Another visit to St German's this morning to assist in funeral arrangements for Angela Brown, who grew up as a member of the congregation and was married there nearly forty years ago. Her brother Fr Chris Lea is Curate in Caerau with Ely parish. My task was to make sure everything was in place for Angela's parish priest, another Chris, Fr Chris Burr of Lisvane, to officiate at the funeral office and preside at the requiem Eucharist, part of the service. There was yet another Chris, Canon Chris Clark an old family friend also taking part in the service plus former Vicar Fr Roy Doxey, and several more clergy in the congregation of over 180 as well.
Often, on occasions like this a quarter of the congregation will take communion, but on this occasion it was more like two thirds, as a great number of fellow church members from Lisvane and other parts of the city, who knew Angela attended as well. The home team of servers and stewards did her proud. Although a moving and sad occasion, the worshipping community was charged with consoling warmth and affection. It's amazing the way St German's and its core community generates a relaxed atmosphere for a congregation of 30-40 on the regular basis, yet can scale up with ease and respond to having 200 or 500 in church. Essentially the regular members love what they do, and this in its turn influences all who turn up and join in. For once I had a background role, and enjoyed just being part of the crew.
I returned home for a late lunch then walked into town, having decided to buy a new phone. My three year old Samsung Galaxy III Mini feels comparatively sluggish, now I'm not using the Blackberry Q10 I had for work purposes. I've passed over several opportunities for a new phone after the 18-24 month renewal cycle, not approving of early redundancy which new technological innovation pushes consumers towards. Tending to be a late adopter, I hang on to working products as long as seems useful to do so. Now I use my personal phone a lot more, the difference is noticeable between a 5 year old and a 3 year old phone. Following a recommendation from Owain, I bought a Samsung Galaxy J3, for just £85 from the EE shop on Queen Street. That's almost half the price he paid for the same phone six months ago. It's amazing how quickly phone prices tumble when new ones come out. Some 'state of the art' phone features, I just don't need. Owain says the phone camera is not good, but that's no bother to me, as I prefer a proper pocket camera with real knobs and buttons rather than a device with only touchscreen controls.
I was delighted by the way the J3 copied my installed apps and email messages and phone numbers from the old one, leaving me only to log in or re-register some of them. The only thngs that wasn't copied across were SMS messages. So, I back them up from the old phone to my PC using Samsung Kies software only to find that Kies refused to play with the new phone, requiring me to use an app called 'Smart Switch', which I also had installed, to connect with the phone. Thankfully this automatically found the text message backup just made, and transferred the content to the J3. It took me a while to achieve this. After all, it's not that often I have to do this, so I forget how to. Now the new phone is running, nothing is lost, apart from a few hours figuring it all out. Not that it matters. There was nothing on telly worth watching this evening anyway.