...with some glorious music - a Haydn Kyrie and Sanctus, and Palestrina's Tu es Petrus after Communion - at Our Lady Immaculate Church, Chelmsford. This splendid parish is in the care of the Norbertines, and they are clearly doing an excellent job...a fine choir, a good-sized congregation...and the singing of "Praise to the Holiest" and "O Bread of Heaven" and "God Bless our Pope" was full-hearted and rousing.
I had been invited to speak on "Celebrating feasts and seasons", but had never imagined that I would do so in such unusual circumstances: a Pope retiring, and a thus a special Mass in thanksgiving for his life and work...
The parish hall was full, extra chairs were being brought in, and there was a good community feeling about the whole evening. I loved being with them.
Chelmsford was new territory for me. I did not know my way from the station, so went into the nearest pub, (the Railway Tavern) and announced "Can anyone tell me the way to the Catholic Church?" Everyone there knew it, and could not have been more helpful. People in pubs always know where the RC church is - I've never yet failed in getting directions this way.
On the train home, I tackled some academic work (Maryvale). Amazing that one can just open up a laptop, reconnect with an essay, and plunge in.