Sunday, 22 April 2012

Extraordinary Kimber first

I was booked several months ago to take the eleven o'clock Eucharist at Holy Cross church Cowbridge this morning. Then a few weeks ago I was asked if I could celebrate an eight o 'clock interregnum Eucharist at St Mary's in Barry. Then, last week I had an additional request to cover the nine fifteen at Llanbleddian church, as the priest who normally looks after that service is currently recovering from a cataract operation. It should be possible to get from Barry to Llanbleddian in the half hour between services, I thought.

Yes, it was - as long as you remember to collect your robe after the eight o'clock, and not have to double back from the top of the hill into Barry town centre to collect the forgotten article... Llanbleddian had been warned that I might not be arriving long before the service, but nine fourteen is enough to make the most trusting of church officers nervous! By five to eleven when I arrived at Holy Cross, the church warden there was starting to get nervous too. It seems as if I am usually regarded as turning up reliably early, although I'm not quite sure I deserve such a measure of trust.This is not, however, the story of the day.

Back in St Mary's Barry at ten to eight I was greeted by my cousin Gareth Kimber, one time Parish Warden, and for many years, server and assistant lay minister. He read the lessons and intercessions and assisted at Communion. He's five years older than me, and we are both 'cradle Anglicans', yet in our six decades of life, this is only the second time we've worshipped together, and the first time in the history of the Church in Wales that Kimber cousins have led worship together.

Now this information may not make the pages of the Church Times, nor be worthy of recall in the minds of most interested in our family history, but from my perspective there was an unique pleasure in this early morning moment,

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