Graeme Elmore is now a Catholic

Well the response to my entry yesterday (Saturday 15th November), outlining some of the medical problems I have recently encountered has been overwhelming., friends, old chums and acquaintances as well as family have been texting, e-mailing, phoning and even calling at the door to express concern, solidarity, and one hesitates to mention the “L” word…but that too. It’s absolutely fantastic to know when you need your pals, that so many are there for you – many thanks to all.

One special phone call was from one of my oldest friends. Fr Michael Kirkpatrick – now a priest at Plymouth’s Roman Catholic Cathedral, but for many years an Anglican parish priest, phoned yesterday afternoon. Michael and I first met on the soccer pitch (unlikely, I know, but nevertheless true!) when we were both at college, and ever since we’ve been friends despite the fact that the referee (me!) asked him to vacate the pitch. Anyway he and I discussed what “brand” of chaplain I should consult when I am admitted to hospital – because not yet being formally received into the Catholic Church, whilst having abandoned my Anglican credentials, I was in a sort of Limbo land.

Via the kind offices of the Bishop to the Forces, Fr Michael contacted the Bishop of Clifton who very kindly agreed that under the circumstances I should be received without delay into the Church. So this afternoon off we set for the 1800 mass in Plymouth Cathedral where Fr Kirkpatrick received me in to the Roman fold, and gave me both Confirmation and First Communion as a Catholic, and afterwards I received the Sacrament of the Sick in preparation for my going into hospital, which I hope will be within the week or so – though I do not yet know when.

Much to my surprise word had got out to a few of my Devonport-based friends who also turned up to the Cathedral this evening to give that moral support one always needs on these very special occasions. Amongst them, old friends Nancy and David Hill, who kindly and generously invited all of us back to their house for drinks and nibbles which Nancy very quickly organised. An impromptu party - lovely, a great celebration for a day that has been a long time coming!Wasn’t that nice of Nancy? And wasn’t it nice of Fiona to do all the driving?!

However we couldn’t hang about – we left at 2030 to drive back through the drizzle and mist to glorious Somerset, as I have to be on the road again tomorrow morning at 0700 to get to Surrey and the third week in my new job with Combat Stress.

The damnable thing is, that I’ve now got to get all my forms out in order to score through “C of E” and insert “RC”!!