This blog turns 3 this week, and I'd like to mark the occasion by saying thankyou to three people.
Steve Tilley's Mustard Seed Shavings was what inspired me to start blogging in the first place. Steve started in this Diocese about the same time as me, doing a similar job, so I Googled him to find out a few things, and ended up on his blog. The rest is recent history. Steve was also my first ever commenter. Thankyou Steve for inspiration and encouragement.
Ruth Gledhill took pity on me a couple of months later, discovering this measly little blog with its 20 visitors a week and deciding to send a bit of traffic my way. I've tried, and sometimes failed, to be nice to her ever since! Thankyou Ruth for encouraging a newbie blogger - to have a journalist for the Times complement me on my blog has given me an enduring warm and fuzzy feeling, and is another great lesson in the power of encouragement. Thankyou also for your courage in keeping your head above the Anglican parapet in your coverage of church affairs. We sometimes give you a lot of stick, but we should give you a lot of credit too.
After referencing Matt Wardmans digging on National Secular Society membership figures, Matt got in touch and asked if I'd like to do some articles for his Wardman Wire. So Touching Base started, a weekly column on Matt's site, and it's helped in all sorts of ways. Writing for a 'secular' audience from a spiritual perspective forces me to think about communication, and Matt has been an excellent coach in the art of blogging, as well as the technical side. Once the Dave Walker business kicked off last year, Matt did most of the behind-the-scenes work in co-ordinating the bloggers campaign, and making sure it had maximum impact. Thankyou Matt for your mentoring, trust, and encouragement.
And thankyou everyone else for reading, commenting, linking, arguing, and making this such a creative place to be. My first ever post is here, in case you're interested. What started out as a blog on mission and leadership has suffered from quite a bit of mission creep in 3 years!!
Actually, I think I'll turn this into a meme, a sort of blogging 'Pay it Forward'. Steve, Ruth, and Matt, over to you to thank 3 people in the blogosphere who've helped or inspired you, and to encourage them to thank 3 more people each, and so on. Lets see if this baby floats.