The Eve of St Mary Magdalene at All Saints Church. A choir came a couple of years ago to try out a new Mass Setting composed by Ellen Toomé of Hellifield. This time an expanded choir, the St Aidan’s Singers, came to sing it again. We had all learned a little more, for the whole service flowed beautifully – after all, a Latin Mass is not easy for those unfamiliar with the language and timing.
Our preacher was Bishop Colin Buchanan, assistant bishop of Bradford and the leading Anglican liturgist. A lovely robust sermon, from one not favourable to the liturgy in Latin, but full of evangelical enthusiasm. What a great man Bishop Colin is: he passionately disagrees with such parishes as ours, and yet he comes to share his insights with unaffected warmth. If there were more bishops and teachers like him, truly the Church of England would be as inclusive and comprehensive as it likes to hope it might be.
One anecdote he told, about a colleague at St John’s College Nottingham who used to celebrate a medieval Latin Mass for the ordinands once a year. ‘If they don’t understand the Latin, it will make them long for the Reformation. If they do understand the Latin, it will make them long for the Reformation.’ Touché.
And then a fine spread of food and wine in the hall as Broughton is known for. A great evening.