GroomNews Christmas 2016 December 10, 2016Posted by Phil Groom in Advent and Christmas, Life, News.
Tags: Archdeacon of Wilts, Darton Longman and Todd, Devizes, DLT Books, GroomNews, Phil & Sue Groom, Phil Groom, Sue Groom
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WELCOME to GroomNews Christmas 2016 — and what a year it’s been! We’ve moved home, moved boat, both started new jobs, met lots of new people, lost and found the Christmas wrapping paper… but that’s getting ahead of ourselves: back to the beginning.
Farewell to Henlow & Langford
A huge thank you, first of all, to the wonderful people of Henlow and Langford, not only for giving us a very generous send-off but also for taking the time to travel to Devizes and join us for Sue’s collation and official welcome as Archdeacon of Wilts back in February.
Discovering the Archdeaconry of Wilts
Sue is thoroughly enjoying exploring Wiltshire, visiting the 123 churches in the archdeaconry and getting to know so many different people. Much of her time is spent on appointments: it’s vital to find the right priest for each post. She’s also now making a point of visiting the area’s 53 church schools, where she loves leading collective worship and meeting pupils, staff and governors. Other responsibilities include taking the lead on Safeguarding within the diocese and attending various regular meetings about finance and buildings.
Forget Doctor Who: Here’s Doctor Sue!
Sue submitted her DThM thesis in January before we moved, then came the viva in May and—yes!—she passed with flying colours, not even minor corrections required. The graduation ceremony followed in Durham in July and Sue now enjoys the title of Venerable Doctor. A chapter from the thesis is due to be published in the Anglican Theological Review in Spring 2017. What comes next? If the plan comes together, an LLM in Canon Law at Cardiff, studies commencing next autumn.
Swimming the Channel…
Virtually, that is, 22 miles length by length in our local pool! Sue took up the Aspire Channel Swim Challenge in September, swam the width of the Channel twice, and raised over £1,200 in the process to support people with spinal injuries. A huge thank you to everyone who sponsored her.
Onto the Kennet & Avon
We moved Almost onto the K&A in the summer, cruising up the Thames to Reading and across to Devizes, where Almost is now moored, just a short walk from home. It’s a lovely 87 mile long waterway that stretches across the south of the country to Bath. Phil is getting to know the canal well as he now works part time for CRT, the Canal & River Trust: look out for him at the Caen Hill welcome station if ever you’re out on the towpath!
Back into the Book Trade, and still baking!
Phil is also working part time with DLT Books (Darton, Longman & Todd), helping with publicity and promotions to raise awareness and reach out to people and groups that traditional trade routes aren’t reaching as well as they might. You can find out more and read excerpts from lots of books on the DLT Books Blog, and right now the entire backlist—everything published in 2015 or earlier—is half-price in the Christmas Sale: simply use the discount code xmas in the online shopping basket to activate the discount!
… and yes, Phil is still head chef, baker, bottle washer and gardener, as well as collector of firewood for our lovely open fireplaces!
With our love, prayers and very best wishes for Christmas and the coming year,
— Phil & Sue
GroomNews: May 2016 NewsFlash May 22, 2016Posted by Phil Groom in Life.
Tags: Bookselling, Canal & River Trust, Christianity, Church of England, Devizes, DThM, GroomNews, Kennet & Avon Canal, Phil & Sue Groom
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Hello and thank you to everyone who has been praying for us or otherwise cheering us on as we’ve settled into our new home and roles in Wiltshire.
Today it gives me (Phil writing) great pleasure to announce that Sue has passed the Viva (live examination) for her DThM (Doctorate in Theology and Ministry) with flying colours, not even minor corrections required! If you’re familiar with the way the academic world works, you’ll appreciate how unusual that is: doctorates are very rarely signed off without some revisions or rewriting required; and in this case as much as anything the immediate pass acknowledges the important contribution that Sue’s work makes to the ongoing conversations about training for ordination in the Church of England.
It’s been a long haul, just shy of nine years of research, analysis and writing, and we’re very grateful to everyone whose loving support and encouragement has made it possible, amongst many others the students who agreed to be her ‘guinea pigs’ and her supervisors in Durham, Roger Walton and Stephen Barton to begin with, then Jeff Astley and Richard Briggs. Once the official paperwork has been signed off, her official title will be the Venerable Canon Dr, but to friends and family she will, of course, always simply remain Sue.
I’m also delighted to report some changes for me: after three months as a free agent (unemployed benefits scrounger if you subscribe to the government’s spin on things) I now have two part-time jobs to keep me occupied. Earlier this month I started work for the Canal & River Trust as a Towpath Fundraiser, which means I get to stand around on the towpath at Caen Hill Locks here in Devizes and welcome walkers, cyclists and other passers-by to the Kennet & Avon canal, tell them all about it and invite them to become Friends of the Trust. At this time of year and when the sun is shining, I think it must be the best job in the world! Please do take a look at the Trust’s website and consider signing up yourself: Canal and River Trust > Become a Friend
My second job is to work freelance on behalf of a Christian publisher as an advocate to raise interest in and promote sales of some of their more left-of-field books amongst potential readers who are not being reached by traditional trade channels. It promises to be a challenging role as I seek to work in a way that doesn’t trespass on the territory of existing booksellers, and liaise with authors to help them develop opportunities to generate sales through their own online activities. Look out for me in a social media space near you soon, and please don’t be offended if I tell you to support your local Christian bookshop rather than buy from me! It’s a new venture both for the publisher and for me so it’s initially on a trial basis, subject to review.
There’s much more we could tell you, of course: about the joys and challenges of being an Archdeacon in an area with lots of clergy vacancies and more clergy approaching retirement; or about the pleasures of looking after a wonderful garden where Spring has definitely sprung, the grass is reaching for the sky and all the trees and bushes are filling out with magnificent greenery; but we’ll save that for another time.
Thank you once again for your prayers and support. Please continue to pray for us as we shall continue to pray for you: we look forward to hearing your news in return.
With our love,
Introducing the next Archdeacon of Wilts November 3, 2015Posted by Phil Groom in Church, Life, News.
Tags: Archdeacon of Wilts, Church of England, Devizes, Diocese of Salisbury, Good News, Henlow and Langford, St Andrew's Langford, Sue Groom
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TODAY it gives me immense pleasure to introduce the next Archdeacon of Wilts, someone most readers of this blog will already know: none other than my wonderful wife, the Revd Canon soon-to-be-Venerable Sue Groom.
Sue’s present dual-role post as Priest-in-Charge of Henlow & Langford and St Albans Diocesan Director of Ordinands (DDO) requires her to give three months notice, so the lovely people of Henlow and Langford haven’t seen the last of us yet: we don’t leave until the end of January 2016; but both of us would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has welcomed us and made our 6+ years here in Bedfordshire so enjoyable and worthwhile — it’s been a genuine privilege to share this part of our lives with you.
Sue’s last service in the Benefice is scheduled for Sunday 31st January, a combined service with the two parishes together at St Andrew’s, Langford, and we’d love to see as many people there as possible: please do join us if you’re in the area. Her licensing as Archdeacon of Wilts is scheduled for Monday 22nd February at St John’s, Devizes — close to where we’ll be living, a superb location on the Kennet & Avon Canal — followed on Thursday 25th February by a diocesan welcome service for both Sue and the new Bishop of Sherborne at Salisbury Cathedral: look out for more details of these services nearer the time.
The news was announced in both parishes on Sunday 1st November 2015, and further announcements and a press release are being issued today via the official St Albans and Salisbury diocesan news channels; all that remains for me to say now is:
- St Albans: DDO to be New Archdeacon for Wilts | Archdeacons Abound
- Salisbury: A New Archdeacon for Wilts
- BBC News Wiltshire: Reverend Canon Sue Groom to be Archdeacon of Wiltshire
- Salisbury Journal: New Archdeacon of Wiltshire named
- Swindon Advertiser: New Archdeacon of Wiltshire named
- Wikipedia: Archdeacon of Wilts