Saturday, 20 September 2008

Our Lady of Shoreham

I have been watching with interest a house on the Upper Shoreham Road. Over the last couple of years, the inhabitants have been erecting vast wrought-iron fences—seemingly at night, for I have never seen them at work—then taking them down, and then putting them up again. They are nice pieces of work, though rather over the top for what appears to be a modest Shoreham bungalow behind them.

But then, to my amazement, a sort of rockery appeared behind the railings, topped with a statue of what looks like our Lady of Lourdes in wood (though possibly only coloured as wood) facing the house, with her back to the road.

These are clearly pious people, though I have no knowledge of any Catholics at that address. One of my parishioners, who lives on the same road, gently investigated. Apparently, these people are Coptic Christians. As I have remarked before, there are quite a lot of Copts in this area, though they tend to concentrate in Brighton.

But there is more. Apparently some Copts have been seeing visions of our Lady in Shoreham. I don't know anything further, but it's nice to think of, and certainly it is nice to see the statue of our Lady as I drive most days past it on my way to Steyning or Upper Beeding.

Another apparition was seen over Worthing in July: this one was apparently a UFO. You can read about it here. In fact last year, a similar sighting was reported in Shoreham itself. This sort of thing has never interested me much, though I know a major religious superior who is fascinated by it.


gemoftheocean said...

You might want to stop by and thank them for putting up the statue and telling them how much you like it.

For many years, as long as I can remember anyway, there were some people on the south side of the interstate who lived on the hill overlooking the freeway. Every start of Advent, a Chi-Rho sign goes up and stays through Epiphany.

One year a friend and I decided to seek out the family that puts this up. A few hundred thousand San Diegans see it each day on their commute home as they go uphill towards San Diego state on I-8. It's just south of the Waring Rd. Exit. So we found the house without much trouble! Grandma was home watching the kids as the parents were out at choir practise, but she much appreciated our "thanks from the neighborhood." They are Lutherans. It's nice to see a show of Christian faith. It makes people see less alone.

Rubricarius said...

Copts are very pleasant people. There services interesting but very, very long indeed.

As to UFOs it reminds me of the old joke that to claim the Medjugorje visions were caused by a UFO was verging on the ridiculous.