After High Mass this morning there was dinner to say goodbye to a couple of handfuls of friends who have been mainstays of my time here for the last seven years. Plenty of roast beef was consumed, copious amounts of cake and then, as the sun reached its zenith (about 3.30 in my back garden) we toddled outside for brandy, coffee and watermelon. In this civilised time (at least until the bottle of Armagnac was finished) the heat became so hot hats were called for - a decommissioned biretta and a fez were found and worn.
Before this, pudding was finished. I was of sound enough mind to clear the empties away, including a viciously sweet Pedro Ximenez, some Soave and a couple of bottles of good, peppery Cotes du Rhone before taking the picture. Peppery CdR is hard to come by now, having lost favour to the new styles, but it holds sway in Teather houses from Bere Regis to Prestwich.
A good turnout for Sunday Mass pleased us, particularly given the weather which may have called many to the seaside. I enjoyed reading and by default hearing the beautiful sequence for Pentecost as well as so many Pentecost Hymns. The twelve tall candles upon the altar brought out attention to the descent of the Holy Ghost upon the friends in the upper room, from which they went out to tell the good news. Next week is Trinity Sunday and then I will go out from Prestwich on Corpus Christi, to Preston and the next stage of my life. Do pray for me, as I shall be exhorting my new Parishioners to do as well on my first Sunday when I preach on the days readings.
Our acolytes had unfeasibly long candles because the usual stocks in them go into the tubes for candles 11 and 12 for Pentecost. Back to usual next week once I have cleaned the tubes.
The new kitchen is coming along. There will probably be a new wipeable floor in front of the units soon or the carpet will soon become smeggy. I do not know if they sell wipeable surfaces in retail outlets, but maybe Thom can have a look, as this is where he is this afternoon, shirking his responsibility to you all. Tut.
And after Mass, there was a full Church again as we had four Baptisms, thus completing our Eastertide teaching of new life and a turning away from sin. That we had running water is a boon, so that we could at least put some water in the font. Tomorrow sees a trip to Liverpool to acquire an item of which there will be more later and then North to a meeting, then far South for the afternoon. It will be a busy day, as they all are at the moment.