This morning we celebrated the High Mass of the Dedication of Saint Hilda's Church, a hundred and four years ago. It is showing, in parts, so we hope that the continual improvements will fit the building for another hundred or so years. We used the gothic gold High Mass set given in memory of Michael Greenwood, one time Churchwarden. We have had a generous donor covering the costs of the two icons at the Holy Souls Chapel, so they will be ordered tomorrow, along with a painted board to go down the side of the Chapel with part of the Panikhida for the departed and the names of the parents of the donor. Next Sunday will be the last green Sunday of the year, Canon Denby will hopefully be presiding, before All Saints the week after, Remembrance Sunday and the Patronal Festival give way to Christ the King, when we hope Fr John Gribben from the Community of the Resurrection in Mirfield will preach. We hope that the black catafalque cover will double up as an altar frontal on Remembrance Sunday, not having a catafalque on that day as we do not want to scare the natives! Next Sunday will have Solemn Evensong and Benediction in the evening at 6pm.
This week was the 60th birthday of Ken Savage, one of our Churchwardens. He is seen here with Maryrose, the other Churchwarden, cutting his cake which is, as you can see, in the shape of a coach. Ken has dedicated his life to the Anglo-Catholic wing of the Church and to buses, so a bus-shaped cake after High Mass seemed a pretty good way to celebrate his birthday! All together now, 'gosh, Ken, you don't look your age!'. Yet. We also welcomed a new server today as well, Matthew, who is used to better things at the Cathedral, but has decided to make us his home along with his Mother. So we are doubly blessed and hopefully will soon have the ability to return to having acolytes at every Mass. We could still do with one or two more, though, as we could do with a couple more choristers. Coffee and the occasional bus shaped cake are provided.
On Saturday morning I went for a walk in Hardcastle Crags, a notoriously craggy, hilly valley near Hebden Bridge. The river was racing with all the rain there has been recently, which powers the turbines at the Mill at the end of the valley, which is completely cut off from the mains supplies, generating it's own power from the sun and the river, dispersing it's own waste and charging a fortune for bought in parsnip soup in the cafe. The river walk is fantastic though, if rather challenging in parts on a wet day, with a ground full of slippy leaves.
The evening was spent in the far more rarefied surroundings of La Boheme near Lymm celebrating my Cousin David's 40th birthday. He can be seen in the second picture standing up making a speech. Your scribe, naturally, was surrounded by glamorous women at the other end, amazing them with tales of 'maniples I have known' and 'High Mass, whither the gradual hymn?' You can see my Uncle Ged in the first picture guarding the door to the restaurant. Everyone else, when I arrived, was in the pub over the road getting tanked up on the cheaper beer available there. Being a Saturday and being in the car, I was limited to a glass of Ricard and a glass of wine. The sacrifices I make!
On a more serious note, you will be glad to know that, after a treble heart bypass, Father Norman Price, our associate Priest, is recovering well. He had a very difficult couple of days after the operation but is now improving fast. He hopes to be home tomorrow, although will be confined to bed for some time yet.