Posted Wednesday 28 December 2011
Just resting the eyes
St John's Arpafeelie
There were two parties at Bishop’s House during the week leading up to Christmas. One was the Diocesan Office Staff Party, a buffet supper prepared for all those who have kept the machine that is the diocese, running over the past year, the second party was the annual Diocesan Youth group Christmas Meal, slightly smaller in number this year but just as much fun, twenty two young people all dressed up in their party finery sharing dinner together.
I also had a funeral this week, Major Alan Cameron of Allangrange was buried at Arpafeelie exactly three years after I performed the same service for his wife Elizabeth. The church was filled to overflowing as the Clan Cameron gathered along with representatives of many local families and national bodies. The service concluded with the singing of Hark The Herald Angels Sing before the Piper led us from the church into the little graveyard, it was getting dark as the final prayers were read and a chapter in the life of this little community came to an end.
All final preparations were over, Christmas Eve had arrived and we all joined the congregation at Arpafeelie for their Crib service, I was even allowed to carry the baby Jesus down to the crib along with all the other local “children”, St John’s was looking glorious in its Christmas decor, a blaze of colourful light.
We all attended Midnight Mass at the Cathedral, the choir singing beautifully, Gordon sending us out to Widor’s Toccata and the crib truly blessed, back home for supper and then the last sleep before Christmas morning. Up and out to St John’s Arpafeelie to lead the morning service. A full church and lots of great singing and laughter from the congregation, which carried on back at the house as they joined us for sherry and mince pies.
Presents opened, a wonderful dinner of highland treats, salmon, grouse, raspberries as well as the turkey and trimmings, and then the gentle sit in front of the fire, thinking of Aidan who is in Carlisle this Christmas, playing music for the local Pantomime. I “dozed” for a few minutes before the games began and the day drew to a close.
St Stephen’s day dawned and we decided to go for a walk to Chanonry Point , we were joined by my sister, brother in law and three of their grandchildren, we caught the wind in our coats at the lighthouse, we watched the waves and I fell into a hole at the side of the path, in Carlisle now, on crutches, what an idiot!!!