For a number of years I have attended the Eric Symes Abbott memorial lecture at Westminster Abbey. Distinguished speakers talk on a wide variety of subjects and I do my best to follow their arguments while my husband makes notes which may find their way into a later sermon. This year it was Professor Roger Scruton’s turn.
Having heard him on “A point of view” on Radio 4, I was interested to discover that he is definitely Anglican of the more catholic variety. The lecture was available in print form immediately after the lecture and I am happy to lend my copy to anyone who is interested since it ranges from purity, through birth, sex, death, sacrifice, revenge and communion. He finished with the desire for something sacred and apart from the madness of the present world.
Entrance to the Abbey had been slightly delayed because it was Corpus Christi and a Choral Evensong had taken place with incense which I hadn’t smelt at the Abbey before. Not having attended, I do not know how the glass lozenge we later saw placed on the High Altar had been involved – but this contained part of Thomas a Becket’s elbow which has been on tour from its usual resting place in Hungary.
Visiting Westminster Abbey is always special and especially after normal hours and on a fine evening when light shines through the stained glass and I could sit and absorb the atmosphere and notice incongruous things like a child’s scooter propped up against the nave pulpit (I came to the conclusion that a childminder could not be found for a couple who wanted to attend and the child was as good as gold) which gave a touch of the ordinary and domestic.
Next year it’s Salley Vickers (author of Miss Garnet’s Angel) on “Faith and the Novel”.