Back to St John's Danescourt with 'Becca for a nine fifteen Easter morning Eucharist, and Jenny joined us. The sun was bright and the air clear and invigoratingly crisp. I was better for not having lost sleep. 'Becca read the Gospel and Jenny interceded. I celebrated and preached. Every seat was taken. There were fifty people in church altogether.
At Christcurch Radyr, for the eleven o'clock, I sat with the choir and did little apart from joining in with the distribution of communion. Jenny celebrated and preached superbly, 'Becca read the Gospel and also shared in distributing communion. There was a full church, a hundred and fifty people, including children, and a hundred and thirty of those took communion.
Not long after I got back for lunch, Kath, Anto and Rhiannon arrived from Kenilworth in time for lunch, and then Owain arrived on his bike, somewhat tired by two nights deejaying on the trot, plus losing an hour. But that wouldn't make him miss a family meal. We are, drank some good wines and ate chocolate, went for a walk with Rhiannon to see the horses over at the riding school on Llandaff Fields, then it was time to get back to Radyr
I celebrated the Eucharist on this occasion, and 'Becca preached very well. Eighteen people were present. That meant a total of over a hundred and eighty people made their Easter communion in the Parish despite the loss of an hour, despite the cold weather.
'Becca looked slightly surprised when I said how rarely during my latter years of ministry I'd ministered in full churches. Occasionally a full house in Caerphilly during my curacy, hardly ever in St Paul's area churches, except for some funerals, occasionally in Halesowen apart from bapstims, weddings and funerals, quite often in Geneva, but it was a small church with a big constitutency. At St John's in the city centre, it was only ever full for big civic events and occasional funerals. Apart from that, it was not often more than a quarter full even on the great festivals. The difficulties of getting there were such that people who made the effort were really committed.
You can get so used to not having a full church, it takes quite an adjustment to cope with scaling up if you have to. A priest has to learn to be grateful that anyone comes, regardless of numbers. To be privileged to offer ministry at all is always a gift, and one I appreciate more now I'm retired and reliant on the generosity and hospitality of colleagues and parishes for the invitation.