Blog; “We re-enacted animal sacrifice from Leviticus using a first year student”

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Ordinand Emma Haggar reflects on her first half term at theological college. Here she takes a light hearted look at some of her experiences and highlights so far…


Somehow I’ve reached the end of my first half term at theological college! It feels like it has gone in the blink of an eye and that I’ve been here forever. Two topics have ended (except the small matter of writing the essays!) and two more will begin in November. So, here’s some highlights and discoveries so far…

  • I’ve discovered that there are two types of weather in Bristol; ‘raining’ and ‘about to rain’.
  • I have visited the zoo more than I’ve visited the city centre and I’m totally fine with that.
  • I tried on a cassock alb for the first time (think of a ‘jedi costume’ crossed with a ‘ninja costume’ with a little bit of ‘angel costume’ thrown in, though sadly without halo, wings or a lightsaber…) and it felt…well, actually it felt weird but then it is a bit weird. It didn’t feel as weird as I thought it would.
  • I sat in a PCC meeting which had very real ‘Vicar of Dibley’ vibes – and I smiled!
  • I preached from just bullet points, no script, and it was totally terrifying but completely OK.
  • We re-enacted an animal sacrifice from the book of Leviticus using a first year student instead of a lamb. He’s fine. The following week the same tutor played recorder in class while we played ‘pass the Bible’. There are some aspects of theological college which are a little unexpected!
  • I’ve been to the pub once…um, twice…oh no, wait…um, a few times…
  • I’ve read some very good books – my recommendation this blog is ‘the Epic of Eden’ by Sandra Richter. If you’ve always wondered what the Old Testament has to do with being a Christian it could be something of a life-changing read.

And living as part of this wonderful place of community, learning and formation is changing me…

  • My phone auto-suggest has always known that when I type the word ‘Jesus’ I probably want to follow it with the word ‘Christ’…but now it has started suggesting I might want to follow that with the word ‘superstar’!
  • I have started choosing which highlighter to use according to the appropriate liturgical colour.
  • And when I got off the bus yesterday I said, ‘Cheers Drive!’

However, there are some things I can assure you that haven’t changed…

  • I still have to sing the Andrew Lloyd Webber song to successfully remember all of Jacob’s sons.
  • When I come across Latin terminology I still have an overwhelming desire to say it in a dramatic voice and wave my pen around as if it was a Harry Potter spell (“ecclesia semper reformanda!” – reckon that one would cause Eccles cakes to appear).

More than anything, this first half term has shown me that I’m in the right place doing the right thing. Thank you God!


Emma is in her first year at Trinity College Bristol. She is from Ipswich and has been involved in various Christian projects, including Town Pastors and the Ipswich Christian Resource Library. She is an accomplished musician, with involvement in a number of local productions as well as previously practising as a private music teacher.
You can see all of Emma’s blog, ‘Thoughts on the way’ here
The thoughts expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of Network Suffolk