Sunday, November 16, 2008

Tentatively encouraging signs

For the past three Sundays since we re-scheduled the main Sunday Eucharist to 10.00am, the numbers attending have gone up by 25%, casual visitors and regulars, and this despite the rather confusing access arrangements while the street outside the entrance is being re-paved. The later hour is making it easier for people to travel in, and that'll be pleasing if it's sustained. I hope this won't lead to a falling our with Council enforcement people because church people will be half an hour later leaving the pedestrian zone in future. Until there's a marked improvement in public transport infrastructure around the city centre, there's no prospect of everyone abandoning their cars to come to church by bus.

Work finished yesterday in front of the West Tower, so the entrance was only out of commission for five days in all. We have seven bike racks installed around the north perimeter railings. One day I counted two bikes using them, a further three still using the railings - cyclists too lazy to walk the extra fifteen yards to use the appointed facility, so long pleaded for. I wonder what we can do that will change habits and deter people? Until we can, there's hardly any point in painting the railing only to see them ruined within days by abrasion from chained up bikes.

It was great to speak with Greg Tricker on the phone tonight, and share with him our appreciation of his art exhibition. He's wonderfully self-effacing about his work, allowing himself to absorb many different inspirations and impulses and gestate them before finally setting out on a period of creative production which even he finds surprising and nourishing to his spirit. How I'd love to afford to mount an exhibition of his work in St John's. Apparently, the opening ceremony was attended by a couple of French people associated with Lourdes, and now there's a possibility of taking the collection over there for a visit. If it happens, it will be marvellous.

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