We found out last week that matt has passed the final criteria to train to become a vicar! If your interested here is a little diagram detailing Matts journey to ordained ministry in the Church of England so far...!
You'll notice that the first stage of Matts journey happens in autumn 2011, this was a significant time for us both.
I remember, we were at a church leaders weekend when matt mentioned his feeling of call to me for the first time, at this point Matt was one of my closest friends, someone I clicked with like no one else. The year before I had let him know that I wanted to keep things between us platonic. Seven months later the winds of change were blowing for me and I felt a call of my own (read about it here....http://encounterswithjoy.blogspot.co.uk/2011/11/le-pot-de-miel.html)
So this was it. I was off to France the following week, Matt was just beginning to articulate his sense of Call to 'official Anglican ministry' and a few of us talked about it over the course of the weekend. It was incredibly windy outside and we ventured out on a blustery walk where matt and I fell into step together.
I don't remember what we talked about specifically on the walk but I do remember being so grateful that he was in my life. Later on he prayed over me (this prayer http://encounterswithjoy.blogspot.co.uk/2011/11/for-sheffield.html) to go away with, this was instantly significant and has remained so ever since, matt shared it again in his wedding speech. After the weekend a lingering feeling of loss tinged my excitement in leaving, I was sad to be walking away in some measure from this friendship and into the unknown.
As it transpired by the time I was back in Sheffield again the following autumn our friendship was not only intact but pretty quickly became more.
So that's just a little context of the journey we've Been on so far..! Matt did his local panel interview in January (follow this link for some of my thoughts on that occasion...http://encounterswithjoy.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/watching.html).
We both feel the call to ordained ministry, for me the process hasn't been as formal, though it's no less real for that. (I'm planning a post around my personal ordination journey soon).
Passing the BAP is huge news for us on many levels and feels like the outworking of a lot of things god has done in us over the last three years. It also probably means that we'll be leaving Sheffield at the start of the next academic year. (Cue broken hearted sobbing)
Where we will go remains a mystery at present but an exciting one!