Tuesday 13 May 2014

Summer is icumen

You MUST see the gardens at Hinton Admiral, said Trevor our head server -  and naturally we obeyed. Last Saturday was a perfect early summer's day, with a brisk breeze sending the clouds racing along. There really are several gardens on different sides of the house - and the Meyricks, descendants of the same family which lived there in the 1720's, are still there. Something admirable about such continuity.

The front aspect of the house is rather more formal than the back, with colonnades to either side. There ladies of the parish were serving tea. The church was built by an ancestor of the present owner, and these open days help to keep it in repair. In fact, all the money raised from opening the gardens is given to charity. Next Sunday it will once more be open in the afternoon only, this time under the auspices of the National Garden Scheme.

It has been a pretty full weekend. Rhian, son of an Ordinariate couple - dad was an Anglican Cleric, who was an assistant in Christchurch Anglican Church (known as the Priory). He is one of three such clergy who are all members of the Ordinariate. Rhian behaved immaculately, walking in procession with the servers and me at the start of the Mass. Afterwards there was a very jolly reception in the Hall, with a skittle alley set up for the occasion. I'd been told there was to be a bouncy castle, but I think the high winds ruled that out - pity, I was looking forward to it. Then a little later Mgr Keith, our Ordinary, joined us. He had been preaching at Mass in Iford and speaking to the people there afterwards, assuring them that none of us had two heads. They are getting ready for us to move to their church on Whit Sunday - good that we can keep the familiar Anglican name for this Feast.

Before we left Hinton Admiral we paid our respects to these residents. It seemed particularly appropriate when all the readings at Mass were sheep-related. I have a very soft spot for black sheep  They have given their name to all sorts of scoundrels, but they are so much more interesting than their run-of-the mill white cousins. Maybe they are symbolic of the Ordinariate; part of the one fold under the one shepherd, but still a bit distinctive? And the Black Sheep Brewery in Masham produces much more characterful tipples than Bishop's Finger.

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