Graeme Elmore, new recruit to the Ex Services Mental Welfare Society - otherwise known as Combat Stress.

So, I'm away up to Town tonight to start my new job as the London Regional Welfare Officer for the Ex-Services Mental Welfare Society, otherwise known as Combat Stress. A couple of induction weeks to look forward before I am let loose on the society's clients - all within the M25. This is a really exciting opportunity for me,because it is a pastoral stle job and its still working with Service or Ex-Service personnel who have been very much part of my world for than the past 20 years.

Also today was my first Sunday as "an honorary layman!" How else do I describe myself? It's a sort of limbo land as I leave the CofE behind and look forward to eventaully being received into the Catholic Church (hopefully - and allbeing well - by Christmas) Of course, whatever I do, I will always be an ordained priest within the Anglican tradition, but that I lay aside for the time being and see what the future holds. But it was peculiar being sat in the congregation and of coure not being able to receive Holy Communion. Strange to think also that I might never have to prepare another homily, baptise a baby, marry a happy couple, bury the dead or even stand at the altar again. That's a big hole in my life that I am going to have to learn to live with -perhaps for always! But the prospect of remaining an Anglican was even worse! Oh dear - what a shame to have to say that.

Changing times - but all for the better I think.