Saturday, March 26, 2011

Boxes and Bishops

Guess where I went yesterday? Of course you can't, so I will tell you (but you knew I was going to anyway, so why bother to guess?). I went up into north Norfolk to a village called Great Massingham. My mission was to visit a lovely lady whom I had christened "The Merry Widow" before I had even met her. She is concerned that the Swift colony on the neighbouring house will be lost when it is renovated by the new owners, so we looked at the possiblities for attracting the Swifts on to her property. Not easy, but we'll give it a punt.

Guess where I went next? Well, as it was only eleven o'clock when I said farewell to the MW, I decided to drive on to a nearby village called Walsingham, where there is a 950-year-old Shrine to the Virgin Mary. The village has both an Anglican and a Catholic church, and, as yesterday was the day of the Annunciation, I attended the midday Mass in the Catholic church. And what a beautiful ceremony it was! The principal celebrant was a Bishop who amazed me by making it sound as if he was saying things for the first time that he had undoubtedly said a zillion times before. The ceremonial and the vestments were gorgeous (unless you belong to the Puritan end of the Christian spectrum!) and the Choir was, well, heavenly.
I left uplifted, and even managed to remain serene when I ran into a monstrous traffic jam caused by a multiple pile-up. Remarkable when you think that it was Friday, my usual day for being grumpy!

No comments: