Connexion has always been there for me – as a child, I knew that my Mum belonged – it was called BMMWF back then. She encouraged me to join once my husband went into ministry. The support and love of this group has been really important since I went to my first meeting back in Kent in 1981.
Manse life has its ups and downs – the agonies of the settlement process, the joys of seeing God’s blessing on the Church, the stringencies of low stipends and tight budgets, and those thoughtful gifts which mysteriously arrive [often anonymously] just when the purse strings are about to snap. The juggling of family time, church events, private space, and public appearances – and the privilege of sharing in special, precious moments for members of tour churches [births, marriages, illness, and bereavements].
After twenty [mostly] gloriously happy years in the Midlands, we’ve been in Dorset since January 2015. Within days of unloading the removal van, I’d been invited to a local Connexion group – and I felt welcomed and loved. We have talked and shared and prayed for one another. And that has made it so much easier to settle in to a new location. I don’t make scones, or play piano for Sunday School. My kids are lovely, but they are not perfect. I refuse to be stereotyped as ‘Clergy Wife’.
I can’t always explain these things to those who haven’t lived in a Manse – but my Connexion mates, they ‘get it’ because they’ve been there too, they share this connection, and are my true friends. I am so glad our fellowship exists, and that we can support one another through good and bad times.