I joined in a prayer for Lembit Opik this morning. It was a prayer that extended to encompass Gordon Brown as well. Who would have thought it. The occasion was the Mayor of Welshpool's Civic Service at St Mary's Church in the town. The exact wording was;
'We remember Elizabeth our Queen, her Ministers and Government, Members of Parliament, and all those who are able to influence public opinion. We pray likewise for the Welsh Assembly, and Powys County Council and for those who represent us in these areas, remembering especially Lembit Opik MP, Mick Bates AM and ......"
And in his Address, the Rev. Roger Brown spoke of the honesty that we expect in our politicians, and the price they must pay if they do things below the expected standard. I enjoyed his reference to Horatio Bottomley, a Liberal MP (later independent) who became hugely famous during the early part of the 20th century. Eventually he was sent to Wormwood Scrubs for seven years upon being found guilty of fraud. The prison chaplain found him one day making mail sacks (they really did that) and said with a questioning tone "Bottomley, sewing?". "No, reaping" he replied.
For the second time this weekend I found myself belting out "Glory, Glory, Hallelujah" as we sang the 'Battle Hymn of the Republic' - one of the Mayor's favourites. First time was at yesterday's funeral in Newtown of Miss Jean Wort, a former Chairman and President of the Montgomeryshire Conservative Association, a lady for whom the word 'formidable' could have been especially commissioned. My contribution to today's service was the second reading - Chapter V from the gospel according to St Mathew, the Sermon on the Mount. So there I was, after reciting the beatitudes, proclaiming that those who have been insulted, unjustly persecuted and have had nasty things said about them will be blessed. It all seemed very appropriate.