Laughter, ale and traditional worship!

The bank holiday weekend was delightful. Deacon Stephen Morgan was our guest and preacher, having travelled up from Portsmouth Diocese for some country respite. He delivered a truly excellent homily, as always, with heavy reference to the drinking of ale and the wisdom of St. John Chrysostom. There cannot be many Catholic village churches in England this weekend which boasted two priests and a deacon who, between them, have no less than three wives and ten children!

The good deacon arrived Friday evening and lodged, over the border from Kent in East Sussex, with Fr. Nicholas. The majority of Saturday morning was taken up with parish duties, not least Mass and our first communion course. It also involved the entertaining sight of Fr. Nicholas shopping for coffee filters in Tesco. Who else causes such consternation by fishing out coppers from his ancient purse and asking how much £4.68 might be in shillings and pence? Such impertinence should cause outrage but, amazingly, the reverse was true and he soon had shoppers and staff fetching him the best available deals on biscuits. These were added to the purchase and proved especially popular next day with both children and ordained deacons….

Justice came courtesy of our resident local bruisers. Here you see them administering a good beating, which did not let up despite his frequent cries for mercy. The only way he eventually found some peace was to send them into the garden with his dog, Aeschylus, to hunt for grouse or rabbits. None were found but it did create an enormous window of opportunity during which three country clerics, by virtue of canon law I am almost certain, felt obliged to enjoy a little gin.

In addition to the bullying of Fr. Nicholas the boys delighted in hearing updated accounts of more strenuous activity further abroad. The Tunbridge Wells 1st XV deserve fulsome praise having secured back to back promotions thanks to an extra time victory over Chingford. Elsewhere Deacon Morgan’s progeny performed heroically in battle re-enactment where he was playing the part of a Viking Warrior. He looked thoroughly convincing, as you can see, and my boys are now desperate to  watch this insanity unfold live in the near future. Perhaps they want to recruit him to their number?

After Mass on Sunday a splendid lunch of roast lamb was provided by the saintly Mrs. Leviseur. A herculean task given that five Tomlinsons were present in addition to the good deacon, Fr. Nicholas’s sister (almost as eccentric as he) and his daughter. Hearing Fr. Nicholas give earnest account of his honeymoon proved the entertainment and he had tears of laughter flowing down our cheeks. Weekends don’t come better than this. Now to parish duties for some much needed recovery!

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