Chaplain to the Queen Cllr Rev Ann Easter learns from even her most embarrassing mistakes


- Credit: Archant

Just once, I forgot a funeral I was supposed to be conducting!!

It was terrible – I’d been at a meeting earlier in the afternoon when a man was taken ill and what with calling 999 and getting him into the recovery position and the general panic, it wasn’t until everyone had gone that I noticed my cassock hanging on the door...

I shall never forget the mad dash to the City of London Crem but I was too late and a colleague had stood in for me. I’ve never missed a funeral since!

But I make other mistakes every day; arriving late at a conference last year I went through the wrong door and found myself on the stage with the Archbishop of Central Africa and some people who were dancing!

At home, I once liquidised an expensive jar of cherries – complete with the stones! And my daughter regularly reminds me of the time I put the boys carefully in the car then drove away – leaving her, age seven, standing in the car park!

A law recently passed in California allows young people to delete permanently the embarrassing texts and photos made public on social media before they were 18; that way, prospective employers or universities won’t see those mistakes.

But, on the other hand, a professor at King’s College in London has said that we should not be encouraged to delete our mistakes; he wants to ban all those smelly rubber erasers we loved so much so that our errors still show. Then, he says, we can learn from them.

What to do with mistakes? We might delete them or rub them out – but we know they were there. As a Christian, I believe that it’s important to confront them realistically, to try to see why we went wrong and if it can be put right, then to move on and resolve to make better mistakes next time. More from Ann

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