Bye-bye Bradford

Bradford (Photo credit: Tim Green aka atoach)

So I have 3 days left in Bradford, I started work there when my eldest was 9 months old, and am leaving almost 4 years later, with a 4 and 2 year old at home, to work closer to home. I am so pleased to be able to put the commute behind me, and looking forward to doing more at home, and being able to see friends and family more easily. Apparantly for every 10 miles you commute, you lose 10 minutes of social capital… so you don’t bump into people you know, you don’t bump into neighbours and you don’t support the place you call home.

I have had some wonderful experiences in Bradford though. Hearing the call to prayer, in Manningham, whilst in the middle of a boring meeting about day services, is really quite uplifting. Driving over Ilkley Moor to visit a provider who gives me lovely china tea-cups and biscuits when I visit. Being invited to an Eastern European christmas networking event, speaking to a room full of people who don’t speak English about dementia, and having no idea what the translator was saying… Feeling like I’d made a difference through bringing new funding into the district from grant applications, to spend in the Food Banks, working with colleagues who pray three times a day.. the list goes on.

I know God loves everyone, but I think Bradfordians are close to his heart. They are warm and friendly and down to earth, and sometimes crazy, but also up for doing things altogether differently. New opportunities are abundant despite the scary levels of poverty and ill-health. Even though the city centre features a big hole, and lots of empty shops, its also got a fantastic new City Park, full of kids playing in the fountains in half-term (much featured in recent programme The Syndicate) and a national media museum, fantastic culture, and of course lunch-time curries are not going to be the same anywhere else! When Bradford City got to Wembley, even Chris Evans gave them a mention on the Breakfast Show.

It’s also been traumatic because I started in Bradford having been made redundant from my last job, and came back after maternity leave the second time, after having to apply for my job, and find myself dealing with a whole load of new responsibilities I hadn’t had before the current government came to power! At times I would dearly have liked to quit or win the lottery, but I didn’t and instead I started writing this blog, to help me process what was happening at home and at work.

So here we are on a new website, posterous has closed down, new job and hopefully good times ahead. My eldest starts school in September. The following prayer is from Paul’s letter to Ephesians… whilst locked up in prison he is describing the wonderful expanse of God’s love….

Ephesians 3, v14-21

For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family[a] in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.


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