(Welcome to any newcomers, following links from either the Hermeneutic of Continuity or Catholic and Loving It. Further details about Benedict XVI House can be found in our very first post.)
So it’s finally happening! We’ve all been getting excited this morning watching the BBC coverage. Lovely scenes from ‘Edinburg’ – especially the seemingly impromptu meeting with the schoolchildren at the Archbishop’s House – and we were pleased to see that the College’s (Scottish) chaplain has been roped in as a pundit.
The real excitement for us, of course, will be tomorrow morning. SMUC is hosting three events – a meeting with religious in the chapel; the Big Assembly with several thousand schoolchildren out on our running track; and the ‘Faiths Working Together’ summit with non-Christian faith leaders and public figures (I’m told the first event of his kind to ever happen on a Papal Visit). Two of the community are involved as volunteers – myself helping with the interfaith event, and Catholic with Attitude (who did some sterling work on the radio this morning too) at the Big Assembly. One will be watching from across the road (the exit Benedict’ll be leaving from is in sight of the House). And one, unfortunately, has to be in Oxford for most of the day.
This is certainly the biggest thing ever to happen here, and preparations have been intense. Walking around campus today, things seem to be all coming together… no doubt everything will be set for the festivities tomorrow. (We have lots of photos, which I'm hoping to add in an edit later on.)
Speaking of preparations and festivities, Benedict XVI House is hosting a post-Papal Visit afternoon tea party, for various of our friends who are around tomorrow. Various jams, banana bread and a couple of Jamaica cakes are already done; a lemon polenta cake and some lemon curd are the tasks for tonight; and a mountain of scones will be baked in the morning (heroically by someone who won’t even be around to eat them). Praying lauds on Wednesday morning, I was struck by the intercession: 'May we bring joy to our homes, to our work, and to all whom we meet'. Cake and scones have a genuine role to play here, I think...