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

MARCH 2005



From the Ministry Team: March 2005

‘The Lord is risen, is risen indeed.’ So the cry of ‘Alleluia!’ rings out in exultation and joy wherever Christians come together on Easter Day. And rightly so. The sad and sombre feelings aroused by the repetition of the journey through Holy Week have given way to a sense of triumph. ‘Thanks be to God who giveth us the victory through Jesus Christ!’‘ There may be disagreements amongst believers on literal aspects of the resurrection story, but of the reality of his continuing presence as risen Lord there is no doubt. The resurrection is a cornerstone of the faith.

Those who today have difficulties in believing that, as the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds assert, ‘on the third day he rose again’ will feel their doubts were shared even within the circle of his disciples. Perhaps Thomas speaks for many when he records his inability to believe that such an event could happen. I need proof, he cries. And, of course, he is given it. It will not perhaps convince contemporary doubters, but it did Thomas. Those who, as Jesus commented, have believed without seeing such proof, are blessed, have made an act of faith. This is what believing in the resurrection is.

Although Jesus had shown himself as risen to various individuals and groups in apostolic circles, there is a sense of uncertainty in the days between Easter and Pentecost. The wrong questions - for example about the restoration of the Kingdom to Israel - were still being asked (Act chapter 1 verse 6). Nevertheless efforts to stay together and stabilise the groups were made. They maintained their strength by shared ‘prayer and supplication’. They were ‘of one accord’. ‘The women, and Mary, the mother of Jesus’, were involved in such devotions. The group did necessary practical things like appointing, by lot, a successor to Judas Iscariot in the apostolic band. That mutual support continued until ‘the day of Pentecost was fully come’.

The coming of the Holy Spirit is an event similar in kind to the resurrection. Belief in that presence is an act of faith. The proof of its reality is the extraordinary effect of the coming of the Spirit on the disciples. A perplexed and puzzled group, holding together - but, it feels, only just - are transformed into an evangelistic team, ready to take on the world ‘in Jesus’ name’. So amazing was the effect that we who claim the name of Christians today are such as a direct result of that Pentecost of long ago. To the gathered throng, Peter’s proclamation is crystal clear. ‘God has made that same Jesus, whom you have crucified, both Lord and Christ.’

The transformation of the disciples from weak uncertainty to strong conviction and infinite courage is an event that needs an explanation. It cannot lie anywhere other than in the mysterious (in the biblical sense) events of the first Pentecost, the birthday of the Church.

It is the resurrection joy that moves on to the power of Pentecost that is the life-blood of the faith. And so may the joy and the hope of the resurrection inspire us; and the grace of the resurrection preserve us; and the power of the resurrection sustain us this glorious Eastertide and always.

With my love and prayers,

Fr Dennis

Holy Week and Easter  Services 2005
(SF = S. Faith’s SM = S. Mary’s)

Guest Preacher for Holy Week: Father Terry Ranson

PALM SUNDAY (20 March)
8.00am Office of Readings and Morning Prayer (SF)
9.30am Sung Eucharist and Reading of the Passion (SM)
10.30am Blessing of Palms at Merchant Taylors’ School and Procession
11.00am High Mass and Reading of the Passion (SF)
7.00pm Compline and Benediction (SF)

7.00am Office of Readings (SF)
10.00am Morning Prayer (SF)
10.30am Eucharist (SF)
6.00pm Evening Prayer (SM)
8.00pm Stations of the Cross and Eucharist (SF)
10.00pm Compline (SF)
7.00am Office of Readings (SF)
9.00am Morning Prayer (SF)
9.30am Eucharist (SF)
6.00pm Evening Prayer (SM)
7.30pm Churches Together in Waterloo Service (Christ Church,Waterloo)
10.00pm Compline (SF)

7.00am Office of Readings and Morning Prayer
10.30am Eucharist (SM)
6.00pm Evening Prayer (SM)
8.00pm Eucharist with Liturgy of Reconciliation (SF) (after which the Sacrament of Penance will be available for those wishing to  make their confession in preparation for Easter)
10.00pm Compline (SF)

7.00an Office of Readings and Morning Prayer (SF)
10.30am Diocesan Eucharist with Blessing of the Oils in the Cathedral   and commitment to Ministry (all are welcome)
6.00pm Evening Prayer (SF)
7.00pm Holy Eucharist in commemoration of the Last Supper and Washing of Feet (SM)
8.00 pm. Solemn Mass of the last Supper, Washing of Feet, Procession to the Altar of Repose and Watch of Prayer to midnight (SF)

7.00am Office of Readings and Morning Prayer (SF)
10.00am The Way of The Cross (SF - especially for children and  families)
10.30am Morning Prayer (SM)
11.00am Churches Together in Waterloo Act of Witness at Crosby Civic Hall
12noon The Way of The Cross (SM - especially for children and  families)
1.30 pm The Solemn Liturgy of the Day (SF)
6.00pm Evening Prayer (SF)
10.00pm Compline (SF)

7.00am Office of Readings and Morning Prayer (SF)
2.00pm Sacrament of Penance (SM)
8.00 pm Joint Easter Vigil, Service of Light and First Mass of Easter (SF) followed by Champagne, Easter biscuits and fireworks!

8.00am Office of Readings (SF)
9.30am Procession and Sung Eucharist (SM)
10.30am Morning Prayer (SF)
11.00 am Procession and High Mass (SF) followed by wine
6.00 pm Festal Evensong, Procession and Solemn Te Deum (no sermon) followed by Easter Party (SF)

12.00noon Holy Eucharist with Hymns (SF)

The Beatitudes

A recent sermon by FRED NYE

I wonder what the word ‘makarios’ means to you? You‘ll probably be thinking of Archbishop Makarios, who with General Grivas, was a very successful thorn in the side of the British occupation of Cyprus for so many years. But ‘makarios’ in Greek means ‘happy’, and it‘s a word which recurs time and time again in this morning’s gospel. Its counterpart in Latin ‘beatus’ also means happy, and it is this word which gives the Beatitudes their title.

Some commentators see in the sermon on the mount a parallel to the old testament story of Moses on Mount Sinai, and the giving of the ten commandments. But there are some very important differences. When Moses climbed Mount Sinai he went on his own, to talk to God by himself. And he came down, again on his own, to hand over the ten commandments to the people of Israel. Some of you will remember the epic movie of ‘The Ten Commandments’ (was it Cecil B. de Mille?) If you haven’t seen it, or want to see it again, we will be showing it in our series of Sunday Theatre videos during Lent at St. Faith’s. Watch out for the invisible finger of God, tracing  the words of the commandments on the tablets of stone, like a demented firecracker!

But the setting of the sermon on the mount is very different. Jesus doesn’t go up the mountain alone: he’s accompanied by his followers. He takes people with him. There is no veiling cloud, no devouring fire, no thunder and lightning or other manifestations of divine pyrotechnics. Instead there’s just a man, sitting talking to his friends, surrounded by the grass and the flowers and the grazing sheep.

But lets go back to ‘makarios’ again. The old Testament, the old Covenant, was couched in terms of commandments; ‘Thou shalt, Thou shall not.’ The new Covenant in Jesus is quite different, because it is couched in terms of happiness. Happy are the merciful, happy are the peacemakers.

I have some time for the idea that our relationship with God, as individuals and communities, reflects our maturity and our degree of understanding. When children are very young, of course we have to rely on simple ‘do’s and don’ts’. But at a surprisingly early age, kids can be reasoned with. They begin to understand that sensible rules are not designed to reward or punish, but to help us to be happy. If for instance we are forgiving and understanding with ourselves and those around us, then we are all likely to be a lot happier than if we are self-seeking, insensitive and unsympathetic. Jesus in the Beatitudes seems to be not so much demanding something of his followers as describing ideal ‘states of soul’ which they already, to some extent, enjoy. Happy are those who hunger and thirst for what is right, happy are the pure in heart.

Think about it. Do you know anyone who takes on injustice, and is unhappy in the task? Do you know anyone who is single-minded in their search for fairness and truth, and is unhappy to be like that? But there was, and is, a danger in what Jesus did and taught. Not everyone is satisfied with his message, purely because he didn‘t offer his followers rules written on tablets of stone. In contrast, orthodox Judaism and Islam do offer a degree of certainty in what is expected of the believer. Traditionalist Jews and Moslems have something in common, they both believe that their scriptures, the Jewish Law and the Koran, are perfect and unalterable reflections of the will of God.

It as if God had sent his teachings as e-mail attachments to Moses and Mohammed respectively, and they had arrived intact as perfect facsimiles of what God had originally ordained. You see, Jesus didn‘t specify the right answer to each and every human situation, but he did tell us that we will be happy if we hunger and thirst to find what is right and see it prevail. He didn‘t define for us how peace can be achieved, but he did tell us that we will be happy if we constantly search for new ways to bring peace out of conflict. To some, our Lord‘s way of looking at life, though it is immensely challenging, nevertheless runs with the grain of human nature and with what we know about the world. To others, however, the way of the Beatitudes is uncertain, flabby and dangerously undisciplined. Fundamentalists, be they Jewish, Moslem or Christian, want order and certainty. They believe in a sort of digital God, whose computer output in answer to any question of human behaviour, always ends in either a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’.

Perhaps I could bring all this a little closer to home for a moment. At St. Faith’s we are carrying out a Parish Survey which asks some critical questions about how we should shape our mission to young people and to the wider community around us. These are fundamental questions on which the future of our church community may well depend. But after a lot of reflection, I believe it may be wrong to assume that Our Lord has all the answers hidden for us somewhere in the databanks of the divine computer, and that all we have to do to find the right answers is, as it were, to become more computer literate. It may be that who we are is even more important than what we do.

The fifth chapter of St. Matthew’s gospel is often used by penitents preparing for confession. I’ve certainly found it very helpful myself, because in these teachings of Jesus he focuses not on divinely-ordained laws and their corresponding sins, but on those properties of being human that, in the long run, bring happiness into the world. The emphasis is on what Our Lord would like me to be as a human person, and on sadly, what I am not. I believe there is a message here for us as a church community. What sort of community does Our Lord want us to be? Forget about projects for the moment: what sort of values does he want us to hold? What New Testament ideals of humility, justice, mercy and peace does he want us to be passionate about? Perhaps we should start by being gentle and merciful with ourselves. There is already much beatitude in this church and congregation, which I believe Our Lord himself would recognise. And perhaps it is not so critical whether or not we adopt a  new community project, or whether our numbers grow or dwindle. Perhaps what does matter is the soul of this worshipping community, and that it should be open, welcoming, caring and giving. If we seek Our Lord’s will in this, everything else will follow. And the loving purposes of the Beatitudes will come true for us, and we will be happy!

St. Faith's Holiday Club  2005

Following on the success of St. Faith’s first Holiday Club in 2004, the planning process for 2005 is about to begin. The club will run from 1st -  5th August.

We do need leaders and helpers!  Last year, those who helped really enjoyed themselves and found working with the children very rewarding.  During the week we will be hiring a bus to take us out for a half day trip and a full day trip.  Sefton Sports Bus will come along and organise an afternoon of sports for the children as well as people from the Activity Centre to help making things.  It will be hard work, but good fun.

We hope to have the same number of children as last year and will run four groups: a leader and helper will be needed for each group.  We will also need people who are willing to make tea, coffee, orange juice, make up bags of sweets, tidy up, sweep up and generally help to make the whole week enjoyable for the children and all the helpers.

Please do volunteer.  There will be a meeting in the Upper Room of the Church Hall soon after Easter to talk about what we will do this year.

If you can help in any way, and even if only for a day, please do come along to the meeting.

Joan Tudhope  (474 9923)

The Liturgy of Maundy Thursday
Fr. Neil

The Thursday of Holy Week gets its title from the Latin word ‘mandatum’ meaning ‘command’. On Maundy Thursday we recall the great command of Jesus. It is not, however, the command to celebrate the Eucharist, to ‘do this’ in remembrance of Christ, although we do so. The title ‘Maundy’ Thursday comes from the other command Jesus gave ‘love one another, as I have loved you.’

That command is portrayed in the liturgy by the Washing of the Feet, the first of four significant parts of the Maundy Thursday liturgy. The Gospel according to S. John is read, Chapter 13, and as it is read the ceremony of the washing of the feet is carried out with the priest and twelve assistants portraying the words we hear in symbolic gestures.

In a serious attempt to get the message across to his disciples, Jesus showed the kind of love he was talking about by kneeling down and washing the feet of the disciples. That powerful action demonstrates clearly that if we are truly to love and serve people as disciples of Christ, then nothing should be beneath us. Christian Service is not about wealth, or power or status; it is about a genuine humility. That is the Christian ‘manifesto’. That is our mandate. Going the extra mile. Sometimes perhaps feeling uncomfortable in doing so. The washing of the twelve feet (probably already showered and powdered in advance), is a challenging way of realising the depth of Christ’s love.

‘When the Mass is over, the Service begins’ If we truly want to encounter the living Christ then we need to embrace the poor, the vulnerable, the weak, the dispossessed, the stranger and the outcast. Or we stick to our own more comfortable view of Christ. We make God in our image rather than accepting that he has made US in HIS. We are called to service through our Baptism and nothing or no-one should ever be beneath us.

The second significant part of the liturgy is the Commemoration of the Last Supper. In order to try and recapture something of the intimacy of that first holy meal we have for many years at Saint Faith‘s gathered together as one family around the Nave Altar. Altar rails are removed and there are no barriers between presider and people. It is a poignant moment. The words of the Eucharistic Prayer change slightly. Instead of saying ?who in the same night he was betrayed‘ the priest says ?who on this night he was betrayed‘. This is the moment. This is the last meal He shares with His disciples before He is led to His crucifixion. This is my body. This is my blood. His presence is real. All that has been feared is about to happen.

After the Eucharist has been celebrated and we have received the precious Body and Blood of our Saviour the lights are turned out. People’s candles are lit. The Blessed Sacrament is placed in the monstrance and in the candlelight we remain kneeling as the choir sings that beautiful anthem ‘Panis Angelicus’ - wondrous Bread from Heaven. A chance to pause and reflect before the harsh reality to follow.

The third part of the liturgy is the Procession to the Altar of Repose. The priest leads the procession with the Blessed Sacrament and we all follow. We try to cram into the Lady Chapel which has been prepared with candles and plants (more offers of plants please again this year) and the altar becomes the Altar of Repose, the place of rest in the Garden of Gethsemane. In S. Matthew 26:30 we read, ‘then they sang a hymn and went out to the Mount of Olives’. We recall how Our Lord took his disciples to a place called Gethsemane and asked them to watch and pray. For centuries Christian people have marked this by a Watch until Midnight (in times past, and indeed in some places the watch continues throughout the night). In a couple of weeks time a list will be placed at the back of Church for you to indicate that you can ‘Watch’ for some of the time. If you have never done this before please do so this year; it is very moving.

The Blessed Sacrament is placed on the Lady Chapel Altar. The servers, choir and Sacred Ministers depart, not in a solemn dignified manner, but abruptly and noisily, recalling those horrific words of Scipture: ‘And they all forsook him and fled’.

Immediately that is said the final part of the liturgy begins: the stripping of the Altars. Fair linen, Altar frontals, banners, hangings, crucifixes, in fact anything and everything is removed from the church and placed out of sight. The church is made bare for the Solemn Commemoration of the death of Christ the next day. Psalm 22 is sung to plainsong whilst this is happening: ‘my, God, my God, why have you forsaken me…?’ This final part of the liturgy signifies the stripping of Christ before his crucifixion. For many centuries the priest has washed the Altar with water and wine signifying the blood of redemption and the water of regeneration. It reminds us of the water and blood that flowed from Christ’s side. The Church washes the Altar because Our Lord‘s body was sprinkled with blood and water on the cross.

The liturgy helps us to enter deeply into the mystery of the Passion in a way which we cannot grasp simply from reading words on a page. You will miss a huge amount if you are not present at this service. No-one can fail to be moved by it.

Maundy Thursday involves everyone. It includes everyone. It demonstrates the abundance of God’s generosity and love for the world whilst at the same time reminding us of the cost involved. A costly sacrifice of God’s only Son. But costly too for us if we are to truly take up our cross and be His disciples.

Watch of Prayer and Washing of Feet

If you wish to participate in the Washing of Feet at the Maundy Thursday mass please sign the list at the back of church. 12 people are needed. Also, if you are able to be in church for some of the Watch of Prayer after the Maundy Thursday mass please sign the list at the back of church.

‘Sunday Evening Theatre’

At 8.00 pm on four Sundays in Lent (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 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)

On Children

1. You spend the first two years of their life teaching them to walk and talk. Then you spend the next sixteen telling them to sit down and shut up.
3. Mothers of teens now know why some animals eat their young.
4. Children seldom misquote you. In fact, they usually repeat word for word what you shouldn’t have said.
5. The main purpose of holding children’s parties is to remind yourself that there are children more awful than your own.
6. We childproofed our homes, but they are still getting in.

Be nice to your kids. They will choose your nursing home one day.

The Men’s Group Retreat to Hospital
(or: Why is there is no Justice in the World)

By the time these notes appear in print (already online! Ed.) the story of Kevin’s foot will have passed into St Faith‘s folklore, but the writer feels that the true and honest facts behind the unfortunate accident are worth recording, if only because truth can be stranger than fiction. The merry band of pilgrims set forth on a clear morning looking forward as usual to the prospect of a relaxing, stimulating, but largely uneventful weekend led, as in the last few years, by a certain Fr Charles Billington (once of this Parish) who always adds a distinct and personal touch to the proceedings.

After the usual lunch in Hawes, we arrived at ‘David’s House’ in the picturesque village of Marske, having travelled through the Dales countryside at its very best. The sun was shining and all was certainly right with the world. That was until the first meal. Whether it was the excellent meal, the convivial, ebullient conversation, or the remnants of a chest infection we don’t know but as Kevin left the table he tripped and fell awkwardly, hurting his ankle. Please note that at this stage the only open bottle was one of milk, and any other rumours should be discounted.

After a painful night it was decided that a visit to Darlington A & E was probably better for Kevin than the programmed visit to the Black Sheep Brewery, and as he couldn’t drive himself, our house doctor and paramedic (both retired) also missed out on a fascinating tour of the brewery and some very good fish and chips. Kevin was devastated of course but was compensated later in the day when he shared in one or two bottles of souvenir elixir.

Now nicely plastered, our gallant hero assumed centre stage - i.e. he sat on the best chair, did no washing up, no cleaning, no wood chopping, and was basically molly-coddled for the rest of the weekend. The centre-spread photo with slightly surprised face shows him talking to an oversized budgie that appeared to have escaped from a Monty Python sketch.

Sunday saw us as usual enjoying the highlight of the retreat - the 11.00 Eucharist timed to coincide with St Faith‘s. Using the communion set donated to the Group by Fr Charles always evokes special and personal thoughts. Although we had discussed a number of quite deep issues the previous evening (including the lessons that we had all gathered from our recent visit to Conques), the service reminded us of the common links with family and friends over many, many years, and on this occasion the name of John F. Taylor had been added to those engraved on the silver platen. Fr Charles spoke of the weekend as a pilgrimage, and drew many analogies with the visit to Conques and Walsingham. We sang and we spoke, we prayed and we worked. A remarkable 45 minutes in the middle of a remarkable weekend.

Coming home is always a mixture of sadness and joy, and this year was no exception. The sadness of leaving a beautiful setting in the Yorkshire Dales, and the joy of knowing that Kevin’s foot would eventually be OK!

So from Denis, Mike, Geoff, Paul, Kevin, Rick & Fr Charles thanks to our families and St Faith’s for a chance to enjoy once again a thoroughly worthwhile retreat.

Rick Walker

The Men’s Group Communion Set

Over the years members of the Men’s Group have come and gone. Some have left the area and can no longer attend meetings, though they are still de facto members of the group. Sadly, over the years, several of our number have died and we still remember them. Two years ago during our annual retreat in Yorkshire it was suggested that we should have our own communion set and the names of our deceased members should be engraved on the communion set used at the Sunday morning Eucharist, which forms a very important part, probably the most important part, of our weekend retreat.

Fr Charles Billington, now chaplain to our group, offered to donate a communion set which he no longer used. This was gratefully accepted and when the set was collected we organised to have the names of deceased members of the Men’s Group engraved on the platen.

The names engraved are:

John Taylor            Doug Taylor
John Stone             John Vincent
George Goodwin   Archie Pattison   John F.Taylor

This communion set was used for the first time during our Yorkshire retreat in February 2004 and the Eucharist that Sunday was a very moving experience as we remembered our former members.

Denis Griffiths

Letter from Norfolk
Hilary Pennington

Dear All,

The final stages of the sale of my Kingsway house went through at great speed and after bidding farewell for the umpteenth time, it was only a matter of days before I was settled with my son and his family in this part of the world.
To all of you who lived through the saga with me, my grateful thanks for your interest and support. A special thank you for all the good wishes and the gift, which will enable me to purchase a visible reminder of my friends at St Faith’s. The choice is not to be hurried, but I will keep you informed and let you know the final selection.

Life here is somewhat quieter than in Crosby, the only excitement being the dog’s consumption of the Christmas cake. So much for being better prepared this year.

The local news programme covers events at Walsingham, so you will be interested in the item that the gardens at the Shrine are to be altered. It is planned to open out the smaller areas and introduce a herb garden, which will contain plants in use at the time of the Shrine’s foundation. This should all be in place by next year.

It is much too late to wish you all a Happy Christmas, but may the New Year bring peace and understanding to us all.


The Donkey’s Owner

Snaffled my donkey, he did - good luck to him! -
Rode him astride, feet dangling, near scraping the ground.
Gave me the laugh of my life when I first see them,
Remembering yesterday - you know, how Pilate come
Bouncing along the same road, only that horse of his
Big as a bloody house and the armour shining
And half Rome trotting behind. Tight-mouthed he was,
Looking he owned the world.
  Then today,
Him and his little donkey! Ha - laugh? -
I thought I‘d kill myself when he first started.
So did the rest of them. Gave him a cheer
Like he was Caesar himself, only more hearty:
Tore off some palm-twigs and started shouting,
Whacking the donkey’s behind… Then suddenly
We see his face.
The smile had gone, and somehow the way he sat
Was different - like he was much older - you know -
Didn’t want to laugh no more.

Clive Sansom (The Witnesses)

Maundy Thursday Watch

Tall arches spanning darkness;
High invisible roof: warm still air.
The shadowed crucifix outlined against carved beams.

And light spilling out through the pillars:
Soft radiance from a firmament of flickering candles,
Gold and white in the night, swaying shadows.
Burnished sanctuary lamp mirroring the arc of fire below;
Dark grouped leaves and boughs, and frozen flowers:
Christ on the altar in Gethsemane.

The dull roar of traffic sounds outside the walls.
Silent worshippers kneel or sit to keep their watch,
With only the rustle of a page, the shifting of a chair
To move the soft silence.
Waiting for death to come to their Lord in the morning
To bring them life.

Footsteps echo quietly down the dark aisle. The vigil
Goes on. The faithful watch with Christ.
Outside the cold midnight brings another Good Friday.
Inside, no time, only the soft shadow of eternity.

Surely, God is here.

Chris Price

Easter Folk-Song

To hear a far cock crowing
At midnight is not well:
When up and crew the black cock,
The demon plumed with hell,
The night before Good Friday
Great tears from Peter fell.

Its malice and its gloating
Went through him like a sword
Recalling how the third time
He had denied his Lord.

But the cock of Easter Sunday
Crowing at first light,
The white cock plumed with heaven,
Gold sheen among the white,
Sets every bell-throat singing
And heart’s bell with delight.

But none sang more than Peter’s,
Who knew so well, so well
His risen Lord for gave him
And the black cock down in hell.

Geoffrey Johnson

Our Lady’s Easter

She knelt, expectant, through the night:
For He had promised. In her face
The pure soul beaming, full of grace,
But sorrow-tranced - a frozen light.
But, ere her eastward lattice caught
The glimmer of the breaking day,
No more in that sweet garden lay
The buried picture of her thought.
The sealed stone shut a void, and lo!
The Mother and the Son had met!
For her a day should never set
Had burst upon the night of woe.
In sudden glory stood He there,
And gently raised her to His breast:
And on His heart, in perfect rest,
She poured her own - a voiceless prayer.
Enough for her that He has died,
And lives, to die again no more:
The foe despoiled, the combat o’er,
The Victor crowned and glorified.
What song of seraphim shall tell
My joy today, my blissful queen?
Yet truly not in vain, I ween,
Our earthly alleluias swell.
But thou, sweet Mother, grant us more
Than here to join the festive strain:
To hymn, but never know, our gain
Were ten times loss for once before.
For so, amid the onward years,
This feat shall bring us strength renewed;
To pass secure, o’er self subdued,
To Easter in the sinless spheres.

Robert Cyril

The Resurrection

I was the one who waited in the garden
Doubting the morning and the early light.
I watched the mist lift off its own soft burden,
Permitting not believing my own sight.

If there were sudden noises I dismissed
Them as a trick of sound, a sleight of hand.
Not by a natural joy could I be blessed
Or trust a thing I could not understand.

Maybe I was a shadow thrown by one
Who, weeping, came to lift away the stone.
Or was I but the path on which the sun,
Too heavy for itself, was loosed and thrown?

I heard the voices and the recognition
And love like kisses heard behind thin walls.
Were they my tears which fell, a real contrition?
Or simply April with its waterfalls?

It was by negatives I learned my place.
The garden went on growing and I sensed
A sudden breeze that blew across my face.
Despair returned, but now it danced, it danced.

Elizabeth Jennings

The World itself keeps Easter Day
The world itself keeps Easter Day,
And Easter larks are singing;
And Easter flowers are blooming,
And Easter buds are springing.
Alleluia! Alleluia!
The Lord of all things lives anew,
And all His works are living too.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

There stood three Marys by the tomb
On Easter morning early -
When day had scarcely chased the gloom,
And dew was white and pearly.
Alleluia! Alleluia!
With loving, but with erring, mind
They came the Prince of Life to find,
Alleluia! Alleluia!

But earlier still the angel sped,
His news of comfort giving;
And ‘Why,’ he said, ‘among the dead
Thus seek ye for the living?’
Alleluia! Alleluia!
‘Go tell them all, and make them blest,
Tell Peter first, and then the rest.’
Alleluia! Alleluia!

But one, and one alone, remained,
With love that could not vary;
And thus a higher joy she gained,
That sometime sinner, Mary.
Alleluia! Alleluia!
The first the dear, dear form to see
 Of Him that hung upon the tree.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

The world itself keeps Easter Day,
And Easter larks are singing;
And Easter flowers are blooming,
And Easter buds are springing.
Alleluia! Alleluia!
The Lord of all things lives anew,
And all His works are living too.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

John Mason Neale

Pilgrim People
Fr Neil

It was good that nearly fifty people expressed an interest in a pilgrimage to Rome and Assisi in 2006 and those present at the lunch on Christian Unity Sunday heard Fr. Jonathan Boardman speak about what the pilgrimage might entail as well as asking questions of a more practical nature!

I hope we can have a further meeting at some point before the summer where some clearer details might be available, including likely costs and dates of travel. Although it is a long way off we look forward to welcoming Bishop John Flack to preach for Corpus Christi 2006. Bishop John is Director of the Anglican Centre in Rome and both he and Fr. Jonathan have said they will help in any way they can with the arrangements, which is very fortunate for us!

Nearer home, plans have been made for a pilgrimage to Walsingham in the Autumn. If you are interested in joining this pilgrimage and haven’t yet done so, please sign the list at the back of church.

Ancient and Very Ancient?
Mike Homfray

Music is always very much a matter of personal taste, and I found the musings on our hymn books of interest.

Having worshipped in different traditions in the past, sometimes hymns and worship songs sung in different context can be much more meaningful than they may appear on paper.

Looking at the two hymns which received such a berating last month ; ‘If I were a fish in the sea…’ may look childish and slight on paper - but imagine 30 or 40 children all singing it with gusto, doing the relevant hand-actions, and it takes on quite a different association.

Similarly, ‘Oh! Oh! Oh! How good is the Lord’ may lack the ‘thees and thous’ of pious Victorian hymnody, but sung with guitar, drums and handclaps, it can certainly sound full of life and joy. Whereas, with the best will in the world, ‘Shine Jesus Shine’ wasn‘t written to be accompanied with pipe organ, and does rather lack something without the suitable musical accompaniment. There is actually a very large amount of worship music being produced, all of which is actually much newer than anything in ‘the brown book’! But are we aware of any of these developments?

Maybe before we immediately regard our own musical tradition as superior, we should ask ourselves:
1. How many young people actively like and listen to classical or choral music, as opposed to pop or rock?
2. How many young people do churches which follow this sort of musical pattern, as well as the more traditional hymns, offering young people the chance to actively participate in music within the church, have in their Sunday morning services? Is it more or less than us? If you want the answer, stand outside St. Luke’s Crosby or Kingsway Fellowship one Sunday morning.
3. How many of the dreary dirges (to my ears!) in Hymns Ancient and Very Ancient are things which one would choose to listen to outside church? Or, more to the point, how many people under the age of, say, 50, would actively choose to listen to them?
4. Does adherence to the catholic tradition have to mean preference for that which is ‘as we have always done it’, or should we be prepared to step forward and, as my old colleagues in the Society of Friends used to say, ‘live adventurously’?

The editor (and perpetrator of the original article!) is happy to have provoked a debate and a response. Others have agreed with my sentiments - further contributions are welcome)

Hymns for Professionals

With thanks to ‘Focus’, the magazine of St Mary the Virgin, Davyhulme

Builders          The Church’s one foundation
Obstetricians  Come, labour on
Golfers           There is a green hill far away
Politicians       Standing on the promises
Librarians       Let all mortal flesh keep silence

And finally, for David Fairclough especially…
Dentists         Crown him with many crowns.

Check Out Fair Trade!

S Faith’s has been a Fair Trade Church for almost one year, serving fairly-traded coffee and tea after the Sunday Services and at the Saturday midday concerts. We are in reputable company - amongst restaurants which serve fairly traded drinks are the Marks and Spencer Café Revive and our own Liverpool Cathedral refectory. On the first two Sundays in March (designated nationally Fair Trade Fortnight ) in the Church Hall after Eucharist there will be a Fair Trade stall exhibiting a range of food products which are available  - many may be purchased in local supermarkets, others it will be possible to purchase on Sunday morning at Church: the aim is to demonstrate the variety of foods now produced and sold fairly - that means at a price that  guarantees a fair price especially to the farmers and producers in poor countries. During this fortnight our promotion will be just one of many across the country: as well as churches, schools and other organisations, many supermarkets will also be organising taster stalls for their Fair Trade products.  Please take time to look at this stall and read the promotional literature
The Fairtrade Foundation was established in 1992 by Cafod, Christian Aid.  New Consumer, Oxfam,  Traidcraft and the World Development Movement. These organisations were later joined by Britain's largest women’s organisation, the Women's Institute. The Foundation is the UK member of the Fairtrade Labelling Organisations International (FLO), which unites 19 national initiatives across Europe, Japan, North America, Mexico and Australia/New Zealand.

Currently there are a total of 21 members of staff at the Fairtrade Foundation and around 15 volunteers.  The Fairtrade Foundation is a registered charity and shareholders include many other major charities. The Foundation aims to raise awareness of the FAIRTRADE Mark, to deepen understanding of the Mark and to increase sales of Fairtrade certified products.

Kathleen Zimak


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