Sunday, 13 November 2016

A memorable Remembrance Sunday

I made sure to get to the Ermita de San Pascual early this morning, our Remembrance Sunday Eucharist was to start fifteen minutes early, so that the two minutes silence could be observed at exactly eleven o'clock. Thankfully, the readings and hymns chosen ensured this would be possible. A I parked the car a few hundred metres away from church to make room for others to park, the sound of bagpipes reached me on the still morning air. Nothing better to send a shiver down the spine and awaken the senses.

This is most likely the last time the local resident piper David will play, as he's of an age that requires him to return to family in Britain, after caring for his wife until her recent death. A familiar and much loved figure in local expat life, he's been here for ages, since they retired, playing for Burns nights, funerals and Veterans' events - a real labour of love and honour.

There were nearly a hundred people in church for the service, and sixty four communicants, about the usual number. I broke my own rule and preached longer than usual, but didn't seem to lose people. I had several appreciative, as opposed to irritating comments afterwards.

Then I went with other church members to a special lunch at 'Sensations' restuarant, which is next to the Bella Vista where I dined last week with Archdeanon Geoff, Pam and Alwyn. The service was slow. Clearly the kitchen was understaffed, and we waited an hour between courses. It was nearly four when I got back, and had to reciver my eving sermon, print it off, and get out of the house and on my way to Aljambra for Evensong by five.

Thankfully, I arrived in good time, officiated at Evensong preached for the last time to the congregation there, and reached home just after eight. Then, there was an evening meal to prepare, making enough to cover tomorrow's lunch also. Little time to pack before bed time, and so busy, I forgot to call Clare. It was a busy day but a fulfilling day. I've enjoyed good will and kindness here during my stay. I hope it won't be too long before another permanent chaplain can be welcomed. But, if the opportunity arose I'd love to return for another locum spell, and bring Clare with me. There's so much more I'd like to learn and discover about this extraordinary region.


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