From HMV Oxford, a former employer of mine, I bought EMI's latest recording of the Verdi Requiem this week. The Archdeacon of Morgannwg & I agree it is one of the essential desert island discs.
I confessed I was late to breakfast because I had been listening to it; he thought he ought to pass on that I, one of the few the resident evangelical at clergy school, couldn't make it up in the morning without listening to a Requiem first.
Here's the Amazon page, which includes access to excerpts. I first sang this piece when I was 12. I love it as much now as then, and I have to say this version is right up there at the top of the pile - and I really do own a pile of them.
We are allowed to be bigger than the boxes that limit us in our own and each others perceptions. Tomorrow I shall enjoy Richard Wood hoping he can send me texts as Spurs endeavour to score against United; tonight I let Verdi fill my front room with majesty and awe. Sunday I shall be at St Aldate's to hear Simon Ponsonby preach, and to worship in my old church once more as the band plays on loudly; Monday I shall sit by Lake Garda in peaceful Italian sunshine.
And it turned out that Wycliffe wasn't just a place to park my car - as I left, I bumped into Peter Walker, just about the only tutor there now I know. We had a lovely chat. There are opinions and stories about Wycliffe these days, and honestly - I feel for everyone, but it's not my role to be the judge. Peter too started to speak about the situation, but I stopped him, told him it was alright, and that whatever was true or not true was really none of my business. What was my concern was that Wycliffe had given me wonderful tools to handle the Scriptures and to pass them on - the real gifts of being an evangelical in the Anglican church. Great practical academic gifts. Gifts that can challenge the system of evangelicalism when it needs challenging because it isn't being scriptural enough; and as long as the college was not abandonning that in favour of simply teaching the system, the "accepted evangelical way", ultimately I had no questions. If it was losing that edge, then I felt it a shame - because of the riches of what I have been given, and how I am daily able to pass that on to people here.
And I do honestly pray that Wycliffe continues to pass on the gifts I was given; and I suppose I do honestly have doubts - but it is not for me or others like me to pass judgement. Perhaps to express concern; certainly to pray; never to judge.
Goodness I'm becoming mellow in my old age. Though Archbishop Barry might just smile wrily at that thought...