Friday, 24 October 2014

Margaret Laird

Pusey Wreathed in Smoke
Memory Lane today; a visit to Pusey House for the Requiem of dear Margaret Laird. She was a stalwart of the Catholic Group in Synod, and so highly regarded that she became Third Estates Commissioner. The Celebrant was the Principal, his predecessor, the Bishop of Fulham, was at the throne (you might discern a fifth unbleached candle hiding behind the crucifix on the Altar. And the House was filled with smoke, which won't make it any easier for you!) Bishop Geoffrey Rowell preached - his sermon, when it gets into print, will be well worth reading.

Mother Harriet of Clewer
On the stairs to the Library where the reception was held I came across two of the foundation stones of the Oxford Movement. When Queen Victoria visited the Community of St John the Baptist, Clewer, she asked to do so incognito - no fuss. So she was put out when some of the Sisters curtsied as she passed. When she remonstrated with Reverend Mother she was told "They are not curtseying to you; they are curtseying to me".Seeing her portrait you can well believe the truth of that story. You would not mess with Mother Harriet!

Dr Pusey

An altogether more avuncular figure was the Regius Professor of Hebrew, Dr Pusey: and
here he is too:

But it was the current leaders of the Anglo-Catholic rump who were here today; several of the clergy (like the Bishop of Fulham) former students in my time at St Stephen's House. Look carefully in the photographs and you might spot Sir Michael Colman (one-time First Estates Commissioner) together with several from Forward in Faith. There will be pictures of others  on Facebook: but most important of them all, of course, was John Laird, Margret's devoted husband of many years. They called on us in Lymington, and we had seen them both in Truro from time to time - for despite having a flat in Lambeth Palace and latterly the house of the Chaplain to the Salisburys at Hatfield, Margaret was a Cornishwoman above all. Now John is preparing for another move, this time to the College of St Barnabas in Lingfield. May he have a long and happy retirement there.

John Laird (rt) and friends

No comments:

Post a Comment