Today we welcomed our Bournemouth Ordinariate Group to lunch; quite a squeeze to get us all in - all but about half a dozen managed to join us - and a very merry pre-Lent it turned out. Jane had excelled herself; not just three main hot dishes, and three different home-made ice-creams, but even one vegan meal and one non-dairy. She has been preparing this for a week, the freezer was bursting, there were dishes everywhere. But everyone seemed to enjoy it.
We spilled out into the conservatory and despite the wintry weather kept warm - two heaters had been on since first light. If the Group grows much bigger we shall only be able to host summer events in the garden but by pressing every chair into service and having a few camping seats brought along we managed.
Somehow word had got out about a birthday, so there was a certain amount of noisy singing - we shall have to pacify the neighbours this week. In fact they never complain, and seem to enjoy the comings and goings of a pseudo-prebytery. When all but a handful had left, seven of us watched the end of the six nations Rugby, and had the satisfaction of watching England beat Ireland- though now that we are Catholics maybe we should feel divided loyalties on such an occasion?
After today we shall batten down the hatches, and enter Lent. We are hoping to have a quiet Day at the Dominican Sister's house in Sway on Saturday 23rd, and there will be Stations at 9.45 on Wednesdays beginning on 20th, before our mid-week Mass. This year our Parish Priest has asked the Group to look after the evening Mass on Ash Wednesday, and our musicians are getting to grips with the Lent Prose. After today's meal I feel a little like Elijah, who went in the strength of that food for forty days.