A busy day yesterday! Celebrated the Eucharist at 10am, having been in the office from 8 doing service sheets. Then by car to Dalamahoy to collect a rather nice High Mass set from Deryck Collingwood at St Mary's and into Edinburgh to collect the Archbishop of Burma and his wife. The traffic was simply awful and I was a very frazzled bunny by the time I got to the Synod office to eat a pork pie with the great and the good. Loaded Archbishop Stephen and his wife Nan into the car and drove them and Eileen Thompson from Livingston Ecumenical to sunny Falkirk. We went for a wee sail on the Falkirk Wheel and then had fish and chips at Benny T's (as recommended by Tam Cowan off the telly). We then had an almost High Mass in the Presence of a Greater Prelate in Christ Church - Blue Book, Roxburgh Setting, westward facing, incense, all hymns from Common Ground. I celebrated, Eileen Deaconed and the Archbishop sat in my stall, wearing our smallest Cope and preached, absolved and blessed. Then a bun fight in the hall and back to their lodgings in Aberdour.
Really hearing at 1st hand the situation facing the Church in Burma was deeply moving. The scale of the damage and destruction caused by the cyclone was something else. One village of 200 reduced to 20 people and most of the bodies never recovered. The Church sending teams of medics, workers and priests to help out in the Delta. Archbishop Stephen spoke of their establishing a boarding house to looked after youngsters and get them through school and training, taking in kids from every faith. That is a project I for one will gladly jump out of a plane to support. Right. Kenny - are you up for doing this for Burma and the Gambia?
The Archbishop also gave Eileen and I crosses made of mahogany with symbols cut out of them - a tear and two waves to symbolise the suffering of the Church in Burma through the cyclone. That is a gift i will treasure.