Newsletter 2nd February 2014.
Today we celebrate the feast of the Presentation of the Child Jesus in the temple. According t the Jewish law this took place forty days after the birth of the child. It is also known as Candlemas Day and candles will be blessed at the beginning of the 11 Mass with a procession to the Altar.
During the week, the prayers will be taken from the 4th week in ordinary time.
Monday is the feast of St. Blaise and after Mass there is the blessing of throats.
This newsletter is being prepared very well in advance, but I understand that it is the day for the Film Club.
Also once again the time has come round for the First Communion classes. The parents meet on Monday evening in the house at 8pm to prepare the class and the class will take place in the big hall on Saturday morning at 10am.
I have two days away at Canary Wharf this week for Investment meetings on Wednesday and Thursday. The Eucharistic Ministers can read the Novena prayers on Wednesday and if the Bishop is not available, there will be a Eucharistic Service at 10am.
There is also a school meeting on Wednesday afternoon and Local Authority meetings on Wednesday and Thursday evenings so that the week is very full.
Recently I have put some teak oil on the climbing frame in the garden. It is very popular, particularly during the summer but take care over the next few weeks in case the oil is still a bit tacky. You do not want to have paint stains on your Boden.
A recipe from Normandy this time: boil some dry cider with an equal quantity of water with some salt and pepper and a bouquet garni. Add some small raw shrimps, return to the boil and cook for about 5 minutes. Drain and serve hot with bread and butter.
Do you like Auden?
She looked over his shoulder
For vines and olive trees,
Marble well-governed cities
And ships upon untamed seas,
But there on the shining metal
His hands had put instead
An artificial wilderness
And a sky like lead.
(I will leave you to find the rest)
A prayer from St. Jane de Chantal:
O my Lord, I am in a dry land, all dried up and cracked by the violence f the north wind and the cold; but as thou seest, I ask for nothing more; thou wilt send me both dew and warmth when it pleaseth thee.
Keep a look out as the train leaves London Bridge station. Gradually the foundation pillars are beginning to take shape for the extension of the tracks from the new bridge over Borough High Street. Many months of work to complete this project but it is fascinating to see it taking shape.
Each year the Archbishop celebrates a Mass in the Cathedral and holds a reception for those who are celebrating a notable wedding anniversary. This year the Mass will be held on 21st June. If you would like to receive an invitation, please let me know.
The garden is very damp indeed at the moment and the rain has caused problems with some of the doors. Already the first shoots of the spring flowers are appearing and it will not be long before there will be buds on some of the trees. Lots of leaves to clean out from the gutters and drains but I am gradually getting round to doing it. Maybe, once the spring weather starts, the garden group will be able to help again.
We were wondering the other day about Chaucer’s pilgrims. Their journey to Canterbury took four days and on the first night they stopped at Dartford. They had started from Southwark but it seems probable that they would have taken the route through Greenwich rather than crossing Blackheath. A modern version of the Tales, the film Last Orders, shows the travellers crossing the Heath though there is something wrong in the backing to the film after this as it is not quite accurate.
Best wishes to you all
Monsignor Nicholas Rothon