Angela Hewitt and Bach’s The Art of the Fugue, Honest Burgers in Brixton, The Fellowship of the Local Church
Last week, we were in the cheap Platform seats at Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, listening to Angela Hewitt on a Fazioli piano. On the menu for the evening, Bach’s Chromatic Fantasia and Fugue in D Minor and Beethoven’s Piano Sonata in A Flat (final notes hanging dramatically in the air),
and after the interval (when they’d brought out an iPad loaded with scores and a wireless transmitter possibly for the page turner backstage? Martin Kettle of the Guardian suggests control-by-foot pedal) Bach’s Art of the Fugue. Masterfully clear playing. Chatting after the concert, it was clear that many appreciated that instead of diva-esque behaviour, she took the trouble to increase overall enjoyment by explaining what she would be doing with the fugues and how they might work.
And then the search for good grub at Brixton, where Honest Burgers at Honest Burgers were suitably juicy and beefy (patties from Ginger Pig) and chips were fresh and hot out of the fryer and well-seasoned with rosemary salt.
Quite a few people from Singapore have asked, in the last few days, how working at the Local Church is going. Thinking over the past week has made me immensely grateful to be part of a church family rich with the maturity of older saints who have been willing to love for us transient folk (who will be of little future use to the Local Church) by investing time and energy in really getting to know us, in sharing their lives (knowing that this relationship will soon end), and in training us:
- Monday and Tuesday were spent at the School, with the after-hours dedicated to frantically writing up talks and bible studies. (Fortunately, one housemate cooked dinner.)
- Wednesday started at 7.20 a.m. with bible study for City workers, followed by a one-to-one session at 9 a.m. on doctrine with someone who has been proclaiming the gospel since the Local Church was only made up of 6 people in the 1960s, followed by a meet-up at 11 a.m. with the Supervisor, then lunch and prayer with the Prayer Partner at 1 p.m., followed again at 2.30 p.m. by a work-through of what godly behaviour might look like (based on Scripture) in different difficult situations with a 70+ year-old with vast experience in leadership politics (both secular and church-y), then a long slot of wine-waitering (and drinking in-between) for a guest event, chatting with other wine waiters.
- Slept in a bit on Thursday, chatted with housemates over a late breakfast, then went to help out that the lunchtime talks for City workers. Continued talking to one of the wine waiters from the previous night, helped a tourist find the tombs he was looking for, cleared up, then found a room to eat sandwiches and read in. Someone came in to chat. And soon, it was time for security duty at the Local Church reception desk. The Outreach Minister came in to print off booklets and, over the noise of the photocopier, we spoke quite honestly about certain challenges in church and training. Then the Rector came in the door fresh from a teaching trip to North America, with some stories to tell. The exhausted Assistant Cook brought us very nice salmon and creamed spinach left-overs from the ongoing guest event, and the Outreach Minister acquired some unwanted sauvignon blanc.
Several people came and left at different times. There was amused approval that the Rector, being most concerned only about whether the gospel was preached faithfully, could happily leave a big week of events to run on their own while he was away, where Rectors with other concerns might have insisted on staying on to micromanage things. Later, the pianist came in having sneakily played Disney princess songs during the event, followed by speaker whom we ribbed gently (who of course pointed out that I was far worse than he in the same areas of weakness). We talked about how brilliant it was that the leadership at the Local Church did not require the Ministers to fit in certain moulds and that they wisely related with each differently, according to their temperament and gifts (or lack thereof in certain areas). Good modelling of an understanding of 1 Corinthians 12?
Somehow, i managed to finish R.C. Sproul’s Chosen by God in the midst of all that. It was a great little book that dealt clearly with the predestination and double predestination. But more of that another time perhaps.
Immensely thankful to God.