Steve’s Sabbatical Roundup

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Sabbatical Report May-July 2019 Rev Steve Donald


Plans were more than fulfilled and expectations more than exceeded. I feel spiritually rested and refreshed. This was a busy but very enjoyable and satisfying sabbatical. Gloria and I saw it as a joint sabbatical, so we did as much as possible together.

  1. Wrote a book (in draft) nine chapters 25,000 words “Marriages are made in heaven”. Gloria
    read each chapter and made comments and added extra ideas.
  2. Went on holidays together. Garstang near Lancaster with Lizzie, our eldest daughter. Met up
    with Lizzie’s godmother and friends associated with how Gloria and I met and married in
    Lancaster.
  3. Accomplished two things on Gloria’s bucket list: visited parliament for a tour and Prime
    Ministers Question Time with Carlisle MP John Stevenson and visited Stratford upon Avon.
  4. Visited daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren often in London.
  5. I had a week cycling in the Lakes (this was spread out over the three months cycling at
    Coniston, Grasmere, Ambleside, Windermere and Ullswater). I finished by riding the North
    Western Fells of Ullswater riding from Pooley Bridge dropped down to the lake at
    Glenridding and took the ferry the whole length of the lake back to Pooley Bridge.
  6. I had a week at my former theological college Oak Hill in London living like a hermit working
    hard on the book.
  7. I had a week in Cambridge area: visited my sister, visited Marylynn Rouse (John Newton
    Project), visited a school run by our new neighbours at St Andrews Botcherby for their
    speech day as their special guest and had two glorious days at the Imperial War Museum
    Duxford where I saw flying demonstrations from the Red Arrows, twelve Spitfires and five
    Messerschmitt Bf 109, one Flying Fortress and two Mustangs and had a tour inside a
    Lancaster bomber.

I am very grateful to the Diocese for giving clergy this opportunity every seven years and for the senior leadership at St Johns for keeping the parish in good shape with help from our mission community partners Houghton and Kingmoor and particularly Rev Andrew Simmons (curate at H and K) who organised cover and did five of the Sundays himself along with preachers and service leaders from St Johns and H and K. Grateful to Andrew Towner for facilitating all this and for the very happy visits we made to his churches during the sabbatical.

Steve and Gloria Donald 1 st August 2019