Bertie here, back with the best joke of the day by far (see above). It was so amazing to see so many people in Church over the weekend. I am very proud of myself because I still have some Easter Cheese left which should keep me going until tomorrow at least. Although I have eaten quite a lot of cheese- so much in fact that I am thinking of starting an exercise regime tomorrow afternoon, running up and down the Tower stairs with a Babybel in each hand. I might make it to step 3 on my first attempt- which is not bad because those steps are quite high for a little mouse to get up. You might think I’m taking the Babybels as part of my training- they’re not- they are emergency rations.
Following on from Easter
If you didn’t get to be part of the Dawn Service then the first half hour is well-worth catching up on as an intense and beautiful expression of our faith. Do give it a watch on YouTube. I loved it, although I couldn’t get anyone’s attention to light my little candle. Sad face.
Here is the text of Richard’s Easter Dawn Sermon, which he helpfully left on the pulpit so I could snaffle it for you, my faithful followers:
Here is an Easter meditation from Doreen:
Following on from the arson attack at St Paul’s
Please keep praying for the man who did the damage- that he will be safe, and that he will receive the help he needs- please pray too for his family.
The painting of John the Baptist was taken away from the Walter Chapel today so the frame and the painting itself can be restored. It might take up to five months to get it back. If anyone knows anything about the painting we would love to hear from you- we think it was donated to the parish by Henry Walter (Rector) from the Walter Family Collection at Bearwood House in the 1920s.
We are planning, at the moment, to leave some scorching on the altar, as an ongoing Holy Week reminder of what happened, but to repaint or clean the pillar by the lectern. The fire damage was a helpful inspiration during this Holy Week but it represents a 20 minute moment in a very long history of the Church, and it would mean something different to a wedding party and on a Sunday morning in August than it does now. Fr Richard and the Standing Committee are currently discussing this sort of question, so do let them know if you have any thoughts or concerns or genius ideas around these conversations.
Other bits and bobs
It was so lovely to be able to sing Easter hymns in the Churchyard on Sunday morning at the end of the 9.30- we will try to sing together outside every Sunday which the weather allows.
It’s fine just to turn up at St Paul’s on Sunday at 9.30– we’re not expecting to need to book seats moving forward, unless more people turn up than is expected, in which case I (Bertram) will act as an efficient and effective bouncer. Unless people start to stand on me. In which case I will resign and hide under the bench in the porch. And cry. And you wouldn’t want that…
And here is an extract from Email 21 which was sent out a year ago today, about Lockdown, written by a British soldier who had served in Afghanistan and then edited lightly by Bertie… still relevant, still helpful, but feeling as if it happened in another lifetime as we entered into a new world.
1. It’s difficult. No, its really difficult! Especially around day 10 when the initial novelty has worn off and that which was initially humorous starts becoming irritating. You are going to have to work on your self-discipline and remain sharp.
2. Develop a healthy routine as fast as possible. One that has a comfortable balance between spending time with yourself and with the rest of the folk you co-habit with.
3. Don’t shirk your responsibilities with daily chores. Do your bit. At the same time, don’t be a pain in the neck ordering everyone around and barking orders. Tempers tend to fray a li’l faster in these conditions.
4. You are going to see, learn, and discover things about the people you live with that you are amazed you hadn’t been aware of before. Most of these things won’t make you giggle. Deal with it. Bite on that tongue. They are also going to realise that you are not as perfect as you always thought you were.
5. Keep a keen eye out for the people around you. That dark dog, depression, has a nasty habit of moving in quietly during this period. Often accompanied by intolerance, the secret is to keep both at bay.
6. If you get an opportunity to get out of the house, take it.
7. Stay busy. Even if it is staying busy being calm. Ensure that you don’t allow your thoughts to wander off about things that create worry and stress. We all in this together. Work on ensuring your relationships are stronger when you get out of this.
8. Stay positive. This too shall pass. It always does. This is not actually war. Unleash your creativity. Think and plan big, so that when you exit the other side, you’re up and running, and roaring with motivation.
9. Stock up on popcorn. You going to need it.
10. You have lots of time on your hands. Start chatting to your Creator. Get to know him again. One day you will look back and realise how valuable these 3 weeks were if you used them properly
And lastly. Be safe. Have fun. Smile. Laugh. Love.