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 Newslink                March 1998

From the Clergy March, 1998

We are so indulgent with our vices, inasmuch as they are the things that we like doing, because we attribute them to human nature. (St Jerome)

This seems to be a good saying from the Fathers, allowing us at least to have a reasonable argument as to why we do not take Lent and our Faith seriously. Life in the 20th century is so hectic that we appear to need to pamper ourselves in order to make life bearable and survive. A common saying would be ‘Oh, I do need a gin (chocolate, lie-in — insert your luxury!) to keep me going.’ Are these some of the things that you have been saying that stop you attending that extra service, finding the time to say your prayers, or, worse still, saying ‘I haven’t got the time to attend the Lent Groups’?

I am sure that this is not the case...

I for once have followed my own advice and am reading a novel called ‘Angela’s Ashes’. This, I am finding, is a disturbing read. It is set in Ireland in the 1930s and describes the childhood of Francis. The poverty in this book is something that I, from a privileged childhood, could not comprehend, yet because of my privileged position I know that children in South Africa live today in such circumstances. Francis’s father is a drunken sot who drinks away any money that comes into his possession. The wife Angela appears powerless and just watches her children die, whilst her husband drunkenly sings songs of liberation for Ireland. Amidst this chaos Francis dreams of having a whole boiled egg to himself with butter and pepper, instead of having to share it with five others! The father, of course, puts his problems down to human nature, that’s if he even recognises them. This rather reminds me of the way we conduct our lives in the world. For we all collaborate and collude with it rather than following the teachings of faith and being apart from it. ‘Mine is not a kingdom of this world; if my kingdom were of this world, my men would have fought to prevent me being surrendered to the Jews. But my kingdom is not of this kind.’ (John 18:36)

Let us use this Lent to celebrate or rediscover the difference that faith in Our Lord has taught us. Let us make the effort to do something different, to take something on, or to fast. Let us not, though, we guided by our human nature and do nothing.

My Lenten read is doing me good, as it is reminding me constantly of the needs of others and of how fortunate Clare and I are. What are you doing? I hope that you are not dwelling in the hell of apathy, or Angela’s Ashes may become yours and mine, as we dwell selfishly on ourselves.

If anyone wished to be the only person to enjoy the benefits of his own work, he would destroy the life of everyone.
John Chrysostom

Wishing you a blessed and a disciplined Lent.

Fr Christopher

From the Archives                 Chris Price

Crosby Library houses bound volumes of many of the early St Faith’s magazines, and, beginning with this month, we will be publishing some of the more revealing, odd and entertaining items in their pages.

We begin with what seems to have been the first ever issue: the ‘Monthly Leaflet’ of September, 1901, a 4-page A4 production printed by George Reed & Co, who proudly proclaim themselves ‘Electric Power Printers’. In this first issue, Mr Baxter, the first Vicar, writes of arrangements for presenting an illuminated Address to the founder, Douglas Horsfall, and hopes that before long a Parish Room can be built. He also apologises for this first issue, declaring that ‘future issues will be more interesting and instructive’ and bewails the fact that, in striking contrast to the present-day situation, so few people come to church in the morning, allowing ‘the greater part of the Lord’s Day to pass before they find time to attend his house.’ He also asks for more boys with good voices for the choir!

We learn that the carved framework of the reredos was made by Messrs Norman and Burt of Burgess Hill, Suffolk, who have received instructions from the artist as to completing its painting and gilding. This somewhat confusing piece of information poses questions about the attribution of the reredos to the firm of Salviati of Venice, and adds to the puzzle since the same item talks about ‘hangings of plushette’ covering the whole east wall to 15 feet in height, and to be ‘the exact tint of dark red that was put in the four panels on either side of the centre panel when the Church was first opened.’ Some more research is clearly needed here; in a later issue the Vicar declares that the reredos is now completed, and is ‘one of the most beautiful and effective to be found in the North of England’.

The text of the Illuminated Address, presented at a ‘Conversazione’ in Waterloo Town Hall is printed: it is, to say the least, fulsome in its praise for the founder’s bountiful munificence. After its gushing tones, it is light relief to read Mr Baxter informing us that the Bible Class for Young Women held weekly in the Vicarage is ‘intended chiefly for servants’!

Mr Baxter (no ‘Father’ in those cautious early days) soon strikes a note that is to become familiar, when he hopes for full congregational participation to make ‘the Service so much more bright, hearty, and helpful. After all, he continues, ‘the choir is to lead, not to sing instead of, the people’.

Soon Mr Baxter is carefully explaining and defending the various postures of standing, sitting and kneeling at appropriate parts of the service: one of several such apologias printed in the early years, and doubtless intended to counter attacks from those who, for many years, were suspicious of and hostile to St Faith’s Anglo-Catholic practices.

In April 1902 comes the first mention of celebrating the Consecration of St Faith’s, which took place on 21st April, 1900. The Vicar gives thanks for growing congregations, and bright and hearty worship. He gives thanks to Almighty God, ‘Who put it into the heart of the Founder to build such a church in this neighbourhood’ — the sub-text here seems clear!

However, he deplores the stinginess of regular Sunday evening worshippers who give little, or nothing, and who could ‘well afford to give sixpence or a shilling each Sunday.’ We are all good at spending our money on pleasure, he ruefully notes, but ‘we are apt to be very near when giving to God.’

However, the Organist (Mr George Lewis — see page 10) and Choir get heartily thanked, and we learn that the Organ Recitals are very popular, and ‘draw numbers to the Church, thus helping to keep some in touch with the Church of England who might otherwise be lost to her.’ This novel view of the value of organ recitals is accompanied by an equally surprising piece on Wedding Day Communions. A special early communion is to be laid on at the request of a couple being married later in the day. Mr Baxter commends this practice, as ‘The Marriage Service itself, attended as it often is by many guests and friends, and also by sight-seers, is apt to lose something of its solemnity and devotion...’

All these titbits come from the first year’s faded leaflets: all are written by the indefatigable Mr Baxter. Before long it is hoped that a ‘scrap-book’ of extracts from the first decade or so of St Faith’s life will be available for loan, as a companion to the existing 1950s and 1960s book, which readers are welcome to borrow. Meanwhile, the story will continue in future months. Watch Mr Baxter battling for the faith. Read about the incense in the sanctuary lamps, the success of the incandescent gas fittings and the first stained glass window in St Faith’s. And, of course, thrill to the Clown’s Cricket Match on Merchant Taylors’ Field, in aid of the Parish Room Fund, the Indian Shooting Jungle in the Town Hall, and the ‘pretentious’ name of Belvidere Park

Confirmation Classes ‘98

We are very fortunate at St Faith’s as each year we have children and adults coming forward to confirm the vows that their parents and godparents have made on their behalf at baptism. Our Confirmation Service this year will be held on Sunday, May 24th, and will also mark the beginning of our Centenary Celebrations and the laying of our foundation stone.

We are particularly fortunate this yea, as Lord Robert Runcie, previous Archbishop of Canterbury, who was himself confirmed at St Faith’s, will be presiding for these initial celebrations and will be confirming our candidates. It seems appropriate that at the service where we shall commemorate the laying of the foundation stone of St Faith’s, we shall be confirming ‘living stones’ (7 Peter 2:4) that will provide the foundation of our church for the twenty-first century.

Jesus is ‘the living stone, rejected by human beings but chosen by God and precious to Him; so that you, too, may be living stones making a spiritual house as a holy priesthood to offer the spiritual sacrifices made acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.’ (1 Peter 2:4-5)

If you would like to be a candidate for confirmation this year, please contact Fr Christopher. Those who have already expressed an interest will be contacted shortly.


Even More out of Africa                Linda Nye

Linda Nye writes further of her experiences during her recent time in Malawi.

Pliny was right: there is always ‘something new out of Africa’, something to amaze, delight or dismay. You just have to open your eyes and Africa confronts you, even on a simple trip across town. The locals knew my routine, adults waved, and beaming children waved with both hands. At the road junction children sat selling lop lengths of sugar cane, a popular teatime supplement to the ubiquitous nsima. Opposite, in the shadow of a huge private satellite dish, women hovered all day with their children at a rudimentary stall, selling a few dried fish, small bags of cooking oil at 4p, and a mound of sweet white bread buns that would bring a total 40p profit. The average wage is about £1 per day.

After school, girls skip together, like my play-ground in the ‘40’s. Boys kick a rubbish-filled poly bag instead of a ball, or use a bicycle-tyre rim as a hoop. One man regularly carries half a dozen trays of eggs on his head; another a bulky load of recycled plastic bottles for sale; a third sells Sainsbury’s carrier bags at his roadside stall. The town centre grinds to a halt for the President to sweep past, with an entourage of no fewer than 20 vehicles, including a sort of Popemobile and most of Malawi’s police cars. Photography is intrusive and my camera never seemed to hand at the right moment, but I did regret failing to capture the regal figure red-robed in a long, flowing and obviously expensive ladies’ winter coat. I hope the donor would have shared my delight.

I never came to terms with the beggars outside the city centre supermarket. How much do you give to someone with awful orthopaedic problems, walking with a pole instead of crutches? Or the little boy with an amputated arm and big eyes? Or the blind grandmother, led by a teenage mother? Give a generous Kwacha (2Op) and the queue at the car will be even longer tomorrow. We give the children bananas or bread buns. Lacking the robust haggling skills of my Kenya-born hostess, I also failed to come to grips with the vegetable sellers, who mobbed the parked car of any ‘madam’. The ‘store of stores’ at the city centre was reminiscent of a small Kwiksave at closing time on Christmas Eve - you bought what you could find; but treats like cheddar cheese were available at a price in a small ex-pat. shop, imported from Zimbabwe. Even going to the bank was an adventure. It was perhaps irrational to be apprehensive, but I was actually aware that my £50 Travellers’ Cheque represented much more than the average month’s wage. It was a salutary experience to be the only white face in sight and not to be able to communicate fully. I never lost my apprehension when out alone.

I spent a lot of time watching the world go by in the hospital car-park. Carers sat patiently in the shade or went to a stall for the patient’s food. I watched a family of seven taking a patient home; and three mothers with babies arrive with another. Women in bright ankle-length chitenje all seem to carry a baby on their back, and on their heads a bundle, box or suitcase. Out of town they carry even bigger headloads of heavy firewood, a 6ft. bundle of roofing-grass, a huge basket, a sack of charcoal. They walk with great dignity in convoy across the landscape from a distant well, elegantly balancing large galvanized buckets — but they will suffer dreadful arthritis. Children emulate their mothers with smaller burdens. Older boys will lead bullock carts or drive goats along the roadside.

It’s true, Africa ‘grabs’ you, despite its appalling problems. I was very surprised at the depth of ‘culture shock’ I felt when we returned home. England looked wonderfully lush and green, but seemed self-absorbed in consumerism and petty post-election politics. We have all much to learn from Africa of joy, simplicity and lack of materialism. Please pray for Malawi, and the church of St. Peter’s, Lilongwe, whose African Eucharist sustained us, and whose Mother’s Union danced joyfully in the aisle.

Calling all Covenanters

Following last month’s article (‘Something for Nothing’) — are you intending to enter into a covenant? If so, please act now and see the Churchwardens.

A Reminder those Covenanters whose current Deed expires this year. Please renew your covenant and ensure it is completed and dated before 5th April. Many thanks to those who boost the church’s income in this way. It is very much appreciated.

This Month’s Cover

..features two more items unearthed from the archives. There seems to have been no regular magazine or newsletter in the first year of the church’s life:
the September 1901 ‘Monthly Leaflet’ is the first such surviving communication. It is lodged in Crosby Library archives in a bound volume, and is in what the trade calls ‘slightly foxed’ condition (spotty!) Elsewhere in this issue we print the first of a series of extracts from these early leaflets.

The ‘Hymn Tune and Double Chant’ reproduced below the leaflet banner were written by Mr George E. Lewis, the first Organist and Choirmaster of St Faith’s. He seems to have spent much of his earlier years of office appealing desperately for more choir members; nevertheless he built up a fine choir and a fine reputation.

We came by the music from Mr Michael Dickinson, grandson of George Lewis, on the occasion of the recent funeral of his mother, Joyce Dickinson, ex-Captain of the West Lancashire Golf Club. The hymn, ‘Sun of my Soul’ was sung to George Lewis’s tune at the funeral: it is typically Victorian in its musical flavour. We are grateful for this gift to our archives: the ‘Double Chant’ referred to on our cover may also be sung before too long; it could well have featured regularly when St Faith’s main services would have been Mattins and Evensong.

Parish Retreat (Advance Notice)

The Parish retreat to Chester is to take place on the 10th to 12th July this year. Our retreat will be conducted by a sister from the Order of the Holy Paraclete. This opportunity has been greatly appreciated over the past years by people from our parish, as a time when they are able to forget the stresses and strains of the world and get back to basics, and to centre their lives on God.

The Chester Retreat House is extremely comfortable, and has a peaceful chapel and library for prayer, study and meditation. The garden is especially beautiful at that time of year, and the summer house allows you the opportunity to enjoy the solitude in this typically English garden.

I hope that you will seriously consider this retreat, as even Our Lord recognised the need to get away from the world and consider the things of God.

For further details please contact Fr Christopher.

A Reflection on the Feast of the Annunciation        Fr Dennis

The Bible contains many stories of how God sent messages to human beings; indeed the Bible may be described as an extended communication from God to humanity. There are, however, some special features about the Annunciation which make it the most significant incident of its kind which scripture describes to us. The fact that the Annunciation message was prescribed by an angel is not unique; other people besides Mary are described as having the experience. Gabriel was sent to Daniel to tell him of the restoration of Jerusalem; to Zacharias to announce the coming birth of the son who was to be John the Baptist. Numbered among the recipients are the old and the very young, like the child Samuel, humble people and great kings.

The first remarkable point is God’s choice of Mary for the great, the fantastic responsibility for being the mother of the Redeemer, the Messiah, our Lord. Mary seems to have been a village girl, probably with only the very limited education given to such in those days; nevertheless, she must have had great faith, and as every Jewish girl must have hoped, the great joyful task of bearing the Messiah and bringing the child up would have been a sign and a token of God’s special care and love.

There is little in the New Testament about Mary after the birth of Jesus is recorded, but what there is, and the traditions of the Church, suggest she carried out her immense task with great courage, and quiet dignity, and above all love.

Mary is a type of believer for all times and places, in her quietness and confidence, the believer’s strength; in all that receptiveness of soul which is our life, and in that entire self-yielding to God which is our reasonable service. For all of us here it is a declaration of God’s purpose to reveal himself more fully to us, opening a way of salvation from our sins; we thank him for his mercy, his love and his goodness as shown to us in this great event, and what followed.

Almighty God, who by your grace called the blessed Virgin Mary and opened for all the door of infinite mercy and eternal light:
Fill us with your grace
that, through our obedience and faith, the world may rejoice in your mercy and walk in your light;
for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Thank You

Thank you to all who were concerned over my several nasty falls, for the lovely cards and the flowers I received during my incarceration. Also many thanks to Father Christopher for his visits: they were all much appreciated.

God bless you all,

Laurie Passingham

A CHURCH FOR ALL NATIONS   The Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, New York    
Alex and Kathleen Zimak

During our holiday in the United States we visited the Episcopal (Anglican) Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in New York, one of the grandest pieces of religious architecture in the world. In size it is the second biggest church in Christendom, second only to St. Peter’s in Rome. To give you some idea of its size, Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral is 5th in the world after the cathedrals in Milan and Seville, York Minster is 12th and St. Paul’s in London is 13th.

The great bronze doors of the central portal of the mighty facade, 207 ft in width, were cast in Paris by Barbedienne, who also cast the Statue of Liberty. We were impressed by the majesty of the vaulted ceiling soaring 124 ft above us, the height of a 12-storey building. The beautiful floor of the nave is made from eight different kinds of stone, with medallions dedicated to places of pilgrimage, such as Nazareth, Canterbury, Westminster and Santiago de Compostela.

Each bay of the nave represents a particular field of human endeavour. For instance the first bay on the north side is the Sports Bay. It is dedicated to Saint Hubert, who was converted to Christianity while pursuing a stag. The window above its altar shows football, tennis, fencing, swimming, skating, boxing, auto-racing etc. Other bays are dedicated to motherhood and fatherhood, education, lawyers, the press, labour, the arts and the armed forces. In one of the windows Ikmos, architect of Parthenon, is represented along with Wren, architect of St. Paul’s Cathedral. Hammurabi is shown receiving his code from the sun-god, next to Edward I dismissing most of his justices for corruption. Hippocrates, the so called ‘Father of Medicine’ appears in the same window with the beloved physician, St. Luke. The windows symbolize the fact that regardless of place, time and circumstance, the Holy Spirit is always at work in the lives of men and women.

Entering the choir, one is struck by two massive seven-branch Menorah candle-holders flanking the altar, like those used in Jewish synagogues. Of bronze overlaid with gold, each weighs more than a ton. They were designed after the candlesticks in Solomon’s Temple of Jerusalem. Here they portray the debt owed by Christianity to Judaism and are also memorials to the millions of innocent Jews 4 who perished in the Holocaust.
On either side of the choir is the organ. It has 141 ranks and 8035 pipes. 61 pipes are placed 500 feet from the rest of the organ under the rose window at the west end of the nave, to create the stunning effects achieved by the Royal Trumpeters in English cathedrals. It is dramatic beyond words and virtually unique in Christendom. To the right of the high altar is the Magna Carta pedestal, a shaft which was once part of the high altar of the Abbey of Bury St. Edmunds upon which in 1214 the barons swore fealty to each other when they wrested the Great Charter from King John.

From the apse radiate the Chapels of Tongues. As the end of the 19th century constituted a period of mass immigration into the United States, most of it through the Port of New York, the founders of the new Cathedral insisted that it be built as a house of prayer for all nations. Since then the community surrounding the Cathedral has become the most multi-national in the city. These Chapels were each dedicated to one of the major ethnic groups of the city and serve that group. The chapel of St. Columba is dedicated to people of Celtic descent and of English origins. In the central St. Saviour Chapel are figures of bishops, saints and scholars of the Eastern Church. There is a rock from Mars Hill, where St. Paul preached to the Athenians, given by the Greek Government in 1933. The chapel reminds us of this great portion of Christendom and our relationship to it. In the south wall is a shrine dedicated to the saints of Africa. It represents the Cathedral’s relationship with an extremely large and rapidly-expanding segment of the Christian Church. In the windows of the chapel of St. James the Great, patron saint of Spain, is the ubiquitous image of Christopher Columbus. Over the entrance of the chapel dedicated to St. Ansgar, Apostle to the North, is a glorious crystal chandelier given by the Government of Czechoslovakia in 1927.

Money to start building the Cathedral was raised by house-to-house collections in the Diocese, and the cornerstone was laid in 1892. The bedrock was very deep, the foundations extremely expensive. Services began in the crypt seven years later. Rich individuals gave whole chapels and a former U.S. Vice President donated money for the choir. Singers raised money by concerts, sportsmen by tennis and polo matches, actors by benefit performances. The choir and the four immense arches to support the spire at the crossing were completed in 19 years, and the full length of the Cathedral opened in 1941. Now roughly two-thirds is completed. The builders presently at work are taken from the local community, trained and directed by master masons from English cathedrals. They are reviving a craft which had all but died in the United States. Some of the greatest cathedrals took five hundred years to build, while St. John’s has taken only one hundred years so far. Even in its unfinished condition the Cathedral, or ‘Big John’ as it is affectionately known, is a profoundly moving edifice.

From the Registers

Holy Baptism
16 November Jackson Gaudie
son of Paul and Claire
Charlotte Mansell
daughter of Thomas and Julia
14 December Charlotte Carmichael
daughter of Andrew and Susanne
Simon Eames
son of Jill

9 December
By the Bishop of Warrington at St. John’s, Tuebrook Diana Hoskins

31 December
Margaret Eleanor Jones

Centenary Report           Chris Price

Since the brief report on our plans for St Faith’s Centenary in last month’s Newslink, a group of laity and clergy have met twice under Chris Price’s chairmanship to discuss plans and begin to work out a programme. This ad hoc Centenary Committee, in the continuing absence of a Vicar for St Faith’s and St Mary’s, is going ahead confidently and optimistically with plans which include ideas for happenings as far away as the autumn of Millennium Year.
St Faith’s foundation stone was laid on May 24th, 1898, and the church was finally consecrated in April 21st, 1900. Our own Centenary Celebrations will mirror this span of months and more. It will officially open on the Sunday after the Ascension, May 24th, when we will be delighted to welcome our most eminent St Faith’s Old Boy, Lord Runcie to preside at the Sung Eucharist. He was confirmed at St Faith’s, so it is good that on this special occasion he will also be administering confirmation to St Faith’s candidates. Following the service we will adjourn, as on an earlier festive occasion, to Merchant Taylors’ School for a meal and a get-together: the church hail would be too small to cope with the large numbers we are hoping to attract.

The actual Centenary of Consecration falls, of all days, on Good Friday in the fateful Year 2000: the one day in the year when any significant celebration would be impossible. In any case, we had agreed some time ago that our ‘rolling programme’ of festivities would wind up at the time of the Patronal Festival in October of that year. Between then and now we intend a lot of different things to happen on many and varied occasions; below is an outline of some of the ideas that have so far surfaced. Smaller groups are already at work sketching out a timetable of events and, as soon as we have a clear idea of how things are shaping, there will be a bulletin for each member of the congregation. We hope that we will
Celebrate in Worship
Celebrate with Music
Celebrate with Events
Celebrate the Past
Celebrate the Future

These pages will of course keep you informed about everything as we develop plans, but here are a few, sometimes tentative details.

Celebrating in Worship

This will, under God, be our over-riding priority. We have much to thank God for, and much to pray for, and we have a long list of bishops and priests to help us to do these things. St Faith’s has nurtured many vocations in its first century, as well as having been served by many priests: as vicars, curates and the ranks of those who have found their spiritual home here. We will be inviting all such surviving clerics to join us at some stage during the thirty months. Naturally, we will also be aiming to mark at least the greater festivals with some special emphasis. This spills over into the next heading..

Celebrating with Music

St Faith’s has from its beginnings laid special emphasis on music in its worship and life, and we want this to be reflected throughout the Celebrations. Our own excellent organist and choir will obviously head this up, but we will also be hoping for visits by as many other musicians of one sort or another as we can. George Gilford’s musicians from St Margaret’s, Anfield, will, we hope, be giving a concert this June. Merchant Taylors’ will provide some brass accompaniment at appropriate services, and their choirs and orchestras are thinking about concerts at St Faith’s. Other local schools —including Crosby Road and Manor High — will of course also be invited to join in the fun. Crosby Symphony Orchestra will be doing something, along, perhaps, with the Liverpool Male Voice Choir. Groups from both Cathedrals may make music for us, and we will provide outlets for instrumentalists, vocal and otherwise, as well, of course, as assorted organists. Among ideas being considered are summer Saturday lunchtime organ recitals in church, with refreshments, stalls and exhibitions laid on.

We are thinking, too, about the possibility of music specifically linked to St Faith’s. One idea is to recreate the worship of the past, using settings and anthems that were written for us, or that we know were sung a century ago. We might also be able to persuade people to write music for us: a setting, an anthem, a voluntary or a hymn tune, for example. If this involved the spending of money, then perhaps a sponsor might come forward.

Everything Else

In future issues we will expand on plans for events (theatrical, social, gastronomic etc) and for what might broadly be termed historical or archival happenings (recording events, publishing appropriate literature both in print and electronically etc), as well as plans for improving the look of the church in general and the back of church in particular and, we hope, providing some attractive artefacts to go in it. An early priority was the provision of some unifying labelling for the whole sequence of events, and the three-colour logo at the head of this article represents an attempt to do this. It will head service sheets, posters, notice boards, correspondence and the like — in fact it will be the means of identifying and tying together all that we are hoping to do over the thirty months. Finally, it of course worth pointing out that all these plans are just that — plans. The group that came together to kick start the programme were in a sense self-appointed, but we are not an exclusive club. Everyone is welcome to provide ideas and offers of help. There is no compulsion to be committed to a demanding programme of work: brainstorming is just as valuable as elbow grease! Although we are having to plan now in some detail for the late spring and early summer of this year, the diary is full of blanks from then on, and we fully expect to develop ideas ‘on the hoof’ as the year moves on. And, of course, we confidently expect that before too long we will have an incumbent to head up the whole process and to join us in celebrating a century of witness and prayer at St Faith’s.

Turning up the Heat

Despite a relatively mild winter, we have received more than one complaint in recent weeks about the temperature in church (students of the St Faith’s archives will find that this sort of complaint is almost a century old!). We are sorry that we have not been able to make the church as warm as we would like. The heating system is working reasonably well these days, but it is expensive to run. As we have more than once pointed out in the last year or so, congregational numbers have fallen, and, more importantly, so has regular income while, of course, at the same time costs of almost everything we use have increased. As a result we have cut down the hours the system is switched on in advance of 10.30 am on Sundays as an economy measure. The simple fact is that, up to a point, we get the heating we can afford to pay for. We review the situation regularly, and turn up the heat when we can and for special occasions; meanwhile we rely on hot air from the pulpit and warm clothes in the pews (Winter draws on, Vicar...)

Children’s Society Auction Appeal
Offers of items for a Charity Auction to be held in aid of the Children’s Society are being sought by members of the Crosby Appeals Committee. They can be contacted on either 924 6063 or 924 6267.

The auction will be held on Saturday March 21st in St Faith’s Church Hall, starting with viewing at 10.00 am; the Auction itself will begin at 12.00 noon.
Admission will be by catalogue at the door for £1.00, and refreshments will be available.

Thank You

Doris Halsall and family would like to thank sincerely Father Christopher for his very special help and support before, during and after Bill’s passing away.
Our grateful thanks go also to the many friends at St Faith’s Church, and to John Jowett for his comforting care. May God bless you all

Time to Savour the Days

When Michael Henshall was Bishop of Warrington, his family lived in Crosby and worshipped regularly at St Faith’s. They write to tell us of their lives in retirement in North Yorkshire. The Editor will be happy to help anyone to get in touch.

‘Whatever will you do with yourselves?’ We were often asked that question before we left. Everybody seemed to be sure that we would never settle down in retirement! Well, we can only say that the last fifteen months have been one of the happiest periods of our lives. This is, truly, the ‘Third Age’, filled with all the leisure and promise for which we hoped.

We look back on our Liverpool years with enormous pleasure and gratitude for the friendships, excitement and even the hard work! Nowadays we feel so relaxed that it is sometimes difficult to believe just how busy we once were. We heard so many retired people saying that they had never been so busy in their lives that we determined from the start that we would not fill our days with ‘doing’ but give ourselves the opportunity to ‘be’.

The greatest gift is time: time to read, to dream, listen to music, explore new ideas (and old ones) and above all, time just to enjoy being with each other. Evenings at home are still a novelty and we often find ourselves saying, with surprise, ‘We don’t have to do that’. It’s rather like being let out of school!

This is the first time in over 40 years of marriage that we are living in a house which we have chosen ourselves. We have never been so warm and snug in our lives! It has been really lovely to make our new home in this beautiful valley, looking up to the hills in one direction and with Whitby, full of religious and seafaring history, just four miles away in the other. We often walk by the sea and marvel at the amazingly clear quality of the light and the incredible sunsets.

The family see more of us now, as we are free to visit them often. In November we acted as ‘butler’ and ‘maid’ to Caroline’s family in their vicarage in a huge Newcastle estate, when her third baby was born, a little boy called Jonathan Samuel — he is our eighth grandchild in eight years. In the
same deanery Nick, who is the vicar of Scotswood, copes with a vast unemployed population and large numbers of teenagers. Both families are very supportive to one another. It is a far cry to Kent, where Chris is head of department at Tonbridge School, so we feel we could write a sociological survey based on the varied environments in which the members of our family now live!
It is also good to have the opportunity to see many of our old friends, with time to travel around and to welcome visitors here. You may know about this area from TV pictures in ‘Heartbeat’, fumed mostly around Goathland, just three miles from here. The visit of the ‘Endeavour’ last May and her subsequent refit here for ten weeks last autumn also brought fame to Whitby, as did the great Pilgrimage service in the Abbey ruins last June.

You might like to know that we invested the generous gift which we received from the diocese and decided to use the interest for special occasions, so we remember you all with thanks when we go to the theatre or enjoy other treats. It has become a very special, ‘ongoing’ present.

We have also enjoyed choosing books from the many tokens which we have received from parishes and groups. The local garden centre and Smiths have also benefited from such presents. We are indebted to the Pastoral Committee for making us members of the National Trust, giving us the joy of many delightful visits.

All this ‘freedom’ also allows us to be involved with the community here in various ways, in addition to Michael’s occasional ministry to local clergy and parishes and other commitments such as St Chad’s College, Durham and as editor of the journal of the College of Preachers. His leap year birthday belies his solemn age, as 1998 really only allows him 17½ real celebrations

We both find it a great help to pray together and have ‘quiet time’ in our upstairs study/chapel/den, where we use ‘Celebrating Common Prayer’ and daily give thanks for and remember the places where we have lived and served in the past, including dear St Faith’s, of course. It would be lovely to see some of you if you ever venture this way.

Meantime we send you our greetings.
With our love and prayers,
Steve and Michael Henshall

Keep it Clean, Please!            Angie Price

Have you noticed that the Chapel of the Cross is looking rather grubby lately?
Have you seen the accumulation of dust in certain parts of the church? Do
you think that there is rather a lot of stuff in unsightly piles in various areas?
If the answer to any of these is yes, please read on
The plain truth is that there aren’t enough people coming forward to staff all the cleaning and dusting rotas for St Faith’s. There are three cleaning areas:
the main body of the church; the Lady Chapel; and the Chapel of the Cross with the Sanctuary — and there is one general dusting rota. The rota lists are posted on the notice board at the back of church, and there are several gaps that need filling, mostly to replace people who have left Church or who can no longer help for other reasons.

If the gaps aren’t filled, then either the work has to be done by one of the organisers, or it doesn’t get done and the church suffers as a result. Is there anyone out there who could help on a regular basis? It need only involve one stint every so often, or of course you could help as much as you can manage, but your presence would mean the gaps being filled and everyone else having to turn up less often. Volunteers can work as individuals or as part of a team, and it is almost always possible to arrange an exchange if your listed time causes problems. So, if you can wield a mop or a duster, please see me and I will explain further and find you a time and a place.
And the untidy piles around the place? Well, you are doubtless aware that we have a Centenary coming up, and we intend to mount a Spring Cleaning session before too long. Part of this will involve cleaning and tidying the places other cleaners don’t reach (not just the obvious areas, but places that need ladders or even scaffolding to get at) — and in the process sort out all such accumulated material wherever it may be. Watch this space for details and a chance to get the church clean (and yourself dirty) in the best possible company. But of course, it’s no good getting everything looking lovely if there aren’t enough people to keep it that way. So please think whether you could help, and see me in the Hall after Church on any Sunday morning — and why not buy some of our marmalade and jam while you’re at it?


News from St Faith’s website, or ‘Atcherley, I’m not quite sure’
The Church website has been up and running now for almost a year, and has registered over 3000 ‘hits’ from visitors looking at its pages. Quite a few of these have left complimentary comments in our ‘Visitors’ Book’, so that we know that the site had been favourably received. It is now possible for those who can access the Internet to read details of the church’s resources, its history and its features, accompanied by a wealth of colour photographs (the windows, the reredos, the Stations of the Cross, the clergy) and also by the sounds of the choir, the clergy and others singing, preaching and reading. There are still very few churches locally on the Net, and we think we are ahead of the field — not just as a piece of advertising but as a means of spreading the gospel abroad.

And the readership is international, as a recent e-mail Chris Price received will demonstrate. A lady from Edmonton, Canada, ‘wrote’ enquiring about the name of Atcherley, which she said featured on the list of Churchwardens of St Faith’s in 1919. And so it did, along with two others — but for that year only. Research in the 1919 Magazine archives revealed that Roger Atcherley was made a Warden at the spring A.G.M. but resigned less than three months later. Tantalisingly, no reason is given for this brief tenure of office!

A school colleague who shares the writer’s fascination with archives and history dug around in Crosby Library and found plenty of evidence of Mr Atcherley, who lived at various addresses in Blundellsands and belonged to a firm of Liverpool merchants. The information was e-mailed back to the lady from Canada, with a request to know how she had traced the St Faith’s reference in the first place. It transpired that she had used a ‘search engine’ to look for information under ‘Genealogy’ and ‘Atcherley’ and found our reference. Search engines trawl through every piece of information on the Net and pinpoint relevant matches — and the History pages of our website list the Wardens since the church’s foundation! We had helped Roger Atcherley’s grand-daughter fill in a few more pieces in her genealogical jigsaw (which includes an Atcherley Lord Mayor of London and another who seemingly married a Hawaiian Princess!) and also had further proof of the amazing power and coverage of the World Wide Web, Truly, we are not alone!