Simon, who is going to St Stephen's house in September, Mark, Phyllis the Treasurer, Ken a Churchwarden and Neil, policeman and transporter of pallets with which to build the Holy Souls altar. We were very pleased to see Fr Bryan, Parish Priest of St Mary's, our neighbouring Parish as well. I look forward to our trip out and thank him for another invitation to preach at St Mary's.
We had the biggest turnout for Mass yesterday for some time, thanks be to God. Afterwards sixty five people came to my house for a party which went wonderfully, raising well over six hundred pounds. Tomorrow is an open day, so there is a smell of baking in the Parish as dozens of cakes are turned out of dozens of cake tins and I am off to Church soon to put some vestments out in an exhibition. This Friday sees the annual pilgrimage to Walsingham and the Friday after a High Mass for the Assumption. The new craft club for the Parish is beginning soon and te weekly cafe is full. Soon is the pan-Parish trip out closely followed by another party for the Parish in the Social Club up the road after High Mass to celebrate our Treasurers milestone birthday. A coach has been booked to take us to York for the Northern Festival and the roof is being repaired as we speak. Oh, and the disabled toilet and rear access is being put out to tender. Our Sunday School is booming. We have, as I said before, no intention of going anywhere because as I have always maintained, Anglo Catholicism works and works well when it is deep rooted in the local area, through the sacrificial and hospitable ministries of Parish Priest and Parishoners. We have many people who regularly open their houses and gardens to raise money and celebrate our friendship, many more who are involved with the myriad of events we have week in, week out throughout the year. From my observation, Anglo Catholicism fails when it becomes a club, with no local connections or interest. For the same reason, if a new Oxford Movement is to work, it must emulate the last one in that it must, must, must appeal to the native peoples sense of religion. It must speak eloquently of Englishness in it's most positive, welcoming and all embracing way. It must speak of the ancient love of God in these isles and the hope of a better future. If we set it to emulate the Roman Church in every detail, in the hope of saving ourselves, we and it are doomed to failure. A new Oxford Movement must be for the people of these Isles whom we serve and for God. Not for ourselves.