Thursday, December 26, 2019

AND IT'S STILL CHRISTMAS.... come and celebrate on Monday January 6th at 6pm  with a lantern-lit Walk a cross London Bridge.

Meet 6pm at the Church of the Most Precious Blood, Omeara Street, London SE1. Nearest tube: BOROUGH or LONDON BRIDGE.

We'll have a couple of lanterns - or bring your own!

We'll sing an Epiphany hymn as we begin, and on the way we'll hear about the history of the Bridge (Romans, Saxons, an important Viking battle, St Olaf, the Great Fire, and more...).

All welcome - no need to book, just turn up!!

We invite a modest donation for these History Walks, but this is a special Epiphany Walk...just come and join in!

Wednesday, December 25, 2019


...and  after Midnight Mass at a much-loved church  I walked back along the Thames with a lantern, singing Christmas hymns and carols, from London Bridge to Tower Bridge,  the river glittering alongside, and HMS Belfast looming sturdily up in the dark. Very few people about and all the places  familiar to me in the daytime ...the Borough Market and the streets around there - Clink Street and the Borough High Street and Tooley Street - were almost deserted  although there were some small groups of revellers, one or two lone folk hurrying, a watchman in a lit-up office, with whom  a "Merry Christmas" was exchanged. The accoustics under railway bridges are magnificent: it felt strange to be singing alone beneath arches where I have often sung with parish processions.

And so finally along Tower Bridge Road and to our room in our Christmas  hideaway.. .

Saturday, December 21, 2019

...and there is a report...

...of our carol-singing here...

Friday, December 20, 2019


He has recorded a special Christmas message for persecuted can listen to it here.

And thank God for the splendid international charity Aid to the Church in Need, and its message of hope and freedom for all.

Thursday, December 19, 2019


...carol-singing. First at a care home for elderly people: great fun and in a cheery atmosphere.  This was with LOGS, the Ladies Ordinariate Group. We were received with warmth: freshly-brewed coffee, lovely chocolate cake, and cheery chat as the residents were gathered together. There was some joking about our name, and what the initials stood for: one chap decided it was Ladies On Gin.  Lots of enthusiasm and and carols went well. We'll be back - there's a plan for us to return for a further singing session, with old songs that stir memories and have stories....a plan for the New Year....

Then the following day, with a group organised by a splendid friend, around the wards of a big London hospital. It brings everyone together: staff and patients joining in, elderly patients remembering tunes that echo from their childhood, and everyone in a spirit of goodwill. Incidentally, it's a myth that our traditional Christ mas carols offend people of non-Christian faiths: one of the nicest moments was a group of Moslem ladies clapping and tapping their feet in time with the words...

Carol singing is one of the things I most enjoy at Christmas.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

What were the best books you read in 2019? was a joy to be invited to list mine.  You can read all about them here.

Monday, December 16, 2019

Have you heard of GUCA?

It's the Glasgow University Catholic Association and they are running a series of talks on "The Pen is mightier than the Sword". I'm due to speak there on the topic of CS Lewis on Jan 30th and am v. much looking forward to it...


...come on a Candlelit History Walk in London.


3pm Wednesday December 18th, steps of Westminster Cathedral

6pm main door of the Church of the Precious Blood, 6pm Monday January 6th 2020

Friday, December 13, 2019


...that the first thing that must be done when the results of an election are announced, is that the person whose party can command a clear majority in the House of Commons should go to the Queen, who will invite him to form a government. It was with relief, rather than any other emotion,  that many of us watched Boris Johnson make that journey, and return to applause at Downing Street.

I am actually appalled that the Labour party managed to garner as many votes as it did, given the horrible anti-semitic message that had become central to its ideological stance, together  its commitment to the Leninist views of the rich bossy people who are now in charge of its policies. It's worrying that numbers of people would vote for all of that...and it cannot be that they were wholly ignorant, as it has all been widely discussed on-line, on TV, and so on. And as for the commitment of both Labour and the Liberals-Dems to advancing the proliferation of abortion...why would anyone want that? Surely there is at least a human recognition that abortion is a ghastly thing to do...there should be common ground that even it is considered acceptable (and I don't accept it), this could only be for the most limited of reasons. The present law is horrible enough:  the notion of positively encouraging abortion is surely one of the weirdest and nastiest any politician could offer..

Sunday, December 08, 2019


...and on every Advent Sunday this year we have Evensong and Benediction here. Absolutely, as last week, I lit my lantern from one of the votive lights before the shrine of St John Henry Newman, and walked across the bridge to get the train home. London on a cold but clear winter evening is glorious, and if you walk with a lantern people smile and sometimes make a comment like   "how lovely!".

This evening I shared the walk with a friend as far as Cannon Street station, talking about London, and the election, and our country...