...of Yorkshire was dramatic in hard white frost and freezing fog, with the sun a dull red glow as the train from Doncaster pulled along into Hull by the wide Humber river on Monday evening.
In due course I was in the cheerful kitchen at the presbytery of West Hull with Fr William Massie, enjoying shepherd's pie and breshly brewed coffee, and then off to speak at the Hull Faith Forum, which is linked to the Faith Movement. A full room, with a good many young people squashed together on the seats in good spirits: I spoke on "Feasting and Fasting", talking about the calendar of the Church's year, and the wonderful traditions, especially those associated with Lent and Holy Week and Easter...and in the wide-ranging discussion which followed, the younger element got especially interested in the references I had made to Shakespeare's Catholicism, (because of doing Shakepseare at school) and we got quite deeply into this, and found we were exploring A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Hamlet, and asking questions about The Tempest. Of course, Clare Asquith's book Shadowplay, has lots on this and is opening up a new debate...
Hull was badly hit by the floods last year, and some families are still not back in their homes. I heard first-hand stories of adventures, and felt a bit mean at how quickly the rest of us had forgotten all about it after a few days of headlines.
I stayed overnight - talkative and enjoyable gathering in the pub after the meeting. Next morning, a beautiful Mass at Corpus Christi Church, a small and snug building with a good-sized congregation for a weekday, and a welcoming feel. As we left, a passer-by stopped to talk to Fr W. and said "this church has been a beacon for me" - is interested in the Faith.
As the fog and mist lifted, there were the most glorious views of frosted fields and white-rimed trees stark against the wintry sky.