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


O Christ the same through all our story’s pages,
Our loves and hopes, our failures and our fears;
Eternal Lord, the King of all the ages,
Unchanging still, amid the passing years:
O living Word, the source of all creation,
Who spread the skies, and set the stars ablaze,
O Christ the same, who wrought our whole salvation,
We bring our thanks for all our yesterdays.

O Christ the same, the Son of Mary, sharing
Our inmost thoughts, the secrets none can hide,
Still as of old upon your body bearing
The marks of love, in triumph glorified:
O Son of Man, who stooped to us from heaven,
O Prince of life, in all your saving power,
O Christ the same, to whom our hearts are given,
We bring our thanks for this the present hour.

O Christ the same, secure within whose keeping
Our lives and loves, our days and years remain,
Our work and rest, our waking and our sleeping,
Our calm and storm, our pleasure and our pain:
O Lord of love, for all our joys and sorrows,
For all our hopes, when earth shall fade and flee,
O Christ the same, for all our brief tomorrows,
We bring our thanks for all that is to be.


From the Ministry Team   :   February 2005

After the tsunami disaster the national newspapers carried a story probably typical of many. Kim Hoy and her husband and three young children were on holiday at a resort in Thailand when the wave struck. Kim was swept a kilometre inland and survived: the rest of her family perished. Afterwards she cried ‘why was my life spared?’ All she wanted was to find the bodies of her husband and children so that they could all  be together again in peace.
After any major disaster many of the survivors are tormented by the feeling that they too should have perished. As if the horror, the trauma and the grief were not enough, they are overwhelmed by guilt. They cannot help asking themselves the same question, over and over again; ‘why was I spared?’ Survivors believe that their place is among the dead, not among the living. They feel that they neither deserve nor desire the chance to live with which they have been burdened. They would have preferred to have been united in death with those they loved.

It is the network of relationships which holds us together as communities, and which stops us falling apart as individuals. When relationships are broken by death, life for the bereaved often becomes, for a time at least, meaningless and worthless. Yet the harsh cliché ‘life goes on’ is nevertheless true. We know that for the bereaved to live again we have to encourage them out of reclusiveness, and help them painfully and slowly to re-establish their human relationships with those around them.

Does our faith help in all of this? I think it does, but as ever we must beware of hypocrisy. The glib phrase ‘God loves you’ has a suspiciously empty ring when offered to anyone in the depths of grief and despair. God’s purpose in the  Incarnation  was  to  come among us  to share in  our grief  and pain.  Our Lord, like so many men and women today, found himself overwhelmed by forces - physical, political and religious ™ which were out of control. And he was not crucified alone; even on the Cross he was still Emmanuel, God-with-us. And so, if our faith means anything, it should encourage us to ‘get alongside’  the victims of bereavement,  tragedy and disaster.  That is why the financial response to the tsunami disaster appeal has been so encouraging. It has tremendous symbolic value, and our divided world badly needs some powerful symbols of mutual concern and solidarity. And it will help to restore lives - and not just in economic terms. People overwhelmed by natural disasters lose everything, including their homes, possessions, and the physical buildings and structures that root them to a place, a community and a geography. Rebuilding the physical structures of a community helps to restore a feeling of identity and worth.

It has been well said, many times over, that we must not let our generous response to the tsunami appeal to stop there. People in Africa and throughout the so-called developing world are daily tormented by homelessness, poverty, disease and premature death. If we are to restore any meaning to that empty phrase ‘God loves you’ then we as individuals and as Church must work harder to give, work and lobby for the world’s poor.  Only in this way will the work of the Incarnation go forward, only in this way will Christ be once more where he belongs, alongside his suffering people.

The early church built up its worshipping communities with enormous success because of its networks of loving, caring relationships: ‘see how these Christians love one another’. To me ‘evangelism’ has to do with the restoring of human relationships within the love of God. The challenge will be to do that work of restoration not just at a local level, but throughout the global village. If Church can respond to that challenge, it will be a Church which people will want to belong to.

I am writing this at Epiphany tide, the time of year when we remember how our Lord was first made known to the gentiles, and so to the world at large. To make him known today we have, to say the least, a job on our hands. It is only through hard work and struggle and, yes, sacrifice that we will bring peace, prosperity and security to the planet’s poor. But there is no other way of making real in the world the promise of the Prophets, the promise of Emmanuel, God-with-us.

Fred Nye

Bulletin from the Front Line

On a scale of 1-9 I’m on 2.  That is, the first term is behind me (subject to passing both of my assignments) and I'm now looking toward the next term, which starts in January.

My initial term has been quite an eye-opener, I have been challenged both mentally and spiritually, but I’m used to that.  I have been placed into a diverse group of people from very different educational and spiritual backgrounds.  The course has made me angry, made me marvellously elated and made me cry.

The transition into a course like this can be very difficult for some people; raw subjects, tensions from the time management balancing act of juggling family life, work commitments and now a new course are evident.  I have been luckier than most in that I am accustomed to close communities and being in proximity to other people in situations that do not occur in daily life - I refer to my military past.

So after the first term the dust is starting to settle and the business of term two is upon me. Term two looks as if it will be a corker!  Putting aside the assignments and Easter school, one of the features will be my first official placement in a congregational setting.

I’m off to Ormskirk Parish Church in January to get some hands-on experience, in a parish that is very different from our own.  That is, informal services - overhead projectors and rock bands, low church with a Lancastrian flavour! I do not know what that means but I expect to find out!

In my placement I will be preaching - for the first time, experiencing bereavement and hospital visiting, a trip to the crematorium, the occasional offices and taking part in various group activities.  I‘ll be back at St Faith’s for Lent and Holy Week.

This next term will be tougher than the last, in that it is academic and practical, but whatever form this experience takes I welcome it.  Next update post Easter school.

With best wishes,

Martin Jones

The Waterloo Link ... connecting with Sierra Leone
Chris Price

Our efforts to build a link between St Faith’s and other local community groups and the township of Waterloo in war-ravaged Sierra Leone are beginning to take shape. Claire Curtis-Thomas, our M.P. and prime mover in the support movement, has updated me on the situation and on what we can do.

As we heard her describe so graphically when she visited us, Sierra Leone is slowly recovering from the ravages of civil war, during which rebel forces deliberately destroyed facilities and communities, terrorising those who stood in their way. Boy soldiers were forced to mutilate and kill, and systematic amputation was used as a weapon of submission and conquest. The situation now is more stable, and for the last 18 months the British Army has helped to maintain a fair degree of order, although the surrounding countries, particularly Liberia, remain a threat and a source of danger. The tribes that make up the population of Sierra Leone and neighbouring nations have a long tradition of brutality and violence, including ritual female mutilation, which is hard to eradicate. At the same time the country has a strong Christian tradition and during the last century was a centre of mission and outreach, and the church remains a strong force today.
Claire has been in email contact with Mrs Rosetta Kargbo, the secretary of the local school in Waterloo, which she has visited and whose support will, we hope, be a focus of our efforts in the months ahead. It goes by the name of the Rural Training and Commercial Institute, and caters for some 700 children between the ages of 12 and 18. Some 22 teachers, who include the local Anglican Priest, the Revd Israel Doherty, teach in just three classrooms with minimal facilities: benches, but few if any chairs, and no desks. Education is nominally free, but pupils pay a small charge and must provide their own uniform and books; facilities are very sparse, with an almost total shortage of paper, writing materials or decorations. There is little or no central funding in what is one of the world’s poorest countries. The teachers, formally educated and trained, are committed and enthusiastic, but working under great difficulties and hardship as they try to pick up the pieces after years of terror and destruction. The school serves a hinterland some 30 or 40 miles wide, with a population of perhaps 250,000. Access is possible only by 4x4 vehicles; there is little or no electricity and limited communications. The basic building is set against semi-tropical rain and deciduous forest and its climate is hot and wet. The  school community has a warm  and  caring  ethos  and  a  strong emphasis on ‘old-fashioned’ values and discipline, and offers real hope in a country desperately in need of what it, and other schools like it, can offer.

It is a basic principle underpinning whatever we try to do to support Waterloo, Sierra Leone, that the main need is not for money as such. What we hope to be able to offer is support, links and practical assistance. The next stage, which it is hoped will soon be realised, is the establishing of the best strategy and logistics for collecting appropriate items (books, paper, chalk, crayons, posters, pictures, and suchlike seem likely candidates) and getting them sent abroad. It is hoped that Claire’s links with the Army will be of practical help in the process of sending goods abroad and getting them safely to their destination and avoiding the dangers of corruption, misappropriation and stultifying bureaucracy to which relief efforts are all too often prone. And of course correspondence and the exchange, probably by email, of news and views with those on the ground in Waterloo will, we are assured, be warmly welcomed and will cost nothing but time and care.

The general context of our efforts is, of course, the headline-grabbing scheme to twin our Waterloo in some way with our Sierra Leonian namesake, a scheme which has caught the local imagination and met with the approval of two of the political parties. This proposal, however, will not in itself unlock funds or relieve poverty and hardship: the strong hope is that we will be able to find a way, under the ‘twinning umbrella’ to establish links with a school and, we hope, with a church and congregation and offer them support and fellowship that is both moral and practical. If we can do this without lessening our ongoing support for Medic Malawi and St Faith‘s Kindergarten, which must surely be our aim, we may be able to do something else of genuine value and further fulfil our mission to God’s world and ours. There is a real chance that by doing so we can make a real difference. I have emailed Mrs Kargbo offering our support and asking her to make contact with the local priest and church, and see what comes of this. More news soon, including, it is very much hoped, practical details of collection and transmission: watch this space.

  The Presentation of Christ in the Temple


8pm High Mass by Candlelight and Procession of Light
Preacher: The Venerable Bob Metcalfe, former Archdeacon of Liverpool

When the song of the angels is stilled
When the star in the sky is gone
When the kings and princes are home
When the shepherds are back with their flocks
The work of Christmas begins:
To find the lost
To heal the broken
To feed the hungry
To release the prisoner
To rebuild the nations
To bring peace among the people
To make music in the heart.

St Faith’s 100-plus Club Draw Winners

The winners of the draws which took place on 12th December and 2nd January were as follows:
December                          January
£150 137 - David Jones     108 - Neil Foskett
£110 114 - John Knight     1 - Joan Jones
£70   30 - Sue Walsh         187 - Edna McGovern
£50   44 - Kari Dodson      63 - Margaret Taylor
Congratulations to all the winners, and to those who didn’t win - better luck next time! Remember, you‘ve got to be in it to win it!

From the Registers

24 December, 2004 John F.C..Taylor

The Word made Flesh
Fr Mark Waters

In response to requests Mark has summarised a recent sermon preached at St Faith's.

On the first Sunday following the South Asian tsunami disaster I was to preach at St Mary’s and St Faith’s on that traditional Christmas gospel reading from St John, Chapter 1: ‘And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us’. I found myself disturbed by this reminder of how scandalous the idea of the Incarnation is - that God has been made known to us in all the vulnerability and frailty of a human body.

There had been so many appalling pictures of human flesh on the television news, so many bodies, so much loss of life. The sheer scale of the tragedy seemed to make such a mockery of some of the more simplistic interpretations of Christian faith, particularly the idea of a supernatural God who intervenes for us if we ask.

And then I remembered the following passage from Tony Morrison’s wonderful novel ‘Beloved’. The book describes in a provocative, haunting and unforgettable way something of the suffering and struggle of black people in the slave culture of the deep South of America in the nineteenth century. But it is a book which also describes moments of immense human triumph.

I quoted one passage in my sermon about an older black woman who became an ‘unchurched preacher’. Her name was Baby Suggs. To me these words say something about a depth of faith way beyond our conventional religious words and rituals, and invoke a real bodily spirituality which knows God in the flesh in an unmistakeable way. The words seemed to touch many at church that Sunday, and so I reproduce them here with gratitude to the author for her courage and truthfulness:

‘When warm weather came, Baby Suggs, holy, followed by every black man, woman and child who could make it through, took her great heart to the Clearing - a wide-open place cut deep in the woods nobody knew. ……After situating herself on a huge flat-sided rock, Baby Suggs bowed her head and prayed silently. The company watched her from the trees. They knew she was ready when she put her stick down. Then she shouted, ‘Let the children come!’ and they ran from the trees toward her.

‘Let your mothers hear you laugh,’ she told them, and the woods rang. The adults looked on and could not help smiling.

Then, ‘Let the grown men come,’ she shouted. They stepped out one by one from among the ringing trees.

'Let your wives and your children see you dance,’ she told them, and groundlife shuddered under their feet.

Finally she called the women to her. ‘Cry,’ she told them. ‘For the living and the dead. Just cry.’ And without covering their eyes the women let loose.

It started that way: laughing children, dancing men, crying women and then it got mixed up. Women stopped crying and danced; men sat down and cried; children danced, women laughed, children cried until, exhausted and riven, all and each lay about the Clearing damp and gasping for breath. In the silence that followed, Baby Suggs, holy, offered up to them her great big heart.

She did not tell them to clean up their lives or to go and sin no more. She did not tell them they were the blessed of the earth, its inheriting meek or its glorybound pure. She told them that the only grace they could have was the grace they could imagine. That if they could not see it, they would not have it.

‘Here,’ she said, ‘in this here place, we flesh; flesh that weeps, laughs; flesh that dances on bare feet in grass. Love it. Love it hard’.’

Toeing the Line...?

The editor delights in the small absurdities, intentional or otherwise, in the papers. A recent Daily Telegraph report on the failed attempt to bring ‘The Muslim cleric Abu Hamza’ to court gave him special pleasure.

The attempt reportedly failed because Hamza said his toe nails were too long, even though he was only going to appear on a video link from Belmarsh prison. Said the prosecuting counsel, ‘Hamza is complaining that his toenails are too long, which the Crown is rather cynical about.’

Even better is the reply by the counsel for the former imam of the Finsbury Park mosque, who sadly has no hands and only one eye. He declared ‘the cleric has a particular physical difficulty. He has been perambulating around the prison in bare feet for the last few days. It is a long-standing problem….’

A Reflection for the Beginning of Lent
Fr. Neil

SHROVE TUESDAY - Party or Penitence?

The season of Lent is immediately preceded by a celebration that has no mention on the calendar of the church year. The tradition of Mardi Gras (French for ‘Fat Tuesday’) began as a pre-lenten day of feasting and carnival (from the Latin carnelevarium, ‘removal of meat’). It was a ‘last fling’ in preparation for the severe fasting and abstinence which began the next day on Ash Wednesday.

This popular tradition probably had a practical purpose. Foods forbidden by the church’s severe lenten discipline were the ones needing refrigeration. Since controlled refrigeration was unheard of until the 19th century, it made sense to eat what would otherwise spoil during the six weeks of Lent and to help other families to do the same with a party atmosphere. Hence the tradition of pancakes (and S. Faith‘s Shrove Tuesday dinners at ‘Master McGrath’s’)!

The name for the day before Lent, Shrove Tuesday (from the Old English shriven: ‘confession’) comes from a long-established custom of going to confession in preparation for the holy season of Lent. The Church of England - as many of you know - has always adopted the practice in relation to the Sacrament of Confession ‘none must, all may, some should’. For many years S. Faith’s has made the Sacrament of Confession a part of its life and it is good to see more and more people making use of this important Sacrament.

At my Confirmation preparation I was taught (or rather encouraged)  to make my confession about three or four times a year (as was the late Lord Runcie here at S. Faith’s according to Carpenter’s biography!); the appropriate times being Christmas, the beginning of Lent, Easter and perhaps one other time (pilgrimage or S. Faith’s-tide). People have found, I hope, that going to confession for the first time is not quite as daunting and frightening as many imagine.

I am encouraged that the rubrics to the Church of England‘s new calendar encourage Lent to be taken seriously. The rubrics state: ‘The weekdays of Lent and every Friday in the year are days of discipline and self denial’. If Easter is to be taken seriously we first have to take Lent seriously. What extra are you going to do in Lent?

As we progress through Lent you might consider four of these things:
1. Use the time wisely to prepare for confession at Easter.
2. If that’s not your thing, and it certainly isn’t for some, may I suggest something else - a note book in which to write your sins.
3. Take up an extra service. The weekday services are not always well supported.
4. Make an effort with someone who you are perhaps avoiding at the moment. If we can‘t be reconciled with fellow Christians, how on earth can we expect people to believe that we practise what we preach and that the Gospel is to be taken seriously!

I remember once in a pastoral studies seminar listening to a wise and elderly priest talking about parish life. He talked about his doubts and about how he nearly gave up being a priest altogether. He was so disillusioned with organised religion, committees, nothing but bitching and gossiping (and that was just the men!) and so on. Someone asked him ‘what made you stay a priest?’ ‘The people,’ he said. ‘Yes: the people. They’re great... … the people who DON’T come to church are great!’

All of us can be selfish, seeking our own way. We can be a down-right pain in the backside to people and they can be to us. Our lives can bring people to God: our actions can be so powerful that they may turn people away from the faith altogether. If you were to come to communion, only when you had made your peace with certain people - people whom we find difficult, would you honestly be receiving the sacrament regularly? How long would it before you received again? Thank God for his mercy. Thank God for his love that passes all understanding. Thank God that his first priority is not to make us feel guilt-ridden but stress-free. Free to rejoice that our sins are forgiven.

Apologies to those of you who are perfect and have no need of this drivel! If you, like me, have a list of sins as long as your arm then THANK GOD for Lent. Believe it or not, he loves us SO much and longs for us to come back to him with ALL our heart, mind and soul.

And so at the Shrove Tuesday/Ash Wednesday juncture, what is it to be? Party or penitence? If we read the story of the Prodigal son one, most definitely without doubt, is cause for the other.

Lord our God, grant us grace to desire you with our whole heart;
That so desiring, we may seek and find you;
And so finding may love you;
And so loving, may hate those sins from which you have delivered us.



Some people never seem motivated to participate,
But are just content to watch while others do the work.
They are called ‘Speck Taters’.
Some people never do anything to help,
But are gifted at finding fault with the way others do the work.
They are called ‘Comment Taters’.
Some people are very bossy and like to tell others what to do,
But don‘t want to soil their own hands.
They are called ‘Dick Taters’.
Some people are always looking to cause problems,
For them it‘s always too hot or too cold, too High or too Low.
They are called ‘Agi Taters’.
They are those who say they are going to help
But never actually get round to doing anything.
They are called ‘Hezzie Taters’.
Some people are good at putting up a front
And pretending to be someone they are not.
They are called ‘Emma Taters’.
Then there are those who love others and do what they say they will.
They will always stop what they are doing to lend a helping hand.
They are called ‘Sweet Taters’.

With Thanks

It is good to be able to report that the Christian Aid 'Star of Bethlehem' Christmas Appeal raised over £400 from our two churches. The Harvest Appeal realised some £500, so that, if we add in the proceeds of the Christian Aid Week door-to-door collections, we were able to send in some £2,000 to Christian Aid during 2004.

John Francis Cardew Taylor,  R.I.P.

Funeral Sermon preached by Fr Dennis

Last April we gathered round the Altar to celebrate the life of John’s much-loved sister Rosemary. We did so in the light of the Easter Gospel and sang Easter hymns. Rosemary’s death in Holy Week came unexpectedly. John‘s death a few days before Christmas came equally suddenly and unexpectedly.

John’s father was a priest. When John was nine and his father the incumbent of All Saints Church, Newburgh, Staffordshire, illness struck and in no time Fr. Cyril Francis Taylor had died, not yet forty, and Winifred, John‘s mother found herself a poor clergy widow left to bring up two young children.

The family moved to Birmingham and John was sent to a clergy orphans’ school in Canterbury, St. Edmund’s. While there he met a fellow pupil with whom he was to stay in contact for the rest of his life. Michael Tause spoke to me about the many happy times he shared with John, especially in their love of railways, timetables and train-spotting. Over the years John kept in touch with St. Edmund’s through its Old Boys’ Association, and it was lovely that he was well enough to travel down to Canterbury for a re-union weekend, during which he apparently revisited several of the old railway lines and rekindled his memories of happy times long ago!

Whilst living in Birmingham the Taylor family gave great support to the church of St Alban the Martyr - an inner-city parish with a magnificent building and great Anglo-Catholic tradition. While there Winifred was Enrolling Secretary of the Mothers’ Union for many years and John was a devoted server. The family left Birmingham in 1958 and moved to 35 College Road North. John had a job as a shipping-clerk with the Blue Star line and Rosemary had a teaching post at St Edmund’s school, Toxteth. In the 1950s St. Faith’s had a very active Mothers’ Union and it was partly this and, of course, the catholic worship of this church, that attracted the Taylor family.

Fr Charles’ incumbency was the beginning of a new chapter in John’s life as regards his involvement in things liturgical, but also the various social aspects of parish life were now areas which John could join in and enjoy to the full. A fellow server from the late 1960s was Leslie Crossley, now living in Hemel Hempstead. I asked him what his abiding memory of ‘JT’ was. As I expected, Les spoke of the servers outing to Rivington Pike in 1968. The servers all joined  in a game  of hide and seek. Why was  this event  memorable?  For the simple reason that for at least half an hour after everyone had been found nothing was to be seen of John. In his blissful ignorance, possible unaware of the rules, he stayed hiding in the bushes. Only some very loud and possibly rude shouts eventually produced a sheepish John - now apologetic and not a little embarrassed.

From those far off days until these last few weeks John has served at the altars of this holy place, the church which he loved and among the friends with whom he felt so much at home. To have so many of his fellow servers here today, and also so many of his friends, would have meant a great deal to him and truly delighted his heart.

My own fond memories of John, are legion; far too many to recall in the few minutes we have today. The wonderful thing, of course, is that we-ve all got our  special memories of him. He was a great character, a wonderful eccentric.

Transport was always a lifelong love and passion of John’s. When I was seventeen John took me on the longest bike ride I‘ve ever been on. We got as far as Tarleton, near Preston, before the dreadful discomfort from my saddle compelled me to insist that we go no further, have our packed lunches and return. Over many years John cycled here, there and everywhere, often taking the bike on trains and going for long jaunts into the highways and byways of Britain. The Ramblers’ Association and Youth Hostelling provided other opportunities for him to travel, and if anyone would like an idea of what John looked like riding his bike in latter years, I suggest you ask Bill Tudhope to give you an impersonation. John had a moped, but that’s another story!

Another of John‘s great loves was for all things Scottish. For many years he was an enthusiastic member of the Caledonian Society here in Crosby and it was a sad day for him when he realised he was no longer able to take part. Some will remember the Ceilidh night he arranged  in the parish hall back in the early 80s, and the relish with which he would throw himself into the reels and the Gay Gordons; sporting of course, that memorable kilt.

There will only be a few here who will remember the commitment and enthusiasm John showed towards the church youth clubs of the 1960s and  70s. Week after week, along with me, Bill Jump, Peter Roberts, Mike Finlay, Geoff Holliday, John Rankin, Chris Ronson, Judy Taylor and others, John would turn up to support and encourage the youth of the parish, in the hall and upstairs  room for music, badminton, table tennis, snooker and the like.

Over all these years John lived with his mother and sister - to whom he was devoted. If truth be told we sometimes felt sorry for him because it was definitely the case that he was ‘under their cosh’, and at times strictly forbidden from doing some of the things he would have liked to have done.

In his early years John wanted to join the army but was turned down on health grounds. He also believed that, like his father, he had a vocation to the priesthood, but he faced rejection there too. One of the endearing qualities I shall treasure of him is how, despite all the knocks and frustrations of life, he epitomised a wonderful, inspiring cheerfulness - there was until the last, difficult few weeks of his life, a delightful twinkle in his eye; he had a joie de vivre, an infectious love of life which was somehow very special. ‘Hello, my friend’ or ‘Good morning my friend’ many of us will remember for ever - not least because he always insisted on shaking your hand.

Caring for Rosemary with her dementia he did valiantly, lovingly and uncomplainingly. His move to Abbeyfield in Agnes Road was, we all presumed, the beginning of a lovely new and exciting chapter for him and he was very happy there for those few weeks. He liked his rooms, he thought the food was splendid and he much enjoyed the company and the attention of the lovely lady residents, and housekeepers Pat and Beryl. But it wasn‘t to be.

‘One of nature’s innocents’ is how Bill Tudhope described John. There was, undoubtedly, a childlike innocence about him; in some ways he occupied a far more gentle world. In a few minutes as we share in the mystery of the eucharistic banquet and commend our dear and much loved brother in Christ to God’s infinite love and tender mercy, let us hope and pray that the Child of Bethlehem whose birth we celebrate this Christmas will embrace him with loving arms and welcome him graciously into His Kingdom of joy and peace.

The Lenten Season with Mary

As the child’s father and mother stood there wondering at the things that were being said about him, Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, ‘You see this child: he is destined for the fall and for the rising of many in Israel, destined to be a sign that is rejected - and a sword will pierce your own soul too - so that the secret thoughts of many may be laid bare.’

At the foot of the cross of Jesus,
by his solemn and dying wish,
a deep bond of love is fashioned
between the Blessed Virgin Mary
and his faithful disciples:
the Mother of God is entrusted to the disciples
as their own mother,
and they receive her
as a precious inheritance from their Master.
She is to be for ever
the mother of those who believe,
and they will look to her
with great confidence in her unfailing protection.
She loves her Son in loving her children,
and in heeding what she says
they keep the words of their Master.

Through him the angels of heaven
offer their prayer of adoration
as they rejoice in your presence for ever.
May our voice be one with theirs
in their triumphant hymn of praise.

Pieta   R.S. Thomas

Always the same hills
crown the horizon,
remote witnesses
of the still scene.
And in the foreground
the tall Cross,
sombre, untenanted,
aches for the Body
that is back in the cradle
of a maid’s arms.

God of compassion,
whose Son Jesus Christ, the child of Mary,
shared the life of a home in Nazareth,
and on the cross drew
the whole human family to himself:
strengthen us in our daily living
that in joy and in sorrow
we may know the power of your presence
to bind together and to heal;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.


Good Friday Mothers  Patrick J. Carroll

You watched that Friday of the sunless skies
While they plucked your Fruit from a tree upon a hill.
That grief of yours, flood high and very still,
Found no escape to the spillway of your eyes.
Oh, there was John whom Wisdom had made wise,
And Mary of the Spices who felt her thrill
Of pardon. Ah, but they can never fill
The dark before the dawn when He will rise.
O Mother of all mothers, you know loss,
The pain of staring at a vacant place
Where Someone used to sit the evening through!
Comfort all mothers, Mother of the Cross,
These days of hoping for a homing face,
And make all mothers heroines like you!

as we give thanks for all mothers on Mothering Sunday:

For Mary, mother of our Lord,
God’s holy name be praised,
Who first the Son of God adored,
as on her child she gazed.

She gave her body for God‘s shrine,
her heart to piercing pain,
And knew the cost of love divine
when Jesus Christ was slain.

Dear Mary, from your lowliness
and home in Galilee,
There comes a joy and holiness
to ev’ry family.

Hail, Mary, you are full of grace,
above all women blest;
And blest your Son, whom your embrace
in birth and death confessed.

LENT 2005

Wednesday 9th  February:
ASH WEDNESDAY - the First Day of Lent

7.30am   Holy Eucharist and imposition of ashes (S. Faith’s)
10.30am Holy Eucharist with hymns (S. Mary‘s)
8.00pm   SOLEMN EUCHARIST and imposition of ashes (S. Faith’s)
followed by Baked Bean Supper

Sundays in Lent in S. Faith's

7.00pm Compline and Benediction

‘Sunday Evening Theatre’

At 8.00pm each Sunday (following Benediction) there will be the opportunity to watch a film together in the Upper Room at S. Faith’s, preceded by tea and biscuits.

Sunday 13th February The Ten Commandments (Part I)

Sunday 20th February The Ten Commandments (Part II)

Sunday 27th February The story of Oscar Romero

Sunday 6th March The Song of Bernadette (the story of Lourdes)

Sunday 13th March The Passion of The Christ

Sunday 20th March Brother Sun, Sister Moon
  (Franco Zeffirelli’s film on Francis of Assisi)

Tuesdays in Lent in S. Mary’s

7.30pm Stations of the Cross

Wednesdays in Lent in S. Mary’s

1100am Bible Study led by Fr. Neil [following the 1030 Eucharist]

Fridays in Lent in S. Faith’s

6.30pm Stations of the Cross and Holy Eucharist

Saturdays in Lent in S. Faith’s

10.00am The Rosary

Ancient and Modern
Chris Price

Over the years, we have lived through a succession of hymn-books at St Faith‘s. There was the English Hymnal, then Hymns Ancient and Modern, revisions of this latter, 100 Hymns for Today, and the ‘Little Blue Book’ of Fr Charles Billington‘s days. Some of these are still with us; others have not stood the test of time. The ‘blue book’ supplement was very much of its day, although the Appleford hymns have survived. And I well remember a godless ex-colleague at a school service at St Faith’s, faced with ‘100 Hymns for Today’ exclaiming, ‘Not all for today, I hope?’

Fr Neil has introduced us to ‘New Hymns and Worship Songs’ - a fascinating mix of the familiar and the unknown, of the dignified and the less so, and spanning the entire spectrum of churchmanship.  It has many fine things. I am delighted to see such moving and powerful hymns as ‘Father, Lord of all creation’ (sung to Abbot‘s Leigh), and one of my all-time favourites, ‘Lord, for the years your love has kept and guided’. And I have come to know and love such new hymns as ‘Be still, for the presence of the Lord’, ‘Christ triumphant, ever reigning’ and ‘This is my body, broken for you’. And I am intrigued by the language and thought of such hymns as the one containing these lines:

‘Cry ‘Freedom!’ in the church when honest doubts are met with fear;
When vacuum-packed theology makes questions disappear;
When journeys end before they start and mystery is clear!’

All in all, it is a book I wouldn‘t now want to be without. But sandwiched between these splendid offerings of words and music are more than a few whose words are banal or patronising or whose tunes are flat, lame and unworthy. I can’t illustrate the latter, but offer as examples of the former weakness a selection of titbits from hymns to which my eyes strayed while singing the ones below or above them. Judge for yourselves.

‘…if I were a fish in the sea,
I’d waggle my tail and I’d giggle with glee
And if I were a fuzzy wuzzy bear
I’d thank you, Lord, for my fuzzy wuzzy hair.‘

‘Oh! Oh! Oh! how good is the Lord,
Oh! Oh! Oh! how good is the Lord,
Oh! Oh! Oh! how good is the Lord,
I never will forget what he has done for me.’

‘Nobody can live who hasn’t any water,
When the land is dry then nothing much grows.’ (! Ed)

‘God is good, we sing and shout it,
God is good, we celebrate.
God is good, no more we doubt it,
God is good, we know it’s true.’
(Last time Hey!)

‘It rained and poured
For forty daysies, daysies…
Nearly drove those
Animals crazyies, crazyies…’

And finally, one whose last line seems a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy.

‘You are beautiful beyond description,
Too marvellous for words...'

Affirming Catholicism : Liverpool Diocese group

Programme 2005: LITURGY AND LIFE

19th March 2005 at Liverpool Parish Church
‘The World as Sacrament’
Revd Paul Nener, Vicar of St John’s Tuebrook
21st May 2005 at Loyola Hall, Rainhill, St Helen‘s
Quiet Day;  led by Revd Godfrey Butland, vicar of
All Hallows, Allerton
16th July 2005 at St Stephen‘s Crown Street
‘Liturgy on the Edge of Life.’
Revd Michael Fry, Vicar of St Stephen‘s, Crown Street
17th September 2005 at Liverpool Parish Church
‘Liturgy in Secular Education’
Sue Lucas: Head of Religious Education, Calderstones Community School
26th November 2005 at Liverpool Parish Church
Revd Nick Mercer, Director of Ministry for the London Diocese.

All meetings begin at 10.00am and end with a Eucharist, followed by a simple lunch of soup and bread. Please contact Mike Homfray on 07970 680483 for more information.

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