge my bets as I had an argument with John Ogden the other day about whether Tesco was the other side of the canal, river or neither. I still don't know which is which. :o(

Steve LW said...

Canal - small thing you cross to get to Tesco.

River - Big wet thing between there and Caversham by Rivermead/TGIF.