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Sunday, 27 November 2016

A Memory of Advent, 1984

I've probably blogged on this before. But don't care.

It was the Brasenose College Advent Carol service, 1984. A weird, Oxford affair. Hymns included the sublime "Adam Lay Y-Bounden" and the frankly odd "Teach me, my God and King." Readers of this blog will know that I'm not a big fan of George Herbert.

In the midst of the collection, somebody with classic 80s big hair tried to balance a service sheet, hymn book, candle, offering bag, and money to put in the offertory. Too much for anyone. Her hair went up in smoke and she ran out screaming.

I forget who that was. But I remember who ran out after her, to comfort her. It was Debbie Hughes - later Peatman. In the world of church, it's often easy to think that the smooth running of the institution, the performance of the liturgy, the need to show that everything is lovely on the surface is all that matters. When actually it's always the people.

Our Bible Clerk knew that people are more important than anything else. She was right. She is missed. I will remember her every year on Advent Sunday. How could you not? God bless you, Debbie. And all those - especially your family - who miss you.

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