Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Fr Tim's Cathedral Blog

Some readers have asked how to reach my blog. Here's the URL:

The title of the blog is:

 'The years of our lives are like a tale that is told'

Also, if you happen to be on the home page of the Westminster Cathedral Website there are links both for the new blog and the Mark Langham Archive, a record of all the former Administrator's postings over the last few years.

Monday, 22 September 2008

The Monsignor Vanishes

With Mgr Mark Langham now in Rome (with the Congregation for the Unity of Christians) this may be the last posting on the 'Solomon' blog. It now becomes the Mark Langham Archive, which you can always access via the Cathedral website. I say it MAY be the last because, he might suddenly reappear with Roman adventures - like Jason Bourne, but without the car chases. Meanwhile I have started a new blog which I hope will keep you up-to-date on behind the scenes goings on. Fr Mark's roof garden which he created ex nihilo will now be needing the attention of the remaining Clergy House residents. (It turns out Fr Kingsley knows a thing or two about plants.) Let's hope we remember to water.

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Guests from Douai, Diocese of Cambrai

On Monday, 8 September, a group of priests from France visited the Cathedral, concelebrated Mass and were welcomed by the Adminsitrator and the Chaplains. They were accompanied by two monks from Douai Abbey in England and joined us for lunch at Clergy House. It was a happy occasion as there is a good link between Westminster and Douai. It was in that town that English priests were trained and prepared for the mission in this country - many being subsequently martyred. The body of Saint John Southworth was discovered during road building works in the 1920s. Our guests were delighted to be shown the shrine of the saint in the Cathedral, as there is a commemorative shrine to St John in the main parish church of Douai.

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

The Christopher Legend

Here's the upper part of the mural at Horley. Now you can see that the Child Jesus is sitting on St Christopher's shoulder. There's a scroll inscription (medieval speech bubble) which has St Christopher marvelling at how heavy the Child has become, to which Jesus replies: 'That's because you are carrying the King of Bliss.'

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

I promised Canon Christopher...

...that I would try and photograph a medieval mural of St Christopher in the Church of St Etheldreda, Horley (N. Oxon). where I have been staying.

It's said to be largest mural of the saint in England. The Christ Child IS on his shoulder, but my picture doesn't quite show "the King of bliss" as the inscription describes him. What you can see is a chap fishing in the river below. It's thought to be the earliest representation of an English angler, waiting for a bite.

Signs of life !

Like most people I've been away, so apologies for going off the air. Unforgiveable in the blogosphere, I am told. There are stirrings at the Cathedral - nothing more, you understand - to suggest that life is returning to the complex. People are trickling back from all directions. There is a new Organ Scholar called David who has taken up residence. I will introduce him shortly but let me first say a word about Oliver Brett, his predecessor, who left this summer. In August he was in Kansas City to give a recital at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. Now, he is about to start a teaching post in England. Back in June, Oliver gave a superb recital for the Friends in the Cathedral Hall. It was a memorable evening, Schubert's last three piano sonatas which we enjoyed enormously. Here he is - unruffled - at the end of that very demanding performance. A remarkable musician, it seemed to me. We wish Oliver well.

Friday, 8 August 2008

Distinguished visitor (2)

We also welcomed Cardinal Ivan Dias, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, who was in England for the Lambeth Conference where he spoke to the assembly. During his visit to London, I had the privilege of giving him a tour of the Cathedral which he certainly enjoyed. He seemed a most serene and gentle bishop. Cardinal Dias is a former Archbishop of Bombay (Mumbai). He is a renowned linguist, speaking many languages. In May this year, Pope Benedict appointed him to the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts. He holds a number of Curial resposibilities.