Saturday, April 30, 2011

Let joy be unconfined...

If I had one tiny criticism of yesterday's Royal Wedding it was that I wished the clergy had smiled a bit more...but this video caught a moment of pure joy (or perhaps relief?) after the event on the part of a particularly nimble verger. (Note to our verger - this is not compulsory...)

Friday, April 29, 2011

Royal Wedding Street Party

Will anyone turn up?
We had a wonderful turnout and a great atmosphere for our Royal Wedding Street Party. Just before 2pm, when the festivities were due to begin none of us were sure whether anyone would turn up, but then, all of a sudden the centre of the village seemed to be full of people. There was plenty of food - thank you to everyone who "brought and shared" - and the Five Bells seemed to be doing a roaring trade in drink. The sun shone - not a trace of the threatened showers - and everyone seemed to be full of chat. 

Yes ! Standing room only!

 For Nicky Harvey and I, however, it was all go, as we were crowded out with children wanting to make crowns. We cut and stuck for two and a half hours solid, and definitely deserve to be called the "glitterati" by the end of it, as we, and the  street around us seemed to be covered in the stuff! It was great fun, and we crowned many kings and queens of Seal, which has now declared itself to be an independent monarchy!

A big thank you to everyone from the Know Your Neighbours group who organised this afternoon. We hope, I am sure, that William and Catherine are as satisfied with their festivities as we were with ours.

Intense concentration...

More intense concentration...

"I now crown you King of Seal..."

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Spot on, Archbishop!

I have always had a great deal of respect and admiration for Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury. He's a deep thinker, and a compassionate, sensible individual, often placed in an impossible position, trying to draw together all but irreconcilable factions within the church. Sometimes he succeeds, sometimes he doesn't, but at least he tries. I met him once when he came to a summer school during part of my ministerial training, not to give the lectures, but to take care of his young daughter while his wife, who is also a theologian, gave them.
I was even more impressed, however, when I came across this story, of his reply to a six year old girl whose father sent him the question she had written to God "How did you get invented?"

Dear Lulu,

Your dad has sent on your letter and asked if I have any answers. It’s a difficult one! But I think God might reply a bit like this –

‘Dear Lulu – Nobody invented me – but lots of people discovered me and were quite surprised. They discovered me when they looked round at the world and thought it was really beautiful or really mysterious and wondered where it came from. They discovered me when they were very very quiet on their own and felt a sort of peace and love they hadn’t expected.
Then they invented ideas about me – some of them sensible and some of them not very sensible. From time to time I sent them some hints – specially in the life of Jesus – to help them get closer to what I’m really like.

But there was nothing and nobody around before me to invent me. Rather like somebody who writes a story in a book, I started making up the story of the world and eventually invented human beings like you who could ask me awkward questions!’

And then he’d send you lots of love and sign off.
I know he doesn’t usually write letters, so I have to do the best I can on his behalf. Lots of love from me too.

+Archbishop Rowan

Amen and amen, Archbishop!

The whole story is here.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Rochester Cathedral Evensong

 We sang Evensong at Rochester Cathedral this afternoon- a wonderful experience, and much enjoyed by those who were there. Congratulations to Dan and the choir.The Dean and Precentor were very impressed at the high quality of the music we made, and we enjoyed the splendid surroundings and the sense of welcome at "our" cathedral. It was especially comforting to see friendly faces from our congregation there. Thank you for coming. I know that those who came really found it uplifting.