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Doing what I love and loving what I do… May 1, 2018

Posted by Phil Groom in Life.
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… thank you @notquitealice for the title ❤️

 

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GroomNews Christmas 2017 December 9, 2017

Posted by Phil Groom in Advent and Christmas, Life, News.
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Archives | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016

GroomNews Christmas 2017 - front cover featuring Nidaros Cathedral, Trondheim, in the snow (March 2017)

GroomNews Christmas 2017: download and fold in 4 to make a Christmas card (pdf, 254kb)

WELCOME to GroomNews Christmas 2017 as another remarkable year draws to an end. Thank you, first of all, to everyone who has been in touch—or even visited—during the year. We apologise where we haven’t kept in touch as well as we should.

Cruising the Norwegian Fjords
The year’s highlight came early on, a cruise around the Norwegian Fjords on Hurtigruten’s MS Finnmarken at the end of March. It’s a holiday we promised ourselves many years ago and this year, with Sue’s doctorate completed, we finally managed it.

Some of the trip’s highlights were meeting the husky puppies after going on a husky sleigh ride; crossing the Arctic Circle; a midnight concert at the Arctic Cathedral; and a visit to Nidaros Cathedral, Trondheim, pictured above.

Sue with a Husky Puppy

Meeting the Husky Puppies

Celebrating 30 Years
Yes, that’s right: it’s hard to believe that three decades have passed since that day in 1987 when we said, “I will!” We celebrated with a day out in Bath (and bought each other presents, of course!). Thank you to all those who have supported us down the years and to everyone who sent us cards and/or greetings on facebook.

Being an Archdeacon
Sue is as busy as ever in her work as Archdeacon of Wilts and—perhaps most importantly—still enjoying the role and the various challenges it brings. Keep an eye on the Diocese of Salisbury facebook and twitter pages for updates on what’s happening in the diocese, including some of Sue’s activities.

Swimming the Channel—again!
A huge thank you to everyone who sponsored Sue in this year’s Aspire Channel Swim Challenge: in the 12 weeks Sue swam over 50 miles—more than double the distance—and raised more than £724 (plus Gift Aid) to support people with spinal injuries. Although the swim is officially over you can still sponsor her via her JustGiving page >> go on, you know you want to!

Beyond Caen Hill…
For this year’s summer holiday we took Almost down the world-famous flight of Caen Hill Locks, through Bradford-on-Avon and Bath, to Hanham on the River Avon—then back again, of course. If you’ve never visited Caen Hill, you should: it’s one of the Wonders of the Waterways. Look out for Phil and his colleagues fundraising for Canal & River Trust at the Welcome Station outside the café. Please don’t just walk on by: stop and say hi—we don’t bite!

DLT Books Christmas Sale 2017

DLT Books Christmas Sale 2017

DLT Advocate
Phil is still working freelance on a part-time basis for DLT Books (Darton, Longman & Todd), looking after several twitter accounts and helping with publicity & promotions. If you follow him on twitter or facebook you’ll often see him giving shout outs for new titles or special offers. Right now the Christmas Sale is in full swing with 1/3 off the entire gift book range: use discount code xmas17 at the online checkout. Some great stocking fillers there but you’ll need to move fast now to get your orders in for Christmas!

Learning…
Both of us are on a steep learning curve at the moment: for Phil, the L-plates are out as he—at long last!—learns to drive, chivvied along by John, one of his colleagues on the CRT fundraising team; and for Sue, it’s getting to grips with Canon (aka Ecclesiastical) Law. Ooo-er…

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

Phil & Sue (signature)

Phil and Sue's Husky Sleigh Ride

GroomNews: May 2016 NewsFlash May 22, 2016

Posted by Phil Groom in Life.
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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.

Congratulations Sue!

crtfundraising-caenhill-13052016

In action with Gary Redfern, K&A Fundraising Team Leader, at Caen Hill, Devizes

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,

Phil & Sue

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