northernvicarwalks November 2020

We were running a safe service in each church every Sunday, but were told on the evening of Saturday 31 October that Sunday 1 November would be the last service for several weeks. Apparently the announcement came as a surprise to the Archbishops as well. Good to know that State still talks to Church. Remembrance Sunday was difficult – clear instructions from the City and the Director of Public Health that we must not meet at War Memorials. The Government gave one message about standing on our doorsteps, but also issued instructions that small groups could meet together and even sing (which has been banned since March). So I ended up caught in the middle.

A Hall user in Darley Abbey caught this stunning view of St Matthew’s. On Wednesday 11 November I married Matt and Nicole – it had to be moved forward as Lockdown stops weddings from Thursday and they were due to marry on Saturday. They both work in schools, so I married them at 4.30, and they were back at work the following day.

We managed regular walks – including a lovely one down the old Great Northern line from Breadsall. Julie wanted her own logo.

Tuesday 17 November was the 40th anniversary of our first (almost-) date. I tried to organise an outing to see “Macbeth” at the Arts Theatre in Cambridge. My diary says “only Julie Brown came.” As I fell in love with a Coventry girl, we marked the 80th anniversary of the bombing of the City with a History Festival of our own – it’s amazing what you can watch on youtube. Pathe film of the consecration of the Cathedral included the wonderful line for the Bishop of Coventry “The everlasting plenitude of thy sanctifying power”. In 1962 Church told the State how to behave.

2020 is the 1,000 anniversary of the founding of the Abbey of Bury St Edmunds, and on Saturday 28 November Dr Richard Hoggett gave a lecture on “The Abbey, the Antiquaries and the Archaeology”. We enjoyed watching it, but there are times it would be nice to be back. A lovely Edmund rose – roses still flowering in November.

Advent Sunday on Zoom is not the same as in reality – but 60 people joined us for the service from my study. The following day, the final day of the month, I ended a ten week course on “The Reformation in Ten Books”. University of York Continuing Learning, taught (superbly) by Francesca Cioni. It is one of the things that has kept me sane this term. I walked 40 miles this month, so it’s 476 at the end of November. I continued to do a Facebook Ramble every day.

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