I must begin with an apology – given the rain, the wind, and the cold temperatures we’ve had this week, I appear to have inadvertently brought the British weather over with me! Awfully sorry about that!
That’s the weather talk over and done with – now on to more important things.
This week was a pretty busy one in the parish. Saturday saw the performance of a “recorder consort” at the church, who played ten pieces, ranging in age from 829 years old to brand new, on a range of Renaissance woodwind instruments! One of the four played eight different instruments over the course of the performance! The performance was well-attended, despite the tempest outside, and it seems everyone had a good time.
Sunday was a big day at Christ Church, with the two regular Masses starting the day at 8 and 10, the latter of which was followed by a wealth of edible treats, from donuts, through cake, to some home-made Syrian savoury delicacies, made by Sami – by the end of the morning, any that were left over had mysteriously made their way into the Vicarage pantry! Thanks, Sami!
This was followed in the evening by a beautiful service of Healing and Renewal, where we were all invited to be “sprinkled” with water from the holy well at Walsingham (a place of pilgrimage, and where +Lindsay was based before coming here), and then to receive the ministry of laying on of hands, and anointing with the Oil of the Sick (otherwise known as Unction).
It was a very special time, and it was great to have our hardworking choir accentuate the service with renditions of Elgar’s Ave Maria and Mozart’s Ave Verum, and to hear a splendid homily from Fr Matthew Dowsey. For me, it was a real privilege to be involved in the laying on of hands, and to pray for people’s needs. We then invited everyone over to the Vicarage to round off the evening with some wine.
* On the note of the “rite of sprinkling”, I’m not really sure why they call it that – it involves having a drink of water, being marked with the sign of the Cross (with water), and then having some more of the water in your hands…no real “sprinkling” at all! Perhaps +Lindsay will know…
The new week saw some interesting goings-on, with our vicar being spotted in the bushes at the West (liturgical South) side of the church. What on earth could have been going on?
This was, of course, +Lindsay and Adrian, one of our Church Wardens, working out what to do with the great big brick wall between the church and our land at 260 Sydney Rd. Plans are afoot, and it will be very exciting to see how this develops and is realised.
Yesterday, I had the privilege of sitting in on a planning meeting for this year’s ecumenical Pentecost evening service with Mary from our church, Ian from the Uniting church, and Fr Michael and Charmaine from the Catholic church. It should be an interesting service!
Just a reminder, if you haven’t yet got a copy of Forty Days – A Parish Reflects, they are available at the back of the church, and best of all, they’re free!
I’ll leave you with a picture I took coming out of Mass yesterday morning, when I suddenly noticed a hot air balloon hanging in the air in much the same way that bricks don’t…
Have a great week, everyone!