This morning, after I had said Morning Prayer in Church, there was Mass and then the clipping of the rosemary and the shrubs which I planted a couple of years ago by the path leading to the back door and the cafe room in Church. As the cafe ladies poured teas out I counted the collection from last Sunday and chatted to Phyllis, the treasurer, about such things and about the purple High Mass set which she and Sheila are making. It is now very near completion, so great excitement abounds. Advent cannot come quickly enough!
I set Tuesday morning aside for catching up with Church affairs and then the afternoon, my free afternoon in the week, to do some academic work. However, I spent an hour or so in Church after my usual time chatting to a dear Parishioner who is slowly loosing his memory. It was a great pain to him that he could not remember a small detail from last week and a greater pain when he realised that he could not really understand the explanation I gave for it, as he had forgot ton the framework in which it happened. For all the fact that the detail was unimportant, of course the realisation of a fading memory was the more worrying of the two. How we live and thrive depends on how we remember the past and are able to do those things we must remember to. The future looks, at the moment, darker than it looked a few months ago and I wonder if I gave him the best advice last year. Time, and the rich mercy of God, will tell.
Anyway, by this point it was well into lunchtime, so I went to the village (as we call the local shops!) for fish and chips. Whilst there, I met a couple of other parishioners and a child of their acquaintance who insisted that I have a bit of rag pudding. I can now reveal to a stunned world that this is a square of boiled suet filled with what I was assured is minced beef and gravy. Dear world, it is horrible.
I toddled off homeward and bumped into another parishioner who is having a crisis at the moment, so an hour and a half later here I am, tapping away at the magic lantern telling you all about a very ordinary day in a very ordinary life. Wheels are now in motion, or at least being greased before operation, which, when spinning at full speed, will result in finding me a curacy for next year, that is, a Parish in which I will be the curate. I rather like that title, and prefer it to Priest, for it reminds me of my favourite saint, the Cure D'Ars, who, like me, wore what some see as inappropriate footwear in Church. You can see my sandals in all their glory in the pictures above, taken this last Sunday. But then, if I had my way, I would approach the altar barefoot, as the medieval Priests used to do during lent. If we are to be curates and eventually take on the cure of souls, humility is the first thing we, and I, for I have lived a blessed life, need to learn. Not my will, Lord, but Thine.