Worship at Saint Faith’s
10.30am Morning Prayer
11.00am Holy Baptism (2nd Sunday)
7.00pm Compline and Benediction (1st Sunday)
Monday 10.30am, Tuesday 9.30am, Wednesday 10.30am (1662 Book of Common Prayer in S. Mary’s), Thursday 9.00am (Holy Days only), Friday 6.30pm, Saturday 12.00noon
THE DIVINE OFFICE (The Prayer of the Church)
Morning Prayer: 9am daily (except Thursday)
Evening Prayer: 6pm daily (except Thursday)
Please consult the weekly sheets for any variation in times for the Daily Office
SACRAMENT OF PENANCE AND RECONCILIATION
Fr. Neil and Revd. Denise are available by appointment to hear confessions or to talk about any matter in confidence. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is always available in preparation for Christmas and Easter and at other advertised times.
ANOINTING OF THE SICK AND DYING
Please contact Fr. Neil at any time, day or night, if someone is ill and
requires the ministry of a priest.
HOME VISITS to the sick and housebound and those in hospital
If you, or someone you know, are unable to get to church and would like to receive Holy Communion at home, or be visited in hospital or at home, please ring the Vicarage or another member of the Ministry Team. We are always happy to make home or hospital visits to the sick and housebound so please call us to arrange this.
From the Ministry Team September 2010
In the hustle and bustle of busy modern life, with all its distractions and human responsibilities, how does a Christian lead a spiritual life? I heard a quote recently, “Hurry is not OF the Devil, it IS the Devil”. Initially I thought this was a bit over the top, but it stuck in my mind so that whenever I found myself rushing (a not infrequent occurrence in modern life) I was disturbed enough to pause and reflect. Invariably my behaviour at these times was anything but spiritual. I am convinced that, whichever minor devil Screwtape* has assigned to scupper me, he finds the easiest way to knock me off my spiritual course is to fan the flames of impatience, ambition and perfectionism resulting in mounting pressure, increasing haste, and rapidly diminishing sense of God. I need to proceed with my search for a godly and spiritual life with the calm reverence which our Lord deserves: we must devote the necessary time away from our worldly preoccupations.
By the time we meet the Jewish peoples in Biblical times, their search for spirituality has resulted in complicated rituals and laws that have evolved over centuries. Generations of Christians have designed Rules for living, not least those who founded monastic orders. In our own times many search for a godly answer to our greedy materialistic global economy which has resulted in 25% of the world’s population commandeering 75% of the world’s resources.
Jesus concentrated his teaching on advice for living a spiritual life, and it is to Him we must turn for guidance. Complicated people need ten commandments. If we are “as little children” two will suffice. To live a holy life we need only hold all our actions up to the light of the Holy Spirit and apply the test: is this loving God and my neighbour? This sounds easy but works hard, as Jesus was well aware. He exhorted the early disciples to leave their nets – their livelihood – and follow him. He compared rich men seeking heaven to camels through needle-eyes. Are we rich? By third-world standards of course we are.
So could our lives bear some amendment? We might set aside some prayer time to check this out with God, as first we need to be conscious of God’s will for us. “Be still and know that He is God” is a good place to start. Theological libraries overflow with splendid tomes exploring every aspect of our faith but to live a truly spiritual life we
must start with an experience of God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And we must love this God with every fibre of our being. And we must love our neighbours as ourselves. Whatever route we choose – the Daily Office, various liturgies, the Eucharist, our search must draw us nearer to the presence of God, and we must carry this through our daily lives, inevitably leading to action in His name. When pressure builds and haste threatens, relax, trust in the Lord, He will show you the way to a truly spiritual life.
Yours in Christ,
*If you have not yet met this fiend, C.S.Lewis’s book “The Screwtape Letters” is highly recommended.
St. Faith’s Patronal Festival
“So let us celebrate the Feast!”
Tuesday 5th October – The Eve of Saint Faith, Virgin & Martyr
5.00pm Blessing of the Light and First Evening Prayer
8.00pm Procession & Solemn High Mass
(Preacher: The Very Reverend Peter Atkinson, Dean of Worcester)
followed by buffet supper in the Parish Hall
Wednesday 6th October – S. Faith’s Day
9.00am Morning Prayer
10.30am Holy Eucharist in S. Mary’s
11.00am Church open for light refreshments and lunches
12noon Midday Recital – popular organ classics – Fr. Neil
6.00pm Evening Prayer
7.00 – 9.00pm ‘Open House’ cocktail party in the Vicarage
(please come and go as you are able)
9.15pm Night Prayer and concluding devotions to S. Faith
Saturday 9th October
7.30pm Festival Concert: Ian Gallagher (bass baritone) and Neil Kelley (piano)
Wine and nibbles served during the interval; Grand Raffle
Sunday 10th October – DEDICATION FESTIVAL
11.00am High Mass followed by lunch
(in aid of the Waterloo Partnership)
6.00pm Festal Evensong
Mary and Martha
A sermon preached in St Faith’s by the Revd Denise
I’m not going to - but it did cross my mind to leave a questionnaire for you to fill in at the end of today’s service asking questions such as:
· Did you hear the message in today’s sermon; if so what was it?
· Did you let your mind wander at any time during the sermon about what you still need to prepare or even what you still need to go out and buy for dinner?
· Will your thoughts go to the painting, the wall papering, the housework, the gardening or any of those tasks that you know you need to get round to doing?
I am in no doubt whatsoever that the Lord could call each one of us by name just as he called Martha saying, ‘you are worried and distracted by many things, there is need only of one thing.’
You are probably all familiar with the famous story in today’s gospel: Mary and Martha, two very different characters with two very different temperaments. One active, the other passive; one busy doing, the other seemingly not busy but listening.
The scene will be familiar to us all: having visitors means getting the house clean and tidy and looking its best, preparing food that is perhaps more special than you would normally serve and generally paying more attention to the finer details. And yes, human nature being what it is, we can lose patience with those who are seemingly not pulling their weight. Those who know Bruce and me will know that is sometimes the case in our house when Bruce is out playing golf yet again or has become engrossed in another football match on the T.V. Dinners do not cook themselves and yes, I have been known to get exasperated, but for Mary and Martha this was not the whole story and the message was not about their frustrations.
Jesus had arrived at the house of friends on his way to Jerusalem for the last time and Mary may well have sensed his anxiety and his need to talk with someone he knew he could trust. Of course Mary understood the importance of hospitality as much as her sister but she was so intent on listening to Jesus that any hostess duties just disappeared. So Martha was left with all the preparations; she felt put upon, taken for granted and her indignation and annoyance led to her rather frustrated outburst.
But Jesus responded gently because he had great affection for Martha; he recognised her practical skills as being absolutely necessary, that is providing they didn’t become
compulsive. If our lives are made up only of constant activity, ceaseless labour and the hugely amplified sounds which make up our modern world, then we lose our soul and lose our spiritual life. Those who managed to finish the Lent book ‘Our Sound Is Our Wound’ would probably recognise that this was part of the message that Lucy Winkett was making. Noises within us come from the clamour of pressures and compulsions. The consumerist ethic trains us to turn every desire into a compulsion and every want into a need and there is little space in our lives for reflection and prayer often gets neglected or choked out. The material rewards in the 21st century are many, but spiritually most of us are hopelessly impoverished. We are in danger of losing sight of the overall purpose of life and the fact that that there is so much more to life than our outward busyness and material possessions.
The voice of Jesus tells us, ‘Few things are needed, indeed only one.’
Of course we can also fall into the trap when we think that we are listening and being attentive but really our minds are elsewhere and therefore putting us in danger of missing the real message.
This reminds me of the story of the little boy who went running to his mum and dad, ‘mum, mum... dad, dad..’. he kept calling to them but dad was busy on the computer and mum cooking the meal; he was insistent that they should listen to him but they failed to give him their attention. He gave up trying and wandered away somewhat dejected wondering who would look at the washing machine that was overflowing!
We’ve all been in similar situations but hopefully without the dramatic consequences.
So, while Martha fussed around busying herself preparing the meal, Mary responded to Jesus’ need by sitting at his feet and listening. She is a visible reminder to us what our lives require: stillness, calm and an attentive heart and mind. It appears that Mary and Martha might represent two sides of a single person; there will probably be shades of Mary and Martha in all our personalities and it is not a question of one being right and the other wrong but that they work in harmony with each other. We must not allow the active to choke out the contemplative, otherwise we will struggle to have a meaningful prayer life and a deepening relationship with God. So we must take time out to focus on prayer, which doesn’t mean rushing to God with our own shopping list of requests; it means listening attentively with our hearts to discover God’s plans for us. We need as Psalm 46 says to ‘be still and know that I am God.’ Listen first to the very gentle sounds of nature that are around, bird song, trees rustling, rain against the window and then become aware of the rhythm of your breathing and your heartbeat. These are so much more important than the countless anxieties and worries which demand our attention every day. When God enters into our lives, the one thing necessary in that precious moment is to know how to listen and receive God’s gift.
So yes the gospel does invite us to step back and be still but it also instructs us to show genuine hospitality to the stranger and those in need. We heard in our first reading how Abraham’s enthusiastic and extravagant display of hospitality to the three strangers was rewarded by God; and we must always be mindful of the fact that Jesus often
comes among his people in the guise of a stranger.
Jesus did more work for God than anyone else could possibly accomplish. Even when he was lost in the temple as a child he told his parents that he was about his Father’s business; but he always knew when it was time to withdraw from the crowds to spend quality time alone with his Father. I pray that we too will offer generosity of spirit and a warm welcome to all as well as learning to give our undivided attention to God and He will bless us and show us his grace and mercy.
Yes, there are certainly shades of both personalities in our make-up and I would like to finish with a poem by Kate McIlhagga.
I am Mary; I am Martha
Lord of earth and sky, as Martha did
I welcome you into the house of my heart; as Mary did
I welcome you into the home of my thoughts:
In service, in listening,
I welcome you.
Like Martha, I’m distracted;
so many calls on my time
I run here and there,
starting this and that,
never spending long enough,
giving people the impression
that I’m too busy for them.
Like Mary, I choose:
choose to slow down,
choose to sit at your feet,
choose to offer you my ministry of listening.
Save me from feeling guilty about the kitchens of the world;
he hot spots, the action areas
and help me to identify
with your compassion and your presence
—there as everywhere.
Welcomed and welcoming Christ,
may all sisters come together into your presence
and together eat at your table
the meal you have prepared for us;
that from the kitchen of your suffering
a banquet may be prepared for all to eat.
Building Bridges with Waterloo, Sierra Leone
Steve Holt’s sermon on Sunday 25th July was a reminder to us all, were any needed, of the immense gulf between the conditions in a developing country and our comfortable lifestyle in the UK. His description of a township in Johannesburg took me back to the time that I have spent in Africa, particularly in Sierra Leone. It is hard for us to imagine how a child at school can learn without books, paper, pencils or a desk: or how a child can hope to stay healthy without clean water, sanitation, proper medicines, or even enough food. And it is difficult for us to understand how anyone can travel or communicate effectively without roads, bridges, or electricity.
Sierra Leone now has a stable government which is determined to control corruption, and civil society is beginning to re-establish itself after the destruction of the long civil war. However, both private and public poverty are still the main obstacles to this vibrant nation’s development, still one of the poorest countries in the world. Many NGOs and charities are leaving the country now the war is over, but at a time when social and economic recovery remain desperately fragile. The price of food and its scarcity mean that the World Food Programme still has to support the nutrition of schoolchildren over five years of age.
The Waterloo Partnership community charity aims to help the people of Waterloo Sierra Leone with some of these problems, and it is a privilege to acknowledge the willing involvement of parishioners from both St. Faith’s and St. Mary’s. You have contributed in so many ways – buying ‘Christmas gifts’ for our projects, standing with a tin during our street collection, and risking repetitive strain injury while bag-packing in Sainsbury’s! St. Faith’s church itself also played its part by hosting the Christmas Tree Festival, which provided much needed publicity and funds for the Partnership. Our thanks to Margaret Houghton and Maureen Madden for helping this to happen. Incidentally, decorating the Partnership’s tree turned out to be more difficult than expected – what could we put on it to adequately reflect the many activities of our charity?
Although our supporters are too numerous for everyone to be thanked individually, I must acknowledge the help of two or three people by name – firstly Mike Taylor for his gift of bicycles for our Project Leaders out in Sierra Leone. Angela Woodley brought valuable teaching resources and sewing machines from Walsall College. Her brother John was equally enterprising: on a visit to a hospital Physio department he noticed some discarded elbow crutches in a skip, and nearly 100 pairs have now been shipped to amputees and polio victims in Waterloo SL. Distribution has been supervised by one of the few qualified physios in the country, Verity Furneux.
Three of this year’s projects deserve highlighting. The Motor Mechanics training centre is a new venture for the Partnership: it aims to train young men and women in the skills of motor mechanics, welding, vehicle panelling and spraying. The garage will be sited
alongside a new international lorry park, which should provide plenty of business. The Partnership is funding inspection ramps, a store, safety equipment and training costs. There are high hopes that this project will give saleable skills to many young people who would otherwise not be able to find a job.
Just as important is a new well for the community. This is a deep bore-hole equipped with a pump, which will provide a clean protected water supply. It is situated in a prime position next to a church and a primary school, and is freely available to the public. A group of teachers and church members will supervise the maintenance of the well and will ensure that it is used safely.
But what about building bridges? The charity not only fosters links between the ‘two Waterloos’ – we also build real bridges out in Sierra Leone! Last year we funded the Williams Street Bridge, which leads to the Christian cemetery, and this year we are helping to re-build the Oroko Bridge. This is the main thoroughfare to the Muslim cemetery and is also close to the market. Building bridges benefits the whole community and brings lasting improvements to people’s lives: they help the community get to work and to school, and enable farmers and traders to get their goods to the market without paying a middleman. We also like to think that the provision of these two bridges will be in some sense a symbol of the excellent relationships between Christians and Muslims in Sierra Leone.
I hope you have enjoyed this brief outline of some of the activities of the Waterloo Partnership. In the next edition of Newslink I hope to tell you a little more about our work in the fields of education and healthcare. Meanwhile, thank you again for your prayers, help, and support.
Trustee, the Waterloo Partnership UK
Sister Elizabeth, SSM
Fr. Neil writes:
I received a letter recently from Sister Elizabeth. In it she tells me that she has had another bad fall and would be grateful of our prayers. Sadly, she doesn’t feel up to travelling to visit us in October for our Patronal Festival as she has done now for very many years. We will of course miss seeing her (I think she has visited almost every year since I arrived in 1999) but nonetheless we assure her of our prayers and good wishes and I know she will be eager to read accounts of our celebrations.
Patronal Festival Concert
Some information about our guest musician:
Born on Long Island, New York, Ian’s interest in singing came to the forefront in high school, parallel to playing the bassoon. He has a Bachelor of Music from the Oberlin Conservatory, North America's oldest music college. He continued his studies as a Master’s and Doctoral Fellow in performance practice at Duke University.
His passion for German Lieder was honed with Hans Hotter, Elly Ameling and Robert Tear at the Franz-Schubert-Institut in Baden, Austria. Ian has been an active recitalist, performing concerts on both sides of the Atlantic. Since emigrating to Germany in 1997, his repertoire has expanded to include chanson, jazz and cabaret, and in Berlin Ian has been front man of a quartet, the Ian Gallagher Group, based in Berlin and active throughout Germany.
Since 2008 he has been the curate in the Walton-on-the-Hill Team.
St. Faith’s Holiday Club
Fr. Neil writes:
By now, you will have seen pictures on the website, I am sure, of the 8th St. Faith’s Holiday Club. Grateful to many people for the time and effort people give so willingly to make this possible, we are also hugely grateful to Lynne Connolly from St. Mary’s for without her drive this would not happen.
We are of course a United Benefice, and our gifts, talents and resources are regularly shared across the Benefice in many ways. There are all kinds of gifts and skills to be found in both churches. But at the holiday club final service the “St. Faith’s helpers” were keen that our thanks were duly recorded to Lynne and Peter (for, as we know, behind every good woman there is an ever better man!).
This shows what is possible between our two churches when we share and appreciate the talents which are to be found in both congregations. Long may that be the hallmark of the life of this United Benefice. When Archbishop Derek Worlock and Bishop David Sheppard were alive they jointly wrote a book entitled: “Better Together”. Need I say more...?
In the beginning there was Noot... the amiable, limp-wristed cleric of the long-running BBC comedy series ‘All Gas and Gaiters’. Those with memories of those black and white days will remember the other caricatures: the Bishop, the Archdeacon and their comical colleagues. The image of the good old C of E was the predictable one: safe, eccentric, harmless, irrelevant... and rarely, if ever, engaging with the real world, whether physical or spiritual. The series entertained, but merely enforced the stereotype.
In between, our church rarely appeared on the box. The RCs, of course, revelled in Ballykissangel, where the stereotype was of comical dim and drunken Irish priests in an equally unreal and idealised world. Apart from that, it was mostly a case of murders before the high altar, filmed in ornate and candle-decked churches, to test the forensic skills of a generation of TV detectives from Morse to Lewis. Colourful and entertaining stuff, but equally unlikely to advance the cause of the heavenly kingdom amongst the world in general.
And then there was Dibley. On the face of it, just another, though often hilarious take on the Anglican stereotype: crazy parishioners, daffy romances, stock phrases (‘No, no, no, no...yes!’), a large and eccentric lovable lady vicar, all set in a picture-postcard, chocolate-box village. But there was a lot more than that to ‘The Vicar of Dibley.’ There was pastoral care and compassion, there was romance and sexual encounter, there were discreet injections of spirituality and the Christian message, and a head-on tackling of the issue of women priests, with the admirable Dawn French appearing on public platforms in support of female ordination. The C of E was involved in the making of the series, and, despite the inevitable inaccuracies for churchy anoraks to spot (like the blending of the PCC with the Parish Council) the series showed us in a pleasing light, and if the stereotype remained a daffy and eccentric rustic one, it did show the C of E in its rightful place, in the heart of the community and engaging naturally with its flock.
But until recently, nothing had appeared to portray the urban church, and the gritty reality of 21st century inner city life. Until, that is, ‘Rev.’ hit the small screen. As pithily direct and uncompromising as its abbreviated title, it shows the Rev. Adam Smallbone, incumbent of a London city church, struggling with a dwindling congregation, an uncaring parish and his own crises of faith. In a short series, we saw the familiar problems of the church sharply focussed in its city setting. If you saw it, you won’t need me to explain its particular appeal in detail. If you haven’t, it’s still on BBC iPlayer series catch-up as I write – and there will be DVDs along soon.
Tom Hollander is superb as a conscientious, fallible, lovable parish priest, subject to the failings of the flesh (drink, fags, colourful language, other women), unsure of his role but not of his need to love and care for all sorts and conditions of men and to stand up for the faith as best he can. He is variously surrounded and sometimes supported by his splendid wife, his primly pompous assistant Reader, a lovable rogue of a parishioner, and the best portrayal of a suave Archdeacon I can ever imagine. The minutiae of Anglican parish life are accurately and affectionately drawn: his quiet Anglo-Catholicism in hilarious conflict on one occasion with an all too typical fervent, sinister-smiling shallow ultra-evangelical neighbouring priest (all guitars and ‘awesome’) beautifully pictured. And his dismay when a ‘mystery worshipper’ visits on an off-day and gives his sermon a ‘minus1’ score is another source of delight.
This is a comedy (with much hilarious broad humour, and plenty of Anglican in-jokes for the likes of us) - but it laughs with and not at the church, and clearly understands its problems and also its values and ultimate significance. Purists and prigs (and possibly evangelicals) may disapprove of ‘Rev.’, but this writer suspects it is on its way to becoming a minor cult, and he rejoices at the fact. ‘St Saviour’s-in-the-Marsh’ isn’t St Faith’s or St Mary’s, but it isn’t Dibley either, and it appeals enormously and, surely, can only do good for the church whose strengths and weaknesses it echoes.
Long live the ‘Rev.’ – and please can we have another series soon?
Tweetness and Light
The Gospel according to Twitter
A Church minister is to conduct the first communion service on Twitter, the social networking site.
In a modern spin on Christianity’s most sacred rite, worshippers are invited to break bread and drink wine or juice in front of their computers as they follow the service online.
Churches usually require a priest to take the Eucharist, but the Rev Tim Ross, a Methodist minister, will send out a prayer in a series of tweets - messages of up to 140 characters - to users of the site. Those following the service will read out each tweet before typing Amen as a reply.
The move is likely to upset traditionalists but Mr Ross said it was an important step in uniting Christians around the world and reaching those who might not normally go to church. Hundreds of people have registered to follow the service and Mr Ross hopes that will grow to thousands by the time he sends out the tweets next month.
“Twitter offers unique possibilities for the Church,” he said. “It’s a community that’s as real and tangible as any local neighbourhood and we should be looking to minister to it.”
Karen Burke, a media officer for the Methodist Church, said it supported “the exploration of spirituality on the internet”. She said: “While communion normally reflects the celebration of God’s love in a body of people gathered in one place, there is a strong tradition of celebrating that love in more transient and informal communities.’
The Daily Telegraph, from which this report (and the headline above) are lifted, commented on the idea in an editorial. The development, it said ‘suggests a whole host of holy new possibilities for Twitter. There seems no reason why other sacraments might not also be administered by tweet: “Do u @natalie take @harry...” for instance. Certain adjustments in the liturgy will be called for, of course: “Please turn to No 386 in your collection of ringtones...” But the 140-character limit should inspire a blessed brevity in sermons: “Dearly beloved, we are not gathered here today...”’
An opportunity for local Christians to go on pilgrimage to Iona this autumn has been organized by Revd Rob Marshall. Marshall will lead the 5 day tour (4th-9th October) which includes a combination of train, ferry and coach.
Pilgrims join the group to travel by train to Glasgow where they spend the first night, before transferring to Oban the following morning and on to Iona.
“We will have plenty of time to relax and be quiet as well as having services and talks on the unique island which is Iona,” Marshall says.
Iona is a popular destination for pilgrims from all over the world but remains largely unvisited by British Christians.
Rob Marshall is a regular presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Thought for the Day.
Brochures are available on 01482 562455
We would like to express our gratitude to the family of St. Faith’s for the kindness and support shown to them on the sad loss of Maurice. For all the prayers offered, cards and messages of condolence received, we send our sincere thanks.
A special thank you to Father Neil and Rev. Denise for the moving and memorable service.
The Noakes family
“In the one Spirit we were all baptised into one Body”
Ministry of Welcome to Baptism Families
Fr. Neil writes:
Before I went on sabbatical, I appealed for volunteers to help ‘meet and greet’ families who come for the 1.00pm Baptism service each month. I have now put up a list at the back of church asking for two such people on those Sundays. If you are able to stay on after the 11.00am Mass to assist in this way it would be greatly appreciated.
The welcome people receive as they enter church must be the best we can offer. Once the service has started it is difficult for the Priest and/or Reader to do that and on many occasions latecomers drift in and are usually trying to follow an ‘alien’ liturgy with no order of service in front of them! The duties would be very simple.
If you can help, please sign the list at the back of church (in the same way as people do when helping with refreshments for a Saturday recital). The list will also contain a short ‘check-list’ of things to do or look out for. Whilst we normally designate the second in the month as Baptism Sunday, there are of course some months when this is not required. The Sunday sheets will indicate the previous week whether this is the case or not. I do hope that a few of you might offer to share in this important Ministry of Welcome. Many hands make light work!
Would You Believe It?
“Police officers have been handed an official leaflet showing them how to tuck their shirts in properly and tie their shoelaces. Sussex Police introduced a new ‘practical, fit-for-purpose’ uniform in May, and issued 3,200 officers with advice on ‘how to wear’ it. The guidance contrasts a ‘prim and proper’ policeman and a ‘shabby’ colleague, with his shirt hanging out and his shoelaces undone.
“Two Middle Eastern-style ‘Nile pan’ lavatories, little more than holes in the ground, have been installed in a Rochdale shopping centre, apparently in an attempt to accommodate shoppers from different cultural backgrounds. M.P. Philip Davies said: ‘It’s absolutely ludicrous – Thomas Crapper would be turning in his grave.’
“A new trawl through the birth records has revealed that 20 babies born since the Second World War have been named Adolf. The research also revealed some unusual trends, with ten babies in Lancashire in the 19th century named Fish Fish, and one registered with the full name Fish Fish Fish.”
Three gems from ‘The Oldie’
The 100+ Club August Draw
1 183 Sheila Roberts
2 24 Cathy Taylor
3 100 Linda Nye
4 46 Mona Turner
Sunday 3rd October
11.00am Family Mass & Parade Service
6.00pm Harvest “Songs of Praise” in S. Mary’s
followed by a glass of cider & buffet Harvest Supper
“All good gifts around
us are sent from heav'n above,
Then thank the Lord, O thank the Lord, For all his love.”
Mapping the Past
A few weeks ago Joan Utley showed me an interesting book of photos of our area a century and more ago. It also featured extracts from large-scale street maps of parts of the area, and made me want to see more. A helpful website provider sold me maps of Crosby, Blundellsands and Waterloo, and I spent satisfying time poring over them and seeing what had changed over the best part of a century. With a photocopier and some magic tape, I have put together a composite sheet stretching from Merchant Taylors’ down to just south of St Mary’s, and which accompanies this article. The top section, (from Kingsway north), dates from 1907; the rest from 1935: the dates of the respective maps available from the supplier. Quite clearly, the period between saw a rash of new development in Crosby, which is why the southern section is so much more built up.
When the 1907 map was drawn up, St Faith’s had only been in existence for some seven years, and most of the land on the north side of Kingsway was undeveloped, as indeed the surviving photos of the laying of our foundation stone clearly show. What was the doctor’s surgery immediately across the road (Vrosby House) was already there, as were some of the houses of Grosvenor and Marldon Avenues, the next roads then to the north. And there was a pavilion in the near corner of Merchant Taylors’ field. Other parts of this early map show large stretches of undeveloped land, with provisional street names for housing planned but not yet built.
St Faith’s has a ‘Parochial Hall’ but as yet no vicarage, as we move south to the 1935 street plans part of our map. There are solid blocks of housing west of Crosby Road North, all the way down to Waterloo Station – although a ‘Tennis Ground’ occupied the future site of the Fire Station and the car park. Inland of the main road, the curvilinear park-style road layout stretching from Hicks Road down to Bramhall Road is very clear. Inland of Seafield school much is undeveloped, and today the Rimrose Valley Park has saved it from building and provides a welcome ‘green lung’ between Waterloo and the estates across the canal. Various open spaces marked as ‘Recreation Ground’, ‘Bowling Green’, ‘Tennis Ground’ (and especially ‘Fish Pond’!) are no more today, including the area below St Mary’s Church, where the estate now stands, and the Parish Office has been built.
Those familiar with the area will be able to spot other changes, renaming and additions. The composite map is an intriguing record of the speed of the inexorable spread of housing as Waterloo and Crosby expanded so rapidly a century ago. Our two churches remain, even if the green spaces they looked out on in their early years have gone.
Anyone interested is more than welcome to borrow the various maps from me at any time. One can only wonder what the maps of a century from now will show of our parishes, or indeed the churches themselves...
A Welcome Break with a Difference
It wasn’t quite opening time when we arrived at the Sandham Memorial Chapel at Burghclere (pronounced Berkley), a few miles south of the M4, just off the splendid A34 near Newbury. We were too early as well for the cream teas advertised outside a chocolate-box thatched cottage across the way - they were for Sunday afternoon and this was Thursday morning, but we had a cheery chat with the elderly couple putting up the sign, and with a lady with a bin bag who was out litter-picking in the already immaculate village.
The pub, however, made a nice cappuccino, and we were encouraged when the proprietor warned us of the imminent arrival of a coach load of old people - we took it that he didn’t put us in that category.
The Chapel is described as a ‘modest red-brick building housing an unexpected treasure - an outstanding series of wall paintings by Stanley Spencer’. The artist, (1891-1959) served as a medical orderly, then as a front-line soldier in the First World War, and the experience had a profound effect on him. In his paintings at the beginning of the 1920’s, Spencer concentrated on religious scenes and his work can be seen in several British galleries - Leeds, Preston, Tate London, and the Stanley Spencer Gallery at Cookham, Berkshire, in a former Methodist Chapel. Then in 1923, Spencer was invited to work with an architect, Lionel Pearson, to design a chapel and almshouses as a memorial to a young officer, Henry Sandham, who had died in 1919, having contracted an illness during his war service in Macedonia.
The chapel has a simple rectangular plan, tall and narrow, with a long west wall window. The side walls are covered entirely with panels of paintings which depict Spencer’s experiences in military hospitals and on the battlefield, in an intimate and powerful way - shell-shocked soldiers in depressing institutions, mundane activities such as sorting laundry, filling tea urns, bread and jam for tea, bed-making, scrubbing floors, dressing wounds and kit inspection. There is something of the horror and discomfort of front-line action in the paintings, but the overall tone is one of the human companionship of war.
The east wall has just one huge picture, floor to ceiling, which took nearly a year to complete, and is a relationship between war, death and Christianity, rather than a convenient and familiar religious image behind the altar. This is the ‘Resurrection of the Soldiers’, bringing their crosses to Christ who is seen receiving them. The painting dominates the chapel, and the other scenes are subordinate to it.
Apparently, Spencer modelled the Sandham chapel on the Chapel at Padua, painted by the Italian artist Giotto (1267-1337), also well worth a detour if one is visiting Venice. Giotto’s pictures are fresco-painted directly on to the plaster, whereas Spencer worked on canvas panels which were glued to the walls. As for me, I’ll stick to emulsion, acrylic and cut outs, pasted on to sheets of cardboard.
(with information from ‘Stanley Spencer of Burghclere’, 1991)
Dr Peter Brierley, a church consultant, considers some unlikely numbers
Unlikely numbers and the Anglican Communion
With the appointment of a second practising homosexual (lesbian) priest as Bishop in the United States a few months ago, the membership of the worldwide Anglican Communion of churches has become topical. Numbers in each of the 26 Provinces are not always easy to obtain, but the official website gives a total of 80 million Anglican members in the year 2000, a total which has grown from 68 million in 1990. It has grown since 2000 to perhaps 85 million by 2010.
Just over half (51%) of the total of today’s Anglicans worldwide, 43 million, are in the continent of Africa. A third (31%), some 26.5 million, are in the United Kingdom. The remaining 16 million (18%) are spread across North America (Canada and the United States are 2% and 3% respectively), Australia and New Zealand (another 5%), the Indian sub-continent (7%) and Asia (1%).
One of the big question marks is the reliability and definition of some of these figures. In England, the number is taken as the number of people baptised in the Church of England, irrespective of whether they currently ever attend church or are on an Electoral Roll somewhere. It is easy to say that such a method of calculation is preposterous as it doesn’t mean anything, but it is how the Roman Catholics count their members and the Orthodox churches do the same. It is probably also how many people see themselves, as witness the 72% of the UK population who said they were Christian in the 2001 population census. It is also the basis used in academic circles, such as on the World Christian Database housed in the Gordon-Conwell University in the United States (in turn based on the 2001 World Christian Encyclopaedia, published by the Oxford University Press). It is also similar to the way in which Muslims, Hindus and other religions count their numbers.
Nevertheless, a figure of 26 million for the Church of England, 31% of the entire Communion, does seem rather extravagant when the official Electoral Roll is only
about 1.1 million, and Christmas attendance close to 3 million (average Sunday attendance is much less, just under a million people). What does this mean? Some will inevitably say that you can make statistics mean anything you want them to mean! The truth is that between actual practice, perhaps at best 10% or 20% of these figures, is a vast number of people who are only really nominally Christian, or nominally Anglican, and finding reality for our faith is much more important and urgent than putting meaning into very uncertain numbers.
Being a Christian
When I say, ‘I am a Christian,’ I’m not shouting, ‘I am saved!’
I’m whispering, ‘I get lost; that is why I chose this way.’
When I say, ‘I am a Christian,’ I don’t speak of this with pride.
I’m confessing that I stumble and need someone to be my guide.
When I say, ‘I am a Christian,’ I’m not bragging I am strong.
I’m professing that I'm weak, and pray for strength to carry on.
When I say, ‘I am a Christian,’ I’m not bragging of success.
I’m admitting I have failed and cannot ever pay the debt.
When I say, ‘I am a Christian,’ I’m not claiming to be perfect.
My flaws are all too visible, but God believes I’m worth it.
When I say, ‘I am a Christian,’ I still feel the sting of pain.
I have my share of heartaches, which is why I cry his name.
When I say, ‘I am a Christian,’ I do not wish to judge.
I have no authority; I only know I’m loved.
With thanks to Ron Crawley, Meols Good News magazine
Outrage as Anglican Vicar gives Sacrament to Pet Dog
An Anglican church in Canada has become the focus of controversy after a vicar gave Holy Communion to a pet dog. The priest gave Communion bread, considered by Anglicans to represent the body of Jesus Christ, to an Alsatian-cross called Trapper.
St Peter’s Anglican Church in Toronto has been deluged with complaints by Christians throughout the country. Donald Keith, the dog’s owner, said he took his pet to the church because he had heard animals were welcome.
Because he was a newcomer, the vicar, the Rev Marguerite Rea, invited him in person to receive communion. “The minister said, ‘Come up and take communion’, and Trapper came up with me and the minister gave him communion as well,” said Mr Keith.
He said he thought it was a “nice way to welcome me into the church. There was an old lady in the front just beaming when she saw this. Ninety-nine-point-nine per cent of the people in the church love Trapper and the kids play with him.”
He claimed that one member of the congregation was unhappy and complained to the archbishop. The dog has since been banned from receiving Holy Communion. Mrs Rea has since apologised to the area bishop, Patrick Yu, who was sent to investigate the complaint. He said the vicar was “quite embarrassed” by her gaffe. The bishop said it was “not the policy of the Anglican Church to give communion to animals”. He added: “Unless there is any further evidence that she is giving communion to animals, the matter is closed. We are, after all, in the forgiveness and repair business.”
Another marvellous story from the ever-vigilant Daily Telegraph. As so often, we note the absurdities perpetrated by the reporter. To begin with, there is the suggestion that somehow Anglicans are uniquely strange in believing in the divine presence in the eucharist. Then there is the odd concept of having to ban the animal from future sacramental participation (no doubt someone will tell Trapper!). Finally, the bishop speaks of the church as being in the ‘forgiveness and repair’ business. He clearly thinks the vicar needs forgiving – but it is not exactly obvious who needs repairing… Perhaps they do things differently in Canada. Ed.
Last year the Diocese of Liverpool was encouraging parishes to consider forming a Mens’ Fellowship Group if they didn’t have one. For a couple of years now there have been a small number of men at St. Mary’s (church-goers and supporters of church-goers) keen to form such a group and at the last Ministry Team meeting it was unanimously agreed that it would be sensible to make this a United Benefice Group. At the Holiday Club BBQ last year a few of the dads expressed a desire to visit Cain’s Brewery for their famous ‘tour’. We are also aware that in both churches there is the ever-present problem of maintenance work needing to be done and so this might well be another angle of the Men’s Fellowship as it is in so many places! It was felt that this group ought to be a place of support and fellowship with speakers invited to address the group and lead a discussion. So, depending on what people would like to do, the group could be a mix of various types of meetings, namely:
· ‘Full English’ breakfast followed by a ‘work-in’ in one of the churches and grounds
· Lunchtime meeting with visiting speakers (on advertised topics) and discussion
· Evening trips out (such as the Brewery Trip) and social evenings
An initial open meeting is therefore arranged for Sunday 19th September at 7.00pm in the Vicarage. If you would like to come please let Fr. Neil know. Alternatively, if you would like to know more about the possible future of such a group please speak to Fr. Peter (01695 573285) or James Roderick (0151 474 6162).
The New Hall Committee
Perhaps not everyone is aware that, after the last Annual Parochial Church Meeting, it was decided to set up a Hall Committee. The purpose of this body is to steer through all matters arising in connection with the Church Hall: lettings, new bookings, refurbishment, individual events and redevelopment. Last year’s work on sustainability clearly demonstrated that we cannot stand still and merely maintain our resources; we have to move forward and find ways not only of paying our bills but actively going out to seek further funding and marketing our resources.
The first venture under the auspices of the committee will be the reinstitution of the indoor Table Sales, scheduled to begin at the end of September. We would be grateful for as much help as possible in ‘manning’ the rotas for these events. If we have enough people to do door and refreshment duties, it would only be necessary to ask people to do a stint once every two months. Please see Ruth, Christine or one of the Wardens, or sign the list at the back of church on the notice board if you feel able to help with this. In addition, we extend a warm welcome to anyone who would like to join us on the Hall Committee. Please speak to one of us if you are interested.
Maureen Madden and Margaret Houghton
At a time of economic uncertainty when we are all being urged to cut our profligate consumption and pay more in taxes, there appear to be areas which are immune to any restraint. One of these is the London Olympics; I know that it is called this, but money from British taxpayers is going towards funding this lavish event.
Now I do not object to sport but I do object to wasting money on junketing for the few “worthy” people charged with organising the event, for politicians and associated hangers-on. The money spent on the bidding process by countries eager to host this sporting jewel normally exceeds the GDP of some poor African countries and that cannot be right. Each successful bidder tries to outdo the previous host in the extravagance of the opening and closing ceremonies and these have nothing to do with sport but merely with satisfying the collective ego of the organising committee; and, no doubt, in the case of the London team will enhance the number of “gongs” awarded in the following New Year’s Honours.
Sadly, like all sporting events these days, the original ideals have been lost in the pursuit of spectacle and self-aggrandisement by those who do not put their sporting prowess to the test at the event they are charged with organising. In the case of the London Olympics we are told that it will encourage young people to take up sport but, surely, that ideal would be better served by building sporting facilities for the young. We are always told that the
facilities will be used after the event, but in the case of London some of the facilities will be demolished and the main stadium will be reduced in size (at further cost to the taxpayer). Very few Olympics have turned in a profit for the host city or country and often the facilities have been a burden on the taxpayer for many years after; the Athens Olympics is a prime example and we now all know the state of the Greek economy. In addition to the construction cost there is the expense and environmental pollution caused by getting athletes and others to and from the event.
So what is the solution? An obvious one is not to hold an Olympic Games, but that would be a bit churlish and would deprive many of an alternative to the usual junk of daytime television. The Olympic Games could however be held at much reduced cost and environmental pollution by making use of modern technology. I have not looked at all sports, but there follow some ideas for a 21st century Eco Olympics; some sports present problems using technology but with a little imagination that can be overcome.
Cycling offers easy scope, as competitors can be placed on static cycles in their own country and allowed to pedal like mad against similar competitors in other countries. Any gym worth its salt has such cycling machines, so there would be no need to construct facilities anywhere. Television rights could still be let to the highest bidder and there would be no need for heats as all competitors would pedal at the same time via CCTV links. The events would all be over in a couple of days, so the non-sporting television viewers could get back to normal in less than a week. There would be a saving in the cost of constructing facilities and a reduction in environmental pollution, as neither competitors nor spectators would need to travel. In addition the athletes could also be made to generate power if the cycles were connected to dynamos; this would truly be an environmentally friendly event.
What would work for the cycling event would also work for the likes of rowing and the athletics track events. No need for large stadia and there would be a return from the power generated. Just think how much power would be generated during a marathon run on a large number of tread-mills. Development of devices such as the Nintendo Wii enable individuals to compete against others in the likes of tennis or against set standards in the likes of jumping or throwing events and in shooting and archery. The spectacle of Women’s Beach Volleyball might be difficult to match using the Nintendo Wii - but many of us consider that to be entertainment rather than sport. Certainly some events still pose a problem for the use of technology but if they introduced an ingenuity Olympics now, everything would be in place for an international Stay At Home Olympics in 2020. There would be no host city left with a costly white elephant on its hands in 2021 and we would not have polluted the planet with millions more tonnes of carbon dioxide. Additionally the Stay At Home Olympics would be over in a matter of days, as each event would be a final in its own right; television schedules could then get back to normal and people would not have to suffer the cancellation of their favourite ‘soap’ due to an over-running event. There would be no need for heats with the attendant risk of injury and anybody anywhere could take part provided he or she had access to equipment and an internet link. That would truly be in the Olympic spirit.
But then, it’s not going to happen, is it! The vested interests, big business, politicians, the International and local Olympic committees all want their day in the sun at other people`s and the planet’s expense.
The Parish Directory
and Church Organisations
Fr. Neil Kelley, The Vicarage, Milton Road, Waterloo. L22 4RE
928 3342; fax 920 2901
Revd Denise McDougall, 27 Mayfair Avenue, Crosby. L23 2TL. 924 8870
Canon Peter Goodrich, 16 Hillside Avenue, Ormskirk, L39 5TD. 01695 573285
Fr. Dennis Smith, 16 Fir Road, Waterloo. L22 4QL. 928 5065
Dr Fred Nye, 23 Bonnington Avenue, Crosby. L23 7YJ. 924 2813
Mrs Jacqueline Parry, 21 Grosvenor Avenue, Crosby. L23 0SB. 928 0726
Mrs Cynthia Johnson, 30 Willow House, Maple Close, Seaforth, L21 4LY. 286 8155
Mrs Margaret Houghton, 16 Grosvenor Avenue, Crosby. L23 0SB. 928 0548
Mrs Maureen Madden, 37 Abbotsford Gardens, Crosby. L23 3AP. 924 2154
DEPUTY CHURCH WARDENS
Mrs Christine Spence, 52 Molyneux Road, Waterloo. L22 4QZ. 284 9325
Mrs Rosie Walker, 17 Mayfair Avenue, Crosby. L23 3TL. 924 6267
Mr David Jones, 65 Dunbar Road, Birkdale, Southport PR8 4RJ. 01704 567782
Mrs Lillie Wilmot, Flat 7, 3 Bramhall Road, Waterloo. L22 3XA. 920 5563
PARISH OFFICE MANAGER
Mr Geoff Dunn 32 Brooklands Avenue, L22 3XZ • Tel & fax: 0151 928 9913
GIFT AID SECRETARY
Mr Rick Walker, 17 Mayfair Avenue, Crosby. L23 3TL. 924 6267
TUESDAY OFFICE HOUR: 6.30 – 7.30 pm (wedding and banns bookings)
Mrs Lynda Dixon, c/o the Vicarage. 928 7330
Mrs Joyce Green, 14 Winchester Avenue, Waterloo, L22 2AT. 931 4240
DIRECTOR OF MUSIC
Mr Sam Austin, 42 Arch View Crescent, Liverpool, L1 7BA. 07921 840616.
ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF MUSIC
Mr Stephen Hargreaves, 86 Molyneux Road, Waterloo. L22 4QZ. 07939 119220
Mrs Judith Moizer, 1 Valley Close, Crosby. L23 9TL. 931 5587
Mr Leo Appleton, 28 Hougoumont Avenue, Waterloo. L22 0LL. 07969 513087
Ms Emily Skinner,1 Valley Close, Crosby. L23 9TL. 931
Sunday 11.00 am in the Church Hall. Angie Price 924 1938
CHILD PROTECTION OFFICER
Mrs Linda Nye, 23 Bonnington Avenue, Crosby. L23 7YJ. 924 2813
1, Warren Court, Warren Road, Blundellsands
Tuesday 6.30 - 7.45 pm. Adam Jones 07841 125589
Thursday 6.30 - 7.45 pm. Mike Carr 293 3416
Tuesday 8.00 - 9.30 pm. George McInnes 924 3624
Monday 4.45 - 5.45 pm. Geraldine Forshaw 928 5204
Monday 6.00 - 7.30 pm. Sue Walsh 920 0318; Mary McFadyen 284 0104
Friday 7.15 pm - 8.30 pm. Sam Austin 07921 840616
and WEBSITE MANAGER
Chris Price, 17 Queens Road, Crosby. L23 5TP. 924 1938
The October 2010 ‘Newslink’ will be distributed on or before Sunday, September 19th. Copy by Sunday, September 5th, please - but all contributions are welcome at any time.
Church website: http://www.stfaithsgreatcrosby.org.uk
Online magazine accessed at http://www.stfaithsgreatcrosby.org.uk/magazine.html