Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Highland Games - 8

Next we have the Army Cadets.

When a knight won his spurs, in the stories of old,
He was gentle and brave, he was gallant and bold;
With a shield on his arm and a lance in his hand,
For God and for valour he rode through the land.

No charger have I, and no sword by my side,
Yet still to adventure and battle I ride,
Though back into storyland giants have fled,
And the knights are no more and the dragons are dead.

Let faith be my shield and let joy be my steed
'Gainst the dragons of anger, the ogres of greed;
And let me set free with the sword of my youth,
From the castle of darkness, the power of the truth.

Jan Struther (1901-53)

Monday, 30 August 2010

Highland Games - 7

Here we have the Sea Cadets from Inverness.

Will your anchor hold in the storms of life,
When the clouds unfold their wings of strife?
When the strong tides lift and the cables strain,
Will your anchor drift, or firm remain?


We have an anchor that keeps the soul
Steadfast and sure while the billows roll,
Fastened to the Rock which cannot move,
Grounded firm and deep in the Saviour’s love.

It is safely moored, ’twill the storm withstand,
For ’tis well secured by the Saviour’s hand;
And the cables, passed from His heart to mine,
Can defy that blast, thro’ strength divine.


It will surely hold in the Straits of Fear—
When the breakers have told that the reef is near;
Though the tempest rave and the wild winds blow,
Not an angry wave shall our bark o’erflow.


It will firmly hold in the Floods of Death—-
When the waters cold chill our latest breath,
On the rising tide it can never fail,
While our hopes abide within the Veil.


When our eyes behold through the gath’ring night
The city of gold, our harbour bright,
We shall anchor fast by the heav’nly shore,
With the storms all past forevermore.


Priscilla Owens, 1882.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

22nd Sunday of Ordinary Time

In the Gospel today, Jesus speaks to us about who to invite to a lunch or dinner party. Here we see a photo of the magnificent Banqueting Hall at Windsor Castle.

Tell out, my soul, the greatness of the Lord!
Unnumbered blessings give my spirit voice;
tender to me the promise of his word;
in God my Saviour shall my heart rejoice.

Tell out, my soul, the greatness of his Name!
Make known his might, the deeds his arm has done;
his mercy sure, from age to age to same;
his holy Name - the Lord, the Mighty One.

Tell out, my soul, the greatness of his might!
Powers and dominions lay their glory by.
Proud hearts and stubborn wills are put to flight,
the hungry fed, the humble lifted high.

Tell out, my soul, the glories of his word!
Firm is his promise, and his mercy sure.
Tell out, my soul, the greatness of the Lord
to children's children and for evermore!

Timothy Dudley-Smith (b.1926)

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Highland Games - 6

Here we have air crew and others from RAF Lossiemouth - which is located around 20 miles east of Inverness.

RAF Lossiemouth is a Royal Air Force station to the west of the town of Lossiemouth in Moray, Scotland. It is one of the RAF's biggest bases and currently Britain's main base for Tornado GR4s.

Friday, 27 August 2010

Highland Games - 5

Here we see soldiers from the Black Watch who are stationed at Fort George, just outside Inverness.

Onward, Christian soldiers,
Marching as to war.
With the cross of Jesus
Going on before!
Christ, the royal Master,
Leads against the foe;
Forward into battle,
See His banner go!

Onward, Christian soldiers,
Marching as to war.
With the cross of Jesus
Going on before!

At the sign of triumph
Satan's host dost flee;
On, then, Christian soldiers,
On to victory!
Hell's foundations quiver
At the shout of praise;
Brothers, lift your voices,
Loud your anthems raise!

Onward, Christian soldiers,
Marching as to war.
With the cross of Jesus
Going on before!

Like a mighty army
Moves the church of God;
Brothers, we are treading
Where the saints have trod;
We are not divided;
All one body we,
One in hope and doctrine,
One in charity.

Onward, Christian soldiers,
Marching as to war.
With the cross of Jesus
Going on before!

Onward, then ye people,
Join our happyy throng,
Blend with ours your voices
In the triumph song;
Glory, laud, and honour,
Unto Christ the King:
This thro' countless ages
Men and angels sing.

Onward, Christian soldiers,
Marching as to war.
With the cross of Jesus
Going on before!

S Baring-Gould (1834-1924)

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Highland Games - 4

Following on from the pipes and drums we have the Standards of The Royal British Legion.

The Royal British Legion safeguards the welfare, interests and memory of those who are serving or who have served in the Armed Forces. They are one of the UK’s largest membership organisations and recognised as custodians of Remembrance. They also run the annual Poppy Appeal.

The Royal British Legion is pleased to announce that Tony Blair will be donating all of the proceeds from his forthcoming memoirs to the Legion's Battle Back Challenge Centre. This centre will provide state-of-the-art rehabilitation services for seriously injured Service personnel.

Oft in danger, oft in woe,
onward, Christian, onward go:
bear the toil, maintain the strife,
strengthened with the Bread of Life.

Onward Christians, onward go,
join the war and face the foe;
will ye flee in danger's hour?
Know ye not your Captain's power?

Let your drooping hearts be glad:
march in heavenly armour clad:
fight, nor think the battle long,
victory soon shall be your song.

Let not sorrow dim your eye,
soon shall every tear be dry;
let not fears your course impede,
great your strength, if great your need.

Onward then in battle move,
more than conquerors ye shall prove;
though opposed by many a foe,
Christian soldiers, onward go.

Words: Henry Kirke White (1785-1806) - yes, this hymn writer died at the age of 21. He was a student at St John's College, Cambridge at the time. Tony Blair is a former student of St John's College, Oxford.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Highland Games - 3

Here we see the massed band of pipers preceding the Ranks of Armed Forces. This was a real feast both to the ears and the eyes.

I now invite you to sit back and enjoy some wonderful bagpipe playing by the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards at the Royal Military Tattoo at Edinburgh Castle.

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found;
Was blind, but now I see.

’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed!

Through many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;
’Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me,
His Word my hope secures;
He will my Shield and Portion be,
As long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess, within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, who called me here below,
Will be forever mine.

When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’d first begun.

John Newton (1725-1807)


Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Highland Games - 2

Today we celebrate the Feast of St Bartholomew.

The procession through the streets of Inverness was led by the Regimental Mascot - a Shetland pony.

Note that the pony has been awarded a number of medals - I'm not sure what for!

The Shetland pony is a breed of pony originating in the Shetland Isles. Shetlands range in size from a minimum height of approximately 28 inches to an official maximum height of 42 inches at the withers. Shetland ponies have heavy coats, short legs and are considered quite intelligent. They are a very strong breed of pony, used for riding, driving, and pack purposes.

Happy Feast!

Monday, 23 August 2010

Highland Games - 1

Towards the end of July the Highland Games were held in Inverness.

The Games were preceded by a parade of the Armed Forces through the streets on Inverness, and here we see the dignitaries waiting to take their station on the saluting platform. You can see Inverness Castle in the background, on the far side of the River Ness.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

21st Sunday of Ordinary Time

In the Gospel today, Jesus tells us, 'Try your best to enter by the narrow door, because, I tell you, many will try to enter and will not succeed.'

Holy Jesu, every day
Keep us in the narrow way;
And, when earthly things are past,
Bring our ransomed souls at last
Where they need no star to guide,
Where no clouds Thy glory hide.

In the heavenly country bright,
Need they no created light;
Thou its Light, its Joy, its Crown,
Thou its Sun which goes not down;
There forever may we sing
Alleluias to our King!

William Chatterton Dix (1837-1898)

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Durham - 12

For this final post on Durham we have my favourite Dykes hymn tune 'Dominus regit me' which is set to the words of a metrical version of Psalm 23. The organist on this recording is Martin Baker, the current Master of Music at Westminster Cathedral.

John Bacchus Dykes was born in Hull, England, the fifth child and third son of William Hey Dykes and his wife Elizabeth Dykes (née Huntington), and a younger brother of the poet and hymnist Eliza Alderson. By the age of 10, he was the assistant organist at St John's Church in Drypool, Hull, where his grandfather, the Rev. Thomas Dykes, was vicar. He was taught the violin and the piano. He studied at Wakefield and St Catharine's College, Cambridge, earning a BA in Classics in 1847. He cofounded the Cambridge University Musical Society.

He was ordained as curate of Malton in 1847. For a short time, he was canon of Durham Cathedral, then precentor (1849 – 1862). In 1862 he became vicar of St. Oswald's, Durham, until his death in 1876.

He published numerous sermons and articles on religion; however, he is best known for over 300 hymn tunes he composed. Amongst those which are still in wide use are: Nicaea, commonly sung to the words "Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!"; Wir Pflügen, harmonised by Dykes and commonly sung to the words "We plough the fields, and scatter"; Melita, sung to the words "Eternal Father, Strong to Save"; Gerontius, sung to the words "Praise to the Holiest in the height" (taken from Cardinal Newman's poem The Dream of Gerontius); O Perfect Love; and Dominus Regit Me, sung to the words "The King of love my shepherd is", one of the many metrical versions of Psalm 23.

Unlike many influential clergy of his time, Dykes resolutely upheld the high church tradition to the consternation of his bishop, and was something of a renegade figure in the Victorian Church.

Dykes died in Sussex at age 52, and is buried at St. Oswald’s, Durham.

The King of love my Shepherd is,
Whose goodness faileth never,
I nothing lack if I am His
And He is mine forever.

Where streams of living water flow
My ransomed soul He leadeth,
And where the verdant pastures grow,
With food celestial feedeth.

Perverse and foolish oft I strayed,
But yet in love He sought me,
And on His shoulder gently laid,
And home, rejoicing, brought me.

In death’s dark vale I fear no ill
With Thee, dear Lord, beside me;
Thy rod and staff my comfort still,
Thy cross before to guide me.

Thou spread’st a table in my sight;
Thy unction grace bestoweth;
And O what transport of delight
From Thy pure chalice floweth!

And so through all the length of days
Thy goodness faileth never;
Good Shepherd, may I sing Thy praise
Within Thy house forever.

H W Baker (1821-1877)

Well, on Monday we are off to the Highland Games in Inverness!

Friday, 20 August 2010

Durham - 11

Prior to the start of the Festival of Hymns we gathered round the grave of John Bacchus Dykes (1823-1876) and sang 'Praise to the holiest in the height' to the tune by Dykes called 'Gerontius'.

You can see Bishop Edward Darling (Executive President) standing at the bottom left hand corner of the grave and his eldest son David is standing at the bottom right hand corner. Between them both is Revd Robert Canham - the Honorary Secretary of the Hymn Society. Standing on Edward's left is Revd Michael Garland, who acted as Conference Chaplain.

Praise to the Holiest in the height,
and in the depth be praise;
in all his words most wonderful,
most sure in all his ways!

O loving wisdom of our God!
When all was sin and shame,
a second Adam to the fight
and to the rescue came.

O wisest love! that flesh and blood,
which did in Adam fail,
should strive afresh against the foe,
should strive, and should prevail;

and that the highest gift of grace
should flesh and blood refine:
God's presence and his very self,
and essence all-divine.

O generous love! that he who smote
in man for ma the foe,
the double agony in Man
for man should undergo.

And in the garden secretly,
and on the cross on high,
should teach his brethren, and inspire
to suffer and to die.

Praise to the Holiest in the height,
and in the depth be praise;
in all his words most wonderful,
most sure in all his ways!

Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890)

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Durham - 10

Here is a photo of St Oswald's Parish Church Durham where our Festival of Hymns was held.

These are the twelve hymns which we sang:

1. Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty!
2. Come, Holy Ghost, our souls inspire.
3. The King of love my Shepherd is.
4. We praise you God, great Lord of time and space.
5. Let all creation bless the Lord.
6. Put peace into each other's hands.
7. We cannot measure how you heal.
8. The royal banners forward go.
9. You laid aside your rightful reputation.
10. In heavenly love abiding.
11. God is here! As we his people.
12. Come down, O Love divine.

In addition there were two anthems by S S Wesley:

1. Lead me, Lord, lead me in thy righteousness.
2. Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace.

The hymns were superbly introduced by Revd James Dickinson from Chesterfield, whilst the conductor was Prof Jeremy Dibble and the organist was Dr Martin V Clarke - both from Durham. Prayers were led by the Priest-in-Charge, Fr Peter Kashouris.

It was a great evening of praise!

Obviously most readers of this blog will not have had the joy of being conducted by the charismatic Professor Dibble - so here is brief taster of what we all enjoyed in Durham.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Durham - 9

Here we have the three towers of Durham Cathedral as seen from the churchyard of St Oswald's Parish Church, Durham.

There was no typical day at the Annual Conference, but the programme for the middle day was as follows:

7.30 am Eucharist
8.30 am Breakfast
9.45 am Lecture
10.45 am Coffee
11.25 am Lecture
12.45 pm Lunch
2.00 pm Depart for Durham Cathedral
5.00 pm Buffet meal at St John's College
7.30 pm Festival of Hymns at St Oswald's
9.30 pm Depart for Collingwood College
10.00 pm Bar

We sang around 20 hymns a day.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Durham - 8

Here we see Bede's tomb in the Galilee Chapel. Bede was of course a great hymn writer himself.

One of my favourite hymns by Bede is one for Ascensiontide.

Sing we triumphant hymns of praise,
New hymns to Heaven exulting raise:
Christ, by a road before untrod,
Ascendeth to the throne of God.

The holy apostolic band
Upon the Mount of Olives stand,
And with the Virgin-mother see
Jesu’s resplendent majesty.

To whom the angels, drawing nigh,
“Why stand and gaze upon the sky?
This is the Saviour!” thus they say,
“This is His noble triumph day!”

“Again ye shall behold Him, so
As ye today have seen Him go;
In glorious pomp ascending high,
Up to the portals of the sky.”

O grant us thitherward to tend,
And with unwearied hearts ascend
Toward Thy kingdom’s throne, where Thou
As is our faith, art seated now.

Be Thou our joy and strong defense,
Who art our future recompense:
So shall the light that springs from Thee
Be ours through all eternity.

O risen Christ, ascended Lord,
All praise to Thee let earth accord,
Who art, while endless ages run,
With Father and with Spirit One.

The Venerable Bede (673-735)

I think the hymn goes well with the following tune:

Monday, 16 August 2010

Durham - 7

One of my favourite places in Durham Cathedral is the Galilee Chapel at the west end of the building. It is here that the Eucharist is celebrated each day.

The Galilee Chapel was built by Bishop Hugh le Puiset between 1170 and 1175. Puiset originally began building at the east end of the cathedral but when huge cracks appeared in the stonework, they were taken as a sign of disapproval from St Cuthbert himself (whose shrine was adjacent). The work moved to the west end, overlooking the precipitous drop to the river. The chapel was intended for use by women, whose presence Cuthbert, enshrined at the east end, was said to dislike – perhaps the reason for his inferred displeasure!

The name of the Galilee Chapel alludes to Christ’s journey from Galilee to Jerusalem for the events leading up to his crucifixion, a journey symbolised by the monks gathering there before entering the Cathedral for Mass.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Feast of the Assumption

Today we take a break from the Sundays in Ordinary Time to celebrate the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Sing we of the blessed mother
who received the angel’s word,
and obedient to his summons
bore in love the infant Lord;
sing we of the joys of Mary
at whose breast that child was fed,
who is Son of God eternal
and the everlasting Bread.

Sing we, too, of Mary’s sorrows,
of the sword that pierced her through,
when beneath the cross of Jesus
she his weight of suffering knew,
looked upon her Son and Saviour
reigning high on Calvary's tree,
saw the price of our redemption
paid to set the sinner free.

Sing again the joys of Mary
when she saw the risen Lord,
and in prayer with Christ’s apostles,
waited on his promised word:
from on high the blazing glory
of the Spirit’s presence came,
heavenly breath of God’s own being
manifest through wind and flame.

Sing the chiefest joy of Mary,
when on earth her work was done,
and the Lord of all creation
brought her to his heavenly home:
where, raised high with saints and angels,
in Jerusalem above,
she beholds her Son and Saviour
reigning as the Lord of love.

George B. Timms (1910-1997)

Happy Feast!

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Durham - 6

Durham is a hilly city, claiming to be built upon the symbolic seven hills. Upon the most central and prominent position high above the Wear, the cathedral dominates the skyline. The steep riverbanks are densely wooded, adding to the picturesque beauty of the city.

Shall we gather at the river,
Where bright angel feet have trod,
With its crystal tide forever
Flowing by the throne of God?


Yes, we’ll gather at the river,
The beautiful, the beautiful river;
Gather with the saints at the river
That flows by the throne of God.

On the margin of the river,
Washing up its silver spray,
We will talk and worship ever,
All the happy golden day.


Ere we reach the shining river,
Lay we every burden down;
Grace our spirits will deliver,
And provide a robe and crown.


At the smiling of the river,
Mirror of the Saviour’s face,
Saints, whom death will never sever,
Lift their songs of saving grace.


Soon we’ll reach the silver river,
Soon our pilgrimage will cease;
Soon our happy hearts will quiver
With the melody of peace.


Robert Lowry (1826-99)

Friday, 13 August 2010

Durham - 5

Durham Cathedral is the greatest Norman building in England, perhaps even in Europe. It is cherished not only for its architecture but also for its incomparable setting. For this reason it was inscribed together with the Castle as one of Britain's first World Heritage Sites. In a nationwide BBC poll held in 2001 it was voted the nation's best-loved building. Like Hadrian's Wall and the Angel of the North, it is an icon of north-east England, its image is instantly recognisable to people who love this part of Britain.

As an enduring monument to human skill and inventiveness, the Cathedral speaks powerfully of heritage and history. Its sheer size and splendour testify to the power of Norman overlords establishing their authority in the land they had conquered. Yet it was primarily built as a religious building: as the shrine of a humble saint, as a destination for pilgrims and as home for a community of worship, learning and practical care. It was built for the glory of God.

Let us build a house where love can dwell
And all can safely live,
A place where saints and children tell
How hearts learn to forgive.
Built of hopes and dreams and visions;
Rock of faith and vault of grace;
Here the love of all shall end divisions:
All are welcome, all are welcome,
All are welcome in this place.

Let us build a house where hands will reach
Beyond the wood and stone
To heal and strengthen, serve and teach,
And live the word they’ve known.
Here the outcast and the stranger
Bear the image of love’s face;
Let us bring an end to fear and danger:
All are welcome, all are welcome,
All are welcome in this place.

Let us build a house where all are named,
Their songs and visions heard
And loved and treasured, taught and claimed
As words within the Word.
Built of tears and cries and laughter,
Prayers of faith and songs of grace;
Let this house proclaim from floor to rafter:
All are welcome, all are welcome,
All are welcome in this place.

Marty Haughen (b.1952)

Unlike so many of our English Cathedrals, there is no admission charge for entering this Cathedral. All are welcome in this place!

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Durham - 4

Between the Cathedral and the Castle is a lovely grassy area called Palace Green. The gentleman with his back to my camera who is taking a photo of the Cathedral is none other than Bishop Edward Darling - the Executive President of The Hymn Society of Great Britain & Ireland. It is almost 25 years since I last saw Edward at his Episcopal Ordination in Christ Church Cathedral Dublin on 30 November 1986. We both walked to the Cathedral from Collingwood College and had a great time reminiscing on the good old days!

One of my favourite hymn tunes is 'Palace Green' by Michael Fleming. I am used to singing it to the words of the hymn 'Sing praise to God who reigns above', but at the conference we used the tune for the hymn 'Let all creation bless the Lord' by Carl P Daw Jr. I had breakfast with Carl before leaving Durham to catch the train back to Inverness. I do so enjoy mixing with famous people!

Michael Fleming wrote the splendid hymn tune whilst still an undergraduate student at Durham.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Durham - 3

Here we see Collingwood College - the setting for the Annual Conference of The Hymn Society.

Whether you are planning a week stay or a short break Collingwood is the ideal base for your group visit to the North East. The accommodation offered by Collingwood is of a high quality with a three diamond English Tourism Council rating. The accommodation is value for money, with rooms available to suit all budgets. Collingwood is located one mile from the centre of Durham. All rooms are situated within the college and offer a peaceful setting.

There is a variety of accommodation, with over 200 en-suite rooms available, each with a private shower, toilet and hand basin, built-in wardrobe and tea/coffee making facilities and radio alarm clocks. Sixteen of these en-suite rooms are twin occupancy and a further nine are adapted for wheelchair users. All rooms have bed linen (duvets) and towels provided in all rooms throughout your stay, and the rooms are serviced daily.

Accommodation is available during university vacations, which are around Easter and throughout July, August and September.

Our conference sessions were held in the Penthouse Suite with breakfast, lunch, and dinner served in the spacious dining room. The choice of food was excellent and after Night Prayer it was possible for sneak down to the pleasant bar for a drink (or two!) before retiring to bed.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Durham - 2

Durham is a truly wonderful city. To the North of the Norman Cathedral lies the Norman Castle.

In addition to the Cathedral and Castle, Durham is now also famous for its University. Like Oxford and Cambridge, Durham is arranged on a collegiate system, and Collingwood College is now the largest College in the University.

Monday, 9 August 2010

Durham - 1

I recently attended the Annual Conference of The Hymn Society of Great Britain and Ireland which was held at Collingwood College in Durham.

Here we see the magnificent Norman Cathedral which dominates the city.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

19th Sunday of Ordinary Time

In the Gospel today we hear the encouraging words of Jesus, 'There is no need to be afraid, little flock, for it has pleased your Father to give you the kingdom.'

Christ is the King, O friends rejoice!
Brothers and sisters, with one voice
Make all men know he is your choice:
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

O magnify the Lord, and raise
Anthems of joy and holy praise
For Christ's brave saints of ancient days.
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

They with a faith for ever new
Followed the King, and round them drew
Thousands of faithful servants true.
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

O Christian women, Christian men,
All the world over, seek again
The Way disciples followed then.
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Christ through all ages is the same;
Place the same hope in his great name,
With the same faith his word proclaim:
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Let Love's unconquerable might
God's people everywhere unite
In service to the Lord of light:
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

So shall God's will on earth be done,
New lamps be lit, new tasks begun,
and the whole Church at last be one.
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

G K A Bell (1883-1958)

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Hampton Court Flower Show - 11

For our final visit to the flower show we have a photo of some chrysanthemums.

It is amazing how nurserymen manage to grow flowers in new and exiting colours and how they can get plants to come to perfection at times other than their usual season.

On Monday we shall start a grand tour of one of our great English Cathedral Cities - Durham.

Friday, 6 August 2010

Feast of the Transfiguration

On this glorious Feast Day, we have a photo looking towards the sunrise over Wideford hill from Finstown, Orkney.

Christ, whose glory fills the skies,
Christ the true, the only Light,
Sun of Righteousness, arise!
Triumph o'er the shades of night:
Dayspring from on high, be near;
Daystar, in my heart appear.

Dark and cheerless is the morn
unaccompanied by thee;
joyless is the day's return,
till thy mercy's beams I see,
till they inward light impart,
glad my eyes, and warm my heart.

Visit then this soul of mine!
Pierce the gloom of sin and grief!
Fill me, Radiancy Divine;
scatter all my unbelief;
more and more thyself display,
shining to the perfect day.

Charles Wesley, 1740

Happy Feast!

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Hampton Court Flower Show - 10

Here we see some prize-medal Pelargoniums.

Again, I have decided not to show you a photo of the geraniums growing in my conservatory at home - they would not win any medals!

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Hampton Court Flower Show - 9

Here we see a magnificent display of prize medal Alstroemeria.

This flower, which is often referred to as the Peruvian Lily, has grown in popularity in recent years. It is an excellent flower for the vase and has the advantage of being long-lasting. I grow the flowers in my own garden - but I am not including a photo of them - they were all yellow!

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Hampton Court Flower Show - 8

Here we see Misty Lemon a prize-winnig chrysanthemum.

Plant breeders spend many patient years trying to get their blooms looking so good.

Monday, 2 August 2010

Hampton Court Flower Show - 7

Here we see a prize winning lily.

I attended the flower show on the Saturday (the penultimate day). I am told that the displays looked even more impressive at the Gala Opening on the Monday evening. I hope they did! Tickets cost £50 per person for the evening.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

18th Sunday of Ordinary Time

Here we see a wealthy farmer getting help to build a really big barn to store all his grain! In today's Gospel we hear Jesus tell us a parable based on this type of event.

All my hope on God is founded;
he doth still my trust renew,
me through change and chance he guideth,
only good and only true.
God unknown,
he alone
calls my heart to be his own.

Pride of man and earthly glory,
sword and crown betray his trust;
what with care and toil he buildeth,
tower and temple fall to dust.
But God's power,
hour by hour,
is my temple and my tower.

God's great goodness aye endureth,
deep his wisdom, passing thought:
splendour, light and life attend him,
beauty springeth out of naught.
from his store
newborn worlds rise and adore.

Daily doth the almighty Giver
bounteous gifts on us bestow;
his desire our soul delighteth,
pleasure leads us where we go.
Love doth stand
at his hand;
joy doth wait on his command.

Still from man to God eternal
sacrifice of praise be done,
high above all praises praising
for the gift of Christ, his Son.
Christ doth call
one and all:
ye who follow shall not fall.

Robert Bridges (1844-1930)

Happy Sunday!