The Parish Magazine of St Faith`s Church, Great Crosby


From the Ministry Team       December 2004

'A Fellowship of Faith'

At Christmas we are confronted by the mystery of birth, and by the deeper mystery of 'God-with-us'. In the Incarnation, God empties Himself and for our sake becomes a small vulnerable baby, born in simplicity and poverty. At Christmas we are also reminded of our spiritual poverty and vulnerability as fallen human beings, and of our utter dependence on Christ. On our own we can do nothing to draw nearer to God: our well-being, our salvation, can be found only in His love for us. As Saint Paul puts it in his first letter to the Colossians: 'The human race has nothing to boast about to God, but you, God has made members of Christ Jesus and by God's doing he has become our wisdom, and our virtue, and our holiness, and our freedom'. For a right relationship with God we have to become like little children, trusting not in ourselves but in Christ alone, and so allowing Him to contain our lives within His.

Those of us who went on the Parish pilgrimage to Conques in October were privileged to share in the Abbey‘s devotion to St. Faith. In the fourth century this 13-year-old girl was martyred because she chose not to abandon her trust in Christ, or her dependency on Him, despite persecution by the Roman authorities and misunderstanding and bullying from her own family. In Conques, worshipping together in a beautiful 16th century chapel, our little group of pilgrims began to understand why St. Faith has inspired so much devotion over the centuries. Deep down, I guess most Christians would want to share her openness to God and her trust and dependence on Him.

In the abbey at Conques some of the congregation raised their hands upwards when they said the Lord's prayer, and Father Neil encouraged us to do the same.  Although a bit embarrassed at  first,  I  found  that  this  simple  gesture gave me a profound sense of openness, vulnerability and trust in God. Dare we hope that we can share some of the same feelings, some of the same gifts of the Spirit, which inspired St. Faith and so many of the saints and martyrs?

During our Ministry Team away-day, shortly after we returned from our pilgrimage, Father Neil suggested that we should start a new parish 'Fellowship of Faith', drawing inspiration from the life and death of our patron saint. It would be a simple but effective way of deepening our Christian commitment, our prayer, and our mission. Printed elsewhere in this edition of Newslink you will find a brief outline of some of the suggested aims and activities of the Fellowship. It seems to me that the Fellowship could prove to be very powerful in helping us on our way during our earthly pilgrimage, both as individuals and as a congregation. But the idea will only bear fruit if we all act together, as the Body of Christ. The fellowship is for everyone, and it must not be seen as an in-group or specialist 'guild'. I sincerely hope that most if not all our congregation will follow Father Neil's leadership, share his vision, and join the Fellowship. Perhaps if that happens the cruel death of a teenage girl, all those centuries ago, may not have been in vain.

Fred Nye

The Fellowship of Faith

This group is open to all who wish to join. The Parish Pilgrimage to Conques in 2004 was a blessing for all who went, and I hope for our parish life. It helped us to come closer to our Patron Saint Faith and to give thanks to God for her inspiration to generations of Christians for 1,700 years.

The purpose of the Fellowship of Faith will be:

Almighty and everlasting God, who kindled the flame of your love in the heart of your holy martyr Faith; give us, your servants, the same strength and power of love, that we who rejoice in her triumph may profit by her example; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

School of Prayer

We are so grateful to Fr. Tim Raphael for giving up a weekend and coming to lead the 'School of Prayer'. It was a memorable experience and good to see so many people attending not just from our own two churches but from other parishes nearby. Let's hope it is the first of many. [If you came and haven't yet completed your evaluation form please let me have it as soon as possible.]

We talked about meditation, making (realistic) time for prayer, how to use the Bible in prayer as well as the imagination and a whole host of other things. Before lunch on the Saturday we had the Eucharist 'in the round' which was extremely moving, particularly when giving each other Holy Communion.

In the days leading up to it I wondered, like so many, whether I really had time to give up a whole Saturday. After hearing Fr. Tim talk about how we are slaves of time I realized it‘s not so much 'Can I afford the time to go' rather 'Can I afford not to go?' If we can't make time for prayer or reflection, how do we begin to know whether we are doing God's will or not?

There were some memorable gems which I know have given us all food for thought. Tim, thank you so much.


Sunday 28th November - Advent Sunday

 11.00am                 Family Eucharist, Parade Service & Offering of Toys
 6.00 pm             Churches Together in Waterloo Advent Service

Saturday 4th & Sunday 5th December - 'BBC WEEKEND!'

Because of the rehearsals and recordings taking place this weekend the services (for those not taking part in the recordings or wanting a 'quiet' service) are as follows:
 7.30am             Said Eucharist in S. Faith's
 6.30pm             Said Eucharist in S. Mary's
                          (no 7pm Compline and Benediction)

Admission to the BBC rehearsal and recording is by ticket only. The two programmes from S. Faith's can be seen on the mornings of Advent 3 (12th) and Advent 4 (19th) at either 10.00am or 10.30am. Please consult the Radio Times for details.

Saturday 11th
 10.00am            Rosary
  3.30-5.30 pm    Sunday School Party in S. Mary's Church Hall
  6.00 pm            Taize-style service of meditation and Eucharistic Devotions

Sunday 12th  Advent 3
 1.00 pm            Senior Citizens' Christmas lunch in the Church Hall

Saturday 18th
 10.00 am          Rosary
  in preparation for Christmas (after which there will be the  usual opportunity for those who wish to make a personal  confession and receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation)

Sunday 19th  Advent 4
  11.00 am        SUNG EUCHARIST

Friday 24th  Christmas Eve
 6.00pm           Christingle Service
 11.00pm         Vigil of Carols and Readings

Saturday 25th   Christmas Day
 9.30am          Eucharist with hymns at S. Mary‘s
 11.00am        FAMILY EUCHARIST
 6.00pm         Evening Prayer at the Crib

Sunday 2  January 2005     The Holy Family
 11.00am       Sung Eucharist followed by sherry and mince pies

Saturday 1st January 2005 - Day of Prayer for World Peace
 12noon        Solemn Eucharist followed by a glass of wine to welcome the New Year.

John Betjeman

The bells of waiting Advent ring,
The Tortoise stove is lit again
And lamp-oil light across the night
Has caught the streaks of winter rain.
In many a stained-glass window sheen
From Crimson Lake to Hooker's Green.

The holly in the windy hedge
And round the Manor House the yew
Will soon be stripped to deck the ledge,
The altar, font and arch and pew,
So that villagers can say
'The Church looks nice' on Christmas Day.

Provincial public houses blaze
And Corporation tramcars clang,
On lighted tenements I gaze
Where paper decorations hang,
And bunting in the red Town Hall
Says 'Merry Christmas to you all.'

And London shops on Christmas Eve
Are strung with silver bells and flowers
As hurrying clerks the City leave
To pigeon-haunted classic towers,
And marbled clouds go scudding by
The many-steepled London sky.

And girls in slacks remember Dad,
And oafish louts remember Mum,
And sleepless children's hearts are glad,
And Christmas morning bells say 'Come!'
Even to shining ones who dwell
Safe in the Dorchester Hotel.

And is it true? and is it true?
The most tremendous tale of all,
Seen in a stained-glass window's hue,
A Baby in an ox‘s stall?
The Maker of the stars and sea
Become a Child on earth for me?

And is it true? For if it is,
No loving fingers tying strings
Around those tissued fripperies,
The sweet and silly Christmas things,
Bath salts and inexpensive scent
And hideous tie so kindly meant,

No love that in a family dwells,
No carolling in frosty air,
Nor all the steeple-shaking bells
Can with this single Truth compare
That God was Man in Palestine
And lives today in Bread and Wine.

The Star of Bethlehem

A Christmas Reflection from the writings of EDWARD NORMAN, former Chancellor of York Minster

Born in the lowliest of circumstances, but born, nevertheless, with the splendour of the heavenly bodies in attendance: the symbolism of the star which heralded the birth of Christ is very profound. It does not matter if it was a comet or some other natural phenomenon; it is the place of the star in signalling the truth about God and his creation which is important, and which is why the story has been treasured as part of the Christmas event.

It is possible that Jesus was not even born in Bethlehem, and that the Gospel narrative has been made to correspond with the Davidic tradition in order to authenticate the claims of Jesus to be the Messiah. That, too, does not matter. It is the truth of Christ, and the symbolism in which it is received which should concern us - as it has concerned the millions in whose lives Jesus has been conveyed ever since. The ancients knew the stars well, and their learned men calculated according to the relationships of the celestial bodies. They may have been ignorant of the nature of the stars, in the way we no longer are, and they may have credited them with mystical meanings which were unwarranted - though this remains a feature of popular culture to this day. The important point, again, is not material but symbolical. Those who recorded the events accompanying the birth of Christ recognized that the whole universe was somehow involved: that here was an event unlike any other, which described something of the vastness and purpose of the whole creation. The stars themselves witnessed the nativity, God descended to the earth, and the world was made new.

The miracle of the Incarnation was that God chose to intervene in the lives of men and women. For he did not come into the world in order to effect a cosmic demonstration of his power, and Jesus scorned the value of 'signs and wonders'; he came in order to save those whom he regarded as his children. He had not set up the universe and then left it to proceed upon a course determined by the laws he had himself laid down. Those laws, it is true, are still the exclusive means by which all things are: but God involved himself personally. His physical laws remained, and applied to himself when he was on earth; what the birth of Christ indicated was the preparedness of God to redeem men and women. Their sins and corruptions, like the physical laws of creation, remained. What the coming of Christ gave was forgiveness. The star of Bethlehem drew the whole of the created universe into the great act of love; the heavenly bodies acknowledged the astonishing importance of the event. We like to see ourselves today as being the first to have authentic knowledge of the universe, and that is in its way obviously true.

What we do not remember is that the ancient world, too, recognized how vast was the scale of creation, and how insignificant the phenomenon of human life. The star which pointed to the birth of Jesus linked our fate with the greater design of God.

Hannah Hunter R.I.P.

We have been completely overwhelmed by the cards, flowers and support shown to us by our friends in S. Faith‘s on the recent death of my mother.  Thank you all.

It was our privilege to have Fr. Neil and Fr. Dennis conduct a beautiful and moving funeral service for Hannah.  Thank you so much.

Hannah appreciated very much being remembered in the prayers of everyone at S. Faith's.

We are going to miss her very much but are happy in the knowledge that she is now at peace and at rest.

Joan, Bill, Judith, Christian & Stephen Tudhope,
and the Hunter family.

Iona Pilgrimage

A three-night stay on the historical Island of Iona is part of a retreat pilgrimage taking place next year (March 28 - April 4). In the company of the Revd Gavin Wakefield, Director of Mission and Pastoral Studies at St.John's College, Durham, the week will take in the most important sites associated with the Celtic/Anglo Saxon Period. As well as experiencing retreat on Iona, visits to Holy Island, Durham Cathedral and accommodation in Durham is also included. Price for the week is £485 (4 nights Half Board, 3 Nights Full Board and all trips included). Further details are available at or by phoning LTG Conferences on 01274 599622.

Church Action on Poverty
A bulletin  from Fr MARK WATERS

'May they all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us.'  (John 17.21)

People aren't voting in this country. They are retreating from the public sphere. There is widespread apathy, cynicism, and disillusionment with politics. Increasingly our culture encourages us to be consumers rather than citizens; individuals who get their identity from what they have, where they live, and what they wear.

For lots of people this state of affairs presents little problem and some new freedoms and benefits. More disposable income than they've ever had before; opportunities for world travel to exotic locations for holidays; endless leisure pursuits; better health; swish cars; and access to a wide range of technological gadgets to make life easier.

But for the 20% or so who live in the grim pockets of poverty in our country (which includes 25-30% of all children in Britain) this individualised life is no picnic at all. They are cut off from each other, and often isolated by intimidating environments ruled by crime and by a drug culture. They suffer poor health, stress, low educational achievement of their children, few amenities in their area, and a bleak jobless future with all the implications for confidence and self-esteem.

And the reality is that for most of us the retreat into privatised life-styles actually comes at an enormous cost to society. A lessening of the sense of neighbourhood and community. Fear in the streets. Less connection between people. A sense of young people being beyond control and making our streets intimidating. A lowering of respect for each other generally.

This is why, over the last few years, the government has been promoting a new approach to community development called Neighbourhood Renewal. At heart this is about stopping the process of trying to throw money at social problems in poor communities from the outside, and beginning to try to bring about growth and renewal from the inside instead. And at the centre of this changed approach is the task of enabling people to really participate in the decision-making which will affect their lives in their communities. We're being asked to move from 'projects' to 'participation'.

But getting people involved is not as easy as it sounds. There are all sorts of barriers - from issues of literacy and lack of self-confidence at the individual level, to ignorance and arrogance at the corporate level. In other words, a lot of cultures and attitudes that need changing.

My new job with the national charity Church Action on Poverty is aimed at trying to respond to some of these issues. We have a three-year grant from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister to develop 8 pilots in different models of participation across England. Four of them will be 'schools of participation' - experiments in giving people the skills, perceptions, and opportunities to take part effectively in all the new government partnerships which have been set up across the country. The other four will be experiments in something called Participatory Budgeting, which is about trying to get local people much nearer to the decisions about how the public budget is spent in their area (an initiative which has been developed in Brazil over the last 15 years).

So, I am currently working in Manchester, Salford, Sunderland, Bradford, Teesside and Birmingham, managing teams of people engaged in this fascinating and challenging task of enabling people to take part. This involves building up the esteem and capabilities of people in various local communities, and also working with local politicians, and senior council officers, to bring about organisational change. I am also involved in setting up a national advisory group of politicians, Home Office and Treasury officials, academics, funding bodies, and local activists to learn from this process.

The overall aim is to find ways of building healthy communities of people who have become agents of change rather than passive recipients of what happens to them - actors in their present circumstances, and initiators of their future ones.

What has this got to do with church? Well, quite a lot once you begin to think about it. The Christian religion, more than any other, believes in a God who takes part. Our central tenet of faith is the mystery of the incarnation - what it means for God to have taken human flesh, and become like us, in order that we might become like God. Participation indeed!

And we believe that God took this initiative as a way of helping us to grasp what it means to build a world in which everyone has a place, and particularly those on the edge - the marginalized. In the bible these are known as the anawim - the little people of God - for whom he has a special care, and with whom Jesus spent so much of his time and energy. Just think of the parables and stories in the gospels which are about including people in, making people part of things, encouraging participation. Not only inviting them to the feast, but giving them a special place at the table!

If this is the Christian vision, then it has to be made real in the everyday world of our neighbourhoods and the communities in which we live. It is no earthly use having a religious imperative safely tucked away somewhere in the corner of your heart or mind as a nice idea. Our religion has to be practical. It calls us to turn what we believe into a reality in the world in which we live. And in terms of participation, our faith is never simply an individual affair, it is corporate, it is about a body - the Body of Christ - understood not just as a Sunday morning fellowship with the like-minded, but a radical solidarity with every other human being as bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh.

So watch this space for news of how this work goes, and maybe in the meantime the PCC might like to consider affiliating to Church Action on Poverty to give a bit of practical and prayerful support to this endeavour.

Conques 2004
Lynda Dixon

We left Crosby in the dark, on a cold, wet Thursday morning in October.  After a 14 hour journey, via Manchester, Gatwick, Toulouse, and a few unexpected villages, we arrived in Conques, in the dark - was there anyone there?  No lights, no sound, except that of trundling suitcase wheels down the main street, to our various hotels.

On going down to the le petit dejeuner next morning we were overwhelmed by the beauty of the view of the valley from our terrace - where we ate for the next four mornings - we did think about you all, as we sat outside in the warm October sunshine at 8.00 a.m.!

The Abbey at Conques is stunning, set in the middle of the village which seems to cling to the sides of steep slopes above a deep gorge.  It was here, in a small 16th Century Chapel that we held our own powerful and moving services, surrounded by the thick walls soaked with music and prayers of previous pilgrims.  We joined with other visitors and pilgrims for Vespers and Compline and of course, Sunday Mass, in the main Abbey.  On two evenings Father Neil gave his wonderful organ recitals, which were fantastic as always.

On Friday some of us visited Rodez, the former capital of the region, with its rose sandstone Cathedral of Notre Dame where there is an especially fine 15th Century carved wooden rood screen in the organ loft.  Saturday saw us in Figeac, wandering around the market and up and down the old streets.  Some of the memories of the first Parish Pilgrimage to Conques will include, being moved tears by services and recitals; the company and complicated bi-lingual conversations at lunches and dinners; the laughter till you ached and the beauty and peace as you were just sitting in the square.

Conques is a holy place, where the power of the Lord moves; where the glory of the Lord shines all around; and where you can be still and feel the presence of the Lord.

- an irreverent report of a reverent journey
Jenny Raynor

When Autumn's leaves began their merry dance,
And stern October's winds began to rage,
The Crosby Pilgrims left for Conques in France
(Acting their shoe size, rather than their age)
To seek the blessings of St Faith's great shrine
With fellowship in travel, food and wine.

Well, it was a flamboyant send-off by any standards. St Faith's Patronal Festival, an extremely flashy bishop, and a very mixed bag of pilgrims sped on their way by music, smells and bells.  Next morning - 7 a.m. at the coach - a bleary-eyed bunch took the scenic route to Manchester Airport, only slightly enlivened by the arrival of 'Hattie from Huyton' (a.k.a. Fr Neil) in cassock and 'souplatter' -™ an all-purpose hat to repel rain, sun and pigeon droppings.

Our eventual arrival at Manchester was marked by a dash to get the duty-free booze, while the more sedate collected daily papers and Puzzlers. Then it was breakfast - the few pilgrims sticking with coffee and toast, the rest facing a dreadful choice of English Breakfast or Very Big English Breakfast.

An otherwise boring trip to Gatwick was enlivened by a voluptuous lady passenger who decided to be the in-flight entertainment. Clothed in a dress like a mini-cassock (which barely covered her assets), she struck various poses until a near miss by the food truck sent her to her seat, obviously disappointed at the paucity of film directors / rich men to take up her blatant offers.

Somewhat travel worn, we arrived at Toulouse and thankfully sank into the seats of our coach for the last part of our journey to Conques. As night fell, the coach climbed up increasingly steep and twisting roads, the darkness only relieved by occasional glimpses of light from small towns and tiny villages. It was a while before some unrest in our gallant leaders, Bill and Margaret, warned us that all was not well. Signposts were scanned, maps consulted, and a hurried 'parley' (parlez-vous?) with the coach driver resulted in our interior lights being turned to a ghastly green.  It was at this point that one pious traveller was heard to say 'Shall I get out my beads?' and the reply came back: 'This is no time to be checking your jewellery'.

Eventually the lights of the Abbey shone below us, and leaving the coach, we set off, luggage-laden, down the steep path to the village. At last we had arrived in Conques!

Friday morning dawned bright and clear, and for the first time, the panorama of Conques spread before us. Perched on a hill side, the view reached down to the valley bottom, then the tree-clad sides rose again to reach the horizon. It was breathtaking in its grandeur and its serenity. Breakfast came (almost) as an anti-climax, though we did justice to cereals, rustic bread, butter and confitures, as well as huge slices of 'breakfast cake' and an endless supply of fragrant coffee.  Holiday bliss!

'All this, and Heaven too!'  We met in a tiny stone chapel on the side of the Abbey, leaving the back door open to the morning light and warm air. As we heard the opening words of the service, the endless prayers offered there over centuries surged round us and held us. Fr Neil's first address found its meaning in the very place where we were - the French word for bread (pain), the brokenness of self - brought to its ultimate conclusion in the life of a fourteen-yea- old girl who endured in her faith through torture and death.  Then, in the familiar pattern of this service 'where heaven and earth meet', we took the broken bread and wine outpoured, joining all who have made a pilgrim journey of faith through the ages.

Our first visit of the Pilgrimage was to the nearby town of Rodez. Leaving Conques, it was apparent that the corkscrew mountain road was not made for large touring coaches. We climbed for a seeming eternity, up a rosary of sharp bends, and as Norbert, our driver, swung the wheel, it seemed best to close our eyes and pray.

Arriving at Rodez as pilgrims, our first priority was, of course, lunch.  In such glorious weather, it had to be taken al fresco, so placing our trust in Margaret's French, we let her order the plat de jour, lamb. The gammon and vegetables that arrived were delicious! We washed it down with plenty of vin, and duly fortified, set off for Notre Dame cathedral. It was big, with plenty of side chapels. Its most redeeming feature was a bright statue of St Faith, but like a 'good deed in a naughty world' she shone because the rest of the place was extremely dirty and dilapidated. Fairly recently, the interior had been reversed, the back door bricked up and an altar put in front of it. The huge stone pulpit, balanced on the back of some poor bloke who we thought might be Samson, had been torn down and moved to the opposite end, then badly cemented to a pillar. I wonder what Liverpool's DAC would make of that?

Each evening, we ate with other pilgrims in the Refectory. Grace was the chorus of the Pilgrim's Hymn, that was sung in full after Vespers for the blessing and sending out of those who journeyed on to Compostella. On this particular evening, there was a talk in French, by one of the Norbertine Brothers who administer the shrine, about the famous 'Tympanum' (the semi-circular stone carving over the main Abbey door and featured on the cover of October‘s Newslink). Even our good French speakers said it was hard to follow, but essentially it graphically depicted heaven and hell, with tiers of the good on the left, hands clasped piously and surrounded by angels, while the bad on the right were being dragged, pushed and prodded by some nasty looking devils presumably down to hell.

After this, we were glad to slip into the Abbey, where a Son et Lumière performance had been promised, accompanied by Fr Neil on the organ. At first, all was quiet and dim, and slowly as the light increased, the organ began to play. Faintly at first, the music ebbed and flowed, accompanied by light and shade that moved around the building. The volume gradually increased as the organist moved into Bach‘s famous Toccata and Fugue in D minor - the majestic sound swelling until the whole building was filled with sound, and the lights rose and fell in rhythmic harmony.  Like a great storm, it held us breathlessly enthralled to its climax, then moved into softer cadences with effortless variation on hymn melodies - 'as the deer pants for the water'; 'be still for the presence of the Lord' - each one leading us into deep prayer and awareness of God. Slowly the sound died away and the lights faded, save for the golden flickering votives around the shrine. Silently, we slipped out into the Abbey Square, calmed yet uplifted; out into the warm, starlit night.

Saturday morning began with intercession in the chapel. It was a time to hold up to God those who had been unable to come with us, and to pray for the sick. The news of the death of Ken Bigley had reached us, and later, on our trip to Albi, we stopped at 12 o‘clock to remember him and his family.

We returned from Albi to see our first pilgrims with donkeys arrive for the night. For us there was time to relax in the square, with pots of tea or ice-cream. A group of elderly schoolboys produced string and demonstrated their lack of skill at 'Conquers'. No wonder the French won at Hastings!

After the evening meal and Compline, there was a concert by a group of French pilgrims. This concluded with a rendition of 'Frère Jacques' as a round, which continued as we were led, singing, down the aisle and into the square - to be met by a violent electric storm with huge drops of rain - and so to bed.

Sunday dawned with a rainy mist over the valley. Breakfast on the balcony, even with an awning, was a soggy affair. It didn‘t last, however, and a small patch of blue sky grew quickly, with a bonus of a rainbow, and we went dry-shod to the Abbey for a rehearsal for our part in the Mass. As we practiced the French responses under the direction of Frère Jean Daniel, we suddenly realised that we were going to sing 'A faith that lives'. Nor did the Crosby people stop there, for the intercessions, written by Fred and read in English, had been translated into French by Margaret, and were read by Linda. We felt very special. After Mass, we adjourned to the Refectory for drinks, then split up to lunch in our own hotels. Everyone dined well, although one group made the meal and the wine last all afternoon, later playing host to others who had also dined well but more briefly. Rumour has it that the jokes were heard in the next valley.

It later transpired that the quieter group at the Abbey Guest House suddenly behaved in a riotous manner. Norbert, our French coach driver, received a call on his mobile that played a rather strange but catchy tune. What began as rhythmic clapping and singing inspired Frère Jean Daniel to play the harmonium in the dining room, and the impromptu concert ended with an excellent four-part rendering of - guess what - Frère Jacques.

What was left of the afternoon was spent strolling, relaxing in Abbey Square, and generally enjoying one another‘s company.  Supper would have been a quiet meal, but 'Norbert‘s Theme' was revived, and inspired by our music, the kitchen staff came out and did a lively dance. Vespers and the Sending Out of the Pilgrims followed. There was a short concert on the Abbey piano and then the organ, before we retired for our last night in Conques.

Monday morning found us ready and packed. We went quietly to our lovely stone chapel. Outside, the birds sang and the air was fresh. There was a feeling, not of finality, but of completion.  None of us can have been left untouched by the experience, but life is not lived on mountain tops, and home beckoned. The familiar words and actions of the Mass held us. Fr Neil spoke simply of the symbolism of the towel - that we should continue to wash not only one another's feet, but the feet of any whom we could serve. We took communion for the last time together, conscious of that great cloud of witnesses down the ages who, from St Faith to the present day, in their diverse ways have walked the way of pilgrimage from which no one returns unchanged.

Ultria, ultria Esus e la
Deus ad juva nos.

100+ Club Winners

  £150 152 Russell Perry
  £110 91 Alan Morgan
  £75 195 Sean Thornton
  £50 126 Judith Tudhope

  £150 176 Graham McFadyen
  £110 71 Jackie Dale
  £75 163 Richard Woodley
  £50 34 Pat Powell

  £150 15 Rita Cooke
  £105 14 Claire Hockney
  £70 151 Dorothey Wilson
  £50 12 Judy Taylor

The Christian Aid Star of Bethlehem Appeal

At Christmas, our thoughts naturally turn to Bethlehem. This year, Christian Aid is inviting churches to focus not only on the Bethlehem of Christ‘s birth, but also on the contemporary situation in the Middle East.

The humanitarian crisis in the Occupied Palestinian Territories is graver today than at any time in the five decades that Christian Aid has been working there. Two thirds of Palestinians survive on less than £1.25 per day, and the construction of Israel‘s separation barrier has destroyed Palestinian farms and separated villagers from their crops, water supply and work.

Christian Aid envelopes will be available at all our Christmas services. Please give generously to the Star of Bethlehem appeal, if you can, and enable Christian Aid to help more of the victims of conflict and injustice around the world.

Saint Faith's Brownies Marathon Challenge

On Monday 17th May, our Brownies, along with adult helpers/leaders met on Crosby beach, near the Coast Guard Station, to take part in the children's Marathon Challenge. We had agreed to build 26 sandcastles, so the girls arrived armed with buckets and spades.

We had a very enjoyable evening, building sandcastles and later playing some running games on the beach to keep us warm. The Crosby Herald turned up to do a report and to take a photograph, which was later put in the paper.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the parents and friends of the Brownies and members of our congregation who sponsored or donated money to this very worthy cause. When all funds were finally collected, we had a grand total of £260. Of this £130 goes direct to the charity CHILDREN WITH LEUKEMIA and the rest was allowed to go to our unit; so, after putting £100 towards the cost of our annual registration and insurance, we were able to donate £30 to church funds.

Thanks again for your support.

Sue Walsh (Tawny Owl)
Mary McFadyen (Tawny Owl)
Laura Walsh (Adult Helper)

Christian Aid Harvest Appeal

Many thanks to both congregations for the generous response to the Appeal which raised a combined total of £549.40. £190 of this was gift aided, enabling Christian Aid to reclaim approximately an additional £57.

Do it Anyway...

Hand-written on the wall of Mother Theresa's room

People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centred;
Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
Be successful anyway.

If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.

What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
Build anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you've got anyway.

You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God;
It never was between you and them anyway.

Welcome or What?

Does our church have an invisible 'no trespass' sign?

Are people more frightened to come to our church than to go into hospital? According to a new book, they may well be. 'Creating a Culture of Welcome in the Local Church' is about the sad news than many churches make newcomers feel incredibly UNwelcome. The so-called 'Fellowship Time' after a church service may in fact be an exclusive social club. 'All too soon our comfort zones only include those like us, in the know, in the inside,' says the author, the Rev Alison Gilchrist, a curate in Preston. This, she says, 'gives newcomers the impression that the local Church really doesn't want you, if you are not already in it.'

Alison Gilchrist then points to organisations like McDonald's. 'The whole matter of welcome and hospitality is taken very seriously by those who are keen to have us visit, shop/eat at, or join their own organisation.' She even points to McDonald's whopping 750-page training manual and the English Tourist Board's 'Welcome Host Scheme' as useful guides as to how to make 'newcomers' welcome.

'Creating a Culture of Welcome' goes on to give examples of best practice, and includes exercises in how it feels to be the newcomers. It urges local churches to welcome the strangers in their midst, and to actively build their community.

Sorry ...

Several items intended for inclusion in this issue have had to be held over for lack of space. One of these is the text of the sermon preached on the last Sunday after Trinity by Fr Mark Waters; another is an account by Kathy Zimak of the pilgrimage she and Alex undertook to Provence.

The editor promises to do his best to include these and other omitted items in the January edition, provided that the chronicling of the (doubtless) dramatic events of the BBC recordings do not elbow them out again...

From the Registers

Holy Baptism

 4 July  Daniel Edward Jones
   son of Gareth and Rachael
 15 August Romilly Paige Lindsay
   daughter of Andrew and Victoria
 5 September Claudia Jacqueline Scott
   daughter of Mark and Deborah
 3 October Adam Andrew Morgan
   son of Andrew and Sharon
 7 November Francesca Leigh Harris
   daughter of Andrew and Gillian
   Louie Joseph O‘Brian
   son of Michael and Heather

Burial of Ashes

 13 June  Betty Springett


 19 October Ian Ritson

Holy Matrimony

 2 October Leo Appleton and Janise Robson


Shannon Brownbill
Conor Cureton
David Pascoe
Emily Skinner
Christian Voce-Russell
Luke Voce-Russell

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