I’m tired of Church politics, so I’ll just describe 24 hours. That should be less contentious!
Yesterday evening, I spent two hours at the Cathedral chapter, of which I am a member. Most of the time was taken up with next year’s proposed budget, but there were a few amusing sidelines, such as the question of how the Cathedral’s dedication was spelled. Was it Our Saviour or Our Savior? I assumed it was – and should be, considering where we are – Our Savior, but no, it seems that all its documents spell it in the English way. I guess it was set up before the American simplification of spelling began. No one was very impressed by my solution, which was to rename it “Our Most Holy Redeemer” after the lovely church of that name in Clerkenwell, London. I did also suggest that to call it “Philadelphia Cathedral” tout simple was a bit arrogant, when there were several other Cathedrals in the city.
That morning I had said Mass at 7 a.m. when I substituted St Margaret of Scotland for St Gertrude, since Margaret is the Secondary Patron of my native land. She was the wife of King Malcolm and like many a modern wife, spent a great deal of his money on her favourite (note English spelling!) things. Happily these were not the latest fashions in clothing but rather churches, hospices, schools, orphanages. She must have been a formidable lady, but produced a son who has also been canonized, St David, King of Scotland, which I think is a compliment to the mother, just as I always look with greater respect at any priest whose son has also become a priest.
This morning it was St Hugh of Lincoln, and tomorrow will be St Hilda of Whitby, so it is turning out to be a rather British week. On St Hilda’s Day my intention will be for Canon Martin Warner, one of the Guardians of our Shrine of Our Lady of Clemency, and a Canon of St Paul’s Cathedral, who will shortly be consecrated Bishop of Whitby.
After Mass I had a flurry of domestic things to do: a visit to my eye doctor for a check up – result, I can still read the smallest line on her charts, which seemed to disappoint her. But she cheered up when I told her I wept a lot! Though I think she thought it was an eye default rather than the state of the Church!
Then I went to the Reading Terminal Market, which sounds like a sale room for old books but is in fact a delightful mixture of stalls, from Amish farm products to cookery books and hand-made chocolates. All I had to do was order a turkey for my Thanksgiving dinner next week. Since I am having seven friends to dinner, I wanted a twelve pound bird, but found the choice was between a 10 to 12 pounder or a 12 to 14 pound bird. Naturally I chose the latter, which means I will have a lot of delicious left-overs.
The last thing I had to do this evening was to chair the monthly meeting of St Clement’s Vestry, which managed to conduct all its business in just thirty minutes. Then I had dinner with two friends in a little Italian restaurant nearby, which specializes in the north Italian cuisine I came to love when I lived in Milan.
So, as you can see, it has been a strenuous 24 hours!