To be sure of avoiding traffic jams, I took the bus to town and walked from there to St German's this morning to get there by nine thirty for the Tredegarville School Nativity celebration. It was an amazing feat of logistics to get two hundred kids into church, a large proportion of them in costumes and ready for action on time. The teachers had written their own play, full of rhyming couplets, and it featured Dr Who's Tardis, to allow children to travel back in time to see the story come alive. The singing was full of enthusiasm. Angels danced as well as sang. Such a happy event, and a special pleasure for me to welcome parents teachers and children, and then at the end to lead them in saying the Lord's Prayer, in the light of a few comments about the recent controversy over the CofE #justpray cinema video ban.
It is, of course a multi-cultural and multi-faith school, and I caught sight of a few children not joining in, as they are at liberty not to, if their beliefs do not permit this. Every time a class attends a weekday Mass in church, there are children who don't join in, and don't come up for a blessing. It's just part of the normality of school life, one which staff work hard to maintain without fear or favour. Generating the trust and support of all the different families of the school to build a climate of mutual respect is a most demanding yet highly rewarding labour, in times as difficult as ours.
By eleven the church was empty again, and being made ready for a service I was scheduled to take at twelve thirty. The church nave was full for the funeral of an eighty year old matriarch with a large extended family. Such a contrast to when the place was buzzing with excited children, but its majestic architecture succeeds in accommodating such different occasions, leaving people with good memories, even on sad occasions. After the funeral concluded at Thornhill crematorium, I was driven back home in the empty hearse, arriving in time to cook a risotto for a late lunch.
These days, our different engagements sometimes make it more convenient to eat a main meal in the middle of the day, rather than in the evening, as is our habit. Eating in the middle of the day suits me better, but routines keep changing, but tonight's Chi Gung session takes place just when normally we're preparing for supper, and Clare is out at choir practice. So we have a light supper later, and listen to 'The Archers' on iPlayer instead of live, while we're eating.