Sunday, 13 March 2016

Passiontide begins

This morning, all the sacred images in St German's were veiled in purple, and the purple rather than the optional red was the liturgical colour of the day. It looked dramatic. My personal preference, however, would be to keep the crosses and crucifixes unveiled as the sole focus of visual attention, rather than unveiling the cross alone on Good Friday afternoon, and the rest of the images at the Paschal Vigil. It's one of those historical anomalies which has never made much sense to me.

It was nevertheless quite an occasion for a news announcement. I was asked to read to the congregation at St German's a brief statement from the Diocese about the incumbent Fr Dean, whose leave from the Parish I've been covering. He has accepted a new appointment as Priest in charge of St Mary's, succeeding Fr Graham who retired at the end of January. Once he is inducted to St Mary's, the Parish of St German with St Saviour will formally be vacant. How long it will take to prepare a job description and recruit a new incumbent is unknown, but it will be a different kind of uncertainty, as both congregations will have things to do, but meanwhile they'll continue to be served by locum priests. 

Post Easter, I'll be there more sporadically because of planned holidays, and then returning to Spain for June and July, to support other congregations without their own regular pastor. It'll be two years for Nerja this autumn, and more than four for Costa Azahar. I hope it won't be quite so long for St German and St Saviour, as there are many capable lay people in both churches to keep things well organised and open for business. It's much more of a challenge in some European congregations to retain enough volunteers to cover everything that needs to be done for the enterprise to thrive healthily.

After lunch today, I walked over to Llandaff Fields with my DSLR to look for birds to photograph, as the weather continues to improve. This week at last, I've seen a pair of Great Tits and some Sparrows feeding at our bird table. There were pairs of song thrushes out in the Fields. I saw them, but didn't hear them singing as I did a couple of weekends ago.
Also I spotted a Great Tit starting a nest high up in a hollow in one of the great lime trees along the avenue that runs parallel to the river Taff. Then I caught some good pictures of a bird I didn't recognise, but on checking later, discovered was a Redwing.
This was a first sighting for me, and made it an altogether pleasant little outing.

In the evening, another tense episode of Le Carre's 'Night Manager' on telly, beautifully crafted with fine acting.

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