Saturday 28th of May was a very special day. After much preparation and organisation (a lot thanks to Lauren), the FSSP Parish Excursion to London got underway.
It was great to see five of our core members on the trip, and those that could not make it were missed, but what an amazing day. I'm not quite sure how many attended, so correct me if I'm wrong but I thought in the region of 40, which is a great turn out.
The first port of call was the Wallace Collection, which I was very impressed by. The art tour by Father de Malleray was fascinating and his insight, profound, and to see so many of the children from the parish joining in answering questions, was a delight to warm any heart.
From the Wallace Collection, we walked across town to Marble Arch and the famous Tyburn Convent where we had a little time in Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, followed by a tour of the Martyrs Crypt below the chapel. It was inspiring, and challenging, to see the relics of some of the men and women who gave their lives to witness to the Truth of the Catholic Faith.
From Tyburn we went our separate ways to have lunch, some for picnic in the park, some for more hospitable surroundings. Throughout there was a wonderful spirit of fellowship and joy.
We then returned to St James Spanish Place, in preparation for the first Solemn High Mass of Father McCarthy, which was the zenith and purpose of our visit to London. And it did not let us down, with Byrds Mass for Three Voices, it was as though we were transported into bliss. If anyone could have looked around, it is quite possible that they would have seen a lot of awed faces. The Liturgy was indescribably beautiful.
After Mass Father McCarthy gave his first blessings and we had a huge celebratory buffet downstairs. Mingling with newcomers, old familiar faces and our many dear fellow parishioners of St William of York made the finale to the day very special indeed.
After all was done, back on the bus we got, speaking for myself, exhausted, but deeply content and grateful.
Thank You God for Father McCarthy, the FSSP who trained him and have served us here in Reading, to Lauren for coordinating and for all who made that day so special, may we have many more like it!