Sunday, January 06, 2008

Epiphany Day

Attended Mass at St Imier Catholic church this morning. The bells of the protestant parish church, the Collegiale began ringing at 9h30 for a 9h45 start, and then the Catholic bells started ringing at 9h45 for a 10h00 start, so the air was alive with clanging sounds for the best part of hlf an hour on this quiet damp winter morning.

There were about a hundred people in church, thirty of them, middle aged and upwards in the choir. The priest was a tall winsome young man, hardly thirty years old, defying the general trend towards ancient clergy in the Western European Roman church, with an even younger parish catechist (I suppose) preaching comprehensively, though not too long, on the mystery of the day. It was a real pleasure to 'hear' Mass in French again.

Then, I said farewell to friends and the Vallon de St Imier and the Jura Bernois and headed seventy miles west to Nyon by train (two changes, perfectly timed), where Jean Paul met me and took me back up into the Jura (Vaudois) to stay the night and catch up on all our concerns in common, in the lovely village of St George. Such a please to have time together with him and his wife Sally, who are environmental conservation professions, working in their turn for WWF and the IUCN, to two major international NGOs striving to save the planet.

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