Monday, 10 December 2007

Advent II

My annual Advent retreat was welcome indeed. It was a holy space where I realised how much I am able to give in for busy-ness - it brings to the forefront the important knowledge that without quiet time with God life as a priest and as a Christian is senseless. Walsingham is such a special place which enables us to enter into that space made holy by the YES that Mary willingly and lovingly offered to God. It is a shame that some take Waslingham for granted. It is an invaluable resource and I urge you to keep in your prayers Fr Philip and all the staff who work so hard to keep the Shrine open and so welcoming. When at Walsingham I am always impressed by the community of sisters. Like the heart in a human body they are hidden but by their prayers and presence they add so much to the life and witness of Walsingham. Indeed Walsingham is a powerhouse that enables so many to work for the kingdom.

Back to the Parish for the second sunday of Advent we were joined today by Fr Guy Scott. Fr Guy is the Chaplain of the Isles of Scilly. He stopped in Sevenoaks on his way back from Walsingham to his Parish. Fr Guy joined us for Morning Prayer and for the Mass. The photo here shows him having a chat with our organist John Hendry. Fr Guy became known nationally when he took part in the BBC series Island Parish. A new series will be aired shortly.

The Parish sung Mass was well attended and the children came back to the altar after communion to light the second Advent candle and open the windows in our gigantic advent calendar which members of our Mothers Union prepare from year to year.

The visit to the the local hospital took longer than expected as there are more patients than usual. I am always impressed by the dedication of the staff.

After a quick visit to our BOBS (the Parish Youth Group) I went to church for Vespers and Benediction with a short reflection. Afterwards Fr Mark and his family joined us at the Vicarage for a little farewell supper to Fr Guy.

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