The Parish Magazine
of Saint Faith's Church, Great
Saint Faith’s Prayer for
Faithful God, in baptism you have adopted us as your children, made us members of the body of Christ and chosen us as inheritors
of your kingdom: bless our plans for mission and outreach; guide us to seek and do
your will; empower us by your Spirit to share our faith in witness and to serve, and send us out as disciples of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
From the Ministry Team
the summer a number of people I know attended some different types of
gathering, in particular the Greenbelt Festival held in Cheltenham
and the Youth
Pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham.I have never attended either event but the
people I know came back full of joy and excitement for what they had
part of. Pictures in the Church Times showed upwards of 10,000 people
themselves in alternative forms of worship. Speaking about last year’s
Greenbelt Festival someone wrote:
come from ordinary Christian communities and from none, from being
worshipping families where the presence of God is regularly obscured,
places where artistic appreciation is confined to hymnody and flower
We have a hunch there is more to it than this, that where two or three
gathered we can become more than the sum of our parts, maybe even a
another kingdom. For many of us, Greenbelt has been a kind of epiphany
earthy sacrament, a rocking religion, an unruly faith in an untamed
of wonder and compassion, celebrated with noise and passion, argument
of the Youth Pilgrimage at Walsingham include a Mass of the Incarnation
for 1,000 youngsters in a tent with music provided by a nationally
worship band. A crib was built into the Altar in the tent and the
Bishop told the congregation that “we are celebrating Christmas without
rubbish getting in the way!” What a great idea! Perhaps it is one we
adopt at S. Faith’s? Let’s have Christmas in the Autumn - without the
decorations and vulgar amount of money spent on food and presents, to
nothing of the accompanying loneliness for those who live on their own.
events, it seems to me, seek to engage people in what really matters
find a way of expressing that which is real and relevant. Both events
a search for truth and reality, a longing for God amidst a world which
want to point away from Him.
month we celebrate our patron saint – S. Faith. The saints weren’t
had an academic relationship with God, they had a living relationship
Their lives were about a constant search for truth and reality, and in
of the martyrs, ultimately sacrificing their own lives for the sake of
rather than to be conformed to the selfishness, greed and power-crazy
the world. Yes, in their own way the saints of centuries ago sought a
life with God which was real and rooted completely in love of Him, just
people seek to do today in many different ways.
clear lesson to learn from a Patronal Festival is that we must have a
relationship with God which is real. There is a difference between
about Jesus, and knowing Jesus. We can come very close to the story; we
perhaps know it off by heart; we can have all the pictures in our
minds; we can
even say the words of our prayers. But unless we know Him, then we are
connecting or connected to Him.
1700 years ago a young girl accepted death rather than compromise her
her Lord. Her faith was so strong - faithfulness to the teachings of
came first. It is unlikely we will ever be called to make the same
But we have to ask, where does God come on our list of priorities? That
girl, whom we now know as Saint Faith was indeed worthy of that name,
Faith was not just her name – it was her life. Could that be said of
impression will our Christian lives make on our generation?What,
if anything at all, are we handing on to future generations by our
witness? Saint Faith and indeed all the saints remind us of our
destiny where one day, pray God, we will rejoice “with angels, and
and the whole company of heaven” in the ceaseless praise and worship of
us thank God for such events as the Walsingham Youth Pilgrimage and
Festival and for all the many new fresh opportunities and expressions
Christian Faith which are emerging today. Ultimately it doesn’t matter
route we take, the end of the journey is the same. What matters is that
the courage to embark on the journey.
my love and prayers always
God of holiness, your glory is
proclaimed afresh in every age: as we rejoice in
the faith of your saints, inspire us to
follow their example with boldness and
joy; through Jesus
Christ our Lord. Amen.
THE EVE OF SAINT FAITH
“Holy Hour in preparation for the Feast”
come to all or part of this devotion as you
Readings, prayers and meditation before the
Sacrament led by Fr. Derek Hyett
the Blessed Sacrament
SAINT FAITH’S DAY
Solemn Concelebrated Mass
Fr. Philip North, Administrator of the
of Our Lady of Walsinghamfollowed by buffet supper
October:“A Night at the
PATRONAL FESTIVAL CONCERT
Sarah Helsby-Hughes - Mezzo Soprano
Neil Kelley – Piano
Songs and arias
from the world of Grand Opera and
Bizet, Puccini, Gounod, Mozart, Lehar, Johann Strauss
£7.50 (concessions £5) to
include a glass of champagne
was born in Liverpool,
England and studied at the Birmingham Conservatoire of Music
with Pamela Cook
MBE, Paul Farrington, and latterly with Barbara Roebotham of the RNCM.
graduation, Sarah has appeared for many opera companies in the UK
and beyond, includingMid-Wales
Opera,Leicester Opera,Carl Rosa Opera, Lyric Opera Dublin, the
D’Oyly Carte Opera Company, Opera Ireland,Pavilion Opera, Midlands Arts Centre, City of Birmingham
Touring Opera and Opera Minora (Amsterdam). Sarah is a founder member of Opera Bites, a
company presenting staged costumed opera excerpts, and Double Divas
with soprano Andrea Ryder Smith, presenting operatic entertainmentfor corporate events and private parties. She made her
Italian debut in
July 2005, singing Wagner's Wesendonck Leider in Florence.
Fr. Richard Knowling (S.
Matthew, Ponders End, London)
Evensong, Procession and Solemn Te Deum
by a meeting in the Vicarage for Walsingham Pilgrims
Friday 14th October
Mass for pilgrims for the beginning of the
United Benefice pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham.
‘We’re doomed, I
are used to gloomy articles in the papers telling us how bad things are
churches, followed by ecclesiastical spin doctors saying it’s really
not so bad
at all. Food for thought, then, in Jonathan Petre’s Daily Telegraph
piece recently.He reports the dire
picture painted by a recent report, but then quotes Bishop Nigel
Faith’s and Manchester!) agreeing with the report and its implications.
called The Future of the Church and it predicts that by 2040
beyond this writer’s lifespan!) ‘Britain’s Churches will be well on the
extinction, with just 2% of the population attending services.’ Islam
flourish, there will be twice as many in the mosque on Friday as in
days later, and ‘the average age of Christian congregations will have
64 as the young abandon the church-going habits of older generations in
face of growing secularisation.’
picture is a grim prediction of a disestablished and demoralised C of E
struggling against the rising tide of secularism. Faith schools will be
‘multi-faith’ schools, Songs of Praise will be gone, Alpha
abandoned (no comment. Ed!) and Christmas will be rebranded as
lifestyle of Christians will be no longer distinctly different from the
society ‘except in small sect-like groups that have retreated from
says the report.
Nigel weighs in here, ‘It is no good Church leaders acting like company
managers trying to present the statistics in the most favourable
says. The truth is stark. What these statistics need to do is to
Church into realising that it must communicate the gospel where people
we will not deserve to have a Church.’ We spend too much energy on
such as reforming synodical government or the liturgy, he goes on to
say.And the executive director of
research, who are behind the report, agrees. ‘The story is of how few
people are being attracted to church,’ he maintains. He backs the
that by 2040 only 35% in our nation will call themselves Christian, as
72% in the 2001 census, while non-Christian religions will claim 15%,
6% of active worshippers.
the mainstream denominations: C of E, R.C. and nonconformist alike, are
suffering steady long-term decline, with only the non-white ethnic
bucking the trend. So it’s not just us – but we knew that: and it’s
comfort being in the same sinking ship with our assorted brethren in
writer has read – and printed – many gloomy predictions of the church’s
demise: and of course historically the same thing happens regularly. It
not do to become too depressed – after all the church in general and
Anglican church in particular, have bounced back time after time in the
What we must do, though, is to pick the bones out of such reports and
over. Congregations are shrinking. They are ageing. They are failing to
young people. They have trouble maintaining their plant, let alone
their mission. We can certainly tick the first three boxes, although we
better on the last two. In the light of this, it is good that, partly
the initiatives of the mission group and the liturgical talent of the
we are becoming more proactive in the fields of family worship and
activities. If the wind of the Spirit is blowing through the church,
probably many of the cobwebs have to be blown away with God’s new fresh
cheer us up, the verses that follow offer much truth about how God’s
too often behave – and also how they can, when all seems lost,
transform and be
transformed and start all over again.
Ten little churchmen went to church when fine;
it started raining, then there were nine.
little churchmen stayed up late;
overslept himself, then there were eight.
little churchmen on the road to heaven;
joined a rambling club, then there were seven.
little churchmen heard of Sunday ‘flicks’;
thought he’d like to go, then there were six.
little churchmen kept the place alive;
bought a television, then there were five.
little churchmen seemed loyal to the core;
vicar upset one of them, then there were four.
little churchmen argued heatedly
all the changes; then there were three.
little churchmen sang the service through;
a hymn they didn’t know, then there were two.
little churchmen disputed who should run
next social evening; then there was one.
faithful churchmen, knowing what to do,
a friend to go to church; then there were two.
sincere churchmen each brought in one more;
their number doubled, then there were four.
sturdy churchmen simply couldn’t wait
they found four others; then there were eight.
eager churchmen, at Communion every week,
encouraged others, troubled souls to seek.
the seats in church are filled: not a vacant pew;
God, supply this grace and zeal in our own parish,
outside St Pancras Church, London
Club Winners for the summer!
KnightP & M GoodrichPat Mackay
of FlowersMike PowellLeo
PowellJoan JonesIain Harvey
Remember – you’ve got to be in it to win it!
Happy 5th Birthday
to the 100 Club!
in November it will be five years since the
launch of the 100 Club here at St Faith’s. At a Finance Committee
meeting in July
of 2000, the idea was put forward and approved. I ‘volunteered’ to set
with a bit of help, then run it – the rest, as they say, is history! It
hoped that it would give people a chance to win a little ‘sensible’
(unlike the National Lottery), whilst making a bit of money for the
that time, there have been 240 winners, at a rate of four each month,
between them have won a total of almost £22,000, with the
raised for church funds!
first, it looked like I might not get the
full 100 members required, but after several months, I had a waiting
numbers soon increased to over 170, and the prize fund grew, as did the
church’s profits. More recently, numbers have dwindled a little, due to
personal circumstances, and for the last few months the number of
settled at around 145. This still means winnings and profits totalling
I am sure there are some of you reading
this article who are not yet members! Why not join us? If you are a
member, why not take another number and increase your chances of
there any members of your family who would like to receive a cheque
church? Now is a good time to join…
Why?To celebrate the 100 club’s fifth birthday
draw taking place on November 6th, there will be a little non-cash
the four winners.
How?Just contact me for a Standing Order form
(details below). This will be for just £5 per month for each
entry, and will be
debited to your account on the 20th of each month for the following
draw, ie. payment made on 20th October will be for the 6th November
Remember, more than one entry per person is allowed and I can provide
a Standing Order form for any multiple of £5! If you prefer, you
can pay for 6
or 12 months in advance.
Straightaway, if you
want a chance to win that little extra something in November, otherwise
would like to ask any previous winners to send
me any (printable) stories of how their prize money has been spent! Has
enabled you to go for a meal in that expensive restaurant you wouldn’t
splash out on? Have you been able to buy something for a loved one?
spent a proportion of it and Gift Aided the remainder back to church?
know your story, and it can be printed in this magazine to inspire
are thinking about joining! For example, when my brother won, he used
winnings to pay for his fare to Tresco in the Scilly Isles to take part
marathon in which he, in turn, raised money for Cystic Fibrosis. So, St
100 Club can have far reaching benefits!
can contact me as follows:
Address:7 Longwood Close, Rainford,
forget, you’ve got to be in it to win it! (I coined that phrase before
Winton started using it for the national lottery!)
Joy for Reverend’!
This choice headline (papers never know how to refer
to priests!) in a recent ‘Crosby Herald’ reports the good news that
McDougall, ordinand from St Faith’s and NSM at Christ Church, Waterloo,
been appointed chaplain at the Academy of St Francis of Assisi in
academy is a new school and a joint foundation of the
Anglican and Roman Catholic Dioceses: it is the first secondary school
UK to have the environment and its sustainability as its specialism.
Rev McDougall (there they go again!) will provide
spiritual and personal support to the academy’s staff and pupils.
we go to press, Denise reports that she is finding
her new role exciting and challenging – she promises to tell us more
in due course. Meanwhile, all at St Faith’s who remember her with
send their loving congratulations for her new work and witness.
on holiday in Anglesey this summer we visited four churches, three of
had not seen before.
first was the church of St Maelog in the village of Llanfaelog, where
a Flower Festival and Craft Fair. On Friday 8th July we visited the
Festival and Craft Fair when the church was full of colour. This is a
that was recently reordered to a design by architect Adam Voelcker.It is carpeted throughout and has the most
chairs that we have ever found in a church, but more important than
that is the
warmth with which we have been greeted every time that we have attended
Eucharist there. There is a stained glass window by art student Tiffany
previous member of the church choir, and nave altar and other woodwork
“Tree of Life” theme made by local craftsman Colin Pearce.
were able to join the congregation on Sunday for their VE/VJ Day
and thanksgiving service of readings, hymns and songs at which a wreath
laid on the war memorial by a member of the British Legion.It is the only time that we have ever joined
in the singing of“There’ll be blue
birds over the white cliffs of Dover” and “We’ll meet again” in church.
lunch we went to find St Cwyfan, “The Church in the Sea”. This 12th
church once stood on a cliff of clay overlooking the sea but attached
mainland.Eventually the sea eroded the
cliff and a sea wall had to be built around the church to save it. Now
church is at times surrounded by the sea and can only be reached at low
along a causeway.Services are held in
the church two or three times in the summer especially on Sea Sunday.
the church there is a walk of about a mile from a locked gateway.
in the holiday we went to visit St Gwenllwyfo’s Church at Llysdulas,
open on Wednesday and Saturday afternoons during July and August and is
worth a visit.There was an ancient
church dedicated to St Gwen near Llysdulas, but when William Lewis
had inherited the Parys Mountain copper fortune from his parents,
Parliament, he was made Lord Dinorben. He set about improving his
estate of Llysdulas and hoped to build a new church of St Gwen’s.
died and his young wife Lady Dinorben made a donation of nearly
£1,000 so that
the church could be built. Their daughter, Miss Gwen Gertrude Hughes,
foundation stone in 1854 and the church was opened in 1856. Miss Hughes
Sir Arundel Neave, an ancestor of Airey Neave MP and it was another
Sir Thomas Neave who was a collector of artwork, who originally owned
stained glass that can be seen in the church today.
Protestants took over Roman Catholic churches on the continent they
sold glass which they considered theologically unsound. One buyer was a
cloth merchant named Hampp who settled in Norwich and traded with
source of many of the glass panels in St Gwenllwyfo’s churchwas a Carthusian Monastery in Louvain in
Belgium.Sir Thomas left a quantity of
glass to his great grandson Sir Arundel and it was some of this glass
donated to the church in 1877 to be mounted inside the existing windows
preserve it from the weather
are examples of this glass in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London,
Burrell collection in Glasgow, in Washington U.S.A and the Metropolitan
of Art in the U.S.A.The curator of the
Metropolitan Museum commented “The best two places in the world to see
Flemish glass are the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and
church in Europe.”
“Adoration of the Magi” is depicted in the bottom left hand corner of
window. By the Middle Ages these had become the three kings. The Virgin
has the typical oval face and downcast eyes to show her modesty, that
seen in Flemish Art of the 15th and 16th centuries.
top panel of this window depicts the raising of Lazarus and to
he had been buried for four days a man on the right is holding a
his nose. This is very common in Flemish paintings of this scene.
bottom panel shows the healing of Peter’s mother-in-law
top panel of this window shows Mary suckling the infant Jesus. She is a
of the Mother Church which feeds the growing Christ in our souls. She
the moon which represents the Old Testament, behind her is an aura of
representing the New Testament. It is by the light of the New Testament
the Old Testament can be understood.
the bottom panel there is a very rare depiction of Jesus wearing a
hat.He was mistaken for a gardener
Mary Magdalen. The priests of the Vatican in the early 16th century
to be believable to simple people in a hot country Jesus needed to be
with a straw hat. This glass was made in Malines about 1522 like many
other panels. There are 27 of these ancient glass panels displayed in
then went to see St Eilian’s Church Llaneilian. This is one of the most
churches on the Island of Anglesey.The
present building dates from the 12th and 15th centuries. It has an
square tower with a pyramidal-shaped spire.
interior of the church is noted for its rood screen featuring a
wood carvings of saints and musicians. The motto written on the blade
scythe held by the skeleton is “The sting of death is sin.”
& Chris Dawson
From the Registers
Sperling, daughter of Roland and Sandra
Edward Smith, son of Paul and Leanne
Samuel Trodden-Harrison,son of Sean and
Roberts,daughter of Simon and Jane
AugustRobert Radford and
has been running for a few years now and caters for children aged 7 –
11. I am
delighted to say that those who work with our young people in St.
Waterloo are keen to take some people on this Children’s Pilgrimage
and will be organising a coach for this event which is the first
April, 2006. If you have children or grandchildren this age, and you
may be interested in going, please speak to me. It is my hope that
families may have the opportunity to come to the Vicarage on S. Faith’s
[when we will have the Administrator of Walsingham here as our guest
and learn a little from Fr. Philip about what is involved. Why should
be the older people who have the opportunity to go to these places and
themselves? Funding is available for any who would like their children
but would find the cost prohibitive. Watch this space!!
The Jospice Donkey
24 September on the playing fields of Great Crosby RC Primary School
sponsor a race or own a donkey in a race contact Jospice on 932 6026/5
Thursday 25th August a large congregation of family, friends,
colleagues, local tradesmen, Rotarians, Round Table members and other
gathered in St Faith’s to share in the funeral service of thanksgiving
his earlier years John had been much involved in the life and worship
Faith’s and, with his brother Michael and uncle George, formed part of
large band of servers, the ranks of whom, as a callow youth, I was
to join in the summer of 1963.
greatest and most valuable contribution to the church came in the
amount of time, commitment, energy and enthusiasm he poured into the
organisations – initially the scout troop and, later, as Akela and
leader of a
very popular and thriving wolf cub pack.
professional expertise as a competent and reliable local electrician of
repute was also put to good effect in St Faith’s over many years. Not
the very efficient microphone system he installed in the 1960s, which
being used into the new millennium.
the face of the very serious kidney disorder sustained in his later
showed exemplary fortitude, good humour and patience. He was a devoted
his mother, ‘Queenie’, especially in her widowed years, and will be
missed by many, particularly his beloved wife Dianne, and their sons
Benjamin. To all the Goodwin family who, over the years, have given so
St Faith’s, we offer our thoughts, prayers and deepest condolences. May
rest in God’s peace and be raised in His glory.
More news from the
Treasurer, David Jones, writes …
big “thank you” is due to all those of you who returned your amended
orders.The old bank accounts closed at
the end of July and our new bankers, Lloyds TSB, worked very hard to
smooth changeover.We are particularly
grateful to those who felt able to increase their giving; so far, this
realised an additional £100+ per month.
anyone would like to take out a monthly standing order (it’s a much
to give to the church!), please ask me for a form.Gift Aid forms, too, are available.
new blue Gift Aid envelopes are proving to be increasingly popular and
widely used at the Saturday Recitals.Over £600 has been given in that way in only two months –
that the Inland Revenue will give the church an extra £168.That must be good news! Some people, however,
have kindly put money in the envelope but not completed their details
front.We can only claim the tax backif
your name, address and signature are filled in.Thank
are delighted to report that income from this season’s Saturday
£1,746.Although this is extremely
welcome, we must not lose sight of the principal benefits, namely
some wonderful music and enjoying good fellowship. Again, a big “thank
must go to the team of performers, planners, organisers and caterers
thoroughly enjoyable series.
Table Sales have also provided a new and much needed source of income -
so far.Our thanks again go to the team
for all their hard work.
have had many requests for more concerts to continueSt Faith’s musical tradition and so we are
currently planning a new series of four or five Saturday Recitals to
through the winter months before our 2006 Summer Series begin again on
Saturday, 22 April.Details will be
announced in time for the Patronal Festival but they will follow a
format to the Summer Series, beginning at 12 noon and lasting for about
always, there are likely to be some new performers next season and any
suggestions for new names would be welcome.The season will continue every Saturday until the grand finale
Saturday, 26 August (the Bank Holiday weekend) when we will be treated
now traditional Kelley/Callacher piano duet.
have a small, but incredibly hard-working team who set up and dismantle
and chairs, provide catering and help with administration each week but
we could do with some more helpers.The more people on the rota, the easier it becomes.
you would like to help, please contact Fr Neil, Margaret Davies, Miriam
Chris Price or David Jones.
an ‘outsider’, so to speak, I made a request to Fr
Neil to include in his prayers my grand-nephew Thomas Craven, aged 14
together with his family are members of Leyland Road Methodist Church
was to undergo heart surgery in connection with an
ongoing condition from when he was only a few months old. I was, as
parents and older brother, naturally very concerned. I understand that
were offered both at St Faith’s and St Mary’s, a gesture which we as a
very much appreciate.
I’m very pleased to report, has made a remarkably
speedy recovery. Even the hospital were amazed, discharging him only a
after the operation, on the understanding that he eases up on his
sports, at least for the time being. In the meantime, he’s looking
returning to school in September – apparently he would only agree to
hospitalisation as long as it didn’t interfere with his school term!
sincere thanks to all at both Churches for
including Tom in your prayers and thoughts.
Brian Williams and the
Fr. Damian Feeney
explores the report, ‘Mission-Shaped
role of the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham in the Mission of the
Church is a
vital one.Why should that be?Mary is, quite simply, our model of
mission.Hers is a life lived in the
intimate presence of Jesus; and, as the image of Our Lady of Walsingham
she draws her children to Christ as she presents Him to the world.Like many pilgrims I am struck by the fact
that Mary stopped at nothing to co-operate in God’s plan.Our Mother placed her life at God’s disposal,
and so he is able to meet us in Christ.As the Church seeks new ways of enabling people to encounter
she mirrors more and more the response of Mary.
year the Church received the report entitled Mission-Shaped
Church.As a member of the
report’s Working Party it
has been my privilege to travel around the country talking to Synods
groups.It’s been an enjoyable and
thought-provoking process, as we seek to understand where God is
has had a big impact.It has been taken to heart by those who formulate mission
strategy.It has created an environment
that would have been unthinkable a few years ago.That
is unsettling in a context dominated by
discussions over the consecration of women, and others such debates.The picture becomes confusing, and our
becomes less than enthusiastic.
moments are capable of more than one interpretation.They are either signs of decline, or they are
a wake-up call, a Kairos moment in the life of the Church,
is a need for reform if the Church is to reach out to new generations.Anglican Catholicism is at such a crossroads.This is a massive moment of opportunity for
us in the Church of England – if we choose to take it, if we wait to
the Church of England shapes in the next few years we stand to lose our
completely.So much effort is occupied
by debates of women bishops and human sexuality that we are
deflected from the call to evangelism which the local Church continues
as its most pressing priority.
have found much to praise – and criticise – in the report.Language implying the kind of church we are
is certainly present, and stimulates debate.My anxiety is that we allow this to colour our view and lose
sight of a
great deal of important material. There is nothing wrong with a report
us re-visit our understanding of the Church.If understanding is enriched, then we are better for it,
our feelings about particular theological stances.Church reports are incomplete and imperfect –
part of a process whereby the Church seeks to discern God’s will.They are never the last word, but stimulate
debate as the church tests them in the light of scripture, tradition
reason.That is good, especially when
criticism is constructive rather than merely destructive.
history of Anglican Catholicism is a history of pioneers.We revere the stories of priests such as
Father Lowder, the founder of the Society of the Holy Cross.Our Victoria forebears preached, taught,
celebrated and lived the faith in a different context, and there is a
us to re-visit our social context, as the Report seeks to do.What of those who are prevented from
to Church because society seems to have lost sight of the need for
Sabbath?People work flexible hours,
often on a Sunday: for some there is little choice.We point to the daily Mass which is so very
important in the lives of Catholic Christians – but can we be sure that
genuinely answers people’s needs? I’m not talking here about
which is crucial, but the need for education and nurture. Nurture
begun to address this, but there is so much further to go.
remain those for whom the Church is an alienating experience.Many cannot differentiate between Catholic,
Liberal and Evangelical.They are dimly
aware of denominations, have seldom opened a Bible, and do not utter
of Jesus Christ without blaspheming.Moments of Church attendance are rare, and often uncomfortable.Every Parish has experiences of visitors
feeling bewildered in the context of liturgy.I can recall visitors having to be asked not to smoke during
there was plenty of smoke at the other end of the Church!).Culture and patterns of behaviour are still
assumed when we can no longer afford to do so.
raises important questions.Catholic
Christians need to ask these
questions like anyone else.How do we
respond to those whose experience of church is alienating and negative?How is Christ revealed to them?These are not ‘fringe’ worshippers about whom
we can make a few assumptions.These
souls are disconnected from the life of the Church.Does the offering of a daily mass by itself
enable us to be in touch with such people?
Eucharist is central to our lives.Here,
as nowhere else, we encounter the Lord Jesus and are transformed by him.The Eucharist is also very much its own
catechesis.However, as we guide people
towards the Eucharist we need a range of approaches to make that
real.Persuading people to ‘come to
Mass’ has a limited impact without the necessary preparation.Perhaps this will be the true value of Mission-Shaped
Church for Catholics – to help us question the approaches we
people to encounter Jesus, with the Sacraments at the very heart of the
sacramental life of the Church is as vital today as ever.That is why it is essential that ‘Fresh
Expressions’ of church see the sacraments as integral to the mission
and not just as a bolt-on extra.That will happen if Catholics are prepared to engage with Mission-Shaped
Church.There are examples of
sacramental church planting in the Church of England – but they are few.
God, we must raise up a new generation of pioneer priests and people
prepared to be creative, to plant new churches and congregations, to
community need, to stop at nothing to convince people of the
of God, who stopped at nothing to draw all people to him.Neither should we.
Damian Feeney is Vicar of Woodplumpton St Anne and Assistant Diocesan
in the Diocese of Blackburn
‘The Man for the Ministry’
fourth despatch from the front line
Hello everybody, on a scale of 1-9, I’m on
4! The first academic year was completed in June and, as I write,
are starting to gear up to commence with the new term in September.
the term has finished, we have been
left with plenty of assignments and tasks to keep us occupied over the
months-I have made a mental note to book next year’s summer holiday
assignments are completed and not before! However, I have handed
latest essay, ‘What is the ideology of Deuteronomy and what are its
effects on Judaism and Christianity.’ Yes, last term’s subject was the
Testament and very interesting it was too. I even managed to get
and Mona sharing the experiences of Isaac and Rebecca by having them
exegesis of Genesis 26:1-16, but I have spared them the Deuteronomy
although Miriam does proof-read all my work.
the end of last term we witnessed the third
year students being commended to their future parishes. This was an
experience for many, NOC life coming to an end, separation from fellow
and ordination only days away. It was a simple service, with
friends present but packed with a mixture of what lay ahead combined
had been accomplished.
back over the past year it has become
clear that the process of formation has been and is taking place.
itself is quite incredible, I am not the person I was twelve months
I think even reading my past end of term reports a difference can be
I know that I can notice the change. One such change - not so
change but a development of something that was already present - is the
flowering of my love for Christ. It’s often said that when a
relationship ends, over a quarrel for instance, you didn’t realise what
until it was no longer part of your life. I had that same sort of
feeling, not a loss of faithbut
a realisation of its intensity that had been previously
unknown to me. The feeling is difficult to describe, especially
appearing to be over sentimental, but I feel it, I carry it around with
it makes me smile.
ahead to next term, we will be studying
alongside new members joining in September and also new members joining
second year students who are only studying for two years instead of the
standard three. Along the way, some of our company are now
different paths, so things do change; in fact NOC is only the same for
months, as one year leaves, another joins.
start at Wakefield Police College; the
immediate tasks for me will be to take part in a group presentation on
Franciscan spirituality and to lead worship over the weekend, both of
am preparing for now. For the year group as a whole we will be looking
New Testament. We begin with the Book of Revelation, a study that
be sharing with Mona - well I did let her off with Deuteronomy.
for now and God bless,
the time you read this, the busy autumn season for the Waterloo
will be in full swing. First of all, on Tuesday September 20th, there
special showing of the film of local writer Frank Cottrell Boyce’s book
award-winning book ‘Millions’ at the Plaza cinema, which helped to
for the project.
then also the plans and activity involved in getting together a
full of goods large and small, ready to ship out to Sierra Leone in a
two, will be further advanced. Fred and Linda Nye have been busy on the
logistics front, gatheringin material
and organising storage.Various events
and launchings are coming up fast!
Partnership website now has its own URL (Unique Resource Locator, or
simply easily identifiable address) – it is www.waterloopartnership.co.uk.On it you will find all you need to know
about future plans – and a detailed ‘shopping list’ of the many and
items we hope top gather in from friends and well-wishers in the weeks
ready for shipping them out where the schools, churches and communities
desperately need them. You can offer itmes online, or alternatively
me, Kathy Zimak, Fred or Linda Nye.
St Faith in the
little book, published
in 1950 (priced at two shillings!) by The Society for the Propagation
Gospel in Foreign Parts, supplied to me by Fr Dennis Smith,whose
reproduced above, tells a remarkable story. The St Faith’s of the title
the Brandon Diocese of the Anglican Church in Canada, and it was there
Miss Marguerita Fowler came from England fairly early in the last
founded the Canadian ‘Bishop’s Messengers’ to spread the gospel, and
schools and missions over a very large area. Starting at Swan River
then the northern limit of the main settled area, and a parish itself
miles square, she and her workers extended their influence over the
leading north to Hudson Bay.
Mother House of this
lay order (it seems never to have been monastic as such, although they
distinctive clothing, created a Rule, recited daily offices and held
became known as a true household of faith. "We called the house St.
Faith's because we already had a vision of the work opening in many
and we realized we were out on "venture of faith",' Miss Fowler wrote
in 1931. She and her helpers worked tirelessly in remote areas, both
settlers and with the Siioux Indians, and established Sunday Schools
to England where she died in 1970. An internet search of the
Diocese shows no trace of St Faith’s name, the mother house having been
and its purpose changed, although the scattered mission outposts her
to set up exist today as staffed Anglican parishes. What also remains
plaque in Brandon Cathedral, recorded on its website. It reads
To the Glory of
God and in memory of Margeurita (sic) D. Fowler O.B.E. Founder of Bishop’s Messengers of St Faith’s 1928, Born 1884 –Died 1970.
was placed there,
according to the Cathedral, ‘on Feb. 26, 1973 in honor of a great
lady whose vision and fervent dedication to a calling has furnished the
of Swan River and surrounding areas with a unique experience in
Christian love and charity.’
(apparently quite a rarity) tells the story of this indomitable
She chose our patron’s name for its meaning rather than its story, but
and work add a very real lustre to the long story of Saint
and all those associated with her down the centuries.
…and down in the
The ubiquitous Google
internet search engine throws up some intriguing oddities. The St
Token, illustrated above, is a rare South African coin, whose origins
be obscure, but which is recorded on numismatic websites. Here is what
rare South African
tokens from the Umzimkulu region: St Faith's Token.
The first St Faith's token "discovered" by a numismatist (Scott
Balson) – as recorded in Dr Theron's 1980 book on South African tokens.
much is known about these tokens but there is a Roman Catholic Mission,
dare cross a real scary old timber bridge over a deep gorge in the St
Umtentweni, district East of Ixopo. Up to date, three or four St
have been found - the value of this token being about R3750,000 and
this token is rare, it can still be purchased today.’
than this I have
been unable so far to discover, having drawn a blank on Umtentweni and
‘real scary old timber bridge’. Another website reckons the St Faith’s
to be actually unique, and values it at $3,000. It would be interesting
discover more about the Mission, its connection with our patron and the
and use of these tokens.