July 2011

The Reader Reports...

Dear Friends,

My apologies to William for this letter arriving rather later than it should have, but I have only just returned from holiday. My holiday began with just over a week in our holiday home in Normandy which we own jointly with some friends. It is in one of the most beautiful areas of northern France known as the Suisse Normande since its hilly and wooded nature gives it the feel of Switzerland.

The house is an old farm house in about an acre of land, on the edge of a village, but at the end of the lane leading to the house is the village church dedicated to St. Laurence and dating back to the 12th Century. Sadly, the church is no longer used for regular services, but only for the occasional wedding or funeral. There is also usually a short said Mass on the feast of St. Laurence 10th August. Although rarely used, the church has recently undergone some major repairs and is in reasonably good condition. It is also kept open at most times throughout the year, and provides a very peaceful place for prayer or meditation or perhaps just a place to shelter from the rain for the many walkers and other tourists who enjoy this most peaceful part of France!!

Upon making some enquiries, I discovered that St. Laurence is the Patron Saint of cooks. This seems to be attributable to the slow and painful death he suffered, being roasted alive on a gridiron. The reason given for Laurence’s martyrdom is that when the prefect of Rome demanded that Laurence should hand over the Churches treasure, Laurence gathered together the City’s poor and suffering and presented them to the Prefect with the words “here is the Churches’ treasure”

Looking back to before my holiday, I must take this opportunity to express my thanks to all those who took part in and attended the Choral Evensong at Christchurch Freemantle on 26th June. It was a truly wonderful occasion and one which I hope we may be able to repeat from time to time.

Kind regards and best wishes to you all.

Malcolm Harper