One of my illustrious predecessors at Ilford Hospital Chapel of St. Mary and St. Thomas of Canterbury was Dr.W J Sparrow-Simpson who was Chaplain for over 40 years and who wrote the libretto for “The Crucifixion” by Sir John Stainer. So it was with special interest I went to St. Mary’s Church, Ilford on Wednesday when they had a ‘come and sing’. Although the massed choir only had one rehearsal It was a wonderful performance which I thoroughly enjoyed. Ann sang alto.
I received an emergency phone call just as we were sitting down to dinner asking me to celebrate the Mass of the Lord’s Supper etc. at St. Mary’s, Ilford. So eating dinner quickly, rustling up a sermon and getting into the car just before 7.00 p.m. for the drive to Ilford was quite a feat. The servers at St. Mary’s are a wonderful group who know what they are doing and were able to brief me and guide me when I needed to be guided. It was a lovely service, with some first class music culminating in the procession to the Altar of Repose with the Blessed Sacrament for the Watch until midnight. As Ann was serving at St. Augustine’s we couldn’t be together.
This morning began with hosting the Ilford March of Witness at the Hospital Chapel. The MP for Ilford South Mike Gapes and the Mayor and Mayoress of Redbridge attended and joined the March following a brief service in the Chapel. At 12 noon I conducted an hour of prayer, meditations, and silence contemplating the great events of Good Friday. Then it was into the car and a drive to St. Augustine’s to take part in the Liturgy of the Day.