Saturday, 8 May 2010
I just love those little hobble skirts of the bridesmaids; very 1920's! Lianne and Douglas have been (as they say) together for six years; so I acknowledged that, and said that this day was sealing their commitment to one another - and a time for family to stand back. They took it very seriously, and although the congregation had been a little high-spirited before we started, once we we underway everyone, even the tiny flower-girl and almost equally tiny groomsmen, were immaculately behaved. It reminded me how much I missed parish ministry when I first moved to St Stephen's House.
The day was a first for the Churchwarden and others who assisted her; they carried it off very well, even to ensuring that there was Registrar's Ink for the pen. FOUR witnesses (at the bride's request) rather than the required two meant a long signing. The string quartet did bravely, and we even managed to get all twenty-eight signatures (bride, groom, witnesses and me on each of four documents) in the right places. My, but it was exhausting. Tomorrow will be a very light day; just an 8am BCP-ish celebration (called in this parish "the early communion") with a sermonette. Then packing cases and checking passport ready for a very early start on Monday for Heathrow and Fatima; still supposing the volcano and BA Aircrew allow us to get to Lisbon and back. Pray, brethren!
Friday, 7 May 2010
"As the Bishop of Manchester indicated to General Synod in February 2010, the draft legislation continues to provide special arrangements for those with conscientious difficulties by way of delegation from the diocesan bishop under a statutory Code of Practice.
The legislation has been amended in a number of detailed respects.
Provision for statutory declarations by bishops unable to take part in the consecration of women as bishops or their ordination as priests has been removed as has an obligation on the Archbishops to nominate particular suffragan sees to be occupied by those who do not consecrate or ordain women.
Added to the Measure are new provisions requiring each diocesan bishop to draw up a scheme in his or her diocese that takes account of the national Code of Practice and provides local arrangements for the performance of certain episcopal functions in relation to parishes with conscientious difficulties.
A further new provision allows such parishes to request, when there is a vacancy, that only a male incumbent or priest-in-charge be appointed. It is expected that much of the July group of sessions of the General Synod in York (9-13 July) will be devoted to debating the Revision Committee’s report and conducting the Revision Stage of the legislation. "
*The reports are now published, Sat 8th, and dismal reading they make. You will find a link to them at Fr Ivan Aquilina's blog (listed alongside this posting: St John's Sevenoaks)
Thursday, 6 May 2010
This was Fatima on May 13th last year; a moderate congregation.
There will be many more this year, since the Holy Father is to be present.
Sunday, 2 May 2010
After a long wait, Spring has arrived with a great rush in Hampshire. Since I forgot my camera on our previous visit, here are a few photographs taken last week to give you a taste of Exbury.
Pink for a girl and blue for a boy, you understand.
With the resources of the Rothschilds, I guess you can indulge yourself occasionally. The last owner of Exbury was a great enthusiast for railways, so there is a narrow gauge track running round part of the gardens. Here is Naomi, one of the engines, sitting like patience on her turntable..
Which of course brings us seamlessly to the question of the Church of England, where she is going, and who is going with her. Even with the thrills of a General Election impending, the papers are getting very wound up about the Papal visit in September. It would be a pity, though, to spend time parrying the ludicrous article in today's Sunday Telegraph. They think that leaving the Church of England is 'defecting'. More properly, it is the C of E which has become defective, leaving many of us out in the cold. And if the Holy Father is ready to offer us what we asked of the C of E, and were refused, who is to blame us when we accept that offer? Well of course it will be the Sunday Telegraph and the rest of the hacks who blame us. I've said something about all this on 'The Anglo Catholic' site and will leave you here with another picture of Magnolias at Exbury; altogether more wholesome for your contemplation.
I think if you click on the smaller images you may get a full-size version.