Mass of St Hilda this morning at Lymington Church (Our Lady of Mercy). I offered the Mass for the Church of England, and especially for my friends who will have found today so hard - I well remember Synod on November 11th 1992, when I had to return to face those at St Stephen's House who really had believed (as I once did) that "the Church of England is part of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church". For me, that became an increasingly difficult position to defend .
But what picture could be appropriate for such a day? Maybe a series of lines drawn in sand, with an incoming tide sweeping them all away? No, too unkind. Instead here are a couple of images from the garden. On this damp and dull day the dying foliage glows with one last burst of splendour. Of course, such visual parables cannot be pressed too far; for the Wisteria and the Maple there may be new glory next year. Institutions, though, simply wither on the vine.
Cheer up, though. There is new life - but maybe not for the branch severed from the trunk. Pope Benedict XVI (blessed be he) found a way of grafting us back into the stock where we belong. That way is still open for those brave enough to ask for it. It is called the Ordinariate.