Nepal: An As It Happens. A Guest Blog by Bryn Marsh


Bryn is an amazing individual…..He’ll probably hate my saying that, but it’s true.  He loves Nepal, but I had not realised the extent of his committment toward the country until last month’s earthquake.  He first heard of Hope+ the multi faith Community Outreach programe here in Liverpool, at Everest Base Camp (as you do). He has supported us ever since.  When the earthquake happened, my first instinct was to contact him.  I knew he had been planning to travel soon.  He was still in the UK, but was booked to travel the following week, and he did. 

He has been sending back these jottings each day.  I had intended to edit them.  To make them nice and neat and tidy.  But Nepal is not neat and tidy, and clearly aid is not getting very much further than Khatmandu airport.  So here are the first nine days of Bryn’s diary, unedited, as it happens. 

I shall attempt to post them on a daily basis from tomorrow.

Day1 and Day 2 Arrived yesterday. There may be little humour or wit in this account. Left flight socks and glasses at Heathrow. Typical! 4hrs in Muscat , looks and sounds a fascinating place. Mountainous desert- Moslem but with alcohol! 30min on 50C. tarmac in airport bus with about 80 Nepali migrant workers and no air con was interesting in terms of odour. Felt lousy on flight shouldn’t have left the cholera, typhoid, hepatitis and diphtheria jabs to the last minute. 3 westerners on plane (2 optimistic French climbers and me ), 4 women and about 300 returning Nepali workers -all that construction work for the World Cup no doubt. KTM airport great- if you’re into black comedy. Airport littered with aid pallets. Workers wandering round and nothing going anywhere in a hurry, if at all. And now to the Terminal! Immigration no problem for a change as no bemused tourists. Baggage Hall indescribable ,3 baggage turntables 4 flights in and the wrong flights listed on the board. My flight was not listed at all .So there were about 800 people scrambling between the different turntables and trolleys searching for their luggage. Saw 4 European Red Cross ladies in tears-trying to do good was not supposed to descend into farce before you had got through Customs. Got my suitcase by pure luck -it’s wrecked but a small price to pay for an exit from bedlam. Ominous mountain of luggage , 100s of suitcases, piled up near the exit, abandoned or never loaded when Tourists left in a hurry I suspect. Met by Binod, my mentor, a good guy and presented with a beautiful red prayer scarf, traditional I know but still touching. I’m staying with his family until we go to the mountains on Monday. A tenement block, very good by Nepali standards, but of course now with cracks in the walls, it’s certainly better than the tea houses near Everest base camp! -and I’m being looked after with the usual Nepali heart-warming generosity. Kathmandu, what can I say, you’ll have seen the T.V. pictures. It’s better than I expected – and in parts much, much worse. KTM has always been a loud, vibrant, cheerful, safe and totally chaotic place. It’s now eerily subdued,quiet and indescribably sad. A smell of raw sewage occasionally drifts past overlain with something indescribably rotten. Certainly the rats and cockroaches are overly evident, I suspect their bolt holes have been disturbed by the Quake. Full of admiration for this HiCap charity’s Chief Executive, Freda. After the Quake struck she refused to leave her Nepali friends and go to the Embassy with the other British. Sheltered for a week under tarpaulins in the rain,mud and flooding drains with about 400 Nepalis. Binod and I are sorting ourselves out today ready for the trip to Lamjung tomorrow.Then if all goes to plan (rare in Nepal) 4 weeks in the mountains,5 schools to visit,see what the damage is and do something useful-I hope. And a view I hope too of the sacred mountain Machapucherie. Bryn

Still Day 2 Long day sorting things for the mountains. Saw the impact of the Quake on Patan, which is neighbour to KTM. Trying not to write in cliche. Very few houses have not been touched if only in a minor way . There are whole narrow streets propped up by wooden beams, some with lateral beams stretching across between them. It is unnerving walking along these alleys. Suddenly you come across a house or temple that has collapsed completely . Friend Binod was able to recount the deaths in his locality. The toll in Patan is about 1800. The population of the Kathmandu valley is said to have dropped from around 4 million to 2 million as families have returned to their villages of origin to seek refuge or to make secure their traditional family homes . I have taken only a few photos – they seem to anaesthetise the tragedy and take the shock out of it. I don’t want that. Even more Day 2 Big Bang…. windows flew open and the house shook. 4.2 on the Richter scale apparently with epicentre too near to Kathmandu for comfort. Few more houses down but they seem to have all been evacuated as unsafe so no news of any casualties yet. At least it provided a more interesting focus for discussion than the fact that I’d got embarrassingly lost within 100m of Binods house. Pouring with rain now, thunder and lightning round the valley. A sight as awesome as it was in 1969, Irrational guilt that I’m inside warm, dry. Thousands under the tarpaulins.

Day 3 A day of deep frustrations-which I had anticipated and prepared for. Bad nights sleep in high humidity alleviated by a glorious lightning display on the hills. Awoken by the true sights and sounds of Nepal. Multi-coloured Buddhist prayer flags flying on mainly Hindu houses(no contradiction in Nepali minds). And on balconies and rooftops devout women burning incense and offering prayers. Morning ablutions : water then thrown down into the street followed by monumental hacking coughing and spitting over the same balconies. The first no doubt of many delays. We await funds to come through to purchase corrugated iron sheets for temporary roofing repairs in Bahandanda village in Lamjung. About a dozen families are homeless including the family fostering HiCaps 3 orphans. So the 2 day journey to Lamjung starts tomorrow -possibly. Still it seems I am to undertake some impromptu teaching later today. With whom is unclear . Went for a little wander. The hour-long queues of women,carrying every conceivable type of container, waiting in the heat for the emergency water tanker are very poignant. Saw my first overseas Aid packets, I suspect they were being sold, but that may be my innate scepticism. I have no proof and at least something isn’t rotting on the airport Tarmac 2 miles away. Day3 cont. Moderately productive. Impromptu lesson to local kids went down well -or they found me highly entertaining.As we were in an open courtyard an assortment of mothers and grand mothers came and watched. All the local schools are shut damaged and unsafe. Brief visit to Bhodinath Stupa a place I always find spiritually uplifting though I’m no Buddhist. It’s escaped undamaged apart from some superficial rendering. And then past Pashupatinath the sacred Hindu site, but we did not linger overlong. Fewer cremations now as the quake driven funerals have finished . But the holy Bagmati river is an unwholesome sight. Full of the usual garbage but this time street dogs fighting for the human remains unconsumed by the mass funeral pyres. The monsoon rains should wash it clean soon and carry the remains down to fertilise the paddy fields of the Terai and Indian plain, and to the Mother River Ganges. Then to Bakhtuphur on Binods motorbike. It wasn’t too bad a ride, he drives on the right side of the road most of the time at least on the dual carriageways anyway. Amazing undulations and crevasses in the road surfaces caused by the Quake. Bakhtapur is a world heritage site and devastated. As bad as the pictures of Bootle in the May ’41 Blitz. That awful smell of drains and putrefaction again. The Chinese are there in force ,the first sign of coordinated foreign aid I’ve seen. Rows of Chinese Red Cross (sic!) tents arranged with military provision, field kitchens and water tanks. No sign at all of our much (self) vaunted major U.K. charities and their professional fund raising. Hopefully Binod and I are off to the mountains tomorrow but without all the money needed to do the temporary repairs. I know that Freda is leaning on everyone she can for funds and Binod in turn is going to lean on the suppliers for credit. Have to be careful now otherwise I’ll sound as though I’m bleating ( which I am.)

Day 4 It’s Plan B today. Plan A never works in Nepal anyway it’s a mystical entity. The funding for the repairs is stuck somewhere in the system. So the orphanage part has been brought forward from the end of my time here and we visit and see what HiCap should do… Though we need to tread carefully corruption and child trafficking still go on,and more of that later. Forgot to mention another amazing storm last night lashing the homeless” tents. More lightning flashes in a minute than I could count. A humid sweaty night and no running water this morning. So out onto the street now for my open air open access teaching session. Sneaked off with Benita, Binod’s new co worker to visit TAV school in Pharping. No pupils because of the Quake and my old hut/house is now occupied by villagers whose own house has been destroyed. The schools a run-down and sad place-but then it was in 1968/9 – my VSO year and the year I grew up. Went down to Dakshinkali the Hindu shrine to Kali Goddess of Death and Destruction we walked bare foot through water, blood, offal and fly swarms. Benita wanted to make offering- and we waited while a ceremony with huge bells and drums was carried out. Benita queued with those with goats for sacrifice. Then there was a great screaming sound from a myriad of crows and the crowd around me panicked. I will never know whether I was knocked over by the rush of the worshippers or the rolling wave of the ground. A sheet of corrugated iron roof sailed past me. More cliche : it all went quiet. The queue reformed. And Benita went to make her offering. She is a fine woman newly married, in a tiny house now occupied also by her extended family and brother and sister – homeless through the first Quake. The drive back was hindered by rocks fallen from the steep hills and in KTM roads blocked again by fallen houses. The car radio indicated an entirely new Quake, not an after shock , 7.2 Richter scale and located east this time, towards Everest. Eeriest of all was that the road back and fields were full of silent people. Understandable as there were 4 after shocks the first 2 over 6 and 5 Richter respectively, no one stays inside. 37 dead so far and 937 seriously injured but that’s only in the valley and the count after 2 hours. So never got to see the orphanage this afternoon. Plan B failed too! But building the tarpaulin tents for a night in the paddy field was a practical relief-scavenged roofing struts from fallen buildings, bamboo scaffolding , plastic and tarpaulin and empty cement sacks to sleep on.Though we seem to have rather a lot of small suckling babies in our commune for any sleep.

Day 5 Won’t have much to say. 32 people under the tarpaulin -4 families. Not enough room for all to lie down in comfort on the sacks. 10 hours no sleep. It’s difficult to describe the dire impact of the unprecedented second Quake. The City was slowly coming to terms and community effort was restoring some semblance of normality. There is now a sense of apathy hanging over everything. 2 aftershocks at 2.10 and 3.05 a.m. were greeted with resigned silence in the tarpaulin paddy field while the crows and street dogs let off a hysterical cacophony. Even the irrepressible Binod is now subdued. Still no sign of any foreign aid. Schools shut by Govt decree for 2weeks because of Quake 2. So back to street teaching! Day 6 Brief. another night in paddy field must be 1000+ here now Dilemmas over whether to go to Embassy safe accommodation or stay w this,. Also offer of quake2 charter flight back Friday. Decided to stay w this on both counts earthquake made a strong bond. Wary though of decisions made on adrenalin even when there’s apprehension in the adrenalin!!. 44 Richter scale 4+ aftershocks in 24hrs after Quake2. All quiet now experts say it’s over. But the quake has induced a kind of madness here that’s infectious-difficult to be entirelyrational in Kathmandu . Off to the mountains today if roads are clear.

Day 6 cont now writing after a bottle of Gorkha on empty stomach so this may be frank -provided its coherent. Said goodbye to my 32 bed friends and was blessed by a grandma. Tear jerking. Nothing I did apart from share a paddy field and tarpaulin and fail through indecisiveness to bugger off somewhere safe like any other bright westerner. Bumped and bruised to Lamjung-what quake1 failed to do to roads quake2 completed. Staying in decent hotel one night, beer,hot shower(cold only reallybut has a hot tap) and not a cockroach to be found. Roller of emotions now, hope new tarp friends are back under cover, feel I’ve deserted them. Bought 168 sheets of corrugated iron with Binod , in Besashawer . Barburam who lost his house altogether says it will roof 7 most damaged houses in Bahundanda where I’m going. Feel much better for actually doing something Delivered Tomorrow -we will see! Then found about 200 x 2 bales of British DFED tarpaulin in courtyard -u.k.aid, Barburam says it’s been there for a week destined for remote villages . it’s now raining, a huge storm , and people are without cover. Thought about stealing a bale or two for my village but remembered I am JP and pillar of society. Too heavy to carry anyway. Couldn’t find anyone who knew who was responsible for it. Not DFED fault of course.

Day 7 -5am. Dawn . I think this diary is the only thing keeping me sane. Lamjung Himal gleaming white ridge , stark contrasts of black and white. 7000metreshigh and within a few miles of here. Trek up to Bahandanda today. Luggage goes with the corrugated iron. Or Not. There is a deep lassitude about here. Nothing much is happening,the frenetic chaotic clamour of Nepalese towns has disappeared. Quake2 appears to have wrecked hope, it’s never happened before, aftershocks of course then back to normality and years of grace.Never 2 different quakes with different epicentres.It seems everyone is just waiting and doing only enough to get through the day. 7.40 Whoops that was a biggy, Curtains trembled then floor moved and a subdued barely audible growl. No visible damage but everyone is now outside. Children playing, adults quiet. Binod has phoned home, his family are fine having slept in the garage. News has said Richter 5.5. I didn’t say whoops, never used the f word so much. Electricity off internet down but phones working for first time in a while.

Day 7 cont. 6hrs late finally set off in jeep.7 in side 1on roof on top of the vast iron and sacks of sugar. Frightening road up the Marsyangi river valley. A huge gorge and the road suffered Quake damage. Joined by 2 old men who clung to the side of the jeep overhanging a 500m drop to the river. Met by a crowd of exuberant villagers some distance from Bahundanda as last road section has slid down the mountain. First sign of animation in 3 days. Corrugated iron unloaded and with much hawking and spitting carried up the mountain. A real scramble up to my new home the Hotel Manaslu. Bahundanda at last. This is so funny. I was concerned that I would stand out as a spoilt westerner enjoying a lifestyle privileged by comfort amidst rank poverty. Plenty of poverty but the hotel shares it. It is a low mud brick building with open air cooking outside squat toilet and a hose pipe “shower”. My room is on top -up a ladder. It is a hut of scavenged timber and corrugated iron roof. 3 trestle wood beds and carpet mattresses. That’s it. A crude glass less shutter, a hole in the corrugated roof and gaps between the wooden plank walls. Lovely view though! Treated with extraordinary warmth, flower garlands and blessings. It is almost enough to be here and show that someone is interested in their grim condition and them as people. Just as well , the Government has shut all schools for a further 9 days because of the 5.5 aftershock yesterday. Outside teaching for whoever turns up tomorrow .

Day 8 Pyrotechnic Storm at 4am then dawn. Met village leaders and school teachers . Tour of the village which sits on a high narrow ridge. 105 houses on the ridge or close. None unscathed most unsafe. Walls separated from each other and deep lateral cracks. Most residents in tarpaulin shelters. Self help is the only short term solution and there is real community activity in a poverty stricken subsistence farming area, but Bahundanda will have to be totally rebuilt along with about 10,000 other communities in Nepal. Keep saying to myself don’t think about the big picture, do what you can with what you’ve got and keep smiling for the children. But I’m struggling,not helped by cultural and language isolation,( but never left alone,) and the bizarre almost totemic significance my presence seems to have assumed with little justification in practical terms. Little gifts of food and warm buffalo milk at every house and I have no heart to refuse. Only humour I can find in this is that I can’t even go to the unwholesome hole in the ground without a club of unappointed guardians and small children waiting outside discussing what, I do not wish to know.

day9 I’ve attempted to send a photograph though they seem to clog up the email system. It’s of my tin corrugated sheeting being used to construct a monsoon house. First bit of real pleasure I’ve had here. The use of the words “my tin” is deliberate, suffice to say few charities havecovered themselves in glory. People here have nowhere to live-just try and do something–Elastoplast on major trauma as I’m sure you’ll recognise . But it was so good to see some hope returning to a family (and the men grafting away on the shelter -self-help) The total of homes to be demolished is 135 out of about 150 – on the ridge itself 105. But life has settled itself into rhythm and these blogs will get shorter. The open air teaching sessions will now take place in the women’s communal building as the rains intensify- it’s also temporary sleeping accommodation. Nepal govt officials have visited and dealt with the problem by saying it isn’t a problem, and going away. PS the monsoon house construction – it’s built on bamboo stilts over a steep incline. Split bamboo flooring covered in tarpaulin then earth/ mud to make a hard surface. Looked dodgy! Just been to the hole in the ground. Audience of kids waiting outside for my exit. Not a shred of privacy here always someone watching. Bugger another tremor and everybody out , just been shouted at for my tardiness.
 

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Hopeful depression


Hopeful depression. wonderful blog post well worth a read

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Note from Pew Notes


No time for a full on Pew Notes this week, for which I’m sure you are all profoundly grateful.  However one or two items to remind you of:

 v  Tonight you have two options:

  • Join the Overcrofters and sundry young (and not so young) folk in rehearsal for the Passion Play “This is our Story”, if you either know you’re in it or have emailed Dan Bishop to ask if youcan assist daniel.bishop@liverpoolcathedral.org.uk  6:30 Undercroft
  • Join +James for what will be his last major pedagogic venture as Bishop of Liverpool “Lord teach us to pray” explores prayer; why we do it and how we do it. Do please make every effort to attend this series for Lent. Tonight 7:30 main Cathedral and every Thursday between now and Maundy Thursday.

v  Saturday the Cathedral choir are singing Evensong at Manchester Cathedral in a sort of Northern Cathedrals festal Evensong so Evening Prayer will be said at the end of the Mission in the Economy charities fair, which if you’re not in Manchester is well worth attending.

v  Sunday is BWB 9:15 in the Education room. This week is the Book of Ruth SWS  Monday 6:30 in the Concert Room

v  Sunday is also Mothering Sunday so stand by to be assaulted with the seemingly now compulsory bunches of daffs…..in LENT….don’t get me started Grrrrrrr!

v  70th Anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic Service: A service which I think those us present at the 60th didn’t expect would take place, but it is which is wonderful. There are arrangements for this service, so if you didn’t get the information on Sunday morning, and given Evensong was at the Met in the afternoon, it was just the morning, please email me for the information IF and only IF, you are a regular member of the congregation, and I shall pass on the information you require.  I’m very sorry to have to do it this way, but after I stupidly published details of arrangements for ++Justin’s  enthronement on line, a number of people with little current connection to the Cathedral applied using the information I’d published.  No one has asked me to do this, I just feel very strongly that I don’t want the information in this newsletter to be abused in that way. The principle reason for Pew Notes is to inform the congregation, anything else should be a bonus. Rant over!

v  FOOD BANK Is now called Food Bank+ as Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral have now joined us. People have been incredibly generous with their donations, but please do keep it up. If everyone purchased everything on our list at “Basic/Everyday” level once a month that would cost you £10. Sadly this is obviously going to be a long term initiative, and so continued support is crucial.  We had a wonderful contribution from the Met this week, for which many thanks.  Having taken two sessions to complete the inventory on this week’s combined donations,  could I please put in a plea for the following items which we are running short of: Sugar, Juice, Coffee, Tinned Meat, And Cereals

 Here endeth the notes from Pew notes

Nädine

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Pew Notes for Quinquagesima Sunday and Ash Wednesday


 

I make no apologies for a second week of belated and truncated Pew Notes, however you do deserve an explanation, which is that I’ve been very busy with the Cathedral’s Food Bank project (see below).  I hope you can agree that helping those in real need must take priority?  Actually many of you will probably be mightily relieved that there’s less waffle and faff.

Hardly worth going into green script for what must be the shortest period of ordinary time possible between Epiphany and Lent (someone is bound to point out how wrong that assertion is).  However, tomorrow is Quinquagesima Sunday (fifty days before Easter) and therefore here is this week’s news:

Robin Finnegan: our wonderful friend and Cathedral legend’s funeral will take place at THORNTON CREMATORIUM, 10am on Thursday 14th February. Robin’s Family would very much welcome his Friends from the Cathedral, if you are able to attend . The Funeral will be followed by a THANKSGIVING SERVICE, which will take place in The Lady Chapel at 13-30 on Thursday 14th.  Jenny Moran is starting a collection towards a brick in the People’s Path. Anyone wishing to contribute should do so via Jenny.  Jenny.moran@liverpoolcathedral.org.uk

Breakfast with the Bible will be in the large education room at 9:15 Sunday 10th February; this week’s topic with be St Paul’s letter to the Galatians.  Please bring a Bible if you can.  Supper with the Scriptures returns to it’s usual Monday night slot on 11th February.

Tomorrow  Sunday 10th February is also Chinese New Year, s0 恭喜发财 (gung hei faat choi). For those of you new to Liverpool, you should know that this is a wonderfully noisy and exciting celebration in China Town, complete with Dragon dancers and fire crackers, which is well worth a visit. However it is also very well attended, and whilst this is a welcome boost to the car park takings, it does mean that those of you attending the Cathedral should allow a bit of extra time, and expect available parking to be limited. DO NOT let this minor issue put you off your visit however!

Rt Revd Susan Goff, Bishop suffragan of our partner Diocese of Virginia will be presiding and preaching at Holy Communion, and her husband Revd Tom Holliday will be preaching at Evensong…yes folks I have got that the right way round…pray that it won’t be too long before we follow our Colonial cousins’ lead. By the way Evensong will be something of a Purcell fest for those of us who get over excited by such things!

Book Club will be meeting in the Staff Room on MONDAY (please note change of day) 11th February (so as to avoid clashing with the Friends of Liverpool Cathedral Pancake extravaganza) at 7pm Book is Ultimate Prizes by Susan Howatch, the third in the Starbridge series, and which features the writings of Liverpool Cathedral’s first Canon Chancellor and Regius Professor of Divinity Cantab; Revd Dr Charles Raven

Chemin-Neuf ‘s next meeting is , Tuesday 12th February at 7:30 in the Concert room I think.

ASH WEDNESDAY I anticipate that as usual all three services with be Holy Communion with ashing.  There will be a fully choral  (Byrd mass  for three voices) Holy Communion at the High Altar at 5:30, all welcome.

FOOD BANK will be up and running on St Valentine’s day, which seems appropriate since we are called by Christ to love him in the homeless and destitute. If you can’t decide what to give up for Lent this year, can I suggest that instead of chucking the chocolate, moving away from meat, or abstaining from alcohol, you might like to give up some groceries to our FOOD BANK, and/or give up some time to help with the various tasks involved such as sorting and stacking the food in our new Bank in the South West Tower, bagging it up into “hampers” ready for distribution at St Bride’s, or joining our growing volunteer scheme on a more permanent basis.  This is a very important and much needed project for us to be involved in, and I would urge you to support us however you are able.  Robin Finnegan handed me a bag of groceries the Sunday before his death, asking me to “Keep it under your hat, I wouldn’t want people to think I was going soft in my old age”…so if Robin can do it, so can you!  STOP PRESS At a Fuel Poverty event at the Metropolitan Cathedral yesterday the Dean Fr Tony O’Brian, quoting +David and ++Derek “it’s better together”,  announced that they will be joining the Food Bank project, which is absolutely wonderful news. I’ve attached our flyer which includes the shopping list.  I’ve checked this recently, and it is possible to purchase everything on the list for £10 using the value/basics ranges in the supermarkets, Do please download it and forward it to your friends and family.  If you would like more information, or to volunteer please contact Canon Cynthia or myself ASAP or  email us foodbank@liverpoolcathedral.org.uk

School of Theology and Alpha will also run on ASH WEDNESDAY, Alpha at 7pm in the Concert Room, and SOT  “The Holy Spirit and the Church”7:30 in the RLC see the website for details www.liverpoolcathedral.org.uk

Dr Cathy Wilcox AKA Catherine Fox  has now blogged Chapter five of her latest novel ACTS AND OMISSIONS which you can find here: http://catherine-fox-novel.blogspot.co.uk  Things are certainly  hotting up In Lindchester, where young Freddie is still in hot water…and Jane the academic with SOMETHING ON HER MIND seems curiously familiar…the black, badger stripped frizzy hair, always dressed in black and somewhat on the hefty side *gazes despairingly in mirror*

In our prayers at this time: All those known to us who are in need of our prayer and support; thinking especially at this time:

  • ++Justin, Caroline and family as Justin starts his ministry as Archbishop of Canterbury
  • Those seeking a better understanding of their faith through SOT/BWB/SWS
  • +James, Sarah and family as they prepare to leave the Diocese and move to Yorkshire, and for all our clergy and people as they look towards the arrival of a new bishop, that he  (unless the House of Bishops do something very quickly) may follow in the faithful footsteps of Bishop David Sheppard and Bishop James Jones.
  • The Archdiocese of Liverpool it’s clergy and people as they look towards the arrival of a new Archbishop, that he may follow in the faithful footsteps of Archbishop Derek Warlock and Archbishop Patrick Kelly. 
  • Those witnessing to Christ in war zones and other areas of conflict; thinking especially at this time of Revd Deserrié, his family and all those he ministers to in Goma,  with reports yesterday of a massive increase in the conflict there.  Revd Canon Andrew White and his beleaguered congregation and staff at St George’s Baghdad. 
  • For the new Food Bank and One Stop project, for all those involved in getting it started, and all those in need of it’s work.
  • All Asylum seekers and those who work with them
  • The homeless and vulnerable, especially those in fuel poverty as the winter weather continue to bite.
  • Those who are yet to encounter  God’s love, that they might find a welcome in our midst, and be encouraged to discover the joy of God’s gift to us all through the love of His son Jesus Christ
  • All those within the criminal justice system, both those who work with offenders, and the offenders themselves. 
  • The faithful departed and those they have left behind, thinking especially of the family and friends of Derek Sadler and Robin Finnegan at this time.
  • The families of servicemen and women currently serving overseas.
  • Struggling with life’s vicissitudes; loss of employment, liberty, shelter, freedom
  • Those searching for God, that they might know His presence in their lives,
  • Coping with illness or the illness of a loved one
  • For whom freedom of faith is denied

Do please email me should you have anything you wish to be included in next week’s notes; or of course if you have an inevitable errata /addenda to this week’s

Nädine

Follow me on Twitter @PashaReflection

Or https://choralevensong.wordpress.com

The boring disclaimer bit:

Tis I, Nädine Daniel who writes, produces, and disseminates the Pew Notes.  I do so without any imprimatur from the Dean and Chapter, the Cathedral or indeed anyone else.  Just me…as I hope would have been clear, any comments made, opinions offered are also my own. Likewise it must equally obviously follow that any sins of omission or commission are also mine, and mine alone: Mea Culpa, Mea Maxmima Reverentia Culpa.  Should you no longer wish to receive these musings, please email me and say so.

 

 

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Truncated Pew Notes for Candlemass & news of Robin Finnegan


 It is with very deep sadness that I have to inform you of the death from and aneurism of our dear friend, steward ,interpreter (formally Head Interpreter),  and reader, Robin Finnegan on Friday afternoon.  Although now 85,  Robin had been in the Cathedral working as an interpreter the day before his death, and true to his caring self, had spoken to our former Head Steward Norman Hughes to check how he was doing, only hours before he became ill.   Robin had no family locally, and is survived by a niece in Kent, accordingly I’m not in a position to provide any information about his funeral arrangements yet. I realise that a great many of us will wish to attend, and will endeavour to let you have any details as soon as possible. Robin was at the heart of our Cathedral Company, and had served our community all his life.  His skills in interpreting the building to our visitors were unmatched, and I know that he has over the years, taught me a great deal about a space I thought I knew, but very soon realised I didn’t.  A couple of years ago, efforts were made by a number of people to persuade Robin to allow me to video a Cathedral Tour with him. He was extremely reluctant, and I sensed a very deep unease about this well intentioned project. Eventually, over a coffee he explained how no two tours were the same, as a good interpreter would gage the type and level of interest of their group. He feared I would put the video on the Cathedral website and that people would watch it on line rather than actually visit for themselves.  Having had this conversation, I decided that such a video would be wholly inappropriate, and Robin breathed a sigh of relief, able to take his consummate skills with him at his death. May his Rest in Peace and Rise in Glory.

 

Other brief reminders for the coming week.

  1. Today is Candlemass, so if you haven’t dealt with the Christmas tree yet,  now’s the day. As is tradition at Liverpool Cathedral, any Feast which has the temerity not to fall on a Sunday, will be forcibly translated to the nearest Sunday, which is tomorrow.  Which means wonderful music and more candles than many an Evangelical might be wholly comfie with. No matter that it is also Sexagesima Sunday
  2. Breakfast with the Bible is tomorrow at 9:15 with Dean Pete in the Education department (behind the High Altar). Supper with the Scriptures will be on TUESDAY at 6:30 in the Concert Room. The reason for this one off change of day is:
  3. +Justin formally becomes ++Justin at a service at St Paul’s Cathedral on Monday 4th February. Reminder to be seated by 11:40. Hence the need to change SWS to Tuesday, as rather a lot of People including the Dean will be there not here….Can someone please look after Monday’s Evensong?
  4. Chemin-Neuf Prayer Group will also meet on Tuesday as usual
  5. School of Theology and Alpha will meet Wednesday.
  6. Sunday 10th February apart from being Quinquagesima Sunday (yes folks Lent is almost upon us), is also Chinese New Year…So do allow extra time/arrive early to get a parking space etc…you all know how it is by now.

 

In Our Prayers:

  • The family and friends of Derek Saddler and Robin Finnegan, and anyone else who has lost a loved one recently
  • +Justin, Caroline and family as he starts his new role as Archbishop of Canterbury
  • +James, Sarah and family as he prepares for his retirement in August (see next week’s Pew Notes for information on +James’ Lent talks)
  • Our Food Bank and all those who stand in need of it.
  • Those sick or in need of our help.

 

Best Wishes

Nädine

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Pew Notes for W/C 14th January 2013


14th January was the Feast of St Felix of Nola. He gave an old bishop a piggy back to escape some Roman soldiers and hid in a derelict house when the soldiers came a spider miraculously wove a web over the door and the soldiers screamed and ran away. Today is the Feast of Paul the Hermit. When he was 113 years old Antony of Egypt, 90, claimed he had been in the desert longer. A she-wolf led him to Paul and a raven brought them some bread for lunch, but each deferred to the other and in the end the bread had to divide itself. Paul then died so Antony buried him with the help of two lions and took his garment of palm leaves home to wear on special days. A special BOGOF two weird Saints for the price of one in the January Ecclesiastic Sales

And so to this week’s news:

Belated thanks to all the Clergy and the whole of the Music Department for a magnificent festive season, which reached a wonderful conclusion with the Epiphany Carol service on Sunday afternoon.  How many of you heard the Cathedral bells PLAYING TUNES (gasps in horror) after the service?  Yes folks, I’m guessing that the man who taught me to ring is revolving in his tomb at the very thought of our wonderful ring being used “like some ponderous great carillon” to quote Dr C Wilcox, but actually; leaving the service to walk out into the first snow of the year as the bells played Darke’s “In the Bleak” was really rather glorious….If I have to criticise , and I feel I must, it was the poor turn out for the Epiphany Carol service. Everyone involved from the probs concentrating on their procession, to Dean Pete’s thoughtful reflections, had worked so hard to put together a very special service, and the turnout was not much higher than an normal Sunday Evensong. So put the word out good people, put it in this years Christmas brochure, advertise it on local media…but lets get the bums on the seats for next year. Rant (first of the year) over.

Chemin-Neuf is meeting tonight, Tuesday 14th January at 7:30 in the Concert room I think.

Book Club has it’s first meeting of the year tonight at 7pm, back in the staff room, after our brief return to the Dean’s Office for a very enjoyable Christmas Party. This month’s book is “Letters to Malcolm” by CS Lewis, but do please come along even if you haven’t read it yet.

School of Theology and Alpha also start new terms tomorrow  15th January, Alpha at 7pm in the Concert Room, and SOT  “The Holy Spirit and the Church”7:30 in the RLC see the website for details www.liverpoolcathedral.org.uk

Breakfast With The Bible/Supper With The Scriptures made a very welcome return on Sunday/Monday with Dean Pete getting very excited with St Luke, and why not? There is no BWB?SWS this week ( 2oth/21st January), but we will be looking at The Psalms on 27th/28th January Please bring a Bible if you can.

Reminder to think about our Food Bank initiative, which we are working towards starting in partnership with the Toxteth and City Centre Churches and faith groups.  As I said last week, we will need volunteers to help with all aspects of this work, and we will also need food collections.  Might I ask you all to give some thought to how you might support this sadly, very important and much needed project?  Maybe your New Year’s resolution has already gone the way of all flesh, or you’re wondering what to give up for Lent (Ash Wednesday is less than a month away folks!)?  Well why not give up some time to help with the Food Bank?  If you would like more information, or to volunteer please contact Canon Cynthia or myself ASAP.

FINAL IMPORTANT NOTICE This is  a repeat of last week’s in case you didn’t read it, and is really only for member of Liverpool Cathedral Company i.e. congregations, staff and volunteers: Tickets for Bishop Justin’s Confirmation and Enthronement services.

There are places available for anyone from the Cathedral or Diocese who wishes to attend the Confirmation of Election service at St Paul’s Cathedral on 4th February at 12 noon.  At this service +Justin will legally become ++Justin Cantuar.  This service is not ticketed.  So just turn up!  This invitation from +Justin has come because he’d like us to be there, and because Canterbury being on a smaller scale than the pink Palace of varieties, there are very few tickets available for the enthronement service.  There are however a small number of tickets available to the Cathedral for this service, which is on 21st March at 3pm (commemoration day of Thomas Cranmer strangely enough!).  If you would like to be considered for a ticket, please consider your ability to get there, and if and only if you feel certain that you can get there, please contact Clare Kerrigan to add your name to the list.  Being on the list DOES NOT GUARANTEE A TICKET, so please don’t book trains/accommodation until your ticket has been confirmed.  If numbers exceed allocation there will be a ballot.  Clare must have your name by 21st January.  clare.kerrigan@liverpoolcathedral.org.uk or 0151 702 7220

Dr Catherine Wilcox  has now blogged Chapter two of her latest novel ACTS AND OMISSIONS which you can find here: http://catherine-fox-novel.blogspot.co.uk  Things are certainly  hotting up In Lindchester, where young Freddie has not, in the manner of Nigel Pargetter, met a sticky end on New Year’s Eve.  

In our prayers at this time: All those known to us who are in need of our prayer and support; thinking especially at this time:

  • Those seeking meaning through Christ as they start the Alpha Course.
  • Those seeking a better understanding of their faith through SOT/BWB/SWS
  • The Archdiocese of Liverpool it’s clergy and people as they look towards the arrival of a new Archbishop, that he may follow in the faithful footsteps of Archbishop Derek Warlock and Archbishop Patrick Kelly.  Also praying that Archbishop Patrick as he return to Liverpool today, may continue his recovery from his stroke
  • Those witnessing to Christ in war zones and other areas of conflict; thinking especially at this time of Revd Deserrié, his family and all those he ministers to in Goma,  with reports yesterday of a massive increase in the conflict there.  Revd Canon Andrew White and his beleaguered congregation and staff at St George’s Baghdad. 
  • Justin, Caroline and family as they prepare to sat goodbye to their new friends in Durham, and for Justin’s new role as leader of the 77 million people within the Anglican Communion
  • For the new Food Bank and One Stop project, for all those involved in getting it started, and all those in need of it’s work.
  • All Asylum seekers and those who work with them
  • The homeless and vulnerable, especially those in fuel poverty as the winter weather starts to bite.
  • Those who are yet to encounter  God’s love, that they might find a welcome in our midst, and be encouraged to discover the joy of God’s gift to us all through the love of His son Jesus Christ
  • All those within the criminal justice system, both those who work with offenders, and the offenders themselves. 
  • The faithful departed and those they have left behind. 
  • The families of servicemen and women currently serving overseas.
  • Struggling with life’s vicissitudes; loss of employment, liberty, shelter, freedom
  • Those searching for God, that they might know His presence in their lives,
  • Coping with illness or the illness of a loved one
  • For whom freedom of faith is denied

Do please email me should you have anything you wish to be included in next week’s notes; or of course if you have an inevitable errata /addenda to this week’s

Nädine

Follow me on Twitter @PashaReflection

Or https://choralevensong.wordpress.com

 

 

 

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Pew Notes 7th January 2013


And a very Happy New Year to one and all, Merry Christmas to our Orthodox readers, and anyone else who has no truck with the new fangled Gregorian Calendar.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the mid winter break from Pew Notes….However, back to business, sorry about that.

I wonder did anyone else notice how much death occurs in the liturgical Calendar after Christmas?  26th December being St Stephen, first martyr of the Christian Church, a brief, but welcome respite on 27th for the most important of the four Evangelists St John, before returning to the gore fest with the commemoration of the wholesale murder and mass destruction of the Feast of the Holy Innocents on 28th December.  Without pause for breath we have Thomas à Becket on 29th, followed by John Wycliffe  on 31st, who may have died in his bed from a stroke on this date in 1384, but by 1428 Pope Martin V had his body exhumed and the remains burned as a heretic, before scattering his ashes in the River Swift….a fine example of “no rest for the wicked”, well in the eyes of the Vatican anyway.  Quite a relief to get to the Feast of Epiphany (ἐπιφάνεια (epiphaneia), which means manifestation, as in Christ’s manifestation to the Gentiles) in one piece on Sunday, even if the Cathedral doors remained unchalked, and no one seemed to announce the date of Easter (31st March). As I’m sure you all know, had the doors been chalked you would have had the initials of the Magi; Casper, Melchior, and Balthasar CMB, which also stands for Christus mansionem benedicat, which may be translated as “may Christ bless the house” I’m sure you feel better for knowing that.

And so to this week’s news:

News broke from the Archdiocese last night that Archbishop Patrick Kelly has tendered his resignation to Pope Benedict following the stroke he suffered at the end of last year.  This is very sad news for our friends at the Metropolitan Cathedral, and for us too, and I know we will all be wishing Archbishop Patrick a speedy recovery.

The choir returned last Sunday, from their all too brief rest, well they think it was all too brief anyway!

Chemin-Neuf is not meeting tonight.  Normal service resumes next week Tuesday 14th.

Book Club will have it’s first meeting of the year, also 14th 7pm back in the staff room, after our brief return to the Dean’s Office for a very enjoyable Christmas Party. This month’s book id “Letters to Malcolm” by CS Lewis

School of Theology and Alpha also start new terms next Wednesday see the website for details www.liverpoolcathedral.org.uk

AND NOW A VERY  IMPORTANT NOTICE  (Aren’t they all?)  Breakfast With The Bible/Supper With The Scriptures returns this term, with Dean Pete in charge, so we must all be on out very best behaviour (as if!).  BWB first session will be this Sunday 13th January in the Large Education Room (Ambulatory) at 9:15 please note earlier start time. SWS will be at 6:30 (again note the earlier time) on 14th January, location remains the Concert Room as before.  No videoing this time, so you don’t need to dress up, but it will mean no catch up facility, so you need to attend in person!

AND NOW ANOTHER VERY IMPORTANT NOTICE, yes folks two (three actually see below) in one week.  As anyone who has heard Canon Cynthia’s last couple of sermons will know (see website for recordings) we are working towards starting a Food Bank in partnership with the Toxteth and City Centre Churches and faith groups.  We will need volunteers to help with all aspects of this work, and we will also need food collections.  I hope to get out a notice about this for the weekend, but could I ask you all to give some thought to how you might support this sadly, very important and much needed project?  Maybe your New Year’s resolution has already gone the way of all flesh, or you’re wondering what to give up for Lent (Ash Wednesday is less than six weeks away folks!)?  Well why not give up some time to help with the Food Bank?  If you would like more information, or to volunteer please contact Canon Cynthia or myself ASAP.

FINAL IMPORTANT NOTICE This is really only for member of Liverpool Cathedral Company i.e. congregations, staff and volunteers: Tickets for Bishop Justin’s Confirmation and Enthronement services.

There are places available for anyone from the Cathedral or Diocese who wishes to attend the Confirmation of Election service at St Paul’s Cathedral on 4th February at 12 noon.  At this service +Justin will legally become ++Justin Cantuar.  This service is not ticketed.  So just turn up! This invitation from +Justin has come because he’d like us to be there, and because Canterbury being on a smaller scale than the pink Palace of varieties, there are very few tickets available for the enthronement service.  There are however a small number of tickets available to the Cathedral for this service, which is on 21st March at 3pm (commemoration day of Thomas Cranmer strangely enough!).  If you would like to be considered for a ticket, please consider your ability to get there, and if and only if you feel certain that you can get there, please contact Clare Kerrigan to add your name to the list.  Being on the list DOES NOT GUARANTEE A TICKET, so please don’t book trains/accommodation until your ticket has been confirmed.  If numbers exceed allocation there will be a ballot.  Clare must have your name by 21st January.  clare.kerrigan@liverpoolcathedral.org.uk or 0151 702 7220

Talking of New Year’s resolutions: Congratulations to Dr Catherine Wilcox for announcing her very ambitious 2013 resolution, which is to blog her latest novel ACTS AND OMISSIONS in the manner of Trollope (note important absence of definite article there) and Dickens, over 52 weekly instalments each and every Sunday evening, which you can follow here: http://catherine-fox-novel.blogspot.co.uk ….if you’d like to catch up on her parody of a certain best seller “Fifty Shades of Purple” you’ll find it here: http://catherine-fox.blogspot.co.uk  I have no doubt that this will be one resolution that is kept, after all for a woman who succeeded last year in NOT buying any new clothes for a whole year (not even hosiery), and this despite having the Installation of Dean Pete as the perfect excuse for a new outfit, a novel in 52 weekly parts should be child’s play!

In our prayers at this time: All those known to us who are in need of our prayer and support; thinking especially at this time:

  • The Archdiocese of Liverpool it’s clergy and people as they look towards the arrival of a new Archbishop, that he may follow in the faithful footsteps of Archbishop Derek Warlock and Archbishop Patrick Kelly.  Also praying that Archbishop Patrick as he return to Liverpool today, may continue his recovery from his stroke
  • Those witnessing to Christ in war zones and other areas of conflict; thinking especially at this time of Revd Deserrié, his family and all those he ministers to in Goma,  with reports yesterday of a massive increase in the conflict there.  Revd Canon Andrew White and his beleaguered congregation and staff at St George’s Baghdad. 
  • Justin, Caroline and family as they prepare to sat goodbye to their new friends in Durham, and for Justin’s new role as leader of the 77 million people within the Anglican Communion
  • For the new Food Bank and One Stop project, for all those involved in getting it started, and all those in need of it’s work.
  • Those who are yet to encounter  God’s love, that they might find a welcome in our midst, and be encouraged to discover the joy of God’s gift to us all through the love of His son Jesus Christ
  • All those within the criminal justice system, both those who work with offenders, and the offenders themselves. 
  • The faithful departed and those they have left behind. 
  • The families of servicemen and women currently serving overseas.
  • Struggling with life’s vicissitudes; loss of employment, liberty, shelter, freedom
  • Those searching for God, that they might know His presence in their lives,
  • Coping with illness or the illness of a loved one
  • For whom freedom of faith is denied

Do please email me should you have anything you wish to be included in next week’s notes; or of course if you have an inevitable errata /addenda to this week’s

Nädine

Follow me on Twitter @PashaReflection

Or https://choralevensong.wordpress.com

The boring disclaimer bit:

Tis I, Nädine Daniel who writes, produces, and disseminates the Pew Notes.  I do so without any imprimatur from the Dean and Chapter, the Cathedral or indeed anyone else.  Just me…as I hope would have been clear, any comments made, opinions offered are also my own. Likewise it must equally obviously follow that any sins of omission or commission are also mine, and mine alone: Mea Culpa, Mea Maxmima Reverentia Culpa. Should you no longer wish to receive these musings, please email me and say so.

 

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