Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Manchester United and Arsenal

Tonight I joined several other Manchester United fans in the gym. It's a good idea to watch football and use the treadmill at the same time. When United scored, several fans shouted their support. It's good to have a 1:0 win but I fear it may not be enough. We will all be back in the gym next week burning calories and biting fingernails. Arsenal will have to score twice.

I'm really looking forward to seeing the Lions tour from the gym during the summer. I should lose a lot of weight.

Tonight was also another Obama night. A hundred days have flown past - difficult days. It seems that the consensus is that he has done well. Obama is certainly popular. I still have the very fondest memories of my American campaigning. They were go0d days.

Trousers in Church

A male friend asked a sensitive question today. Would a certain church be offended if a lady wore trousers during a service? The question gets 10 out of 10 for sensitivity. My guess is that most churches would have been more bothered if he wore a skirt!

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Blessing and Horror

This morning it was a great joy to celebrate the Eucharist in Saint Catherine's Church, Pontypridd before moving on to do two other services in Efail Isaf Chapel.

I didn't do much in the afternoon but this evening I went to see a horror film. It's been a good Sunday all in all and a good weekend going Catholic, home base Anglican and Welsh Independent. The film was good too.

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Saint John Roberts of Trawsfynydd

For someone from Trawsfynydd this was a special day. It was a blessing to join Wales' Catholic community in Saint Teilo's Church in Saint Fagan's folk museum. The mass was said in Welsh and formed part of the celebrations to commemorate Saint John Roberts from Trawsfynydd. He was executed some 400 years ago around the gunpowder plot.

I was told today by a leading Welsh academic with connections with Trawsfynydd that some families in the area didn't mark 5th November because of the local boy's death. I can't remember it ever stopping me though.

I was devastated to hear on returning home that Manchester United were losing 2:0 against Spurs. The eventual 5:2 was brilliant though. We are on the way to being Champions.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

The Pitch

OK! Now I know. Sir Alex did not play some of our best players because of the state of the pitch. We'll have you all back then in Cardiff where there is a proper stadium with a proper pitch.

Again, of course, it could have been all down to Everton being better on the day.

However, on to more important things. I'm looking forward today to seeing how many Welsh players will be in the Lions squad.

Sunday, 19 April 2009


I had a great time today in Porthcawl preaching in the Welsh Chapel. It was a real blessing and encouragement. I needed it.

On returning home I watched Manchester United get kicked out of the FA Cup on penalties. Well done Everton. Resting key players was a big mistake if not an act of arrogance on Manchester United's part. I hope the rest of the season doesn't go the same way.

Thursday, 16 April 2009


Last night, much to my joy as a Manchester United fan, I watched Ronaldo blast a rocket of a goal into the Porto net. It was probably the best distant shot I have ever seen from some 40 yards. Football, for that rare moment, will probably never get better. Last night, it didn't really matter.

Afterwards, I sat down to watch Hillsborough on TV and remembered the pain and injustice of that terrible day in Sheffield in 1989. That day, 96 innocent fans went out to watch a game of football and lost their lives. A good number were very young. Others were old.

Whenever I begin to feel the crush of the crowd during football or rugby games, I think of Hillsborough and remember the painful pictures of the day. On the whole, sporting crowds are innocent things. They are also full of human vulnerability. Those of us who attend and enjoy such events have to trust others who have built and now police stadiums.

We have to believe in the truth of their workmanship and believe that we are safe in their care.

Last night, watching TV after a football match I remembered the pain and anger of the parents and families who wanted a verdict of unlawful killing from the subsequent Hillsboroough inquest rather than the accidental death recorded at the time. In today's Independent I read that the Coroner at the time, Dr Stefan Popper, still believes that they did 'get to the truth of the matter'. That's not thew view of the parents who still crave for some sense of peace and an untold truth.

Whatever the brilliance of football last night, there were other things to think about - far more important things. I pray for peace and for truth.