...once a proud naval base, and still with Royal Navy associations and some ships...but we have only a tiny Navy now and wouldn't be able to muster the sort of fleet that saild to the Falklands 30 years ago...
I was in Portsmouth to talk to young Catholics at the University. They don't have a chapel or a room for evening meetings,so we met in a standard lecture-room. But the atmosphere was cheery and friendly - a group had also come from the CathSoc at Southampton University - and afterwards there was a talkative gathering at a pub over drinks and (extremely good) snacks.
Topic of my talk was "The Church and women" and we explored the whole male/female bridegroom/bride theme, looked at the great women saints of the Church and at Blessed John Paul's theology of the body and Mulieris Dignitatem.
Last month I met met people from Portsmouth when I was invited to speak to a meeting organised by the Ascent Movement in South London. We got friendly, and they urged me to stay with them if I was ever visiting the area - an invitation I gladly took up on this trip. They were so warm and welcoming, and we sat talking over mugs of tea till after 1am!