Wednesday 28 May 2014

Goodbye, Southbourne

The children enjoying the dedication festival
This was our last opportunity to worship with our host parish, Our Lady Queen of Peace, before we relocate (on Whitsunday, aka Pentecost June 8th) to St Thomas More, Iford. We couldn't have had a better farewell. Fr Brian and I concelebrated with Fr Gerry, the parish priest, and Fr Ben who is soon to move to a parish of his own. Both these priests are missionaries from Nigeria, working to evangelise our post-Christain country.

Photo-call after Mass
This was the seventy-fifth anniversary of the consecration of the church, and a very jolly occasion it was. The church was packed, with dozens of children participating happily in the liturgy with rattles and tambourines and all manner of instruments for shaking and banging. Besides them there was a keyboard and a saxophone and (of course) a guitar. None of this redolent of Anglican Patrimony (at least, not the sort that we knew) but very whole-hearted and enthusiastic.

What's more the sun shone for us (a rare event in these parts lately) and the party in the churchyard was great fun.

The Ordinariate enjoyed the party

A High Church
Now we look forward to the move down the hill to St Thomas More, where we understand they also throw great parties - doubtless with a Texan twist in view of their Parish Priest, Fr Darryl Jordan. But the shape of the two churches could hardly be more different. Our Lady Queen of Peace is tall and thin (a High Church, you might say) whereas St Thomas More is wide and light (a Broad Church maybe?) - but this is not about churchmanship, only architecture. The contrast, though, is very marked, and we shall take a little time to adapt before we can feel at home in our new surroundings.
St Thomas More: a  Broad Church

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