Good to report nothing special, for once. Just an ordinary Sunday for our Ordinariate Group in Southbourne. Our 9.30 Mass had a few local parishioners join us, which is always good. Then, because Fr Gerry, Parish Priest of Southbourne, is down with 'flu I had the opportunity of celebrating and preaching at the 11 am Mass too. Lovely to have so many children and young families in the pretty full congregation.
From Church to the home of one of our Ordinariate couples, Martin and Mary. They had invited members of the Group for a bring and share lunch — often, in England, called an 'American Lunch'. I wonder what it is called Stateside? It included a wonderful range of hot and cold dishes, and engendered just the merest shut-eye after it — and before Solemn Evensong and Benediction.
There we were joined by the organist and some singers from one of the Anglican Churches in Bournemouth, and a few of the regulars at Our Lady Queen of Peace joined the Ordinariate too, so it was a very good event. For the occasion we move the freestanding central altar aside. The Tabernacle takes up most of the former High Altar (it used to stand behind it on a gradine) so we had to improvise a throne for the Monstrance — but it worked pretty well.
Eventually we reached home around 5.30pm, me a little tired on this eve of my natal day having set out around 8.30am.
Then today we gave ourselves a treat and went to Kingston Lacy, a great National Trust estate in Dorset, to view the snowdrops. I thought you should not be denied a vew of the Jolly Green Giant — the tree, that is. Unlike most of England we have escaped the latest snowfall ("three inch drifts: Heathrow aircraft grounded…") and the day was lovely, if a bit misty. The snowdrops made up for the lack of snow. Here is a clump of them almost lifesize against the bole of an ancient Yew.