For some time now, I've been conscious of a cyclical nature accompanying the tasks of the parish. Whilst there is always an element of unpredictability, things do tend to come along in seasons. Funerals, visiting, schools work, meetings, admin. I could become jaded, like the writer of Ecclesiastes, who declared: "What has been is what will be and what has been done is what will be done. There is nothing new under the sun." But the wonderful thing about ministry is that, constantly, ministers have the privilege of working with so many different people in a fascinating variety of roles and context. Pausing for a moment, as the church revs up again after the summer, to take stock of the open access afforded to parish ministers, is a sobering exercise accompanied by a tremendous sense of responsibility. A task only achievable when empowered and accompanied by the spirit of God, Ministry is certainly not a comfortable place for loners or for the weary or for those who don't like surprises. God leads us collaboratively into the most unlikely situations and infuses energy and, thankfully, lots of humour along the way.