Here’s a typical Sunday in Wolverhampton. I walked to St. Michael’s church to hear Renee’s bell ringing band call the faithful to church. They only mustered 5 players (there had been 11 at rehearsal, but you see there’s no ale after church) but the 5 bells still create some very interesting, mournful patterns which I found easier to follow. I bussed over to St. Peter’s, the large collegiate church downtown where the concert had taken place the previous evening. The men and boys and Fr Wright led us through “Back to Church Sunday.”
When Renee said we had tickets for the Wolverhampton Wanderers football match I was very excited to see my first English game live. She didn’t tell me that we had seats as the Director’s guests, given to us very generously by Rachael Heyhoe-Flint, probably the most famous female sports figure in Britain. She was captain of the English women’s cricket team who won the World Cup in the 70’s. So we got to hang out in the posh lounge before the game where people dressed in suits and ate little sandwiches. In the Hall of Fame hangs an autographed page of Percy Young’s biography of Elgar, confirming the link between the great composer and his beloved Wolves. We sat with the team Chaplain, Fr David Wright, who is also the Rector at St. Peter’s Church. This is an association that goes back many years – I was told the Rector of St. Peter’s is “always” the Wolves’ Chaplain .
How did we do at the match? Well, the away team had a very good cheering corner who sang almost as loudly as the home crowd. The singing and gesticulating was almost as entertaining as the game. Unfortunately, though the Wolves dominated play throughout the second half, they were robbed of victory – no, they were robbed of a draw – 2 to 1 for Aston Villa.