A Christmas Message from our Lay Director

Barbara, our Lay Director writes:

Christmas Message from the Lay Director

This time last year we were looking forward to a new year, no masks and with more vaccination the diminishing of the virus. Sadly, the virus won, mutated and here we are in the same position but one year older.

Did we give up, not at all, during 2021 Bill took over planning of the Ultreya’s and with grateful thanks to Jackie Crisp and Leroy, several well attended zoom meetings were arranged and enjoyed throughout the year.  We did manage two physical meetings, one at Banham and the second at Mattishall.   Grateful thanks to Bill for arranging the events.

Remember our Easter Egg painting competition which was won by Peter Bates?

 I had lots of lovely entries and was glad I did not have to pick the winner. (Illustration below)

 We had a change of spiritual director in 2021, and like everything that happens in Norfolk this was not normal; indeed, it was a great surprise to me, Revd Jane, and Canon Steve.  Sadly, Revd Jane was never actually given the rightful thanks for enabling Cursillo to come to Norfolk, finding the right people to gift it to us, finding the leaders it needed and the team to make sure it happened. Without her it would never have been, so Revd Jane as very big thank you from all of us.

Revd Canon Steve Wright joined the team only to go in lock down and be unable to meet anyone, what a start. He brings with him a wonderful sense of humour and enthusiasm and is a very welcome member of our team. I can also report that he attended CLW during October and is now full of new ideas for the future.

During the year a new national president was appointed, Beth Roberts, and Norfolk can claim two firsts in her Cursillo journey. Her first Ultreya was at Banham in July, where we held the meeting outside in the most wonderful sunshine and her first British Anglican Cursillo GB 2021 (National to most of us) at Norwich Cathedral.

Yes, it actually happened, and what a splendid two days we had. Yes, we had spent several years planning, reducing, changing, getting smaller every time Covid raised its head. No large march through the city, no using two different venues, Cathedral only, and then on top of the virus we had to contend with a ‘blessed’ dinosaur who dominated the cathedral and all its staff.  But the Lord conquers all and the event went ahead. You all pulled out the stops providing lots of goodies for the bags and lots of work for Pat Rout. On the Friday evening we held a superb evening meal with entertainment. Jenny Ferns excelled herself and provided an excellent feast, we are so lucky to have her on our team.  Jane and Nick Moore sang and played for us and Canon Precentor Revd Aiden Platten gave us a potted history of the cathedral. During the meal our visitors from all over England, Scotland and Wales were kept busy with a Norfolk quiz, well they had been warned, with the aim of winning a wonderful hamper of goodies provided again by your generous selves.

The on the Saturday we met in the morning to listen to Jeanie give her witness talk about how Cursillo had worked in her life. To sing, and then to hear about Nick Moore’s journey with the Lord as he recovered from a very serious illness and listen to the wonderful song, he had written to celebrate this recovery and thank the NHS. Jenny again provided the lunch time food and the cathedral staff commented on how efficient everything had been. One moment nothing and the next a very efficient group of people set out the tables, laid out the plates of food and it was ready to go.

Another first for us was Helen Riley’s ability to master Eventbrite and make booking for Cursillo 2021 so easy. It enabled everyone to be kept informed of numbers, maps, written directions, meal requirements and car parking instantly. Occasionally the electronic world works in our favour.

I had always promised that Peter Bates could carry the banner for Norwich as it was his fault, we had this journey in the first place. I’m not sure he believed me, but there he was entering the cathedral, walking passed me with our banner, and at that moment I realised all our hard work had paid off and it was over and had been a beautiful success and I found myself having to wipe away tears of relief and pride in my wonderful team. Yes, I was the head, but believe me without my team working as the body the head is nothing. But my feet were definitely called Bill, he walked the routes, visited the cathedral on more than one occasion and was on the phone …. quite often. 

If you did not make the Cursillo GB 2021, you missed a treat, the singing was good enough to make those visiting the dinosaur stop and listen, according to the cathedral verger, so well done all, and the banner parade made the Dippy visitors (read as you will) stop and photograph us instead of a dinosaur.

One of our own, Riaz, joined Cursillo when he first came to Norfolk from Pakistan to take up his position in Middle Winch. Now it’s congratulations on being a made a canon of Norwich cathedral making him Revd Canon Riaz Maubarak.

Pat Rout finished her term of office as Area rep and Jeanie Feneron agreed to take on the roll.

My time has come to an end, and I will be handing over to a new Lay Director at the next Cursillo AGM. So please give some thought to whom you would like to lead you for the next three years.  I want to thank my husband, Roger Harrold, for his continuing work as treasurer, I can assure you all not one penny is ever spent easily, he guards that money as if it was his own. To Andy Johnson for supporting me as secretary, and to the Secretariate for their wisdom and discernment when making decisions.  But most of all thank you all for allowing me this second chance to lead Cursillo, for your wonderful prayers when they were needed, for the lovely comments and emails I have received over the 3 years and for the fellowship and friends I have made.

God bless all and have a wonderful Christmas and New Year.

The winning entry in our Easter Egg painting competition Well done to Peter Bates.

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