...with activities. After Rome, Oxford. Lengthy visit and tour of Oxford Oratory - more on that later. A lot more, as there are some superb plans for development there, which I'll write about properly later on.
And from Oxford, home to London. Meeting of the Catholic Cultural Group - interesting talk by guest speaker Paul Burnell, a colleague with whom I've worked on Catholic newspapers and who is now with the BBC, speaking on the novels of Michael O'Brien.
Next: Birmingham. Maryvale Institute. I cannot describe how exciting and interesting it is on the BA Divinity course. yes, exciting: philosophy, large questions, lots to think about. And we have some superb lecturers. Prof Jack Scarisbrick on the English Reformation, Henry VIII, Mary, Cardinal Pole, Cranmer. Tragedy, cruelty, treachery, and more...
Maryvale is an old old house, with uneven floors and sudden bathrooms and a gem of a chapel somehow hidden deep at the heart of it all. A walk in the chilly grounds, snow lingering on the lawns. Hearty meals provided by Bridgettine sisters with wide smiles and those extraordinary headresses. Night prayer and then glorious sleep in the comfortable silence of a house where lots and lots of people have slumbered down the centuries.