...and after Mass, and a brief interlude for some coffee and biscuits, a team of volunteers set about cleaning the church and getting it ready for Christmas.
Precious Blood church at The Borough, London Bridge is a v. mixed parish. A lot of men - a pleasing sound of deep voices in the Mass responses - a lot of children (yes, and some yelling babies). Mix of races and ages. All sorts of people. Busy parish, and Christmas looks set to be busy.
Some of us got to work cleaning, while others started to clamber up into the attic and search out decorations, manoeuvre big Christmas trees into position and unpack the Nativity scene etc. "If you find bubble-gum stuck under pews, don't use soap and water to get it off - come to me, as I've got the right stuff", said the Rector cheerfully. Bubble-gum? Yes, although stuck on to the floor, not under a pew. Only one piece. But - ugh!
We did a thorugh job of cleaning. Never thought of hoovering inside a confessional before, but if you think about it, it does get dust and mud and so on in there. We also tackled some high-up cobwebs in a side-chapel, using a mop with a looooong handle...
A couple of years ago, I fell down some stairs and broke my arm and after that I began to be wary of steep stairs or steps, so in order to conquer this fear I've been making a special point of asking to go up ladders. This meant that I got some v. enjoyable jobs today, including putting the star on top of the Tree, and draping the lights, and fixing the golden bells and other ornaments on the highest branches. Most satisfying.