Alison and I roared up to the little church in Dunfanaghy – the local for Blogstead Na Mara – this morning in Bamm Bamm’s Mini Cooper. The bell was still giving that distinctive sort of tinny sound which is so characteristic of small Church of Ireland Churches and heralds Matins from the proper Prayer Book and Churchwardens with big rough hands giving out the hymn books in the porch.
The Service was conducted by Doug the Lay Reader and, as we struggled with the Urbs Fortitudinis, I remembered his other role as Starter at the Golf Club. When our two boys were Junior Members, he used to give them the ‘gruff but kind’ treatment when they broke the rules like ‘NOT STARTING YOUR ROUND AT THE FIRST TEE’
Clergy of course find worship in the pew a bit difficult. But there was a magic moment which illuminated the whole service for me. While Doug was reading to us about ‘de armies of de Ammonites’, I watched the organist go over to her severely disabled child in her wheel chair. She wiped his mouth and gave her a wonderful smile – and she smiled in return. It was a ‘murmur of angels’ wings moment’. Forget the Diocesan Strategy – that’s what it is about.
And finally, today’s Independent on Sunday has an article suggesting that Arthur Ransome was a Bolshevik spy. Is nothing sacred?