St Bart's Choir

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Rome trip 2002

St Bartholomew's “Giro Di Roma"

On Friday morning October 18th  the group met and assembled in time to hear Fr Luke say Mass. An unaccompanied rendition of “If ye Love me" followed by a quick dash for the waiting coach began our wonderful tour. We travelled en masse to Manchester Airport for a flight to Frankfurt and a follow up flight to Rome. We arrived at our accommodation in a splendid Ursuline convent at 10.00pm where we were greeted so warmly and lovingly that it set the tone and ambience that remained for the whole week.

We sang at some incredibly moving venues including Santa Maria in Trastevere, The Venerable English College,  St Bartholomew’s on Tiber Island, the Beda College and Santa Susanna (the American Church in Rome). Each venue holds treasured memories for everyone in such a unique way which cannot be explained in word or on paper. Our final sing was in the chapel of the convent for all the nuns and staff.  This has a place of its own in all our hearts.

We also sang impromptu at a number of unofficial venues with extraordinary ease and composure including St Paul's ( outside the walls), the English College (summer residence ), the Pantheon, the Colosseum, Castel Gandolfo, St Peter's Basilica. The most rewarding rendition has to be the  "Hallelujah Chorus" in St Peter's Basilica, the most moving rendition was " If ye love me" in the Chapel where Fr Luke was ordained in the English College summer residence and the funniest rendition was the " National Anthem" at the Colosseum in order to gain free entry!!

Our free time consisted of sight seeing and with the help and assistance of our expert driver Gianni and Pilar our tour manager. We had a wonderful time visiting the Vatican Museums, Trevi Fountain, the Forum, Colosseum, Sistine Chapel and many other gems too numerous to mention.

The highlight of the week was the Papal Audience and blessing bestowed on all present and extended to family and friends back home. What a delight and how remarkable to see Pope John Paul II giving addresses in eight languages!

The week was filled with fun and laughter and a true sense of fellowship among all. There have been so many highs that it will take months for each of us to relay back to our nearest and dearest. Suffice it to say it was an unforgettable experience and has provided enrichment in a spiritual way and given us all a greater sense of community.

Finally a big thank you goes out to all the parishioners from St Bartholomew's and St Anne's  who supported all our efforts and fundraising activities, making this trip possible for our ten under-18 young choristers.