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

Newslink Menu

Return to St Faith`s Home Page

From the Ministry Team           October 2004

'St Luke's Little Summer' approaches. Very often these particular autumn days grant us some sunshine and mild air before all that is meant by winter-time overtakes us. Luke's name suggests some gentleness and a healing warmth in life. The gospel writing, which bears his name, is none the less challenging and personally searching. Yet is is generally agreed that the telling of the good news in the Lucan version is attractively human: good news artistically presented.

The writer's message strikes many a modem note for us as we read the third gospel. We remember also that a second volume by the same author follows with that early piece of Christian history, the Acts of the Apostles. To begin with, Luke has a world-view. He helps us to appreciate that what happened in one small country at a particular period is of the greatest importance to people everywhere. Luke's world was probably limited to the Mediterranean and the countries surrounding that inland sea; yet the significance of the life and death of Jesus for all kinds of people is repeatedly emphasised as he puts on record what actually happened. The death followed by resurrection, ascension, and the Spirit's continuing are all set out in order. His writing has a modem ring, a missionary drive, and a universal message.

He writes with some detachment. He was not one of the twelve disciples. He helps us to see the figure of Jesus through the eyes of outsiders. He encourages argument and inquiry; questions often come from strangers, with views that are far from traditional, quite unlike our own. Conversations, dialogue, and discussion, involving many human types, produce fresh insights about life's meaning under God. An army officer in the Roman imperial forces and a travelling Samaritan, for example, shed light upon the place of authority in ordinary life and the enrichment which out-going neighbourliness can bring to any one of us.

We may think that there is something new and original about living today in a questioning generation. Spiritual matters are vigorously discussed; there are changes in ways of worship; new words are coined to express fresh insights about our relationships with God and with one another. Yet Luke writes with a rich and versatile vocabulary about the value of questions which create fresh understanding. We learn from him, especially in those memorable human parables which he records with fine powers of description, that protests and grumbles can stir up new thinking and changed attitudes. Jesus met objections with shining illustrations of life's possibilities and fulfilments. He matched negative complaints with positive measures.

In our world of conflicts and sufferings, Luke's concentration on identifying and curing social ills provides a spiritual tonic. The Christian's care for the poor and oppressed, the role of women in society, the healing of the whole person, body, soul and spirit all receive prominence and a tender sympathy from this evangelist, remembered each October, in and out of medical circles.

Luke never disguised his sense of wonder as Christ healed the sick who were brought to him. The orderliness and coherence of this writer's narrative provide valuable sources for study, thought, and prayer. He helps his readers to perceive the truth which makes us free.

With every blessing,

Fr Dennis

Thank You

I would just like to say a huge thank you for the kindness and thoughtfulnes shown to my family and myself over recent months, following the breakdown of my marriage and also Edd‘s bad accident in Spain. This has been (and in some ways still is) a very difficult time for us all, and we have all appreciated the kindness and prayers offered. It‘s nice to know that there is love and support when needed frm our friends at St Faith‘s and St Mary‘s. Thank you so much.

With much love and prayers,


The End of Summer
Chris Price

Throughout the season from the Saturday after Easter day to the last Saturday in August, our Saturdays have been enlivened by the now traditional annual church opening and concert series.

It has been seven years now since this writer and a small band of helpers started the idea of opening the church, selling light refreshments and entertaining visitors with a free organ recital. After a short first season, subsequent years saw an expansion to the present 17-20 week schedule (depending on when Easter happens!) and an ever-increasing range of music.

This year, like every year, was the best ever! We listened to soloists (organ, woodwind, string, brass, and several vocal), duos, trios and bigger groups and the talent on display was marvellous. Our regular clientele, from our own congregations, other churches and assorted music-lovers from the area, has continued its steady growth. On more than one occasion this year there were over a hundred people in church, and there were rarely fewer than fifty or sixty. Before and after the music (from noon for half an hour or more) they could relax, wander round the church, take in the various displays and, of course, eat and drink.

As always, our thanks are due to all who performed so splendidly during the season; all who opened and closed the church and looked after visitors, the various catering teams (and Audrey Dawson i/c the catering rota), Gordon Slater for setting everything up on Friday nights, and of course Mike Broom, our impresario, for arranging the concerts and introducing us to some excellent new talents. There is always room for more people on the catering teams, and of course plenty of room for more people in the audiences. If you have yet to sample the Open Saturdays, why not drop in next summer?

These sessions are part of our mission to the community, and are first and foremost social and musical occasions, which is why they remain free for all and to all and, as the letter which follows shows, they are much appreciated. But donations and refreshment sales (as well as sales of literature) also continue to make a useful profit to plough back into our resources, and for this, too, we are grateful. Before we know where we are, it will be Christmas, then Lent, then Easter, and then…. See you all next season!

Letter to the Vicar

Dear Fr Neil,

I am putting pen to paper to say how much I have enjoyed the summer Saturday concerts at St Faith‘s this year. I saw the series advertised in a local trade journal and managed to attend thirteen. I am impressed by all the hard work which must go in to arranging such a varied and interesting programme. A bonus was the warm and friendly welcome I received from your parishioners and particularly from the ladies who were in charge of the tasty refreshments, which I enjoyed every week. I shall look forward to attending more musical events at St Faith‘s. There is no need to reply to this, but please pass on my thanks to all concerned for a lovely summer of music. St Faith‘s is fortunate to have such a talented vicar on both piano and organ! With warmest good wishes to you all,

(Mrs) Maureen Alderson

Bad Joke Corner

Mary Poppins was travelling home, but due to worsening weather, she decided to stop at a hotel for the night. she ordered a meal from room service, and opted for one of her favourites: cauliflower cheese. Deciding to treat herself, she ordered poached eggs for breakfast in bed. The next morning she went to check out and settle up.?Food to your liking?‘ the receptionist asked.

'Well, I have to say the cauliflower cheese was exceptional, I don't think I have had better.  Shame about the eggs though....they really weren't that nice at all,' replied Mary truthfully. ?'h well, perhaps you could contribute these thoughts to our Guest Comments Book.  We are always looking to improve our service and would value your opinion,' said the receptionist.

'OK, I will. Thanks!' replied Mary and scribbled a comment into the book, and went on her way. Curious, the receptionist picked up the book to see the comment Mary had written:

'Supercauliflowercheesebuteggswerequiteatrocious', it said......

Walsingham Revisited
David Jones

'All the land around Walsingham is Mary's domain, holy ground where God touches the lives of his people.'

Almost on an impulse, six of us packed our bags and set off for Norfolk and the Pilgrimage for Healing and Renewal at Walsingham on August Bank Holiday Monday.  After a clear journey, we stopped for lunch in Boston and looked round the 'Boston Stump', the parish church of St Botolph.  At 272 ft. it is the highest church tower in England. The medieval and Victorian furnishings are rich with canopies by George Pace and a font by E W Pugin.  In 1630, its citizens sailed off to found Boston in Massachusetts.

After a night in King‘s Lynn, we arrived in Walsingham on Monday in time for the Concelebrated Mass at 12 noon.  Just time for a quick visit to the Shrine Shop and the Tea Rooms.  The celebrant and preacher was the Rt Revd Tony Robinson, Bishop of Pontefract, and the service was held in the Shrine grounds by the Halifax Altar.  It was a very moving service and the sun shone - for most of the time!

We had our sandwiches in the grounds but the weather took a turn for the worse and the authorities decided to move the 2.30pm Laying-on of Hands and Anointing into the Shrine Church.  It was packed but, again, it was a beautiful service with a short homily from the Shrine Administrator, Fr Philip North. After a short break, we returned for the 4.00pm service of Sprinkling and Benediction. The queues for the Laying-on of hands and Sprinkling showed how deeply pilgrims appreciated this ministry. Some pilgrims, like us, had come privately but many had come on an organized parish weekend from all corners of the country.

We decided to spend another night in King‘s Lynn and then had a restful day on Tuesday in Peterborough.  The cathedral is splendid and contains the tomb of Catherine of Aragon, Henry VIII's first wife.

This was our third trip to England's Nazareth this year and I guess it won‘t be too long before we return.  2006 is the 75th anniversary of the restoration of the Anglican Shrine and there are many plans for the future, including improvements to the gardens and facilities. If you want to know more about Walsingham please ask for details.  It's a very special place.

The 'No Excuse' Sunday

In order to make it possible for everyone to attend Church next week, we are planning a special 'NO EXCUSE' Sunday!

Beds will be placed in the porch for those who say, 'Sunday is my only day to sleep in'.
We have steel helmets for those who believe the roof will cave in if they show up for the service.
Blankets will be supplied for those who complain the church is too cold.  Fans will be on hand for those who say the church is too hot.
We will have hearing aids for the parishioners who say, 'The Vicar doesn't talk loud enough.' There will be cotton wool ear-plugs for those who say, 'The vicar talks too loud.'
Score cards will be available for those who wish to count the hypocrites.
There will be an assortment of relatives present for those who like to go visiting on Sundays.
There will be TV dinners available for those who claim they can't go to church and cook Sunday dinner as well.
One section of the church will have some trees and grass and a bunker for those who see God in nature, especially on the Golf Course.
The church will be decorated with Christmas flowers and Easter lilies to create a familiar environment for those who have never seen the church without them.


Did you know...?

The Garden of Eden was in Iraq
Noah built the Ark in Iraq
The Tower of Babel was in Iraq
Abraham was from Ur, Iraq
Daniel‘s lion‘s den was in Iraq
The wise men were from Iraq
Peter preached in Iraq
Babylon was the name for Iraq

People on Pilgrimage
Fr Neil

On Wednesday 6th October we will, as is our custom, celebrate the Eucharist of our Patron, Saint Faith. We will welcome as celebrant and preacher Bishop Tony Robinson who is Bishop of Pontefract in the Wakefield Diocese. Bishop Tony came to preach at S. Faith's when he was Archdeacon of Pontefract in 2001 and I hope we will have a full house to greet him once again.

Our celebration will be even more special this year, as the following day, at 7am to be precise, a party of 35 of us will be travelling on pilgrimage to Conques. Conques is a small village in France where the relics of Saint Faith our Patron were taken in the ninth century. Conques has been a place of pilgrimage for centuries and those who take the pilgrimage route to Compostella in Spain often stop at Conques.

As many preachers have said on countless St. Faith's days, not too much is known of St. Faith. However I hope that for those who travel to Conques the story of her life will speak to us in a special way as we visit the holy place where her prayers have been sought and where her courage as a young martyr has inspired many in their struggle to witness to the living Christ.

Conques is nothing like Lourdes. There are no huge long processions, life-size statues or dozens upon dozens of souvenir shops. It is far simpler than the small village of Walsingham. It is, however, a place of prayer, a place of peace and tranquillity and, I hope for those of us going there, a place of refreshment and re-dedication.

Pilgrimages afford us two invaluable things: the opportunity to grow in our spiritual lives through prayer, reflection and confession (which although optional is traditionally considered part of a 'proper' pilgrimage). Pilgrimages also give us an opportunity to get to know our fellow Christians better. You can't really help doing so when you are thrown together on an aeroplane and on a coach! There will doubtless be stories (and pictures Ed.) brought back which will appear in the pages of Newslink.

The Abbey at Conques is served by a religious community led by Frère Joel. Conques is in the Diocese of Rodez and at the time of writing we are awaiting a decision (favourable, I hope) from the Bishop of that Diocese as to whether we can receive  Holy Communion  at their main mass.  There will of course be celebrations of mass solely for our pilgrimage group. But we have to live with reality and hope for the best whilst respecting the disciplines and practices of the Anglican Church and the Roman Catholic Church. On my two previous visits I have found the brothers there extremely hospitable, even setting out their oldest and best vestment for me to wear when celebrating mass. The fact that we are even talking about receiving Holy Communion together being a 'possibility' reminds us of the sad reality of the divisions within the Christian Church. However, if we want to hold on to differences of belief and practice we have to accept the fact that diversity and difference will probably always be with us. Whether it gladdens the heart of the Lord is quite another matter! Perhaps our impaired communion will always be a sign of our imperfect earthly pilgrimage - looking forward to the day when 'all shall be well'.

Prayer will be the most important thing we do while on pilgrimage. I do urge those going on pilgrimage to give some thought to the people you want to pray for while you are there. What will be your special intention as you visit this holy place? What are you hoping to bring back with you?

And for those not going on pilgrimage, please hold us in your prayers as we travel.

 Rejoice in God's saints, today and all days:
 A world without saints forgets how to praise
 In loving, in living, they prove it is true:
 the way of self-giving, Lord, leads us to you.

 See the feature on our website for Joan Tudhope's pictures and Bill Tudhope's account of that trail-blazing expedition.

St Therese of Lisieux
Carmelite Mystic (1873-1897)

'I am only a very little soul, who can only offer very little things to our Lord.'

The story of St. Therese is lacking in outward drama. She was born in 1873 to a middle-class family in Lisieux, a small town in Normandy. Her mother died when she was four, and Therese and her four older sisters were left in the care of their father, a watchmaker and a man of marked piety. Therese, it seems, was his favorite child. When she was fifteen she received a special dispensation (in the light of her young age) to enter the Carmelite convent of Lisieux, where two of her sisters had already preceded her. The rest of her short life was spent within the cloister of this obscure convent. She died of tuberculosis on September 30, 1897 at the age of twenty-four. It might be supposed that the memory of such a short and uneventful life would remain within the walls of the convent. Instead her name quickly circled the globe, in response to popular acclamation, her canonization was processed with remarkable speed. She was declared a saint in 1925. Her feast is  October 1st.

What lay behind these developments was the posthumous publication of her autobiography: 'The Story of a Soul' in which she described her experience and her distinctive insights into the spiritual life. It is a book that might well have been subtitled 'The Making of a Saint,' for essentially it is about the path to holiness in everyday life. Despite the somewhat cloying and sentimental style of her provincial piety, Therese presents herself as a woman possessed of a will of steel. As a child she had determined to set her sights on the goal of sanctity, and she went on to pursue this objective with courageous tenacity. She called her method of spirituality the 'Little Way'. Simply put, this meant performing her everyday actions and suffering each petty insult or injury in the presence and love of God.

As a teenager she had literally stormed heaven to win acceptance into the Carmelite convent. Once inside, as her book reveals, she was not content merely to fulfill the letter of her religious rule. Seemingly driven by an inner sense that little time was available, she tried to accelerate the process of sanctification. Devoting herself body and soul to Christ she offered her life as a victim of love for the salvation of souls. So acute was her belief in the Mystical Body of Christ that she believed each act of devotion, each moment of suffering patiently endured, might be credited to other souls in greater need.

Therese considered herself to be of little account - literally a 'Little Flower' - though for this reason no less precious in the eyes of God. She also called her Little Way the way of spiritual childhood. But she believed that this way might transform any situation into a profound arena for holiness, and that one might thus, through the effect of subtle ripples, make a significant contribution to transforming the world.

Therese writes of her feeling that she was called to all vocations. She felt a powerful vocation to be a priest - but also a warrior, an apostle, a Doctor of the Church, and a martyr. 'I would like to perform the most heroic deeds. I feel I have the courage of a Crusader. I should like to die on the battlefield in defence of the church.' The passage of time has not dulled the challenge of this heartfelt confession. But ultimately Therese came to realize that her vocation was nothing less than Charity itself, a virtue embracing every other vocation. 'My vocation is love! In the heart of the Church, who is my Mother, I will be love. So I shall be everything and so my dreams will be fulfilled!' At another point she described her mission as simply 'to make Love loved.'

In 1894 Therese woke on the morning of Good Friday to find her mouth filled with blood. She rejoiced privately in the thought that she might soon be on her way to heaven. 'I was absolutely sure that, on this anniversary of His death, my Beloved had let me hear His first call, like a gentle, far-off murmur which heralded His joyful arrival.' But instead this sign simply heralded the onset of a protracted period of agonizing pain as well as spiritual desolation.

Therese wrote her autobiography in obedience to the request of her superior. The last chapters were literally written in extremis. During this time her physical torment was aggravated by periods of intense spiritual suffering. Her consciousness was flooded with terrifying images and at times she came close to despair. By continuing to pray and to hold fast to the image of Christ she eventually passed through this dark night. When she died, surrounded by her Carmelite Sisters, her last words were. 'Oh, I love Him! My God, I love you.'

The publication of Therese's autobiography immediately struck a responsive chord, especially among the 'simple faithful'. Few are they who are called to do great things, to witness before kings and princes, or to shoulder the cross of martyrdom. And yet, as Therese demonstrated, there is a principle of continuity between our response to the everyday situations in which we find ourselves and the 'great' arenas in which the saints and martyrs have offered their  witness.  According  to  Therese,  each  moment,  accepted and lived in a spirit of love, is an occasion for heroism and a potential step along the path to sanctity.

In the years following her death, Therese was credited with an extraordinary number of miracles. It was remembered that she had once said, 'After my death I will let fall a shower of roses. I will spend my heaven in doing good upon earth.'

Shakespeare is everywhere

If you cannot understand my argument, and declare 'It's Greek to me', you are quoting Shakespeare; if you claim to be more sinned against than sinning, you are quoting Shakespeare; if you recall your salad days, you are quoting Shakespeare; if you act more in sorrow than in anger, if your wish is father to the thought, if your lost property has vanished into thin air, you are quoting Shakespeare; if you have ever re-fused to budge an inch or suffered from green-eyed jealousy, if you have played fast and loose, if you have been tongue-tied, a tower of strength, hoodwinked or in a pickle, if you have knitted your brows, made a virtue of necessity, insisted on fair play, slept not one wink, stood on ceremony danced attendance (on your lord and master) laughed yourself into stitches, had short shrift, cold comfort or too much of a good thing, if you have seen better days or lived in a fool's paradise - why, be that as it may, the more fool you - for it is a foregone conclusion that you are (as good luck would have it) quoting Shakespeare; if you think it is early days and clear out bag and baggage, if you think it is high time and that that is the long and short of it, if you believe that the game is up and that truth will out even if it involves your own flesh and blood, if you lie low till the crack of doom because you suspect foul play, if you have your teeth set on edge (at one fell swoop) without rhyme or reason, then - to give the devil his due - if the truth were known (for surely you have a tongue in your head) you are quoting Shakespeare; even if you bid me good riddance and send me packing, if you wish I was dead as a door-nail, if you think I am an eyesore, a laughing stock, the devil incarnate, a stony-hearted villain, bloody-minded or a blinking idiot, then - by Jove! O Lord! Tut tut! For goodness' sake! What the dickens! But me no buts! - it is all one to me, for you are quoting Shakespeare.

Bernard Levin

From The Story of English, 1986; printed in The Times.
(contributed by Fr Dennis in memeory of the late Bernard Levin, and gladly included by the Editor in honour of the Bard.)

150+ Draw
July and August winners

£150 Corinne Hedgecock  Russell Perry
£110 Ron and Maud Williams Alan Morgan
£75 Suzanne Pierce  Fr Sean Thornton
£50 George Harrison  Judith Tudhope

Food for Thought

God and the doctor we alike adore
But only when in danger, not before;
The danger o‘er, both are alike requited:
God is forgotten, and the doctor slighted.

John Owen (1560-1622): Epigrams

Charity Benefit Concert
in celebration of Saint Cecilia,
Patron Saint of Musicians

SATURDAY 20th NOVEMBER at 7.30pm

Music by Mozart, Schubert, Rutter, Fauré and others!
Performed by Dominic Starkey (Trumpet), Peter O‘Connor (Flute),
Ann Liebeck (Soprano), Ged Callacher and Fr Neil (piano)
Tickets: £7.50 (concessions £6)
to include a glass of champagne


Sunday 21st November

11.00 am High Mass
Preacher: Canon David Parry
(Area Dean of Bootle)

Weekend School of Prayer Fr Neil

You will have read in the September edition of Newslink that we have organized a weekend school of prayer. Details are printed below. The hope is that, as it is in our own United Benefice, people will find attending easier than if we had a travel any distance. This is open to all and I do hope that many of you will take this great opportunity to come and learn something.

It will be held on Friday 5th and Saturday 6th November. There will be one evening session on the Friday evening, with a cup of tea or coffee by way of an introduction. On the Saturday there will be sessions in the morning and afternoon, running from about 10am until 4.30pm with a good break for lunch. It will take place in S. Mary‘s Waterloo and it costs nothing to come along!

The weekend will be led by Fr. Tim Raphael. Fr. Tim was Archdeacon of Middlesex (London Diocese) before his retirement in 1996. He led a quiet day and preached at S. Faith's in 2000 and in 2002 led a parish retreat at Parcevell Hall. Everyone who has heard him will tell you he is a speaker not to be missed!  The weekend will conclude with Fr. Tim preaching at the Parish Eucharist on the Sunday morning on the theme of the 'Lord's Prayer'.

Please, please put the date in your diary, and if you think you would benefit from this weekend then please come along!

Come and help Fr Neil celebrate his
40th Birthday
(He was born in 1964 - not 1905 as the draft details
of the next Diocesan Year Book mistakenly printed!)

Friday 19th November from 8pm
Hot and cold buffet - wine provided (but do please feel free to bring
your own drinks!) - firework display (outdoor) and disco (indoor).

The Church and Trade Union Network
(Supported by Local Churches)
Invite you to our Forum at
(off West Derby Road), LIVERPOOL, L6 5EH

Saturday September 18th 10.45am to 2.30pm
(Tea and coffee from 10.15am)

'Globalisation and Accountability'

Facilitated by Father Arthur Fitzgerald (Parish Priest of St Michael‘s and Sacred Heart Catholic Churches); Frank Kennedy (Friends of the Earth); Margaret Clark SND (Church and Trade Union Network and R.C. Church member); Alan Cunningham  (Church and Trade Union Network member and a health activist); Katherine Burden ( Liverpool World Centre).

This is obviously a big subject, but we will be discussing the issues of public health both locally and globally, the environment and sustainability, GATS  (General Agreement on Trade in Services) and World Trade justice. Come along and give us your views.

Final Advice

The 98-year-old Mother Superior from Ireland lay dying. The nuns gathered around her bed, trying to make her last moments on earth more comfortable. They gave her some warm milk to drink but she refused, so one of the nuns took the glass back to the kitchen.

Then, remembering a bottle of Irish whiskey received as a gift the previous Christmas, she opened it and poured a generous amount into the warm milk. Back at Mother Superior's bed, she held the glass to her lips. Mother drank a little, then a little more and, before they knew it, she had drunk the whole glass down to the last drop.

'Mother,' the nuns asked earnestly, 'Please give us some final wisdom before you die.'

Mother Superior raised herself slowly up in bed and, with a pious look on her face, said: 'Don't sell that cow!'

With thanks to Angela Capper and Wakefield Cathedral magazine.

Dates for the Diary

SUNDAY 14th November
With Act of Remembrance

Saturday 13th November - the annual SAFARI SUPPER (once known as the Dunner Merry-go-Round) - fun foraging for St Faith‘s foodies!
Details from Linda Nye

Saint Faith’s Day
Wednesday 6th October

8.00pm Procession and Solemn Concelebrated Mass
Principal Celebrant and Preacher
The Right Reverend  Tony Robinson
(Bishop of Pontefract)
Music: Missa Brevis in D (Mozart)
The liturgy will include the blessing of pilgrims travelling to Conques the following day and refreshments after mass.

The Bishop of Beverley (an assistant bishop in the Liverpool Diocese)
Will administer thre Sacrament of Confirmation in St Faith’s on
Sunday 31st October at 10.30 am

Please be there to support the candidates from our two churches and please remember them in your prayers as they prepare for this special day.
They are: Shannon Brownbill, Emma Clarke, Conor Cureton, Katie Linacre, Poppy Murphy, David Pascoe, Molly Roderick, Emily Skinner, Christian Voce-Russell and Luke Voce-Russell.

All Souls’ Day
Tuesday 2nd November
9.30 am Requiem Mass (said)
8.00 pm Sung Requiem Mass by candlelight

The names of those who have died in the past year will be read out at this mass and the families of those who have died during the past year are invited to this service. Do please make a special effort to join them and to show support and solidarity with the bereaved.

One World Week

is an annual opportunity to join a worldwide movement of people taking action for justice locally and globally.

Groups and individuals plan events in their local area designed to:
· raise awareness about what’s going on in the world – both on our doorsteps and far away
· take action to change the things that cause injustice, poverty and degradation
· celebrate the good things about being part of one diverse yet interconnected world.

The theme for this years event is  ‘Your Move’, focusing on issues facing refugees and people seeking asylum

Churches Together in Waterloo will be holding a discussion workshop where we will be able to spend some time thinking about the nature of moving. Why do people choose to move, locally, nationally and internationally? What can we learn about those experiences in terms of helping us understand the situation of asylum seekers and refugees?

Venue : Christ Church, Crosby Road South, Waterloo
Time : 8pm
Date : Wednesday 17th September 2004

All welcome!