Action Zones 

Fr Grant's placement experiences 

as published in Great Yarmouth Parish Life


grant b-dRev Grant Bolton-Debbage
Curate, Curate, Great Yarmouth Team Ministry 
Chaplain, Great Yarmouth College

During the last two weeks, I have been on placement at Norwich Cathedral. The itinerary which they had prepared for me was filled with varied activities, beginning with morning prayer at 7:30am and often finishing with a lecture or special service in the evening. It was a very fulfilling and exciting time away, albeit a tiring one
The hospitality shared at the Cathedral was second to none and it was inspiring to see how the Benedictine rule as a foundation was still as relevant both practically and spiritually now as it would have been near to 1000 years ago when the Cathedral was built
The history of the building is particularly interesting and though such a holy place, it is heartening to hear of the humanity and failings of those characters responsible for its erection. I have many highlights, from meeting with the dean and chapter individually to hear their insights and experiences, to hearing a most fascinating lecture on the brain. But two experiences stand out for me
The first is meeting a hero of mine who has written some powerful books about person-centred counselling and who found the Norwich Centre, a world renowned centre for counselling this way. His name is Brian Thorne. I had read some of his literature years ago as I was formally discerning my vocation
One of his books which dramatically altered my thinking on the love of God is called 'Infinitely Beloved’. I knew that Brian was a lay canon at the cathedral but for some reason I hadn't expected to meet him. I was greatly excited when the door of the vestry opened before one evensong and he introduced himself.  A man of great intellect and much wisdom and yet he wore them both with a cloak of humility and kindness that was beautiful to see
The second was meeting The Rt Rev Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury and listening to his lecture to kick start Christian Aid week! I have always endeavoured to read his books and, on occasion, with a dictionary on one hand and his book in the other as well as having to repeat pages when the concepts he put forward were too great for my mind to comprehend first time around, I have completed some
But to hear him speak with such clarity, authority and humour was a magical experience to behold. In all of our lives we have people and places which stop us in our tracks and cause us to look deeper into the inner workings of Christ. We are blessed to have such a place in our mother church the cathedral and I was blessed to meet is couple of people there which caused me to move nearer to our God
But let's never forget that our church buildings and we as a Christian presence in the place of Great Yarmouth have that effect on many people around us. How we use that privilege can have a profound effect on our community. May we ask God to guide us with what we have that others may see and know that He is closer to us all than we may have initially thought
With every blessing
Fr Grant

The views carried here are those of the author, not of Network Yarmouth, and are intended to stimulate constructive debate between website users

Click here to read our forum and comment posting guidelines