To be a Pilgrim!

Several members of St John’s with St Mary’s went up to Nottingham to see Tom Gillum, our previous vicar, installed as vicar of St Mary’s, Pavement in Nottingham. Dave Maclure writes…

On Sunday 18th March at 4pm, we joined a large crowd in a vast church (basically, a cathedral!) in the Lace Market area of central Nottingham to see Tom installed as vicar. A robed, processing choir sang beautiful songs in the service and the congregation finished with a rousing rendition of “To be a Pilgrim.”

Tom joins a list of incumbents at the church stretching back to the 11th Century. Robin Hood is rumoured to have once been caught by the Sheriff while trying to receive mass at St Mary’s. The church is the main civic church in Nottingham and so Tom’s team will host a number of important public events such as Remembrance Day services, schools events or significant funerals etc. The church is also close to the student quarter, and Tom hopes the church’s ministry can open up in creative ways to young people in the city.

After the service and the plentiful supplies of tea and cake, some of us were able to see Tom and Jo’s new home not far from the church. There they generously hosted us for a supper and plenty of great time catching up.

Getting back to London did not prove to be so much fun for some of us. Due to the snowy weather, some had been unable to travel to Nottingham at all. Those of us who made it up found ourselves competing in a “slow race” home back to London. Gareth and Nicole Hanekom sensibly stayed the night in Nottingham and came back by coach the next day. David and Rachel Michael got stuck on a train for an hour and missed their connection, arriving at their destination in the early hours of Monday morning. I, in my car, along with Mary Manthey, Gayle Farrell and Henrietta Manserray had a flat tire (fixed), followed immediately by another on the southbound M1. Once we were off the road on the hard shoulder, the car’s battery promptly died. The ladies were in good spirits, however, with plenty of stories, laughs, wisdom, prayer and even a rendition of “To be a Pilgrim!” to get us through the freezing wait. The roadside rescue got us home for 3.30am. It made for a sleepy, exhausting start to the week – but it was well worth it.