Thursday, 3 May 2012

Music, Muses, a Mitre and Margaret

The choir at St. Margaret's Anglican Episcopal Church, Budapest, with the addition of a Hattatt as its newest member, numbers four. Small, but perfectly formed, as were Apollo and his Muses of Greek legend, what the choir lacks in bodies it surely makes up for in the passionate singing of its individual members.

'Apollo and the Muses' by John Singer Sargent 1856 - 1925

But, on Sunday, 5th. May 2012, chorister members will swell to eight with the addition of the angelic voices of students of the Music Academy on the occasion of the visit to Budapest of The Bishop of Gibraltar and Europe, Right Reverend Geoffrey Rowell. 

The Right Reverend Geoffrey Rowell

The Diocese of Gibraltar in Europe, often abbreviated to the Diocese in Europe, is the 44th. Diocese of the Church of England. Covering 1/6th. of the Earth's landmass, it is the largest Diocese on the planet with 150 clergy serving 270 congregations in over 40 countries. Stretching from Madeira to Vladivostok, and Casablanca to Trondheim, it all seems somewhat far removed from Canterbury. 

So it is with much excitement that Bishop Geoffrey will be welcomed to the tiny Anglican outpost at St. Margaret's which thrives under the guidance of Reverend Dr. Frank Michael Hegedus, affectionately known as Father Frank.

stained glass window: St. Margaret of Scotland in the Chapel of Edinburgh Castle

St. Margaret's takes its name from Margaret of Scotland [1045 - 1093]. Born in Hungary, her father exiled by King Canute, she later returned to the British Isles to become Queen of Scotland after her marriage to King Malcolm III.


St. Margaret's Anglican Episcopal Church, Budapest, with entrance [bottom right]

The Church is housed in the basement of two adjoining sugared almond coloured nineteenth century houses in Almássy tér, a small square in 'downtown' Budapest. Although below ground, the ambience within is far from gloomy. Side windows flood the body of the Church with light, and brilliant white painted walls reflect every captured sunbeam. It is a joyous place, the Vox Humana of choir and congregation filling the air with melodic adagios, allegros,  andantinos, arpeggiandos and alleluias.

Father Frank addressing the congregation of St. Margaret's, Budapest

The spiritual welfare of some 30,000 souls lies within Bishop Geoffrey's overall responsibility. And in the small corner of the world that is St. Margaret's Anglican Episcopal Church, Budapest, we are confident that he will find God's Ministry alive and well.

map showing location of St. Margaret's in Almássy tér, Budapest

See you on Sunday!!

188 comments:

  1. How informative, and annoying that on my only trip to Budapest a few years ago I knew nothing of St Margaret's basement light filled cavern. I am sure you will enjoy the Bishop's visit this weekend, and hope to hear more about it later. J.

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    1. It does actually take a bit of finding, Janice. But another time, given the map, you should find it with relative ease! The visit should, at least, be of interest!

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  2. Dear Jane and Lance - may one ask which member of the Hattatt duo has joined St. Margaret's church choir?
    The Bishop looks to be a jolly character, I am sure a very happy time will be had by all.
    The stained glass window of St. Margaret is beautiful, and it has magically reproduced in a 3D quality. Thank you for the background to St. Margaret just the sort of information I like to know. I had no idea she was born in Hungary, and daughter of King Canute.
    Hope you all have a lovely day on Sunday.

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    1. Of course, Rosemary. The choir was short of a soprano, the original having just left to return to Australia after many years spent in Hungary.

      He does, indeed, look rather jolly and we are sure that his visit, a highlight for St. Margaret's, will be enjoyed by everyone. We too were intrigued to learn a little of St. Margaret of Scotland.

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  3. O lucky, lucky choir, to number a Hattatt among its ranks. Or, at 4 members, its rank. I can imagine the voices soaring, the true notes bouncing off the high arches, and the Right Reverend Geoffrey magnificent beneath, the whole thing a testament to beauty and endeavour. May your involvement bring you much joy.

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    1. An interesting point, Mise. How many are needed to constitute a rank, and when does that rank become plural?

      You so kindly elevate St. Margaret's to the status of cathedral in your very generous comment. Alas, it remains a basement - a little damp at times!!

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  4. There is a lot of history to absorb and as per usual, you have educated me. Perhaps the most interesting history is why isn't the church a conventional one as we know them but down in a basement, albeit well lit?

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    1. As St. Margaret's is Church of England it has to be self supporting and with a congregation which at best numbers only a handful to maintain a traditional church building would be beyond all available resources. It is only very recently that it has been recognised at all by the Hungarian government.

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    2. Dear Jane and Lance - I understand this point very well as we belonged to the English-speaking Catholic congregation in Buda. For many years Mass was held at 4pm at Szent Antal's on Pasareti ter, then a change was made to a sweet little chapel nearby - for the first time our 'church' was sometimes bursting at the seams, but that's only because the chapel was so small! As with your congregation, this one is self-supporting, but unlike yours doesn't have a permanent priest. It's always a trial to find someone English-speaking to come.

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    3. Yes, we can well imagine that there are problems in finding an English speaking Catholic priest to take the services. We do think it very fortunate indeed that St. Margaret's has a permanent minister, especially as the previous incumbent had served for a long time and then had retired.

      We do not know of Szent Antal's Church but shall now be interested to seek it out. We rarely find ourselves on the Buda side of the Danube but we do make excursions over there from time to time!!

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  5. Do you think they'll have the likes of me as a member? As a new member you need to make a dramatic entrance, you could appear dressed in white, wearing a golden conch shell on you head, surrounded by heavenly bodies whilst silver chariots flit across the sky pulled by winged horses with all sorts of cherubs and seraphims kicking up a fuss with trumpets to announce your arrival.

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    1. And what makes you think, Mitzi, that a first appearance would in any way be different from that which you describe? But we really should need you here to add that extra bit of unrestrained glamour, that certain je ne sais quoi, that only you, in your own indomitable way can provide. Now, can you get yourself on a Sleasy Jet this Saturday to be here in time?

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  6. As always, I am transported just reading about your daily life and extraordinary (for moi) adventures. I'll take small but joyous over the mega church we once attended where no one knew our names, much less our needs.

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    1. Absolutely no chance of being incognito at St. Margaret's, Helen. But you make a very serious point, and one which we entirely go along with. One of the great strengths of St. Margaret's is that it is a very caring community without in any way being intrusive.

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  7. Oh how exciting that you are part of a choir! If you by chance ever get to video the choir singing...please share it with us!

    As per usual, your photographs are gorgeous. This is a lovely post, thank you so much for sharing with us. :)

    Enjoy your day today.

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    1. You are very generous, Joy. Assembling the choir, all four, together in one place at one time is a major feat in itself. The thought that there could be a video made lies, we fear, in the realms of fantasy.

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  8. The basement church looks full of light and I am sure the acoustics must be amazing with its curved ceiling. I think it's fine in a basement. We all look up tp God. Being in a basement means you have to look up a little further, that's all!
    Di
    X

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    1. Dianne, this is such a wonderful way of looking at it. And in describing it in this way you are transporting St. Margaret's to new heights.

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  9. A wonderful story about St. Margeret's church. How fantastic there is now another Hattatt joing what sounds a happy congregation.
    What excitement to recieve Bishop Geoffrey. He will certainly enjoy his visit with you all i am sure.
    The glass stained window of st. Margaret is so beautiful.. I learnt something today about another Queen that sat on the throne of Scotland.
    As always an enjoyable post.
    Have a wonderful Sunday. I shall look forward to hearing all about the Bishop's visit.
    val

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    1. We found the history, touched on briefly here, of St. Margaret of Scotland to be absolutely fascinating. We are sure that the Bishop's visit will be enjoyed by everyone and with such a big diocese we are really fortunate that he is able to come.

      Yes, we agree that the window is rather wonderful.

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  10. Oh this is wonderful news! I am so happy to imagine you singing in the quartet, dear Jane. Of all of the creative endeavors I have attempted in my life, singing has brought me so much true pleasure. It is so direct. They are lucky to have you.

    Wishing you a wonderful experience this weekend. Your church seems like a very positive place to worship!

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    1. How very kind of you, Heather. We do both so agree about the joys of singing and are delighted to learn that you find pleasure in it too.

      Yes, St. Margaret's is a very warm and caring community and we are fortunate to be a small part of it.

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    2. Thinking of you both today! Hope your voice was in fine form and that the visit was an enlightening one!

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    3. Heather, how really kind. We have just returned home. The service, which included a confirmation, went really well, the singing was in very good form, and the Bishop exceedingly jolly. All very goodly!

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  11. Dear Jane and Lance (but I always feel like we're smack-dab in the middle of a conversation),

    I have been thinking of you and your choir - honestly - about four or five times a day - every day. Strange but true! What fun! It has only just now occurred to me, though - only four of you? Soprano, alto, tenor, bass? I am so glad that you were persuaded, Jane - even if there's another soprano. Singing makes a person so glad!

    We don't ordinarily have a church choir. That may be a bit of a surprise to you but we're such a small congregation (although, maybe, I should say a 'relatively' small congregation) and everyone wears so many different hats... Happily, though, we have a plethora of singers and, usually, at Christmas-time, I pull a small group of around ten singers together. Some of my most favorite Christmas memories are of rehearsing in my living room with this cozy group. Such a dear experience. I hope the same for yours as you prepare for the special day!

    Your church's space does, indeed, look light and bright - really lovely. I was bewildered, at first, by the picture of the entrance! =] I'm glad that you included a picture of Father Frank.

    As to the visit from the Bishop.... I do believe that this is the very moment for which our special word was revealed to us in that beautiful beam of light that radiated from the word verification box on that unforgettable evening.... May I breathe a genuinely reverential 'holytoot!'

    Love to you both!!! xxoo xxoo

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    1. 'Holytoot' is, of course, the watchword of this coming weekend. And every time we say the word, which we sometimes do with reckless abandon as it fits so many different occasions, we think of you, dear Katy, and of your family too who, although so many thousands of miles away from us, are very much a part of our daily lives.

      Alas, yes, the choir is only four normally but this Sunday will be augmented by the four students from the Music Academy. To number the ten who you pull together at Christmas would, in effect to result in all choir and no congregation. So, whilst your own church may be small it is, as you say, all relative!

      The entrance door in the picture leads down a flight of stairs into a reception area, off which is a small kitchen, and then directly into the church. It was recently repainted so is looking rather good for the Bishop's visit. We hope he notices!!

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  12. Oh, I do wish I could transport myself in order to enjoy the loveliness of your choir. Music at church still brings me to tears, makes me feel so close to Kenny.
    I will be thinking of you.
    Cheryl

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    1. Oh, Cheryl, there must be so many things which bring back lovely memories of your time with Kenny. On Sunday, when we are singing, we shall hold you particularly close in our hearts.

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  13. Dear Jane and Lance,

    What a warm, inspiring post, beautifully illustrated. The Sargent painting and the stained glass window depicting St. Margaret of Scotland, are glorious. I'm so happy for you about the Bishop's visit, and hope he has an opportunity to meet you. How wonderful that you are part of the choir. I recently watched a captivating documentary about choral music. It does seem to be direct connection to the Holy spirit.

    xo,

    Jen

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    1. We have never seen the stained glass window of St. Margaret in real life but would very much like to do so now with this connection to our Budapest church. We are so pleased that you like the Sargent painting, we do too!

      Choral music does have a capacity, as you say, to transcend the earthly world and give a glimpse of the Divine. However, we can be fairly certain in saying that our small choir at St. Margaret's may not reach those heavenly heights on Sunday......more practice,needed!!

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  14. Such beautiful photos.

    You mentioned a number of Jerry's ancestors in this post.

    Budapest's architecture is so grand and yet so charming. The colors are almost edible!

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    1. We are sure that you would find the architecture of Budapest fascinating both in its variety and its eclectic style.

      When we first came to Budapest, some 11 or so years ago,many of the buildings were absolutely blackened with grime. Now, the City is unrecognisable in that so many have been restored and painted in the most glorious pastel shades.

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  15. What a lovely, light-and-Spirit-filled place! I keep looking at the glowing contours of the ceiling, and cannot tell if they are from the chandelier or architecture.

    I'm from a very small Southern church, and I immediately wondered which of your kitchen-proud cooks has volunteered/ been chosen to "feed the Preacher." That's a very great honor, for cook, family and home, and the odor of Sanctity on those Sundays is sometimes followed by the scents of fried chicken and fabulous desserts.

    Are the numbers 150 clergy and 270 congregations in reference to overseeing, as your Bishop does? What a wonderful Sunday you will experience, and I'd certainly love to be there when the joyful noise of your choir and congregation rises in praise to Heaven.

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    1. We cannot compete, we are sure, with the southern cooking on offer in your own church but, every Sunday, coffee and tea and homemade cakes entice members of the St. Margaret's congregation to stay and chat for a while after the service. This is such a nice thing to do. Afterwards, our favourite family run coffee shop is just a short walk away and so we have lunch there more often than not. By the time we get home, more than half the day has gone by!!

      Yes, the Diocese that the Bishop oversees covers all those clergy and congregations, hence a visit is a very special occasion indeed. It will surely be many, many more years before a return to Budapest is scheduled! Hence, we must hit the high notes.....and in tune!!!

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  16. sounds like you are very blessed with a great messenger! good for all of you!
    your pictures are great!
    I am your newest follower..pls follow back if you can.

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    1. Thank you for your kind comment.

      We are delighted to welcome you as our latest Follower and shall be returning the compliment to you!

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  17. I love to read such history and beauty and wish I were there to hear. This is truly spectacular!

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    1. Thank you, Gina, for your most kind comment.

      We too were intrigued to find out how our church became named after St. Margaret of Scotland. It seemed so strange, and still is, even though we now know why!!!

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  18. Thanks so much for this glimpse of life in another of the far-flung chaplaincies of Bishop Geoffrey's diocese, Jane and Lance, and enjoy your singing. You have a very lovely and atmospheric church in which to worship and if your chaplain should ever be in need of a locum, I am not without experience......:-))

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    1. We shall certainly bear your offer in mind, Perepetua!!

      We are very happy to have discovered St. Margaret's and do feel that it is our spiritual home. Of course, it is good that the church itself is bright and light but it is the joy and genuine warmth of being welcomed by other people into a community there which makes it so special for us.

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  19. Unfortunately, I cannot attend the service. Perhaps you could post an audio clip of the Hattatt-enhanced choir?

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    1. We are so sorry that you cannot make it to the church on time, dearest LX. An audio clip......hmmmmm!!!!

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  20. Hi Jane and Lance - Well thank you for your kind comments about my little blog project. I'm humbled after seeing your lovely blog - you have a terrific "eye" for beauty. Looking forward to following along.

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    1. We are so pleased that you have signed up as a Follower Heather, having just discovered for ourslves your most appealing blog. We take it as a real compliment from you that we have an 'eye' for beauty as you most certainly do have exactly that. We look forward to keeping in touch with you and trust that you will continue to find what we write of interest.

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  21. What a delight! I love singing, unfortunately my voice is nothing to write home about...
    PS: Please add a little prayer for me: I have surgery tomorrow and will need some time to recover....What a great spot your chapel is in....Love the light!

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    1. We are totally realistic that with a choir numbering four, being choosy about the members does not really come into the picture!!!!!

      We shall most certainly keep you in our thoughts and prayers, Victoria, and do so hope that your surgery will go well. From our own experiences, we have enormous faith in the medical profession and shall be sending positive energy and love your way for a speedy recovery.

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  22. Although I am not one of those good Christians that regularly go to church, I am more of the introspective kinda Christian, I still can appreciate the peace and the serene atmosphere that builds inside a church. There is something astonishingly blissful about this space. I like so much your cultural pilgrimages, and to be honest I feel so good knowing you guys are so close to me (Budapest is at about 400 km from my "kingdom").

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    1. 'Organised' religion can be uncomfortable and, in our view, one needs to feel at home spiritually wherever one may choose to worship. For us, too,for many years, we found that in our own garden, in the deepest Herefordshire countryside, we found all the peace and spirituality that we needed.

      In the scheme of things, in Central Europe, what is a mere 400km? It still thrills us to think that one can, at the wheel of a car, in a matter of a few hours, be transported to new countries with new cultural experiences and new adventures. One day, who knows, we may come knocking at your door!!!

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    2. And I may be waiting for you with tea and cookies :).

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  23. St Margaret's interior is sublime, Jane and Lance, enough on its own to make you want to get up on a Sunday morning.
    How admirable that it continues, like so many others, in a far-flung outpost.
    May your faith be blessed!

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    1. The choir practice takes place an hour before the service on a Sunday morning. So, dear Faisal, no longer is there the delicious lie-in!!However,as you say, the warm welcome that greets one is more than compensation for early rising.

      It is only very recently that St. Margaret's has been recognised by the Hungarian government and so this has, at least given the church a firmer footing. But, with such a tiny congregation, its financial stability and long term future remains insecure.

      We are so touched, dear Faisal, by your final words. You have made us cry.....with joy!

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    2. Jane and Lance, you don't know how uplifting and stirring your posts are to me. You are fairly unique.

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    3. As always you say the most kind and generous things. We appreciate it so very much, and far more than can be expressed here.

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  24. Dear Jane and Lance,

    How wonderful that one of you are part of a choir. Singing is such an uplifting experience, especially in such a lovely setting.

    Your posts give me a lift also as there is always something to learn and it is usually about something beautiful.

    Sing on, my friends, sing on.

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    1. Arleen, thank you so much for your most kind and generous comment. You are so gracious!

      Singing is, we agree, a most uplifting experience, especially when alongside other keen practitioners. However, last Sunday, a solo part in a Psalm was required and that was an altogether alarming affair!!!!

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  25. As I've grown older I've come to appreciate that plain, light spaces can be the most wonderful places to worship in. Hope that you have a lovely - and memorable - day on Sunday.
    Jan

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    1. Yes,Jan, we can certainly identify with this point of view. We find the simple interior of St. Margaret's both inspiring and appealing.

      Thank you for your kind wishes for Sunday.

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  26. Bishop Geoffrey is clearly going to find a vibrant outpost of the C of E ready to welcome him.

    I don't have my books here...is St. Margaret of Scotland the sister of the Atheling?

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    1. We are doing our best to ensure that he does!

      Our early history is somewhat shaky but as we understand it, this is the order of proceedings.On the death of King Edmund II Ironside, his son, Edward, was exiled into Europe by King Canute. Edgar the Atheling was the son of Edward the Exile and was born in Hungary together with his sister, Margaret who later became Saint Margaret,Queen of Scotland and the namesake of our church. It is this link with Hungary and the UK that has resulted in the church being dedicated to her. We hope that this answers your query satisfactorily.

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    2. Thank you...these things do nibble away at the brain when it is supposed to be doing something else.

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    3. We were amazed that you brought the Atheling to mind! It is so curious, in history,how all these seemingly disparate things do in the end connect. And for Scotland and Hungary to be linked in this way we find truly remarkable.

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  27. Hello dear friends,

    I must admit I envy you for your social life, it seems you are surrounded by so much art, culture and faith, and obviously it suits you perfectly.
    Enjoy Bishop Geoffrey's visit and keep us updated :)

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    1. Thank you so much, dear Petro, for your most generous comment. We do feel that we lead a charmed life in so very many ways and trust that we always see the joy in everyday things.

      We are nervous already at the prospect of the Bishop's visit and trust there will not be too many wrong notes!

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  28. Quite a space you have for your chapel; the acoustics must be interesting. I really like the classical building above--so many quality details. The bosses on the basement window grates make them look less security-oriented. I also admire the keystones above the windows, the square colonnettes between the windows, the increasing rustication closer to the foundation and that great metal bracket for the lamp.
    --Road to Parnassus

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    1. The acoustics in the church are most interesting, not always in a good way. The ceiling is vaulted in part and, although attractive to look at, does not always assist the 'vox humana'!!

      We are certain, from this comment particularly, that you would be entranced by the architecture of Budapest. May we entice you to visit one day as we should love to guide you round the City? The ironwork throughout Budapest deserves a special post [or several] to itself as it is incredibly attractive, extremely varied in style and beautifully made. Only a flight separates us......!!

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  29. The 44th diocese is the largest diocese on the planet of the Anglican Church or the largest diocese of any church? I am not very well informed about the Anglican Church, not being a member.

    I hope you have a wonderful service and that vox humana will lift the hearts of all in the congregation. If a Hattat is involved, who could doubt it?

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    1. The 44th Diocese is the largest of the Church of England, but we have no idea how the dioceses of other churches are divided up and so cannot make any comparisons.

      The Hattatt involved has no musical training, cannot read a bar of music and has been known to forget to breathe whilst singing. So, one can but hope for the best.However, we love the notion of lifting the hearts of all the congregation......the students from the Music Academy may well achieve this!!

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  30. I do like choral music. I always think it must be wonderful to be part of a choir. I hope you enjoy the Bishop’s visit. I’ve met bishops on a few occasions, as all three of my headships were church schools which fell within the Diocese of Salisbury. I’ve taken pupils to special services in the cathedral, but I don’t think my voice added anything to the lovely music produced by the school choirs.

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    1. Salisbury Cathedral is a most inspiring building and the Close surrounding it we think to be one of the loveliest in England. We seem to remember that the Cathedral was built during the comparatively short period of some 30 years and so has a sense of 'completeness' which is sometimes rather lacking in those constructed over many decades of differing architectural styles.

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  31. What a lovely post. My local church is indeed named after the very same St Margaret, I think we need to bring back the Church in Britain, don't you think?

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    1. Although we have visited Edinburgh and did, at one point, consider living there, we have never seen the chapel in Edinburgh Castle where St. Margaret's window is housed. It is so strange that, these thousands of miles away, our small church is dedicated to the same saint who lived and is commemorated in so many ways on your own doorstep!

      It is very sad, we think, that the Church is in general decline almost everywhere. It seems to get sidetracked and that is such a pity since the core purpose was surely never more needed than it is today.

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  32. What a wonderful place. Although I love old churches I often take a peek at private chapels when we visit stately piles, they are very often Catholic. I find them to be places of great atmosphere and serenity. Well done for joining the choir, if I ever did that I could empty a church in two minutes flat (no pun intended)

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    1. Oh, Susan, we absolutely love private chapels and always make a point of seeking them out when visiting country houses. We have often toyed with having one of our own. First, in our garden in Herefordshire where we at least reached the point of having the foundations laid and, secondly, as a part of our apartment here in Budapest. Perhaps one day.....

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  33. What a wonderful little chapel. Bishop Geoffrey clearly has a treat in store this coming weekend.

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    1. With over 250 congregations in his Diocese, stretching from Austria to Azerbaijan, Bishop Geoffrey will not pass this way again very soon. So, we shall be pulling out all the stops [including those in the organ]!!

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  34. Dear Jane and Lance,
    A church is a church, be it in a basement or with spires towering towards heaven and, with your four voices plus four, on Sunday, St Margaret's will be filled with beautiful music, and The Right Reverend Geoffrey Rowell ( my maiden name was Rodwell....do you think that there is a minor link between us ?!!!) will be delighted with your uplifting renderings.
    ...... and, St Margaret's looks absolutely beautiful.
    Sunday will be perfect. XXXX

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    1. You are absolutely right, Jackie, a church can be wherever one finds oneself and whenever that 'still, small voice of calm' can be heard.

      Who knows about the minor link between you and Bishop Geoffrey....what is it that they say....one only needs to make a link with eight other people and everyone in the world will be joined.....or something like that!!!

      Thank you so much for your encouragement!

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  35. Ah....another thing we have in common :-) It makes me wonder which one of you joined the choir?! Off course I would love to hear what your repertoire is too. Do you only sing Anglican hymns or for instance Bach, Schubert & the Ave Verum Corpus by Mozart too?

    Your church looks light and cheerful. So exciting the Bishop is visiting you. I wish you a good service on Sunday and good luck for the choir. In Holland we say 'Toi, toi, toi'!

    Madelief x

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    1. Dearest Madelief, we are certain that you are way, way beyond us in the music department! Our repertoire is strictly limited to hymns and the odd Psalm. Otherwise, we are down to 'Songs from the Shows'!!!!!

      It is exciting that the Bishop is coming to visit. His Diocese extends to the Netherlands too, but how he manages to get round to everywhere we have no idea. Still, in this way, at least, you will be 'with' us on Sunday!!

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  36. Dear Jane and Lance,

    The choir of 4, expanded to 8 for the Bishop, will certainly make a joyful noise on Sunday. The exterior building with its 19th century appointments is well-maintained and yet, I am so glad to see the "basement interior" with its radiant beams of light! As you may know, I post a photo every Sunday of a church, usually in Paris, and I have seen everything from the large Gothic to the most intimate small. The building may be historical in its structure but it is the congregation that gives it life.

    It sounds as if the Bishop will be pleased with your church and the congregation will long remember his visit. I am sure that you will post the story of the service, the music, and the lunch festivities.

    The stained glass of St. Margaret is lovely with such expression in her eyes. Thank you for the background story.

    I will think of the Hattatts, Father Frank, the Bishop, and your small community of worshippers this Sunday.

    Best regards to you both in Budapest,
    Genie

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    1. We do so agree with you, Genie, that it is the congregation which forms the life of a church and that, at the end of the day, the building itself counts for very little in comparison. However, that said, we are rather keen on visiting beautiful and historic churches, which include many to be found in France, and are always uplifted by the wonderful sense of peace and tranquillity which so many of them seem to possess.

      We are certain that the visit of the Bishop will prove to be both spiritually rewarding, and enjoyable, for everyone. We do hope so.

      And how very kind to include us all in your thoughts this Sunday.

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  37. Hello Jane and Lance, I love hear of your life and the chapel you describe, with its tiny choir sounds a perfect place to find peace and spiritual refreshment on a Sunday. Jane xx

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    1. What a perfect way to describe St. Margaret's. A place of spiritual refreshment. Yes, that it certainly is and a community with a warm welcome too.

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  38. Jane and Lance, How wonderful to hear one of you sings in the choir. I love to sing, and although I do help with the children's end of the year program, I could never audition with our parish choir. I think there is nothing lovelier than voices lifted in joyful praise. We just recently were visited by our Bishop. It is always a day of celebration. Bonnie

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    1. Oh, Bonnie, do not think that there was anything approaching an audition for joining the choir at St. Margaret's!!!!The fellow choir members are incredibly supportive and kind but they are only too aware, we are sure, that they do not have a future Maria Callas in their midst.

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  39. What a lovely post.
    Love the church but what an interesting fact about the Diocese of Gibraltar stretching from Madeira to Vladivostok. Canterbury does seem far ways.
    The stained glass window is wonderful.

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. It does seem rather strange to us, we have to say, that the Bishop for this Diocese has his see and cathedral, in Gibraltar. But then, how much more strange would it be to be in Azerbaijan and know that it is the same Bishop in charge?!!!

      We should like to see the stained glass window for ourselves one day. The colours look to be remarkable.

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  40. By the look and sound of it, St. Margaret's is an exceptional place! I absolutely love your description, "sugar almond coloured" for the exterior, and the photo of the interior has an inspiring, cheerful, intimate look to it--and all of it undoubtedly made better by the sound of a Hattatt! The Bishop is in for a treat :)

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    1. Although in reality St. Margaret's is no more than a converted cellar, it does have an atmosphere all of its own. It helps with appearances that the building above has, in recent times, been restored.

      Doubtless the Bishop is used to all manner of things. What, we wonder, is on offer in Vladivostok?!!

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  41. "It is a joyous place, the Vox Humana of choir and congregation filling the air with melodic adagios, allegros, andantinos, arpeggiandos and alleluias." How lovely! And which Hattatt is it, pray tell, that makes up the four?

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    1. With your musical background and professionalism, Susan, we think that you might possibly consider things to be slightly different from how we see them!!

      A soprano replacement was required, the original having returned to Australia.

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  42. Didn't know you have a hidden talent of "Choir singing". I am sure Reverend Geoffrey Rowell's visit will be a good one and he will be pleased to know that his Budapest Church has some very special parishioners and choir members.

    Best wishes.

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    1. We are not sure that we should go as far as to call it, as you so generously do, a 'hidden talent'. Rather more, prepared to fill in and have a go! But at least there will be a choir on Sunday - rather more than is to be found these days in the majority of English parish churches.

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  43. Dear Jane and Lance,
    So as no chance to repeat what others have said, I observe and admire this delightful posting. Indeed, I'm singing your praises.
    And with that, I leave a rather short, by my usual roaming standards, comment.
    With respect and good wishes for this Sunday, Gary

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    1. Your comments, Gary, brief or roaming, are always a great joy to receive and something to which we much look forward.

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  44. Do I have this right? One of you is singing in the choir?

    And may I just say that the choice of describing the houses as sugared almond in color has me tempted to snatch the description for my own prose? I will refrain. Just needed you to know that I have never wanted to nip words from another writer, before. ;)

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    1. You do, indeed, have this right Suze. Even St. Margaret's could have too much of a good thing - one of us is quite enough!

      How very generous you are about our words, Steal away!!

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  45. the interior of the church looks so bright and modern!
    i have a terrible voice but i still love to sing at church. i go to the young people's service b/c the music is louder and no one can hear me! thank you for sharing this part of your life. which one of you is in the choir?

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    1. It is looking very smart at the moment, Janet, having recently been repainted. We have loved and laughed at your description of your own singing drowned by the loud music at the young people's service. We are certain that you do yourself a disservice.

      A soprano was required!

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  46. Those basement windows provide such beautiful arches of light that it would be a pleasure to see God there every service. Of course, I guess it would be a pleasure to see God period. But really, what better place for worship!

    I'm sure the choir and congregation is very grateful for your added voice Ms. Hattatt.

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    1. The way the light falls through the windows does, as you say, Rubye, greatly enhance what is, after all, in reality a converted cellar! But God moves in mysterious ways, and places too it would seem!

      Choir and congregation are both probably far too polite to express a true opinion on the subject!

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  47. What a sweet spot to post about! And such an unusual place of worship! :) Lovely indeed! I do hope you two will have alot of fun on Sunday! :)

    Hugs,

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    1. It certainly is somewhat unusual when compared with the normal run of churches. But, where two or three are gathered together.....!

      We are sure that Sunday will be most enjoyable for everyone. We do hope so.

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  48. Dear Jane and Lance,
    to sing in a choir is a great joy - for those who sing and those who listen. If I got it right: one of you is joining in? The colour of that house is really sugar-almond - I like that (and the soft-pink and soft-yellow almonds too :-), and the room looks really bright.
    Wherever one sings the room grows wide.
    I wish you all a great Sunday!
    Britta

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    1. "Wherever one sings the room grows wide." How lovely is that and something we shall think of when on Sunday the voices of the choir swell to fill the church, aided in some small part, we hope, by the newest soprano member!

      We are certain, Britta, that it will be a most enjoyable day.

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  49. How wonderful to join the choir and sing in this lovely space, however small the choir or congregation. It is quite an auspicious occasion and I'm sure you will all enjoy it immensely - just remember to breath!
    I suspect you must have a lovely voice to sing 'solo' - and your choir will feel like a throng once you've 'doubled up'! Axx (Do tell us what you are singing.)

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    1. It is great fun to be part of the choir and part of that enjoyment is that it is not too organised nor taken too seriously. As to what is to be sung - early days as yet! Choir practice is on Sunday at 9.15am when, doubtless, all will be revealed!

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  50. How nice for you that the bishop is visiting your outpost. It sounds as though he could easily be on the road all year long! The last photograph with Father Frank looks to be a beautiful space, sort of a sunlit womb.

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    1. 'Outpost' is, in all probability, the correct term, Mark! Yes, we too have thought that this is a job which involves a certain amount of travel. Not suitable for any potential bishop who sees life simply pottering between Bishop's Palace and Cathedral!

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  51. The title and the lines of “..... filling the air with melodic adagios, allegros, andantinos, arpeggiandos and alleluias.” contain beautiful, melodious alliteration. I hear music in your writing. I’m happy for you that you are part of choir. Singing is good for both mind and body. My singing is secular at “karaoke” to get rid of stress. The Church and the stained-glass are so beautiful, thanks for sharing.

    Yoko

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    1. How very kind of you to write, "I hear music in your writing." This is so very generous of you and much appreciated.

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  52. The light in the church is beautiful! I love that it is not dark and gloomy.

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    1. No, it is not at all gloomy, Lisa, and the congregation is both warm and welcoming too. A good place to be.

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  53. I find this post to be extremely interesting. In the early to mid-90's we lived in Munich and attended an American Episcopal Church that was part of the Convocation of American Episcopal Churches in Europe. All the churches in the Convocation ultimately came under the umbrella of the Diocese of Gibraltar. It was a revelation to me to learn how many churches in the Anglican Communion have parishes in Europe and how many people there are who are supporting them. That church became an important part of our time in Munich (5 years) and I was also fortunate to visit some of the other churches as well -- in Florence and in Rome in particular. What amazed me in the Munich church was how many Germans became members of the church and of the vestry. Because there is no longer an English Anglican church in Munich, (I believe there is quite a scandalous story behind this!!) the American church is the sole representative of the Anglican Communion! This made for some very interesting situations, but what was quite wonderful was that all the differences in tradition between Germans, British and Americans has made for a very dynamic church. So God bless you and your very beautiful place of worship. The interior looks exquisite...

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    1. Your very detailed and informative comment, Katherine, for which we thank you, has interested us greatly giving. as it does, further insight into the workings, if that is an appropriate term, of the Diocese of Gibraltar. What is also true of St. Margaret's is, rather in the way of Germans attending your church in Munich, the number of Hungarian nationals, for whatever reason, who form part of the congregation but who, of course, add a different cultural dimension which is most genuinely welcome. Furthermore, Father Frank is actually American but, as his surname would suggest, has strong family ties with Hungary.

      We have never visited Munich but, strangely, only today we received an email from a German friend of ours suggesting that we should meet her there for a City break later in the year. Perhaps a subject for an autumn post?!!

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  54. Dearest Jane and Lance

    May God be with you as you welcome Bishop Geoffrey to St. Margaret's on Sunday, where he will be moved by the welcome and sincerity of the congregation.

    I love the analogy of the Quartet at St. Margaret's to "Apollo & The Muses" This says it all.

    How coincidental that your church is named in honour of St. Margaret, a Hungarian born saint. The Holy Spirit works in beautiful ways.

    Helen xx

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    1. Thank you, dearest Helen, for this wonderfully warm comment which gladdens our hearts on this Friday evening just as the daylight starts to fade and night approaches.

      We are so pleased that you enjoyed the reference to Apollo and The Muses although we are a little uncertain as to exactly how many there were. Some references cite four, others seven, others more. A little confusing!

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  55. Dear Jane and Lance, I was just about to enquire as to which of the two of you had joined the choir, when I saw from one of your answers that a soprano was required! So I have my answer! The very best of luck for your first service on Sunday - I'm sure it will be very beautiful. A couple of years ago I 'auditioned' for the Bury Bach Choir and although it went well I somehow felt inadequate - they are such a wonderful choir and I didn't feel up to the job (do google them if you are interested!). However, I may just try again and perhaps my confidence will be boosted by your example.

    Jeanne
    x

    PS Loved the history to this post. Very interesting. I had no idea the Church of England was so widely distributed throughout the world.

    PPS I want to visit Budapest even more now ... sigh

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    1. We shall most certainly Google the Bury Bach Choir whose very august name, Jeanne, sounds to our very amateurish ears somewhat frightening. But, do, please try again for we are certain that you would find singing in a choir both pleasurable and intensely satisfying. We shall look forward to a post about your joining so....!

      The extent to which the Church of England is represented abroad came as something of a surprise to us too.

      And you have only to book a flight, dear Jeanne, and we will be waiting on the tarmac for you.

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    2. I will certainly give the choir some very serious thought as its something that I have been thinking about again recently. On a related note we have tickets to see The Sixteen at St Edmundsbury Cathedral in May. Their CD Renaissance is playing as I write ....

      Bless you both, that sounds a most wonderful idea. x

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    3. Well, we really do hope that you do but, of course, it must be what you want. We always tell ourselves these days that we have reached an age when we do not have to do anything we do not wish to do.

      And how simply wonderful to have tickets for the concert which we know that you will enjoy immensely.

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  56. So interesting! I'm going to visit Hungary before I die... :)

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    1. Very different from Venice, but we are sure that you would love Budapest!

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  57. Wow. so your Bishop had to come all the way from Gibraltar. What in an exotic Diocese do you live! :-)

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    1. Much of his time, we imagine, is spent travelling the length and breadth of Europe. An interesting life!

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  58. Hello Jane and Lance ~ The small chapel of St. Margaret's is beautiful in its elegant simplicity and I loved the stained glass window in Edinburgh. I could be very wrong, but I seem to recall reading Queen Margaret was buried at Holyrood Abbey in Edinburgh. Certainly her named was linked to that place, now a picturesque ruin beside the Palace of Holyrood House. I love the connection in Budapest.

    ...and you can sing! What a splendid talent!

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    1. This is most interesting what you say about the burial place of Queen Margaret and it seems to us, although we do not know, most likely. Something we shall look up! Yes, we agree, the window is lovely and we too are intrigued about the connection with Hungary. Strange world.

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  59. Amazing!!!

    http://estilohedonico.blogspot.pt/

    xoxo

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  60. How exciting for you to have such an esteemed visitor. The church looks absolutely beautiful. I love the way the light bounces off all the white. I love to visit your blog - I find I always learn something new and interesting - like having my own personal historians!

    Get those vocal cords warmed up and have a most wonderful Sunday, Stephie x

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    1. This is most kind and generous of you, Stephie. We are so pleased that you find the posts of interest. They are usually no more than about what we are doing or, as often happens, something which just comes to mind.

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  61. How lucky you are to be able to participate in this - in a place that resonates with history harking back centuries!! The Bishop, too, must be having a wonderful time. These posts are introducing me to a part of the world about which I know very little.

    It is always interesting to see european culture in action, so to speak. Here in Australia where white settlement is so recent to have such contact with one's cultural and historical past seems too good to be true - and yet it is a privilege also enjoyed by indigenous people.

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    1. Yes, we know exactly what you mean Christine. Australia does seem to us to be a very 'young' country and therein lies its charm in many ways. Here one is very conscious of the centuries of invading armies and the like who have shaped Europe into what it is today.

      It is also extraordinary to feel part of an Anglican diocese which stretches across so much of the Earth itself. This certainly does add a frisson to one's worship and, as a result, it will be such an excitement to see the Bishop at close quarters on Sunday.

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  62. Replies
    1. Thank you, Markus. It is indeed remarkable that the Diocese stretches to your corner of the world too. We are connected!

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  63. Are most of the congregants ex-pat Brits, tourists and business people? Are there any other Anglican churches in town? I love the idea of "There'll Always Be an England", even if it is thousands of ks away.

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    1. Mostly the congregation is made up of the British who live here, or at least those of them who attend church, and a small number of Hungarians who have a high level of English. We do too have one or two Americans and the occasional tourist. The Church of Scotland, which is very different, is also represented in Budapest together with several American denominations.

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  64. Oh, hardly a professional, just an avid listener! And, as proof that I am no professional of any stripe, I have just learned that the photographic slide show I'd put up to accompany my most recent post did not show up (a wrong setting on my part). I believe it is now fixed, so if you should drop by again, I hope you will see it. I included two or three photos of the wisteria just coming out, because I remember you'd written about them at one point. Warm regards, and I will look forward to catching up on my return from Wales.

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    1. We shall certainly go back and look, Susan. But whatever you may say, your posts are always a wonderful education to us, particularly where music is concerned, and we always leave feeling that we have learnt so much. We do hope that you are having the most marvellous time in Wales.

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  65. So, you're singers! Does your choir of four supply the full SATB for Anglican singing? I sang treble and as my voice deepened, boy alto, and ended up baritone, neither fish nor fowl nor good red herring for the purposes of most church choir music. I like to think of Lance as bass, and Jane a full on contralto, mostly because I fall instantly in love with contraltos, especially if they hoot while descending the register. If there's just one of each of SATB that imposes a terrible responsibility. For those of us who used to be uncertain of where to pitch a note, the presence of others also singing your part was very necessary. Your diocese of Gibraltar in Europe is part of the Church of England (I looked it up) and as an all-purpose-all-lumped-together entity, which poor old Gibraltar has to administer as best he can, it's giant sized. I see it strays outside Europe, taking in Turkey, Morocco, and the former Soviet Union! Diocesan parties must be difficult to organise. How mental is the Church of England! Love, Alec xx

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    1. We think that, on reflection, the choir of St. Margaret's struggles to supply the full SATB as you put it, but manages most Sundays to pass muster and, whatever, is certainly better than nothing at all!! Alas, as only one of us sings, we are talking soprano here and so you would, in all probability, not fall in love! But your own singing sounds most interesting and we wonder if you still belong to a choir of any kind?

      The diocese certainly does extend to the far flung corners of Empire, mostly former, and does take in both British and Soviet. Apparently it is administered mainly from a room somewhere in London - possibly a broom cupboard in Lambeth Palace!

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  66. Dear Jane and Lance - this post does my heart well; bless you both!

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    1. Thank you so much, dear Sandra, for this and all your good wishes.

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  67. Hello Jane and Lance, I so enjoy exploring church buildings - and what an interesting one this is. When I saw the exterior of the church I immediately, and wrongly, formed an opinion...then when I scrolled down to the interior photograph I had to revise that. What a beautiful, light-filled church and the window is marvellous too.

    I once tried out for a choir and was told "come back when you don't have a cold" as I was in good health and cold free I drew my own conclusions about my voice!!

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    1. The best has been made of what is, at the end of the day, two semi basement rooms and, that said, there is notwithstanding a real atmosphere of spirituality and peace within the chapel. However, as we were told today, a search is going on for new, and presumably improved, premises.

      How very disheartening to have been rejected for a choir in such a way, Elaine. You would be welcomed with open arms here!

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  68. Dear Jane and Lance,
    My dears, another post full of intrigue as to which Hattatt has joined the ranks of St. Margaret’s choir ensemble. Would it be “She Hattatt” with an angelic mezzo-soprano voice causing monks to weep from it’s beauty or could it be “He Hattatt” with a velvety baritone that would make a nun rethink her vows. What a wonderful ponderence, which I have been enjoying since my first reading of the delicious account and history of the Anglican Episcopal Church, oh which of out two blogging friends would be singing in the presence of His Right Reverend. I think I will go with Lance on this one, and only after much pleading from the original three. I base this choice solely on the fact that most choirs are predominately and a male was needed for the fully round ranges required in monastic songs.

    I am sure that by the time you guys have the time to read this the events of the day will be but pleasant memories, so as you sit with feet up and a cups of tea at hand, I hope all went according plan and Bishop Rowell had a most enjoyable stay and visit in Budapest. – gary

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    1. You really are wonderful, Gary. Your comments always make us laugh so much, in the nicest possible way, and this one is no exception. As it happens it was a soprano voice which was required to boost the choir numbers from three to four so it is, although very unlikely, we think, the monks who are now currently weeping from the beauty of it all!!

      In the event the Bishop turned out to be very jolly indeed. He preached an excellent sermon, confirmed someone and the choir sang lustily [and beautifully of course!!].

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  69. its funny. I am pagan in belief but ive always loved churches for their architecture. Stained glass is beautiful even though the images are not part of my spirituality.

    Leanne x
    talesofsimpledays.blogspot.com

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    1. There is of course, both in terms of history and architecture, much which is wonderful about churches the world over, irrespective of an individual's belief.

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  70. What an attractive church. At first I was a little puzzled at the mythical figures and had to re-read just to confirm that they were not part of the decor!

    I am sure you will sing beautifully, Quality and not quantity is the issue.

    I haven't heard the description "sugar almond" for a house colour before. I love all houses dressed in these colours. I associate that shade of green with a particularly delicious type of icecream we used to get in Australia when I was a child. I have never tasted the like and even if I did have the chance to try it again, I am sure it wouldn't taste as good

    Which has brought this comment rather a long way away from thinking about church choirs! :)

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    1. No, alas, the Sargent painting is not to be found in St. Margaret's. We really included it for no other purpose than its appeal.

      There is a whole street in Brighton of late Victorian houses where the stucco of each one is painted a different 'sugared almond' colour including one of that very pale, icy green which you describe. We too doubt that your icecream could ever taste the same again!!

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  71. How very exciting! To be able to sing in such a beautiful church, to such a honored guest, must have been such a great joy...I would have been there in a heartbeat if at all possible to witness and listen to all the gloriousness!
    How very special that the secret Hattatt was able to participate.
    Many rounds of Born Free would have probably been helpful in preparation...sorry I wasn't able to accomodate.
    (See, your wonderful, caring thoughts & prayers have helped immeasurably...thank you so very much...you both are angels, in heart and voice!)
    Hugs from across the pond...and bit more,
    xo J~

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    1. Dearest Jessica, thank you so very much for your most kind and generous comment. We wish that you could have been there too!

      In the event, Bishop Geoffrey was extremely jolly and the choir, doubled in size with the voices of students from the Music Academy, managed to accomplish the singing without too many problems. However, it was probably just as well that much preparation had gone into the 'big day' by practising in the bath and on the back seat of our friends' car at every available opportunity!!!

      It is so lovely that you are back with us once more. We have missed you. Take great care!!

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  72. I read with interest your account of your small but devoted choir and congregation. This past Sunday our church celebrated the dedication of a new organ and it was a glorious morning of song and music and appreciation. I would love to hear your choir as well.

    V

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    1. How wonderful your church service sounds to have been and the dedication of an organ is certainly cause for celebration. Sadly, across the length and breadth of England, organs are either being removed from churches or are simply falling into disuse as the availability of organists seems to be a real problem.

      A choir really does add a special element to a church service, we feel and we very much enjoy being part of that.

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  73. Oh what excitement! I wonder which of you is the chorister???What a lovely church and what a great event! Thank you for sharing, and I'm sure the singing was magnificent and greatly enjoyed by both participants and listeners!

    Have a happy week Jane and Lance!

    Gill xx

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    1. It is the Soprano amongst us who is the choir member, Gill!!

      The students of the Music Academy whose specialism is in church choral music certainly raised the choir's contribution to the proceedings to an altogether higher level!!

      Wishing you a happy week and better weather, we trust!

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  74. How wonderful! Yours is a lovely church, and the voice of a noble-souled Hattat elevates the entire experience, I have no doubt!
    I remember when I was in girls' choir at school, many moons ago...one of my favorite pieces to sing ( I still hum it occasionally), was Vivaldi's "Gloria In Excelsis Deo"...
    Imagining this divine melody as I read your lovely post, sweet friends...
    Love across the miles,
    - Irina

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    1. How lovely is the idea that Vivaldi's 'Gloria' is ringing in your head as you write, dear Irina! For us, we often break into song with 'What is life without thee' which Kathleen Ferrier certainly sang far better than we can even aspire to!!!

      We think that St. Margaret's has a wonderful atmosphere. Music plays quite a large part in the life of the church and that has a great appeal for us!

      Hoping that your week is going well!

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  75. St Margarets looks like a wonderful place.
    The light cast across the ceiling looks almost like a celestial dome. I'm sure the sound of the congregation singing overheard from the street is wonderful.
    Paul

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    1. Although the building is unremarkable in many ways, the people at St. Margaret's certainly do make it special.

      As for the singing being heard in the street, we do hope that the passers-by enjoy it. However, this does work both ways and overhearing mobile phone conversations whilst seated in the congregation can, at times, prove interesting!!

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  76. Oh that stained glass of St. Margaret is wonderful and I didn't realize about the far reaching diocese.

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    1. Yes, Linda, we agree about the stained glass window of St. Margaret, and should very much like one day to see the window at close quarters ourselves.

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  77. How interesting. I had never thought of these tiny outposts of the church before. They bring, I am sure, a good deal of fellowship and support - but the story of St Margaret's also makes a fascinating blog-post subject.

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    1. As you say, Alan, the story of St. Margaret is, indeed, an interesting one. We were most curious about how a church in Budapest could have been named after a Scottish saint and once we uncovered the story, we were absolutely fascinated by it.

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  78. Dear friends, thank you so much for visiting me, and for taking the time to see the video...
    I was thinking about the same thing yesterday...just how the support of even one person can make all the difference. In the case of this determined man, one angel on earth changed his life.
    Have a beautiful evening!
    xoxo,
    - Irina

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    1. Your post did make a big impression upon us. It was a humbling thought that just a small amount of kindness shown to another individual can make such an impact and result in life changing and life enhancing change. It is so important that we all remember this in our daily lives. We can make a difference.

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  79. Hello! I do not know any thing about Xritianizm...Interesting post!

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    1. Amin, we thought of you specially as the Diocese in Europe extends to Azerbaijan!!!!

      Thank you for your comment.

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  80. Replies
    1. We wish you the happiest of weeks and hope that you are not working too hard!!

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  81. Hello my lovely Hattats, how I have missed you. What a lovely church, and how exciting you are getting a visit from a 'bigwig'.You astound me so much with your knowledge about everything, from the history of your church to the geography of the Church of England. I have been catching up on the posts I have missed, and saw some lovely Italian bottoms, and heard of your propositioning strangers in antique shops, honestly, you really must behave, you are after all members of the choir of St. Margaret's!

    Thankyou so much for your visit and kind comments.Yes indeed
    Parrot tulips are wild, I need to get much more for next year.

    It is so lovely to be back in the blogging world. My friend whom I posted about is going through a very difficult time and I have been too sad and distracted to blog. I trust you are both well, but judging by your shenanigans I think you are very well. All my love to you both, Linda x

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    1. Dearest Linda, how we have missed you too! Thank you so much for your most kind and generous comment. We are sad to hear that your friend is experiencing difficulties at present. We are certain that with you as a friend that is the best kind of support that one could wish for. We do so hope that happier times will lie ahead for her. As for us, yes, we are very well, thank you so much.

      For lazy tarts, we have been rather busy!We are making up for time lost over the past two years and are now living life in the fast lane, so to speak! We never give up hope that our paths will cross in real life one day and then we can lazy tart together!!! Such fun!!!

      Hoping that your week is going well!

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  82. Your prolific posting and eclecit subject matter are always an amazing diversion. I hope you enjoyed your visit from Geoffrey +.

    David.

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    1. This is most kind of you. In the event, the Bishop's visit turned out to be great fun and spiritually uplifting.

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  83. If I could pick a talent, I'd love to be able to sing. So that people actually wanted to hear me, that is!!! I hope the day lived up to your expectations!!!

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    1. The day did indeed live up to expectations. The standard of the singing was elevated significantly by the Music Academy students who joined the choir for the service....all that was required in the tricky bits was some careful miming from the rest of us!!!

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  84. Dear Jane and Lance, I will raise a glass to 'lazy tarting' with the Hattat's......can't wait! Much love, Linda x

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    1. One day, for certain, dearest Linda, we shall all be 'lazy tarting' together either here or in Northern Ireland. And what fun it will be!

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  85. Dearest Jane and Lance,
    I thought of you when visiting Boston and the Symphony Hall (last week) . . . hearing Beethoven's 9th . . . truly the chorus was fabulous and though you did not have the numbers, I am sure your voices filled this quiet and serene space with melodic joy. Beautiful colors in the stain glass for Margaret and what a cheery Bishop . . . I hope he was delighted with your intimate body of singers. Love the intro Sargent painting! Love your wit!! Wonderful that you are singing!

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    1. Oh, Carol, how absolutely wonderful for you. We love all the Beethoven symphonies but the Ninth, the Choral, is so uplifting and full of joy and to have heard in Boston is something very special indeed.

      And thank you for such generosity where the choir is concerned. In the event both the singing and the Bishop's visit went very well and he was very 'cheery', very in touch, and gave a most interesting and thought provoking address. Yes, isn't the Sargent painting wonderful?

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  86. It is a wonderful painting! Getaways into the nearby city of Boston are really uplifting J&L . . . in just two hours easy driving I can enjoy walking down a busy city street with lots of galleries and restaurants. Boston's Symphony Hall is quite renown and just being there is joyous. The next day J and I spent the day at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (one of my absolute favorite places in the world). . . she collected many Sargent paintings and he did several portraits of her. They have tastefully added a new entrance with a fabulous restaurant (I had the seasons soft-shell crab with fresh baked bread and local greens - washed down with a crisp dry white wine - Yummy!) and a concert hall (after lunch talent filled the hall . . . two lovely young men (awards aplenty) violin and piano- LOVELY) and both added to the joy and awe of wandering about the villa. I can say with certainty that you would have loved it all.

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    1. This is so very strange! Just this evening, immediately after reading your present post, we wondered how far you might be from the nearest town. Of course, our Geography is hopeless and your photographs always capture acres of rolling countryside so we did not come to any conclusion. But, here you are answering our question without our ever having asked it!!!!!

      Yes, yes, yes, we should have loved it all. The crab, a cheeky white wine, fresh seasonal produce, Beethoven, the Museum and two talented young musicians......absolutely perfect. Oh, one day how we should love to do this!

      And, how intriguing about the Isabella Stewart Gardner and Sargent connection, something we knew nothing of. We just love these connections between people at certain times, especially when one can relate them back, even loosely, to one's own experiences.

      Thank you so much, Carol, for taking the time and trouble to come back and write.

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  87. What a lovely post to read on a Sunday evening, and quite fascinating. Wonderful that the choir has a Hattatt to swell its numbers to four. I complement you on your choice of images to illustrate the post too.

    When I was in Budapest I attended Mass in Buda, at Mátyás Church.

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    1. This Sunday the choir had reduced to two....a Hattatt and one other. That called for additional volume and the Hattatt was quite hoarse at the end of it all!

      St. Margaret's is indeed fascinating on a number of accounts, its history, the saint whose name it carries, the building etc. etc. But, we have been made to feel most welcome into the congregation there and, without a doubt, that is what matters the most.

      How lovely to have attended Mass at Matyás Church. It is a most impressive building and the acoustics are wonderful. We have attended several concerts there, all of which have been most memorable.

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  88. I recently discovered your blog and felt drawn to read this post when I saw the smiling face of the Bishop and then read that one of you is in the tiny choir. The church looks light filled tho underground; how fascinating. I love attending church and this looks like a lovely one.

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  89. The Bishop, who is in charge of a diocese stretching all the way across Europe as far as Vladivostok, was hugely jolly and the occasion of his visit is something which will remain with us for a very long time.

    And we write this having just returned from today's service at St. Margaret's.

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