This afternoon I was one of the many guests invited by the Oxford Oratorians to their annual 'At Home' for friends and supporters. This is always an enjoyable occasion, a chance to meet up with other members of the congregation and to get to know some of them better. The hospitality is always generous and the welcome warm, and there is always a sense of the shared purpose of clergy and parishioners.
I think I have made theis point in previous years, but it is worth making again, that the Oratory parish has a genuine sense of community without the forced aspect of phrases like "Our Parish Community" which one comes accross in some other churches - Catholic and non-Catholic alike. We are, of course, a very diverse group with different emphases and interests, different backgrounds and formation, but we do sense a common identity that is in no way imposed upon us. We do not need to be told we are a community to know and appreciate that we are one.