The Parish Church of St George the Martyr, Waterlooville
… for Fr Timon Singh’s Licensing as Priest-
St George’s had an invitation,
Extended to our congregation,
Received from Father Timon Singh
To be there at his Licensing.
St Dunstan’s Church at Bellingham,
A suburb near to Lewisham,
Due to our happy acceptation,
Was thus to be our destination.
We gathered at St George’s wall,
There were, I think fifty in all.
The old town clock said “10” I saw,
Although ’twas really half past four.
We went by “Normans” coach again.
I do not know our driver’s name.
He’d no idea, neither had we
How difficult our trip would be.
’Twas going well till Bromley, where
“Oh good,” I thought, “We’re nearly there!”
“Famous last thoughts” these proved to be,
No signs for Bellingham we’d see.
We missed the turning we should take
Which proved to be a big mistake.
Miles further travelled, nowhere found
A place our coach could turn around.
For lack of satellite device
Toured parts of London more than twice
While pondering which road to take.
(Three times I saw the same small lake).
Familiar buildings passed again,
Through gathering gloom and showers of rain.
A “mystery tour” would have been fine,
But we were running out of time!
Through suburb streets our way we made
Where ne’er before a coach had strayed.
The “humps” and narrowness thought I
Were probably the reason why!
Churchwardens, though, are highly trained,
Especially ours, and one obtained
A map, downloaded from his phone,
To guide our wayward driver home.
You think that’s clever, you should see
The talents of our P.C.C.!
With minutes only left to spare
We reached the Church at last, and there
All hurried to the hall for tea,
Laid out on tables, splendidly.
St Dunstan’s folk had done us proud,
With ample food for such a crowd.
As we’d arrived so very late,
No sooner had we grabbed a plate,
Before we’d hardly time to eat
We had to leave to find our seat.
The Church was lovely, very light,
Its painted walls were coloured bright,
There were no pews, just lots of chairs,
Soon filled with people, ours and theirs.
The solemn service, Bishop led,
Where hymns were sung and prayers were said
And promises were duly made.
Great warmth of welcome there displayed.
In notices, quite near the end,
St George’s welcome to attend,
Though said in jest, a lingering fear
The coach and we might still be here!
(The Vicarage, although not small
Could not accommodate us all.)
Back to the hall, a minute’s walk,
And time to eat and drink and talk.
With photos and a speech to make,
Then Father Timon cut his cake,
Made ’specially for this occasion,
With words inscribed in decoration.
We stayed at Bellingham till late,
Till told, outside, the coach did wait.
We boarded with some trepidation,
Which proved, this time, without foundation.
A better journey home, for sure,
We’d travelled all the roads before!
And this describes, as best I can
The day we went to Bellingham.
Christmas Edition 2012