Between us, we have worked out, that Clare and I have no fewer than 20 years of university education - the vast majority of it in theology. And yet, as we sat in the car park at Mersey Street, waiting for the final skip to arrive, we couldn't help but muse upon the fact that nothing in our academic backgrounds had prepared us for the events of closing the church. On my first Sunday at Mersey Street - when still a student - St Ida, the then church treasurer - accosted me and told me that I was going to break into one of the congregation's house and help to break up her marriage! There was a back story of violence and abuse, but I prefer to leave the story as it is for dramatic effect. A couple of weeks later, I was sent up onto the church roof to try and waterproof the neon cross which was showing signs of leaking. Narrowly avoiding electrocution, I mused on the fact that ministry in Openshaw was not something that Northern Baptist College had really prepared me for. Fifteen years on, I think I was right. Incidentally, in the photo, Clare is reading the papers for her NHS board meeting this week.