Well attempts to keep a “daily” journal as I originally intended for this blog have rather spectacularly failed! I’ve managed to restart the daily posting of the Martyrology after a couple of months break, due in large part to the increased business that is my life of late. As I commented elsewhere online, I wonder how some clergy find the time to blog as regularly and in such depth as they do? But apparently, at least from comments on my Facebook page, there are not a few who are interested in what I think and so I will endeavour as time affords to offer my own musings on various things, or at least post the occasional overview of what’s happening in my own life and ministry. I would like to suggest on a weekly basis, but this is probably unrealistic, the date in the title above is when I attempted to begin this blogpost, it is now four days later…
The week as usual began on Sunday, a private Mass in the morning it being the last Sunday of the month (August) having offered publicly the “First Mass” (not “vigil”) of Sunday the preceding evening. Actually a “green” Sunday for the first time in weeks since the “Post Pentecosten” season began, our authentic usus antiquior calendar having offered us a plethora of double-class white and red feasts and octaves! Again, it being the ultimate Sunday of the month, I was relieved of musical duties both at the Methodist church and at the restaurant and so I’d arranged to meet and treat some special friends to Sunday lunch at “Cherubs”.
Some readers may remember that in 2009 I walked a tightrope for charity above the Big Top of Zippo’s Circus and since then have remained friends with the circus folk and the various acts that tour with them each season. So I invited Mr Martin Burton the founder of the circus and his lovely wife Julia and the – about to be in the World Guinness Book of Records – ringmaster, Mr Norman Barrett MBE to Sunday lunch. We had an early lunch of roast Beef (much appreciated by my guests) in order to allow Mr Barrett to return to the circus in time for the matinee. This past Easter I had the honour and pleasure to baptise the latest addition to the world-famous “Rastelli” Clowns and so this Tuesday was able to treat “Cherubs” staff and supporters to see the current Zippo’s show at Hove Lawns, as well as present little Alessia’s Baptism Certificate to her doting parents.
Feast of St Giles, Abbot
Monday, after Mass, to work at our apostolate “Cherubs” it being “Specials Board” day when Alex (2nd chef) and I dream up dishes for the week ahead to compliment or supplement the usual menu. Continuing to reflect the change in weather and season we included a few more “homely” dishes this week with “Toad in the Hole” remaining popular and my Fish Pie having been well received on Sunday went on the board too, as well as some fresh fish options. Monday evening was the first rehearsal for the first of the pantomime’s I’m directing musically this year, “Dick Whittington” by the Southwick Players (Barn Theatre, Southwick) and began with a “read through” and a “sing-a-long” of the musical numbers in this year’s production. We have a choreographer this year as well and Laura is already proving a great asset to the creative and production devising process and very professional to work with. In fact tonight (Thursday) we were able to learn three songs and choreograph the first big company number and block a third of Act I which is pretty good going for only the second rehearsal!
Feast of St Stephen, King of Hungary
Tuesday, after Mass offered for our faithful in Hungary, a few emails and lunch service at “Cherubs” was of course a trip to the Circus – ref above – a first time for three out of five us in our party! Wonderful to hear their appreciation of the spectacle and the experience. In the evening “Steak night and Cabaret” at “Cherubs”. I was pleased to have literally bumped into a former chef from the Salvation Army drop-in last week, Michael, who was taken with the idea of “Cherubs” and our not for profit and training and development angle and so he came along Tuesday evening to see the kitchen. We’re hoping he’ll come onboard part-time with us, he has over thirty years of catering experience and will compliment the mentoring of our trainee’s ably. He’s also a very good chef and his input into our winter menu will be much appreciated by staff and customers alike – especially his homemade savoury pastries!
Feast of St Simeon Stylites
Wednesday, after Mass and anticipating Hours, I had cause to visit London to meet up with my curate (whose secular occupation is in the City) and a visiting colleague from Chicago, USA to have lunch in the Refectory of Southwark Cathedral (well worth a visit if you haven’t been). After-which, Fr Scurr left us and Canon Kelly and I went for a leisurely perambulation along both sides of the Thames crossing the Milennium Bridge and then Southwark Bridge, taking along the “Golden Hind”, Shakespeare’s “Globe Theatre” and Christopher Wren’s House before returning to the area around the Cathedral and visiting an excellent Tapas bar for a glass of wine, a charcuterie selection and a conversation about the state of the Church, the progress of seminarians in the USA, reflections on the recent holy Synod (which he’d participated in via Skype) and mission. Returning to a pub we visited on the Canon’s last visit to the UK, we then parted company at London Bridge station, the good priest bidding me a blessing and received in the customary way on the forecourt before passing commuters and tourists. Just as it should be. A wonderful and humbling witness!
The Translation of St Cuthbert
Today after Mass I had a rehearsal for a cabaret show at the end of the month at “Cherubs”, we’re attempting “My fair lady” as a two-hander in two 25 minute halves! My old production collaborator, David Rumelle having just returned from a “summer panto’ tour from hell” was enthusiastic to begin producing our “Sunday Review” which was very popular a few months ago when we performed “tribute” shows to various artists (Noel Coward, Tom Lehrer, Jerry Herman among others). This should’ve been followed by lunch with an ecumenical friend except I remembered I was supposed to be accompanying someone to a Psychiatrist’s appointment, only to discover this was cancelled! But a fortuitous lift home gave me time to write a few lines here before being picked up for this evening’s Southwick panto’ rehearsal – referred to above – before returning here again, perhaps successfully to complete this post before today is tomorrow! Just the posts to prepare for the Martyrology and the Carissimi blog before, as usual, Compline and Mattins and then to retire for the night before greeting the Lord with Lauds and Mass and another day… Deo volente!