It’s not often that things work out like this. But an invitation to preach for Saturday’s Service at which my former colleague, Arthur Barrett, became Rector of Raphoe and Dean of Raphoe one such. Raphoe? About 35 miles from Blogstead na Mara in Donegal and close to the border at Strabane and Lifford.
In his ministry in the Church of Ireland, Arthur has been exploring my family history – Booterstown in south Dublin where my grandfather was Rector for over 30 years and Rossorry outside Enniskillen which was the first church I was brought to as a child. Strange what you remember. The Rector was Archdeacon Pratt and I remain convinced that Morning Prayer each Sunday always began with ‘Brightest and best are the suns of the morning’ Those were the days of course when a child was set outside to sit in the car during Holy Communion. We have moved a long way.
You of course had a car to sit in, you posh thing. We had to sit at the very back of the church, in the care of the sexton. And in those days the notion of providing eg colouring books to help a child pass the time, instead of expecting it to sit quietly, was not widely followed. But I’m not bitter, honestly.
But your sermon was kind and wise – I’ve often thought that if your professional role model is Jesus, that’s quite a role model. I think some of my father’s contemporaries probably went for Luther instead…
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