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 Newslink              November 1998

From the Clergy          November 1998

Following the tragic and untimely death of Michael Harwood, a fifteen year old pupil of Merchant Taylors‘ and former Boy Scout at St Faith‘s, in July of this year, I came across a very apposite and poignant reflection on the nature of death, written by a contemporary theologian, Hubert Richards:

`Human life does come to an end, and however painful the realisation of this may be, we do psychological harm to ourselves by taking refuge behind talk of `sleep‘ or `release‘ or `passing on‘. There is a tragic finality about death which we must take seriously, or it is not death we are talking about. The Christian may wish to add further comments of his own, but unless what he has to say is based on the reality of death, he is building on a lie.. For resurrection, whatever it means, is not a resumption of life after a brief interruption. It is a new creation, ex nihilo, out of the nothingness of death ... death remains an impenetrable darkness. But the darkness is filled with the creative presence of God.‘

The month of November brings with it All Saints‘ Day, when we give thanks to God for the outstanding Christians who throughout the ages have inspired us; and then All Souls‘ Day, when we remember those we see no longer but whose memory we cherish - our relatives and our friends who are now at rest.

There have always been arguments about whether we should pray for the departed, and whether there is any purpose in so doing. Let us have no worries nor misgivings: if there is life after death - and surely, as Christians, we are convonced there is - then those who have entered into that new life will not be idle, and almost certainly, one thing they will be doing is to pray.If we take our faith seriously, then we should indeed feel the supporting prayers of many people who are no longer with us, but are alive in Christ. In our own beloved church of St Faith‘s, or some other place where we knew each other, we may indeed feel the strength and love that flows from the prayers of the faithful departed.

And if they pray for us, what is more natural than that we should pray for them? We recognise the fact that they are closer to God now; but the final judgement, the ultimate joining together of Earth and Heaven, so the Bible teaches, still lies in the future. So all of us, this side and the other side of the future, need praying for.

The idea of praying for the dead fell into disrepute at the time of the Reformation, because people had the notion that the more masses that could be said for the soul of a dead person, the better off he or she would be — but this was a sad abuse, and part of a system that had become corrupt and in need of cleansing, along with the thinking that was behind it.

But to sweep everything away was too drastic. And discouraging or even forbidding prayer for the departed has not worked; the terrible losses of life in the First World War broke down such restrictions, and a more reasonable and genuinely Christian doctrine has gradually taken over.

Nor is this thinking confined to Anglicans or Roman Catholics. Here are some fine words by the Quaker, William Penn, founder of Pennsylvania in America. Three hundred years ago he wrote:

`They that love beyond the world cannot be separated by it. Death cannot kill what never dies; nor can spirits ever be divided that love and live in the same divine principle — the root and record of their friendship. Death is but crossing the worlds as friends do the seas; they live in one another still. But there must needs be present that love which is omnipresent. In that divine glass they see face to face; and their converse is free and pure. This is the comfort of friends, that though they may be said to die, yet their friendship and society are, in the best sense, ever present - because immortal.‘

 Sing praise, then, for all who here sought and here found him.
 Whose journey is ended, whose perils are past:
 They believed in the Light; and its glory is round them,
 Where the clouds of earth‘s sorrow are lifted at last.

With every blessing.

Fr Dennis

Lancashire  Day        Chris Dawson

We at St Faith‘s are used to celebrating special days to mark the Christian Year: a fact that adds so much interest to our calendar. Special secular days may also be celebrated to a greater or lesser extent according to how you view their importance; some, especially those imported from the USA, are better ignored.

On the other hand Lancashire Day is a home-grown special day, for special people, by birth, or by adoption if you have moved into God‘s County (Yes, but whatever happened to ?As sure as God‘s in Gloucesterhire‘? West Country Ed.). It commemorates the date in 1295 when the first elected representatives from Lancashire were summoned to Westminster by King Edward I, to serve in his Model Parliament, the beginning of democracy in the land.

The Friends of Real Lancashire urge people to celebrate our County Day by:

wearing a Red Rose, the county symbol
at 9 pm joining in the loyal toast:
the Queen, Duke of Lancaster‘

Last year, a Lancastrian living in exile in Australia calculated that 9 pm GMT was 4 am in Australia. He therefore set his alarm clock so that he could join in the Loyal Toast at the appropriate time. A true Lancastrian!

We also urge people to organise a ?Dooment‘ which, when translated from the Lancashire dialect, means ?The doings of a convivial party‘ in aid of their favourite charity. What a good excuse to enjoy yourselves!

Lancashire Day is also aimed at reminding people that the county still stretches from the River Mersey in the south to the River Duddon and the west bank of Windermere in the north.

Oh, and the date — 27th November — every year.

QED PartII: Filming in Crosby         Jean W Price

Having one‘s home turned into a TV studio is quite an amazing experience, rather like a transformation scene in a pantomime. Household objects seemed to be spirited away and the floor-space rapidly covered with a welter of cameras, sound equipment, lamps and cables.

On 7 January, the camera crew, Clive, Steve and Ashe, had arrived on the dot of 8.30 am, quickly followed by Dr Emma Walker, the director, and her personal assistant, Sam (very important, as one of her essential tasks was to keep us all supplied with rounds of tea and coffee, and a substantial snack lunch midday. The profits of the Corner Shop and Manning‘s Delicatessen rose considerably that day!) In a very short time we were all on friendly terms, as part of their expertise was obviously to put the victim at her ease as quickly as possible. The next eleven hours saw the house buzzing like a dynamo, with all working flat-out to achieve the effects Dr Emma wanted.

At this stage, the exact development of the programme was uncertain. Emma outlined my own role but wasn‘t sure at that point exactly how it would be shown. The major stress of the programme was to be on the nature of encephalitis lethargica and Professor Oxford‘s research work.  There was also to be a section on a sufferer from recent years, who had recovered. I knew nothing about her until I saw the finished tape, merely the fact that she existed. Fitting these different factors together was a test of the director‘s imagination and creativity.

Ideas proliferated as filming was taking place: for example, Emma had previously studied the photographs of Philip and myself as children and certainly intended to use them as a method of initiating Philip‘s story, but the very successful shot where the photographs were spilled across the chess-table was the inspiration of the moment.

People have asked me about being ?made-up‘. As I knew from previous experience, nothing whatever needed to be done. You are taken ?raw‘, so to speak. My offers of powdering my nose, putting on my best dress, etc. were waved aside. I ?looked fine‘ as I was: no change was needed. If necessary, the cameraman would be able to make me look as if I had just returned from a Mediterranean holiday or alternatively could give me a pallor suitable for the final act of ?Traviata‘ or ?La Boheme‘. Even my voice, very growly wtih a nasty chest infection, was no problem: somehow, fine tuning seemed to be able to pale down the grittiness.

Some time was spent in learning to use the mike. The slightest movement would be picked up by the very sensitive sound equipment and so it was important to sit perfectly still. The position of the head had to be maintained and its distance from the mike.

Some of the time was spent in recording a long face-to-face interview with Dr Emma, parts of which had to be repeated several times. Snippets from my replies were later seamed into the pattern of the narrative. While doing this, I had to remember all the time never to look at the camera, or at the little monitor which was showing exactly what I looked like. (That was quite hard to resist, you may be sure!) This also applied when we were doing outside filming later on. By that time, I was quite good at it!

I discovered that only about a tenth of what is filmed is ever used. This is partly because so much effort goes into getting it exactly right. A good illustration of this is in the letter-writing sequence. I wrote the opening lines of at least a dozen letters, none of them about anything in particular, as what was wanted was a shot of me writing to Professor Oxford, but not of what I was writing. The actual letter was written and filmed later. One of the shots needed to be from a distance and so was taken through the french window, which, I‘m ashamed to say, Ashe had to clean before it could be done. As Emma had fallen in love with my little Victorian writing-desk I had to do all the letter-writing on it, even though I never do use it for that. Two hours of this made my hand and wrist ache considerably but there was no quarter given until the team was satisfied with the results.

A numer of shots were taken for what they called ?wall-paper‘. One of these was of my glass and silver cabinet, which I always arrange to give — as I think — the most artistic effect. Unfortunately, it didn‘t suit the camera, as the centre-piece, a silver cake-basket, produced what they called a ?hot spot‘ and so had to be moved.  A shot of the front door was taken the next morning, just before they left. Had I known I would have re-painted it, pruned the bushes ... etc. Fortunately, it was not a close-up. Taking it all in all, it was a hard day‘s work for a great-grandmother — it felt as if a whirlwind had swept through the place — but very, very interesting.

Some have asked was I nervous or frightened. Very definitely, no! In the first place, I believed firmly in the value of what I was doing: in the second, I had complete confidence in the director, a very intelligent, sensitive and positive lady. All I had to do was try to follow her instructions to the letter. The final phase, filming in Birmingham was even more strenuous. Read all about it next time!

Lesley Conder (16 May, 1945 - 11 August, 1997)         Denis Whalley

Diary entry, Sunday 10 August 1997

`Another baking hot day and very clammy. Ivor Hughes (GP) came at 10.00. Lesley was becoming increasingly drowsy but she became more aware when Michael Wolfe came to celebrate Holy Communion for us. When he asked me to administer the sacrament by intincture it was more than I could bear and I cracked. He then anointed her with oil.  It was lovely that Andy received with us all. He is being a tower of strength to all of us. I spent the rest of the day on the bed with her while she slept her life away. The nurse came at 3.00 and washed Lesley — she has a blister on her heel. What a rapid decline in 6 days when she was dressed and photographed in the garden. She made a tremendous effort. But one would not want to see this condition prolonged unduly. It was most fulfilling that she responded more actively to Michael and the service than to anything for the past 2 days or so. How fortunate that she has been able to be nursed at home. The Macmillan Nurse (Margaret Taylor, who was especially helpful) came at 9.30 and again at about 11.00. I returned to bed and slept at her feet at about 1.00 am. At 1.30 I awoke to find she was no longer breathing. I phoned Ivor and the nurse and talked with Andy ‘til 4.30 about the future. Her lifeless body lay motionless and this moved me as much as did her suffering when she was alive. And yet, I felt more detached about this outworn container which had served it purpose so admirably but had now become disease-ridden, and the sooner her suffering was over the better. But where had ‘she` gone? In those few seconds between life and death, what sort of journey had she embarked on? What is she doing now? Can she see us? But ‘laus deo? for her life! It was a good day for me when we met. ‘Someone was watching over me that day,? as my mother was fond of saying.‘

And so, in the words of her husband Paul, the Vicar of St Michael‘s Blundellsands, the life of Lesley Alexandra Conder came to a premature end after a battle with cancer which had lasted thirteen months.

In or about 1975 Lesley gave a talk to a parish ladies‘ group entitled `On being a Vicar‘s wife‘ and she told the gathering that what she felt to be her duty was quite simple: to love and care for her husband. Everything else was secondary. When she made her marriage vows she did not promise to run the Mother‘s Union and have a garden party every year. ?The important things to me every day‘ she went on ?are to cook three meals, keep my home in a reasonable condition and do the washing and ironing like everyone else‘.

Lesley did all of that and much, much more. She was a caring mother to Andrew and a loyal and devoted wife. Bishop David said at her funeral on the 18 August, `It‘s no surprise to me that such a crowd should come together for Lesley‘s funeral. She took a full part in the life of each parish in which they had served: at various times she was Sunday School superintendent, choir member, Cub and Brownie leader, PCC member and Mother‘s Union enrolling member.‘ At St Michael‘s she started the wives‘ group. For a while there were small numbers, but she persevered and quite a strong group now meets in the homes of different members. She particularly enjoyed work with infants. Each July there was a Teddy Bears‘ Picnic in the garden of the vicarage, when Lesley would hide 100 articles in the garden. She even struggled to hold the party in the month before she died.

The Bishop went on to tell how Lesley involved herself also in a good deal outside the parish. She was a member of Bootle Victim Support Group and served on the committee of Adelaide House — a bail and probation hostel. Lesley found her work as a JP totally absorbing and became a member of the Magistrates‘ Association. Bishop David was particularly grateful when she took on the demanding role of Clerk to the Anniversary Trust founded in his name. The trust makes small grants for second chance learning. Lesley insisted on interviewing all applicants in addition to handling very competently the paper work. She said this opened her eyes to parts of life she had never come across. She was amazed when applicants told her that grants of £50 or £100 offered a real helping hand for them. Many for whom poverty is a daily struggle refuse to sit down under it and were grateful for opportunities to build up their lives.

St Michael‘s Church was packed for Lesley‘s funeral. Friends and colleagues had, as the Bishop put it, turned out to stand with Paul and Andrew and Lesley‘s parents and other members of the family in their loss. To come in thankfulness for Lesley‘s life, thinking of her as she was till a year go, full of vitality and devoted service. And to tell God what they were feeling about it and to hear his response‘.

In July 1996 Paul and Lesley were in Glen Ellyn, near Chicago, Illinois on a six week parish exchange. The exchange was followed by a touring holiday of the mid-south States. However, shortly before heading south Lesley had a routine blood test — she had an insect bite on her leg and she couldn‘t put her foot to the ground. Instead of being prescribed an antibiotic she was told that cancerous cells had been found. This was a `bolt from the blue‘ according to Paul, ?but we came to terms with it as best we could and made the best of our holiday — but the journey took a lot out of her.‘

Lesley had already been booked into Fazakerley for a hysterectomy in the following September. In the course of that surgery a dermoid cyst was detected and removed and although the surgeon said that in 97 cases out of 100 they were benign, there was a slight chance of malignancy.

Lesley‘s parents Alec and Helen came south from Aberdeen in September 1996 to help look after the vicarage while Lesley recuperated. They came for a month, but little did they imagine they would stay for over a year! Even less could they have foretold that they would have to endure the ordeal of watching their younger daughter‘s death. To Andrew also it was a bitter blow to lose his devoted mother at such an early age. Living and working away from home meant his being deprived of her daily company in the last twelve months of her life.

The post-operative recovery period did not go as expected. The pain and discomfort of the surgery did not fade and in addition she acquired a constant and debilitating back pain. Further tests showed fairly widespread cancer and in November she had a colostomy. Paul describes seeing Lesley in Walton Hospital immediately after this operation as one of the lowest points of his life. She looked very ill indeed ?and it wouldn‘t have surprised me if she had died then.‘ Despite the surgeon saying that he hoped he had ?got everything‘, for the first time Paul began to become apprehensive ?as to where all this might be leading‘.

Later in December, when she had become a little stronger, Lesley began a series of 4-day courses of chemotherapy at Clatterbridge Hospital, which lasted until the following April. The result of each session was that she would be left ill and exhausted, but, just as soon as she began to feel a little stronger she would be whisked off for the next course of the treatment. Paul describes the atmosphere at Clatterbridge as being extremely positive. He says that the patients there gave and received great support from each other; there was a real ?fellowship of suffering at a time when they faced reality with faith and hope‘. Lesley, in particular, fought with tremendous dignity and cheerfulness and remained optimistic throughout.

After the chemotherapy treatment ended in May there was a period of great optimism and a feeling that, just perhaps, the worst was at last over. Lesley resumed her seat on the Bench at South Sefton Magistrates‘ Court and she entered into her 1997 diary all of her sittings there for the remainder of the year. In addition she got back to Sunday School and also returned to her Fabergé egg decorating classes. But in June a second growth appeared and Lesley‘s energy began to diminish and it was at this time that Paul began to get ?a feeling that all props were being kicked away, one by one‘. In July the news from the consultant was that nothing further could be done and that she should enjoy such days as were left.

Denis Whalley‘s account continues next month.

Centenary Preachers 1998/1999

The following former priests, ordinands and friends of St Faith‘s will be preaching at the 10.30 am Sung Eucharist on the dates listed. We very much look forward to welcoming them back to our church, to join in the Centenary Celebrations. We have already begun the process of printing brief biographies of our Centenary Preachers in the weekly service sheet. And, as part of our continuing project to record the events and personalities of the Centenary, each preacher has been persuaded to pose for posterity with the clergy and wardens.

November 22 Fr Derek Clawson

January 10 Fr Colin Oxenforth

January 31 Fr Grant Holmes

February 21 Canon Peter Goodrich

February 28 Monsignor Peter Ryan

March 7 Fr Ken Miller

April 25 Br Raymond Christian, SSF

May 9 Fr Dennis Bury

June 27 Fr Nicholas Henshall

July 25 Fr Peter Cavanagh

September 26 Fr Robert Bell

October 24 Fr Vivian Enever

To the Marmalade Queen (a.k.a.AngiePrice)        Mary Crooke

Congratulations Angie, for your marvellous effort in making and selling well over One Thousand (1,000) jars of marmalade. A magnificent boost to the Talents Fund. What a lot of hard work and what commitment. Well done!

Congratulations are also due to Linda Nye for her delicious chutney.

The Marmalade Queen and the Chutney Champion would like to take this opportunity of thanking not only Mary Crooke but also everyone who has bought their wares since the Talents Jam Factory began operations last year. They have raised the grand sum of £1,384 at close of play, and are no longer in need of your jamjars!

Centenary Cookbook and Other Things

While on the culinary theme: have you bought your copy of the St Faith‘s Centenary Cookbook? For just £2.50 (including postal customers!) you can try 100 recipes provided by members and friends and St Faith‘s, and enjoy Eric Salisbury‘s entertaining illustrations into the bargain. An ideal Christmas present, and on sale weekly in church.

Also still very much available are three other Centenary sales items. See Rosie Walker for the Centenary Mugs, Chris Price for Poems from the Back Pew and Denis Griffiths for the Centenary Video: the record of the service and festivities of May 24th last. Three more ideas for Christmas!


The Revd Michael Finlay, Vicar of St Margaret, Orford, and an old friend of St Faith‘s, has been appointed Priest in Charge of St Elphin, Warrington. We wish Mike and Ann and family every blessing as they adjust to new surroundings.

Crosby Symphony Orchestra Conductor:  Robert Sells CONCERT

Sunday 15 November, 1998 at 7.30 pm in St Faith‘s Church

 Overture ?Die Fledermaus‘ Strauss
 Flute Concerto in G Mozart
 Soloist: Rachel Lyons
 Symphony No 7 in D minor Dvorak

Tickets £4.50 (£3.50 concessions) - inclusive of Programme and Refreshments.
Available in advance from Pritchard‘s Bookshop, Crosby
or at the door on the night.

Kneeler Knews

The homes of more than a few members of St Faith‘s have this year seen furrowed brows and the flash of large needles as the new kneelers have been stitched and stuffed and mounted. Not only talented ladies, but a number of gallant men (present author included) have done their bit, puzzling over intricate patterns and peering hopefully at stray strands of wool. The result is beginning to show in church, as the triumphant craftsmen/women kneel on their handiwork — mostly, at present on the pulpit side (16-9 at the time of going to press), it must be admitted, but we aim to catch up on the lectern side! Thanks to all who have laboured, are labouring, or will labour — and not forgetting the  intrepid band of embroiderers working on the Centenary wall hangings. More news in due course — and further information from/offers to Audrey Dawson.

Reader Training Update         Jackie Parry

I have now completed my second (and extremely busy) year in training for Readership. This year all candidates studied Church history. The aim was to help us to develop an awareness of our inherited Christian tradition — to understand how and why the Church of England came to be what it is today, following its journey from the first missionaries, through the monastic movement, the saints, John Henry Newman and his fight to bring back Catholicism to the Church in England during the Oxford Movement, the Victorian church, etc. The list goes on! We also researched other faiths, such as Hinduism and Sikhism. I found all this fascinating and it made me realise  the church is constantly changing, albeit slowly, but still moving forward.

For my major project this year I chose to study `Worship‘ — tracing the link between liturgy, doctrine and architecture from the 14th century monastic movement through the Victorian era to today. This again made fascinating reading, giving me a greater insight into how the Church changed in England, as well as discovering how churches were architecturally designed and built.

All this work is assessed on a scale of A (Excellent) to D (Unacceptable) by my tutor and an outside assessor. My grades for this work are: A and B for my work file; A and B+ for my project on Worship — which I‘m delighted with.

This year has also seen the start of my preaching career and I would like to thank everyone who has been so kind and supportive to me during this nerve-racking venture. Your kind words and helpful hints have been a great  encouragement, but  they also mean  you will see me in the pulpit even more!

I am now beginning my final year. This includes three months when we undertake a specific piece of fieldwork, such as parish visiting, prison or hospital chaplaincy, adult education, youth work: generally based in another parish. As my special interest is ministry to children I have been placed with Janet Arnold,  Diocesan Children‘s Evangelist, and will be her ?shadow‘ for the next three months. I will be assisting in holiday clubs, attending day conferences,  visiting other parishes and learning how to teach children about God and helping to nurture their faith, which I‘m really looking forward to.  As briefly mentioned last month, though I will not be in St Faith‘s on Sundays as much over the next few months, I will be keeping in touch with church in my role as Pastoral Contact, so please do not hesitate to phone me at home (928 0726) if you have any queries or concerns, and I will do my best to help.

News from the United Benefice

While the long wait for a new Vicar for St Faith‘s and St Mary‘s continues, we are taking steps to work out how better our two churches can get to know each other, and how we can be help to each other. Visiting each other‘s special occasions, whether social or for worship, has of course been happening for some time, but we have now begun to put into place some practical ideas for helping St Mary‘s. While we are fortunate enough to enjoy the services of no fewer than three priests and four (rising five!) Readers, St Mary‘s now have none of either category to call on. Thus we are stepping up our efforts to provide staff for their services, and where possible to help in such areas of lay ministry as sick and hospital visiting, confirmation training and the like. We are grateful to those of our people who are helping, and will help St Mary‘s, and we look forward to strengthening  links with our neighbours in Christ.

The Light of Faith            Chris Price

Patronal Festival High Masses have always been very special at St Faith‘s. They are a time of memories, both happy and sad: of the recalling of priests and people down the decades who have peopled sanctuary and pews. They are a conscience-free opportunity for a slightly self-indulgent parading of vestments and incense, processions and anthems; a time for welcoming old friends and strangers, and for singing familiar hymns — and then for eating and drinking.

St Faith‘s night in 1998 was no exception, with all these things happening (visitors from St Mary‘s and from St Paul‘s, Croxteth, and the full trappings of holy smoke and ritual). It was very good to listen to a fine sermon from Fr Myles Davies, and to be reminded of how much Saint Faith‘s means to so many people, (and how little most people know about the ?real‘ Saint Faith!). All in all, a goodly feast day, and a welcome upturn in numbers, with the biggest turnout for a weeknight St Faith‘s Day since 1993.

What made it extra special was the dedication and first use of the new Votive Candle Stand. The genesis of this idea came some years ago, but its fulfilment arrived with the use of a legacy from the late Mrs Elsie Bell, and an anonymous supplementary donation, to finance its design and execution. Prompted by seeing an attractive example of the genre in Wakefield Cathedral, we commissioned Mr Robin McGhie, artist, designer and calligrapher, to design a stand for St Faith‘s. The firm of Wilkinson Welding and Fabrication, St Helen‘s, realised the design, which is a stylised tree, of mild steel painted black, with brass drip-trays, and it is installed in the Lady Chapel, between the altar and the `Rabbit Madonna‘ statue.

At the beginning of the service, the procession paused there for prayers of thanksgiving and dedication, following which Cathy Bell, (Elsie‘s daughter), Cathy‘s brother Roger and his wife, lit all the candles and votive lights, which remained alight for the rest of the service. We have yet to finalise the logistics of the routine use of the candle stand (candle storage, lighting, money arrangements, safeguards, dropping wax and so on!), but already almost all who have seen this lovely addition to the furnishings of St Faith‘s have been more than happy with it, as indeed is Robin McGhie, who was present at the dedication. It is very good to be able to commemorate Elsie, and so many generations of other faithful past worshippers, in this beautiful and elegant focus of our devotions and our prayers.


Two Decades of Fr Dennis             Fr George

Congratulations to Fr Dennis Smith, who has just completed 20 years as a priest. During his all but life-long association with this church Dennis has faithfully used his many and varied gifts in the service of God and St Faith‘s. He has approached the challenges of the interregnum with energy and total commitment and I, for one, have greatly appreciated his loyalty and support as a friend and colleague. He has combined unstinting devotion with a sense of pragmatism and humour. We give thanks to God for Fr Dennis‘s priestly ministry, and we look forward to his Silver Jubilee in 2003!

Shelving: the Issue         Chris Price

Probably quite a few readers will be aware of the comings and goings of the artefact in the south east corner of St Faith‘s Lady Chapel. Known to most as the memorial flower shelf, this has been deemed by the Diocese to be an Arbour Niche, and it has a chequered history which is summarised here for posterity.

The original corner shelf, somewhat ancient, undistinguished and decayed, was replaced by a larger and more elaborate construction, commissioned in memory of two late members of St Faith‘s. After its being placed on site, it transpired both that some members of the congregation were unhappy with its design, colour and prominence and also that no official faculty had been obtained for its installation. Folloiwng representations to the diocese both by the embarrassed wardens and those who objected, and by a protracted period of diplomatic activity, a complex legal procedure resulted. We gained permission to put the large coloured shelf up (legally), permission to take it straight down again, and finally permission to replace it with a new design! This, now in place and bearing flowers, complete with the original dedication plaque, is smaller and of oak fom an old lectern stand. Thus a classic Anglican compromise has been reached, an expensive and potentially Consistory Court hearing avoided, and, we sincerely hope, everyone is  happy.

Thus an insight has been gained into the workings of church law. God moves in mysterious ways, but he has nothing on the C of E.

Centenary Concert Success

Many thanks to all who supported the recent Concert given by Ranee Seneviratne and friends. It raised £327, to be used for the purchase of a much-needed piano stool and conductor‘s stand for St Faith‘s. A large and appreciative audience enjoyed an evening of songs and instrumental solos, plus some splendid national costumes and dance. Special thanks to Ranee and her students, who gave so willingly of their time and talents, and to Ged, who accompanied them.

Smarter Trebles

St Faith‘s Choir recently received a donation of £200 from the ?Sunday Specials‘, who wished to provide for a specific need for a change, instead of putting the money into the general Talents Scheme fund. Our Director of Music, Ged Callacher, has now purchased four much-needed surplices and ruffs to enhance the appearance of the treble line. All involved in raising the money and using the gift are very pleased with the outcome. (And everyone at St Faith‘s is very grateful to Susie and Roger for their continued and most welcome efforts to swell our funds and provide entertainment into the bargain. Ed.)

Any member of the congregation who lives alone and would enjoy sharing Sunday lunch with others, please ring SUSIE GREENWOOD on 928 4158 for more details.

From the Registers

30 September William Nicol

12 September Julian Slim and Linda Rushton
10 October Allen Copestake and Patricia Collinson

Holy Baptism
4 October Thomas Lydiate
 son of Robert and Heidi
11 October Charlie Wall and Emily Wall
 children of Ronald and Jacqueline

A Thank You from Grasmere         Russell Perry

I would like to say a really big thank you to  everyone who has joined in giving me so much support by their prayers and good wishes in the time looking up to my ordination. One or two early cards wishing me God‘s grace and assuring me of prayers turned eventually into a display to rival Christmas. The last few remaining niggles of doubt about whether this really was God‘s will for me and whether I could be an effective minister of the Gospel and curate in Grasmere evaporated as so many friends expressed, each in their own thoughtful way, their conviction that this was right. Most of all, naturally, I valued Anne‘s encouragement from the beginning.

Eight ordinands went into retreat on Thursday at Rose Castle, the residence of the Bishop of Carlisle, and Ian and his wife, Sue, looked after us and catered for us until we left for the cathedral on Sunday morning. It was a valuable time for quiet reflection and waiting on God. As I contemplated the portraits, drawings, brass rubbings and more recent photographs of the Bishops of Carlisle hanging in the hall and up the staircase, going back in an unbroken line to the 14th century, I felt that the laying on of the Bishop‘s hands in ordination was going to be a tangible and direct link with the Apostles themselves, who first ordained ministers of the Gospel by the laying on of hands in New Testament times.

I am deeply thankful, too, for the prayers of the Churches where Anne and I have worshipped: it was a real source of strength and grace. As well as St Faith‘s, where Anne and I met and which we regard as our spiritual home, there are St Wilfrid‘s, Harrogate, St John the Divine, Kennington, the Minster at Southwell and most of all St Oswald‘s Grasmere. A kind of  horizontal extension of the Church today, complementing the vertical line of the Historic Episcopate and forming a cross as I knelt before the Bishop to receive the Holy Spirit for the work of a Deacon in the Church of God.

The presence of so many friends in the Cathedral for this solemn and impressive occasion was very moving. Thanks to all who made such an effort to be there. The Festival Evensong in Grasmere Church and the celebration party afterwards were a marvellous welcome for my new ministry, and I look forward to serving God and his people in this wonderful place. Thanks to you all and to God.