It had to happen one day, I suppose. Over 11 years of almost weekly travel to parishes in the diocese and never a single scheduled service missed - until this weekend, that is.
An accident closed a section of the westbound M4 heading to London's Heathrow airport and I was trapped for 2 hours, missing my flight to Berlin. Rebooking was not a problem, except it was the last flight of the day. So I am transferred to the first flight in the morning which arrives in Berlin at 1130, exactly one hour after the start of the service at St George's at which I was to preside, preach, baptise and confirm.
Canon Christopher Jage-Bowler and the Revd Dr Irene Ahrens, the clergy at St George's, having received a panicked call from a frazzled bishop, calmly improvised with some liturgical ingenuity. They would hold the normal sung eucharist, and baptise those to be baptised in the morning, and the confirmation candidates will come to the evening service in central Berlin at which I am also presiding. So with a little shuffle, and some liturgical flexibiity (just ignore the rubric about the full initiation rite of baptism, confirmation and holy communion being celebrated as a unity), and we are back on track. My thanks to the clergy for their swift and flexible response.
Now to address those frazzled episcopal nerves.