Dear Companion’s and Friends,
I begin this letter on the Feast of Our Lady of Walsingham – several months after the last one. When I wrote in July the auction, the Fun Day and the Festival weekend were just behind me and I was in General Chapter. I think that the Auction raised more than £27,000. Just behind me, I say but in fact dealing with the backlog of uncollected items and working out of gift aid and other book-work took several weeks and this was followed by the business of Chapter. So when July came to an end I went to Belfast for my annual holiday. For once I was blessed with magnificent weather and I had a wonderful time. It was not exactly a rest for it was quite an energetic holiday. I did a lot of visiting, some cooking, climbing and a lot of running with Orangegrove Athletic Club and training with them at the Mary Peters’ Ground.
Since returning I have been with a group of students on a parish mission to St Wilfred’s and Holy Trinity Bingley. This was a happy occasion and I felt the double privilege of being allowed to serve among such good and friendly people and to be with such an enthusiastic and committed group of men and women from the College of the Resurrection. We had a lot of fun together and we shared our faith with a community of faith in a place where the Gospel has been proclaimed for 150 years.
As I write I am getting ready to go to Walsingham for Guardian’s Chapter and within a week I will be going to Pusey House for an evening where I will show a movie prior to discussing the content with students and friends. (Update – Walsingham past, Pusey this Friday!)
People are already asking if there will be another auction. I am not planning for one and I feel sure that I am not capable of doing another one in the way in which I have in the past neither do I think that anyone else here at the moment has the time to do so. However if you have something that you think would bring in really big money I am willing to listen. There might be other ways of doing an auction. My difficulty has been storage and the strength and energy required to move furniture and heavy objects between four floors and big staircases in HR. So I am willing to take small objects – watches, coins, stamps, Dinky type toys, jewellery and medals. I’m not setting any dates but if there was sufficient interest we could organise something that didn’t leave me in a state of collapse. If ecclesiastical items (not cheap tat) come my way we might organise a mini-auction. If we raise the money for the new buildings then an auction of surplus stuff from HR might be on the cards.
Having mentioned the athletic activities I want to give thanks for the enjoyment that running has brought to me late in my life. I will be 75 in January and I am hoping to mark the beginning of my 76th year with a sponsored 10k run to raise money for the Tariro charity. I am full of admiration for Fr Nicolas and his efforts to bring hope, security and dignity to the young people of his native Zimbabwe. Therefore I look forward with pleasure to using the free gift of my health and strength for the benefit of some whose needs are some much greater than mine. So please pray that my legs will remain ‘swift and beautiful’ for a while longer’ and be prepared to support me. At the moment I am planning to do the run on 26th January on the feast of Timothy and Titus just after the Conversion of St Paul thinking of all his encouragement to be good athletes. We have opened a mydonate page so that people can contribute directly to Tariro – please take a look!
Love to you all