I am on sabbatical from 24th April until 23rd July. During this time I am planning to spend some time reflecting on images and their relationship with spirituality. I particularly want to focus on the use of photography. To help me focus on this and to try to help link together the various aspects of my time together I have set myself a challenge to take a photograph a day and reflect on it - this may be in my own words or perhaps using a poem or bible passage.
I hope that by reflecting regularly some of the threads may begin to tie themselves together in ways that I wasn't expecting, It often seems to me that it is the unlikely things which seem to relate better than those which you anticipate. To help me do this I am going to try recording this by keeping a blog. This will give me the discipline of updating it regularly, rather than being tempted to leave writing everything up until the end of three months!
There are a variety of things I intend to do to ensure that I have a balance of renewal, retreat and rest. I value the opportunity to try things that are completely new to me and also to expand further work I am already doing.
I will spend quite a bit of my time away from home and amongst other things I am going on a retreat staying with the Northumbria Community exploring the example of St Aidan for missional living today. I am going to attend the NADAWM conference. I will also spend time in the Holy Land and on an individually guided retreat. I am going to attend the Bridge Builders course on Mediating Interpersonal Conflicts; this is an extension of the course I did last year.
The idea of being able to try something creative that was new to me appealed as I often feel stifled and unable to express myself creatively in my ministry in the parish. To this end I intend to attend a weekend mosaic workshop.
My sabbatical will end with an art and photography week. I hope that this will allow me to further play about with images - what feels to me the safety of photography but combined with the challenge of painting.