We're often told not to mix business with pleasure. To some extent it's hard not to when you're working somewhere like that which has a distinctive community feel all of its own - and where there are various talks, exhibitions, concerts and extra-curricular events going on. Of course, it's best to keep the professional and the general interest side separate on such occasions.
That said, I find I'm benefitting greatly from some of these extra-curricular aspects. I attended one of the College's 'Port Talks' the other week and found it really helpful - all about decluttering your email and organising your work priorities.
There's something very holistic about that. Equally, as I'm around on a Monday I've attended the candle-lit Compline service that takes place at 10pm that evening. I do like reflective liturgical services, but I wasn't familiar with the Anglican Compline setting. Where has it been all my life? It's lovely.
|Goodenough College Chapel - simple, dignified, beautiful|
It was easier going the next Monday as there were more chanters on my side of the chapel. Not that it had thrown me the first week, I'm old enough and ugly enough not to be intimidated so easily. And once you get into the swing of it, the chants suggest themselves.
Why don't more places do this? I can see why chant has fallen into disuse, but look what's replaced it? Grim sub-Cold Play power pop and slop.
Ok, ok, there's nothing more boring than a born-again liturgist. But I'm unrepentant. Bring back the chant. We need it. It can do us good.