Monday 16 August 2010

Penitent Plonkers

It seems word gets around; so I had a phone call from one of the New Forest Plonkers a little embarrassed that someone discovered my blog, and so they found they'd had a bishop in their audience. I hope I reassured him; after all, I did spend two years in the Royal Air Force before ordination, so most of the words of the Plonkers' songs were well known to me already.

They did, though, offer a little penitential piece, which I think deserves a wider audience:


Almighty and most merciful Lord Bishop
We have erred and strayed from our ways like lost Plonkers
We have followed too much the devices and desires of our own audiences
We have offended against thine holy ears
We have left unsung those things that we ought to have sung
And we have sung those things that we ought not to have sung
Any apparent health in us we ascribe to a diet of Beta Blockers, Brufen and Beer
But thou, Lord Bishop, have mercy upon us miserable Plonkers
Spare though them who confess their lack of probity and talent
Revisit thou them who promise to try better
Come back next year to the New Forest Show
That we mays't give thee also something to bang and rattle
And that we may try even harder to remain
New Forest Plonkers

Well, I have dug out more photos from the New Forest Show to give you a taste of that very happy day. If you can get to one of their performances, do: it's all good clean fun.
I did not have my camera with me in Southampton last week, but the Road Traffic sign which caught my eye seemed to offer the perfect penance for the Plonkers, which I duly commended to them:
They meekly accepted the advice, and report that they were greatly diverted.

Sunday 15 August 2010

A Blogger Blogged

The Maestro: Fr David Elliott
Holy Trinity Reading - I have visited it under four different parish priests. Good to see it today beginning its recovery from the doldrums, thanks to an enthusiastic and hardworking Parish Priest - whose blog you may have met already. It was a very modest do today, just the usual thing, Missa de Angelis and Roman Canon I.

Fr Elliott & soon-to-be boatboy

I was lent a piece of ancient lace to drape my ample form, and so sallied forth to the Altar, with Fr Elliott himself as Deacon and as sub-deacon none other than the present Sacristan at Pusey House. Together they managed to guide me in the right direction, and revive me with smelling salts after the ascent to the highest pulpit in Berkshire - possibly even the whole of southern England. It was one of Fr Brian Brindley's discoveries, a great Georgian tour-do-force of the cabinet maker's art, sitting happily before the Pugin screen rescued from the Catholic Cathedral in Birmingham.

No doubt the Holy Trinity blog will be full of pictures; I content myself with simply showing something of the lunch party in the Presbytery garden. We were accompanied on this visit, Jane and I, by a friend from Harrogate; and by some strange coincidence there are to be two former St Stephen's House priests serving in that town. Fr Gary Waddington is already enthroned at St Wilfred's; now Fr Stephen Webb, on the other side of the Tiber, is to be Assistant Priest at Our Lady Immaculate and St Robert's Catholic Church from September 1st. I am not quite sure yet whether there are more of my former students in the Roman obedience than the Anglican one; but there soon will certainly be more there than here, by which time there will be here, if you understand me.

Holy Trinity had a marvellous diversity of people in its congregation - the pictures may give a little notion of what was a very happy celebration of Our Lady's welcome into Heaven. It seems to me that with the support of the Dioceses of Oxford, and the Catholic Diocese of Portsmouth, Holy Trinity will be an ideal candidate for the Ordinariate - though, I suspect, not in the first flush, but a little time from now when Fr Elliott has had time to build it up a little more. All power to his elbow; be is doing a great job.

Pusey rent-a-mob