Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Rushing...

...on a day that began with a trip to Kent to hand out prizes gained in the 2019 Schools Bible Project at St Columba's  Catholic Boys School. The trains were delayed and I only just made it to the Assembly: they were already gathered in the hall and listening to a Scripture reading. It is always a pleasure to visit this school, which has a well-organised, rather cheering air about it. The boys look smart in their uniforms, and gave generous applause as some of their number came up to receive their book prizes.

Then  off on another train journey, and a Tube to Ealing to this school, where I was due to give a talk about traditional feasts and seasons, how the calendar works,  and the origin of some of our pub signs, old songs, place-names and so on. Again, a warm welcome, and it was an enjoyable session, the children showing an interest and answering up eagerly when I asked questions...there is a fascination among all ages over things like London's forgotten rivers, or why our tax years runs from March to March, or about  a Tube station named from words in the Gospel of St Luke... An excellent lunch - schools meals are so much, MUCH better than in my own schooldays! - and good conversation with the teacher who had arranged this event, and all in a most cordial and happy atmosphere.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

AND PUT THIS IN YOUR DIARY...




Celebrate the FEAST OF ST JOHN PAUL: October 22nd

6.30pm,  Parish Room, Church of the Most Precious Blood, London SE1 1TD

October 22nd 6.30pm

with the story of his life, readings from his poetry, discussion of his message

All welcome. Light refreshments. FREE: suggested donation £10.00p

organised by LOGS, the Ladies Ordinariate Group

A Dominican ordination...

...at Haverstock Hill.  A pilgrimage to the shrine of the Saxon princess St Edith - who rejected the crown of England to remain a nun, caring for the sick and poor -  at Kemsing in Kent. An evening with friends who gave me a lovely clematis plant named for St John Paul. And more...it's been a very busy few days.

With the political events of the past few days, I grow increasingly sympathetic to St Edith, rejecting the affairs of state to remain quietly and busily in rural Kent...


Friday, September 06, 2019

...and a warm welcome....

....followed by a wonderful, talkative, informative supper, at the Bruderhof in Peckham. I have visited some of their big rural communities in the USA and, more recently, here in Britain, and was intrigued to see how it could all work in an urban setting.

A  strong family base, with students living in too. |All have made a commitment to live in community, not owning anything . Clothing is bought for the community and they go to the general storekeeper to get something new when needed. Women wear their hair simply, usually with a headscarf tied on top. No make-up.Simple skirts and blouses of a common design in various colours and prints.

They publish a range of books, including material by and about Gerald Manley Hopkins, Dorothy L. Sayers, Hans and Sophie Scholl...info here...

Historically, in the Reformation era etc a - well, let's say tragic - relationship w. the Catholic Church. Friendship now, and notably with Benedict XVI......and read here too

Wednesday, September 04, 2019

Early Mass in Chelsea...

...at this church, where I met a colleague to sort and post the prizes for the annual schools RE Project organised by the Association of Catholic Women. We wrapped these a few weeks back and arranged to meet to post them when the new term started...

Note the date November 6th: a range of Catholic women's group have joined together to arrange a special Mass to pray for Britain's young people.  11.30am, Church of the Immaculate Conception, Farm Street London W1 3AH.   There is a buffet lunch afterwards. Info available - email  catholicwomenprayingtogether@gmail.com

In the evening, another History Walk. We met at The Monument, talked about the Great Fire, looked at some Wren and Hawksmore churches, visited John Henry Newman's birthplace.  Exploring history - we also took a look back at Romans, Saxons, Vikings and Normans as we walked across London Bridge and paused to enjoy the river in evening light - puts today's political events in perspective...

Monday, September 02, 2019

A long, lively and creative get-together...

...over lunch after Mass, with the team organising the next round of Catholic History Walks. We'll be running them on a new basis, with people booking themselves a place in advance via Eventbrite.  We're distributing leaflets widely too, and promoting the Walks in lots of new ways...This marks quite a big change,  but will also reach a great many more people...and a bigger range of people. Meanwhile, the current set of Walks is  starting tomorrow Tuesday Sept 3rd...come and join us! 6.30pm at The Monument tube station...we'll explore the City, the story of the Fire, discover some churches, and end at John Henry Newman's birthplace...

While we were meeting at London Bridge, people across the river were demonstrating against the Prime Minister. Even if I agreed with them, which I don't, I would be put off by their crude and nasty language, and especially by their viciousness. Actors seem to be the worst. One, among them, called Hugh Grant, who acts "posh chaps" in films, used a crude sexually explicit word in an on-line statement. He also claimed that people who fought in WWII would share his views.  Here I have an advantage over this young man. I was brought up by and among WWII veterans, and I knew some of them extremely well.I can assert confidently that they most emphatically did not share poor Mr G's  political opinions and would never have used such language even when roused to anger or indignation.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Piers Morgan...

...now a well-known TV figure, cut his journalistic teeth on the South London News as a junior reporter. I was on that newspaper at the time, having just returned from Berlin where my husband had been serving with his regiment...

It was a friendly team. I remember lots of office banter, and a cheery Shrove Tuesday when all the newsroom came to Bogle Towers for pancakes and wine and much talk and laughter...

Piers was an enthusiastic and energetic cub reporter, and we made him work hard, which seemed to do him good. Not a deep thinker but with humour and commonsense.   I have of course vaguely followed his career, and today  read this with interest.

Now it is time to watch...

...this rather important video.

Watch it and then ponder it.  Then  share it with others.

It is of great importance. For your understanding of freedom and justice.

Watch it here.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

I always love...

...packing and posting the prizes for the annual Schools Bible Project, which we have run since 1989.  It's an ecumenical venture, with its origins in a group founded in the 1950s. In its present form the Project involves inviting pupils at secondary schools across Britain to encounter Christ in the New Testament and write essays. The main winners come to London for a prizegiving ceremony at Westminster, and there are a substantial number of runner-up book prizes. These currently include CS Lewis Mere Christianity, plus books by Corrie Ten Boom and Brother Andrew of "Bible smuggling" fame...

This year, despite having to work in the ghastly heat - London has felt like an oven all weekend and continues to do so - it was a happy day. We talk and reminisce, work hard, and have the satisfying task of staggering down the main road to the Post Office in the late afternoon heat with heavy parcels to be sent off to schools across Britain.  Hearty thanks to stalwarts Amanda and Mavis who really slaved away in the heat,  sorting, packing,  writing labels, wrapping, checking, and posting...the big John Paul Room at the parish centre has large windows and the sunlight poured in on to the mess of paper and sticky tape, jiffy-bags, envelopes, and  stacks of essays. We gulped water and brewed tea, took a brief break for a sandwich lunch and blessed the well-equipped parish kitchen with its fridge which had kept our food cool and the milk untainted...

The work continues tomorrow...