Today was one of those lovely early summer Sundays in the parish. At our 9am Mass, the children's choir seemed to have grown suddenly more confident, giving a hearty rendition of a "new movement" style Veni Sancte Spiritus at Communion and "Praise God from Whom all blessing flow". The Union of Catholic Mothers were holding a cake sale for the HCPT after Mass and had the inspired idea of getting in a stock of those little "windmills" for the children to play with while eating their chocolate chip cookies.
The Latin Mass at 10.30am saw our increasingly confident servers flawlessley execute their various duties. My young teenage MC has now learnt the responses by heart which is very much to his credit. It was good to see the front row of the Church filled with young children earnestly following the Mass.
At the Chislehurst Golf Club, Fr Charles Briggs and I enjoyed some very good roast beef followed by strawberries - the first bowl that I have had this summer. After shopping for this evening's Deanery Clergy Social, I called in to a family who were celebrating the 10th birthday of their daughter, Celeste. A number of other young families were there enjoying home made food, rides on a donkey, climbing trees, a little punch-up between two of the boys (separated swiftly by the respective Mums), and a cake with a firework candle. The donkey was the second to arrive that day. The first was sent back on account of the fact that it stubbornly refused to enter the back garden
I got some pink ice cream spilt on my black suit by one young lady who was telling me about her school friends, and we had a slight incident with a little boy being pecked on the leg by an angry rooster who objected to the chickens being taken out of the nest in the garden to be molly-coddled by various children in turn. In the background, my young MC was playing various numbers on the trumpet which made for a very sophisticated background sound.
After the evening Mass, the day was finished off by some of the clergy of the Bexley Deanery coming to my presbytery (we take it in turns to host this) for a couple of drinks and some food which, considering the other things going on today, was not homemade but prepared lovingly by Morrisons supermarket. I did not need to eat too much of it! As ever, we mixed diocesan news, pastoral hints and tips, and reminiscences. I read some extracts from the report of the 1953 synod of the Archdiocese of Southwark which I have borrowed from Fr Briggs who is the Diocesan Archivist. It has some interesting regulations about the Dialogue Mass which I will post tomorrow if I have time.