Close up of the Piece Hall gates.
Halifax High Street.
Halifax Parish Church.
Yesterday I went to Halifax, which is a quiet market town to my right, over Saddleworth Moor and far away. Sitting in a pub nestling in the hills, enjoying the unique darkness of the stones in these parts which make the houses, eating some nice black bream with a sort of posh prawn cabbagey thing and looking at the line of washing at the end of the alley, drinking a pint of Timothy Taylor's Best, synod felt a million miles away. Although, in fact, I was closer to York than I was on Monday. Thus do we need to settle back and get on with the work of God. Today, though, will be fraught as it is the first Sunday, hence the first Mass many will have attended since the vote, therefore I am up early and will open Church early so that I may have lit all the shrines and said my Morning Prayer before anyone comes in, in case there is the need to suggest what may be.
However, none of this spoilt my enjoyment of Halifax one iota. I was disappointed to see that the monumental Piece Hall is deserted, save for a small and inconsequential market and a few tatty shops, this fine structure could surely be something a bit more vibrant, I thought. The Parish Church was locked, although there were bell ringers in but the market was open. Now, I love traditional Northern Markets and you don't get more traditional or Northern than Halifax! I was able to find things that are unavailable anywhere else, including my favourites of jellied veal head and jellied pickled beef brisket. I have even photographed them for you, how lucky you are!
Like Father Jones at London Docks, visitor numbers are going back to the previous amounts, albeit slowly, so as I said before, I hope some of the newcomers will stay and give us a trial for a while. There will be sporadic cover of Lambeth, particularly the parts which pertain directly to the Anglo Catholic Community, so watch for that. In the meantime, by the grace of God, it is the fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time and life goes on.
"I will extol thee, O Lord, for thou hast drawn me up, and hast not let my foes rejoice over me. O Lord my God, I cried to thee for help, and thou hast healed me.
O Lord, thou hast brought up my soul from Sheol, restored me to life from among those gone down to the Pit. Sing praises to the Lord, O you his saints, and give thanks to his holy name.
For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.
As for me, I said in my prosperity, ‘I shall never be moved.’ By thy favor, O Lord, thou hadst established me as a strong mountain; thou didst hide thy face, I was dismayed.
To thee, O Lord, I cried; and to the Lord I made supplication; ‘What profit is there in my death, if I go down to the Pit? Will the dust praise thee? Will it tell of thy faithfulness? Hear, O Lord, and be gracious to me! O Lord, be thou my helper!’
Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing; thou hast loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness, that my soul may praise thee and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to thee for ever."