1 March 2011

S David

A great Saint, a great Feast, a great Nation. But S David's day for me will always recall one particular March 1 at Lancing, when my colleague and brother priest lost - happily, only temporarily - the power of utterance.

We had at Lancing a daily Mass, attended on a voluntary basis by anything between half-a-dozen and thirty masters and pupils. We also had a Welsh Methodist Second Master whose innate enthusiasm for everything that went on in Chapel was ... limited. One S David's Day, wearing his daffodil, he was loudly complaining in Common Room about the fact that, in his words, S David's Day had been totally ignored as far as Chapel was concerned. Of course, that 'fact' was no fact; the day hadn't been ignored at all; two chaplains and more than twenty laity had gathered for Mass, had honoured S David, and had prayed for the Principality.

My normally gentle and mild-mannered colleague was rendered wordless with fury. As he said to me when he had recovered the faculty of speech, "Whatever does the bl**dy man think we were doing in Chapel this morning before breakfast ... when he wasn't there?"

But I doubt if it had ever occured to 'Taffy', as the boys used to call the poor old thing, that S David was not an anti-sacramental Methodist minister* but a Catholic priest who offered the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.


*I am not implying that all Methodists are anti-sacramental, or prejudiced against the Catholic Faith. I know a very distinguished Methodist who isn't. But many of us have met one or two who are.


dunstan said...

I remember it well!

Edward Green said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Edward Green said...

I fear that it is Sacramental Anglicans that are rather thin on the ground these days ...