A good turnout on a wretched morning which got progressively worse as the Mass progressed, by the Preface (above) the sun was almost completely obscured by heavy black cloud, promising a thunderstorm which lasted for an intense ten minutes. Next week, apart from the usual daily Mass, bingo, cafe and other things there is a Lent prayer group on Thursday evening and a social night on Saturday where we will be doing something similar to that which upset the Vicar writing in last Friday's Church Times. Uneasy as I find the thought that there are priests in the Church of England who would rather pay a penalty fee than socialise with their congregations, having met some congregations I am not surprised. I recently had a telephone call from a lady in a parish in Xshire who told me that a person I had asked to do something (non religious, on non parochial premises) could not do this thing for us because she was, and I quote, 'a Methodist, so obviously she can't do it', so I sympathise with the mystery vicar, but wonder if he really can't abide his or her flock so much, then maybe the feeling is mutual and it may be time to move on.
I spent much of yesterday pulling up carpets that smelt of cat pee in my new house, ready for the carpet fitters to put some new ones down as well as looking at paint samples in a meaningful way, time is short, but sufficient. Our friend Simon, in Saint Stephens House, has all this to come next year, he sends his greetings to you.
Our aisle is too narrow for the Asperges really, but we make a good effort, the squeezing in and rubbing shoulders is all a bit medieval and reminds me of being on pilgrimage at Walsingham, where the Church fills up quickly and you are tightly hemmed in, under the dark roof and gazing at a hundred glimmering lamps. Ah Walsingham! How lucky I am that my future Parish have their annual pilgrimage there just a day after my Diaconal ordination, hopefully I will be able to go with Saint Hilda's as well, but we will have to see. Meanwhile, places fill up rapidly on the Manchester coach for the Anglican Wander, so do get in touch if you intend coming with us via that mode of transport, as well as if you require a meal when you get there.