Tuesday, December 01, 2020

ARE YOU LISTENING TO....

 ...RADIO MARIA ENGLAND?

You should be, because it has some very good stuff....

There's a new series about the stories behind some of our best-known and best-loved hymns...and you can sing along, too....I chose some Newman's Praise to the Holiest, of course, plus other favourites...


And you don#'t want to miss Auntie's Feasts and Seasons programmes.


You can listen in on your mobile phone, computer, app, whatever...info here




Friday, November 27, 2020

WHAT HAS AUNTIE JOANNA BEEN UP TO RECENTLY?

 


....This report from London will some flavour of it all.


Auntie is also working on a new book...which she is enjoying...much of the research involves lengthy interviews, which of course at present mostly has to be done by telephone. Other research can be done via the inter net...some will have to wait until museums and the Public Record Office etc are open...


Meanwhile, the Advent wreath has been set up and the first candle will be lit this weekend...



Saturday, November 21, 2020

AFTER A BUSY DAY...

 

...it was satisfying to settle to this excellent  documentary/dramatic presentation of St John Henry Newman.  Hugely recommended.





Wednesday, November 18, 2020

A TASTY LUNCH ...

 


....and delicious desserts, all prepared by a top London restaurant, were served today to homeless people at Farm Street.   It's all done very correctly - all volunteers have their temperatures checked, we wear masks and surgical gloves and so on.  But the atmosphere is, despite all that, relaxed and chatty. The aim is neighbourly companionship as much as anything else. And there's a  Creative Writing course starting - some of the guests have said they have a book/poem/autobiography in them - and over lunch there is music and lots of long conversations...

It's all punctuated by prayer - we begin the day with prayer, there is Grace before and after lunch, and our discussion time ends with prayers.  Our chaplain is Fr Dominic, and he is patient and friendly  with everyone, a popular figure who has put in hours of work to make this project happen.

I'm usually stationed at the trolley where the food is served, dishing out on to plates, while others as waiters go to and fro, and a kitchen team keeps up the steady flow of teas and coffees while tackling the washing-up.  After our guests leave at 2pm we have a general discussion and meeting...and can eat up any leftover food from the serving-trolley... 

There are a good many other  churches doing similar work - and good liaison between them all -  and no shortage of volunteers.  Next time some one tells you that Christianity in Britain is dead, just mention that.

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Persecution of Christians...

 


...really matters. This needs action and prayer.


Support RED WEDNESDAY, the initiative launched by Aid to the Church in Need to draw attention to religious persecution and to support Christians worldwide.


Read here


And there's a special Novena beginning on November 17th. Read here



Saturday, November 14, 2020

FIREWORKS...

 


...are popping and crackling around  as I write this, with rockets shooting up into the sky and leaving glorious trails of glittering stars. It has been  a very dark and rainy day, and the traditional November sounds and sparks are cheering and oddly reassuring.

The  fireworks at Bogle Towers were set off  in due style last week, with neighbours watching from a safe distance, sparklers in hand. We oohed and aahed and enjoyed ourselves, and, as always, there were echoes from childhood memories...

By tradition, we also always have a walk to our local railway bridge from where we get a fine view of  any firework displays that are happening around the neighbouring roads. Although the trend over recent years has been away from family events and towards large crowds at huge spectacular,  this year for obvious reasons things reverted to the older style. So it was all family displays, with rockets shooting up and bright flashes and bangs.

Today, I met a friend for a planned walk along the Thames. It rained and rained, and we ate our picnic (no possibility of a pub or cafe being open) with a small bottle of Prosecco and a  flask of hot coffee.  The Thames was grey and also oddly reassuring...it goes on being the same while events surge around it. While we were on the Isle of Wight some weeks back, J. quoted |Tennyson's Brook: "for men may come and men may go, but I go on for ever..."

Thursday, November 12, 2020

...and on the American election...

 


...there's a good analysis here



I recommend it.