Last Wednesday a group of 34 gathered at All Souls for the Bush Church Aid (BCA) lunch and to hear The Rev’d David and Mrs Crystal Fells. This couple live and minister on Norfolk Island. Interestingly on Norfolk Island our church is still called the Church of England and David is the chaplain to the two congregations there. A number of people helped to make the lunch such a success and I want to thank Barbara Harrison, Bev Wyld, Chris Wallis and Jan Rich for providing such delicious soups. Naturally other items were on the tables too. Greg Mariner, Keith Ainley and Keith Thompson helped greatly in setting up and putting things away afterwards. We all left the lunch knowing a great deal more about the ministry of BCA and in particular the work of David and Crystal. David Fells was particularly moved to have one member of the All Souls’ congregation say how pleased she was to meet him given that she prays for him regularly.
Of all the churches we visited in the UK on our recent trip the last one was the most conservative. It was St Mary Abbots in Kensington, close to the hotel in which we stayed. Amongst notable parishioners were David Cameron, PD James, Beatrix Potter, Sir Isaac Newton, The Princess of Wales. I imagine now that my name has been added to the list. It was a church in which I was very aware of the church wardens undertaking their duties. They had special pews, marked by their wardens’ wands, and certainly took their roles very seriously. If a child but whimpered the wardens would turn around and absolutely glare at them. The child or the parent responded as desired and either fell silent or left the building. I sat thing that I was glad that the wardens in Black Rock and Sandringham were far more generous in their attitudes to children – even loving. Amazingly there were a lot of children at St Mary Abbots Church. Does anybody know who St Mary Abbots is?