Saturday, 25 November 2017

Festa Caterinae 2017

Like last year, the weather was beautiful for Mid-Day Prayer at the Chapel of St Catherine at Guildford; unlike last year, the congregation included no dogs or under-fives. Earlier on in the day we'd had Mass at Swanvale Halt, and I was as ever hugely grateful for the good souls of the parish who turn out loyally so that I can observe the feast of my patron saint, especially when one was a gentleman who only joined us from the most extremely hard-line Protestant church locally a couple of years ago. There always seem to be six of us present, no matter when the mass is, or what day St Catherine's Day falls on. Next year it's a Sunday; I have a fantasy of saying Mass in the chapel at Abbotsbury, but it may remain no more than that.

The Wheel

In the chapel, Christ's Athene
Holds her wheel
Like a weapon,
Its riveted and silvered blades poised to plunge
And part the millrace of my poor flesh
Like the Red Sea.
‘It wasn’t like that’, she insists,
‘It really wasn’t. Look:
I set it turning, ever-so-gentle -
And all the mute hues of the hills
Are fired by the gold of heaven.’
‘You’re right,’ I say, wide-eyed,
And return down the long hillside to my car
To go on,
Branded with the sign of light.


  1. Have you considered the chapel of St Catherine at Milton Abbas? I think you'd like it.

  2. Oh indeed! I know it well.