...was the subject of a talk yesterday at St John's Church, Horsham, Sussex. A very happy evening, a packed room, lots of good discussion. I had said I would walk from the station, but it was a rainy night and when I arrived, there was the kind parish priest, waiting with a placard with my name on it, like you see people doing at airports! He drove me to the church, and brewed tea, and there was a lively buzz as people were arriving...at the end of the talk I distributed copies of an excellent CTS leaflet about women and the priesthood, and people also wanted copies of my Yearbook of Seasons and Celebrations...
This is a lovely parish. I was made so welcome, and there was such a good atmosphere - coincidentally, I had dropped in to this church when I went through Horsham on my sponsored cycle ride to Brighton, back in the summer, when I was raising money to help send young people from my local deanery to World Youth Day. So it was lovely to be back, and to meet people and be part of the parish for the evening!
Whenever I speak at a Catholic meeting, sooner or later some one is bound to raise the question of what is happening in Catholic schools - children are not learning the Faith, they are confused, they don't know the basics, don't know about the Sacraments, don't go to Mass with any regularity. There is real anguish about this - people are frustrated and recognise that things are getting more muddled...it gets hard to find good practising Catholics as teachers, and schools seem to be confused about whether or not it is possible legally to insist that a teacher in a Catholic school should teach in accordance with the Church and live accordingly... even in a good a cheery meeting such as this, topics such as this get raised.
Home very late: a warm, wet evening, and I sat on the train writing Christmas cards.