Unto the Nation

An early Monday morning start to the week to ensure that all was ready for broadcasting unto the nation. I was doing the Daily Service on Radio 4 with the choir.

I listened to the news at 7 am – you always need to listen to the headlines when doing these things in case Something Has Happened. If Something Has Happened you know that things are going to change and that it is an exciting morning. Today I realised during the news that Something Had Indeed Happened but happened 60 years ago. Sixty years ago today HM became the Q and I’d forgotten to mention her in the script. That was easily sorted and we managed to slip in a petition for the people of Syria too.

All gathered in Wellington Church (where such services are done in Glasgow) we then had a full run through. You run through the whole service about an hour ahead to check for timings. Then whilst the choir have a cup of tea you agonise about which sentences need changing or cutting in order to hit the time slot right when you do it live. This service usually preceeds the pips, which can’t be shifted. As it happens, today we were in the middle of the cricket (and no doubt annoying the cricket fans) and so the pips were put aside.

Even though I’ve no doubt that I was the most hated man in Middle England when I interrupted the commentary, it was nice to get a direct handover from the cricket team.

Indeed when someone was complaining on twitter about the service interrupting the game, I noticed the following tweet from @Aggerscricket – yes, the great Aggers himself:

would rather be listening to belting hymns than watching this slow torture!

That’s the spirit.

I only realised recently that the different bits of virtual St Mary’s are all more connected than I had formerly thought. Online prayer on a Saturday, the diaspora of St Mary’s folk scattered to the four corners of the world, the radio audiences, the website and blog readers, the video sermon watchers, the email newsletter receivers and (soon to come) Friends of St Mary’s are all part of the way that the congregation has an identity that is not directly about being physically present in the building.

Today’s Daily Service was part of that, and you can listen to it online for the next six days at this link.