Letter from Chris

Westminster College
15 June 2011

Dear Friends

You have all been in my thoughts and prayers this week following the news of the Monday earthquakes. An uncertain and frightening time once again. I do hope St Martin’s people have come through without injuries, or further damage to property.
It is strange and unsettling being so far away. However, I know that you are taking good care of one another.

Sonya sent me some pictures of the Pentecost Sunday service. I was delighted to hear the details and to see the impressive line-up of presenters! Thank you, Lyndsey. People will be looking forward to the Worship Committee’s service this coming Sunday.

Examinations have finished here, and students are having various workshops and seminars while gearing up for final events, as the northern hemisphere academic year draws to a close. Talk is centred on impending results and graduation attire for those who are about to have a Cambridge degree conferred upon them. Dress beneath gowns is very formal – black suits, white shirts or blouses and white bow ties for the men. There are dress inspections and sometimes people are not allowed to be part of the ceremony if they don’t pass muster. I’ve already seen gowned students careering down the street on bicycles – and the graduations haven’t begun yet. Apparently, gowns are usual wear in some of the colleges at their very formal end of year events!

This past weekend I had a wonderful visit to a friend in Dublin. The Holy Faith sisters made me very welcome once again. One or two of them joked about my suitability to be the new leader of the Order! People here at Westminster were a bit bemused that I’d gone to stay in a convent, particularly those who are young and earnest.

On Saturday I had another visit to Trinity College, Dublin, to see the Book of Kells and the magnificent Library. We spent all afternoon, which was a real treat. When I was there in 2000, it was as part of a tour party that was hustled through.

The signs of the Irish recession are very obvious in Dublin, in contrast to the booming years of the early European Union cash injections into the economy.

This coming weekend my brother and I will be in Norfolk. Am looking forward to it as it’s an area I haven’t seen before. Among other things we will visit Sandringham and also manage to fit in a Sunday afternoon Bach concert.

Best wishes to everyone.