Friday, 21 April 2017

Easter reunion

I wasn't called on to celebrate at St John's yesterday, as there are no weekday services in Easter week, to free the Parish clergy to take time off, so I had a lazy morning, with a walk around the park in the afternoon, without taking a rubbish collecting bag with me, for a change. I collected and binned half a dozen bottles and cans during my hour's walk anyway, but the park was unusually tidy after the Easter weekend and bank holiday.

I drove over to Ely for a bereavement visit at six, relating to the first of two funerals I'll be taking in St German's next week. Unusually, both are for people in their sixties, i.e. just a bit younger than me. Most of those I do are of people ten to twenty years older than me, as the average lifespan has risen so much during my lifetime in ministry.

I went to St John's city Parish Church for the midday Eucharist this morning, and a lunch date with my Romanian friend Dr. Laura Ciobanu, on a flying visit to see old friends and colleagues in Cardiff. I missed the bus that would have taken me there in time for the start of the service, and sat quietly in the nave, resisting the temptation (and the invitation of the Vicar) to make a disruptive late entry. It's better sometimes just to sit quietly and receive in silence.

Laura and I ate and chatted in the church tea room, re-branded 'The TeaSpot' these days. I'm glad to see it's open regularly again, with new volunteer teams. Vicar Sarah Rowland Jones and Curate Rhian Lineker shared the service, as Sarah's voice was cracking up after a busy few weeks. She recruited me to take a midweek Eucharist on her behalf when both of them are away in the first week of May. That'll be nice. Many of those still attending were regulars when I was the Vicar there - already seven years ago at the end of this month. It's always a pleasure to go there and be greeted by friends, old like me.

It's good to see there's been an exhibition of prints on themes taken from the Stations of the Cross in the north aisle exhibition area these past few weeks by local artist Wendy Batey Roberts. The aisle also still hosts a charity card shop in November and December, and church social events. Getting rid of old redundant chairs to clear the space and keep it free of clutter during my time was well worth the effort, though the credit for taking the initiative and maintaining the area clutter free belongs to organist Phil Thomas. The cleared north aisle came in handy for storing organ pipes during the period when the Father Willis instrument was being restored to its early glory, It's still going strong and the monthly Friday organ recitals continue, with healthy audiences.

After parting company with Laura at three, I wondered around the shops aimlessly for a while, then headed home for tea and a dull evening in front of the telly.

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