Chocolate and the New Kingdom…


I offer you this for St Valentine’s day…

Michaela and I sat and watched the film Chocolat last night. We have both seen it before, but were moved again by its power.

If you have not seen it, it is set in a French village soon after the second world war into which a stranger and her little girl who come to open a chocolate shop. There is magic about the woman and about the chocolate. Her kindness and the glorious excess of her chocolate creations start to change people- to open them up, to make them hope again. And there are those who do not like this- particuluarly the ultra religious mayor, who is able to control the local parish priest. There is a puritanical backlash, against both the woman and against some gypsies who are in the area.

Except, the magic is still in the woman, and in the chocolate, and there is a change. I will say no more, not wanting to spoil the film for  you- but there is plenty still to enjoy in the gentle comedy and the lovely acting (Judy Dench, Johnny Depp, Juliette Binoche.)

There is also some rather profound theology. After the pivoting point of the film, this happens;

It reminded me so much of Babettes Feast– the image of a God of exuberance, who draws us into a dance of joy, of consumation, of love.

So, my friends, may your day be full of Chocolat…

Praying with maltesers…

Michaela meets with a few friends to pray and chat about once a week. They sit round a table and make art whist they pray. Women are so much better at these things than we blokes I think.

Of course, being women, chocolate is involved.Today they sat round a big bag of maltesers. I am not sure what exact spiritual role the sweeties played.

Perhaps a kind of woman’s communion celebration?

One prayer, three maltesers.

One answered prayer, a bar of dairy milk.

They keep this lovely book of things they have made- pictures and crafts. It is such a beautiful thing- like a living prayer

I got (grudging) permission to take some photos of the pages that are not personal. I hope you enjoy them, it is like an invitation into another world.

Where chocolate is freely available…