Saturday, August 24, 2019

LONDON WITH A GROUP OF YOUNG AMERICANS...

...on pilgrimage.  We had a special visit to the Tower of London, where St Thomas More's tomb is a place of prayer. A Beefeater gave us an excellent talk and showed us round the chapel of St Peter ad Vincula. There was also time to view the Crown jewels...

At Westminster, we toured Parliament. Big Ben is still under wraps - even though we have all got used to this over the past months, it's still instinctive to look up to check the time when emerging from the Tube station...

We dropped in to Westminster Abbey to pray: there are now two icons there specifically for this purpose, with votive candles in front of each.  Then Mass at Warwick Street, celebrated by the chaplain of the group - strong voices making the responses, good singing -  and a cheery talkative fish-and-chip pub supper...

These young Americans are an encouraging lot, and with each new group each summer I get a boost and a sense of encouragement.

Friday, August 23, 2019

And the new season of History Walks is starting...

...so do come along.

Information here

FILMING A NEW TV SERIES....

...in rural Norfolk, under wide skies, occasionally criss-crossed with roaring RAF 'planes...

Preceded by further history research, earlier in the week, with a walk along the Thames....we went to this church, where Athelstan, the first king of the whole of England, was crowned. I knew the story, and have been familiar with the place for years, but had not actually been into the church since a ceremony when I was nine years old, when the Colours of my father's regiment were laid up there. It was strange to see the commemorative plaque, and to remember that day.

...and this is worth reading too....

....here...



Thursday, August 22, 2019

...and a thoughtful piece, without anger or rhetoric, is here...

...and is well worth reading.

Read here.



Monday, August 19, 2019

The BBC, to its further disgrace, has been pushing same-sex marriage...

...on the once-delightful programme Songs of Praise which was begun in the 1960s and for decades was a popular feature, showing churches hosting gatherings to sing popular hymns.
I am sickened by this BBC using this to push  ssm - something so cruel and destructive, so contemptuous of the human person and human dignity. 
The Coalition for Marriage has issued a relevant statement - see below:
Same-sex marriage remains a highly contentious issue, especially for Christians and those of other faiths. Around 1 in 200 places of worship in England and Wales is registered to hold same-sex weddings. So that's 99.5% that aren't.
When it deals with controversial subjects, the BBC is supposed to “ensure a wide range of significant views and perspectives are given due weight and prominence”.
Yesterday’s Songs of Praise focused on faith and marriage, and celebrated same-sex marriage. Though the presenter briefly mentioned that some people disagree, air time was only given to those who endorse it.
Viewers were even told by one of the gay couple that those who don’t support same-sex marriage “just need to think about it, and they’ll get there one day”.
Will the BBC now allow the alternative view to be aired “in output of a similar type and weight and in an appropriate timeframe”? No, I don’t think so either.

Friday, August 16, 2019

...and London's river...

...on a golden day of wild breezes   A group of LOGS members went by one of London's classic river boats from Westminster to Richmond. This annual  Thames trip is always a joy - but might not continue if new regulations  currently being  presented  to Parliament are introduced. These would impose on the smaller, traditional boats a range of  impractical and extremely expensive alterations which would make it impossible for them to function.

These boats are magnificent, and  have a glorious heritage - one of them is in fact a Dunkirk "little ship" and all are of that style and tradition. They have an unbroken record of safety.  Will Parliament listen and reject the bureaucratic injustice that is being proposed?   More info here...

The big modern wide boats don't go as far as Richmond and Kew and Hampton Court - can't get through Richmond Lock - and in any case are nothing like a proper river experience: they are computerised and with recorded tourist tapes instead of a boatman just giving London history...

At Richmond over a talkative lunch we mulled over ideas and plans for next year's projects and initiatives...so much that could/should be done for children/lonely people/evangelisation...then while some headed back to London for an evening Mass, I headed for St Elizabeth's for the same purpose and a Catholic History Walk to follow.

And so home at a late hour, after a  beautiful Mass and glorious Walk...as darkness fell we were going along the path to Ham, and honouring John Henry Newman's memory, and finishing at a cheery pub.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

A day of blackberrying...

...and gathering of rose-hips and - a new venture for us - elderberries with a wonderful team of great-nieces and nephews.  In between bouts of lashing rain, we gathered the fruit, and in the busy kitchen washed, boiled, strained and stirred with enthusiasm, so now have jars of jam and syrups, all with hand-written labels. Most satisfactory.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Come and discover about John Henry Newman...

...learn about his life, and the message he has for Christians today...

Join me in a Richmond History Walk, starting at 7.30pm (after evening Mass) this Thursday, August 15th, at St Elizabeth's Church, The  Vineyard, Richmond  TW10 6AQ...


Friday, August 09, 2019

Wednesday, August 07, 2019

That ghastly shooting in the USA...

...read this

America probably has the same proportion of nutcases and fanatical wanna-be murderes as any other country.But there's one big difference between the USA and other countries. In the USA, such people can get access to guns. It's absurd and uncivilised. It will now be difficult to make it much harder to acquire or to keep a gun - but the attempt must be made.

Tuesday, August 06, 2019

Auntie J. has been walking...

...and walking....

Annual John Paul Walk to Walsingham with the Dominican sisters.  Glorious views, great solidarity and friendship. 20 miles a day. I joined midway through...the group had by then reached Swaffham.

At West Raynham, the (Anglican) parish gave us a most wonderful welcome, with a barbeque and fabulous hospitality. Then Evening Prayer in the ancient ruins of St Margaret's church, with the music soaring, and the wide Norfolk sky, and birds flying home to rest...

At Walsingham, a packed Mass at the shrine, and then the final walk down the Holy Mile...in the footsteps of so many pilgrims across the centuries...