...is magnificent in its solidity, standing appropriately next to the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. I spent all of Sunday morning there - and indeed part of Saturday evening too. I was handing out leaflets for the Towards Advent Festival (Sat Nov 3rd, Westminster Cathedral Hall...oh I know you are tired of having me mention it all the time...but be there!!). The Saturday evening Mass has the Schola of the London Oratory school - wonderful singing. The 10 am Mass has an excellent children's choir - both girls and boys - and then of course there is the famous professional choir at the big 11 am High Mass, all very glorious. Always lots of small children - there is a strong family feel to the 10 am Mass, and at the eleven o'clock small wriggling running-about children are awed into something like silence by the fabulous music and - if they are pointed towards the altar and given a chance to see things - by the candles and incense and so on.
I do wish parents would take advantage of some of the really lovely prayer-books and other religious items for children that are now available. It seems mean to bring them into church empty-handed, as Mass can sometimes seem long. The publishers at Second Spring have done a superb job with their beautiful Mass book by Susan Bateman - incidentally their website has lots of other very good things too.
Jamie has been in Rome, at the diaconate ordination of James M, son of some friends. He brought home the beautiful order of service, which has most interesting information about St Peter's and especially at high altar and the Chair. Mass has been celebrated there, and St Peter's successors have been there, all in an unbroken link, down all the years from the Church's first dawning years.
This afternoon an Autumnal walk with F., a friend visiting from Ukraine - we followed the trail of our local small river, the Beverley Brook, which sparkles along behind houses and in sudden culverts, and still forms the official boundary between the two local Boroughs, as it has done since Medieval times. We diverted to drop into the local Catholic church as I wanted to pick up a copy of the Catholic Times (my feature this week was about St Denis - why not just buy the paper and read my column each week, if you enjoy this Blog?). F. was impressed by the large numbers of young people as the place was very full.