Sunday, 16 October 2011

Friends, fellowship and getting older

  I spent yesterday in Birmingham with a group  of Christian friends. At our last meeting in Birmingham we went for a time of prayer at St Martin's in the Bullring, this time we went to Birmingham City Cathedral. The signs outside and on the website says it is "celebrating Christ in the city" and the Cathedral - a beautiful building- certainly is surrounded by large modern office blocks and is right next to a busy road. There is a sense of past and present, of old traditions and modern life, and of  thriving, active bustling life alongside the small oasis of calm and beauty evoked by the Cathedral building and its peaceful grounds.
 After our time in the Cathedral and a meal, we walked around the canal area. It was a beautiful bright October day and the area really showed to advantage with the  colourful barges, the sunshine on the water, and and groups of people sitting out in front of restaurants and cafes. We ended up at a cafe and by the time we left the light was fading and the waterfront was lit up, a pretty sight with the lights reflected in the water.
The day out seemed just right for this weekend as next week I turn forty five, an age when you really can't deny that you are getting older and when you do reflect on where you are in life and what you value. It was a good day, a day of good conversations and fellowship, something like a gift to be kept and treasured in amongst all the bustle and activity of life.
Young girl in a balloon hat. There was quite a holiday feel down by the waterfront


  1. Which cathedral? My memory of St Philip's (Anglican) is that it is surrounded by Victorian buildings... But it is several years since I last visited.

    The RC Cathedral is by Pugin - a neo-Gothic brick building if I remember rightly...

    Did you visit Newman's Oratory? I sometimes go there for the sung Sunday High Mass (in Latin and in plainsong) when I am visiting a friend of mine who lives in Aston.

    The canal area is lovely. Last year I was attending a conference at Birmingham Uni and stayed in Edgbaston and made my way to and from the conference along the canal every morning. It was a lovely walk - much nicer than the tube!

    Peter Denshaw

  2. Glad you enjoyed it Sue. St Philips is lovely, especially the Burne Jones glass.
    The grounds were my hiding place when I bunked off school in my teens.
    Birmingham is indeed a strange mix, but all the more interesting for that.
    Do not fear 45 young lady, it isn't even half-way!

  3. Hi Peter, yes it was St Philip's. I suppose we could go to the other one next time since we seem to be working our way around the various churches. I've never been to Newman's Oratory.
    Next time we're going I will check if you are visiting your friend. It would be nice to meet up.

  4. Hi Ray, I didn't know you grew up in Birmingham. I'm not so terribly afraid of 45 really - I shall take it in my stride:)