Dear Friends and Companions,

My last letter to you was in October and I said that I was enjoying a calm period after a long and very busy albeit enjoyable year. Well Christmas changed all that I have been kept very busy because the Community has been busy. I conducted the pre-Advent Clergy Retreat called The Joyful Mystery. I really enjoyed this. We looked at works of art, had a poetry session looked at bits from the movies and celebrated a service of healing and reconciliation. I got a lot of good feedback and I will be following up with a similar clergy next week – Seeing Temptation. I will also be giving a Quiet Day for the Isle of Man clergy in Lent. I’m looking forward to seeing the Island again. Nearly fifty years ago as a Boys Brigade officer I spent several camps in Ramsey.

In the October email I mentioned several films that I had been to. Well I have added Last Christmas and Little Women to the list and I would happily recommend either of them. Jojo Rabbit is a quirked comic tragedy about a small boy in the Hitler Youth. The acting by the central characters is beautiful. It ends on a note of triumph but I was very disturbed by it and it brought home to me how the exploitation of all that is good in young people still goes on.

So, in a tone devoid of all excitement, I open the 2020 campaign for another auction. Our sights are set on September the 5th.  My brother George is more than willing to take up his gavel once more. I have considered this and given a lot of thought to it. I have wondered if I am fit enough to do. Actually none of the auctions I have done to date have given me much extra work or caused any difficulties for the other works that I have been called on to do. Of course the week of the auction is always frantic but that was the same for Commem. Day and is still the same for the Festival Weekends but after a day’s rest we all recover from them.

I know that I am a year older but that is a good reason for doing it while I am still young. So once again dear friends I ask for your help.   Once again I shall be doing the begging the collecting and the organisation.  Help can take many forms and perhaps the one thing that you can all do is to pray for me and for the success of the auction. I need to remind myself constantly that this is not just for fun. It is for the love of God and for the needs of his Church.

The other thing that we can all work on is publicity. You may not have anything to donate but you almost certainly know someone who does. Friends who are downsizing, people who need to empty a house, someone who has given up stamp collecting or coins or memorabilia etc. might be glad to hear of us. Please pass my details to them.

There will be people at some distance who would contribute things if I could arrange the collection and I would be glad to hear from drivers who could help in this way.

In the week of the auction I will need volunteers for various jobs – on Wednesday and Thursday I will be moving things to the College, Friday, viewing day, I’ll need floor assistants. On the day of the auction there will be multiple jobs.

Already the campaign is going well. We had a large donation of items in Ireland which, rather than ship them across, we sold in George’s old auction rooms and made near £600. We have a fine collection of things including some very attractive antiquarian books (if you have such a dealer in your area Please alert him to this). At the moment I am still looking for those star items that have been a feature of success in previous auctions.

Thank you for all your support in the past. It is lovely to work with my friends and Companions. As we leave the Christmas season behind and look towards Easter I pray that the Holy Spirit will bless out Lenten devotions and open our hearts to receive the graces won for us by Christ through his death and Resurrection.

Love to you all

John CR.

Contacts: House of the Resurrection, Mirfield, WF14 0BN 01924 483 339,