Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Welcome Spring - 25

Here is the village pub at Little Stretton - The Ragleth Inn...

...and here is the village church - All Saints'.

I told you it is a lovely village!

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Welcome Spring - 24

Just 1 mile South of the little town of Church Stretton in Shropshire you find the lovely village of Little Stretton - it contains some idyllic thatched buildings.

Tomorrow I shall show you the village church and pub.

Monday, 28 April 2008

Welcome Spring - 23

Here is St Milburga's Catholic Church in Church Stretton - sitting under the Long Mynd.

And here are some lovely narcissi in bloom at the side of the road, not far from the church.

Sunday, 27 April 2008

Alleluia! Sing to Jesus - 13

Well in case your were wondering, the Chapel of the Resurrection is still very much alive and active! I have given you no photos recently, because although Easter Sunday was on 23 March, the pupils didn't return until 16 April. However, we are celebrating Easter - and here is the lovely Paschal Candle to prove it!

Alleluia! Alleluia!
Hearts to heaven and voices raise;
Sing to God a hymn of gladness,
Sing to God a hymn of praise;
He who on the cross a victim
For the world's salvation bled,
Jesus Christ, the King of glory,
Now is risen from the dead.

Christ is risen, Christ the first-fruits
Of the holy harvest-field,
Which will all its full abundance
At his second coming yield;
Then the golden ears of harvest
Will their heads before him wave,
Ripened by his glorious sunshine
From the furrows of the grave.

Christ is risen, we are risen;
Shed upon us heavenly grace,
Rain and dew and gleams of glory
From the brightness of thy face;
So that we, with hearts in heaven,
Here on earth may fruitful be;
And by angel-hands be gathered,
And be ever, Lord, with thee.

Alleluia! Alleluia!
Glory be to God on high!
Alleluia! To the Saviour,
Who has gained the victory!
Alleluia! To the Spirit,
Fount of love and sanctity!
Alleluia! Alleluia!
To the blessed Trinity!

Have a Happy Eastertide Sunday!

Saturday, 26 April 2008

Welcome Spring - 22

Here are two further views of Church Stretton and the surrounding hills.

Back to our Easter Alleluias tomorrow - and yes, a photo taken in the Chapel of the Resurrection!

Friday, 25 April 2008

Welcome Spring - 21

I am a great fan of fish on Friday - so here is a lovely photo of the fish and chip shop in Church Stretton. I sincerely hope they serve mushy peas - a most important ingredient of this Friday feast!

Thursday, 24 April 2008

Welcome Spring - 20

Church Stretton is a lovely sleepy town in Shropshire, midway between Ludlow in the South and Shrewsbury in the North. It nestles under the shadow of the Long Mynd. Here we see St Lawrence's Church - located behind the pub!

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Alleluia! Sing to Jesus - 12

Well - I bet that took you by surprise - you were no doubt expecting a further posting under the 'Welcome Spring' banner! Today is the Solemnity of St George - the Patron Saint of England, and here we see the flag of St George flying proudly from the tower of St Lawrence's Church in Church Stretton, Shropshire.

For all the Saints who from their labours rest,
Who thee by faith, before the world confest,
Thy name, O Jesu, be for ever blest.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

Thou wast their Rock, their Fortress, and their Might;
Thou, Lord, their Captain in the well-fought fight;
Thou in the darkness drear their one true Light.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

O may thy soldiers, faithful, true, and bold,
Fight as the Saints who nobly fought of old,
And win, with them, the victor's crown of gold.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

O blest communion! fellowship divine!
We feebly struggle, they in glory shine;
Yet all are one in thee, for all are thine.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

And when the strife is fierce, the warfare long,
Steals on the ear the distant triumph-song,
And hearts are brave again, and arms are strong.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

The golden evening brightens in the west;
Soon, soon to faithful warriors cometh rest:
Sweet is the calm of Paradise the blest.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

But lo! there breaks a yet more glorious day;
The Saints triumphant rise in bright array:
The King of glory passes on his way.
Alleluia Alleluia!

From earth's wide bounds, from ocean's farthest coast,
Through gates of pearl streams in the countless host,
Singing to Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

Happy Feast!

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Welcome Spring - 19

As mentioned yesterday, Hereford Cathedral is in a lovely setting. Here is the view from the North West,

and here is the view from the South West.

It is a very splendid building - well worth a visit!

Monday, 21 April 2008

Welcome Spring - 18

This is a photo of Hereford Cathedral taken from the old bridge over the River Wye. Like Worcester, this cathedral has a lovely setting. I shall give you a more close up view tomorrow!

Sunday, 20 April 2008

Alleluia! Sing to Jesus - 11

Here is some good news displayed on the notice board of All Saints' Church, Little Stretton, in Shropshire.

Alleluia! Alleluia! Give thanks to the risen Lord!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Give praise to his name.

Jesus is Lord of all the earth.
He is the King of creation.

Alleluia! Alleluia! Give thanks to the risen Lord!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Give praise to his name.

Spread the good news through all the earth,
Jesus has died and is risen:

Alleluia! Alleluia! Give thanks to the risen Lord!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Give praise to his name.

We have been crucified with Christ -
Now we shall live for ever:

Alleluia! Alleluia! Give thanks to the risen Lord!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Give praise to his name.

God has proclaimed the just reward -
Life for all men - Alleluia!

Alleluia! Alleluia! Give thanks to the risen Lord!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Give praise to his name.

Come, let us praise the living God,
Joyfully sing to our Saviour!

Alleluia! Alleluia! Give thanks to the risen Lord!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Give praise to his name.

Have a Happy Eastertide Sunday!

Post Script to my American Visitors!
I notice that many of the visitors to this blog are from the USA. What a joy it has been to witness the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to your shores. He has proclaimed so loudly the Good News of Jesus Christ - who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. It has also been good to see the strong faith of so many Americans. Please pray for me!

Saturday, 19 April 2008

Welcome Spring - 17

In addition to the beautiful Cathedral, Worcester is also famous for the Royal Worcester Porcelain Works. These works were dependent on the canals for the delivery of supplies of clay - and the transport of the delicate finished products to the market. Here is a photo of a lock on the Worcester and Birmingham Canal - which passes the Porcelain Works.

Here is a lovely Tudor building, which forms part of the Commandery by the side of the canal.

Well, we now take our leave of Worcester. On Monday we shall be paying a visit to Hereford. But tomorrow is the Day of Resurrection - a day for Easter Alleluias!

Friday, 18 April 2008

Welcome Spring - 16

I had my leg pulled at Westminster Cathedral on my lack of ability in distinguishing between pelicans and pigeons. Well I am going to stick my neck out this time (that's about as good as my jokes ever get) and happily inform you that these are swans swimming on the River Severn at Worcester - though I note a solitary duck has joined their ranks - very ecumenical!

Here we see a proud seagull surveying the scene - looking out for lunch no doubt.

On the subject of lunch, I enjoyed an absolutely superb meal at Browns Restaurant located in The Old Cornmill on the South Quay.

Thursday, 17 April 2008

Welcome Spring - 15

Although this looks like a lovely church on the banks of the River Severn in Worcester, all that remains of the church is what you see in this photo - the bell tower and spire! The bell makes quite a racket when it rings out the hours!

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Welcome Spring - 14

Here are two more views of Worcester Cathedral which is located on the banks of the River Severn. The trees are rather late in coming into leaf this year.

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Welcome Spring - 13

One of the greatest sons of Worcester must be the composer Sir Edward Elgar. I am pleased that he was also a keen cyclist! There are some lovely rides around the Malvern Hills.

Monday, 14 April 2008

Welcome Spring - 12

I recently visited Worcester and stayed in the Travelodge - the modern tall building in the photo below. It is located just opposite the lovely Cathedral, and cost just £19 a night - an 'Easter Special'. My room was clean, comfy, and quiet. The cheap accommodation enabled me to 'pull out the stops' with some splendid meals - it is Eastertide after all!

Here are some lovely Spring flowers in the roundabout between the Cathedral and the Travelodge.

Sunday, 13 April 2008

Alleluia! Sing to Jesus - 10

The whole bright world rejoices now,
The birds sing out on every bough;
Christ is risen! Alleluia!
Then shout beneath the racing skies
To him who rose that we may rise:
Alleluia! Christ is risen!
Alleluia! Christ is risen! Alleluia!

Let us rejoice! All shall be well,
Friends severed now, in heaven shall dwell:
Christ is risen! Alleluia!
The end of all our ways is love;
Then rise with him to things above:
Alleluia! Christ is risen!
Alleluia! Christ is risen! Alleluia!

Now let all living things rejoice,
Let young and old lift heart and voice:
Christ is risen! Alleluia!
He rose to cheer us on our ways,
He lives to bless us all our days:
Alleluia! Christ is risen!
Alleluia! Christ is risen! Alleluia!

Happy Eastertide Sunday!

Saturday, 12 April 2008

Welcome Spring - 11

There is always a lovely display of bedding plants in front of the main gates of Buckingham Palace. The tulips and wallflowers are just about to come out in full bloom.

We return to our Easter Alleluias tomorrow.

Friday, 11 April 2008

Welcome Spring - 10

I took a photo of these two birds in St James's Park.

I'm not sure what they are - but they are certainly not pigeons! I trust they have not escaped from the garden of Buckingham Palace.

Thursday, 10 April 2008

Welcome Spring - 9

Here is another photo taken in St James's Park, London. This one shows the view towards Buckingham Palace - the London Residence of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. It was in this Palace that Pope John Paul II met the Queen on 28 May 1982.

God save our gracious Queen,
Long live our noble Queen,
God save the Queen!
Send her victorious,
Happy and glorious,
Long to reign over us;
God save the Queen!

Thy choicest gifts in store
On her be pleased to pour,
Long may she reign;
May she defend our laws,
And ever give us cause
To say with heart and voice
God save the Queen!

John Paul II reigned as Pope for just over 26 years - Elizabeth II has reigned as Queen for just over 56 years (to date). The Queen - though not a Catholic - has a very strong Christian faith, which she is proud to profess in public.

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Welcome Spring - 8

Here are two springtime photos takes in St James's Park, London. This is one of the Royal Parks, and it runs from Buckingham Palace in the South West to Trafalgar Square in the North East. The weeping willows are in leaf, and the duck is clearly enjoying the sunshine!

Each little flower that opens,
Each little bird that sings,
He made their glowing colours,
He made their tiny wings.

All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful,
The Lord God made them all.

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Welcome Spring - 7

Last week I decided to have a ride on the London Eye prior to having a walk through St James's Park. I took some lovely spring photos in the Park, but thought that the non-UK viewers of the blog would enjoy some photos around the River Thames which runs through London. Here is the London Eye on the South Bank of the Thames.

Here is a close up of one of the capsules. I imagine there are about 25 capsules in all, and the circular ride takes around 20 minutes. Each capsule holds around 20 people - so around 1,500 people can enjoy the ride each hour.

Here is a familiar view of Big Ben (or more correctly St Stephen's Tower) and the Houses of Parliament. You can see part of Westminster Abbey (Protestant) in the background.

Here is a view towards the City of London - one of the major banking centres of the world. You can see St Paul's Cathedral (Protestant) in the centre.

Finally, here is a view of St James's Park, with Buckingham Palace in the background. More photos (from the ground!) will follow. I know that these pictures hardly give the impression, but it was a lovely spring day - honestly!

Monday, 7 April 2008

Welcome Spring - 6

I joked about the rather wintry scene around Inverness during Easter Week - but at least it was still March. Imagine my shock on opening my bedroom curtains on the Third Sunday of Easter - and finding snow falling in London - on 6 April!

Here is the scene from my balcony. I decided not to have breakfast outside on this occasion.

Here is the scene on Ham Common during my walk to 10 am Mass - a snowman being built and a snowball fight!

Here is a wintry view of the pond on Ham Common...

...and here is a photo of St Thomas Aquinas Church, Ham.

This is a photo of Ham Common taken from the church carpark.

'Tis winter now; the fallen snow
Has left the heavens all coldly clear;
Through leafless boughs the sharp winds blow,
And all the earth lies dead and drear.

And yet God's love is not withdrawn;
His life within the keen air breathes;
His beauty paints the crimson dawn,
And clothes the boughs with glittering wreaths.

And though abroad the sharp winds blow,
And skies are chill, and frosts are keen,
Home closer draws her circle now,
And warmer glows her light within.

O God! who giv'st the winters cold,
As well as summer's joyous rays,
Us warmly in thy love enfold,
And keep us through life's wintry days.

PS Who chose the stupid theme for these postings?!

Sunday, 6 April 2008

Alleluia! Sing to Jesus - 9

Light's glittering morn bedecks the sky;
Heaven thunders forth its victor-cry:
Alleluia! Alleluia!
The glad earth shouts her triumph high,
And groaning hell makes wild reply:
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Whle he, the King, the mighty King,
Despoiling death of all its sting,
Alleluia! Alleluia!
And trampling down the powers of night,
Brings forth his ransomed saints to light.
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

His tomb of late the threefold guard
Of watch and stone and seal had barred;
Alleluia! Alleluia!
But now, in pomp and triumph high,
He comes from death to victory.
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

The pains of hell are loosed at last,
The days of mourning now are past;
Alleluia! Alleluia!
An angel robed in light has said,
'The Lord is risen from the dead'.
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

O Lord of all, with us abide
In this our joyful Eastertide;
Alleluia! Alleluia!
From every weapon death can wield
Your own redeemed for ever shield.
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

All praise be yours, O risen Lord,
From death to endless life restored!
Alleluia! Alleluia!
All praise to God the Father be
And Spirit blessed eternally!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Saturday, 5 April 2008

Welcome Spring - 5

You are probably wondering whether I actually saw any signs of Spring on my recent visit to Inverness during Easter Week! Well, yes I did - and here are some lovely daffodils sitting in the bright sunshine to prove it!

Lo, the fair beauty of earth, from the death of the winter arising,
Every good gift of the year now with its Master returns.

Hail thee, Festival Day! blest day that art hallowed for ever;
Day wherein Christ arose, breaking the kingdom of death.

The alleluias return tomorrow!

Friday, 4 April 2008

Welcome Spring - 4

Here is a seagull pictured last Thursday admiring the almost opened daffodils on the East Bank of the River Ness. I am sure it will have returned this week to admire the fully open blooms!

Thursday, 3 April 2008

Welcome Spring - 3

Inverness has many churches. Here is one which faces St Mary's Catholic Church across the River Ness. The daffodils were just coming into bloom last week.

Here we see the daffodils on the banks of Inverness Castle about to come into bloom. The castle was built on the site of an earlier fortress in 1835. It sits on a small cliff on the east bank of the River Ness, and faces the Episcopalian Cathedral on the west bank.