Friday, March 28, 2014

Full circle

In about 1980 or 81 I was secretary to the student body of the Aston Training Scheme. We agreed to give our collection at the leavers' service to a particular charity.

When the service, which was held in Chichester Cathedral choir, was over I went and asked a verger, who had removed the offertory, if I could take the money. He simply said 'No' and locked it in the safe. He would enter into no further dialogue and disappeared. Those familiar with the genus vergerus bastardus will be aware that they live in small crevices in cathedral walls and appear at moments when inconvenience is required urgently.

I was young and not fully formed. I was later told that all cathedral collections belong to the cathedral regardless of whether the event doing the collecting is private or public.

I wrote a letter of complaint because the money had been obtained from my fellow students under false pretences. I doubt they would have been so generous if they were supporting the upkeep of a relic rather than a human being. I received no reply.

I am writing this in that same choir of that same cathedral. I had a very nice conversation with a female chaplain who was doing one of her three days a year duty and on the hour recites prayers for visitors. It was her voice, praying for me, I heard when I entered.

So that feels a bit like closure of an old hurt. Never found out what happened to the money. The Aston Training Scheme, a bad idea in the first place, eventually closed and I expect that verger has long since died of bitterness. What goes around...

1 comment:

RuthJ said...

I love it when the present overwrites the past by the grace of God.