Rector's Ramblings - March 2015

Here’s the sequel to the article I wrote for last month’s magazine – Desert Island Discs Part 2.

My fifth choice of music for my desert island would be Beethoven’s Ode to Joy from his ninth symphony. It is usually sung by a choir but John and I had this wonderful piece of music played on the organ at the end of our wedding. My sister Sue got married to David the year before us in Trinity College chapel in Cambridge and chose this piece of music for their wedding. John and I loved it and decided to copy them.

Choices six and seven are related to our daughter, Katie. When Katie was little she had a tape of music from the 1950s and 60s that she loved to play – over and over again! Her favourite was “Walking back to Happiness” by Helen Shapiro, so that always reminds me of Katie as a little girl. When she was 18 we had a big birthday party for her at home. It was one of those unsophisticated parties with games like Twister and Pass the Parcel, and jelly and ice cream to eat – Katie’s choice! One of the songs that Katie and her friends liked was “99 Red Balloons” by Nena. It was hardly appropriate for a party because it’s an anti- war protest song, but it has a lively tune and I have a lovely mental image of them all singing along to it.

My Desert Island Discs wouldn’t be complete without some hymns, but I have so many favourites that it’s difficult to limit myself to just one. My favourite hymn is “Love divine, all loves excelling”, but it has to be sung to the Welsh tune Blaenwern. When John and I got married we had an arrangement that each of us would choose one hymn and then we would choose one together. This was the only part of the wedding arrangements that John showed any enthusiasm for! “Love divine” was actually his choice. Many years later when I went to Westcott House in Cambridge to train for ordination I used to choose “Love Divine” regularly for any service that I was involved in planning. My friends used to say that they knew I was leading Morning Prayer when they saw that the hymn for the day was “Love Divine”. The words sum up the basis of my faith – that God is love and loved us so much that he sent his Son to die and rise again for us.

On the desert island I am allowed to take a copy of the Bible and the complete works of Shakespeare. I’m pleased about that because it will allow me to get to grips with all the more obscure parts of the Bible that I have never really studied. I love the plays and sonnets of Shakespeare; reading the plays will remind me of some excellent trips to the theatre in Stratford. The other book that I take with me will be “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen; it is a perceptive story of people and society. My luxury item will be a large box of needlework supplies because I hope to have plenty of leisure time to develop my skills. Who knows – I may invent a new embroidery stitch inspired by the exotic environment.

I don’t think that I would enjoy being on the desert island for too long. I would miss my family and friends – and the chance to have a good chat with someone. So, please come and rescue me soon!