- a wonderful man, a fine writer and journalist, a man of great integrity. We attended his funeral yesterday at the Sacred Heart Church in Wimbledon. Read about him here. I learned so much from him, as did so many younger people. He will be hugely missed.
The church has been recently refurbished and I was troubled by the lack of kneelers in the pews - was this a way of trying to stop people kneeling properly for Mass? Everyone was encouraged to sit instead, even for the Consecration - all wrong. However, it turns out that the problem is a temporary one, as the incomplete pews will get their kneelers shortly. All the refurbishment has been delayed, and for a long while Masses have been in the church hall, with the stage turned into a temporary sanctuary.
To Waterloo station in the evening, for a last round of carol-singing. Funds raised this time will go to LIFE, which helps mothers and babies. As we sang and sang, a friend, hurrying homer from work, saw us and came to join in. When her train was called, she said "Must rush - I'm taking the children to Reconciliation at the Sacred Heart church. We'll be home by the time you finish here. Come over for mulled wine and snacks!" So in due course I made my way to their house, and there was wine and good talk around the Christmas tree, with children drifting off sleepily, and delicious mince pies, and a happy atmosphere. The Reconciliation service had been rather impressive, with lots of priests hearing confessions, and the family joked about all being freshly shriven as we greeted them.
Just a couple of days now until the great feast: life has a feeling of Advent, and Christmas promise.