Monday, May 30, 2005

Goings-On

I was appalled to read that the Dean and Chapter of Lincoln Cathedral have agreed to allow part of the movie of the Da Vinci Code to be filmed at the cathedral, on the grounds that they feel it will be a chance to publicise Christianity....

And of course for a hefty fee from the film company, but I`m sure that never entered the decison-making process at all.....

Hello ?????? Is anyone at home ?

The Dean said
"that there were two main approaches: that the Christian faith should be protected by not entering into the type of debate raised by The Da Vinci Code; or to take the book as an opportunity to proclaim the truth of the gospel.
We took the latter approach, and filming will take place in August in the nave, chapter house and cloister."
See here for the full story:- http://www.churchtimes.co.uk/80256FA1003E05C1/httpPublicPages/9D15810C0232C8A88025700D003CC7DE?opendocument


A book that attempts to discredit everything that even Anglicans hold dear is seen as a chance to enhance the public profile of Christianity ? Just how, pray, does allowing the movie of the wretched piece of fiction to be filmed in a real cathedral act as an opportunity to proclaim the gospel ?
Pardon me for being thick, but I don`t think so.

Most non-church-going folks` understanding of Christianity could be put on a small postage stamp, and they simply do not have the knowledge of church history to be able to de-bunk the wretched book for the fiction it is.
The fact that clergy have allowed it to be filmed in a Cathedral is simply going to act as an endorsement for the veracity of the plot as far as many people are concerned.
I am foaming at the mouth here, folks.
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Saturday, May 28, 2005

Crazy Link

I found a Biblical Curse Generator today, which gave me several moments of giggling.....
you can give it a go here :-)
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Friday, May 27, 2005

The Birthday Month

Today, our precious Helen is 7.
We had a birthday tea when she came home from school, and the house has acquired lots more pink items (AKA Barbie Fairytopia dolls and My Little Ponies !)
Many years, Helen !

This is the third family birthday this month so far, and we manage to cram in 4 more before May ends :-)
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Thursday, May 26, 2005

Latin Link

For any of you who are interested in old western -rite Liturgical resources, and can translate Latin, this site may be of interest.
It contains links to lots of old missals and breviaries etc, digitised and available online :-)
Sigh.
I wish I hadn`t let my Latin lapse so thoroughly after I left school.
I may well take it up again once the young `un starts school in September........
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Monday, May 23, 2005

Prayers at Walsingham

If any of you would like prayers to be said for you and your loved ones at the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham, it is now possible to request this online :-)
The link is :-
http://www.walsinghamanglican.org.uk/the_shrine/prayer_devotions.htm

I have a great fondness for Walsingham, where there is a strong Orthodox presence.
I dearly love the little Orthodox chapel upstairs in the Shrine Church, and the Russian Church of St Seraphim in the village.

As a youngster I was privileged to make several pilgrimages there with the Anglican parish which I then attended, and several times an an adult.
We hope to visit the Shrine in person in October this year, God willing.
I have so much to thank God for !
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Saturday, May 21, 2005

Western Rite

If any of you have a hankering to pray in the tradition of Western Orthodoxy, I would highly recommend Fr Aidan`s Occidentalis group at Yahoo groups.
You have to apply to join, explaining your interest in things western rite, but once your member ship has been approved, Fr Aidan has made available some truly wonderful resources, including very large chunks of his translation of the Sarum Breviary and the Sarum Missal.
I have printed out Compline for my daily use.
I am sure I will be printing out more soon :-0
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Bouncy Castle

DH and I took my mother on a shopping trip today, to the local big shopping complex. It is only 10 minutes drive away, but if my mother goes by bus, it takes her 2 buses and 90 minutes travelling each way.
We were happy to take her shopping while DD3 was at her children`s club this morning.

It all started rather well till we saw the biggest bouncy castle I have ever seen in the middle of the complex. And I mean it was HUGE.
It was nearly as big as my garden :-), completely enclosed, with an entrance slit and an exit slit, each of which only opened to a width of 18 inches.

Needless to say DD4 simply had to go on it. That was fine, but the problem was when the owner had to get kids out so the next paying batch of customers could enter. Would my DD come out ? No way.
I had to go in, and grab the kicking and screaming child and carry her out.
It was ok up to the point of having to carry a suddenly octopoid child through an 18 inch wide gap.
Yep, you guessed it.
I squeezed through the gap, then promptly fell down the bouncy ramp head first in a somersault. Thanks to the padded ramps, DD and I sustained no injury at all, and actually it was quite fun, once I had got over being embarrassed at having made a fool of myself .....
I do wish they made bouncy castles for grownups :-)

And my mother got the things she wanted, which was good !
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Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Creative Targeted Spam

I hate spam.
I have Norton internet security suite, which provides an efficient anti-spam tool once you have "taught" it what sort of messages you regard as spam.
I always just "check" the headlines of the Spam folder as very occasionally real messages can be erroneously categorised a sspam. and I found this classic one.........

Bear in mind I subscribe to a lot of ecclesiastically-orientated mailing lists, obviously whence my email address has been targeted.
The heading is
From: "Leslie Finn" <Uetrcqy@bbs-la.com>
To: "Simon.jones23" <simon.jones23@ntlworld.com>
Subject: ecumenical Calcium Citrate-Vitamin D3
Date: 16 May 2005 01:47

It was only an advert for cheap pharmacy drugs, but it was the heading of ecumenical calcium citrate that cracked me up :-)
They obviously don`t know what many Orthodox feel about ecumenism, LOL.
Have any of you had this one ?
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Busy week

Sorry for the lack of posts.
It`s been a busy week.
The plastering is now finished, and the wall painting has now started in earnest.
I scrubbed the hall floor on my hands and knees, and spent the next two days in severe pain with my arthritis :-(

Abby has started her "Link up" sessions at school, which is a really good way of easing the little ones gently into a school mindset.
She goes with me for one hour a week, with 9 others who will be in her class, and they spend an hour in the hall with the nursery teacher and the classroom assistant. They have heaps of fun playing with playdough, stringing beads, painting, colouring pictures, making collages, playing with toys. Then they all sit for a story and a drink and biscuit before coming home.

Abby has enjoyed it so far, but I don`t know if she will like having to say goodbye to me at the next session, when they want the mums to leave the little ones in the school.
Come to think of it, I don`t know whether I will like it either !
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Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Mercy Mission

Yesterday afternoon, as I was walking the girls back from school, we saw a hedgehog.
Just sitting on the path by the lake, in broad daylight, which is most suspicious for a hedgehog, as they are primarily nocturnal.
We stopped and watched it for a while, and it became obvious that there was something wrong with it. As it was breathing, bubbles of mucus emerged from its nose.

Problems :-
1/My knowledge of hedgehogs is minimal.
2/To take it to the Vet would cost me £50 just to walk in through the door, let alone the cost of any treatment.
3/The area around the pond is a hang-out zone for some rough youngsters, who certainly would take a pot-shot at the poor creature, if not use it as a football till it died.

What to do, was the quandary, till I had a brainwave - phone my ex-husband.
In the past he has nursed many injured birds back to health, and he has a large secluded garden with adequate natural food sources for a hedgehog.
He kindly agreed to come down and rescue the hedgehog, who is not yet full-grown, and take it back home with him.

I am pleased to report that today Bernie the hedgehog is resuming a proper nocturnal lifestyle and appears well :-)
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Monday, May 09, 2005

Election Blues

Regular readers may have wondered why I haven`t written much last week.
The answer is simple :-
Terminal depression at the stupidity of the great British public in electing the unctuous Tony Blair for a third term.
Anyone would have been better than the consummate showman that we have now.
Shakes head sadly and reaches for another cup of tea and bar of chocolate......
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Advance Notice !

For those of you who may be interested, on Friday 13th May at 11.00am BST , BBC Radio 4 is broadcasting a radio programme about the miracle of the Holy Fire in Jerusalem .
I have no idea whether it will be overtly sceptical, or respectful, but I am sure it will be interesting :-)
I will be tuned in................
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Pink Dust

Last week we had a lot of plastering work done in the house, namely two bedrooms, and the landing ceiling was ripped down and rebuilt.
This week, the plasterer is due to return to do one more ceiling and the walls of the hall and landing. He is a clean, quick worker, but nevertheless I find a trail of pink dust everywhere in the house.
I admit I didn`t bother cleaning it up as I knew he was coming back this week.......

I sadly nominate myself for Slob of the Week award :-(
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Goldendale Monastery

Today, I was emailed a link to a really interesting article about the Women`s Monastery at Goldendale, where the daughter of Fr Luke Dingman is one of the nuns.
Please go and have a read; may it recharge your spiritual batteries as it recharged mine !
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Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Caldey Blooper :-)

I am extremely grateful to Dave Holford for reminding me of one notable ommission from my list of Saints associated with Caldey island.

I somehow managed to forget St Dyfrig, also known as St Dubricius, Dubric, Devereux, who died c 545.

He was one of the founders of the monastic life in Wales, establishing religious houses in Gwent, the Wye valley and what is now Herefordshire since boundary changes..
St Dyfrig had religious jurisdiction over Caldey, and he personally appointed St Samson as Abbot , and also ordained him as Bishop.
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Tuesday, May 03, 2005

My Daughter`s Prayer.

My precious six year old, Helen, wanted to light a candle in the old church of St Illtyd on Caldey island.
Many pilgrims had written their petitions and placed them in the niche near the candle stand, and there was a copious supply of pens and cardboard slips for this purpose.
I gave her a pen and a slip, and this is what she wrote, verbatim :

"dear God pleese help me Be Good for the rest of my Orthodox Chrisian Life and my children when I am grown up
Amen "

I think that says it all.
What more could anyone ask for ?

PS The slip of cardboard will be living in our icon corner, as she wanted to bring it home with her :-)
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Caldey Island update.

For those of you who may be curious about these things, here is some more information about Caldey island :-)

The island is one and a half miles long and just under three-quarters of a mile wide.

It covers an area of 550 acres, and lies three miles off shore of Tenby.

There are 20 resident monks plus visitors from other Communities.

Approx 23 laity live and work on the island.

There have been monks (and saints!) on the island for 1500 years.

I`m sorry about the quality of some of my photos, but the old church has walls greater than 3 feet thick, and has only tiny small windows for ancient defensive purposes. Even with a flash, it is difficult to get better photos with my little digital camera.
I hope it was enough to give you a taste and desire to visit this lovely island one day, nevertheless !
More photos and information can be found here
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Budgie News

I have a sneaking suspicion that one of our new budgies, who appeared to be female when purchased, is actually a male......which means that in our cage we will have 3 males and 1 female - not a good combination.
3 females and 1 male would be fine, but not vice versa.
Feathers will indeed be flying at some point in the future :-)
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Bright Week

Christ is risen !

I love Bright week; it is without doubt the best week of the year.
I find myself wandering around with a big grin on my face, and the overwhelming desire to greet everyone I meet with the words that are ringing in my heart : Christ is risen !
I don`t, except to family and church friends, but I do say it in my heart to everyone I pass by.

It is a delight to come downstairs in the morning, stop by the icon corner and sing the Paschal troparion.
It is a delight to wake the children up with the words "Christ is Risen !" and hear them reply "He is Risen indeed".
I find myself singing the Troparion at random moments in my day, without even realising I am doing it till I am halfway through....a bit like the Jesus prayer, I suppose.
If only I could capture this joy and keep it in my heart all year round........

He is risen Indeed !
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Sunday, May 01, 2005


Helen and cuddly toy in Tenby ...... Posted by Hello
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The lovely harbour at Tenby. Most of the houses are painted in pastel shades, so the effect is very striking ! The remains of the castle are on the hill, and the old and modern lifeboat stations are visible on the left. Posted by Hello
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Prayers

I just want to add that I lit candles and prayed for all of you at the ancient priory church of St Illtyd :-)
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At low tide, the boats which ferry visitors to and from the island cannot reach the harbour quay, so there is an amphibious vehicle which goes from the beach into the sea so people can reach the boat and vice versa. The sea was up to the very high wheel arches in this photo. It was great fun ! Posted by Hello
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St David`s Church, which is the parish church of the island. It dates back to 14th century but was heavily restored in Victorian times. It is also the final resting place of monks and islanders alike. Posted by Hello
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Another view of the monastery. Posted by Hello
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The public viewing gallery in the monastery church. Posted by Hello
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The interior of the monastic church, from the public viewing gallery. Posted by Hello
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The main RC modern monastery buildings in the village centre. Posted by Hello
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The girls and I at the tiny shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham, in the village. Posted by Hello
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Another view of the old priory church of St Illtyd. The small church spire is actually leaning; it is 40 inches out of perpendicular but I couldn`t get a good photo of the lean. The church and monastic buildings were heavily fortified as the island did get raided by vikings and pirates in its early history..... Posted by Hello
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Walking downhill from the lighthouse, back towards the village. Tenby is visible across the sea ! Posted by Hello
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Caldey Island Lighthouse. Posted by Hello
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The right-hand door where my girls are is the door into the church. The left-hand door leads into the old monastic buildings, which are surprisingly complete. Posted by Hello
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Westward view of the church. Posted by Hello
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Stained glass window of St Illtyd, designed and made on the island by Dom Theodore Bailey in the 1920s. Posted by Hello
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Door from the church leading into the Priory buldings. There were lots of carvings around the door frame, but even with a flash, I couldn`t get a good picture. A face of an angel is visible above the door, though. Posted by Hello
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The altar in the Old Priory church of St Illtyd. Posted by Hello
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Tame ducks at the tea-room garden, begging for food ! Posted by Hello
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On Caldey beach, looking back at the mainland. Tenby town is clearly visible. Posted by Hello
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Caldey

There are no Orthodox churches in Tenby, but on the lovely island of Caldey, just off the coast of Tenby, there is a Monastery.

Caldey has been inhabited since Stone age times, and artefacts and human remains have been found from this period. In the small museum on the island, you can even see the pelvis from a woolly Rhino, which DD3 thought was wonderful, LOL.

There have been monks on Caldey from ancient celtic days, and there was a renowned monastery on the island flourishing in the 6century AD which had close connections with the monastery of St Illtyd in Llantwit Major.

St Samson was the second Abbot of Caldey monastery and is regarded as the island`s patron saint. Other saints closely associated with the monastery are :-
St David himself, d 600 AD, Feast March 1st

St Paul of Leon who went from Caldey to become a missionary in Brittany and founded a monastery there on the island of Ouessant. D 575AD, Feast March 12

St Gildas the Wise d 570 , Feast 29 Jan

St Brieux (Brioc, Brieuc) died c 510. He was educated by St German of Auxerre, and later moved to Brittany where he founded two abbeys, one at Trequier and the other at St Brieuc.
Feast May 1st.

St Malo, who eventually migrated to Brittany and became first bishop of Aleth (now St Malo).
D 640 AD, feast November 15th.

With the 16th century Dissoution of the monasteries, Caldey also suffered and fell into disrepair. A new monastery was built in the early 1900s and the original Anglican monks became RC. The new monastery is currently owned by the Cistercian Order, who in fact own the entire island :-)

No cars are allowed on the island, but you do occasionally see people whizzing round on sit-on lawnmowers, which is hilarious.
The island is so peaceful it is impossible to describe.

There are lay people on the island who help the monks; there is a tea-room, a post-office and museum, a gift shop, a perfumery where fragrances are made from the wild island flowers by the monks.
There is even a tiny chocolate factory, which produces 800-1000 bars of chocolate each day, run by a lovely man named Frank.
Any money made by these activities goes to pay the bills of the monastery and any surplus is then donated to charity.
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Part of the long series of limestone kilns at the holiday park. Posted by Hello
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Part of our palace for the week :-) Posted by Hello
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The Holiday !

Just for the record, I will say upfront that never, ever again will I agree to go on holiday in Holy Week.
I was grumpy at missing the services and I am not doing it again.
Despite that, we did have a good time.

We stayed at a very popular caravan park in Tenby called Kiln Park. It was the site of an old series of limestone kilns, hence the name. When the site became a caravan park, they kept the kilns :-)

After check-in, we drove to the pitch marked on the map.
Jaws dropped.
The map was re-checked by DH and myself, and we looked at each other and said "No, ours must be the caravan behind this one........"

It was a veritable palace !
Thirty-seven feet long, twelve feet wide and it had central heating !!
I kid you not, this caravan had 3 radiators and a living flame effect gas fire in the living/dining area, and all three of the bedrooms had radiators. Even the bathroom had a huge heated towel rail. Wow.
The hardships of the Fast ended right there.
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Paschal Greetings

Just want to wish you all a joyful and blessed Pascha...

Christ is risen !


He is Risen indeed ! Alleluia !
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