A Travellerspoint blog

Wednesday in Walsingham

Cold, rainy, blustery winds and no heat; but Mass and Benediction!

storm 42 °F

Wednesday was again very cold and rainy. There was no heat in the cottage.

At 1100, there was a concelebrated Mass in the Shrine Church, at which I participated. The parish pilgrims and others were there, and there were about 8 of us concelebrating priests. It was a good showing of solidarity of priests and people in the Catholic Faith, and the music was of the sort that one could sing at full gusto.

English Anglo-Catholics do things a bit differently, using the Roman Missal, for instance, so there was just enough things different to keep me on my toes. In the end, however, the Mass is the Mass, and my brother priests kept me in line; mainly I just stayed at the back of the queue, and did what everyone in front of me did.

Following lunch, the front office had arranged for a space heater. It simply seemed too cold and blustery and rainy to do anything else, so I turned on the space heater and took a nap!

In the evening was Procession of Mary through the Gardens, followed by Benediction. Bishop Lindsey, Shrine Administrator, gave a brief homily. Then it was lighting our torches and parading round the Gardens with Mary, singing, Ave, Ave, Ave Maria! (the Lourdes Pilgrimage hymn, with Walsingham lyrics). Benediction followed, which is a always a beautiful and moving liturgy, where the priest blesses the people with the very Body of Christ in the Eucharist.

Heat had been restored to the cottage, so I had a very comfortable rest until time for bed.

Pictures to follow on Facebook, of course.

Posted by stbrides 02:52 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

Tuesday to Walsingham

Lost in Central London; found in Little Walsingham

rain 52 °F

Tuesday, my load lightened to a manageable size, I had the Club’s Full English Breakfast (which guarantees one won’t be hungry until at least 4.00PM), buttoned up the room and went to fetch the car. Avis had a VW Golf, TDI with 5 speed manual, and less than 2,000 miles. This is the car that will come to us in the US as a 2014 model. It is very sleek, and has a feature that is very *green*: when you come to a traffic light, and put it in neutral, the engine shuts off and doesn’t idle. Then, when it’s time to go, you engage the clutch, and the engine starts right up. This takes a bit of getting used to.

The Avis place is just on the opposite side of Waterloo Station. But I got so lost that I had to plug in the Nigel (GPS) to find my way back to the Club!

Cases secured, I hit the road for Walsingham, going through East London, which has a very large concentration of Muslims, and is home to London’s largest Mosque. Finally to the Motorway, I was soon on to two lane roads, and then I came upon Walsingham Road, and was at the Shrine by 2.30PM, listening to BBC3 (classical music) the whole way.

I was billeted in the College, a residence for the Shrine Administrator and other priests; in S. Hugh’s. My room, on the second floor, traverses up a narrow staircase, making a 180° turn as it goes. There were two other priests in the house.

As it turns out, T-Th is a big parish retreat time, currently. So, I attended Mass in the Holy House and bore the chalice. After supper, there was a healing Liturgy, which I found very moving.

First there is the Sprinkling. Water from the Holy Well is taken, you sip it, the sign of the cross is made upon your forehead, and then you open your hands and water is poured upon your open hands. Next there was the laying of of hands. I stood in line, and a young woman heard my intentions, and simply laid hands upon me; no words were spoken. Next came the Sacrament of Holy Unction.

The Church was packed to overflowing. Confessions were offered, and people were waiting in line for a long time to make their Confession; they had to add a fourth priest. There were two fine sermons, and lots of music with gusto.

When it was all over, we simply left the Church in silence. As I returned to S. Hugh’s I saw the open glass room of the confessionals, and could see a young person making her confession. My heart was tranquil, yet troubled by God’s questions. I went to my rooms and sat and thought.

I found myself a bit overwhelmed, as I oftentimes do here. I heard God speaking to me, and he was asking me questions. I know it’s a truism that God can speak to you anywhere, anytime; and thankfully He does. But He often chooses to speak to people, at least me, in holy places such as Walsingham. I hear his voice in many places; I always hear his voice here. It’s why I keep coming back; my 7th visit I believe.

If you’ve never been, you simply don’t know what you’re missing. This is their website:

Posted by stbrides 14:00 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

Monday in London

Downsizing, an interesting church, the EYE and the Old Vic Theatre

sunny 55 °F

Monday--Downsizing +

At this point, I was realising that even though I was going to be on the road for 10 weeks and living out of a suitcase, and even though I had started shedding things and sending home boxes of unneeded things, I was still travelling far too heavily. So, after research, I found a new suitcase near Picadilly Circus, took it home and set to work on trimming down to what I really needed. One would think I’d never travelled overseas before! I did get to explore Picadilly a bit, which brought back good memories. Weather was warm; only a bit chilly. So, into the box went my sweaters, my tweed jacket, my rather heavy raincoat, etc. I schlepped it to the package centre and was now in travelling trim.

That mission accomplished, I walked three or four blocks to the London EYE, or ferris wheel. This was, I believe, set up for the Millennium, and is one of the largest Ferris Wheels in Europe. Of course, it rained when I went on it, and 1/2 hour later when I disembarked, it had stopped and the sun was out!

I also came upon something of a Church, right in the Lambeth section of town. Lambeth Palace is the home to the Archbishop of Canterbury. There was the spire of a Church, but no Church. Where the Church should have been was a large office building. Upon closer examination, there was a church called the Oasis. In what was once the nave of the Church was not their worship space, which during the week is turned into a cafe. It was a very interesting concept and use of space and reïmaging of urban ministry; I’m glad at least the spire was saved, and that ongoing ministry is still being carried out.

In my further wandering around Waterloo Station, I discovered that the Old Vic theatre was only one block away. The artistic director is the actor Kevin Spacey, who is an extremely good actor (LA Confidential, etc). The Old Vic has seen Sir John Guilgud, Sir Lawrence Olivier, Richard Burton and all, in their youth. There was a picture of the young Olivier from 1937.

The play was The Winslow Boy by Terrance Rafferty, and was a drama about the English justice system in the years before WWI; and more specifically about the difference between doing right and doing justice. As Sir Robert, the famous barrister in the play said, Doing Justice is fairly easy; doing right is more difficult. It was a fine play, and I’m glad I got to see at least one play in London; and this one was a fine one to see.

Posted by stbrides 09:22 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (2)

Sunday in London

Mass & Recital/Wine Reception at S. Magnus the Martyr, London Bridge

all seasons in one day 55 °F

Sunday in London

I did in fact attend S. Magnus the Martyr, and it was a lovely Solemn High Mass, with a good choir and organ. The Rector is SSC and we had good conversations. I’ve put up some pictures, including a video of the ringing of the new bells, on Facebook. Though the physical plants of the parishes of S. Magnus and S. Bride’s couldn’t be more different, the parishes are similar in that they are small in numbers but very hearty in their love for God and their parish church, determined to pitch in and do whatever is needed to glorify God in beauty and holiness, and make the parish to be a blessing to the wider community.

After the wine reception for the social hour, they had a recital for £5 as a fund raiser for organ work; of course I stayed. Finishing about 2.30PM, I wandered around S. Paul’s Cathedral; was going to attend Evensong at S. Bride’s, but it began raining, and I’d left my umbrella at the Club. So, it was diving into the nearest Tube station and home for a quiet evening.

Posted by stbrides 23:37 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

Saturday Farewell to Dublin

Hello London!

semi-overcast 52 °F

Saturday--Farewell to Dublin!

Today was an all day travel day; first by ferry, then by rail, to London.

The alarm went off at 0500; almost like a Sunday at S. Bride’s! The coffee was prepped and only needed turning on the gas range. My essential packing being done, Owen my cabbie, picked me up at 0700. I checked in and got situated, having scrambled eggs and salmon for breakfast in their Business Class, which gave me a Titanic view of the sea ahead.

Soon we were underway across the Irish Sea. Like most people, I dozed, read and dozed some more. At 1130, we pulled into Holyhead, Wales, and piled into a bus for baggage claim. There I cleared Customs and went to the train station. I caught a local train for London, and changed at Chester. Along the way, I must have passed into England, for the signage was no longer in Welsh and English, but only in English.

Changing at Chester, I hopped a Virgin Rail train to London. All along the way were farms, where sheep safely grazed. I think this is simply a standard train, but in the open stretches, it seemed like we were hitting extremely fast speeds; I can’t wait for the Eurostar into Paris under the English Channel. It is supposed to hit speeds of 187MPH.

We pulled into London shortly after 5PM, and I got a new Oyster Card (pass for London Transit), but with a large suitcase to last me for 3 months of travel (still, I took too much stuff), elected to cab it to where I’m staying: the Union Jack Club across the street from Waterloo Station. This is a private military club, but they have reciprocal club arrangements with my club, the Marines Memorial Club in San Francisco. Most clubs here are strictly for Officers; the UJC is like the MMC, in that it is open to enlisted and officer alike, including families.

This room is a basic room; which means my Master Bathroom at the Rectory is larger. It is also not en suite, meaning the bath is down the hall; unusual by American standards, but not that great an inconvenience. It also has the advantage of being one of the few smoking rooms, so I can have a puff on my new Peterson pipe, and my writing desk has me looking over the London skyline, with a full on view of S. Paul’s Cathedral. Really not so bad for $70/night in central London!

Tomorrow is Sunday, and plans are to attend one of the great Anglo-Catholic London parishes: S. Magnus the Martyr, by London Bridge; http://www.stmagnusmartyr.org.uk. I was there for a weekday Mass several years ago on my Continuing Ed time, but this will be the first Sunday Mass there.

If the weather clears, I might just try going up the Eye, the Ferris Wheel. Then off to our sister Church, S. Bride’s Fleet Street, http://www.stbrides.com
for their Choral Evensong, which is always excellent. Be assured I will light many candles for you.

Posted by stbrides 14:10 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

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