I was relieved when Hamid turned up at St German's for today's Candlemass Solemnities. A GP visit had detained him on Wednesday. When the media fuss about the hostel he's staying in broke out on Monday last, he was interviewed by the BBC. I doubt if the video footage was broadcasted, as he'd as a language learner he'd not yet be capable enough of giving interviewers a recordable sound byte. Even so, he was among those voices complaints about the premises state of neglect. Only the harassment of residents for wearing the identifying red arm bands seems to have caught the headlines, not the other management problems. Hamid is now attending two ESOL (English for speakers of other languages) classes a week, no doubt this will make a difference to him, as he's already been listening and gradually gaining an understanding of spoken English on which to work.
I really enjoyed the service, as we started with the congregation by the entrance, blessing lit candles, then processing around around the nave to our places. I preached about the ministry of old people and hospitality with reference to Simeon and Anna, and how vital these had been to the nurture of the young and outreach of the church down the ages. With Hilary and Angela just having trained as Alzheimer's 'Champions' and a church briefing session on working with Alzheimer's sufferers planned for later in February, the occasion was just right for joining the dots.