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GroomNews Christmas 2014 December 20, 2014

Posted by Phil Groom in Advent and Christmas, Family, Life.
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3 comments

Archives2011 | 2012 | 2013

GroomNews Christmas 2014: Printer friendly version (fold in 4 to make a Christmas card)

GroomNews Christmas 2014: Printer friendly version – fold in 4 to make a Christmas card (pdf, 3.1mb)

WELCOME to another edition of our infamous annual newsletter, in which we shall attempt to entertain, inform and perhaps even enlighten you rather than bore you too much with the minutiae of our lives…

Don’t Shoot: Sue made a Canon!
That, beloved reader, is Canon spelt with a single ‘n’ in the middle and it’s essentially the Church of England’s equivalent of a New Year’s Honour, which Sue received from the Bishop of St Albans in March this year. Read the churchwardens’ announcement here: Revd Sue to become an Honorary Canon

Research Update: Paper delivered in Durham
Sue’s write-up of her research is proceeding in fits and starts as she struggles to balance it with the demands of her work as a parish priest and DDO (Diocesan Director of Ordinands). In June, however, she was able to give a paper at a research conference in Durham outlining some of her findings. It’s all about the use of the language of formation in ordination training: feel free to ask her if you want the details!

Almost passes Hull Survey
Last year it was the cabin sides and roof that received lots of TLC; this year it was the hull — and we’re delighted to report that after 25 years the deepest pitting in Almost’s 6mm steel plate proved to be only 0.6mm, so at this rate she should easily outlast us. Here she is in dry dock:

Almost in Dry Dock 2014

The weather was much kinder to us this year for yet another cruise along the Nene to Peterborough and back — and we even managed to fit in a day-trip on the Nene Valley Steam Railway: whoooo-whooooooooooo! Here’s Phil’s video:

Groom Family Weddings
It’s been another year of wedding bells ringing amongst our nephews and nieces: congratulations to Ben & Laura, Catherine & Pete and Andrew & Cheryl.

Online and Interactive
In between stacking the supermarket shelves, Phil’s been as busy as ever with his various online projects, including revamping our own church website (links below) and keeping the UK Christian Bookshops Directory updated, christianbookshops.org.uk. Find him on twitter @notbovvered or on facebook at facebook.com/philgroom if you’re incurably curious.

With our love, best wishes for Christmas and prayers for peace in the coming year,

Phil & Sue

www.langfordchurch.org.uk | www.henlowchurch.org.uk


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GroomNews Christmas 2013: The Year of Everyone Getting Older December 19, 2013

Posted by Phil Groom in Advent and Christmas, Family, Life.
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4 comments

Archives | 2010 | 2011 | 2012

2013: The Year of Everyone Getting Older

GroomNews Christmas 2013: Printer-friendly version (pdf, 201kb)

GroomNews Christmas 2013: Printer-friendly version (pdf, 201kb)

… or, to be more precise, of us becoming more aware that everyone’s getting older! Let’s start in March, when we celebrated Sue’s 50th birthday with a stay in a Bath hotel: a wonderful few days that included sightseeing, meals out and a boat trip on the river as our hotel was conveniently situated alongside the river upstream from the city centre. Highly recommended!

Now fast forward to December, when Phil’s Dad took a tumble down the stairs and ended up in hospital: not recommended, even when you’re young. Thankfully no bones broken but plenty of bruises. The good news is Phil’s parents have agreed to have a stairlift fitted.

At the other end of the generational gap, we’ve heard wedding bells ringing and possibly angels singing as nephews & nieces have been busy announcing weddings, getting married and/or having babies, making us Great Uncle Phil & Great Aunty Sue all over again — or should that be Grand? But whether it’s great or grand, it’s making us feel older as we realise our nephews & nieces are no longer the little children they were: wholehearted congratulations to them all!

Health & Fitness
In the latter half of the year Sue’s hip became increasingly painful so in December we took a trip to Oxford’s Nuffield Orthopaedic Hospital for a checkup. Conclusion: there’s been some deterioration but probably not enough to warrant a replacement just yet. She should keep up the swimming and pilates/physio exercises and return for another check next year.

As for Phil, in the middle of the year  he was diagnosed with suspected glaucoma. Initial tests were inconclusive so he returns for further tests in January 2014: watch this space. Otherwise fine and still cycling to and from work.

5 Quid for Life: A Mental Health Safety Net

5 Quid for Life: A Mental Health Safety Net

5 Quid for Life
Remember 5 Quid for Life? It’s a project launched by Phil and a group of his friends back in 2011 to provide emergency financial support for people with mental health problems who have lost (or are in danger of losing) their benefits as a result of the government’s welfare reforms; and it’s kept Phil quite busy this year responding to enquiries and requests for help. Want to know more? Visit 5quidforlife.org.uk. Donations always welcome, but there are plenty of other ways to help too, such as sharing via facebook and twitter or by putting up a poster in your local community hall or doctor’s waiting room.

Church & Diocese
Running two churches alongside her diocesan role isn’t quite running Sue ragged, but she’s always busy meeting people, preparing to meet people or preparing and running church services and meetings. We’re grateful for all the opportunities her work brings, and we’re just as grateful when we get some breathing space; which brings us neatly to…

Almost Repainted: Peterborough, Sept 2013 (Click to zoom in)

Almost Repainted: Peterborough, Sept 2013 (Click to zoom in)

Almost Repainted
The job is done! Colin & Kevin at Spiderworx worked their magic and Almost looked most resplendent in her new livery for our late summer holiday, another trip along the Nene to sunny Peterborough — or not so sunny, as things turned out in September this year.

Sue’s Studies
are still ongoing: it’s proving to be a long slog, longer than originally anticipated, but she hasn’t given up. She’s now in the final phase, writing up her thesis: the challenge, of course, is finding time…

Thank you…
for all the Christmas cards that so many of you have sent. We’re sending out a few to close family but otherwise, as in previous years, will be making a donation to WaterAid instead.

As always, this comes with our love, best wishes for Christmas and prayers for peace in the coming year,

Phil & Sue


GroomNews Christmas 2012: A Year Like No Other December 15, 2012

Posted by Phil Groom in Advent and Christmas, Family, Life.
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7 comments

Archives | 2009 | 2010 | 2011

GroomNews Christmas 2012: Printer-friendly version (pdf, 168kb)

GroomNews Christmas 2012: Printer-friendly version (pdf, 168kb)

Thank you…
to everyone who has already sent us Christmas cards: we’re sending out a few to close family but otherwise we’re making another donation to WaterAid in lieu of cards; please accept this news roundup instead.

Phil’s Ankle
The beginning of the year seemed to slip by quietly and uneventfully until a dramatic turn of events landed Phil off work for three months with his left ankle strapped up in a “Beckham Boot”. You can read all about it here: The car didn’t get me, but the cardboard did… — to cut a longer story short, he skidded on a piece of cardboard at work and broke his ankle. The three months weren’t wasted, however, as Phil used the time to carry out some long overdue updates to UKCBD, the UK Christian Bookshops Directory: christianbookshops.org.uk

Sue’s Sabbatical
Not to be outdone by Phil taking three months off work, Sue did likewise in the autumn: from September to November she was on sabbatical. Unlike Phil’s time out, though, Sue’s was planned and we take this opportunity to thank everyone involved in making it possible, from those in the diocese who took on DDO responsibilities to those in the parishes who kept the respective shows on the road. She spent most of the time in Durham, working on her DThM thesis on the language of formation in ordination training. Staying with religious communities and worshipping at the Cathedral provided her with wonderful spiritual refreshment.

Silver Wedding Card and Flowers

Silver Wedding Cards and Flowers

Silver Wedding
At the end of October — two thirds of the way through Sue’s sabbatical — we celebrated our Silver Wedding Anniversary by booking into a hotel in Durham, from where we proceeded to sample the city’s cuisine with visits to different restaurants each evening, interspersed during the day by various outings. Another vote of thanks, this time to everyone who sent us cards, gifts and greetings on the day as well as for your friendship and support down the years.

Repaint for Almost
And how better to celebrate that anniversary than to commission a repaint for Almost? If you’ve seen us out & about on the waterways in recent years, you’ll have noticed that her paintwork leaves much to be desired. It was easy to keep on top of it when we lived afloat: whenever the sun was shining, one of us would be out there with a paintbrush; but since she’s been a holiday home rather than our main residence, it’s been more of a challenge, so we’ve at last called in the professionals: as we write, she’s with Colin & Kevin at Spiderworx (www.spiderworx.co.uk) undergoing a complete repaint and getting new signwriting.

Christmas TreeFamily News
Last year we reported the birth of our great-nephew, Oliver. This year it was wedding bells as niece Ruth married Ashley; and more wedding bells are planned for 2013: niece Claire to marry Simon, and nephew DJ to marry Nat: congratulations to one and all; only another 10 to go … not sure how we’ll ever keep up with them all! That’s all on Phil’s side of the family: over on Sue’s side, Alison, her sister, has left her job as a chaplaincy assistant in Plymouth to set up on her own as a counsellor, Cuthbert Counselling — if you’re in the south west and looking for counselling (or know someone else who is), do give her a shout: www.cuthbertcounselling.co.uk

Health & Fitness
Sue has added Aquafit and Pilates to her  regular exercise routine alongside all the swimming, and the routines are paying off, keeping her supple and, on the whole, free from aches & pains in her joints: doing very well, in fact, for someone who hits the big 50 in 2013! Phil has resumed cycling to and from work, and since his work itself is a matter of constant physical activity, he too is pretty much as fit as ever.

Taking Time…
Christmas: it’s all about God taking time out from eternity to be God with us. This year we’ve realised how important that is, and in the year ahead we’re determined to take more time out to reconnect with our friends. We look forward to seeing you! For now, however, as always, this comes with our love, best wishes for Christmas and prayers for peace in 2013,

Phil & Sue

This One’s for Luke: Happy Birthday! February 21, 2010

Posted by Phil Groom in Family.
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1 comment so far

It’s not every day your youngest nephew turns 16 and decides to adopt the family name: nice one, Luke! Have a great day and take good care of that name!

Lots of love,

Phil & Sue

Happy Birthday Luke!

Say No to Marital Unfaithfulness January 25, 2010

Posted by Phil Groom in Current Affairs, Family, News.
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4 comments
Church Times Blog, 25/01/2010

Church Times Blog, 25/01/2010 - Christians mount campaign against 'marital affairs' billboards

First, my thanks to the inimitable @davewalker for highlighting this issue on the Church Times Blog today: Christians mount campaign against ‘marital affairs’ billboards.

Now, please forgive my bluntness, but what on earth is going on in the heads of the plonkers running the Advertising Standards Authority? How can anyone possibly say that advertisements promoting unfaithfulness in marriage are unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence? That such advertisements do not offend against “widely accepted moral, social or cultural standards”??

Has our society really degenerated to the point where extramarital affairs are considered normal, harmless fun? Where were the ASA when things fell apart in Northern Ireland recently because of an extramarital affair? Enough families are wrecked by marriages falling apart as it is without promoting unfaithfulness as some sort of game.

Time for action! Here’s my letter of complaint to the ASA:

This advertisement is outrageous.

Publicly promoting unfaithfulness in marriage is offensive. This isn’t about fun: it’s about encouraging people to engage in lies and deception.

Nor is this simply a matter of ‘bad taste’ – it is promoting an attitude that undermines social cohesion, that will inevitably lead to family breakdown with all the concomitant effects upon innocent children.

I understand that you have already rejected complaints about these advertisements because you say that they are unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence. You are wrong: more than 1,000 people, myself included, are already seriously offended.

You have said “We can only act if the ad, in our judgement, offends against widely accepted moral, social or cultural standards.”

Faithfulness in relationships, in marriage in particular, IS a widely accepted moral, social and cultural standard, not only here in the UK but in all civilised societies. I put it to you that if in your judgement this advertisement does not offend in this way, then your judgement is at fault.

I call upon you to immediately review and reverse that judgement before any further offence is caused.

I regard this as a matter requiring urgent attention and look forward to receiving a prompt response from you.

Thank you.

I’ll let you know what response I receive, but in the meantime, if you share my concerns, please join the facebook group Stop marital affair .co.uk advertising publicly in the UK and send in your own complaint to the ASA.

Happy Birthday, Paul! April 17, 2009

Posted by Phil Groom in Family, Frivolity.
Tags: , ,
2 comments

It’s my brother’s birthday today: bet you can’t guess how old he is!!

Have a great day, Paul — and many happy returns!

Happy 50th Birthday, Paul!

Many happy returns!

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