The weekend kicked off on Saturday 30th of June with a gathering in the Church Hall for the return of the Friends of St George’s quiz night. Sixty of us, in teams of up to six, joined Simon and Jenny, our quiz masters, for a couple of hours of competition to find out who were the nerdiest of them all (I mean most knowledgeable, of course!).

There was a picture round of celebrities (not all from the 21st Century!), a map of Europe (would you know where to place Albania?), music clips to listen to (and identify the song and the singer) and many more such delights to tease our collective memory.

Alas, my team “Coming Home”, a nod to you know what, did not win but we weren’t last! But we did not mind much as we all agreed that it was another enjoyable evening, well organised by Barbra (who sourced the delicious pies from The Rise and Shine Bakery, Walker, for the supper of Pie and Peas), served with such panache by the kitchen staff (aka Hilary, Margaret and Barbra-and me, Sylvia!) and, as always, with so much thought and preparation by the quiz masters. And we did good for the cause: the profit from the sale of tickets and the raffle came to £729.80, to be shared equally between Friends of St George’s (Diary of Events: http://stgeorgesjesmond.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Friends-Programme-April-2018-February-2019.pdf) and Macmillan Cancer Support (https://www.macmillan.org.uk/).

And on to Sunday 1st July! At Choral Evensong we welcomed Revd. Stephanie Keates to the clergy team of St George’s and St Hilda’s. Stephanie was ordained Deacon, the day before, at St Nicholas’s Cathedral. The Clergy, all four of them including Stephanie, had their academic colours on their hoods, which contributed to the colourfulness of the occasion. The Vicar, Revd Canon Brian Hurst, welcomed Stephanie who then had to read out the “terms and conditions” of being Deacon. I am sure her family and friends, who were there to witness this, were full of pride and joy at seeing her installed with much fuss and good will towards her.

The congregation clapped enthusiastically to show their appreciation of her commitment to support them in their Christian worship, the choir sang beautifully and Revd. Chris Wardale gave a thoughtful sermon on the commitment Stephanie was making to us and we to her, delivered in his characteristic, humorous style.

Afterwards, we went across to the Church Hall to continue the celebrations, to chat over delicious bring-and-share food and wine. We had a chance to speak to Stephanie and her family and friends. It will be hard for her to remember our names but she has two years to get it right!

Stephanie will be giving her first sermon at St George’s Church on 22nd July. Do come and join me and the others and be prepared to be uplifted by the prayers, the beauty of the Church and the wonderful music (http://stgeorgesjesmond.org.uk/church-life/worship/). And afterwards, there is tea and coffee in the hall when you can meet some of the above!