The Wintry Walk

For a good many years now, the people of St Faith's have marked Palm Sunday, the beginning of Holy Week, with a public walk of witness at the beginning of the morning service.

Once upon a time, we processed behind a donkey, before the beast became unavailable to us. We used to assemble in the grounds of nearby Merchant Taylors' School, before  cutbacks meant that the necessary police escort for crossing the main road likewise was no longer freely provided. Last year saw a mini-procession from the hall, out around the vicarage curtilage and back in to church.

Fr Simon, doubtless accompanied by his faithful hound Poppy, reconnoitred a longer walk up Milton Road, round and back down Kingsway, and declared it fit for purpose for 2013. He could do nothing about the weather, however. On every previous Palm Sunday, it had been fine and sunny, or at least warm. The coldest March for half a century, with frozen snow carpeting the church grounds, tested the mettle of those who made the walk this year.

Those who chose to do so had their palms blessed outside the church door and sought the (relative) warmth of the church, while the intrepid half grasped their palm crosses, followed the incense, the choir and the palm-waving priestly party and gave the inhabitants of two of our parish's streets something to think about before gratefully going in out of the biting cold for the Solemn Mass of Palm Sunday. Poppy did not join  us on the walk, incidentally, but could be heard wailing sadly from the depths of the vicarage while the choir sang their hearts out...

Chris Price

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