We have arrived safe and sound in Ely and are staying the The Lamb Hotel (built in 1623). The trip was fraught with complications and delays but, through God’s mercy, we are all in one piece and well watered and fed.
The hotel is fantastic, comfortable and situated almost under the eaves of the cathedral. It is down the street from Oliver Cromwell’s house *spits* but don’t hold that against it. The food is top notch, the bar is well stocked (we have already made good use of it) and there are plenty of things to do in the area. The great thing about Ely is that although it is classified as a “city” it really isn’t a large place. The only reason it is classified as such is because it has a cathedral. Silly English…
Anyway, after a much needed shower and nap we went and attended Choral Evensong in the cathedral which was sung by a fellow American visiting choir, this one from Illinois. They were really excellent and, much to the amusement of our own choir, the setting they used for the service music (Preces and Responses in the Mixolydian Mode) was written by our very own choir director, Richard Webster, and which we will also be using during our week here! So that was a very nice surprise and a very nice welcome.
We also learned that the local Roman Catholic Church has a relic of St. Etheldreda (the patroness of Ely and the Cathedral) which I hope to be able to go and venerate.
Unfortunately my laptop is going to die in a very few minutes so I will not have enough time to write what I wanted. I bought a converter but, bizarrely, it does not have a hole for the “ground” prong on my power supply cable. Very annoying. I’ll have to go and pick one up tomorrow.
Speaking of tomorrow, I will be attending Divine Liturgy at St. Ephraim the Syrian Russian Orthodox Church in Cambridge tomorrow morning in lieu of attending Mass here in Ely at the cathedral It will be an adventure as I must take a train and a bus or two to get there but it will be much worth it, I am sure.
More updates to come once I’ve sorted out this laptop problem!
Please keep us in your prayers, as you are in ours.