Sunday, December 30, 2007

Non routine efforts

Up at 5.30am to take Clare to catch an early flight from Cardiff Airport. Quite a pleasant drive in the dark with little traffic. Drop off arrangements have been modified in the light of the Glasgow airport terror attack. Now one has to enter a gated car park, where it is possible to drop off a passenger about 100 yards from the terminal entrance, at the nearest point. Sensibly organised, although it's not obvious how one would drop off someone with a wheelchair and luggage.

Back home in time for breakfast at dawn and a little last minute sermon preparation before the eight o'clock Eucharist. The congregations all day were typically poor for a Christmas Sunday. By the afternoon my fresh early start was paying me back with tiredness.

Although it's a 'quiet' time, preparations for the coming months are already starting - Philip our tireless organist spent most of his Sunday afternoon introducing plastic sheeting into the organ to protect it against the dust that will be generated when the painters move in the week after next to decorate the interior of the nave. First they have to scrape off a layer of modern 1960's paint that has proved useless compared with the now recommended mediaeval limewash recipe that will replace it. From the organ conservation point of view, this is a big worry, but Philip, ever forward thinking, has been working out the best way to do this for some time.

Without people like Philip who express their commitment in the most mundane of practicalities, running a church like St John's would be unsustainable. Paying 'experts' to do such thing is out of the question and not nearly as effective as having someone who does it for love rather than money.

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