Newsletter 10th March.
Today is the Fourth Sunday of Lent. We are now halfway through the penitential season and we use the rose coloured vestments at Mass today. It is known as Laetare Sunday from the first words of the Introit antiphon. Rejoice Jerusalem.
There are Stations of the Cross this evening at 6.30pm.
Newsletters are written well in advance but by the time you read this, I hope that I will have returned safely from the trip to Spain. Slight apprehension at setting off as there have been some problems at Madrid airport recently.
Who knows: by the time that you read this, the Papal election may have taken place.
The Confirmation class takes place on Wednesday at 6.30pm. This is the final class: thanks to Carl and Jocelyn for organising the classes and to all of the group of attending so regularly. There will be a rehearsal on the Saturday morning before the Confirmation.
The Parish Council meets at 8pm on Tuesday. The agenda papers should be available today.
A reminder of the Opera for Africa in the big hall on Friday evening. I hope that you will be able to come.
Next Sunday, at 5pm, there will be an additional Lenten Mass. The choir will sing music by Faure.
From Monday the weekday Masses from Monday to Friday will be held in the Angelus Room whilst the works to the Church are proceeding.
On Tuesday the Archbishop will come to Christ the King Sixth Form College to celebrate Mass and for the opening of the new extension. I will need to be there but will hurry back for parish duties. Plenty of other tasks this week: St. Matthew’s Governors on Monday, to Westminster on Wednesday and to Greenwich Town Hall on Thursday.
A penitential prayer for Lent:
Renew your grace within me; give me the light of your Holy Spirit to see what I have done wrong, and the good I have failed to do. Give me courage to return to you and help me to be more generous in response to your love.
A recipe for Lent: cook some sliced mushrooms gently in some butter, season and keep warm. Toast and butter a couple of slices of bread. Spread most of the mushrooms on the bread, pour a little cream over them and grill for a minute or two. Pour some cream over the remaining mushrooms and heat gently, serving this separately.
I always enjoyed the plays of Christopher Marlowe: I am sure you will know of Tamburlaine and The Jew of Malta: here is some of his poetry.
A gown made of finest wool,
Which from our pretty lambs we pull,
Fine lined slippers for the cold,
With buckles of the purest gold.
The other day a large order for new buses for London was announced. It was interesting to note that it did not appear to include additional new Routemasters. There was an initial hope that this would become the future standard London bus. As with the bendy buses, is it something that began with an enthusiasm but the optimism speedily withered.
The new gymnasium at St. Matthew Academy is now in use and is much appreciated. As well as the main hall, there is a fitness suite with lots of machines. The trampolines looked wonderful and the 12 year olds can execute somersaults without difficulty. I would love to have a go but I have been advised that I am much too old and it would be highly dangerous. Oh well, it would be worth it.
Work is almost completed on a card and balsa model of a Venetian Vaporetto – it is providing a lot on entertainment in odd minutes as I measure up some photos and try to calculate the dimensions. It has taken a long time but should be finished soon. The next project is a wooden bi-plane for the great nephew. Already some sketches are in hand and I have been working out how to make it. I am in competition with his grandfather who is busy making him some model cars. The boy is very polite, but I fear that he is slightly bewildered by us all.
Best wishes to you all
Monsignor Nicholas Rothon