St Matthew's Willesden is a back-streets Anglo-Catholic gem; so it was a delight to be invited there by Fr Daniel Humphreys for their Feast of Title; and a great kindness of Fr David Houlding to convey me there from Waterloo. Without his sat-nav I would still be looking for St Matthew's. Imagine, arriving on time with Fr Houlding ... wonderful. Since this was my Sunday Mass, earlier in the day I was able to assist (in front of the Tele) at the elevation of John Henry Cardinal Newman to being a Beatus. What a triumph Pope Benedict's four days in England have been.
An added bonus was to have so many old friends in choir at St Matthew's - not concelebrating, for this was a good solid High Mass - Eastward facing and all. Great singing (Praise to the Holiest, of course) and a super supper. Where there are West Indians (these mostly with their roots in Grenada, I'm told) the food is always wonderful. Curried goat is a special favourite. And Fr Humphreys produced an undeserved present, a bottle of Sancerre, saying it was a wine I had mentioned on my blog. It is certainly a favourite... perhaps I should be careful what I say, though, about single malts or premiers crus!
Among others who were present perhaps I might mention two old lags from St Stephen's House, that very selective blogger Fr David Clues, and the guardian of the Episcopal Sofa (ask him) Fr Colin Patterson. The whole evening was just lovely, a great way to end the Pontiff's visit to England. Now I must prepare sermons for next weekend in Essex - a 50th of Priesting and a Confirmation. The St Matthew sermon from this weekend should be on the Anglo-Catholic blog before long.
You will find more about St Matthews at http://www.stmatthews-willesden.org.uk/