The Parish Magazine
of Saint Faith's Church, Great
Saint Faith’s Prayer for
Faithful God, in baptism you have adopted us as your children,
made us members of the body of Christ and chosen us as inheritors
of your kingdom:
bless our plans for mission and outreach; guide us to seek and do
empower us by your Spirit to share our faith in witness and to serve,
and send us out as disciples of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
may not have noticed, but the Church of England has a completely new
Prayer Book – the first since Cranmer wrote the Book of Common Prayer!
In my ignorance, the first I heard about it was at our annual Readers’
training day in November: I went along to a ‘workshop’ on spirituality
given by Bishop David and he commended it to us.
the Ministry Team
The new book is called ‘Daily Prayer’ and is one of the many
publications in the Common Worship series. Sorry to enthuse – but,
after the Bible, I think this is the most important aid to spirituality
which any Anglican can possess! It is in fact a treasury of prayer,
scripture and worship which runs to no fewer than 903 pages. It speaks
with a voice which, though contemporary, seems to capture well the
timeless nature of prayer, and both ‘liberals’ and traditionalists will
gain inspiration from it without any cringes or discomfort.
Nevertheless its format is reassuringly conventional: even the
‘rubrics’ (the comments and instructions) are properly printed in red!
Those of you familiar with the Franciscan ‘Celebrating Common Prayer’
will find your way around the new book fairly easily, as there are many
similarities between the two publications. Daily Prayer is designed to
be used by individuals, small groups or even whole churches. Its
strength lies in the richness and flexibility of the material it
provides. Most importantly it provides forms of prayer and worship
which can be used at any time of day, at any season, and within
whatever your time constraints may happen to be. The various sections
are centred around Morning Prayer, Prayer During The Day, Evening
Prayer and Night Prayer (Compline), but many permutations and
combinations are possible and indeed encouraged. Interleaved with the
Offices are prayers of penitence, short Bible readings, the two
‘tracks’ of the Common Worship Lectionary readings, and four
interchangeable Psalm cycles. In other words there is absolutely no
excuse for complaining that you cannot find anything to suit your
circumstances! I think you will be impressed by the choice of material
provided to support and embellish the seasons of the Church’s year, and
by the particularly beautiful prayers for Festivals and Saints’ Days.
This is in a very genuine sense a Catholic prayer book.
Those of you who went on the Parish Retreat last year will remember our
friends Rachael and John Willard. Whenever Linda and I stay with them
in their home in Cheltenham we are invited to join them for the prayers
they say daily together before breakfast. This is always a privilege,
an inspiration and a challenge for us – but how else can the Christian
life be properly expressed and
underpinned? To quote from the introduction to ‘Daily
Prayer’: “As George Herbert put it, ‘seven whole days not one in
seven’ will we praise God, pray for God’s world and allow ourselves to
be formed and re-formed by God’s word’. Please try and get hold of a
copy of this lovely book. And, better still, use it and pray it. God
Shrove Tuesday 20th February
(the day before Lent!)
‘Poulet and Pancake Party’ in the Vicarage. Details later.
Wednesday 21st February
ASH WEDNESDAY – the First Day of Lent
7.30am Holy Eucharist and imposition of ashes (SF)
10.30am Holy Eucharist with hymns and imposition of
8.00pm SOLEMN EUCHARIST and imposition of ashes
Preacher: The Bishop of Beverley, followed by Baked Bean Supper (SFH)
Tuesdays in Lent in S. Mary’s
7.30pm Stations of the Cross
Fridays in Lent in S. Faith’s
6.30pm Stations of the Cross and Holy Eucharist
Saturdays in Lent in S. Faith’s
11.30am The Rosary
Friday 2nd February
CANDLEMASS (The Presentation of Christ in the Temple)
10.30am Eucharist with hymns (S. Mary’s)
8.00pm Solemn Eucharist & Procession of Light
Preacher: The Right Reverend Alan Chesters, C.B.E.
On Wednesday evenings during Lent, beginning on 28 February, there will
be an opportunity to do some thinking about our faith in preparation
for the Easter mystery. What does it mean to follow Jesus’ journey
towards crucifixion together every year? What does his 2000 year old
death mean in today’s culture? How do you and I make sense of it, and
make real in our own experience the new life that Easter promises?
More details later.
The Prince’s Trust Corporate Challenge 2007
Regular Newslink readers may remember that a few years ago, Mona
Turner’s son Paul, a former St. Faith’s chorister and sidesman,
competed in the Tresco Marathon and wrote a short piece about his
experiences. Well, just when Mona and Miriam thought he’d hung up
his marathon shoes and was settling down to the quiet life, he’s off on
his travels again – this time to a much more remote, and hostile,
destination. Paul explains…
During March, I’ll be part of a 6-man team trekking, mountain-biking
and abseiling in a race against teams from other companies across part
of the world’s oldest and least forgiving desert region: the Skeleton
Coast area of Namibia. We will spend six days and nights in the
desert, covering nearly 200km - assuming we don’t get lost! - over
gravel plains, dry river valleys, rocky ridges and some of the highest
sand dunes on Earth.
WHY? - we are raising funds for The Prince’s Trust, which helps young
people overcome barriers to get their lives working. Through
practical support – including training, mentoring and the provision of
financial assistance – the Trust helps 14-30 year olds to realise their
potential and transform their lives. Since Prince Charles founded
the Trust in 1976, it has helped nearly half a million young people.
The participants have two targets: to get fit enough to take on the
physical challenge, and to raise at least £2900 – I’m aiming to
raise a total of £3500. As a regular long-distance runner,
I’m not too concerned about the first target - certainly the endurance
element, though I am working on upper and core body strength; the
second target is where you may be able and indeed may like to help… the
good old days of paper sponsor forms have just about gone, to be
replaced by the white-hot technology that is the Internet - in other
words, I’ve got my own fund-raising website –
So, if you would like to donate to help keep the oldest (by far!)
member of our team focused on finishing the race, and, much more
importantly, to help the Trust with its work, all you have to do is
visit the site and follow the donation instructions, and I (and the
Trust) will be most grateful.
Alternatively, if you don’t have Internet access, or are concerned
about donating online, please have a word with Miriam, who has kindly
volunteered to hold a few paper sponsor forms…
The Man for the Ministry
…is nearly there!
Hello again, on a scale of 1 – 9 I’m on 8. Term 7 was perhaps for
some students, one of the most difficult and emotionally
demanding. The module for September to Christmas 2006 was
‘Christian Approaches to Ethics in Contemporary Society.’ The
subjects which we considered and were given the opportunity to explore,
dependant upon our personal experiences – which is why for some it was
so difficult – were abortion, homosexuality, feminism, sexual ethics,
marriage, divorce, euthanasia, ecology and animals, business ethics,
war and peace.
With this diverse spectrum, it is obvious that all subjects cannot be
covered in any depth; we did however, explore euthanasia and IVF during
our residential weekend, which proved to be emotionally taxing for
students with experience of IVF. For the remainder of the
subjects, as I have said, they are left to the individual to engage
For myself, I chose war and peace. As many of you know I have a
military background and as part of my vocational calling I was having
difficulty in reconciling my growing faith with the nature of the role
I was practising daily in the Royal Navy.
Instead of offering you differing viewpoints as to how Christians can
engage with issues of warfare, whether as combatants or non-combatants,
below is one of my assignments for the term. It is presented as a
newspaper article based on ‘just war principles’ as applied to the
first Gulf War, it expresses fears for a third Gulf War and suggests an
alternative approach for individuals when considering the ethics of
World Peace – Child’s
I was recently saddened, dismayed and filled with prayerful hope.
Saddened by a recent study of the ‘just war theory’ as applied to the
first Gulf War, you remember that war, 1990-1991, the removal of
Saddam’s forces from Kuwait. Dismayed by the hidden agenda of the
joint naval exercises in the Straits of Hormuz in October this year,
and filled with prayerful hope that the innocence of our children might
give us the inspiration we need to heal our broken world.
The first Gulf War was portrayed by George Bush ‘as a just
cause.’ From the invasion of Kuwait to the conclusion of
Operation Desert Storm on 3 March 1991 the war was ‘characterised by
just war language.’ Politicians and world leaders immediately condemned
the Iraqi aggression and UN sanctions quickly followed.
Intense diplomatic activity ensued, to try and bring the crisis to a
peaceful conclusion. Saddam however, cared not a jot for
sanctions or UN resolutions; all he wanted was Kuwaiti oil to raise
Iraq out of its economic crisis.
With concepts of just cause, exhaustive diplomacy, the authority of the
United Nations Security Council and right intention – to remove the
Iraqi forces from Kuwait and not to continue to invade Iraq itself –
the coalition forces went to war. So all the just war theorizing may
have done is to ease a few consciences. It certainly didn’t
prevent the war.
Anthony Harvey pessimistically wrote in his book, Demanding Peac:e
Christian Responses to War and Violence. SCM 1999. ‘War…is endemic in
the human race.’ That we will continue to fight each other until
one is ‘victorious’ or a ‘more powerful force’ prevents us from doing
That ‘more powerful force’ turned out to be public opinion, or more
correctly the coalition’s fear of it. Having engaged in battle
and as so often happens in the chaos of war, control of the sanitized,
surgical action was being lost in massive bombing operations by B-52s
on Iraqi infrastructure. This, combined with the huge imbalance
of military casualties in favour of the coalition forces, led to a
declaration of ceasefire after the bombing of the retreating Iraqi
forces on the Basra road.
So it could be said that just war principles of discrimination – that
you ensure that non-combatants are not targeted - and proportionality –
that the good you intend to do by going to war is not obscured by the
conduct of the war itself – were responsible for the ending of the war.
I was saddened that this war, although it achieved its objective and
was seemingly fought under ‘just’ circumstances, left nothing but a
legacy of misery.
Following the end of Operation Desert Storm coalition air forces
remained in action over Iraq for most of the 1990’s, making the ‘peace’
won, at the cost of thousands of mainly Iraqi lives, an elusive
one. Finally, the ‘Saddam issue’ resulted in the second Gulf
war. Expressions like ‘weapons of mass destruction’ and ‘shock
and awe’ were to become familiar. And what of Iraq today?
As we hear daily, and are in danger of becoming desensitised to, Iraq
is in a downward spiral of self-destructive sectarian violence that
leads ever closer to civil war.
Following my sadness I was dismayed to read Dilip Hiro’s article ‘Dire
Straits’ in the Guardian 20th December. In it Hiro reports on the
‘Pentagon led’ naval exercise ‘Leading Edge.’ The exercise
apparently lasted for five days and involved combined elements from the
navies of US, UK, France, Italy, Australia and others, as well as
‘observers’ from ‘19 other countries.’ Its aim was to ‘block the
transport of weapons of mass destruction,’ this aim has been greeted
with scepticism to say the least.
Its hidden aim is to ensure that the Straits of Hormuz remain ‘open’
for the export of oil to the West, should any future air strikes on
Iran’s, ‘known and suspected nuclear facilities’ occur. This is in
stark contrast, Hiro informs us, to recommendations that the U.S
presidency embraces diplomacy, especially in dialogue with nations like
Iran and Syria.
Is this the third Gulf War in waiting, is there no hope, are we to be
condemned to perpetual warfare; are we to resign ourselves to Harvey’s
comments about our nature?
Whilst submerged in this seemingly hopeless gloom of pessimistic
reflection, I came across an anecdote from Bernard Tetlow, which not
only gave me hope for our future, but also adds weight to Harvey’s
suggestion that there is another way for the individual to engage with
issues of national and international security.
Traditionally there have been two approaches adopted by Christians and
others, to the morality of their participation, or the participation of
their armed forces, ‘in their name,’ in war. That is the
application of just war principles or of declarations of pacifism
whilst working for ‘peace.’ Both were evident in the first Gulf
War, the former by the coalition governments as explained above, and
the latter, particularly by the Roman Catholic Church.
Harvey suggests in his chapter, ‘Non Violence and the Pacifist
Alternative,’ that there is common ground to be found between just war
theorists and pacifists. That common area has become known as
non-violent resistance. Harvey suggests that we as individuals
exercise our rights and use the ballot box to determine that personal
opinions are reflected in national policies. That we realise our
social conscience and express it in public demonstration;
interestingly, he calls for the training of ‘unarmed civilian
peacekeepers,’ a civilian enterprise that would work toward
reconciliation of conflicting issues, either between nations or within
nations. This is not about undermining the role of the United
Nations, it is about educating ourselves and thereby our society in its
continuing development toward world peace. Imagine if we trained
our children in peacekeeping, what fruits would we harvest? A
slump in the sale of plastic battleaxes might be a good social
Mr. Tetlow, in writing to the Daily Mail on 20th December, told the
story of a vicar struggling to prepare his sermon because he was being
continually distracted by his young son. The stressed vicar leaves his
desk and starts to search for something to occupy the child. He
comes across a magazine with a map of the world on it; he tears the
page out, with the idea of turning the map into a jigsaw puzzle.
The vicar cuts the map into jigsaw shaped pieces and gives it to his
son with instructions to piece the picture back together. Fully
confident that he will be able to work without further distraction, the
vicar returns to his study. To his great surprise after only a few
minutes his son returns, proudly displaying the completed
Stunned, the vicar looks at the picture and says: ‘That’s amazing, son,
how did you manage to put it back together so quickly?’ ‘It was
easy, Dad,’ the son replies. ‘because on the other side was a picture
of a man, and I thought that if I got the man right, then the world
would be right!’
My best wishes for a peaceful 2007,
Adviser on Liturgy and Worship…
Fr. Neil writes
Back in September when the Bishop of Warrington licensed me to this new
post people asked what it was about. In all honesty I couldn’t really
say then and am slowly beginning to work out what it all entails so
have promised to say a little about it in this month’s magazine.
I am certainly delighted to join the Church Growth and Ecumenism Team
at this very challenging time not just in the life of our United
Benefice but in the life of the Diocese. It is good to see what is
going on in the Diocese and, from conversations with priest-friends in
other parts of the Church of England, good to be part of a Diocese
which is taking mission and outreach so seriously at a time when we
desperately need to.
For those who want to involve me I am available to help plan special
services and liturgies and to share my ideas and experiences with
Deanery Synods, PCCs and Ministry teams. In recent months some of what
I have done has covered such areas as
* Refreshment for experienced worship leaders
* All-Age Eucharistic Worship
* One-off liturgies as tools for mission
* Music in worship
* Advising on re-setting music and planning liturgy for a church’s
* Worship and the Work of God
Projects for 2007 in the Diocese include working with Churches Together
in the Merseyside Region to produce a liturgy as part of the 200th
Anniversary of the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act which is to take
place at the Albert Dock, and preparing “Times and Seasons”,
“Creative Confirmations” and “Visual Liturgy” for the Lifelong
Learning Team. [Times and Seasons is a new book of liturgical
resources covering the church’s liturgical year (see the Diary of
Events for “Stations of the Resurrection” after Easter). Visual Liturgy
is a computer version of liturgies to be found in various service
books.] There are also various ‘roadshows’ in deaneries throughout the
Diocese on the response to the Diocesan Review “Responding to the
Call”. I am responsible for the worship element of each evening so this
will give me an experience of meeting people in every deanery
throughout our Diocese and forging greater links with them. Projects
further afield this year include leading a workshop on liturgy for
clergy and readers in the Winchester Diocese (in Winchester Cathedral)
and advisory work for CME in the Willesden Area of the London Diocese.
Worship is at the heart of any Christian community and it is a real
privilege to be able to share in plans and ideas for worship which,
when done well, has real power to pull people towards God and
experience something of his love.
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.
Always the same hills
Crown the horizon,
Of the still scene
And in the foreground
The tall Cross,
Aches for the Body
That is back in the cradle
Of a maid’s arms.
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!
In early December we were excited to be back in Africa to visit Sierra
Leone for a few days, with a team from the Waterloo Partnership UK. We
travelled with our chair, Claire Curtis-Thomas (herself an engineer)
and Sebastian, a structural engineer, who spent their time in Sierra
Leone doing intensive preparatory work for the Library and Resource
Centre which the Partnership is planning to build in the other
Waterloo. They were concerned with the engineering aspects of the
structure, including the acquisition of construction materials, and
were also doing the groundwork necessary to recruit, train and care for
the local work force which will actually build the library.
While the engineers were doing their business, mostly in the capital
Freetown, Linda and I spent our time in Waterloo itself, visiting all
sorts of projects and activities, some already supported by the
Partnership. This was a tremendous privilege, not least because we were
given such a warm welcome by the local people. It was great to meet for
the first time partners who had been only names to us – such as
‘Badara’ Mansaray, the chair of the Partnership and District Council,
Fr. Thomas Blake, the Waterloo Partnership Secretary, and Leslie
Whenzle, the Headman. We also met the Anglican Rural Dean Canon
Leighton Davies, who hopes to visit family in the UK (and St. Faith’s)
early in 2007. He showed us round his church, St. Michael and All
Angels, where we paused for a while in the sanctuary to sing a couple
of verses of ‘Lo, He comes with clouds descending’!
We started our formal business by meeting teachers from the Waterloo
schools which will be welcoming
eleven Sefton school teachers
in February. The visit is being
sponsored by a Commonwealth organisation and the teachers will be
looking at how citizenship is being taught in a post-conflict
situation. We are hoping that this link will foster a longer-term
exchange of ideas (and people) between the two communities.
Linda and I were able to visit two important agricultural projects in
Waterloo: the first was run by the local Youth Council, which also has
responsibility for HIV/AIDS prevention. Their secretary, Veronica
Kallon, is a young woman with an impressive combination of intelligence
and drive. We were struck by the group’s high standards of horticulture
and animal husbandry; the piggery and hen house would have been a
credit to any English farm. The group is fortunate in having excellent
technical advice from a trained agriculturalist. The Youth Council will
be the first beneficiary of our ‘Send a Hen’ scheme: and it is already
poised to set up a small business for selling both chicken and eggs,
which will be a sustainable source of income for the community.
Our visit to the ‘WAYADO’ agricultural project (Waterloo Agricultural
Youth and Development Organisation) was quite a contrast. This is a
community of five hundred subsistence farmers. Made homeless in the
civil war, they were originally given two hundred acres of hillside by
the Government (since reduced to one hundred acres) as part of a famine
relief scheme. Half the farmers are women, of whom 150 are widows, and
there are also about 1500 dependent children living on the hillside.
The poor living conditions lead to a high mortality: fifty of the women
have been widowed even since the end of the war. The WAYADO group has
already benefited from gifts of tools from the Partnership (15
wheelbarrows, 30 mattocks, other tools, wellies and gloves were sent
out in our last container) but we obviously need to give them more
support. They need help with irrigation, fertilisers and livestock, but
they would also benefit from the sound technical advice at present
available to the Youth Council, and our visit has facilitated this.
The Handicapped Association is another group which would welcome our
support. Mostly disabled as a result of previous polio, the members of
the group run a blacksmith’s workshop and a batik dyeing and tailoring
business. With an injection of money and equipment they could
manufacture hand-propelled mobility tricycles and heavier ironmongery
for building purposes. This investment would help the group market
their products and would create employment.
Perhaps the most challenging problem the Partnership has to face is
that of child care. Many people at home have contributed to our School
Uniform scheme which will enable at least some children from poor
families to start Primary School. But at the moment we can do very
little for the hundreds of destitute children from the Waterloo area –
some orphaned, some abandoned, some sleeping rough, others fostered
informally by extended family or ‘guardians’. Ideally children need to
be fed and housed before they go to school: all this in a country where
the vast majority of the population survives on less than a dollar a
There is insufficient space to write about our other visits to the
clinics and maternity unit. Nor do we have the opportunity here to
share with you all the excitements and vagaries of travel
in Sierra Leone: the skill of our drivers in
constant roadside repairs to our local vehicles; or the
once in a lifetime experience of the ferry between Freetown and the
And although we spent a couple of hours each day driving across the
capital, words cannot begin to describe the full horrors of urban
squalor in the poorest country in the world. Despite this we hope you
have been able to catch something of our feeling of privilege in being
involved in this work. Margaret Houghton’s moving account, in the last
edition of Newslink, of what Medic Malawi has accomplished in just a
few years, has been inspirational for us. We are slowly learning how to
work with our Sierra Leone partners so that we support activities which
are sustainable and make a real difference. But we have learnt enough
already to make us sure that we want to go on trying; and so now we
can’t wait to return for another visit to that ‘other Waterloo’.
Postscript: We have heard that the last container was unloaded in
Sierra Leone on December 22nd, including gifts of wellies, watering
cans etc from St Faith’s. Many thanks to all who helped with the
supplying, funding and packing of this shipment.
Fred and Linda Nye
Oddities for the Old Year’s Ending
The Editor subscribes to The Week:
a useful digest of world affairs. It also fearlessly exposes some of
the idiocies of the age, and recently produced the following ‘guide to
some of the surprising – and downright bewildering – decisions made by
Britain’s bureaucrats this past year.’
West Midlands: A church was told it must pay for planning permission to
put a cross in its grounds, because it counted as advertising. Dudley
Wood Methodist Church, in the West Midlands, was charged £75 by
Somerset: When Max Foster saw
two youths stealing his motorbike in Bath he rang the police - only to
be told that officers could not give chase because the thieves weren’t
wearing helmets. ‘They said they might get sued if the kids fell off
and hurt themselves,’ said Foster, 18.
Dundee: An NHS trust in Dundee
issued a four-page leaflet with helpful tips for going to the lavatory.
The leaflet, entitled Good Defecation Dynamics, featured pictures, and
advice such as: ‘When you sit on the toilet, make sure your feet are
well supported’; ‘Do not slump down’; and finally, ‘Don’t forget to
Edinburgh: When Mel Smith
toured Britain in a play about Winston Churchill, he was told that he
couldn’t smoke a cigar on stage when he got to Scotland, because of
anti-smoking laws. Smith, who played the cigar-chomping leader in Mary
Kenny’s play Allegiance, was free to smoke when the play was staged in
Lyme Regis: For 32 years,
residents of Lyme Regis raised money for charity with their annual
‘conger cuddling’ contest - in which teams try to knock each other over
with a 25lb eel tied to a rope. But now the event has been banned,
after animal rights activists complained it was ‘disrespectful’ to the
dead eel. Richard Fox, who founded the contest to raise money for the
RNLI said: ‘How can you be disrespecting an animal’s rights when it is
Upper Caldecote: A postmaster
who was beaten by armed robbers was ordered to pay the Post Office
£3,000. Dilip Karavadra, 42, was battered with a crowbar when he
confronted two men who burst into his shop in Upper Caldecote, Beds. He
suffered head injuries and a broken arm. But the Post Office demanded
lie pay towards the £6,695 theft, because he was not behind his
security hatch when the robbers struck. He had stepped out to help an
elderly customer post a parcel…
Torbay: The palm trees of
Torbay were declared a health hazard. Planning officials said the
palms’ sharp leaves could scratch a passer-by’s face or poke out an
eve. ‘It’s a bit like keeping tigers,’ said councillor Colin Charlwood.
‘They are beautiful to look at, but you wouldn’t want them wandering
Plymouth: Fire brigade chiefs
at Greenbank Fire Station in Plymouth banned the traditional fireman’s
pole because they were worried that officers could fall off, sprain an
ankle or suffer chafing. They now have to run down two flights of
Ipswich: Suffolk Police tried
to stop women binge-drinking by stressing the potential consequences. A
pamphlet featured a photo of a girl lying drunk on the floor. The text
read: ‘For those of you intent on getting ratted this weekend, think...
If you pass out, remember your skirt or dress may ride up. For all our
sakes, please make sure you’re wearing nice pants and you’ve had a wax.’
Bossy Britain – a few of the year’s
more fatuous edicts and unnecessary bits of advice.
The Department of Education spent £50,000 on a guide to being a
good father. The ‘Dad Pack’ includes tips on bathtime (‘Test that the
water is not too hot’) and playtime (‘Take them to the playground’).
Church of England leaders warned that calling God ‘He’ encourages men
to beat their wives. New guidelines for vicars also claim that marriage
increases the likelihood of abuse because it gives husbands a sense of
ownership; they warn that the violent, vengeful God of the Old
Testament sets a bad example to men.
Whitehall wastes more than £80bn on pointless schemes every year,
according to The Taxpayer’s Alliance. For instance, the NHS spent
£225,000 warning pensioners of the dangers of ill-fitting
slippers, while the Arts Council stumped up £77,000 to send a
team of artists to the North Pole to make a snowman.
Reflection for Candlemass
… from a sermon by Guerric of Igny,
the twelfth century Cistercian Abbot of Igny, near Rheims. Supplied by
Today as we bear in our hands lighted candles, how can we not fail to
remember that venerable old man Simeon who on this day held the child
Jesus in his arms - the Word who was latent in a body, as light is
latent in a wax candle - and declared him to be’'the light to enlighten
the nations’? Indeed, Simeon was himself a bright and shining lamp
bearing witness to the Light. Under the guidance of the Spirit which
filled him, he came into the temple precisely in order that,’'receiving
your loving kindness,O0 God, in the midst of your temple’, he might
proclaim Jesus to be that loving kindness and the light of your people.
Behold then, the candle alight in Simeon’s hands. You must light your
own candles by enkindling them at his, those lamps which the Lord
commanded you to bear in your hands. So come to him and be enlightened
that you do not so much bear lamps as become them, shining within
yourselves and radiating light to your neighbours. May there be a lamp
in your heart, in your hand and in your mouth: let the lamp in your
heart shine for yourself, the lamp in your hand and mouth shine for
your neighbours. The lamp in your heart is a reverence for God inspired
by faith; the lamp in your hand is the example of a good life; and the
lamp in your mouth are the words of consolation you speak.
We have to shine not only before others by our good works and by what
we say, but also before the angels in our prayer, and before God by the
intentions of our hearts. In the presence of the angels our lamps will
shine with unsullied reverence when we sing the psalms attentively in
their sight or pray fervently; before God our lamp is single-minded
resolve to please him alone to whom we have entrusted ourselves.
My friends, in order to light all these lamps for yourselves, I beg you
to approach the source of light and become enlightened - I mean Jesus
himself who shines in Simeon’s hands to enlighten your faith, who
shines on your works, who inspires your speech, who makes your prayer
fervent and purifies the intentions of your heart. Then, when the lamp
of this mortal life is extinguished, there will appear for you who had
so many lamps shining within you the light of unquenchable life, and it
will shine for you at the evening of your life like the brightness of
the noonday sun.
Though you may think your light is quenched in death, you will rise
like the daystar and your darkness be made bright as noon. As Scripture
says, ‘No longer will you need the light of sun to shine upon you by
day, or the light of the moon by night; but the Lord will be an
everlasting light for you.’ For the light of the new Jerusalem is the
To him be glory and praise for ever!
Martin on the move!
In an earlier article for Newslink I explained that Miriam and I were
in the process of searching for a new parish in which I could begin my
training as Curate. That process has now been completed and I am
extremely excited to announce that Miriam and I will be moving to St.
Oswald’s in Winwick, North Warrington in July this year.
The experience of finding a training parish was in the end,
surprisingly easy. The DDO, the Revd. David Parry said to me
‘What about Winwick?’ ‘Where?’ I said. Not being ‘a local
lad’ I had never heard of the place and I had to consult my road atlas
to find it. So an appointment was made for me to be interviewed by the
area Dean of Winwick, Canon Bob Lewis to see if the many variables of
what constitutes ‘church,’ would suit Bob, Miriam and me.
I spent most of a morning with Bob, who showed me around the parish and
we talked not only about things of a parochial nature but also personal
things too, things that make Martin tick! Suffice to say by the end of
the day both of us were in agreement that St Oswald’s would be an
excellent opportunity for me to continue in my ministerial training.
Miriam and I went along one Sunday morning so that she could see St
Oswald’s ‘in action.’ St Oswald’s has a large choir and a strong
musical tradition and worships in a catholic style, so Miriam felt that
she could be comfortable in that atmosphere. Therefore with
everybody saying ‘yes’ individually, that is Bob, Miriam the DDO and
myself we have a green light.
St Oswald’s is a pretty church and is one of the ‘must see’ churches in
Merseyside; if you want to read about it, then please visit
So you can be assured that despite the nervousness and emotion of
leaving St Faith’s that Miriam and I will be going to a parish that
will fulfill both of our needs. And although our emotions are
mixed, you never really leave St Faith’s, you carry it with you until
you return. It is this family of St Faith that has brought me
thus far and that is why you are coming with me in my prayers. With
Club Winners, January draw
2nd £ 95
70 Julie Voce-Pascoe
50 Rita Cooke
If you would like to be in the money, read on...!
Not only shops and double glazing firms have BOGOF offers! Why not make
it your New Year Resolution to have a luckier year? No doubt you can
think of a number of ways to achieve this, but one easy solution is to
join the 100+ club!
With membership currently standing at around 140, the monthly prize
fund is £350, with the equivalent going to church funds. The more
members we have, the more money is both won and donated. The maths is
simple – if we have 150 numbers all with an equal chance of winning, 4
lucky people will get a share of £375, if we have 200 members,
the fund increases to £500! Think of the benefits to your pocket,
not to mention the church coffers! All this for £5 per month.
You can have as many numbers as you like to maximise your chances, and
for a limited period only, any new members or those taking an extra
number will get the first month free! And if you are already a member
but don’t want another entry, introduce a friend or family member to
the club and you will receive one month’s extra entry – free!
Introduction, membership and Standing Order forms are all available
from Miriam Jones or Shelagh Mulholland. Go on, have a go and remember
– you’ve got to be in it to win it!
Most people know that I have had a break from St Faith’s and St Mary’s
for the past few weeks to enable me to do some thinking about the
future of my ministry. Sometimes we are too close to things to see the
wood for the trees, and I wanted to step back to make some important
decisions about how I should spend the next ten years or so of working
It has been a good experience. Although I have still had to do my
full-time work with Church Action on Poverty, I have had a chance at
weekends to visit a range of different churches, to talk to different
people I trust, and simply to spend a bit more time than usual
reflecting, reading and praying about things. I have been to a range of
fascinating acts of worship – some very much to my taste, others from
very different traditions; some very encouraging about the state of
health of the Church of England, other less so. But all of them have
provided food for thought about the ways in which the Church might be
shaped to be more relevant to today’s changing culture.
The result of my deliberations has been a firm wish to return to
full-time parish ministry. So at the moment I am waiting to see what
the Bishop has to say about what might be possible within the Diocese
the Liverpool, and whether or not I need to be looking further afield
and what all that might mean for us as a family.
So I have been very grateful for this bit of time out – it has been
re-creative - and would value your thoughts and prayers over the coming
weeks as possibilities for the future unfold and decisions need to be
The Diocesan initiative, “Giving in Grace”, is a stewardship programme
– but not a fundraising exercise. Carefully and prayerfully
planned, however, it can yield significant financial results.
From the outset, Giving in Grace aimed to be a lay-led initiative with
the focus on supporting, resourcing and developing ministry and mission
in the local church. The core document, the “Case Statement” was
prepared by the PCC in 2005 and identified the need to raise more money
and to develop our outreach and youth services.
Financially, the campaign in 2006 at St Faith’s was successful.
Weekly income rose by about £120, which was very welcome. BUT
this was almost completely swallowed up by a huge increase in the cost
of gas (94%) – which could not have been foreseen – and an increase in
the Diocesan Parish Share.
People often ask about the Parish Share. What is it and how is it
assessed? The Parish Share relies on a combination of the Average
Sunday Attendance (ASA) in a church and the socio-economic make-up of
its parish. The ASA figure can vary year on year as congregations grow
and decline. A key principle of the Parish Share system is that there
is no cap on annual increases for each parish (ours increased by about
8%); rather, each parish is asked to pay its full share.
This year, the situation facing us is serious. Our Parish Share is now
£3,342 per month – an increase of about £65 per week! And
that’s before we do anything else. The replacement heating system is
forecast to save money by being more efficient and energy conscious –
and keep the church warm! Planned giving (envelopes, standing orders)
in 2006 just about covered the Parish Share. It won’t cover it this
Although we were greatly indebted to the late John Taylor for his most
generous bequest, it does not last long! Around £30,000 was spent
on various premises-related items last year, plus £37,000 for the
Parish Share. The new heating system will cost £55,000 and
tenders for the disabled access works have come in at
£30,000. Goodbye legacy!
Jesus told a story of a man who discovered treasure in a field, a
treasure so valuable that he sold all that he had to buy the field –
and then he had to start digging! Giving in Grace continues to be a
tool to help the church to dig for treasure as we face new challenges
and opportunities in this New Year.
Music in 2007
The Summer Saturday Recital Series programme
14 April Stephen Hargreaves (organ)
21 April Amadeus – The Chamber
Choir – Director: David Holroyd
28 April Merchant Taylors’ School
5 May Birkdale High School
12 May Valerie Watts (soprano) and
Roger Stephens (piano)
19 May Liverpool Youth Ensemble –
Director: Louise Hough
26 May Cantilena (pupils of Ranee
2 June Victoria Proudler
9 June Julia Platt
(soprano) and Richard Lea (organ)
16 June Chris Thompson (organ)
23 June Matthew Hardy (trumpet)
and Neil Kelley (piano)
30 June Michael Broom (baritone)
and James Firth (piano)
7 July Michael Wynne
14 July St Faith’s Choir –
Director: Paul Burnett
21 July Rob Fleming (horn) and
Neil Kelley (piano)
28 July Gregor Cuff (‘cello) and
Neil Kelley (piano)
4 August Ian Dunning (baritone)
11 August Paul Burnett (organ)
18 August Paul Broadhurst (organ)
25 August Neil Kelley (piano)
The church will as ever be open on concert days between 11.00am and
1.00pm and light refreshments will be on sale. The recitals begin
at 12 noon, last about half an hour and are free but donations are
gratefully accepted towards expenses and church fabric costs.
Please note that the programme may be subject to late change; full
details and changes are regularly updated on our website
www.merseyworld.com/faith. Take a break from shopping and hear some
familiar and not so well known works. We look forward to
welcoming new and old friends of Saint Faith’s at these very popular
to St Faith`s Home Page