Saturday, 10 September 2011

Another form for the Kiss of Peace

The late renowned TV chef, whose anniversary it is today, Jennifer Paterson, (one half of the fat Ladies television series) could invariably be seen outside the Little Oratory on a Sunday morning puffing on a post Mass cigarette. Her gravelly voice and plain common sense approach to life endeared her late in life to her audience.

Jennifer Paterson RIP -
 an Extraordinary Catholic!
She was, of course, a Traditionalist, oops, sorry to use that tag but it places this story in context.

A report from the Peterborough column in The Daily Telegraph of 13th October 1999 (after her death) records how a priest friend of hers  persuaded her to attend the Mass he was celebrating. He recalled her sitting in the front pew glowering at the liturgical fol-de-rols of the then Novus Ordo Mass.

When the Kiss of Peace was announced, he caught her eye only to see her discreetly extending two fingers to him in her own version of the sign of peace.

Jennifer Paterson died of cancer on 10 August 1999 and had the benefit of a Requiem Mass at the London Oratory attended by over 1,000 people.

As a chain smoker she was aware of the dangers of lung cancer but carried on smoking right up to the end - "'s terminal cancer so why not?"

Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord,  and let perpetual light shine upon her.
May she rest in peace. Amen.


  1. Whattagal! Beautiful story!

    Thanks for the prompt. I need to stop smoking, which I do often enough just to annoy the goodthinkful.

    God bless!

  2. I didn't realise she was dead so long? God rest her soul. My Ma and Pa got married at Brompton O.

  3. I do believe she left a handsome sum to the Oratory's music fund. And what a stupendously good music department it has.
    Though outside London I try, nevertheless, to get to the Easter Triduum; and to the November Requiem Mass for All Souls when the choir, with an orchestra, sings one of the great works.

  4. Is the other lady she motorbiked and cooked with, a Catholic? I used to know, but my memory is terrible these days.

  5. Ros, her name might give you a clue....Clarissa Theresa Philomena Aileen Mary Josephine Agnes Elsie Trilby Louise Esmerelda Dickson-Wright...phew!
    Yes, she was raised a Catholic and had a very distinguished career being the youngest woman called to the bar. She was precociously but suffered from alcoholism and her world crashed around her, not sure if she is a practising or 'resting' Catholic now.

  6. Mmmmm....must engage brain and all that...should read "She was precociously successful..."

  7. JP was a Trad and a real hero of mine. CW is a Catholic- but more liberal. If unable to get to Mass CW would sit in at an Anglican service - JP said that would lead to hell. Watch CW's interview with Fern Brittan: should be on youtube. She talks about JP and her Faith, and her un-pc Trad ways. Glorious.