Monday, July 21, 2014

What's London like...

...at the moment?  For a snapshot of it all,  with a Catholic slant, try here...

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Tea...

..an absolutely glorious Tea, with sandwiches-with-the-crusts-cut-off, and scones with jam and cream, and a towering four-layered  lemon drizzle cake...all organised and hosted by Frances Scarr and a team of Catholic ladies to welcome ladies from the Ordinariate. A wonderful and happy afternoon - and a useful one, as we sat overlooking Westminster Cathedral and talked of a great many things, ranging from the recent "Our Father"  prayer project for schools (entries from children across Greater London), to pilgrimages and processions and prison work, and craftwork and confession, and Sunday Schools, and singing at stations, and enthusiasm and evangelisation.

We drank cups and cups of fragrant tea, we planned activities and pilgrimages, we swapped jokes and stories: the perils of a procession ducking under railway arches and trailing down The Borough High Street,  the howlers in children's careful writing out of prayers ("MY will be done on earth...").  The Cathedral Bell rang for the Angelus and we stopped to pray it all together. Teatime morphed gently into evening, and we finished with glasses of cold white wine, and then goodbyes and lots of good plans for the future.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

..and in the stifling summer heat...

...our Parliament is debating whether or not we should make it possible for sad and gravely ill people to be killed...and the Church of England has slammed the door on ecumenical possibilities and invented female bishops...and there is turmoil in the Holy Land, and death in the skies over Ukraine...

...and a sense of things ending, and a tired feeling, and now the Government is going to penalise people for having proper families - they've apparently announced that anyone with more than four children will be denied taxation benefits.  It sometimes seems as though our officialdom doesn't really want our country to have a future, and believes that in a dark and worrying world we should try to encourage as little hope as possible.

And so to Sunday...and Mass, and there is hope for all.
...

A sad day...

A fine Catholic writer and a good friend, Stratford Caldecott, has died. He will be hugely missed: he leaves a lovely family, and a legacy of good work done with great love.  All who use the beautiful monthly Magnificat  journal are in his debt. God will reward him...pray for his soul and for the consolation of his dear family.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

YOU SIMPLY MUST READ....

...this excellent and inspiring call to us all on the subject of the gruesome legislation being planned for our Parliament this week.

Please read. Please pray.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

On Wednesday July 16th...

...at 7.30pm, at the church hall of Warwick St Church, I am giving a talk about St John Paul the Great. ALL WELCOME. Light refreshments.

Entrance to the hall is at 24 Golden Square, London Wi. Large notice - easy to see.

Nearest tube: Piccadilly Circus.

Visiting...

...an elderly relative...Somerset in enchanting summer greenery, a tasty meal in a village restaurant where they quickly helped us with the wheelchair, made everything pleasant and comfortable, chatted as drinks were poured...

Sadness as we were joined by a dear Anglican clergyman, unhappy at today's dreary decision by the CofE to invent lady bishops and thus drive the final hammer-blows into the heritage he had valued...

Prayers, led by the above, at a family grave, a sudden moment of calm and sweetness. Scent of mown grass.

Squeaks and cheers of children at the village school having Sports Day nearby.Fabulous, fabulous views across Exmoor and down to the sea.

Friday, July 11, 2014

A glorious Thanksgiving Service...

...with pupils from a range of schools in different parts of Britain gathering at St Margaret's Westminster, to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Schools Bible Project.

The choirs of Ripley St Thomas CofE Academy, and Our Lady's Convent School, Loughborough, led the singing: we began with a rousing "Guide me, O Thou Great Redeemer" and then during the service each choir sang a most beautiful anthem...pupils from various schools did the Scripture readings, and read prayers, as did our Trustee, Baroness Cox. The Dean of Westminster Abbey led the service and preached. There was a beautiful message from Archbishop Vincent Nichols. It was a united Christian celebration, soaked in lovely music and with the young people attentive, reverent, and involved.

In the Schools Bible Project, of which Auntie is Chairman, pupils have to imagine themselves present at an event in the life of Christ - they are given six from which to choose - and then write about it. Every year, we receive hundreds and hundreds of essays from schools across Britain. There are prizes for those who write essays of fine quality. The whole project is, as Dean John Hall noted, very Ignatian. You place yourself in the scene described in the Scriptures, and get right into it.  It is an encounter with Christ.

The service ended with a blessing, and  "Amazing Grace" and the choir sang Rutter's "The Lord bless you and keep you..." The sound of the young voices filling that great church sent a message of hope...