Monday, 18 February 2008

London

On Friday I drove back to Kettering after lunch. After dumping the car and packing an "overnight bag", it was on to the railway station to hop on a train London. The occasion was one of the fairly regular meet ups with some of my University friends who had to endure three years of living with me in Sheffield (poor souls!). At Paddington station, I met with Henry and Gemma (who could only stay for an hour or so because she was getting a train to Somerset for the weekend). Then Daniel (now a lawyer in London) turned up at the Pride of Paddington Pub just before Gemma had to leave for her train. Myself, Daniel and Henry then travelled to Oxford Circus and went to a bar there. As ever, it was good to catch up. Here's Henry and Dan enjoying their pints of Peroni:


We were virtually kicked out of this place (as it's one of those few places now that still strictly closes at 11:20pm) and I went back to Paddington with Henry to get a train to his place in the lovely Windsor. I'm lucky enough to visit him fairly often and thoroughly enjoy relaxing in the Royal Borough. I stayed in his brother Ed's room (who is a student in Nottingham) overnight.
In the morning, Henry gave me a lift to Slough station. I had to dash across London and arrived a few minutes late for the SPUC National Executive Committee meeting. The organisation has now moved its headquarters to Stannary Street in Kennington. The building is more spacious to work in and operate from. There were a number of things to discuss during the meeting, including the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill.

We were told that there were no substantial pro-life amendments made to the bill during the report stage and the third reading. SPUC is now asking people to write to their MPs asking them to vote against the bill prior to its introduction in the House of Commons. No date has been set for this yet but it is thought that it will not be until after Easter.

After the meeting, I got the tube to Westminster and walked down Victoria Street to Westminster Cathedral for confession, vespers and the Vigil Mass for Sunday. Upon arrival, there were a lot of people gathered outside in the piazza. A Mass marking the 150th Anniversary of the Apparitions of St Bernadette at Lourdes had just finished. The Sacrament of the Sick was administered during the Mass.

I'm not familiar with the auxiliary bishops of Westminster. Although I know names I'm not too up on the faces. There was a bishop greeting people on the way out and I took a nice photo of him talking to a lady in a wheelchair. Upon a brief inspection of the auxiliaries' profiles on the Diocese of Westminster website, I think it was Bishop Bernard Longley. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

It's not often I get to see a Successor to the Apostles in the flesh so I was pleased to spot the mitre across the piazza.

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