Saturday, 30 June 2007

The Widow's Mite

The Chapel of the Resurrection must be one of the few places of worship where there is no collection taken during the service, and where there is nowhere to leave gifts of money! The School kindly pays all our bills for candles and incense etc.

However, most of our places of worship do rely on the voluntary contributions of the faithful. Do we give generously according to our means?

We should remember the words of the Lord Jesus 'where your treasure is, there will your heart be also!'

Words from the hymn 'Take my life, and let it be consecrated, Lord, to thee,' provide a good link between yesterdays post on gold medals and todays on the widow's mite:

Take my silver and my gold,
not a mite would I withhold;
take my intellect, and use
every power as thou shalt choose.

Friday, 29 June 2007

Gold Medals

It is hard to please some people. Some members of the Guild of St Stephen are not satisfied with their bronze medals - they want gold medals.

I have explained that you need to serve for 50 years before you are awarded a gold medal - but this has not stopped them trying to make their own.

Some form of bartering is going on here - it all looks a bit black market to me!

Thursday, 28 June 2007

Passing his driving test

Here we see one of our members taking his driving test - and the worrying thing is that he passed! Should anyone (including HM The Queen) see him out on the roads around Windsor - I suggest they give way to him.

There is much to be said in favour of Our Lord's preferred mode of transport - the donkey!

Wednesday, 27 June 2007

More happy faces at Legoland

Here are two of our younger servers enjoying the summer sunshine at Legoland, Windsor.

Legoland is a wonderful place for children of all ages - I thoroughly enjoyed myself!

Tuesday, 26 June 2007

St Paul's Cathedral

Here I am pictured with some of our altar servers outside St Paul's Cathedral. I never realised how tall we all are. Even our boat boy and boat girl are both giants!

I imagine that the London Eye in the immediate background gives the game away - for what we standing in front of is, of course, the model of St Paul's Cathedral at Legoland, Windsor.

Monday, 25 June 2007

Legoland Windsor

On Saturday 23 June we had a Chapel outing to Legoland Windsor. The weather was mixed - sunshine and showers, but our spirits were high.

We had a great time! Here are four of us 'enjoying' a ride on the Jungle Coaster. I am surprised I didn't have a heart attack.

Next year it will have to be St George's Chapel!

Friday, 22 June 2007

Christ the healer

In the gospels we read of many cases of Jesus healing the sick. This poster in the Chapel helps us to focus on Christ the healer. We thank God for our School Doctor - Dr Kaplan, and for our School Nurse - Mrs Wilson. We often pray in the Chapel for all the sick children in Great Ormond Street Hospital, London.

I love these words by Charles Wesley:

Hear him, ye deaf; his praise, ye dumb,
your loosened tongues employ;
ye blind, behold your Saviour come;
and leap, ye lame, for joy!


O for a thousand tongues to sing
my dear Redeemer's praise!

Thursday, 21 June 2007


I asked one of our pupils whom I am preparing for the Sacrament of Confirmation which of our 'Ordinary Time Posters' he liked most - he immediately said the one of Zacchaeus. Well, here it is!

We see Zacchaeus - a senior tax collector and a wealthy man - stuck up a sycamore tree, so that he can catch a glimpse of Jesus who is to pass that way. He gets more than he bargained for - not a glimpse, but Jesus staying at his house! He welcomed Jesus joyfully - do we receive Jesus with joy when we receive him in Holy Communion?

Like Zacchaeus, our meetings with Jesus should change our lives. You can read the story in Luke Chapter 19 verses 1 - 10.

Wednesday, 20 June 2007

The Prodigal Son

This year - 2007 - is Year C - the Year of Luke, when we read from Luke's Gospel on all the Sundays in Ordinary Time. I have to say that Luke is my favourite of the four Gospels - and one of my favourite stories in Luke is the Parable of the Prodigal Son. Again we can find it (like the Parable of the Lost Sheep) in Chapter 15.

Here is a lovely poster depicting the scene when the son returns to his father.

Quite appropriate, because last Sunday was Father's Day!

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

The Lost Sheep

Whilst I have been doing my mini-series on the Scottish Highlands, the Church has been celebrating a number of important feasts:- the Holy Trinity; Corpus Christi; and last Friday - the Sacred Heart.

The Gospel for the Feast of the Sacred Heart (Year C) is the parable of the lost sheep from Luke Chapter 15. The good shepherd rejoices when he finds his lost sheep. Jesus - The Good Shepherd, rejoices when a lost soul is found.

I was lost; but Jesus found me,
found the sheep that went astray,
raised me up, and gently led me
back into the narrow way:

Yes, I'll sing the wondrous story
of the Christ who died for me,
sing it with his saints in glory,
gathered by the crystal sea.

Monday, 18 June 2007

Bluebell Woods at Dunkeld

Dunkeld Park (on the banks of the River Tay in Perthshire) is truly beautiful. In early Spring it is full of daffodils - in late Spring it is full of rhododendrons and bluebells. Here is a lovely photo of thousands of bluebells in the woods - what a sight!

Well that is enough of my holiday snaps! I'll post something about the Chapel of the Resurrection tomorrow.

Sunday, 17 June 2007

My August Lodge

In addition to owning two weeks of timeshare in Coylumbridge (Cairngorms National Park), I also own two weeks in Dunkeld (on the banks of the River Tay). I have one week in late April, and one week in late July/early August.

Here is my 'August Lodge' photographed at the end of May. This is my favourite lodge - and the most luxurious! It is very much hidden away in the trees and has the most wonderful views.

Saturday, 16 June 2007

My Dunkeld Lodge

Whilst up in Scotland, I took the opportunity to visit one of my lodges in Dunkeld - on the banks of the River Tay. I own this lodge for the last week of April - but as I am unable to use it until I retire, I 'give' it to my parents each year as a Christmas present!

It was good to see the lodge in good order - and the rhododendrons in bloom!

Friday, 15 June 2007

All creatures of our God and King!

Did you know that St Francis of Assisi was a Permanent Deacon? Well he was, and obviously this pheasant took me to be the good saint, because he faithfully came to visit me each evening whilst I sat out on the balcony of my lodge (having a glass of red wine)!

Sadly, I didn't know what to feed the bird (do they eat haggis or what?) - so it got no scraps from my table. But it looked well fed. It had better watch out when the shooting season opens!

Thursday, 14 June 2007

Coylumbridge Lodges

When I stay in the Cairngorm National Park, I reside in a Lodge at Coylumbridge. These lodges are available as timeshares, and I own two weeks a year at Coylumbridge - one week in late May, and one week in late October.

The Lodges are beautifully equiped inside, but from the outside blend in with their forest surroundings very well. This photo was taken from the upstairs kitchen window of my 'May week' Lodge.

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Loch Morloch

Another peaceful mountain loch. This time, Loch Morloch - which boasts it's own watersports centre! This loch is located in Glenmore Forest Park.

This forest park is superb for mountain biking. I had to stick to the beginners and intermediate tracks - I no longer have the skill (or nerves) to tackle the advanced ones!

The famous Glenmore Lodge is located in the forest park - this is the Scottish National Outdoor Training Centre - a reminder of how the lovely mountains and lochs must be enjoyed with care.

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Plockton Quayside

Here is a boat landing with it's catch of fish. These two fishermen had caught lobsters and prawns. Some of their catch is taken to Inverness, where it joins the overnight sleeper to London. Once in London, it finds it finds its way to the kitchens and tables of some of the top restaurants. I imagine that these fishermen only get a small percentage of the eventual selling price of the fish.

Monday, 11 June 2007

The Plockton Hotel

Here is the Plockton Hotel where I had my lunch on Thursday 31 May - fish for the starter and fish for the main course!

The fish is all caught locally, and is really delicious. The excellent lunch was such good value - and included a 250ml glass of white wine. I could happily have my lunch there every day! The hotel looks straight out onto the harbour - and the palm trees!

Sunday, 10 June 2007

Palm Sunday

Sorry about the corny title - but it is Sunday, and here is a photo of one of the palm trees in Plockton! It is quite a surprise to see palm trees flourishing in this fishing village on the West coast of Scotland - something to do with the gulf stream I am told.

The lovely foxglove shows it can hardly have been taken on the Sunday before Easter. Well, in the words of Pope Benedict - have a Happy Sunday!

Saturday, 9 June 2007

Plockton Station

On Thursday 31 May when the Church was thinking about Our Lady travelling to see her cousin Elizabeth on foot, I went to the lovely fishing village of Plockton by train! Plockton is on the North Highlands line between Inverness and Kyle of Lochalsh.

The Kyle line has been likened to a symphony in three parts: pastoral, mountain, and marine. This photo shows my train leaving the station for the final part of it's journey to Kyle. This lovely little station is rather different to Clapham Junction!

One can see Plockton village from the line. A pretty palm-tree lined village of yachts anchored in the shelter of its beautiful bay, which was the location for the BBC's drama series 'Hamish Macbeth'.

Friday, 8 June 2007

Loch Garten Watersports Centre

Last Friday I visited this watersports centre - for lunch, and a very good lunch it was too! The centre had been opened by Princess Anne in 2001 and seemed very well organised. They told me how busy they were - but it seemed nice and peaceful by London standards!

Thursday, 7 June 2007

Mountain loch

Here is a photo of a delightful loch almost hidden in a forest in the foothills of the Cairngorms. I wonder how many beauty spots like this are hidden? I'm rather glad they take some searching out, because the tranquility would be spoilt if loads of coaches kept turning up!

Wednesday, 6 June 2007

Daffodils in June

Here is a charming photo which I took on the afternoon of Friday 1 June. It shows daffodils growing in a cottage garden in the foothills of the Cairngorms. Note, that they were not all fully in bloom!

We have wonderful regional variation in the UK, from the early daffodils of Cornwall and the Scilly Isles, to these late daffodils of Northern Scotland. I wonder, when did the earliest Cornish daffodil bloom, and when will the latest Scottish daffodil bloom?

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Peter went into the hill country

This is the nearest I got to the peaks of the Cairngorms - not bad, given I was on a mountain bike. I know that one of the servers at Westminster Cathedral (Michael White) got to the top. However, I have a feeling he 'cheated' and used the funicular railway for the last mile. I must try it sometime, as I am told the view from the top is fantastic - on a clear day!

The building near the peak is the 'station' for the funicular railway. It boasts the highest restaurant in the UK! You can just about make out the track of the funicular railway in my last photo (posting of 4 June). Todays photo was taken on Friday 1 June - note that all the snow present on Monday 28 May has melted.

Monday, 4 June 2007

Cairngorms National Park

I have just arrived back from a fabulous week in the Highlands of Scotland - staying just outside Aviemore - in the Cairngorms National Park. I took this photo last Monday (28 May) from the platform at Aviemore Station, and as you can see, there was still snow on the top of the mountains. Fortunately, lower down the weather was much more summer-like!