The Parish Magazine of St Faith`s Church, Great Crosby
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Newslink April 1999
From the Clergy
Joy and triumph are the keynotes of our Eastertide services, for we celebrate the most glorious event of our Christian faith the raising to new life of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. His friends had deserted him, indeed one of them had betrayed him; he had been seized and arrested, interrogated and beaten, taken off to the miserable death of a common criminal. By all human reckoning, this Jesus and his followers and his story should have faded away into the dim world of lost causes and forgotten events.
But this was not the way it was. This was not another human story. Instead, it follows the pattern set in the Bible when the scriptures record the great movements of the history of God’s chosen people: there is decline followed by restoration, disillusionment followed by new hope, destruction followed by new life. Again and again in that history all seems lost; there is nothing but death to all longings, the dashing of all aspirations but each time there comes new life and new expectation.
The Bible history of the people of Israel was never a continuous upward curve leading to a peak of achievement; instead, it was always a cyclic movement in which loss and gain followed one another, often in quick succession; when achievement at one time was at its lowest level and the next stage rose far above all expectation.
Yet, when seen as one great all-enveloping story, one vast tapestry of multi-coloured threads, it was a story of victory, a pattern of all success. God was guiding events, however desperate and terrible they might seem at the time. Out of failure he brought success; out of disaster, weakness and collapse he brought a new and vibrant strength. Out of what seemed to be the end of everything he brought new life and vigour. Prison doors were opened, new lands gained, new temples built on the ruins of the old. From disloyalty and defection, a remnant of the nation moved forward to final victory.
From the darkness which covered the earth and from death upon a cross, there came the light of a glorious and all-embracing resurrection. Here is the splendour and greatness of Easter out of the past ruin and destruction, out of darkness and sin, out of despair and desolation, God brought forth new life and hope. Those who had deserted and betrayed the Lord, and had fallen into the blackness of despair and the torment of regret and self-disgust came forth in the reflected light and glory of the risen Christ.
I am risen and am still with you is the message of Easter Day! Now, salvation and hope and the promise of the Kingdom shine forth upon the darkened world; humanity has risen with Christ, and the Risen Saviour is in our midst, ready to inspire, guide, protect, those who have faith in his life and in his presence with them with us.
Here is our Easter message. The light we receive from Christ is to be shared, the joy and the new life is ours, not to be held in our hands, not to be kept carefully and discreetly shielded, but to be boldly broken and given away. This is the message of the Easter gospel. St. Matthew has, Do not be afraid. Go and take the word...±; St Mark, Go, and give this message...±; St John, Go, and tell...±. So, as we celebrate the wonder and the joy and the glory of Easter, let it be our resolve to share that Risen Life and that New Light.
Every joy and blessing in the Risen Lord,
From the Registers
Funeral 1 March Leigh Heaton
Community News Update Jenny Kemp
The coming of computers and sophisticated colour printers was hailed as a boon and a blessing to men, but in this part of the country they have found a way to make excellent copies of the free travel passes which are issued to disabled and elderly people by Merseytravel.
Each year 47,000 passes are issued for the disabled and 220,000 for the elderly and Merseytravel pay the various bus and train companies for accepting their use on their transport, but so many fraudulent passes are in circulation that Merseytravel are losing thousands of pounds a year.
New passes, which it hoped cannot be copied, are being produced and in the near future all holders of disabled passes will be receiving a letter telling them where they can go to be issued with a new pass. For elderly people a different pass will be issued on expiry of the one held at present.
Apart from one London Borough, only Merseytravel give free travel in this way and it is a shame that such a valued concession should be put in jeopardy by a small group of villains.
For the last two years I have been battling with NorthWest Water in an attempt to persuade them to give a rebate on water bills to people living alone, in the same way as a rebate is given on the Council Tax. To my amazement they produced the excuse that their licence did not allow them to do this as it would be discrimination, which seems ridiculous when both Council Tax bills and Water bills are calculated on the valuation of the property!
With the help of our M.P., Mrs. Curtis Thomas, NorthWest Water have now agreed to install water meters free of charge. This will commence in April 1999 but will be such a mammoth task they are not sure how they are going to do it, whether it will be by district or area or on a first-come first-served basis. This will be better than nothing, for so many people living alone feel resentful because they have a family of four or five living next door bathing every day and with a washing machine going like the clappers, and yet both pay the same water bill!
Thanks Miss that was boss! Denise McDougall
It seems many, many months ago that I first started to think of ways to involve young people in St Faith’s Centenary Celebrations. Thursday 25th February saw the culmination of a great deal of effort, commitment and enthusiasm, when our Church was filled with over 200 young people from some of our local primary schools, special schools, uniformed groups and, of course, St Faith’s treble choir.
It is not easy taking responsibility for 20 or 30 of your pupils outside school hours, but head teachers and staff from Ronald House, Newfield, Merchant Taylors` Junior School and Crosby Road North all gave their time, encouragement and support so willingly. The children were all well-rehearsed and enthusiastic, and I felt privileged working with them. Their teachers and leaders must have felt so proud of their children and absolutely delighted with their behaviour and performance.
Thanks, Miss that was boss! were the words of a year 7 boy from Newfield, a special school for children with a Statement of Educational Needs for emotional and behavioural difficulties, where I have taught for many years. I couldn’t believe this boy was thanking me, when I wanted to praise and thank him so much. He was the one, along with five others, who had attended all the rehearsals, missed football at break times and made every effort to learn the words (although he’s 11 years old he couldn’t read them). What an effort he had put in, yet he was so grateful just to have been included: it was an experience he’ll never forget. He actually said how much he liked my church and did I own it?! He had never been inside any church before and would like to visit again and of course I shall do everything possible to arrange that. I felt so proud of these pupils, and especially Kathryn, who read all the verses of Super Mum as if she often stood in front of a microphone with more than 200 children and their parents watching.
I know I must sound biased but I am so pleased with the efforts made by these disadvantaged children. The headmistress from Ronald House said how wonderful it was to be included in an out-of-school project; so often Special Schools are forgotten. I wish OFSTED inspectors could have been there to see it all. Seven local schools of different denominations in fellowship together: surely we would have got top marks for providing a spiritual, social and cultural opportunity!
I know I will never forget my small part in St Faith’s Centenary Celebrations, and those of you there on the night will know why. How many times did I try to say my words? What a nerve-racking experience! I could feel the whole church willing me to say the words properly. Afterwards somebody asked which idiot had actually written the passage I had to admit: I did!
However, despite some minor hiccups all went well and by the time you read this no doubt many recordings will have been made by proud mums. If the quality of the broadcast is dependent on effort and enthusiasm then it should have been excellent. I can only say a huge and sincere thank you to everybody who helped in any way. I couldn’t have managed without you all. It goes without saying that St Faiths Centenary Celebrations will stay with me for a long time to come.
Our thanks and congratulations to Denise for all her hard work in dreaming up, planning, and bringing to fruition this splendid event. Elsewhere in this issue you will read of our plans and hopes for a revival of youth-centred activities of every kind in and connected with St Faith’s. The Mothering Sunday broadcast may just be the beginning! Ed.
Jesus invites us to a way of celebration,
meeting and feasting with the humble and poor.
Let us walk his way with joy.
Jesus beckons us to a way of risk,
letting go of our security.
Let us walk his way with joy.
Jesus challenges us to listen to the voices
of those who have nothing to lose.
Let us walk his way with joy.
Jesus points us to a way of self-giving,
where power and status are overturned.
Let us walk his way with joy.
Jesus calls us to follow the way of the cross,
where despair is transformed by the promise of new life.
Let us walk his way with joy.
A Reflection on the Daily Eucharist
Some of us were delighted to hear from Father Neil, of his intention to reinstate, after many years of absence, a daily Eucharist at St. Faith’s (the exception being that Wednesday’s celebration will remain at St. Mary’s, as part of its own mid-week tradition).
By strange coincidence my attention to this important tradition in the life of the Church of England had been reawakened only recently by reading Fr. Nicolas Stebbing`s editorial in the Epiphany issue of C.R. the Quarterly Review of the Community of the Resurrection. Fr. Nicolas, when a novice at the Mother House at Mirfield, came to preach Holy Week at St. Faith’s and, no doubt, some readers of Newslink will remember his being with us. In apposite and stark manner, his editorial reminds us of the significance and centrality of the Eucharist at the heart of Christian life and devotion:
Our Founder Charles Gore wrote in The Eucharistic Sacrifice, ÔA daily eucharist is a small enough ceremony in a corner, in a little chapel with perhaps but a few worshippers; but the smallness is only in its outward features. The act itself has widest range; it reaches out arms of power over the whole world; it extends its influence to the abode of the departed; it penetrates up to the Throne of God. It is the widest, richest act in which the freest of generosity can be spent of which man is capable.
It is not surprising therefore that our Community has always had in its Rule the obligation to celebrate mass every day in the house of the Community. It is not just an obligation. It is an amazing privilege. It is also the most efficacious form of intercession that God has given us. How sad it is that so few churches today offer a daily mass. How sad it is that so many clergy do not think a mass worth saying unless there is a substantial number of worshippers. In recent years the eucharist has been seen, rightly, as the offering of the whole people of God in one place. That is true and wonderful, but it should not obscure the equally important truth that in the mass Christ himself is pleading the sacrifice before his Father, pleading for the conversion of an unbelieving people living in a particular parish. Westward-facing masses perhaps express the former truth. Eastward-facing masses perhaps emphasise the second. Since so many churches still have both sorts of altars most parish priests are well placed to offer both kinds of eucharist. Only a server is necessary. The angels, archangels and whole company of heaven make up the rest.
There has been welcome publicity recently for the prize-winner in the international Millennium Hymn competition. Cambridge church cleaner Hilary Jolly has told how Millennium hype makes her sick, and how writing a hymn seemed more sensible than handing out candles that won’t fit through letter boxes. We print her fine words, to be sung to the royal family (and others) in St Paul’s on January 2nd, 2000
Through the Darkness of the Ages Hilary Jolly
Through the darkness of the ages,
Through the sorrows of the days,
Strength of weary generations,
Lifting hearts in hope and praise.
Light in darkness, joy in sorrow,
Presence to allay all fears,
Jesus you have kept your promise
Faithful through two thousand years.
Bounty of two thousand harvests,
Beauty of two thousand springs
He who framed the times and seasons
Has vouchsafed us greater things.
Word of God who spoke creation
Speaks forgiveness, speaks to save,
Gathers still his ransomed people
In the life he freely gave.
Countless flowers have bloomed and withered,
Countless noons are sealed in night,
Shattered thrones and fallen empires,
Realms and riches lost from sight.
Christ, your kingdom still increases
As the centuries unfold.
Grain that fell to earth and perished
Has brought forth ten thousandfold.
Master, we shall sing your praises,
Man of sorrows, God of power,
For the measured march of seasons
Shall at last bring in the hour
When, as lightning leaps the heavens,
You return to lead us home,
You have promised, I am coming,
Swiftly, our Lord Jesus, come.
There is a sad sequel to February’s article Unravelling the Past, which told the story of Mr Philip Pridgen. He had written to us asking for help in tracing the story of his past, and we were able to track down his birth and baptism to a home for unmarried mothers in Gambier Terrace, Liverpool. I sent him copies of the magazine article, but was saddened to hear from Mrs Grace Pridgen, his late wife, that he died suddenly of a heart attack on the day I posted the copies to his home in Hull.
Mrs Pridgen expressed her thanks to us for the work we had done, which made it possible for Philip to learn at last of his past. Our correspondence, and the Newslink article, will form part of her filed memories of her late husband, for whom we have offered our prayers at St Faith’s.
In an interesting footnote, Audrey Jones, who worked for a good many years at the Family Planning Association, two doors down from Mr Pridgen±s birthplace, recalls being told how, in past years, unmarried mothers would visit the back of the building for contraceptive advice (in those days given discreetly to avoid scandal and offence). It is not too fanciful to picture Mr Pridgen`s mother paying such a visit, as so many have done over the years. Be that as it may, we are happy that we have been able to throw some helpful light on one man’s past, and sad that he had so little time, on this earth at least, to know of it.
Poems for Passiontide and Easter
And God held in his hand
A small globe. Look, he said,
The son looked. Far off,
As through water, he saw
A scorched land of fierce
Colour. The light burned
There; crusted buildings
Cast their shadows: a bright
Serpent, a river
Uncoiled itself, radiant
On a bare
Hill, a bare tree saddened
The sky. Many people
Held out their thin arms
To it, as though waiting
For a vanished April
To return to its crossed
Boughs. The son watched
Them. Let me go there, he said.
I look upon that body, writhing, pierced
and torn with nails, and see the battlefields
of time, the mangled dead, the gaping wounds,
the sweating, dazed survivors straggling back,
the widows worn and haggard, still dry-eyed,
because their weight of sorrow will not lift
and let them weep; I see the ravished maid,
the honest mother in her shame; I see
all history pass by, and through it all
still shines that face, the Christ face like a star
which pierces drifting clouds and tells the Truth ...
So through the clouds of Calvary there shines
his face, and I believe that Evil dies,
and good lives on, loves on, and conquers all.
All war must end in peace. These clouds are lies.
They cannot last. The blue sky is the Truth.
For God is Love. Such is my faith, and such
my reasons for it, and I find them strong
enough. And you? You want to argue? Well
I can’t. It is a choice. I chose the Christ.
Rev. G.A. Studdert Kennedy
CHRIST ON THE CROSS
Christ on the cross,
not crushed by death,
but broken by his love too deep for knowing.
Christ on the cross,
not crushed by death,
but living on in love too deep for crushing.
Christ on the cross,
not slain by sin,
but broken by his love too great for giving.
Christ on the cross,
not crushed by death,
but living on in love too great for slaying.
Christ on the cross,
not killed by man,
but broken by his love too strong for holding.
Christ on the cross,
not crushed by death,
but living on in love too strong for killing.
Maundy Thursday Watch
Tall arches spanning darkness;
High invisible roof: warm still air.
The shadowed crucifix outlined against carved beams.
And light spilling out through the pillars:
Soft radiance from a firmament of flickering candles,
Gold and white in the night, swaying shadows.
Burnished sanctuary lamp mirroring the arc of fire below;
Dark grouped leaves and boughs, and frozen flowers:
Christ on the altar in Gethsemane.
The dull roar of traffic sounds outside the walls.
Silent worshippers kneel or sit to keep their watch,
With only the rustle of a page, the shifting of a chair
To move the soft silence.
Waiting for death to come to their Lord in the morning
To bring them life.
Footsteps echo quietly down the dark aisle. The vigil
Goes on. The faithful watch with Christ.
Outside the cold midnight brings another Good Friday.
Inside, no time, only the soft shadow of eternity.
Surely, God is here.
(St Faith’s: April, 1973)
I was the one who waited in the garden
Doubting the morning and the early light.
I watched the mist lift off its own soft burden,
Permitting, not believing my own sight.
If there were sudden noises I dismissed
Them as a trick of sound, a sleight of hand.
Not by a natural joy could I be blessed
Or trust a thing I could not understand.
Maybe I was a shadow thrown by one
Who, weeping, came to lift away the stone.
Or was I but the path on which the sun,
Too heavy for itself, was loosed and thrown?
I heard the voices and the recognition
And love like kisses heard behind thin walls.
Were they my tears which fell, a real contrition?
Or simply April with its waterfalls?
It was by negatives I learned my place.
The garden went on growing and I sensed
A sudden breeze that blew across my face.
Despair returned, but now it danced, it danced.
Induction Buffet Rosie Walker
As we draw closer to the induction of Fr Neil on 29th April, the planning for the great event becomes more and more detailed and more and more hectic. We are expecting large numbers of people in church for the service, and most will be coming over the road to Merchant Taylors` for the buffet afterwards.
Hence we are planning to feed 400 hungry mouths with the usual combination of top-quality food and wine that is the hallmark of both St Mary’s and ourselves. The wardens and their partners from our churches have planned the menu, and are now looking for volunteers to help in the run-up to the day itself.
Firstly, on the two Sundays (April 18th and 25th) before the induction itself there will be a retiring collection in church towards the cost of the food. Secondly, volunteers are needed to help with baking cakes, and for help making a few sandwiches on the 29th.
More details will be given nearer the time, and lists will appear all over the church notice boards but please start to think what you can do to help, and have a word with Angie Price or with me.
Funny You Should Say That
From an Irish version of Exchange and Mart, courtesy of the
Telegraph (so it must be true. Ed).
For sale, gravestone, £250. Would suit anyone by the name of Burns.
From the Internet
Donald MacDonald phoned home to his old mother in Skye, who asked him how he was liking his new digs down south. It’s terrible mother. I can’t stand the noise. One of my flatmates spends the evenings howling, and the other bangs his head against the wall. And what do you do, Donald? Oh, I just keep on playing my bagpipes, mother!
From Christian Crackers
The new vicar hadn’t been in the parish long, when he needed his car servicing. He said to the garage owner Keep the cost down I am only a poor preacher. I know that, replied the garage man. I heard you last week.
Children, Young People and Families Fr Mark
One part of our centenary celebrations has been the opportunity for people to get together to reflect on the idea of a congregation for the new millennium to think about the future, as well as celebrate the past. At the end of those meetings it was clear that a particular agenda for action had emerged: a concern for the way in which younger people and families are treated at St Faith’s.
Thus 18 people met on 4 March to map out that area of concern in preparation for Father Neil’s arrival, when we hope to do something practical about some of the issues arising.
Our conclusion was clear we do not do nearly enough to ensure that young people and families coming to St Faith’s are either welcomed, recognised, nurtured, celebrated, taught in the faith, or made a part of the life of our church!
Despite this sobering agreement, the meeting was very hopeful and not depressing. While there are serious failings to address, we have strengths to bring to the task and opportunities to realise:
· A committed group of people who want to work at this
· A sizeable group of young people already members of the church
· Many possible contacts with groups of people on the margins of the church
· Pastoral opportunities through baptism and special services, like the
· Funds to resource positive strategies
· A catholic tradition which offers lots of possibilities for interest and
involvement in worship if approached flexibly and creatively
· A new vicar who has a real concern for, and skills with young people and
A fuller report of our meeting and conclusions will be available for everyone. I hope we can make this a great opportunity for trying to ensure that our Christian community is more inclusive, and more representative of the area.
The sign on the Motorway read
NO SERVICES ON M25
Underneath some wit added
VACANCY FOR FULL TIME PRIEST
Engaged in printing this issue, with Classic FM playing in the
the Editor caught a reference to The Alto`s Lament as printed a
months ago in these pages. Seizing a tape, he was in time to record and
transcribe the entertaining anonymous poem below, which
hails from a church in the Isle of Wight.
The Alto`s Reply
Who is this Bob the Organist, this cowardly enigma,
Who thinks being an alto bears a sort of choral stigma,
Sisters arise, denounce this fool, heap on him acrimony,
And super-glue his organ stops: see if he finds that funny.
We’re neither failed sopranos, nor inferior of larynx,
Our mellow tones, be they but few, add harmony and balance,
The sops may trill like nightingales, the tenors coo like pigeons,
The basses boom like bitterns in their deepest, darkest regions,
But altos rise in unison, ignoring their hot flushes,
And gloriously harmonise, like big full-throated thrushes.
And as for our exclusion from the bright celestial choir,
We’ll polish neither grand piano, trumpet, harp nor lyre,
But take our rightful place in the position earmarked for us
As honoured and respected members of the heavenly chorus,
And should we come across this Bob, we’ll stuff his puny torso
Head first into an organ pipe, and polish him with brasso!
Jean Price, author of the recent series of articles QED: the Forgotten Plague has sent us this poem by Professor John Oxford, who was closely involved with her story. She writes: Professor Oxford has given permission for his poem, first read at the end of the Horizon programme Pandemic, which appeared on 4th February last, and is about the Nova Scotia expedition, to appear in Newslink.
He Won, Didn’t He?
I can picture how you went on your sea journey.
Thoughtful, enterprising, tough.
You were the miners.
You would excavate in that permanently frozen land.
You had all the equipment and you said your goodbyes as you left
the Hanseatic port in 1918.
But our mysterious infective friend travelled with you, in you, and,
in the end, he won didn’t he?
At first when you felt the ache you passed it off
seasickness, anything but that.
In the end though he won, didn’t he?
You were shocked when your first friend died and then the next.
In the end seven of you were laid in the small village hall with
the flickering candles, the ever-present snow and wind.
So they chose a spot on the edge of a cemetery deep in the ice where
together you would lie until the end of time, perfectly preserved,
fixed, all tissue intact and frozen forever.
So how will you view us, as serious explorers after the truth?
Will you be pleased or saddened?
Will fear strike you, and will you resist or will a glow of pride
pass through you?
I think you will be pleased to help.
It will be painless. We promise.
Just a brief exposure to the light as we uncover you.
Not completely, you understand: we want you to remain frozen forever.
Just as you are now.
You will not see me, but just my friend in white, masked, like a surgeon.
But don’t worry.
Just a small prick as we take our lung sample, like a biopsy really.
You won’t mind?
With your help he may not win in the end.
And you will have helped, won’t you?
I can imagine your reaction.
If you are like other miners I have known, deep in your heart
you will be pleased.
It will be brief and we will treat you with respect and care,
And then your precious lungs will be flown to America and to England.
You could not imagine what it is like now.
We will have you around the world in hours.
You could be famous but we will respect your unwritten, unspoken request.
I know you would want to stay quietly, thoughtfully.
A miner to the end.
And then perhaps with your help, he will not win.
In a Manner of Speaking
A parson once said to the actor David Garrick,
Why is it that I, who speak great truths, deliver
them to a half-empty church once a week, while
you who speak merely fiction can fill a theatre
Garrick replied, Because you speak truth as though
it were fiction; whereas I speak fiction as if it were
Thank You Christine Spence
I would like to send my sincere thanks to all at St Faith’s for the cards, flowers and prayers on the loss of my mother. I cannot tell you how much comfort these brought to me.
Something for Nothing - Well Almost! Chris Dawson
Each year St Faith’s receives a very welcome cheque from Inland Revenue, thanks to those members of the congregation who are able and willing to covenant their contributions.
· Who can covenant?
Anyone who pays income tax can sign a covenant form, and then at the end of the tax year, St Faith’s can claim back the tax on the sum contributed. So if for instance you covenant þ100, St Faith’s can claim back þ30 tax, and so.
What will it cost me?
Nothing if you pay tax at the standard rate, and if you pay tax at the higher rate it will save you money.
· How long does a covenant last?
· What happens if I lose my job or can’t keep up the
If you have a genuine reason, St Faith’s can issue a Letter of Release, and that is the end of your obligation.
· When does a covenant take effect?
From the date that you sign the covenant form.
· Interested in getting some money out of the tax man?
Please see Chris Dawson (Covenant Secretary) for more information or telephone 928 2770.
· If you already covenant:
(a) If your covenant is due for renewal please make sure that it is dated and signed before 1st April and returned to the Covenant Secretary.
(b) Have you reviewed your giving lately? Now is the time to take out a new covenant to cover increased giving.
If income tax rates are reduced in the budget St Faith’s will get less back, so why not give the tax you save to your Church?
Letters to the Editor
Fr Joe Parker, whose memories of St Faith’s almost certainly go back longer than anyone, has sent us this memoir, following his visit to St Faith’s during one of last summer’s Open Days. He receives Newslink regularly, and says that he much appreciates being kept in touch with us. We in our turn welcome news from someone who actually remembers our esteemed founder!
The Newslink of St Faith’s Church, Great Crosby lifts us all, I think, from the present to the past. What a splendid effort by so many, led by Chris Price. It takes many of us back to our choirboy days. Well do I remember Mr Waugh and his son Mr Eliott Waugh who trained the choir; well too do I recall Mr George Houldin (for many years Lay Reader and author of Fifty Years, an early history of St Faith’s. Ed) and The Hilarities! I was one of them!
A picture of Mr Howard Douglas Horsfall also comes to my mind, sitting in his seat during the service, the Eucharist of course, wearing his black skull cap. Little did I realise then how after many years I should be Vicar of St Agnes, Ullet Road, not far from the home of Douglas Horsfall (and, of course, another Horsfall Church. Ed). He lived there and had a housekeeper who supplied him with much information.
A little while ago we visited the old haunts in Ullet Road as well as Crosby, where we met up with several people including Mr Chris Price and some of his workers in St Faith’s.
The Home and Overseas Mission Committee have given lots of time and money and helped those in need, and we are glad to read of this.
While in Crosby we naturally spent lots of time with my brother Rob and his wife Kathleen. She is the daughter of the late Mr H.H. Robinson who founded the local branch of the Estate Agents which bore his name. It flourished and expanded and he became Chairman of the Association which met in London.
We were married in 1952, in St Agnes` Church. Canon Clarke, Mary’s father, took the wedding, assisted by the late Bishop Martin and Canon John Brierley. It was a wonderful occasion.
With every good wish to all at St Faith’s.
Do This in Remembrance of Me
Was ever another command so obeyed?
For century after century, spreading slowly to every continent and country and among every race on earth, this action has been done, in every conceivable human circumstance. Men have found no better thing than this to do for kings at their crowning and for criminals going to the scaffold; for armies in triumph or for a bride and bridegroom in a little country church; for the wisdom of the Parliament of a mighty nation or for a sick old woman afraid to die; for a school boy sitting an examination or for Columbus setting out to discover America; in thankfulness because my father did not die of pneumonia; because the Turn was at the gates of Vienna; for the settlement of a strike; for Captain so-and-so, wounded and prisoner of war; while the lions roared in the nearby amphitheatre; on the beach at Dunkirk; tremulously, by an exiled bishop who had hewn timber all day in a prison camp near Murmansk; gorgeously, for the canonisation of Saint Joan of Arc one could fill many pages with the reasons why men have done thus, and not tell a hundredth part of them.
And best of all, week by week and month by month, on a hundred thousand successive Sundays, faithfully, unfailingly, across all the parishes of Christendom, the pastors have done this just to make the holy common people of God.
Dom Gregory Dix
The Shape of the Liturgy