St Mary’s Parish Magazine | JAN 2022 | £ 1
is published monthly by the Parish Communications Committee.
Please put your £1 contribution for the magazine in the box provided.
This will help us to defray the cost of printing. Thank you!
Mary Bennett, Sue Bingham, Judith Rice Nickson, John Sabido & Ali Smith
THIS MONTH’S EDITOR
Contributions for the next issues should be emailed to:
BEFORE Monday 14th February 2022
The views expressed in the articles in this magazine are the personal opinions of the authors only.
“an excellent parish magazine” BISHOP LYNCH
Bishop’s Visitation Report 2017
CHROME & SNOW
Susan Bingham COLORADO
THE SPIRITUAL EXERCISES
OF ST IGNATIUS LOYOLA
The Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius are a structured programme of meditations and contemplations, designed to be
undertaken with an experienced guide, or spiritual director.
Until recently the exercises were usually made during a 30-day silent retreat guided by a spiritual director. Ignatius himself recognised that not everyone would have the leisure to make such a commitment and so in one of his annotations to his handbook to the Exercises(no.19) he allows for the possibility of making the Exercises in daily life by committing to a period of daily prayer and a meeting with a guide. This method (the so-called 19th annotation retreat), has become increasingly popular as the Exercises have become more widely known.
I first encountered the Exercises as a 30-day retreat in my midtwenties as a Jesuit novice.
Just before lockdown was announced in 2020, I decided to revisit the Exercises via the 19th annotation method.
Through the London Jesuit Centre I was put in contact with an experienced spiritual director who agreed to take me on. My first experience of the Exercises was guided by a Jesuit priest. This time, my spiritual director was a lay woman who helped to give me a very different perspective.
I was restricted both by being disabled (with severe mobility impairment) and by the lockdown, so in-person meetings were not possible. All our sessions were conducted by Zoom.
This was very successful.
The Exercises are divided into 4 sections, or “weeks” each with a different focus for the retreatant. The “weeks” do not have to match a calendar week and rarely do. The director may lengthen or shorten the period depending on what is happening with the retreatant.
Before I embarked on the First Week I was guided through a kind of warm-up, a series of “disposition days” during which I was introduced to the “First principle and foundation”, which is Ignatius’ guiding text for the whole experience. Once sufficiently disposed, the “First Week” began.
Ignatius introduces his rules for the discernment of spirits early in the Exercises: this becomes a central theme throughout, and is a way of closely observing feelings during – and especially after – prayer to discover those things (events/actions/thoughts/desires) that lead either towards or
away from God.
The guidance for this process varies subtly as one moves through the Exercises. Ignatius also introduces the famous Examen prayer – or Examination of conscience or consciousness – within which the process of discernment plays
a central role.
The majority of the Exercises employ a very distinctive form of prayer: “Imaginative contemplation”. Ignatius believed that we can encounter God through the use of our imagination and invites retreatants to employ all of their senses in immersing themselves in scenes from the life of Jesus from the nativity through to the resurrection.
The experience of making the Exercises in this form at a very different stage of life, was both more vivid and more intense than the 30 days retreat I made in my younger days. I was able to linger longer on some of the stages in the Exercises that were quite challenging. The overall format of this method of making the Exercises in daily life, and the patient guidance of my spiritual director, enabled me to take the whole thing at my own pace without pressure of completion.
This time, from start to finish I spent more than year and a half engaged with the Exercises. I didn’t come away with any fresh decisions or insights , except perhaps that the Exercises may not conclude with any immediately noticeable “results”. They may continue to need the “slow time” that I was fortunate Ignatius would call them – to become manifest. enough to be able to give to them for the “graces” – as
WAY I WORK
Joe Timmons reflects on how the pandemic affected his role as Programme Director for an International Development firm in the Horn of Africa.
A series of lockdowns would have been impractical in Kenya: in a largely subsistence economy vulnerable families cannot stock a fridge for two or three weeks at a time, but need to source food for their families on a daily basis. So there was not the complete cessation of day-to-day activity experienced in many European countries.
Instead, the aim was to shield communities – initially by closing borders, wearing masks in public, temperature checks in shops and bars and hand-washing stations in all public places. In time these restrictions were to open up, international border restrictions were lifted and county lockdowns were reorganised across clusters of counties to facilitate movement. It was not until late October 2021, however, that the curfew of 10pm was finally lifted – greatly to the relief of the hospitality industry in Kenya.
On one level, the pattern of my work did not change that much. I was responsible in Kenya for managing teams of experts operating across the region and directly in Somalia and Somaliland. As I would often report, “our remote management model means our operations remain demonstrably unaffected”. As a team I was proud that we were able to keep going. My excellent colleagues in Somalia, and those across the region who worked with us, be it in Congo or South Sudan would continue to convene, communicate and move forward – despite at times jumpy internet connections.
That said, there were, of course, instances where I tested positive and so, for example, was unable to join a visit to
Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland.
Perhaps surprisingly, Covid-19 increased my musical commitments. The organists at All Saints’ Cathedral in Nairobi asked me to get involved and we established an “Evensong Choir”. A committed team would meet to sing and this would be broadcasted through YouTube. In time the congregation came back into the building, wearing masks and, if they preferred, singers would also wear masks though as their conductor I was afforded the honour (and relief) of being allowed to take off my mask while waving my way through our musical offerings.
A particularly rewarding part of this process was seeing the choir stalls fill up with younger singers and they in turn went on to form their own groups and continuing musical life.
Yet the complexity of travel – especially international travel – during the pandemic could and (in my view) should bring a fundamental change to development strategies and very nature of international development. It showed how this work could be based much more on in-country teams, rather than on internationals jetting in and out, since that has had to be the case over the last two years.
Certainly from my own experience, I’ve learnt most about what was really going on from colleagues in South Sudan, Somalia
I am particularly struck by this thought from Binyanvanga
Wainaina, in “How to write about Africa”: “Africa is to be pitied, worshipped or dominated. Whichever angle you take, be sure to leave the strong impression that without your intervention and your important book, Africa is doomed.”
Wainaina’s read is a sobering one. Modern-day Kenya emerged from a protectorate established by the British in 1895. In 1963 independence was proclaimed ending 68 years of direct rule from Whitehall. It is something of a crude metric but, 59 years on, COVID-19 has offered us a chance to re-visit how we work
with modern-day Africa.
If we are to be truly future-facing, development strategies must deliver impact objectives, such as getting students to enrol and remain at school. Schools are more than chalk and talk, they are centres where communities can access services, education and otherwise. They are also likely to have chances of enduring after cash payments cease – particularly if other
services are there too, such as health.
So what of resources going to schools? It is right that use of public money is scrutinised, and international investment, whatever form it takes, should be hallmarked by budgetary commitments that are executed and accounted for, in ways all investors can see. For example, monitoring ongoing school attendance enables both payer and receiver to build up a picture incrementally instead of having a high-stakes potentially
controversial one-off decision point.
A friend and colleague recently wrote: “Investment through cash programming is widely recognised as an important tool in tackling poverty, and schools are a uniquely efficient and constructive touch point for cash transfers”. These approaches can be managed remotely and with strong teams in country. If governments, together with firms and organisations, build and significant change to how international development works. on this basis, then the pandemic will have effected a worthwhile
At the end of November 2021, my wife Monica and I went on an Advent Retreat at Douai Abbey in Berkshire, writes Bill White. The Retreat was organised by the
Newman Association and was conducted by Monsignor
Patrick Kilgariff, the Association Chaplain and sometime Rector of the English College in Rome.
Douai is a Benedictine Abbey under the patronage of St Edmund the Martyr. The community originated in Paris in 1625, catering for English clergy and students there, but was expelled during the revolution and settled in the town of Douai, close to Lille. A further upheaval occurred in 1901 when, because of the anticlerical Law of Association, the community was forced to relocate to England, where they were given the site of the minor seminary of St Mary at Woolhampton, near Reading. Construction of the monastery and church proceeded over the following years, with the church being completed in 1993.
The monks live according to the Rule of St.Benedict, formulated in the 6th century but still – mutatis mutandis – a good guide to community living today. We were received as guests according to the provisions of Rule LIII on The
Reception of Guests and made to feel very welcome. The monastery Guesthouse was certainly very comfortable and well-appointed. It all made a perfect setting for the lectures, discussions and cheerful socialising of our retreat.
Fr. Kilgariff emphasised in his first talk that Advent, unlike Lent, was a time of hope and happy anticipation of the birth of the promised Saviour. It had been celebrated as this since the sixth century and it is the beginning of the Church’s liturgical year. It was also a time to reflect on our own journey in faith. What were the milestones on the way; who had helped us; and what obstacles did we have to overcome?
He recommended reading the Pope’s recent encyclical Fratelli Tutti , in which he aims to promote a universal aspiration to fraternity and social friendship, where no one need face life in isolation, and that the time had come to dream of a single human family in which we are brothers and sisters all.
The present epidemic had demonstrated the need for this. In subsequent talks there was an emphasis on humility, as when Christ washed the feet of his disciples, contrasting this with the serpent in the Garden of Eden, convincing Adam that he would become like God if he ate the forbidden apple. The seminal quote here was ‘His state was divine but He became humbler yet, even to accepting death, death on a cross.’ In addition to humility, we need to examine our consciences and be in a fit state of grace to greet the newborn Saviour. It would be our gift to Him, equivalent to the gifts brought by the Three Kings to the infant Jesus. For the next two weeks of Advent, we concentrate on the rôle of John the Baptist who ‘made straight the way for the coming of the
Lord’ and finally in the last week the emphasis is on Our
Blessed Lady, for her delivery of the infant Saviour.
Each talk was followed by a lively discussion, following Newman’s point in his book The Idea of a University that we consolidate our learning in rational discourse with our equals.
‘The conversation of all is a lecture to each’, he declares.
On the Sunday morning we went to a beautiful Mass in the monastery church. It was open to the public and well-attended. All of the monks in residence at the abbey were there in their habits, there was a lay choir with triumphant playing of the organ and a challenging sermon from the abbot. The church was well illuminated by the reflection of the winter sunshine on the white stone interior and the whole occasion was a reminder that whatever the monks were occupied with during the day, their primary work was the glorification of God in the celebration of the liturgy.
After the Mass we were given a tour by the Guestmaster of the monastery library. The library contained over 100,000 books, many belonging to other orders and communities. They were kept in ideal conditions and at a constant temperature, maintained by environmentally sound heat pumps, drawing heat from shafts drilled deep into the earth below the library. During the tour I learnt two intriguing facts from the Guestmaster: that the abbey had always historically supported the Jacobite cause and that the present abbot hailed from Newcastle, my home town. All very satisfactory.
enjoyable and inspiring weekend and dispersed homewards. After a final lunch together, we thanked the Guestmaster for an
As a small child growing up in Dulwich in the 1950s,
I was first introduced to American culture by a journalist friend of my father who used to drop off American
magazines – or “the glossies” – at our home when he had finished reading them, writes Sue Bingham. We children consumed them avidly.
I’m not sure my mother ever glanced at them as they were certainly not age appropriate as we scanned pictures of Hollywood glamour, gory Mafia gangland slayings and an enjoyed lifestyle that was beyond our wildest dreams.
While we lived in houses with rudimentary heating and electrics and consumed basic foods with little branding and not a piece of plastic packaging in sight, our “cousins” in the USA enjoyed vast station wagons, luxurious homes with every modern convenience, palatial supermarkets, and enviable fashion. Even as children, we marvelled at the difference and – as post-war progeny – stared open-mouthed at such overabundance.
This intrigue continued, fuelled by movies, literature, and Elvis.
Then the American art scene blew me away during my art school days. It may have been an influence in setting up our design company in New York and, later, Los Angeles – or choosing to buy a house in the Rockies. But in more recent years, Donald Trump, and the intense media frenzy his madness fuelled, eventually brought all that to end. And we quietly withdrew.
However, recently I have once again been enjoying the paintings of Norman Rockwell – a predominantly commercial artist and a prolific illustrator – who so perfectly captured the essence of American life with his shrewd social observations and his capture of the minutia that makes his work so vivid and compelling.
Saying Grace is a 1951 painting for the cover of The Saturday Evening Post’s Thanksgiving issue. The picture depicts a woman and her young grandson in a crowded restaurant saying grace before their meal, observed curiously, even incredulously, by the other diners. The inspiration came from a reader who observed a Mennonite family praying in similar circumstances and caused
Rockwell to visit diners and Automats in New York and
Philadelphia, taking extensive reference photographs throughout. The tables and chairs came from a diner in Times Square for the final reference photoshoot, and his son, friends and neighbours all featured in the final painting, after extensive charcoal and
Rockwell was paid $3,500 for the final painting and it was sold in
2013 at Sotheby’s for $46 million.
Whether this reflects the artist’s skills or the revival in Christianity that America seems be enjoying – on the Frontage Road near to where we lived in Colorado, there were Churches for every temperament and faith – I couldn’t hazard a guess. But let’s quietly hope that it’s both. After all, if Christianity has evidence of resurgence there, perhaps there is hope for us here yet!
FOOD POVERTY IN GREENWICH:
COLLECTING FOR GREENWICH
Last year (April 2020 – March 2021) the Trussell Trust network of foodbanks distributed 2.5 million food
emergency food parcels to people in crisis across the UK –
a 33% increase on the previous year. In London over the same period the number of food parcels distributed more than doubled.
Locally, Greenwich Foodbank (part of the Trussell Trust network) has nine well-used distribution centres across the borough, supporting clients referred by agencies such as Citizens Advice, housing support officers, children’s centres, health visitors, social services and local charities.
In 2021, Greenwich Foodbank provided 91,602 meals to 5784 adults and 4394 children. Over 90% of the food distributed is donated by the public.
From February 2022, there will be a donation point for Greenwich Foodbank at the back of St Mary’s Church, next to the Justice & Peace notice board. The Greenwich Foodbank donation point replaces the previous informal arrangement of leaving food and clothing for the Manna Centre, who are unable to collect items on a regular basis. We will aim to continue our collaboration with the Manna Centre through the annual appeal for the Christmas Giving Tree.
Jamie Ginns, CEO of Greenwich Foodbank, has welcomed the
St Mary’s offer of support. He writes:
“Your donations are needed now more than ever. The need we are seeing week by week as we begin 2022 is both profound and complex. Without the consistent and generous giving of local churches Greenwich Foodbank wouldn’t have a hope of rising to this challenge.”
St Mary’s will be supporting Greenwich Foodbank in partnership with our Anglican neighbours, the Church of St Michael and All Angels in Blackheath Park. St Michael’s already has close links with the Foodbank and the logistics in place to facilitate the delivery of our donations to their depot in Shooters Hill. This is a new initiative for our parish and we will need to monitor how it works in practice. At this stage we think it will be possible for members of the Justice & Peace group to manage transporting our donations to St Michael’s, but we might need additional volunteer help. If you feel that you may be able to help with this or with any other aspect of Justice & Peace Group activity, please contact Helen White on firstname.lastname@example.org or Hazel Wilkinson on email@example.com
Unlike other appeals such as CAFOD Family Fast Days and the Christmas Giving Tree, which relate to specific times of the year, the Greenwich Foodbank donation point will be ongoing and available whenever the Church is open, so that you can give as and when you feel able to.
Further information about Greenwich Foodbank and a list of the items they need will be posted on the J&P notice board, and more information can be found at:
Or you can download the Foodbank App at the Appstore for iPhone or the Playstore for Android to keep up to date with what is most needed.
Helen White and Hazel Wilkinson on behalf of the St Mary’s Justice & Peace Group
A VOLUNTEER WRITES….
Ali Smith on helping out at the Trussell Trust foodbank warehouse in Greenwich
First, I’d like to thank the J&P group for the foodbank initiative. As someone in the warehouse, making up packs to go to the distribution centres, you know you are only as effective as the food that is donated. In the past, when times have on occasion been lean, we have had to send out packs lacking staples that we should be including, perhaps milk or tinned fruit, and it has
felt a bit sad.
I am also sorry when a lack of supplies means we can’t include any small treats – say, a couple of bags of crisps, or some chocolate for a family. Of course, they’re not the most important elements in a food pack, but it’s part of respecting clients, and not assuming that people in need of help shouldn’t be able to have some light relief in their food.
I certainly wouldn’t say I have become a world expert in foodbanks, but when I started at a volunteer 6½ years ago, there was so much more I didn’t know about how it all worked.
For example, it had never occurred to me to think about the different sizes of packs. We work to guidelines from the Trussell Trust, and there are four categories of pack: one for a single person; a couple/one adult and a child; a family with up to two children; and a larger family. We used just to pack them into crates to be unloaded at the Welcome Centres, but since the foodbanks began doing doorstep deliveries during the pandemic, we have continued to put them into carrier bags within the crates, so it is easer to take them home.
Nor had I really considered the range of products in each pack. Each one contains a mix of ambient foods – nothing chilled or frozen. Every one includes cereal, milk, fruit juice, baked beans, soup, tinned tomatoes, tinned meat, tinned vegetables, tinned fruit, pudding or custard, tea or coffee, biscuits, and a condiment such as ketchup. Before I was a volunteer, my first thought would have been to give beans and pasta: but because so many people think of these items, in real life we tend to need other products, such as juice, tea, and puddings. That’s why downloading the app which says on a real-time basis what the foodbank needs is so worthwhile.
Despite working within the guidelines, I found making up packs a surprisingly personal process. Though as volunteers at the warehouse rather than the distribution centres we don’t see the people who are the recipients, as you go round choosing what to put in each pack, you can’t help but have some sense of what they might prefer. For example, I have never put a tin of prunes in a family pack; and even though I know it’s silly, I still hesitate before adding mushy peas to a pack, just because I know that I personally would never want to eat them. And if I’m putting a tin of chilli into a pack, instinctively I
add a tin of kidney beans, to eke it out.
The final element I hadn’t been expecting was the time-lag. Especially at busy seasons, there can be a gap of quite a few weeks between a donation’s arriving at the warehouse, and its actually reaching the people for whom it is intended. That’s just because there is so much food to process – to weigh it in (and out) to track the stock; and to sort it by date, for efficient
If foodbank clients are being given food behind the curve – for example, mince pies when everyone else has moved on from Christmas goodies – it is not that the food itself or the generous thought behind it is less valuable. But it can mark a difference
from what others are choosing.
And that is why, for me, the Sunday after Ash Wednesday (2
March), won’t just be the first Sunday of Lent, but the first Sunday of leaving chocolate Easter eggs at the back of the church – in the hope that they will reach their destination in rest of us.
time for their recipients to celebrate at the same time as the
A couple of afternoons during the holiday season were spent working on the steam railway. Possibly your readers might be interested to hear about our tasks.
There is a very small permanent staff and the majority of the staff are volunteers. We work in different departments, driving the engines, maintaining the track, looking after the stations and the signal boxes and helping to operate the trains. In total there are several hundred volunteers, working at different times, and it is possible to be working with others whom one has never met before.
On this occasion, as there are no appointed leaders, it was an interesting exercise in group dynamics for the three rostered for duty to work out what had to be done and to decide who was to undertake the various tasks.
Our set of duties was quite complex – the empty train arrived from Ropley, and we had to unload and sort the food packages. There were three return services from Alton to Alresford and so it was necessary to sort the packs into batches for each train. The passengers had started to arrive and so tickets were checked and they were issued with a luminous wrist band. The train had five coaches and the passengers were helped to find their seats. Trains with opening doors and a low platform are unusual and so several people needed help to board safely, including the stowing of buggies and walking frames. Time for departure meant making sure that there were no last minute passengers arriving, and closing all the doors so that the train could leave on time. The platform staff showed a white lamp, the guard responded with his green lamp, a toot on the whistle from the engine and we were off.
During these special days, the train was decorated with about 10,000 lights and looked amazing. There was a special sound system to play music throughout the journey. The railway is very popular at this time of year and every seat was taken.
We agreed that two would travel with the train to Alresford with one remaining behind to arrange things for the next trip. On board duties included collecting the rubbish – quite a large amount as the food was served in card boxes – and generally looking after the train. I travelled down with the first service.
We passed an up train at Medstead and ran non-stop through Ropley to Alresford. There was a half hour stop before the return journey. The passengers visited the buffet and there was a chance to meet with some of the old friends at the station.
On the up trip we paused at Ropley for the engine to take water, to wait for the down train to pass and to unload some rubbish bags. Back to Alton where we helped the passengers to leave and cleaned the train for the next journey.
Once the next train had left and we had sorted the remaining food packs, there was a chance to retreat to the station office where we had built up a good coal fire. Large mugs of tea were brewed as we awaited the arrival of the next train. A time to catch up on railway gossip with the station staff and to ask some questions from the rule book. When can station staff give the starting signal – when the platform is on a curve so that the engine crew cannot see the guard – and also when moving empty coach stock if a guard is not available?
Already the next set of passengers was beginning to arrive, so back to the ticket barrier to check names against the list and to provide them with their packs of food.
The time flew by and as the last steam service left, it was time to take the electric train from Alton back to Waterloo. I folded
up my high viz jacket, put away my staff pass and became just
another anonymous passenger.
SISTERS OF ST ANDREW
Sr Marie-Christie reflects on winter’s colours.
Winter’s brightness evokes blue skies and white snow, green fir trees, red berries, all emulated in the brilliance of Christmas lights in our towns and houses. But most days, light is so sparse! Everything is dull, we are bathing in shades of grey, of browns, in an unclear mist. It seems to seep in our hearts.
We cannot wait for the days to lengthen after the winter solstice.
The very day of the winter solstice, I joined a prayer walk organised at St Benedict, the spiritual centre in the site of the Anglican Benedictine monastery of West Malling. The theme was the ‘O’ antiphon of the day. ‘O Oriens’, in English:
‘O Rising Sun,
splendour of light eternal and sun of righteousness:
Come and enlighten those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.‘
Our little group walked, mainly in silence. We simply stopped from time to time to read aloud our verses again.
The theme of the light in the darkness inspired us. I thought of the function of the light in the creation of colours, shapes, shades. The sun, though expected, didn’t show up and nevertheless, in the dull day light, every object, every plant, every leave reflected its own colour. The green of the moss shone on the silver of the trunks and fences, some orange fungus winked from behind a lump of mud, the gracious bramble stems were definitely purple.
I was fortunate to have visited the David Hockney exhibition in the Royal Academy some years ago. How amazingly he revealed the riot of colours in the English countryside. And here I was, seeing the glory of what was hidden in the greyness of the ordinary. And how ? Just because, for once, I paid some attention to what was surrounding me.
Isn’t it amazing ? And isn’t it such a spiritual metaphor? We here and now. Let us seek, look, contemplate, adore.
celebrate Jesus, Emmanuel, God with us. Now, let us see him
FORTHCOMING EVENTS AT ST ANDREW’S
This year Ash Wednesday is on 2 March.
Friday 25 to Sunday 27 February 2022 :
STEPPING STONES INTO SILENCE
A residential weekend silent retreat for beginners with
Sunday 6 March to Sunday 2 April 2022 :
‘Your word is a lamp for my steps and a light for my path.’
Psalm 119: 105.
A four-week Retreat in Daily Life, with weekly personal
Saturday 12 March 2022 :
LENTEN QUIET DAY with Sister Fiona
Keep a look out on the diocesan website for information on the
Archdiocese of Southwark retreat for Lent 2022, introduced by
Archbishop John Wilson and led by the Spirituality Commission.
Every Wednesday of Lent a video is released for your meditation. There will be a possibility to share in small groups
for those who wish.
The Angel-lights of Christmas morn,
Which shot across the sky,
Away they pass at Candlemas, They sparkle and they die.
Comfort of earth is brief at best,
Although it be divine;
Like funeral lights for Christmas gone, Old Simeon’s tapers shine.
And then for eight long weeks and more
We wait in twilight grey,
Till the high candle sheds a beam On Holy Saturday.
We wait along the penance-tide
Of solemn fast and prayer;
While song is hush’d, and lights grow dim In the sin-laden air.
And while the sword in Mary’s soul
Is driven home, we hide
In our own hearts, and count the wounds Of passion and of pride.
And still, though Candlemas be spent
And Alleluias o’er,
Mary is music in our need,
And Jesus light in store.
30th January 2022
Sunday Masses Saturday 6.30pm first Mass of Sunday Sunday 9.30 and 11am and 5pm.
Monday to Friday Mass at 8am.
Saturday Mass at 10am and 6.30pm
Confessions Saturday 12 to 1pm
Today is the Fourth Sunday of the Church’s year.
A reminder that the Scripture readings at Mass are taken from the third cycle. (C.)
Wednesday is the feast of the Presentation of the Lord, commemorating the day when the Child Jesus was presented in the Temple in Jerusalem, forty days after his birth. This is also known as Candlemas day and at the beginning of Mass, we bless some of the candles that will be used in the Church during the course of the year.
Thursday is the feast of St. Blaise. There is a tradition to bless throats after Mass as a prayer for protection against infirmities.
The newsletter is prepared some time in advance but the main task during the coming week will be the Governors’ meeting for Christ the King College on Wednesday evening. For the time being, the meetings are held on line.
Gradually the garden is recovering from the winter and we are doing our best to keep it tidy. The spring flowers are starting to appear together with some of the first buds on the trees.
It reminds me of George Herbert:
Who would have thought my shrivel’ heart
Could have recover’d greennesse? It was gone
Quite underground; as flowers depart
To see their mother-root, when they have blown Where they together – all the hard weather Dead to the world, keep house unknown.
And a short prayer:
Lord, enlighten my understanding, strengthen my will, purify my heart and make me holy.
A simple recipe for cooking fennel.
Trim the fennel and cook in boiling water until soft. Drain and place in a buttered dish. Cover with grated cheese and some breadcrumbs, add a little butter and bake in a hot over until it is browned.
The Bakerloo line always seems to inherit the oldest tube cars. The present cars date back to 1970 and there seem to be no plans for replacements. Fortunately, they were well built and will be able to remain in service for a few more years.
I hope that you are all keeping well.
Monsignor Nicholas RothonBest wishes to you all,