Sunday, March 29, 2009


Saturday afternoon St John's hosted an unusual concert. The Welsh Piping Society, the Manawatu Pipe Band from New Zealand and the St Athan Voluntary RAF brass band, all playing their kind of music separately and also some items together. There were over forty musicians and over a hundred people in the audience. The sound of the combined pipe bands, eighteen sets of bagpipes was a taxing on the ears as any heavy sound system pumping out pop music, in every corner of the the nave.

Having said that, the acoustics of the building did both brass band and pipes proud. There seems to be no kind of music that doesn't come across well, from solo voice, 'cello or guitar, through to mass choir and orchestra. I got home by half past eight, and was in bed exhausted by ten thirty, very early for me. It was only when I was on my way out of the house at twenty to eight that Clare called out and said "Did you realise the clocks went forward last night." No, I'd never given it a second thought. I hadn't read newspapers, watched TV or listened to the radio, to register advance notice. Several people turned up to find me absent. I have some apologising to do this week.

Tonight I gave the last of my Lent Talks to only a handful of people. I'ts just not worked doing it on Sunday evenings. So few are prepared to make the effort to come out a second time, and maybe Jesus and people of other faiths is too excessive a Lenten penance to bear. At least the Tuesday sessions on prayer has averaged a dozen people weekly. A special series at the main Eucharist is problematic, simply because Lenten liturgical themes dominate, and cannot or should not be ditched, but rather addressed in preaching. I don't think I'm short of ideas for educational material, but evidently I lack marketing skills sufficient to make faith learning sufficiently attractive to boost demand.

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