After getting a certain amount of paperwork done in the parish today, I took the underground from North Greenwich to Waterloo, the overground from Waterloo to Clapham Junction, and then the 337 bus to join Fr Martin Edwards, the parish priest of St Mary Magdalen's, and a number of other clergy and students for a Christmas Octave reception kindly hosted in the presbytery. Among the guests were Fr Stephen Langridge from Balham, Fr John O'Toole from the Christian Education Centre, Fr Michael Branch from Plumstead, Fr Peter Gee from Stockwell, and Deacon Fidelis Chukwu, one of my former students. Pictured above to the left are Frs Christopher Basden, parish priest of Clapham Park, and Fr Ignatius Harrison, Provost of the London Oratory.
To the right is a picture of the two parish priests of Wandsworth, Fr Gerry Ewing from St Thomas a Becket parish in East Hill (Happy feast day for tomorrow!) together with Fr Edwards of West Hill. Fr Gerry Ewing is explaining to Fr Edwards that he is unable to stay for our carol in front of the crib. I promised that I would post a picture of the crib for him to see later, so here it is: and very fine too!
Among the students present was one fine young man from the NAC who had to grab Fr Edwards' skull cap to hide a sneeze just as the photo was taken so that, happily, his modesty as a seminarian, eschewing any unnecessary publicity on a blog such as this, was preserved:
The sanctuary of St Mary Magadalen's is decked out in all its splendour for the Christmas Octave. Fr Edwards explains to visitors that he is unfortunately not able to celebrate Mass versus populum because of the arrangement of the altar.