I started this week with a tour and reception for the Make Time Friendship Group, a club to help people who feel isolated and lack confidence socialising get out and about. And just think of those nice words – who of us is honestly too busy to make time for others? We all endlessly rush around and often overlook the most important things in life – our family and friends. So, can I thank those people, from wherever they come, who just knock on the Parlour door (or wander in!) to look at the most beautiful office in the whole of Worcester. They’re mainly tourists so I always direct them to our Museums and shops and ask them to spend their money.
I witnessed a truly amazing act of Christian charity in Gheluvelt Park when about 100 young people from a week-long Christian camp near Worcester, participating in the Take Pride In Worcester campaign, cleaned up and painted the railings, the main gate and equipment in the play area. For so many young people who do not even live near Worcester to serve our City in this way is an impressively vivid way for the true meaning of Christianity to show itself. It is like the work of His Holiness, Pope Francis, in making his church so much more relevant by returning to fundamentals in a secular and selfish world.
Of course, this week has seen Worcester host the Three Choirs Festival, the world’s oldest music festival. It was good to mix with colleagues from Hereford and Gloucester at the receptions and the Thursday concert of Elgar and Vaughan Williams could only ever be a pure delight and, significantly in the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, this concert was supported by the German Embassy. I also attended the Launch of the 2015 programme, to be held in Hereford, which will be the 300th Anniversary of the Festival. However, without wishing to be churlish about it, that is only based on some very dubious figures about when the first Festival actually took place, and on excluding war and other years when it did not take place. Let’s just say, the arithmetic is somewhat unreliable! And, anyway, Worcester did host the 200th Anniversary event.