The Parish Magazine of St Faith`s Church, Great Crosby
MAY 2004

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From the Ministry Team     May 2004

Life and drive filled the worship in the days that followed the Ascension. ‘Lift up your hearts’ in any language has in its phrasing a call to openness and joyful service. The terse sursum corda - ‘up with your hearts’ ™ has an added dynamism.

We need not be puzzled to find that the friends of Jesus felt no sadness of farewell at their experience of parting with him. The ascension was not an end, but rather an assurance that the work their master had begun was, indeed, successfully completed. He ascended and thus became more widely active. Not for one place only, but for a whole world would this finished work be available.

There was no dismay at the ascension of one who, to their great joy, had first descended, and became identified with their lives in all their needs and struggles.

Cheerfulness clearly broke in upon the farewell party. They knew that there was a future in their life ahead. There was work for them to do. They had received a vision of the scope of their new commission to go into all the world. They knew that a parting did not cancel the abiding presence of the one who had overcome so much in his short earthly life.

Visitors who made the pilgrimage to the hill of the ascension outside the city of Jerusalem’s walls, as I have done twice when on visits to Israel in 1976 and 1983, are often disappointed with the view. Looking eastwards over range upon range of misty hills, all seems dulled and grey. There is a sense of distance, but few details in the landscape stand out prominently; nothing is very clear.

The vision of those who were left standing after their awareness of the ascension, had little to do with the view out to the Dead Sea and beyond. They were not moved to gaze for long at the clouds obscuring their sight, or at the mists and vapours which blurred the view. They had the vision of a presence; hearts and minds, rather than the eyes, were lifted to see the meaning of all that had happened.

So, for us, ‘lift up your hearts’, which we say at the beginning of the Eucharistic Prayer of Thanksgiving, asserts a union of hearts. It expresses the love which is the heart of every prayer and encourages action, even if the next move involves waiting and demands patience before progress can be seen.

This invitation to open up heart and mind in joyful sharing is no palliative, no self-deception. There is no suggestion that we are called to ‘Cheer up, it may never happen’.  We rejoice because so much has happened. The vision leaves nothing out: even at the glorious ascension, the thought of the cross and all the agony involved is present. Now the vision of the cross widens and spans the space between heaven and earth, between ideals and present realities; the arms of the cross embrace the whole world, reaching down to the most helpless and sordid of human miseries, and yet promising life and victory.

With every blessing,
Fr. Dennis

Words of Wisdom 
by GEORGE CONSTANZA (supplied by Denis Whalley)

The most unfair thing about life is the way it ends. I mean, life is tough. It takes up a lot of your time. What do you get at the end of it? A death. What’s that, a bonus?

I think the life-cycle is all backwards. You should die first, get it out of the way. Then you go live in an old folks’ home. You get kicked out for being too healthy and go and collect your pension. Then, when you start work, you get a gold watch on your first day. You work for forty years until you're young enough to enjoy your retirement. You drink alcohol, you party, and you get ready for High School. You go on to primary school, you become a kid, you play, you have no responsibilities, you become a little baby.

You go back, you spend your last nine months floating with luxuries like central heating, spa, room service in tap — then you finish off as an intensely pleasurable experience! Amen....


May Devotions to the Blessed Virgin Mary
Sunday 2nd May at 6pm

Choral Evensong, Sermon,
Procession and Benediction
Preacher: Canon Richard Capper
(Wakefield Cathedral)
followed by a glass of wine

Monday 26th April at 7.30pm
Sung Eucharist to celebrate S. Mark’s Day
followed by wine and the Annual Parochial Church Meeting.

Sunday 6th June
S. Mary’s Patronal Festival
Celebrant and Preacher: The Right Reverend Jim Roxburgh

Followed by BBQ lunch with live jazz band, bouncy castle and games for the children. Book the date in your diary now!
(Please note there will be no 1100 Eucharist in S. Faith‘s that day)

Sacrament of Confirmation

The Bishop of Beverley, the Right Reverend Martyn Jarrett, will administer the sacrament of confirmation when he comes to S. Faith‘s this All Saints-tide, Sunday 31st October at 10.30am. Any adults or children (year 5 upwards) wishing to be confirmed must speak to Fr. Neil as soon as possible. Confirmation Classes led by Joyce Green and Jackie Parry will begin after Easter.

Thursday May 20th

followed by Breakfast in the Vicarage

7.30pm  said Eucharist with hymns

Sunday 30th May

to celebrate the Birthday of the Church
Preacher: The Reverend Dr Michael Hampel
(S. Chad’s College, Durham, Patrons of the living of S. Faith’s)

Deanery Pilgrimage to Liverpool Cathedral
Kathleen Zimak

As part of the cathedral’s centenary celebrations this year, the Dean and Chapter have issued an invitation to each deanery to make a day long pilgrimage to the cathedral on Saturdays during the summer. The date allocated to the Sefton and Bootle deaneries is July 3rd from 10 a.m. until 4.30 p.m. A group of clergy and laity has met to plan the day. The purposes of the pilgrimage, we think, should be to have an opportunity to explore the many aspects of this magnificent building with the help of expert guides; to join together in worship in the Diocesan mother church, to have the experience of working and worshipping with other parishes, to make a spiritual pilgrimage, through music, drama, prayer and fellowship and finally to break down barriers between the parishes and the cathedral.

Buses will pick up ‘pilgrims’ from their parishes along the route from Formby and return at the end of the day to the starting points. The day will begin with a welcome from the Dean, followed by a short service led by members of the Deaneries. There will then be three opportunities to join in a variety of workshops.  It is hoped that these will include art, drama, a cathedral tour (including a visit to the Tower), a visit to the Embroidery museum, a Taizé music group, a worship sign language group and an opportunity to join in a time of reflection and meditation. There will be a special programme for children in the new Education Centre. The day will end with participation in Choral Evensong. The cost of the day is likely to be no more than £5 and hot drinks will be provided. We are asked to take our own packed lunches: although the Cathedral refectory is a great lure it is unfortunately very small!

The working party is led by Canon David Parry, area dean of Bootle, and other members are Maggie Flodman and the Rev Janice Collier from Holy Trinity Formby, Canon Alison, vicar of St Luke's Formby, the Rev Roger Driver, priest-in-charge, Bootle Team Ministry, the Rev Gregor Cuff, vicar of Christ Church Waterloo and myself Please pass any queries, comments or special requests to me. We hope to have a good representation from our United Benefice, so put it in your diaries now!

‘Dug In’
By the Revd S. J. FORREST
With thanks to Ron Crawley, St John the Baptist, Meols

‘Mothers’ Union goes underground in parishes’
(Press headline)

They say our Mothers’ Union is driven underground,
The Vicar doesn’t like it, and considers it unsound;
He says the old societies are running all to seed,
And claims the Church’s fellowship the only guild we need.

But Mothers of the neighbourhood, in overwhelming force,
Consider this a species of parochial divorce,
And mean to show the Vicar what their argument is worth
By underground resistance from the bowels of the earth.

The rebels have constructed, under cover of the gloom,
A labyrinth of catacombs beneath the parish-room,
Like the warren of a rabbit, or the burrows of a mouse,
Connected on the telephone with Mary Sumner House.

The local crypto-secretary secretly designs
A complicated masonry of esoteric signs;
While Members are detected in the act of passing slips,
And holding conversations through the comers of their lips.

Fanatical enthusiasts emphatically mean
To detonate a quantity of nitro-glycerine,
Though the good enrolling-member unsuccessfully exclaims
That blowing up the Vicarage is not among the Aims.

The Vicar plans invasion of their clandestine redoubt,
With cylinders of tear gas he intends to have them out;
But cynical parishioners, he ventured to consult,
Suggested that his sermons might achieve the same result.

Letter to Dr Laura


On her radio show recently, Dr Laura Schlesinger said that, as an observant Orthodox Jew, homosexuality is an abomination according to Leviticus 18:22, and cannot be condoned under any circumstance. The following response is an open letter to Dr. Laura, penned by a college Professor, which was posted on the Internet. It’s funny, as well as informative.

Dear Dr. Laura,

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God’s Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. ... End of debate.

I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements of God‘s Law and how to follow them.

When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odour for the Lord (Lev.1:9). The problem is my neighbours. They claim the odour is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighbouring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can’t I own Canadians?

I have a neighbour who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?

A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination (Lev. 11:10), it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don‘t agree. Can you settle this? Are there degrees of abomination?

Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some ‘wiggle room’ here?

Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev.19:27. How should they die?

I know from Lev.11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev.19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? (Lev.24:10-16). Couldn’t we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy considerable expertise in such matters, so I am confident you can help.

Thank you again for reminding us that God’s word is eternal and unchanging.

Parish Portraits
Chris Price

Recently, my retirement has been enlivened by reading an excellent book and watching a most interesting TV series. They have in common the subject of  Anglican parish life, but they reflect it in very different ways.

The book (not yet published: I am in the happy position of reading and reviewing pre-publication proofs) goes by the title of ‘Mysteries of Glass’, and it is written by Sue Gee. Set towards the end of the eighteenth-century, it is an affectionate portrait of a young curate taking up his first position in a delectable country parish on the Welsh borders. At first all is good and the book delightfully portrays its protagonist coming to terms with rural parish life: the visiting, studying and preaching, and the deep affection for the natural beauty in which he finds himself set. As he grows in confidence, however, he falls in  love,  despite  himself,  with  the  wife  of  his  ailing  and doctrinaire rector. He agonises with his conscience as he eventually yields to love; his feelings and that of the girl are movingly described. The book, inevitably, has no happy ending but it is by no means entirely pessimistic, and for me its chief delight lies in the portraying of a lost age of England - and of the Church of England. In this rural idyll, people know their place and that of the Church to which they give their automatic allegiance. But the moral code is severe and unyielding and personal happiness seems always to come a poor second to duty and doctrine.

The TV series is called ‘A Seaside Parish’. Some years ago, the BBC filmed an earlier series (‘ Country Parish’) following the work of a parish priest moving from a suburban living to a rural one. He had to come to terms with a range of problems, and, after the series ended, sadly chose to abandon parish life, partly due to the pressures of a mountain of correspondence from viewers seeking his pastoral help. I very much hope that the same thing doesn’t happen to the Revd Christine Masson, vicar of a cluster of village churches centred on the north Cornish seaside village of Boscastle.

The series is, as I write, ongoing, but she is coping well. The everyday portrait of a priest faithfully doing God‘s work of care and prayer is a heartening one, not least in the way it counters the more common prevailing TV images of the C. of E. as a church more likely to be peopled (in and below the pulpit!) by eccentrics, trendies, gays and heretics. She has her made-for-TV moments, of course: meeting local witches, posing for a nude builders’ calendar (the builders are nude, not the Vicar!), and being menaced by nocturnal jellies on the doorstep (you’ll have to watch it!) - but the most interesting thing to me is that she is a woman priest, divorced and remarried, and has a real compassion for outcasts, misfits, and those to whom, not so long ago, the Church would have had no mission or contact. Anglicanism has come a long way from the pattern of life so faithfully and beautifully portrayed by Sue Gee, but it would, I think, be a real mistake simply to deplore the loss of old certainties and values. Gee’s curate is ostracised and disciplined for forbidden desires: Boscastle’s vicar would be more likely to have understood him and made him and his like part of her ministry of compassionate understanding. That she, and so many like her, survive in the 21st century to bring God to her flock is reassuring and heartening. Her life is no idyll, for all the wild beauty of her parishes’ landscapes - but neither is it bound by a rigid, unforgiving and class-ridden hypocrisy. And for that we should offer humble thanks to the God of the Church.

Diary of a Parish Priest
Fr Neil

If you look at the website you will see pictures of a wonderful blue sky above the group of people who walked from Merchant Taylors’ School to S. Faith’s for the Palm Sunday High Mass. It so happened that the day coincided with the Parade Service, so it was a special day for the younger members of both parishes. We had considered whether to ‘chicken out’ of Parade on Palm Sunday - how do we send them away happy when there’s all the gloom and doom of a long Passion reading? Mothering Sunday is so much easier!

Coming to church was for both groups of youngsters the first event of a very busy and happy day. At S. Mary’s we numbered just under 100 people in all (some 35 youngsters there) which wasn’t at all bad for 9.30 in the morning! We met outside the church and before blessing the Palm Crosses sang ‘We have a king who rides a donkey’ (if you don‘t know it, it goes to the tune performed as one of the Pantomime numbers ‘What shall we do with the drunken sailor?’!). We processed in singing ‘Sing Hosanna’ and then the Brownies and Rainbows went into S. Mary’s Hall with the Sunday School to get involved in various activities. The service continued with the reading of the Passion and after Communion we welcomed some 25 donkeys into church. Or I should say ‘donkey masks’which the youngsters displayed, as we sadly didn’t have a real one this year.

After shaking hands as quickly as I could it was off to Merchant’s for the Blessing of the Palms (in reality 10.45 for 10.30!). The wind was blowing in the wrong direction so most of the Holy Water I intended for the palm branches went over me. It kept me awake! S. Faith’s Junior Church led this procession with more donkey masks!

We were then joined at church by members of our ‘Bobcats’ and Brownies and the High Mass began. With some 150 people in church the crowd shouting ‘Crucify!’ was very loud. S. Faith’s Junior Church again displayed their masks and the colourful palm branches they had made.  After my usual desperate plea to try and get people to come throughout Holy Week, the service ended.

Fr. Dennis very kindly did the 1.00pm baptisms so that I could go back to S. Mary’s. The Brownies and Rainbows had been doing all kinds of exciting things since their service ended and when I arrived we all went into church and very informally  walked around  the Stations of the Cross.   This is a new thing for us at S. Mary’s and the children were fantastic at recounting what was happening at each station. A quiet time of prayer, and then I tried my hand at making chocolate nests. Think that’s what they are called. Something to do with melted chocolate, broken up Shreddies (ugh) and very sticky fingers.

Back to the Vicarage for a very quick lunch and then into S. Faith’ Hall where the leaders there had devised an equally exciting day of activities to keep the children happy. The chocolate truffles they made were delicious (Palm Sunday 2004 = Chocolate Sunday!) and they enjoyed all sorts of games until 5.00pm when they were sent home, having been given more palm crosses.

My very grateful thanks and admiration goes to the adult leaders, in both churches, who had obviously worked so very hard to make Palm Sunday something special. Seeing some 70+ children in all pass through the doors of our two churches is such a heartening sign. I know it doesn’t happen every Sunday, perhaps we would just take it for granted if it did, but it is good when it does happen.

So many, many thanks are to be extended to many people. It was great fun joining in with all the games and activities. On such days I realise what a real privilege it is to be a priest, and indeed to be here. (I am trying to resist the temptation to say, ‘however, there is always tomorrow’ so I won’t!) I am certainly hoping that it is the start of yet another moving and enjoyable Holy Week here at S. Mary’s and S. Faith’

The Hunger Site
As more and more people are surrendering to the blandishments of the internet, this is a good time to advertise again the existence of an admirable website. The Hunger Site exists to relieve famine and hardship worldwide, and one of its principal weapons is the facility for anyone and everyone to fund food at the click of a mouse. The donations are paid for by sponsors, who naturally promote their wares on the site. But all you need to do is to add the site to your ‘favourites’, log on daily and with one click supply help. The website address is supplied via the ‘LINKS’ page from our own site and the editor, who put it there and uses it daily, hopes you will visit it regularly.

Douglas Horsfall and St Chad’s
Chris Price

On Pentecost Sunday the visiting preacher at St Faith’s will be the Revd Michael Hampel, Senior Tutor of St Chad‘s College, Durham. Many readers will know that the governing body of St Chad’s are patrons of the living at St Faith. This means that they are involved in the process of choosing vicars here, and that one of their number presents each incoming incumbent to the Bishop as the new parish priest is instituted and inducted. Some may also be aware that our founder and benefactor, Douglas Horsfall, was also the founder of that college. Thanks to Mary Rae, ‘H.D.H’s’ grand-daughter, something more of the story of the college and its connections can be told.

At the beginning of the last century the only places men could train for the priesthood were the colleges of Oxford and Cambridge. In 1902 an experiment began in the little village of Hooton Pagnell, near Doncaster, where the vicar opened a hostel for men of limited means to study for ordination. It was Douglas Horsfall who, keen to see a supply of suitable candidates maintained for ‘Anglo-Catholic’churches (he and his family had already founded St Faith’s and other Liverpool churches), gave generous and continuing financial support to the new establishment. In due course, the venture came to flourish and expand and, in 1904, became affiliated to Durham University and opened as St Chad’s Hall there. In 1910 it became incorporated as St Chad’s College and, while continuing to retain a measure of independence, was in 1923 recognised as a constituent college of the University.

St Chad’s has come a long way from its humble beginnings, and that it has done so is clearly due in very real measure to the foresight and support of its founder and ours. The College has recognised this by the naming of one of its buildings Douglas House, labelling a room the Horsfall Room, and awarding a number of Douglas Horsfall medals. And back in June 1907, at the University Convocation, the Principal awarded Mr Horsfall the University’s first honorary M.A. degree. In his address on that day he paid tribute to the generosity of a private benefactor’s willingness to do what public institutions had not done at that time, by helping to ensure that, with the great expansion of Britain‘s urban population, places of worship and priests to serve them could be provided to meet the growing demand.

And that is, of course, what Douglas Horsfall had done in 1900 by the foundation of Saint Faith’s, Great Crosby. He awarded the patronage of the living to St Chad’s College and it remains there today. Although the College now provides a wide range of courses, theological and secular, and has expanded greatly, it retains its Anglican ethos and distinctive churchmanship, and members of its academic staff have visited us regularly over the years, not just to present incumbents but to preach from our pulpit and to mark certain special occasions.

A visit to the St Chad‘s website (linked from our home page) will tell much more of the history of the college and its foundation, as well as listing the various churches, five of which are in Liverpool, of which St Chad’s are patrons. St Chad is of course one of the carved figures on our chancel screen, together with St Agnes and St Paul, two other St Chad’s patronage churches. They, and the other associated churches on Merseyside and elsewhere, bear lasting tribute to a family, and a man, to whom our church and much of what we value about it, owe so much.

10 Houses, 2 Churches, 1 Retreat in 1 Village
Kevin Walsh

The church of St Edmund the Martyr is located in the picturesque Yorkshire village of Marske-in-Swaledale. Coincidentally, so is David‘s House, home to St Faith’s Men’s Group annual retreat.

On a crisp February morning, leaving other members of the group to indulge in a number of activities including, gardening, decorating, sleeping, wig repairs and meal preparation, Fr Charles (Group Chaplain), Bill Parry, Chester (Group Mascot) and I ventured out into the cold to walk to the nearby Parish Church.

This charming church, half hidden by foliage, is dedicated to St Edmund. He was a popular Saxon saint and the fact that the church is dedicated to him may indicate an earlier foundation than the present building, which dates from about 1090. The south doorway is Norman and the blocked north doorway is of the same period.

Major restoration work took place in 1683. The chancel arches and the pillars date from this restoration. The font is also mid-17th century.

In 1822 the Bishop of Chester, in whose Diocese this parish was until 1836, when the Diocese of Ripon was formed, visited the church and afterwards made a report complaining about the seating and paving as well as the exterior. He even went as far as to suggest rebuilding rather than repairing it. That suggestion was not taken up, but the pews and pulpit were added.

The church was again restored in 2000, its full complement of box pews, including a large more refined family pew survive. The church registers date from 1597.

The village also has a Methodist Church which stands on the site of Clints Hall. This small chapel is thought to have been built either from the stones of the hall, or to be the remnants of the hall‘s private Roman Catholic chapel. Methodists have worshipped there since 1850.

Being Fair at Saint Faith’s
Kathy Zimak

When you drink your next cup of coffee or tea in the Church Hall it is worth considering that it is a bit like eating a sausage - it is easy to enjoy until you know what has gone into it. No I am not criticising the expertise of the Sunday coffee teams or the good people who purchase the ingredients! But I'm suggesting that you ask a few questions about what you are drinking.

Where and how was the coffee grown, and how much were the growers paid? Maybe you would not have enjoyed it quite as much if you had known the answers to these questions. For instance, did you know that twenty five million coffee farmers across the world are facing immense economic hardship because world prices for coffee have fallen drastically? How would you have felt if you had known that your cup of coffee had been produced by one of these farmers?

Now, thanks to a resolution of the PCC, it will be very easy to answer these questions very positively, and to continue enjoying your coffee break with a clear conscience: at a recent meeting the Church Council made St Faith’s a FAIR TRADE church.

This resolution may not have seemed very ground-breaking at the time of the meeting. But it is not being over dramatic to say that this one decision could make it possible for a community overseas to break free from destitution. It may have been, therefore, one of the most far reaching decisions that our church has ever made


The true life stories of three individuals will illustrate how ‘being fair at St Faith’s’ can make a difference to ordinary men and women in the developing world.

SIVAPACKIAM is a tea picker in Sri Lanka.  She is married, with four children and is 38 years old. She has been picking tea on the same estate for 23 years. Her mother and grandmother did the same job before her a hard life. At one time they were paid the bare minimum wage and did not dare to challenge the estate managers about their lot. There were no unions to ensure that their working conditions were satisfactory. The tea estate where she works is now Fairtrade registered.  The Fair Trade standards stipulate that the producers are paid a price that covers sustainable production and living: that they are paid a ‘premium’ so that producers can invest in development, in return for guaranteeing the workers a decent wage, the right to join trade unions and good housing. Minimum health and safety standards must be complied with and no child or forced labour must be used.

Sivapackiam represents her fellow workers on a Joint Body, which decided the use of the Fairtrade premium. ‘A year ago we had no electricity in our houses. All the members of the Joint Body got together to decide how we might install it. Some came from the Fairtrade premium and we each took out a loan. Thanks to electricity my children can study at night in the morning I can iron their clothes and we can use a hot plate for cooking. I am happy Fair Trade helps me support my family.’

JUAN is a sugar cane farmer in Costa Rica. 35 years old, he’s married with five children. He sells his sugar to a local farmer’s association which his father helped found. This association in turn sells 60% of the produce to the organic Fair trade market. Fair-trade criteria ensure contracts that allow long-term planning for farmers. The result for Juan is stability. ‘I know that if I bring my sugar to the association they’ll buy from me at a fixed price. I’ve got security. In the old days selling was difficult. Sometimes the middle man bought from one man and then another. You never knew. There were terrible fluctuations in the national price. Those were bad months.’

GUILLERMO is a coffee farmer and co-op manager in Costa Rica. He is married with two daughters and is 41 years old. He has happy memories of picking coffee as a child on his father’s farm. He wants to preserve this way of life of his children. ‘I want them to retain their love of the land and being part of nature. We do not want them to leave the land and be dependent on other people for food.’ He is in a good position to see the benefit that Fairtrade has had for the coffee farmers. ‘If we did not have Fairtrade sales, the farmers would be cutting down their trees. 100% of our coffee goes to the Fair-trade market. The current price of coffee in the country otherwise doesn't even cover the cost of producing coffee.’

From now on, our stocks of sugar, tea and coffee will be bought from shops which stock brands that bear the Fair trade mark seen at the top of this article. We now have a big choice. All our local supermarkets now have Fair Trade products on their shelves. The Cooperative stores were trail blazers in this, but Sainsbury and Tesco have their own brands of Fair Trade coffee and tea. On Tesco shelves I saw for the first time this week Fair Trade sugar direct from the growers in Malawi.  Here is another way of supporting our friends in that poor country. We know that by buying these we are guaranteeing the producers a better deal and a more hopeful future.

So does it mean that we will be able to give less money to church funds from the voluntary contributions given for tea and coffee?  Yes, these products may be more expensive than those we used to buy but at Cooperative prices your cup of tea will still cost less than a penny to produce, so the inroads into this stream of funding need not be too great. Perhaps we can dig into our pockets to pay just a little extra for the excellent service we receive in the church hall. The question is ‘Who will pay the price if we don’t?’For the developing countries that price may be crippling, while we would barely notice the difference.  As the rich in relative terms, Jesus tells us that we have a responsibility. ‘Where someone has been given much, much will be expected of him (or her!)’ Yes, we need to give our own church tremendous financial support — but that support should be a starting-point, not an end of our Christian giving. There are more references in the Bible to responding to the poor than about prayer, atonement or Jesus’ resurrection. Jesus said he came to free the poor.  If we are following Him then we have to do the same

Tea coffee and sugar are only three of the products that come to us from the poorer countries of the south: there will be more information about this in a future issue. In the meantime just look out for the Fair trade logo in your local shop and support the producers by your purchases.


After fifty years of wondering why he was so unlike his younger brother and sister, the man finally got up the nerve to ask his mother whether he was adopted.

‘Yes, you were, son,’ she said as she started to cry softly. ‘But it didn’ work out and they brought you back.’

Fasting and Feasting
Fr. Neil

As one whose favourite dishes include sausage and mash, the headline of the following article caught my attention! You may remember I began Lent by preaching about fasting, reminding people that the discipline of fasting was encouraged by the rubrics of Common Worship 2000. This article reminds us that it is also enshrined within the pages of the Book of Common Prayer, although self-professed anglo-catholics and devotees of the BCP alike are sometimes happy to ignore the injunction. The following is written by Fr. NICHOLAS TURNER and found in the pages of the magazine ‘New Directions’.

Too Fond of Sausages

‘One of the more amusing events in the otherwise austere Swiss Reformation was the ‘Supper of the Sausage’. In 1522, on the First Sunday in Lent, Christoph Froschauer solemnly sat down with twelve companions, cut up a sausage and passed it around to his friends, and they ate. The injunction not to eat meat in Lent, this parody proclaimed, is a law of man not of God.

According to my reading of the table at the front of the Book of Common Prayer (Vigils, Fasts and Days of Abstinence), there are 108 fast days this year out of 366, comprising (roughly) the forty days of Lent - and therefore not including the Sundays (or that would make 46) something the poor Swiss hadn’t quite worked out - plus every Friday (except Christmas Day), Rogation and Ember days, and the days before certain major feasts.

I occasionally follow the rubric before the sermon, ‘Then shall the Curate declare unto the people what Holy-days, or Fasting-days, are in the week following to be observed’, in order to share that sense of the discipline of the Christian calendar, and to comply with Canon B7.

Most people suppose that this regime of abstinence must be a relic of medieval formalism, and therefore can be ignored. Not so. It first appears in the 3662 Prayer Book, which in Reformation terms is strikingly late. Furthermore, Canon B6 maintains a discipline of fasting more thorough than that of the Roman Catholic Church - tell that to your Protestant do-gooders.

I am not blaming others; I am as bad as any. Among the vigils I take Holy Saturday and Christmas Eve very seriously; I keep Ash Wednesday and Good Friday rigorously, but I am not alone in having lost a clear notion of the practice of fasting and abstinence, as expressed by the other 104 days.

Of course I can try harder, but it is not just individual effort (that would be a gospel of good works). There is a shared understanding that we have lost and need to regain. It is a social as well as an individual discipline.

Final thought: is it coincidence that we have forgotten how to practice abstinence at the same time as obesity is on the increase?’

What Religion is your Bra?
Supplied by MIKE BROOM

A man walked into the ladies department of a Macy’s and shyly walked up to the woman behind the counter and said, ‘I’d like to buy a bra for my wife.’ ’What type of bra?’ asked the clerk. ‘Type?’ inquires the man. ‘There’s more than one type?’ ‘Look around,’ said the saleslady, as she showed a sea of bras in every shape, size, color and material imaginable.

‘Actually, even with all of this variety, there are really only four types of bra to choose from.’ Relieved, the man asked about the types. The saleslady replied, ‘There are the Catholic, the Salvation Army, the Presbyterian, and the Baptist types. Which one would you prefer?’

Now totally befuddled, the man asked about the differences between them. The saleslady responded, ‘It is all really quite simple. The Catholic type supports the masses. The Salvation Army type lifts the fallen. The Presbyterian type keeps them staunch and upright. And the Baptist makes mountains out of molehills.’

(The Editor has sadly failed to find an appropriate illustration for this article among his extensive collection of clip-art pictures!)

Take the following test
and determine if you are losing it, or are still ‘with it’.


OK, relax, clear your mind and answer the following 6 questions.

1.   What do you put in a toaster?
Answer.  That was a gentle start. The answer of course is ‘bread’. If you said ‘toast’ then give up now and do something else. Try not to hurt yourself. If you said ‘bread’ go to question 2.

2.   Say  ‘silk’ five times. Now spell ‘silk’.  What do cows drink?
Answer. Cows drink water.  If you said ‘milk’ please do not attempt the next question. Your brain is obviously over stressed and may even overheat. It may be that you need to content yourself with reading something more appropriate, such as ‘Children’s World’. If you said ‘water’, proceed to question 3.

3.   If a red house is made from red bricks and a blue house is made from blue bricks, and a pink house is made from pink bricks and a black house is made from black bricks, what is a green house made from?
Answer. Don’t congratulate yourself, this was an easy one to boost your confidence. Greenhouses, of course, are made from glass. If you said ‘green bricks’ what the devil are you still doing reading these questions?  If you said ‘glass’ then go on to question 4.

4.   Twenty years ago, a plane was flying at 20,000 feet over Germany.  If you recall, Germany at the time was politically divided into West Germany and East Germany. Anyway, during the flight, TWO of the engines failed. The pilot, realising that the last remaining engine is also failing, decides on a crash landing procedure. Unfortunately the third engine failed before he has time to attempt an emergency landing and the plane crashed smack in the middle of ‘No Man’ Land’between East Germany and West Germany.  Where would you bury the survivors? — in East Germany, West Germany or No Man‘s Land‘?
Answer. You don’t, of course, bury survivors. If you said ANYTHING else you are a real dunce and you must NEVER try to rescue anyone from a plane crash. Your efforts would not be appreciated.  If you said ‘you don’t bury  survivors,’ proceed to the next question.

5.   If the hour hand on a clock moves 1/60th of a degree every minute, how many degrees will the the hour hand move in one hour?
Answer. One degree. If you said ‘360 degrees’ or anything other than ‘one degree’, you are obviously out of your league. Hand in your pencil, and leave the room. Everyone else proceed to the final question.

6.  Without using a calculator. You are driving a bus from London to Milford Haven in Wales. In London 17 people get on the bus. In Reading 6 people get off the bus, and 9 people get on. In Cardiff, 11 people get off and 16 people get on. In Swansea, 3 people get off and five people get on. In Carmarthen, 6 people get off and 3 get on. You then arrive at Milford Haven.  What was the name of the bus driver?
Answer. Oh! For crying out loud! Don‘t you remember? It was YOU.


The seventh season of Open Saturdays and free Recitals will begin on publication day. The full programme is printed below, and we look forward to welcoming as many people as possible to support our talented performers, enjoy refreshments and meet and greet friends and strangers. The Church is, as always, open between 11.00 am and 1.00 pm and the music starts at noon.

April 17   Neil Kelley (organ)
April 24   Liverpool Brass Ensemble (dir. Louise Hough)
May 1     Stephen Hargreaves (organ)
May 8     NO RECITAL
May 15   Neil Preston (classical guitar)
May 22    Liverpool Senior String & Senior Woodwind Ensembles
                 (dirs. Lyda Langford and Oliver Kingsley)
May 29   Students’ piano recital
June 6     Ian Harvey (organ)
June 12   Michael Broom (baritone) and James Firth (piano)
June 19   Gerard Callacher (piano)
June 26   Saint Faith’s Choir (dir. Gerard Callacher)
July 3      Ranee Seneviratne (soprano)
July 10    Charity Fun Day
July 17    James Firth (piano)
July 24    Ian Dunning (baritone)
July 31    Gregor Cuff (‘cello)
August 7  Patricia Barrow (soprano). Brian Williams (baritone),  James Firth (piano)
August 14 Michael Wynne (organ)
August 21 Val Watts (soprano) and Roger Stephens (piano)
August 28 Gerard Callacher and Neil Kelley (piano)