Sunday, 10 September 2017

Unusual among today's church visitors

We were two dozen at today's Eucharist, including three children with their refugee mother. There were three foreign residential students form the College just up the ave de Chillon from the church, two Chinese women and a young man from Mexico, with perfect American English as well as Spanish. Given the massive earthquake in his home country yesterday, I asked he had any concerns about family and friends, but he said that all were well and most were unaffected. 

There was also a couple who used to be members of St John's congregation having lived in Geneva for work and spent their early retirement years living in the Valais Alps. Like many others, the cost of health insurance made staying here prohibitive in the end. so they returned to the U.K., but still visit occasionally. Thus the congregation, although not very large always includes a wider circle of people who long standing associations with the church, plus passing tourists wanting to join in Sunday worship..

Fifteen minutes before we started, just as choir practice was coming to an end, we were visited by an unusual small group of people. Some were in Victorian costume. A local tourism organisation organises walking visits to places of historic interest from la belle epoque around Montreux, with guides dressed in period costume. Sissi, the Austro-Hungarian  Empress frequented the Grand Hotel des Alpes near the church, and her visits are remembered by a statue in the churchyard garden. I discovered later that on this day in 1898 she was assassinated in Geneva, good enough reason for a brief visit to this locality, even if it was for a historical talk rather than to pray for her soul.

Perhaps because of the stimulus of yesterday's amazing mountain journey, I woke up early this morning and couldn't doze off again. After the service and lunch I had a siesta to catch up, but still lacked energy to go out and enjoy the afternoon. In fact, I didn't go out for the rest of the day, but passed the time writing, browsing web articles and chatting to Clare on-line. I go with the flow, but sometimes the flow is sluggish.

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