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The Parish Magazine
of Saint Faith's Church, Great Crosby

Saint Faith’s Prayer for Mission

Faithful God, in baptism you have adopted us as your children,
made us members of the body of Christ and chosen us as inheritors of your kingdom:
bless our plans for mission and outreach; guide us to seek and do your will;
empower us by your Spirit to share our faith in witness and to serve,
and send us out as disciples of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord.


April 2007

From the  Ministry Team

Dear friends,

In just a few weeks’ time the PCC will again be making the journey to the peaceful setting of S. Luke’s Formby for what has become a firm fixture in the diary – the Away-day! It doesn’t seem a year since the last one and it will be a good exercise to see what we have done since last May, and what we said we would do but haven’t done! I would like to open the day up this year to any member of the congregation who would like to come along. Please come and have your say; please come and contribute to the debates because they concern us all, not just the likes and dislikes of those of us on PCC.

In preparation for that day I ask you to use the prayer which appears at the bottom of this letter.

We must not neglect the importance of prayer in all that we do. Without it, are we offering anything uniquely Christian to our community? We can offer holiday clubs and schemes for our work with young and old alike; we can talk about ways to use our buildings in a more imaginative and income-generating way. But ultimately if prayer and worship aren’t at the top of the agenda then we may as well be another secular agency in the highly competitive pick-and-mix consumer society.

Please use Holy Week and Easter as a time to pray that we may be open to new and exciting ways and that God may take us and use us, not just as servants in the community, but as channels of his love and his grace. We must not be selfish when it comes to God’s love, we have received it freely and we are called to share it freely.

Holy Week is a wonderful opportunity for us to be spiritually re-charged as the liturgies unfold, telling the story so powerfully of what God did in Jesus Christ. These are events which quite literally changed the course of the world, and we need to be changed and challenged by those events.

We cannot be an authentic Easter people without first travelling the journey to the Cross. If our love for God is genuine, then we will be prepared to take up our cross and follow him in this most important of all weeks.

I know boasting is wrong, but I often tell other clergy friends how lucky we are at S. Faith’s that the Holy Week services are so well-attended. Liturgies belong to the whole community, not just those who are ‘keen’ or those who have nothing better to do! It would however be great to see even more people tracing the steps of Jesus during Holy Week. It will make our Easter celebration mean so much more, to say nothing of the excitement of the Easter Party! Having had a year off last year (from the party that is) let us make sure that this year’s truly goes with a bang! Fancy dress is optional, but for those who are game, the first prize for the best fancy-dress is a meal for two at ‘Simply Heathcotes!’

Let us travel together, as a family, during this Great Week, to hear and experience once again the amazing love God has for all the world.

Above all, give thanks for all the many things which go to make S. Faith’s an exciting and vibrant place to belong to. At the time of writing we have around twelve people, adults and children, who will be preparing to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation in June. This is a wonderful sign of the new life of which Easter speaks so powerfully.

With my love and prayers for a holy and inspiring Easter

Fr Neil

God of unchanging power
your Holy Spirit enables us
to proclaim your love in challenging times and places:
give to our parish fresh understanding and a clear vision
that together we may respond to the call to be your disciples
and so to rejoice in the blessings of your kingdom;
we ask this in the name of Him
who gave His life that ours might flourish,
your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Warm Thanks for the Warm Welcome

I would like to thank everyone at St. Faith’s for the welcome I received when I visited you to share your worship in January. The cold temperature of the building contrasted with the warmth of the welcome! As some of you will know, I regularly worship at St. James’ in Birkdale and visited your church to explore the diversity of the Church of England. I am currently testing my call to ordained ministry and progressing through the selection process which will lead me to a Bishop’s Advisory Panel in May or June this year.

Many of your traditions are different than mine and I have learned a lot from my time with you. It is good to know that we can worship God in so many different ways, in different styles but with one accord. I enjoyed sharing in your worship and in particular the music. You have a very accomplished choir and organist whose contribution to worship is invaluable. It was great to see so many different people involved in the services and good to hear what the Sunday School had been doing each week. I was pleased to be able to chat with and get to know many of you in the hall after the services and I thank you for your friendship.

There are many different talents within your church and I was glad to see so many being used in ‘Cinderella’! I attended the Monday performance with my family and thoroughly enjoyed the show. There were so many gifted people involved, singers, dancers, actors and the inevitable dames, it was as good as any professional show I’ve seen, and those involved seemed to be enjoying it as much as we did.

I would like to thank Father Neil (for answering so many of my questions so patiently), Father Dennis and you all for your welcome and I hope you will pray for me as I explore my call. I look forward to attending to occasional services with you and will keep Father Neil informed of the outcome of my panel.

Shanthi Thompson

Ann Lewin

Prayer is like watching for the kingfisher.
All you can do is be where he is likely to appear, and wait.
Often, nothing much happens:
There is space, silence and expectancy.
No visible sign, only the knowledge
that he’s been there and may come again.
Seeing or not seeing cease to matter.
You have been prepared.
But when you’ve almost stopped expecting it,
a flash of brightness gives encouragement.

George Herbert

Rise heart; thy Lord is risen.  Sing his praise
Without delayes,
Who takes thee by the hand, that thou likewise
With him mayst rise:
That, as his death calcined thee to dust,
His life may make thee gold, and much more, just.

Awake, my lute, and struggle for thy part
With all thy art.
The crosse taught all wood to resound his name,
Who bore the same.
His stretched sinews taught all strings, what key
Is best to celebrate this most high day.

Consort both heart and lute, and twist a song
Pleasant and long:
Or, since all musick is but three parts vied
And multiplied,
O let thy blessed Spirit bear a part,
And make up our defects with his sweet art.

Stations of the Resurrection

In Advent 2006 the Church of England published a new volume of services entitled “Times and Seasons” giving us, at long last, official liturgies to celebrate the times and seasons of the Christian year. One of the features of the book is a liturgy, new to many, called the Stations of the Resurrection (or Stations of Joy). As the name implies they are similar in pattern and format to the familiar Stations of the Cross (the Via Crucis, or Way of the Cross), but focussing on the appearances of Our Lord after his resurrection - the Via Lucis (the Way of Light).
“As with the Stations of the Cross, we move from station to station, reading an appropriate Bible passage and meditating on it. By using the resurrection appearances as a focus for reflection and meditation we have an opportunity to appreciate and celebrate the Easter mysteries of the resurrection of our Lord. The resurrection appearances are more than just stories or history, they are a record of personal encounters with our risen Lord, so silence and space should be given to allow the liturgy to enable that encounter to happen today”    (from “Times and Seasons” © The Archbishops’ Council 2006)   

During Eastertide at Saint Faith’s we shall celebrate the Stations of the Resurrection at 7pm beginning on Saturday 14th April.  All are welcome.

Monday 23rd April 2007 at 7.30pm
St George’s Day

SUNG EUCHARIST in honour of S. George,
Patron of England,
followed by wine and APCM

APCM and Visitation    
Fr Neil

Please note that soon lists will be in church for those who wish to indicate their willingness to serve as Churchwardens, Deputy Churchwardens and PCC members. For those elected to office, please note that a requirement is to attend the Liverpool Archdeaconry Visitation which this year takes place on Wednesday 9th May 7.30pm in S. Faith’s.

Children’s Holiday Club
30th July – 3rd August, 2007

This year will see the fifth Children’s Holiday Club at St. Faith’s. The first Club was in 2003 and over the past few years it has gone from strength to strength. About 50 children. aged between 5 and 11 years, attend daily for the week. They are divided into four groups according to age, with 12-14 children in each group. There is a leader for each group and a helper.

I have had the privilege of organising and leading these clubs, learning the ropes from Lynne Connolly at St. Mary’s; however this year I am unable to commit myself to the week. I will be happy to set everything in place, and do all the administrative work, but for the week itself we will require someone who is able to be available for the full five days of the club and take on the responsibility of running it for the week.

It is a rewarding experience and I will give that person all the help I can.  Please let myself or Fr. Neil know if you are interested in taking on this task.

Joan Tudhope (474 9923)

Holy Week and Easter Services

Holy Week Preacher: Fr. Geoffrey Hardman

Sunday 1st     PALM SUNDAY
8.00am        Office of Readings and Morning Prayer
10.30 am    Blessing of Palms at Merchant Taylors’ School and Procession
11.00 am    Solemn Eucharist and Reading of the Passion
7.00pm        Compline and Benediction
Monday 2nd     MONDAY IN HOLY WEEK
9.00am        Morning Prayer
10.30am        Eucharist
6.00pm        Evening Prayer: Book of Common Prayer (S. Mary’s)
8.00pm        Eucharist with hymns and address
10.00pm        Compline
Tuesday 3rd     TUESDAY IN HOLY WEEK
9.00am        Morning Prayer
9.30am        Eucharist
6.00pm        BCP Evening Prayer (S. Mary’s)
10.00pm        Compline

9.00am        Morning Prayer
10.30am        Eucharist (S. Mary’s)
6.00pm        BCP Evening Prayer (S. Mary’s)
8.00pm        Eucharist with hymns and address       
        (after which the Sacrament of Penance will be available for those wishing to make their confession in preparation for Easter)
10.00pm        Compline

9.00am        Morning Prayer
10.30 am    Diocesan Eucharist with Blessing of the Oils in the Cathedral and commitment to Ministry to which all are welcome
7.00pm        Holy Eucharist in commemoration of the Last Supper  and Washing of Feet (S.Mary’s)
8.00 pm        Solemn Eucharist of the Last Supper, Washing of Feet,  Procession to the Garden of Repose and Watch

10.00am        The Way of the Cross (especially for children and families)
11.00 am    Churches Together in Waterloo Act of Witness at Crosby Civic Hall
12noon        The Way of the Cross (S.Mary’s - especially for children and families)
1.30 pm        The Solemn Liturgy of the Day

2.00pm        Sacrament of Penance (S. Mary’s)
8.00 pm        Joint Easter Vigil, Service of Light and First Eucharist of Easter, followed by champagne, Easter biscuits and fireworks!

8.00am        Morning Prayer
11.00 am    Blessing of the Easter Garden, Holy Baptism and Solemn Eucharist, followed by wine
6.00 pm        Festal Evensong, Procession and Solemn Te Deum (no sermon),  followed by “Fancy Dress” Easter Party

God, our joy, our song and our salvation,
on this, the day that you have made,
you gather us to exult in the risen Christ.

Set our minds on the new life
to which Christ call us;
fire our tongues with the words of witness
and thrill our hearts on this day of days
with the bread of truth and the cup of the Holy Spirit.

We ask this through Jesus Christ,
our Passover and our peace
who is one with you and the Holy Spirit,
now and for ever. Amen.

Praise for our Panto 
Fr. Neil

It was very good – Oh, yes it was! I was only sorry that I was 6,000 miles away at the time. However, due to the ever-efficient efforts of our webmaster (thanks. Ed!) I was watching clips of the pantomime before I returned to the U.K. And very proud I was too. I had heard rumours that this year’s pantomime was possibly the best ever. Having watched the DVD through,   I can honestly  say  that it was.    What a tremendous amount of dedication,  hard work and skill  went to make a  wonderful week  for all involved and all who came to watch!

There were understandable fears about whether one so soon after the last would work, but thanks to the skilled organisation of Leo and the total support of his cast, it worked out well. Such events not only raise the profile of the church in the community but they throw people together in the most marvellous (and chaotic) way backstage that friendships and relationships between people are forged and deepened: all of that is highly important and contributes significantly to the growth of our two churches.

I think the United Benefice Dramatic Society can rightly be proud that its performances are now counted as among some of the best on offer locally these days. Many congratulations to all involved and here’s to the next one – oh yes you will!

Telling our Stories
Edwina Gately

We told our stories – that’s all.
We sat and listened to each other
And heard the journeys of each soul.
We sat in silence
Entering each one’s pain and sharing each one’s joy.
We heard love’s longing
And the lonely reachings-out for love and affirmation.
We heard of dreams shattered, and visions fled.
Of hopes and laughter turned stale and dark.
We felt the pain of isolation and the bitterness of death.

But in each brave and lonely story
God’s gentle life broke through
And we heard music in the darkness
And smelt flowers in the void.

We felt the budding of creation
In the searchings of each soul
And discerned the beauty of God’s hand
In each muddy, twisted path.

And his voice sang in each story
His life sprang from each death.
Our sharing became one story
Of a simple lonely search
For life and hope and oneness
In a world which sobs for love.

And we knew that in our sharing
God’s voice with mighty breath was saying
Love each other and take each other’s hand.

For you are one, though many
And in each of you I live.
So listen to my story
And share my pain and death.
Oh, listen to my story
And rise and live with me.

(Quoted by Fr Mark in a recent sermon)

Pause for Thought

A regular feature of Newslink is the reproduction of thought-provoking articles on religious, moral and philosophical topics from various periodicals. The editor thanks those who provide him with some of these, an also those who tell him that they appreciate such articles. This month we feature three such pieces: a coloured youth worker’s worries about gun culture and the breakdown of family values, the concerns of the National Trust about  the plight of so many church buildings – and, below, a prominent Roman Catholic writer’s warnings about the dangers of getting too close to her church! As always, readers’ views are welcome, as, of course, are all their contributions.

Look before you leap into bed with Rome
Cristina Odone

For generations, Roman Catholic schoolchildren in this country were taught to pray for the conversion of England. Their prayers may soon be answered: as talk of an Anglican schism grows, a leaked report hints that the Church of England may recognise a modified form of the papacy.

This may seem an unlikely development in view of ancient prejudices: Anglicans inveighed against ‘the whore of Babylon’, while Catholics scorned their Anglican brethren as heretics. But, at a time when both churches suffer from falling vocations, dwindling attendance and depleted coffers, this marriage of convenience may not sound such a bad idea.

Before we strike up the band and get the confetti out, though, we should ask: do Anglicans know whom they are getting into bed with?

Editing the Catholic Herald in the early 1990s made me realise that the popular view of the Catholic Church owed more to fiction than fact. The British saw my Church as an Evelyn Waugh creation steeped in incense, tradition and heavenly choirs. How they recoiled when they set foot in their local Catholic church and found a liberal Lefty priest preaching that raising taxes was part of God’s plan, while tone-deaf youngsters wailed ‘Kumbaya’.

In the same way, those Anglicans who want to break away from Canterbury over gay priests will be horrified to learn that a great many Catholic priests are of a similar persuasion. Those who bemoan their wishy-washy liberal clergy will be shocked to find that much of the Catholic hierarchy is trapped in an Old Left mentality that regards Neil Kinnock as dangerously right-wing. Anglicans who hold up the Church of Rome as a model for its black-and-white certainties should consider that, even under a German Pope, Catholicism is about the Italian art of arrangiarsi – or getting by. Thus, the Church bans birth control, but the majority practise it; condemns divorce while allowing annulment; forbids homosexuality, but shields paedophiles within its ranks.

A faith that teaches that even the worst sinner can confess and receive absolution is immensely appealing, so it would not surprise me to hear that some Anglicans are flirting with the notion of sheltering under our umbrella. But let them know the facts, not fall for a fantasy.

Christians in the Holy Land
Kathleen Zimak

As we reflect at Eastertide upon the tragic events that led to the crucifixion of our Lord in Jerusalem we should pray for our Christian brothers and sisters who live in the country where our faith was born and whom we shall join in prayer as we rejoice on Easter Day.

The entire Christian population in Palestine and Israel is approximately 162,000. Of these 120,000 are living in Israel, and the remaining 42,000 are living under today’s Palestinian authority (the Occupied Territories: the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem). In Palestine about one third of the total number of Christians can be found in the Bethlehem district, and there especially our brothers and sisters are facing many problems and living under dire circumstances.

The separation wall built by Israel now surrounds Bethlehem and has virtually cut off its citizens from other Palestinian cities, in particular Jerusalem. Bethlehem’s economy used to be based on tourism. But the Israeli wall has strangled the economy of the town and increased already high unemployment and poverty. This situation can be found across the occupied territories where illegal settlements numbering 230, created by Israel are depriving Palestinians of their homes and land. Homes are being demolished and thousands of olive and fruit trees uprooted: sometimes to make way for the Wall, sometimes as a form of collective punishment. A UN resolution of 2004 calling on Israel to remove the Wall and to compensate the Palestinians continues to be ignored. 

Palestinian Christians in the Holy Land belong to a variety of church denominations, including the Byzantine Orthodox Church, the oldest church in the land. The Christian church has always been multi-ethnic: the majority are Arab but it includes Jewish believers who were amongst the first to believe in Jesus as Messiah and Lord, and Russian Jewish immigrants who worship in the Orthodox tradition. As Anglicans we need to support in our prayers the Diocese of Jerusalem with its Bishop Riah Abu El Assal. The membership of the Anglican church combined with the Lutheran church is less than 5,000: these brothers and sisters urgently need our prayers and support.

That support may come in the form of opposition to the continuing investment by the Church of England in Caterpillar, the firm that has provided 100 bulldozers to Israel, which are being used not only to construct the infamous wall but also to wreak devastation in refugee camps and in demolition of Palestinian houses. In 2006 the General Synod of the Church of England endorsed a motion to divest from Caterpillar but this decision was hastily rejected by the Ethical Investment Advisory Group. They did so without consulting with Church leaders in Palestine or seeing first hand the devastation caused by Caterpillar’s bulldozers, as requested by Synod. The Caterpillar D is now an indispensable weapon used by the Israeli military against the civilian Palestinian population.

We can also purchase Palestinian products now on sail in some retail outlets, olive oil and soap.  We can join the ‘Living Stones’, an informal network of friends and supporters of the indigenous Palestinian Christian community promoting justice, peace and reconciliation in the Middle East. Contact

An Easter message from Bishop Riah, the outgoing Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem

‘Salaam and grace in the name of or Lord Jesus Christ and greetings from the Land of the Holy One. With all that has been happening in His Land over the last few years, and the way the great majority of the world seem to have been indifferent, the images of those people who ‘stood afar’ while Christ was in great pain on His Cross have come alive. The drama continues today but the actors change – to those standing afar, watching and doing nothing I urge you to move closer and become directly and positively involved.’


When we have no words to express our anger
Lord, give us the voice to speak out.
When we find no reason to hope in the future
Lord, give us the strength to go on.
When we have no easy answers to the crisis we face
Lord, give us the compassion to try.
And for the sake of all people in the Middle East
give us the determination to struggle for justice,
until your peace is made perfect and the tanks rust with irrelevance.

Pause for Thought 2: Gun Culture
Shaun Bailey

Why do young people feel they want or need to carry guns and then use them to shoot each other? The obvious answer is that weapons are now a fashion statement that helps to enhance respect levels. But what we seem to forget is the emotional aspect involved in carrying a weapon.

I see the problem as two-fold. Firstly, I believe that we as adults are responsible because we seem to have lost the skills to nurture our children emotionally. Our laws, and our haste to be liberal and treat young people with respect, have caused us to do them a great injustice by not imposing clear boundaries on them from a young age. We treat our children as mini adults, instructing them on their rights, but not their responsibilities. Because of this, much of young people’s behaviour goes unchecked and unchallenged.

Secondly, we expose them to large amounts of violent, misogynistic material very early on. They are raised in an environment where disrespectful behaviour is cool and in many cases seen as the norm. This gun culture was not invented by young people, it is learned behaviour. Easily available violent and sexual music videos, games and films serve to normalise extreme behaviour and to make violent and bad behaviour cool an acceptable.

The solution to this is simple, but it will take time and effort. We need to take control of the emotional development of our young people from an early age. This means encouraging strong family units where young people learn respect for rules and boundaries. They need to be taught that their actions have consequences. Right now children are fearless; they are only learning what is cool, not what is right. I am suggesting that we censor what our young people are exposed to and that we are more ready to challenge bad behaviour at home and in our wider society.

Only a small percentage of our young people are at present involved in violence at this level. We need to act now to reduce this number – because if we don’t it will only increase.

Shaun Bailey is a coloured youth worker in West London

Administering  Estates

Helping a family to cope at a stressful and difficult time is not easy but it can be handled efficiently and sympathetically by some banks. Administering an estate is a lengthy process of information gathering and paperwork, calculations and correspondence, accounts and settlements. There can often be hitches along the way. Probate and administration of the estate needs to be properly completed at a time when family and friends are least able to cope.

The church’s bankers, Lloyds TSB, have a Private Banking division that has a dedicated team to deal with the administration of estates. At least two specialists are assigned to each case and there is a fixed competitive fee, based on a percentage of the gross value of the estate.  Other banks and legal firms offer similar services.

Simply, these are the steps that are followed:

1. Valuing the estate – estimate what the estate is worth, see if there are any liabilities.
2. Apply for Probate – papers are submitted, Inheritance Tax may be due. It usually takes about four weeks for a Grant of Probate to be issued.
3. Collecting the assets – settle any outstanding liabilities, pay any cash gifts, how to deal with any remaining assets.
4. Dealing with income tax – complete the final income tax return and agree the tax position with HM Revenue & Customs.
5. Property at home – if property is involved, estate agents will be brought in and beneficiaries will be consulted before offers are accepted.
6. Assets abroad – any overseas assets usually involve legal formalities in the country in question and an attorney may have to be appointed.
7. Distributing assets – funds are distributed to beneficiaries as soon as possible, although a small reserve may be held back in case there are further expenses.
8. Finally – once everything is finalised, a final account is sent to the Capital Taxes Office, a full statement is prepared and then copies are sent to the residuary beneficiaries together with any final payments.

Many people like to review their wills periodically as family and financial circumstances change.  There can also be legal or tax changes that affect the provision you have already made. 

If this information is helpful, please talk to your solicitor or bankers to ensure that your affairs are in order.

David Jones

Pause for Thought 3: Taken on Trust?

Recently the death knell tolled for many places of worship when ‘Inspired’, a campaign launched by English Heritage and backed by a raft of conservation societies including the National Trust, publicised some brutal figures. The estimated cost of repairing all England’s 14,500 listed places of worship is almost a billion pounds over the next decade - and that doesn’t include thousands more unlisted ecclesiastical buildings. The bill is almost three times what the parishes, by the most optimistic calculation, could possibly raise. Over the same period the trickle of churches becoming redundant is predicted to become a torrent, and the statutory charity, the Churches Conservation Trust, will be able to save no more than a handful of the most important.

Not everyone associates the National Trust with places of worship, but Sarah Staniforth, the Trust’s Historic Properties Director, has many religious sites to worry about within the Trust’s portfolio, from the Victorian splendour of the chapel at Tyntesfield to the spectacular medieval ruins at Fountains Abbey and the important Bodley-designed church at Clumber. She is deeply concerned about the churches beyond the Trust’s borders, seeing the Trust as a good neighbour, offering help and advice at a local level and giving whole-hearted backing nationally for the campaign. ‘Churches are an important part of our story - and what we stand for. They represent not just the skills of past craftsmen, the wealth of benevolent landowners, but the cohesion of communities of the past - and the present.’ The fact that many National Trust properties lie close to places of worship is an important factor. ‘A day out at a Trust house and garden will often drive visitors to take in the local place of worship, too, so raising awareness of the building and its possible plight, while acting as a reminder of its importance: as part of the local landscape.’

The truth is that saving churches is a task beyond the means of any one group or organisation: our churches and chapels need new money and new people, and lots of both. We expected them to last forever, the setting for harvest suppers and Easter services, the shelter for the mother and toddler group, the picturesque backdrop for wedding and christening photos. But perhaps we have been too casual consumers of heritage. We didn’t look up at slipping roof tiles and green staining around cracked gutters; we didn’t ask who, in a congregation of 30 retired people, polished the brasses so beautifully; we didn’t cross the fields to put something in the collection box when charmed by the sound of bells. We felt virtuous at buying a postcard, when we should have put at least the price of a round of drinks into that battered collection box for replacing the lead on the spire. Now, if we were each to buy a crate of postcards it wouldn’t be enough - but it is not, quite, too late to start.

Maev Kennedy writes for The Guardian on archaeology and historic buildings.

Thank  You!

On behalf of my husband, daughter and myself, I would like to thank the congregations of St Mary’s and St Faith’s Churches for making our wedding day so special. Without your help the day wouldn’t have been as wonderful as it was. 

We would particularly like to thank Fr Neil, Fr Derek and Fr Dennis for a lovely service, Mary Crooke and Angie Price for the flower arrangements, the choir who sang beautifully (and reduced many of the congregation to tears for all the right reasons!), Sue Walsh for reading the intercessions so well, the Serving Team, for all their friendship and support, (not forgetting Kevin Walsh’s near death experience when putting the nets up in the church hall!!) and Chris Price and Denis Griffiths for the fabulous photos and DVDs of the day.

Betty, Keith and Christine managed to pull off yet another fantastic spread along with many other contributors,  including Laura Caddick, Karen Lunt,  Rosie and Rick  Walker, Marie, Fiona Whalley and Mary Crooke (apologies if I missed anyone!)

Family, friends and colleagues have all commented on what a wonderful day it was and how there was a real feeling of community and togetherness, Gary and I were overwhelmed by the love and support shown by everyone.  Even the DJ didn’t want to go home!

I am sure some of you are aware that Jack Winder had been in hospital the week leading up to the wedding; it was a very emotionally-charged week for us as a family, he was determined to be at the church and lo and behold he made it! Words can’t convey how much it meant to me to have him beside me walking down the aisle. I would like to take this opportunity also to thank Mum. As many of you know, we haven’t always seen eye to eye! but I truly thank God for her, and admire her courage and strength of character, and love her dearly.

With all our love and best wishes

Judith, Gary and Emily



A Reflection for Eastertide
from the writings of Edward Norman, former Chancellor of York Minster

The Resurrection of Christ

Public opinion polls appear to show that more people believe in personal reincarnation than in the Resurrection of Jesus, and that very many people claim to believe in both. It is not a very encouraging finding. Nor is the growing tendency among Christians to interpret the Resurrection as a symbolical rather than an actual event: that the followers of Jesus sensed his spirit among them, and that their subjective joy comprised a kind of renewal of his life. The simple truth is that the Resurrection is in separable from the Incarnation itself. It is an affirmation of the nature of the Creation. God does not work by magic, but in the laws of the very matter he has himself exploded into existence and for a while holds in an expanding balance – the universe. To be known about he must either be discovered in the created order itself, by the use of human reason, or he must be evident of our understanding in the only way which is not compatible with those same laws of creation: by becoming one of us.

Both means of knowing God are available to us. In every culture on the planet men and women have perceived the evidences of a Creator, and have employed their capacity to reason to put their sense that this is so into formal images of God, sometimes, alas, in grotesque ways. God, for his part, entered the immediate experience of humanity by taking upon himself the shared life of his creatures: a supreme act of Revelation which confirmed the preceding intimations of his presence and also directly opened the way of personal salvation to those whose response recognized and acted on his mercy.

It is essential to this divine initiative that God really was a man, and not either the mere appearance of a man (as some early heresies taught), or an actual human whom God ‘adopted’ as his earthly representation (a notion which crops up periodically in each century). Jesus was truly God and truly man. And here is a great paradox; for this was not a ‘miraculous’ occurrence, except according to a very careful definition of the word – modern people tend to use the concept of the miraculous as a kind of synonym for magic. It was an occurrence which fully used the material nature of the creation, thereby confirming that all God had made was a dimension of his purpose. Now, resurrection stories were attached to numerous local divinities in the cults and mysteries of the ancient world, and were a familiar part of the expectations of those seeking religious help. Such cultic myths were full of bizarre and extraordinary miracles performed by the resuscitated leader.

The Resurrection of Christ showed none of these excesses. Instead he returned to the Father; his earthly body, being fully God as well as fully man, ascending (or translating) with the entire power of the author of all things. It was an event both spiritual and material, a unique occurrence which signalled to the children of God – to all people, that is to say – that human life had been endowed with the dignity and purpose of eternal value. Whatever the dreadful imperfections of humanity, the man who is God beckons each one of us to follow him. 

And finally…

The vicar was surprised when a man with no arms asked if he could ring the church bells. The vicar wondered how he was going to manage the bell ropes, but the man explained that he would climb up to the bells and ring them with his head.

He went up to the bell tower and banged his head against one of the bells. Getting really carried away, he banged it again and again and finally rammed his face against it. Overcome with excitement, he overbalanced and fell to the ground in a heap. A crowd gathered as the vicar climbed down. ‘How dreadful,’ said one onlooker. ‘Do you know who he is, Vicar?’

‘I don’t know his name,’ said the vicar, ‘but his face certainly rings a bell…’

(Told to the editor by a young friend of  St Faith’s! See 100 more religious jokes at:

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