Sunday, 25 June 2017

Big Day at St Mary's

Yesterday we had the honour of hosting the ordination of no less than 12 Ordinands to the status of priest.

This was not only rather  unusual for the large numbers involved but also for the fact that it is usually the Cathedrals which house these services.

St Mary's is the county church of Buckinghamshire and is a very large building but the almost 500 people who were present yesterday packed it to the rafters.

We (the choir) arrived between about 10.15 and 10.30 am, to receive instructions on the 'choreography' of the event and to be ready outside the west door to lead in the procession.

The service began at 11,00 am and finished shortly after 1,00pm.  We then had a couple of hours to relax or feed ourselves before a wedding at 4,00pm.

By five pm I was back home with my feet up and drinking gallons of water.  My legs felt like lead and my feet were swollen and I was as hoarse as a crow, but otherwise it was a lovely day (if exhausting)

Needless to say this morning's service from 10 till 11,30 left everyone in need of a weekend to recover.

A strange but rather wonderful way to 'enjoy' a weekend.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

This Heat is Unbearable

Well that's one way of looking at it !!

That is more the way I feel.

Will it ever be possible to breath clean fresh air again, or even to bat an eyelash without drowning in sweat?

Normal service will be resumed .........................whenever.

Monday, 12 June 2017

Qnly if I know I'm wanted

Dear Donald

You will have a long wait.

Sunday, 4 June 2017

" "

This morning  my taxi driver asked me to pray for him.  This is not unusual, but this morning it seemed extra special

All the taxi drivers who take me to church on Sundays are Asian, mostly Muslim.

Often they ask questions about the way Christian worship differs from Muslim.

From my limited knowledge I try to answer all their questions and ask a few of my own.

The one thing which becomes more and more apparent as we continue this travelling dialogue is that we have far more in common than different.

This morning we discussed our dismay and distress at what is currently happening in the name of religion.  Nothing could be further from the aims of all monotheist religions than the murderous practices we are are witnessing all over the world at present.

The reason I gave this piece no heading  is simply that like many others I am running out of words.

As I prayed for my taxi driver during the intercessions this morning I imagined all those hands joined in mutual prayer world-wide and felt a surge of strength and one-ness with those others.

As the Hippies in the 60's used to say in greeting "Love and Peace".

Sunday, 28 May 2017

A Drop In The Ocean

St Mary's has signed up to the 24 Hours of Prayer initiative, "Thy Kingdom Come".

A list has been drawn up of those willing to take part and we have each been asked to nominate a time and day to pray for one hour for five people.

I may have mentioned before that I find prayer difficult without the 'trappings' of a set liturgy, so this is going to be a very long 60 minutes.

We were told we could choose where we wanted to perform this duty, either walking, in the company of others, on our own at home - basically, where we liked.

After giving it some thought my decision was to do it at home between 7.00 am and 8.00 am tomorrow (29th) as this is a Bank Holiday and I am unlikely to be interrupted.

The view seems to be that a very large number of people praying over a set period will institute change.

Whether this will prove to be true I have no idea but it will at the very least effect some sort of change in those who pray.

If it does nothing else for me it will be a good exercise in self-discipline..

We shall see.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017


Yet another violent act of hatred leaves our world shocked and shaken.

What possesses one human being to unleash such a vicious cruel attack on other human beings, mostly young, going quietly about their everyday lives?

Even though we can hardly be unaware of the frequency of such murderous acts, yet still we hope that normal life is still there to be lived.

It is impossible for most of us to plumb the depraved depths of these assassins, yet still we strive to understand why.

Poor children.

Poor Manchester.

Poor world.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

A Lovely Afrernoon

I have just come back from a piano recital in St Mary's by Alexander Ardakov.

The programme consisted of Tchaikovsky Chopin and Rachmaninov

He  is a world acclaimed pianist and the playing was wonderful.

It's possible that I've never mentioned before that St Mary's superb accoustics attract musicians of all ages, styles and abilities.

Every Thursday lunchtime there is a concert of classical music, sometimes the performers are students, sometimes young professionals just making a name for themselves, and sometimes someone of world standing who is familiar with the famous St M's accoustic.

We also have a jazz concert three or four times a year which attracts well known artists from many quarters.

It is quite a long time since I went to one of the performances as a member of the audience and had forgotten what a pleasure and privilege it is to be able to enjoy music of such a  high standard in a 'mere' church.

The sun was shining outside but I was quite happy to be inside just absorbing the music.