I had an unusual rendezvous this morning in my role as Royal British Legion Chaplain to the Cardiff and Vale Branch. I was asked to dedicate a World War I memorial plaque which had been re-located in the Grangetown Albion Social Club premises. It was dedicated to fallen soldiers who had been recruited from the long gone local Gas and Coke works, upon which Cardiff's Ikea superstore now stands. It had been rescued and stored when the buildings were demolished, and finally the indefatigable Syd Nash had found a home for it and arranged the ceremony, presided over by the deputy Lord Mayor. There were only just over a dozen people present for the traditional eleven o'clock start, and my dear friend Eric Smith, the Grangetown Salvation Army bandmaster came to play the Last Post and Reveille.
Father Ben Andrews, Grangetown's Parish Priest turned up to the ceremony. It was, after all, taking place not far from where he had lived for the past seven years. I was disappointed that the Legion hadn't thought to invite him officially to take part in his role as local Pastor. They just relied on having me there as Chaplain - their 'default parson'. I was under the impression that he'd not been available to take part. If I'd known enough in advance, I would have invited him to share in it with me. Next time I am invited to do something like this, I make sure to ask if local clergy have been properly invited.