We celebrated our final streaming of Mass on Thursday evening from the Blessed Sacrament Chapel. With Mass being celebrated with a congregation from this weekend we will continue streaming the 11am Mass each Sunday but this will now take place at the High Altar with the congregation present. This has meant a considerable amount of work with technicians in the building all week running wires, setting up a new camera, and attaching units to link with our live sound system on the sanctuary.
This weekend we are really looking forward to welcoming people back and being able to share Mass with a live congregation instead of saying Mass alone or with a just a streamed group, but we will be faced with fresh challenges. Not least the challenge of streaming live at the high altar and also the uncertainty of planning for the numbers of people that may be attending over the weekend with two of the Masses on Saturday at 4pm and Sunday at 9am not at our normal scheduled times. These times have had to change due to the availability of staff and volunteers to help and be present at the services and to carry out a careful regime of cleaning between each of the celebrations. One of the things I will miss is the facility for having some of our Masses celebrated in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel and in the Crypt Chapel but this will not be possible for some time due to the need for safe distancing and other requirements that are necessary at present. Even though we are a long way from everything being back to normal we are just so happy to be able to offer the facility of public Masses once again. I look forward to meeting many of you who are able to join us at Masses this weekend.
One of the strange and rather unwelcome consequences of the lockdown period for me was, that due to the reduced use of the car, I had a small unwelcome guest taking up residence in the undercarriage. The group UB40 had a hit with the song ‘there’s a rat in my kitchen what am I gonna do?’ well I had the same issue but in the engine of the car. The problem was only discovered when it unfortunately involved costs for me but even more unfortunate for the rat. The first indication was the ominous red warning light when I started up the engine after the car had been unused for three weeks. Obviously it must be the battery, I thought. It wouldn’t take a charge so a new one was ordered online and then fitted. Red light still on! Advice over the phone –‘you need an auto electrician mate!’. One duly came and after some time discovered that a small belt from the alternator, which charges the battery when the engine is running, had been damaged and had come off its attachment. Thankfully having an inquisitive mind he had looked underneath to see what had caused it and there was poor Roland attached to the wheel – the belt having trapped his tail when the engine started which had wrapped around the pulley and caused his demise. Just in case this happens to you be aware that engineers will replace parts and fix things but they don’t remove vermin – that’s your job. The final outcome of all this is that I now have a working vehicle and a personally cleaned and sanitised car with a new resolution to open the bonnet each week and occasionally look under the car. It was all a rather unfortunate case of a ‘tail of a rat in the car.’
Canon Anthony O’Brien