Thursday, 23 April 2009

Bits and Pieces.

I have a couple more pictures of Palm Sunday at Saint Timothy's Fort Worth to share with you, this one shows the soldiers on top of the Church watching the procession. It is worth repeating over and over again two essential truths about Palm Sunday, firstly that on the west side of Jerusalem there was a great military procession and Christ came in the East door, the right side of the figurative temple, in peace and riding a donkey - quite at odds with the armoured horses at the West. Secondly, that as soon as he had cleansed the temple, he returned the next day and healed the sick as well as spending time with the outcasts. Great public displays followed up by a renewed commitment to ministry, much like the Anglo Catholic congresses of old which my favourite Bishop Frank Weston used to speak at, and because it is my birthday (as well as being Saint George's day and I like to share a feast day with a Palestinian while talking about Jerusalem) we can hear Bishop Frank again;

'Go out and look for Jesus in the ragged, in the oppressed, in the naked and sweated and in those who have lost hope, in those who are struggling to make good. Look for Jesus. And when you see him, gird yourselves with his towel and wash their feet'.

Here the Passion is sung in St Timothy's by three local, home grown men who have learned their chanting skills in and for the service of, the Church. What a happy and good thing to come about.

"I will take delight in Jerusalem and rejoice in my people; weeping and cries for help shall never again be heard in her . . . Men shall build houses and live to inhabit them, plant vineyards and eat their fruit; they shall not build for others to inhabit nor plant for others to eat. My people shall live the long life of a tree, and my chosen shall enjoy the fruit of their labor. They shall not toil in vain or raise children for misfortune. . . They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain, says the Lord." -- Isaiah 65: 19, 21-23, 25 Oh, Jerusalem.

In the hazy light yesterday evening after Mass the Paschal candle looked beautiful with its garland of flowers, indeed the Church looks beautiful and there is blossom everywhere outside. A couple of days before he died, Dennis Potter, much maligned man, talked about 'seeing the blossom' both literally and figuratively, outside in his beloved Forest of Dean. It may have been the morphine in his case but not in mine when I felt close to that statement as I sat in the dappled courtyard of Luther King House on Monday saying my office with trees bursting with more blossom than they could hold over my head. I will find it hard to leave Manchester, but I am happy with the way things are going in Preston, I may even take a couple of pictures of my new house for you on Saturday. The Chapel is in disrepair at the moment, on the top floor, but I have found some nice Marian blue paint for it.

And the Lady Chapel in Saint Hilda's in the evening light, once I had cleared the extra candles away which were put out for the eve of the Feast of the Patron of England.

Later on, there was a bottle or two of beer in the garden. The BBQ was not going, I am afraid, it is open because I had just finished cleaning it in readiness for another Summer.