Generally speaking I'm not a great supporter of Bonfire Night, especially since its historical origins are obvious in places like Lewes, East Sussex (where they burn an effigy of the Pope every 5 November). However, our parish primary school held a splendid fireworks display this evening (thankfully without a bonfire or a 'Guy') and, especially since the parish priest is away, I decided to go along.
It was actually quite providential: I chatted with some of our parents, met an organist who agreed to play at our Sunday 'Latin Mass' for the next fortnight (we are lacking our regular organist at present) and had some beers with our excellent headmaster.
The kids enjoyed themselves and mulled wine was offered to the grown ups. However, I'm sure our first parish priest, Fr William Lockhart (whose conversion led Newman to preach his 'Parting of Friends' sermon) would have been bemused that an originally anti-Catholic celebration was being organised by a Catholic school, in the presence of a Catholic priest. How times change!