Since I began life as an ordained person, I have attended 39 diocesan synods in 5 different dioceses. I have been to 6 General Synods and participated in 6 electoral synods. I have attended a Presbyterian General Assembly, once, twice a Methodist conference, and God alone knows how many Forums of Co-operative Ventures. This synod will be my last one ever, and I will only be present for half of it. Attending synod has never been high on my list of favourite activities, and I doubt whether, when the appropriate weekend in September 2017 rolls around, I will feel the slightest pang of regret or longing; but this weekend is a milestone for me. It's an ending. A death.
My table companion hugs me when we meet. The coffee appears and we chat about her family and mine and her immediate future and mine. We discuss theories of the atonement, and book titles, ask the waiter for a lunch menu, and then get down to business. Hours. Expectations. Money. Duties. "When would you like me to start? " I ask. "As soon as you can manage it," she replies. And for the first time since I left my curacy at St Mary's Merivale, I have a boss. It's a beginning. A resurrection.