Yesterday evening I led a joint meeting of our Parish Councils. We were discussing nothing less than the future direction of our 3 Churches, and in particular the developing relationship between them. I'll be saying much more about that in coming weeks. I'll just say here that it went very well, and the atmosphere was very optimistic and practical. Our people are wonderful, and as I often say, I am sure that the future of the Church is safe. As long as it's not left to the clergy!
Meanwhile I had a few things to do in town today, so I took the opportunity to have a wander and see how things are doing in the city centre, something I don't do very often. Good ol' Queen Street rolls on as ever, but, oh dear, it seems to me that some other parts are sort of slipping. I cut through the Queens Arcade, for example, to find it, well, heading towards running down. Even the older part of St David's (Centre) to me doesn't look as good as it used to. I ask myself whether everything been sacrificed on the altar of the extension to St David's and devotion to the Blessed John Lewis?
I'm fascinated by customer service, spurred on by Mary what's-her-name on the telly. Treatment at the Queen Street branch of my bank, Barclays, was excellent, just the right balance of helpfulness without the gushing. St Davids eateries looked heaving, so I headed over to the Shop-formerly-known-as-Howells via Waterstones. I discovered some old book vouchers in a drawer, and bought something on Provence, goal of our September Pilgrimage this year, with helpful assistant making the experience a good one. The restaurant at the Shop-formerly-known-as is usually quietish, and I hadn't been there for ages. Food was, er, OK, but at least lots of smiles were in evidence. I was heading off to my next bit of business when I was distracted by the presence of an in-store Caffe Nero, whose cappuccino turned out to be the culinary highpoint of the day. The two serving were both very good - a young chap who called every male "man" in that sort of pretend-American which he pulled off well, and a girl of indeterminate European background who was also efficient and friendly. Caffe Nero also opens onto Trinity Street. Fr M approves.