Yesterday I drove to Penge, a place in South London that I'd heard of but had never before had cause to visit, to sit the first day of my Congregational Federation foundation course for which I have been sponsored by my local Church.
For those who feel it is their calling the course can be the first small step towards becoming a preacher, providing the grounding in theology that is of course an essential prerequisite for such a commitment. For others it is simply an opportunity to broaden one's knowledge base and sometimes to exchange ideas with members from other congregations.
I'm not in any way sure that I'd be cut out to deliver sermons from the pulpit. Public speaking I am accustomed to, but whether I am the right person to be setting myself up as an example for others to aspire to is another matter entirely.
Time will tell. For the time being the plan is to quietly complete the course and consider my options.