Friday, 15 May 2009

Stately, Plump, Buck Mulligan.

I have tried, on the occasions when I have been to Preston for meetings with my future incumbent, or the workmen who have been beavering away in my new house or for other reasons, to take some pictures, particularly for our American readers, who will not have the opportunity to visit Preston. However, it has rained every time I have been. Assuming that this is a continual feature of the city, I have done the best I can with Saint Johns, (the Minster), which is a very big church and hard to photograph, but you get the general idea from the picture above. Saint Georges, with its staggering interior, is less attractive from the outside, even to a Georgian fan like your scribe and wet, under cloud, is not the best time to photograph it. I will keep persevering.

I move in a month from now, so can I ask if there is still anyone who has not had an ember card/change of address card who wants them, to let me know now. I have a handful left from the 300 I had printed, thinking that to be sufficient and they will all be gone this Sunday. Email me as usual.

The sun came out for a second as I walked down my road, offering this glimpse of Winckley Square, bordered by the Jesuit Church to the North and the SSPX Church to the South. I do not look forward to the mechanics of moving, the packing and unpacking, cleaning this house and handing keys over to a tenant but will be glad to be where I am going to. I look forward very much to going, but not too much at the moment, as I still have plenty to do here before I go, one of which things is to do a little arranging around next week. We are having a High Mass for Ascension Day at 7.30 on the Thursday and then on the Sunday we are keeping a low Mass - what should this be of? And then in the evening, at 6pm, we are having a High Mass of thanksgiving to celebrate our Parish Priest's 45th anniversary of Ordination to the priesthood, to which all are very welcome.

Somebody, the other day, asked me what I write this blog for. I think he was being kind, in fact I am sure he was, but I was unsure of the answer. After thinking about it, I keep coming back to 'Ulysses', by James Joyce. The book explores various areas of Dublin life, dwelling on its squalor and monotony. Nevertheless, it is also an affectionately detailed study of the city, and Joyce said that "I want to give a picture of Dublin so complete that if the city one day suddenly disappeared from the earth it could be reconstructed out of my book". In order to achieve this level of accuracy, Joyce used the 1904 edition of Thom's Directory, a work that listed the owners and/or tenants of every residential and commercial property in the city. He also bombarded friends still living there with requests for information and clarification. Amusing though the name of the directory may be, this is a good reason for writing anything- to leave a record of, well, not really myself, but what I see and what I hear. Hopefully to chart the life of someone living in the world we share, in a narrow stream of it which nevertheless crosses continents, through tides of public opinion swinging in and out of favour (but mainly out, at the moment) and trying to make sense of the world which surrounds him using little but the grace of God and a broad but thin education. Will that do? Could the world of Anglo Catholicism in the North West be rebuilt from this blog? Probably not. But I hope that the work of God all around us could be seen. That and pictures of vestments and beer.