Thursday, 10 December 2009

Marriage and Mary

As some people know, as well as my parish work I have a finger in a few other pies. In particular I head up in Wales that branch of the Church's pastoral work with those who are divorced/remarried etc - the National Tribunal for Wales. The aspect we are best known for is marriage annulments. Without going into the whole explanation of these, I am basically the sort of head judge for making these decisions. (Handy information about our work and annulments can be found on some websites like Shrewsbury diocese here).
Today we had a particularly bulky case to judge. Usually the 3 judges are faced with up to 80 or 100 pages of evidence, but this one had over 150. I'm always a bit edgy on judging days - it's a huge responsibility affecting the rest of people's lives - and I'm equally relieved to get it over with! It was great tonight to switch into a completely different mode and give the repeat of my first Advent Reflection on Our Lady. There were 25 or so there, so with the 20 at Tuesday's group that's a very healthy 45+ The folks are very appreciative, and I love breaking open the scriptures with the people. So, with finishing and emailing my bits of the newsletter and answering various emails and phonecalls, many of them about the forthcoming Carol Service, plus Mass, prayer and the daily routine - a good day!
Here's the unusual painting of the Nativity that I'm showing to everyone this Advent... it's by an American artist Gari Melchers from the 1920s. The colouring has been slightly darkened.

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