Saturday, July 3, 2010

Learning to Live in England, Part 12

Saturday, June 26

There was a festival in the park today. It was billed as 'Park Praise Fun Day in Coronation Park' and was sponsored by all the local churches. There were dozens of pavillions, most of them totally boring, and there was face-painting for the children. There were puppet shows and Christian bands and speakers.

We went with Julia and David. However, apart from their meeting several old friends and our meeting two new ones, the whole thing was of little interest, and quite preachy, too. Plus, I, for one, can only take 'Christian bands' for so long.

So we took David and Julia home for dinner.

Dinner wasn't all that successful, either. The porkchops were overdone. Potatoes were delish. David doesn't like mushrooms. The lemon bars were wonderful. Except that they were intended to be a cheesecake.

Next time! Next time will be much better.

James and Kim were in our area with another young couple with whom they are very good friends, so they all dropped by for a few minutes, just to say hello, which was very kind of them.

So we did enjoy the company, at any rate.

Sunday, June 27

Another scrub, in search of another Orthodox Church. It was misunderstanding upon misunderstanding. The lady Demetrios had telephoned for directions said take the bus to the Preston station, then take a number 111 bus to the Seven Stars Pub ('Everybody knows it!') and the church was visible from there.

What we didn't realize when we decided to splurge and take a cab instead (thereby arriving more nearly on time, so went the theory), is that the church is not actually in Preston. I could have sworn (in fact, I did swear) the computer had said, 'Holy Apostles Church, Preston' but not so.

The cabbie phoned his dispatcher for directions and typed what was thought to be the correct postal code into his GPS sat system, and the voice on the gadget told us where to turn. When we came to the final 'Turn left!', however, there was no street there. No way to turn left. Nobody we asked knew any Seven Stars Pub, except one old drunk who swore it was not in Preston but in Leyland, which was correct as it turns out, but we didn't believe him.  (Note to self:  Always trust a drunk when it comes to locations of famous pubs.)  The church was in Preston! So around 12:30 we gave up because the cab fare was becoming inordinate, and we wandered around downtown Preston.

Presently, we found a bus marked '111,' so we took it and asked the driver to set us down at the Seven Stars Pub, and he nodded.  At least we would find the church for future reference.

The driver did set us down at the pub. In Leyland. 'OLD ORIGINAL SEVEN STARS PUB', the sign proclaimed. We stood on the corner of it. We walked around it, looking for a church visible from there.

And that's when we discovered the 'Seven Stars Pub' on the corner diagonally across. So we walked over there and looked around.

So make a very long story a bit shorter, the Church of the Holy Apostles is indeed visible from the (non-original) pub, but only if you know what you're looking for. There's no spire or dome and no obvious anything to let you know, from that distance, it's a church. We arrived around 2 p.m. !!!

Once we got over feeling dispirited, angry, and wishing to blame each other, we actually had a good time, back in Preston. Found a little eatery and sat outside enjoying lunch before heading home, where I collapsed onto the bed and cried a while.

Our enemy doesn't seem to mind a bit if we play Anglican, but seems determined to keep us from any Orthodox church!

Demetrios liked Evensong at the Liverpool Cathedral and wants to go back, but to be frank, I went there as a tourist and I've already been there, done that.


Anonymous said...


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Anonymous said...

It takes all kinds to make a world.............................................................

Bb said...

A friend and I joke about the pub names near the Leyland parish. There is indeed the Seven Stars pub, and diagonally opposite is the Old Original Seven Stars. My friend from that parish once joked that he hopes to open his own pub: the One , True, Holy Orthodox Seven Stars.

I've been there a few times and know the readers well, although one is long-term temporarily transplanted to Malaysia. The music there is superb, but then if it will be led by Oxford-trained professional musicians, that will be the result. :-)

Holy Apostles' was a Primitive Methodist church before it was absorbed into the new Methodist Church, and it retained some of those customs, which is why the building is so plain and non-descript from the outside. When I first went, they were worshipping in the adjoining hall still because the church was set out more for preaching than worship. It was a very traditional Methodist preaching house, complete with the sloping floor.

The community has done a marvellous job with it.