The Parish Magazine
of Saint Faith's Church, Great
Saint Faith’s Prayer for
God of unchanging power, your Holy Spirit enables us to
proclaim your love in challenging times and places:
give us fresh understanding and a clear vision, that together we may
respond to the call
to be your disciples and to rejoice in the blessings of your kingdom;
we ask this in the name of Him who gave His life that ours might
your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
If you would like
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the Ministry Team
‘Advent is on Tuesdays’
I wouldn’t recommend anyone to have open heart surgery if they can
avoid it, but believe it or not it does bring unexpected benefits. When
I was in hospital recently our three children were frequent visitors
and so I saw a good deal more of them than usual – a very welcome bonus
that I had not foreseen.
Another blessing was the re-discovery of saying one of the daily
offices regularly. Cardiac rehabilitation involves extra rest, peace,
and quiet; so there has been plenty of opportunity! The Office
book I have found most helpful is the Franciscan version ‘Celebrating
Common Prayer’, which provides simple patterns for Morning, Evening and
Mid-day prayer, finishing the day with Night Prayer, or Compline.
One of the many obstacles to personal prayer is the feeling that you
have to ‘go it alone’. And yet whenever we pray we share in the minute
by minute, hour by hour, offering of praise and worship of the faithful
right round the world. We are also fed by that great tradition of
prayer, accumulated over the millennia, which reaches down through our
Christian roots to the bedrock of our belief, in the Old
Testament. And of course we add our small voice to those of all
the angels and saints in their eternal hymn of praise in heaven.
‘Celebrating Common Prayer’ expresses it like this:
“From the beginning of the life of the Church, the baptised ‘remained
faithful to the teaching of the apostles, to sharing the common life,
to the breaking of bread and to the prayers’. Individuals, continuing
Jewish custom, prayed at fixed times through the day and, in various
parts of the Church, there developed the custom of devoting certain
times of each day to prayers in common”.
So my prayers, and the prayers of the Church, are always intermingled.
One of the great advantages of using the daily office as a template for
individual prayer is that the Church’s communal worship becomes a
vehicle for personal prayer and carries it upwards to God. Within the
framework of the Office there are times for thinking about the
challenges of daily life, for personal thanksgiving, penitence and
intercession, and - at night - for reflecting on the past day. There
are many other aspects of the daily office which you can use for
yourself, not least the rich variety of psalms and canticles which so
often record intensely personal, not to say intimate, conversations
with God. So many of the insights God has revealed to the Church can
become suddenly, and vividly, our own.
A unique feature of the Franciscan office which greatly appeals to me
is the way in which the days’ themes echo those of the Church’s year.
So Sunday takes on the character of Easter Day: Monday, that of
Pentecost: Tuesday, Advent: Wednesday, the Incarnation, Thursday,
Epiphany: Friday, Passiontide, and Saturday the Kingdom. So I can
enjoy the blessings of these great seasons every week: Advent comes
round every Tuesday and Christmas every Wednesday!
Hopefully you will not need a spell in hospital to enjoy the riches of
daily prayer. The Franciscan offices will by no means suit everybody,
and time is a limiting factor for most of us. But I do believe that
there is always an appropriate pattern of prayer, waiting to be
discovered, to suit each and everyone’s personal needs. So, this
Advent, why don’t you go looking for it?
Notice Board for December
Saturday 29th November 10.00 am – 12 noon
Young People’s Activity & Craft
in S. Faith’s Church Hall
This will culminate in an all-age act of worship in church at 11.40 am
Sunday 30th November - ADVENT SUNDAY
6.00 pm Churches Together Advent
Carol Service in Christ Church
Bring Along a Toy, please!
At the 11am Parade & Family Eucharist on 7th December there will be
the usual offering of toys. Please bring along a new toy (unwrapped).
The preacher is Kay Lyons from the Children’s Society. Kay is also a
Reader in the Diocese. These are given to Sefton CHOICES to distribute
to needy families at Christmas. All toys given will be taken to St.
Nicholas’s, Blundellsands on Monday 15th December to be distributed.
Christmas Services and Events
Wednesday 24th - CHRISTMASS EVE
4.00pm Blessing of the Crib,
Christingle Service and First Mass of Christmas at S. Mary’s
6.00pm CHRISTINGLE SERVICE
11.00pm Vigil of Carols and Readings
11.30pm PROCESSION, BLESSING OF THE CRIB
AND SOLEMN MIDNIGHT MASS
THURSDAY 25th – CHRISTMASS DAY
9.30am Holy Eucharist (said) at S.
11.00am SOLEMN MASS
Friday 26th – S. STEPHEN’S DAY
10.30am Solemn Mass, followed by sherry and
mince pies in the Vicarage
If there are people who are housebound and unable to attend church over
Christmas, Fr. Neil is more than happy to bring Holy Communion to them
on Christmas Day after the morning services. Please let him know on 928
3342 if that is the case.
to deliver us from
the power of darkness
yourself to be born among us
and laid in a
Let the light of
always shine in
and bring us at
to the joyful
vision of your beauty,
for you are now
alive and reign
with the Father
and the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and
Thursday 1st January 2009
DAY OF PRAYER FOR WORLD PEACE
12 noon: Sung Mass for both congregations, followed by a glass of
champagne in the Vicarage to welcome and celebrate the New Year
Stolen or Strayed?
On second thoughts, probably not stolen – we are talking about our
church! This is to notify the good, but possibly careless or
absent-minded, people of St Faith’s that we now have a Lost Property
Personage. Audrey Dawson has agreed to coordinate the bringing together
of items separated by their owners in church. She will take charge of
abandoned things, look around for misplaced things, and seek to restore
them to their rightful owners. So henceforth, if you lose anything, ask
Audrey; if you find anything, give it to Audrey. We’re not sure what
Audrey will do if she loses anything….
‘Parking for the walk is in a layby on
the B4416 by St Mark’s Church in Brithdir. The church is worth a visit.’
So read the instructions found online for the Torrent Walk above
Dolgellau: a marvellous walk along a winding tree-lined road and up a
mile or so of riverside path as the Afon Clywedog foamed and rushed
down beside us. But first we visited the church – and found something
more or less unique in Wales. St Mark’s is hidden from view amongst a
rhododendron-choked churchyard and its solid granite exterior seems to
grow out of the earth and trees amongst which it is planted. But inside
is a different story. This is an Art Nouveau church, decked out in
Mediterranean warm colours (red ochre walls and vivid blue ceiling),
with amazing altar and pulpit of glowing beaten copper, exquisite
wooden carvings and Arts and Crafts fittings. What was it doing here,
It turns out that this unique Victorian building was paid for in memory
of Fr Charles Tooth, chaplain and founder of St Mark’s Church in
Florence, a beautiful Anglo-Catholic shrine which gave its name to its
little Welsh counterpart. Designed by Henry Wilson, itd is a Grade 1
listed building. Fr Tooth was the brother of Fr Arthur Tooth,
imprisoned in 1877 for daring to flout what was then the law by
introducing Anglo-Catholic ritual to the good old C of E. There were a
few such ‘martyrs’ in England, and of course our own history was not
without controversy. The Archbishop of York was petitioned not to
consecrate ‘this mass house’, protestors more than once tried to
disrupt our services in the first half of the last century, and this
writer recalls Protestant Truth Society ‘heavies’ picketing us when the
first Roman Catholic priest preached here – and later attempting to
stop Archbishop Robert Runcie from appearing among us. So the
churchmanship of the little Italianate church in the trees of Brithdir
is easy enough to work out. Obviously this Fr Tooth, though he may have
gone to Rome metaphorically, succeeded, along with the clergy of St
Faith’s, in avoiding the worst rigours of the Protestant
It was declared redundant in 2005, and is now owned by an organisation
of which I knew nothing until this visit; the Friends of Friendless
Churches. Founded in 1957, this organisation exists ‘to save historic
but redundant places of worship from destruction, decay and
unsympathetic conversion for public access and the benefit of the
nation.’ They own 38 buildings and are looking to own more. In England
they rely on subscriptions and benefactions and own about 15 churches:
the rest are in Wales, where the Friends’ work is funded almost
entirely by Cadw (the Welsh version of English Heritage) and the Church
in Wales (the Welsh version of the C of E). Armed with their list, I
shall hope to unearth their churches at St Peulan’s and St Figael’s on
Anglesey, St Baglan’s near Caernarfon, St Brothen’s at Llanfrothen and
St Cynhaern’s at Ynyscynhaearn – if only to find out more about such
splendid saints, and to see what the spell-checker comes up with.
Their website is www.friendsofriendlesschurches.org.uk. Try ‘googling’
St Mark, Brithdir, to access more related sites, including some fine
photographs. When we visited this magical place, two men, commissioned
by the Friends, were making detailed 3-D digital scans of the lead Art
Nouveau font, before moving on to the pulpit and altar. The idea, they
said, was to make possible replicas of these beautiful and priceless
objects should they be stolen. How sad that such a procedure should be
necessary – but how good that people and organisations take such
trouble to preserve, restore and make accessible something at least of
our rich Christian heritage. The Friends have recently spent some
£30,000 on repairs and will spend more. They work in partnership
with the Ancient Monuments Society. Long may their quiet work flourish
to the glory of God.
A somewhat belated thank you from the Upper Wensum Benefice House Group
for the very warm welcome extended by the congregations of S. Mary’s
and S. Faith’s during our recent visit to your Benefice.
Talk still goes on about the meaningful services, starting with the
9.30 am Harvest Thanksgiving at S. Mary’s, followed by the Harvest
Songs of Praise at 6.00 pm, which those of us who had survived the
afternoon sight-seeing managed to attend, and then the Patronal
Festival at S. Faith’s on the Monday night. Having arrived too late for
the concert on Saturday, the wonderful music in celebration of S.
Faith’s Feast Day was a much-appreciated compensation. As a former
member of the congregation, it was a delight for me to see the positive
reaction of our group members to the very different services.
Our small country churches have congregations of approximately 20 and
only a few organists to cover the seven churches within the benefice,
so that we resort to recorded music on occasions. This is preferable to
the previous practice whereby the churchwarden picked out the opening
bars only on the church organ, which invariably resulted in a musical
floundering of the congregation half way through the hymn. One of our
churches has no electricity at present, a situation that has existed
now for over a year. Services take place in the Chancel, with a heavy
curtain hanging at the entrance to keep away the draughts. Any evening
services are candle-lit. However, these churches are beautiful, with
interesting individual features and are well worth a visit if you are
in the area.
Finally, the UWHG thoroughly enjoyed the visit and felt Liverpool
deserved its year as Capital of Culture. Thank you for your
contribution to this enjoyment.
Queer as Folk?’
“A C of E clergyman has said that homosexuals should be tattooed with
health warnings similar to those seen on cigarette packets.
The Rev Dr Peter Mullen said in an internet blog that
homosexuality was ‘clearly unnatural, a perversion of natural instincts
and affections, and a cause of fatal disease.’
He wrote: ‘Let us make it obligatory for homosexuals to have their
backsides tattooed with the slogan SODOMY CAN SERIOUSLY DAMAGE YOUR
The Bishop of London said the posting was ‘highly offensive.’ Dr
Mullen, 66, has been told that he could face disciplinary action. The
rector said that he meant no harm: ‘I wrote some satirical things on my
blog and anybody with a sense of humour or any understanding of the
tradition of English satire would immediately assume that they’re
Daily Telegraph, October 7th, 2008
* The recent Harvest offerings at S.Faith’s enabled us to send a
donation of £209.50 to Christian Aid. £164.50 of this was
gift aided, enabling the charity to claim a further sum from the Inland
Revenue.St Mary’s Church congregation donated a similar sum from their
Harvest services. Further details from Howard Pate, their Christian Aid
coordinator. Many thanks to the members of both churches for their
* Advent Footsteps calendars will be distributed on Advent Sunday,
offering a daily reminder of the needs of the world and an opportunity
to attach a small donation each day to the calendar. Donations
will be collected in time for the Christian Aid Christmas appeal.
* Supporters are urged to join Christian Aid’s campaign ‘Countdown to
Copenhagen’. On December 11th 2009 in Copenhagen, the world’s richest
nations must agree a level of carbon emissions that will save the world
from catastrophic effects of uncontrolled climate change.
Christian Aid is working with partners in 23 countries to help the
world’s poorest people cope with the effects of global warming, but
more needs to be done in the North politically to bring pressure on our
own government and the European Union.
* Sales of goods at the two Fairtrade stalls at S.Faith’s and S.Mary’s
churches are reaching the £1000 mark. Thanks to all who
have supported the stalls.
* The sale of Traidcraft Christmas gifts and cards at S.Faith’s during
September and October, together with the raffle of the Christmas
Traidcraft hamper, have enabled us to donate over £100 to church
funds as well as ensuring a fair wage for producers in developing
countries. The raffle will be drawn on Advent Sunday. We are grateful
to all who have encouraged us by their purchases.
POSTSCRIPT The UK
Fairtrade market is doubling in value every two years and in 2007
reached an estimated retail value of £493 million, with over 3000
certified Fairtrade products for sale through catering and retail
YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED
How much of the price we pay for Fairtrade products actually reaches
Whatever the price of the product on the shelf, the FAIRTRADE
mark ensures that the producers have already received what has been
agreed to be a fairer price, as well as the social premiums to invest
in the future of their communities. The Fairtrade price applies at the
point where the producer organisation sells to the next person in the
supply chain. It is not calculated as a proportion of the final retail
price which is negotiated between the product manufacturer and the
know it’s Christmas?
St Faith’s congregation has generously supported The Waterloo
Partnership ever since the community charity’s inception in 2005.
‘Our’ Waterloo is linked by friendship with Waterloo Sierra Leone, a
town which because of its situation on the main highway from the
capital Freetown suffered particularly during the long civil war. With
the advent of political stability its people long to lift themselves
out of poverty and to build a more secure future for themselves and
The response to our Christmas Gift scheme last year was overwhelming,
providing well over £8,000 for our community projects in Waterloo
SL. Two UK committee members visited Sierra Leone in February, and were
encouraged to find that your gifts of hens and farming equipment had
visibly improved the wellbeing of the poorest members of the community,
especially vulnerable women. Our partners are anxious for us to go on
supporting all the current agricultural projects as they continue to
Our ‘uniform’ scholarship scheme has enabled 40 very disadvantaged
children to get to school: without this help they would have no chance
of education. We now aim to raise a fund of £10,000 so that this
cohort of children is properly supported until they leave school.
This year the Gift Scheme has been extended to include help for the
Community Health Centre, which is chronically short of all basic
supplies, and also for a highly motivated group of physically disabled
blacksmiths who need funds for training apprentices. With investment
and encouragement this enterprising group could become entirely
If you are stuck for ideas for Christmas presents, why not consider
picking up a Gift Scheme order form, available at the back of church
every Sunday morning until 7th December? In return for your donation
you will be sent a card with an appropriate certificate to give to your
friend or relative, confirming that you have made a gift in kind on
their behalf. Your Christmas gift of seeds, or school uniform or hens
or medical supplies will be going to one of the poorest communities in
the world, and will be received with real gratitude by our brothers and
sisters in Sierra Leone.
Fred & Linda
Tel 924 2813
Draw: November 2008
1 20 Mona Turner
2 31 Ann Holland
3 94 Mandy, Sarah and Simon (Price)
4 9 Irene Taylor
and Holy Communion
Fr. Neil writes:
St. Faith’s PCC (and St. Mary’s PCC) recently passed a resolution to
begin the process of preparing children for, and admitting them to,
Holy Communion prior to Confirmation.
By the time you read this, we shall have discussed at PCC how to take
this a step further and in the new year, I will say more about the
process involved and how it specifically relates to our parish.
However, as a background you may be interested to read what the Diocese
says about this practice (and if you want to read even more about it
visit the Diocesan website!). I am particularly anxious that those who
expressed some reservations about taking this step have the opportunity
to talk further and to discover more how this is being implemented in
many parishes throughout the Diocese. The following comes from
information available to parishes from St. James’s House:
“Bishop James welcomes applications from parishes seeking his
permission to admit baptised persons to Holy Communion before
Confirmation. The General Synod Guidelines have to be followed in order
for a parish to be granted this permission. A condition of permission
is diocesan registration. These guidelines focus on the proper teaching
and continuing nurture of those being admitted to Holy Communion before
Confirmation. The following procedures for use in this Diocese are
based on the General Synod Guidelines 2006:
1. A clear policy for work with children. Admission of children
to Holy Communion before Confirmation will be a helpful step for a
parish to make only if it already has a clear commitment to the
Christian teaching and nurture of children within the life of the
church. Many parishes may feel that the introduction of this new option
in the process of Christian initiation provides a good opportunity to
review their attitude and ministry to children in church.
2. PCC and Incumbent’s approval. Both the incumbent and the PCC must
support the application to admit those who have been baptized to Holy
Communion before Confirmation (and where appropriate, ecumenical
partners must have been consulted). The voting figures at the PCC must
be included in the initial application to the Bishop. The incumbent
must ensure that the policy adopted for his/her parish is clearly and
3. Age of admission to Holy Communion. In the Regulations and in the
Bishop’s directions no age limit is being set. It is important that
children and their parents are properly prepared. It is
also important to note that these regulations are not
diminish the ministry of Confirmation. This ministry and that of
Confirmation are an outworking of Baptism. The grace of God is offered
to us through these ministries. So we need to give deep and prayerful
attention to how the parish orders its ministry for children and for
their families. With this in mind it is at the discretion of the Parish
Priest to determine the age of admission.
4. Confirmation. It is at the discretion of the Parish Priest to
determine the age of Confirmation whilst acknowledging that
Confirmation can be held to represent an adult commitment of faith and
that where no other ‘adult’ responsibilities, such as voting, driving,
getting married, can be taken up during early teens, the 20s would be
considered a more appropriate time for an adult act of commitment.
5. Preparatory Teaching. Those to be admitted to Holy Communion must
already be regular members of the relevant nurture/teaching group for
their age group before any special preparation begins. There must then
be an appropriate course of preparation of candidates for admission to
Holy Communion, which is approved by the Bishop. In the initial
application the parish priest must tell the Bishop which course of
preparation a parish will use, or send a copy of the teaching programme
where a parish develops its local material.
6. Continuing nurture. The Bishop has to be satisfied that a programme
of continuing Christian nurture is in place leading to confirmation in
due course. The parish priest must ensure that those admitted to Holy
Communion receive continuing Christian nurture in a context appropriate
to them within the church’s life. It is important that all children
undertake the preparation course. The priest, the child’s
parents/guardians and the person in church responsible for the child’s
formation (e.g. the child’s Sunday School, Junior Church, or Uniformed
Organisation leader) all have, in varying degrees, a part to play in
continuing to nurture the child in his or her Christian faith, and in
the significance of Holy Communion.
7. The initial application to the Bishop. Parishes must complete all
details on the Parish Application Form and return to the Bishop Of
Liverpool if they wish to gain his agreement for adopting a policy of
admission to Holy Communion before Confirmation.
8. Practicalities of administering the policy of admission to Holy
Communion before Confirmation. Once the Bishop’s permission has been
obtained to admit to Holy Communion before Confirmation, there are
certain practicalities of procedure that the Parish Priest must observe:
(a) Who should be admitted? The priest decides after consultation with
a child’s parents/guardians or with those within the church responsible
for the child’s formation with the parent’s goodwill.
(b) The child must also wish to be admitted to Holy Communion.
(c) Parents must sign consent forms to signify their
approval of the child’s admission.
(d) The child must already be a regular attender of worship or of the
relevant teaching/nurture group for his or her age group.
(e) Evidence of baptism preceding admission to Holy Communion required.
(f) A register must be kept of the names and dates of admission to Holy
Communion before Confirmation of all those admitted.
(g) A Certificate of Admission to Holy Communion should be given to the
candidate and/or the candidate’s baptism certificate should be suitably
endorsed with the appropriate information.
(h) Marking the occasion. Before a person is first brought to Holy
Communion, the significance of the occasion should be explained to
him/her and to his/her parents. The occasion itself should be marked in
some suitable way before the whole congregation. Wherever possible, the
person’s family should be involved in the service.
(i) Children at the Eucharist. The priest must decide exactly how much
of the liturgy communicant children will attend. Even if there is a
separate teaching group for children, anyone who is to receive Holy
Communion should be present in the main assembly at least from the
introduction of The Peace. An example of welcome: “We are the people of
God. We welcome all in His name, the youngest and the oldest. We
(j) When a family moves. No person who has been admitted to Holy
Communion and remains in good standing with the church may be anywhere
deprived of it. When a family moves parishes, the priest must inform
the family’s new incumbent of the communicant status of any children
who have been admitted.
Diocese of Liverpool
Max Reay Mackay Shakespeare - an update
As many of you are aware (and have been praying for), our son Max has
been undergoing treatment for kidney cancer since August 2007. It is
with great joy that we can now report that Max completed his
chemotherapy protocol in September, and received clear reports from
scans done in October. This means that Max is currently cancer free.
During the past fifteen months we have travelled a road that none of us
ever thought that we would have to tread, and it is only by the skill,
expertise and compassion of the staff at Alder Hey, and all our friends
and family, that we have reached this happy point.
The journey has changed us all. Priorities in life have suddenly become
much clearer, and we see the importance of treasuring every day, and
seeking ‘fun’ at any opportunity. Max still has a lot in front of him,
but for now we rejoice that with all your support we have reached this
point with such as positive view of the future.
Dave, Nicky and Max.
P.S.. Pat Mackay also adds her thanks to the congregation of St Faith's
for all the support during Max’s treatment: and the family of St
Faith’s send their love and best wishes.
There are occasions when I am so thankful to be part of such a warm,
caring church. I recently moved house and would like to thank people
for their kindness, help and support. I’d like to thank Chris Price for
trying valiantly to obtain for me an internet report, something my
landlord needed prior to my renting the flat. Thanks to Joan Tudhope,
who loaned me the use of her computer for printing the necessary
report, and Bill, who wisely suggested I obtain a credit score.
I especially want to thank Fiona Whalley who, upon hearing I was moving
to an unfurnished flat, offered me all sorts of beautiful furniture and
accessories. It was a real godsend and I can’t thank her enough. Thanks
also to Ruth Winder and Chris Spence for their advice, support and
generosity – and anyone else I’ve forgotten. I feel so blessed to have
you all as friends. Thank you all.
Funny You Should Say That
A vicar concluded that his church was getting into very serious
financial troubles. While checking the church storeroom, he discovered
several cartons of new bibles that had never been opened. He asked for
three volunteers from the congregation to sell the bibles door-to-door
for £10 each to raise the desperately-needed money for the
Three parishioners volunteered for the task. The minister knew that two
of them were salesmen and could do well. But he had serious doubts
about Louie, who had always kept to himself because he was embarrassed
by his speech impediment.
He sent the three of them loaded with bibles and asked them to report
back in a week. To the first he said, ‘Well, Jack, how did you get on?’
Proudly handing the vicar an envelope, Jack replied, ‘I managed to sell
20 bibles, and here’s the £200 I collected.’ Turning to the
second, he asked the same question. Paul smilingly replied, ‘I sold 28
bibles, and here’s £280 I collected.’
The vicar congratulated them both then turned apprehensively to the
third and said, ‘Did you manage to sell any bibles last week?’ Louie
silently offered up a large envelope. The vicar opened it and counted
the contents. ‘Louie,’ he exclaimed, ‘there’s £3200 in here!
However did you manage to sell 320 bibles for the church, door to door,
in just one week?’
Louie shrugged. ‘I-I-I re-re-really do-do-don’t kn-kn-know f-f-f-for
sh-sh-sh-sure,’ he stammered. ‘A-a-a-all I-I-I s-s-said wa-wa-was,
“W-w-w-w-would y-y-y-you l-l-l-l-l-like t-t-to b-b-b-buy th-th-th-this
b-b-b-b-bible f-f-for t-t-ten p-p-p-pounds o-o-o-or- wo-wo-would yo-you
j-j-j-just l-like m-m-me t-t-to st-st-stand h-h-he re and
r-r-r-r-r-read it t-to y-y-you?”’
If Jesus came to your house to spend a day or two
If He came unexpectedly, I wonder what you’d do.
Oh, I know you’d give your nicest room to such an honoured guest.
And all the food you'd serve to him would be the very best,
And you would keep assuring him you’re glad to have him there -
That serving him in your own home is joy beyond compare.
But when you saw him coming, would you meet him at the door
With arms outstretched in welcome to your heavenly visitor?
Or would you have to change your clothes before you let him in?
Or hide some magazines and put the Bible where they’d been?
Would you turn off the video and hope He hadn’t heard?
And wish you hadn’t uttered that last, loud, hasty word?
Would you hide your worldly music and put some hymn books out?
Could you let Jesus walk right in, or would you rush about?
And I wonder - if the Saviour spent a day or two with you,
Would you go right on doing the things you always do?
Would you go right on saying the things you always say?
Would life for you continue as it does from day to day?
Would your family conversation keep up its usual pace?
And would you find it hard each meal to say a table grace?
Would you sing the songs you always sing, and read the books you read,
And let him know the things on which your mind and spirit feed?
Would you take Jesus with you everywhere you’d planned to go?
Or would you, maybe, change your plans - for just a day or so?
Would you be glad to have him meet your very closest friends?
Or would you hope they’d stay away until his visit ends?
Would you be glad to have him stay forever on and on?
Or would you sigh with some relief when He at last was gone?
It might be interesting to know the things that you would do
If Jesus Christ in person came to spend some time with you.
Lux in Tenebris
Within the vast abyss of space and time
our sparks of consciousness ignite and fade.
Our little lives, with all their hopes and fears,
their laughter and their tears, are soon extinguished.
Against the backdrop of eternity
worlds, stars and galaxies are born and die,
and our whole universe, we’re told, moves on
to thermal death and dark oblivion.
But while I sit such gloomy thoughts to pen
a shaft of sunlight, gold without alloy,
falls on the page, and through the open door
a blackbird’s song flows in like liquid joy.
for the Little Children
In the New Year it is proposed to produce a United Benefice Children’s
Magazine. We are inviting youngsters from both churches to contribute
material for publication. For the first edition leaders of each church
organisation (all uniformed groups and Sunday Schools) have been asked
to provide a page. All those involved (you know who you are!) are
hereby requested to submit material as soon as possible.
Parish Administrator Liz Mooney will be putting the magazine together,
so please email copy, including any digital photographs, to her at
Celtic Summer 2009
The increasing attraction of the Celtic saints and the emergence of
Celtic Christianity will feature at a major course at St Chad’s
College, Durham next summer.
Details of the course have been released this week, with BBC Radio 4
Thought for the Day presenter Revd Rob Marshall once again leading the
popular summer school.
The week will run from 13th – 20th July, and costs just
£438 (half board) in a university standard room.
Celtic Summer is open to everyone from this region. Participants
register at the Durham College before a week of Christian pilgrimage
and teaching focussing on the Celtic saints of Hilda, Aidan, Cuthbert
Those taking part visit Holy Island and Bamburgh as well as taking in
Bede’s World, Whitby, Lastingham and Durham Cathedral.
“Each day consists of talks, services and many of the days include a
trip out to a well know site including a highly memorable pilgrimage to
Lindisfarne itself,” said Marshall this week. He is an experienced
pilgrimage leader and is a priest in the team at St Mary Abbots,
“The Celtic saints have so much to tell us about the way in which we
face up to the challenges of mission today,” Marshall added.
For further information please contact Tracey on 01482 662721.
(St Chad’s College Durham, like us the foundation of Douglas Horsfall,
are patrons of the living of Saint Faith’s.)
Edited highlights from the recollections of four of the pilgrims who
took part in the recent United Benefice pilgrimage to Santiago de
Compostela. The full unedited diaries, with lots of pictures by Bill
and Joan Tudhope, may of course be seen on the church website.
was back in January when a group of potential pilgrims met with Mike
from ‘Vapour Trails Direct’ to discuss the feasibility of a pilgrimage
to the Galician city of Santiago de Compostela. Santiago has been one
of the most important centres of pilgrimage in Europe since the 9th
Century. Its Romanesque Cathedral is reputedly sited over the
tomb of St. James, Patron Saint of Spain. It seemed feasible to me!
On Tuesday, 7th October, we pilgrims met together at St. Faith’s
Church, after a Pilgrims’ Mass and Blessing before departure.
Climbing the steps to our plane I thought I felt pounds lighter than
climbing down the steps of the coach a little earlier (that pounds
sterling, not pounds weight). After arriving Santiago de Compostela
Airport, a short coach ride later brought us to the ‘Hotel Los Abetos’
our pilgrims’ hostel for our four night stay. The Hotel Los
Abetos is not quite a hostel, more a 4 star mansion house with 2 double
beds, TV, minibar, radio and safe (but ours didn’t work) in each of its
150 bedrooms. Not really what Sue and I are used to, but we coped.
After dinner some people went straight to bed, well, it’s been a long
day. Others had a quite nightcap in the bar. I considered going for a
dip in the outdoor pool, perhaps a work out in the gym followed by a
sauna. Nah! too tired, so Sue and I opted for a drink and went to bed,
after all, it’s an early start tomorrow.
first sight of Santiago de Compostela by daylight was of a town
shrouded in a pale morning mist. Our first sight of the Cathedral –
ornate and very impressive, it towered up into the last shreds of the
The Mass was at noon and our guide Diego made sure that we were there
in good time to find places with a view of the great thurible. The
guide book says “Under the dome is the pulley structure designed in the
16th Century... for the support and movement of the botafumeiro, a
large censer that was used from the 14th Century onwards to perfume the
air, redolent with the sweat of the exhausted pilgrims. Watching it
swing from one side of the transept naves to the other, hurled and
guided by a group of men known as tiraboleiros, is one of the most
impressive sights in Compostela.”
Well, yes!! Suspended in the great space at the centre of the
building, the silver vessel looks big but not gigantic. When it
is lowered to the ground, though, it stands almost the height
of a man. Filled with
incense, then lit and billowing
scented clouds, it is
immensely impressive. When it is raised and begins to swing, higher and
higher and faster and faster, the words that come to mind are health
and safety, rollercoaster, then guided missile. It does not swing every
day so we were lucky to see the spectacle. There were hundreds of
people at the Mass, many of them pilgrims who had walked one of the
pilgrims’ ways from France or other places all over the world. Huge
backpacks were piled round the base of the pillars, some of them
bearing the cockle shell that is the sign of the Compostela pilgrim.
These days, of course, there was no sign of the pong that gave rise to
the need for the mega quantities of incense – but it was lovely anyway.
Amazingly, Diego led us round the back of the altar, where we were able
to touch, even embrace, the statue of James the Apostle as pilgrims
have done through the ages. So many embraces have worn away his
shoulders, he now wears a silver cape for protection!
It was a wonderful day, a perfect introduction to Santiago de
Compostela and gave an entirely new view of the concept of pilgrimage.
Our Pilgrims’ Progress was no arduous struggle, it was full of happy
companionship, interest and warmth – but nonetheless a valuable and
THURSDAY We head
off to the Sacred Valle (Ribera Sacra) via the historic city of
Ourense. Here the dark Gothic Cathedral dates from the early 13th
Century, not very extraordinary from outside, but once inside every
space of ceiling and walls are covered with gilded ornate decoration.
Taking pride of place, of course, is a huge crucifix covered with
animal skin and with human hair on the head, which is very dark and
hangs down over the shoulders. It moves in the air, so one can be
forgiven for imagining it is living. I am horrified by this at
first but then thought, remember that Jesus was living when they nailed
him to that cross. This is no ordinary crucifix and on closer
inspection one can see the pain and agony on the face and very
realistic wounds on the skin. This is not the usual pretty statues I
have become used to – sanitised, not to offend or upset. This had a
great impact on me. In those few minutes I felt the pain and agony,
could almost hear the voices and smell the smells.
We arrived back at the hotel for Mass in the small white chapel, with
simple stained glass windows, situated in the immaculately maintained
gardens of this fine hotel, where we are staying. Although we are
only 28 in number we fill this small chapel and when we sing our voices
fill the air and it sounds so good.
early, even though you feel a bit groggy (too much laughter last night,
perhaps). After a large breakfast we board the bus and head off to the
Coast of Death in the dawn. There is
laughter in the bus, there always is. Our
smiling and enthusiastic guide, Diego, points out the sights to us.
After one or two stops, it was on to Finisterre (World’s End). I am
getting hungry, I have got used to three large meals a day on my
pilgrimage and am looking forward to lunch. Pilgriming is hungry
We arrive at the World’s End. There are a group of pilgrims who are
burning their clothes. This act symbolises the renewal of their life
after the pilgrimage. I walked down to the water’s edge and
watched the waves crash against the rocks and felt the spray. You
don’t have to go to church to feel God all round you.
After a delicious lunch, it was back to the bus. At this point we
nearly lost a pilgrim, but at the last moment recovered her. After
Compline we went to dinner and lots of laughter. The day was only
marred by one of our party falling and injuring herself. But the
day ended in a buzz, with enjoyment of good company and much to think
of Manhood’s End
Back in the balmy days of early summer, we holidayed in West Sussex,
and explored some of the quiet backwaters away from the resorts and
major roads. One area that was particularly appealing was the great
inlet of Pagham Harbour, a wide and deserted expanse of almost
land-locked salt marsh, saved from exploitation to be today the haunt
of birds and birdwatchers and lovers of solitude.
At the end of a remote lane, a path leads down to the wide spaces where
the seabirds wheel and, twice a day, the sea floods quietly in over the
marshes. This was once a place of great importance, a Saxon capital and
a place of trade and royal business. St Wilfrid is said to have landed
here in the 7th century and used it as a base to convert the pagan
inhabitants of this remote peninsula, reputedly the last place in
England to be won to Christianity. He founded a monastery here and it
was the site of a cathedral before the see moved to Chichester. Today,
in a well-tended and beautiful churchyard are rows of graves – and a
small chapel. Once it was far bigger, but the nave was long ago
dismantled and rebuilt some miles away. What remains is the chapel of
St Wilfrid, and in it to my surprise and delight were copies of a
Christmastide poem which I knew well, but about which I knew little. It
is by Rudyard Kipling, who wrote a lot about Sussex, and it is about
this very place.
Eddi's Service (A.D. 687)
Eddi, priest of St. Wilfrid
In his chapel at Manhood End,
Ordered a midnight service
For such as cared to attend.
But the Saxons were keeping Christmas,
And the night was stormy as well.
Nobody came to service,
Though Eddi rang the bell.
‘Wicked weather for walking,’
Said Eddi of Manhood End.
‘But I must go on with the service
For such as care to attend.’
The altar-lamps were lighted,
An old marsh-donkey came,
Bold as a guest invited,
And stared at the guttering flame.
The storm beat on at the windows,
The water splashed on the floor,
And a wet, yoke-weary bullock
Pushed in through the open door.
‘How do I know what is greatest,
How do I know what is least?
That is My Father’s business,’
Said Eddi, Wilfrid’s priest.
‘But - three are gathered together -
Listen to me and attend.
I bring good news, my brethren!’
Said Eddi of Manhood End.
And he told the Ox of a Manger
And a Stall in Bethlehem,
And he spoke to the Ass of a Rider,
That rode to Jerusalem.
They steamed and dripped in the chancel,
They listened and never stirred,
While, just as though they were Bishops,
Eddi preached them The Word,
Till the gale blew off on the marshes
And the windows showed the day,
And the Ox and the Ass together
Wheeled and clattered away.
And when the Saxons mocked him,
Said Eddi of Manhood End,
‘I dare not shut His chapel
On such as care to attend.’
Eddi was Wilfrid’s chaplain. The intriguing name of Manhood End refers
not to some historical loss of courage (nor even virility) but is a
corruption of Mainwood End: where a vast mediaeval forest came to its
end here. The place does not exist ‘on the ground’ today, but lives on
also in the splendidly named ‘Hundred of Manhood and Selsey Tramway’ –
an almost legendary light railway which ran its ramshackle
rattle-and-bang way from Chichester down to Selsey for a few years at
the beginning of the last century before sinking back into oblivion. It
was part of the empire of Colonel Fred Holman Stephens, who ‘collected’
lost-cause minor railways. But that’s another story.
Friendly Church Award Scheme
As well as passing a resolution to place children and young
people even more at the centre of our life together by admitting them
to Holy Communion prior to Confirmation, the PCC has also passed a
resolution to work towards being a “Child-Friendly” church.
The Child Friendly Church Award (CFCA) has been developed to help
churches give children the best possible experience of church and acts
as a tool to help churches evaluate their children’s and youth work. It
is a self assessment scheme which is designed to celebrate and support
a Church’s journey to being Child Friendly. CFCA Advisers work
alongside the churches and guide them towards the final award which is
presented for a 3 year period.
National interest in this Diocese of Liverpool scheme means that the
CFCA logo can be seen outside churches of many denominations all around
Great Britain, displaying that the churches take provision of children
and young people seriously. Fr. Neil has asked a small working party
look at the initial stages of this process, and both the PCC and
congregation will be kept up to date as we work towards this.
A Decade of ‘+James Liverpool’!
“Liverpool Cathedral is really good. On 8th November there was a
special service but they’re not going to do one next year”.
So writes Marcie Appleton after attending a special service to
celebrate the Bishop of Liverpool’s 10th Anniversary here. The service
was full and colourful, focusing on baptism, confirmation, lay ministry
and priesthood: we had young people from St. Faith’s and St. Mary’s
walking in the processions carrying blue or red streamers. The music
was varied and the testimonies from some young people in our Diocese
were thought-provoking and moving. On our behalf, the young people
presented the Bishop and his wife with cards and gifts from our two
parishes, thanking the Bishop for his support and encouragement.
It certainly gave the Vicar some ideas as to how he might celebrate his
10th Anniversary of being here next year…. Watch this space!
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