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The Parish Magazine
of Saint Faith's Church, Great Crosby

Saint Faith’s Prayer for Mission

God of unchanging power, your Holy Spirit enables us to proclaim your love in challenging times and places:
give us fresh understanding and a clear vision, that together we may respond to the call
to be your disciples and to rejoice in the blessings of your kingdom;
we ask this in the name of Him who gave His life that ours might flourish,
your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

If you would like to receive a postal copy of Newslink  each month, free of charge, email the Editor 

September 2008

From the Ministry Team         

Dear friends,

Judging by the reaction of some people in recent months over the issue of women bishops (which our Anglican Church has had for years if we take our catholicity seriously), gay bishops (say no more!) and a possible combination of both, one might get the impression that what the General Synod or Lambeth Conference is trying to do is to arrange for Buddhists, Jews, Christians, Hindus and Muslims to all concelebrate at the same Altar week by week! The hateful, spiteful nasty comments by people declaring themselves ‘out of communion’ with each other, unable to come to the Lord’s table if someone gay is there or a women priest is present, beggar belief. Given that this is very often the public face of Christianity, is it any wonder that churches are shutting at an alarming rate?

“We are the body of Christ”. And well we are. The actions of the priest at the fraction (the breaking of the consecrated host) at every mass remind us that it is, and always has been, a fractured body. We look to the Cross for that message. As I said recently from the pulpit, some people have a very small and narrow view of God: clearly their God isn’t able to cope with difference and diversity, despite the fact that has been the hallmark of the Church of England since its beginnings!

Speaking to Bishops at the Lambeth Conference, Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, said: ‘The ordination of women to the episcopate effectively and definitively blocks a possible recognition of Anglican orders by the Catholic Church.’ The Bishops were unsurprised by his statement. Why? Because in 1896 Pope Leo XI issued a bull, ‘Apostolicae Curae’, which declared Anglican orders ‘absolutely null and utterly void’. The official teaching of the Church of Rome hasn’t altered since then and neither will it, I’m afraid. It was a statement made “to be believed in perpetuity.”

We were ‘warned’ about the obstacles to Unity before women were ordained priests in 1994, and the same was said before and after women were admitted to Holy Orders in 1987 as deacons. In fact, no-one gave a bigger push to women being ordained deacon as one Graham (now Monsignor) Leonard:  his farewell gift to the C of E!  The official line will always be the official line of the Church of Rome, however ‘nice and friendly’ we want to be about it. Differences of opinion though over matters doctrinal, theological or ecclesiological are no excuse for bad “table manners”!

For many years I have had good friends who are Roman Catholic priests and on some occasions they have allowed me to celebrate an Anglican Eucharist in their churches. They will not receive from me – how can they? I am not a ‘priest’ of their Church. However, they will not declare their Altars ‘contaminated’ afterwards and fumigate their vestments. In their eyes I am as much a validly ordained Anglican priest as any female validly ordained Anglican priest!  There is, however, a generosity of spirit which I have received from such friends and which many in the Church of England seem unable to produce at present.

And while we argue and fracture the Body of Christ even more, people continue, at least in this parish, to face real hardship and poverty, to bury loved ones after awful battles with cancer and watch their very young children go through chemotherapy. There is an urgent task facing the Church and whilst we will have some very real disagreements (the membership of our Ministry Team reflects differing views on the ordination of women…), that does not have to lead to a breakdown of church-family life. St. Faith’s has amongst its ranks those who read the Daily Telegraph, The Daily Mail, the Guardian and possibly even The Sun! It has people with strong allegiances to different political parties. It has people who are members of Forward in Faith and those who belong to Affirming Catholicism, those who are deeply in favour of the Royal Family and those who are deeply against! We can co-exist if we want to. That is a possibility!

Pray for the Church, but most importantly pray for those who have not yet come to faith in Christ. Let us hope that the Church will not put them off God for ever!

With my love and prayers

Fr Neil

A Prayer for Unity

We ask you to
forgive the sin that mingles
even with our holiest actions.

Forgive us for the ways in which
we have hurt and dismembered
your body, the church.

Forgive us for any way in which
we have, thoughtlessly or deliberately,
insulted or patronised
those who are called by the same name as ourselves.

Forgive us if we have prayed for unity
and done nothing,
or very little,
to help bring it about,
preferring prayers to action
and fantasies to hard reality.

Be active,
be disturbing,
be empowering,
in your church,
and among Christian people throughout the world.

Remind us of the mighty company
in heaven and on earth
to which we all belong.
John Harvey


Dates for the Diary in the United Benefice


Saturday 20th September at 7.30pm at St Mary’s…
with Neil Kelley (organ) and visiting musicians.
If you have been before you know this is an event not to miss! 
Tickets £5 to include a free glass of champagne during the interval


Sunday 5th October


11.00 am  Family Eucharist & Parade Service
6.00 pm      Harvest “Songs of Praise” in S. Mary’s, ollowed by a glass of cider and buffet Harvest Supper

“All good gifts around us are sent from heav’n above,
Then thank the Lord, O thank the Lord, For all his love.”


Monday October 6th

8.00pm     Procession and High Mass
                Preacher: The Right Reverend Lindsay Urwin, (Bishop of Horsham),  followed by buffet supper   

Tuesday October 7th
2.15pm      Mass and Blessing of Pilgrims
3.00pm      Pilgrims depart for Santiago de Compostela

Sunday October 12th

11.00am    Solemn Mass: Preacher Fr. Martin Jones (S. Oswald’s, Winwick)
6.00pm      Festal Evensong, Procession and Te Deum

Saturday 4th October 2008 at 7.30pm

for Classic fm Music Makers, funding music therapy and education projects which help needy children and vulnerable adults across the UK.

Ann Marie Connors – Soprano
Neil Kelley – Piano
Melanie Harvey – Violin
Greg Cuff – ‘Cello

Tickets: £7.50 (concessions £6.50) to include an interval glass of wine

Pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela

It is with great anticipation and excitement that on Tuesday, 7th October, a group of 28 people, members of our two congregations, and a few friends, look forward to setting out on pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela.  However, unlike millions of pilgrims before us, we will not be walking the ancient route through France, via Conques, but will fly to Compostela and stay in a very comfortable hotel!  Compostela is built around the tomb of St. James the Apostle, which is located in the Cathedral, and is the end of several pilgrim routes through Europe.

Our pilgrimage will begin with a Mass and Blessing of Pilgrims in St. Faith’s Church just before we leave for our flight, and we will arrive back in Liverpool on Saturday, 11th October.

There is an interesting and varied programme arranged for us in and around Compostela, and Fr. Neil will lead our spiritual journey during our stay.

Those of us who went on the wonderful pilgrimage to Conques in 2004 have been looking forward to going to Compostela to see where those who have gone before us ended their pilgrimages. We will try to envisage the sights and sounds they experienced as we look forward to going to the Pilgrims’ Mass in the Cathedral, where we hope to see the great thurible swung during the service (eat your heart out, Geoff. Ed.)

We look forward to reporting our experiences in a future edition of Newslink, giving a flavour in words and pictures of our time away.

Joan Tudhope

A Good Read…

How does changing your library books at Church on Sundays strike you?

The proposal is for St Faith’s Lending Library to be sited at the back of Church every Sunday. Choose your book or books, enter them into the record ledger and pay 10p per book per week for the privilege in the honesty box provided. All proceeds to Church funds. Very simple indeed, with only one drawback – we need books!

If you have books you have enjoyed but no longer require, we would be grateful if you could donate them for the benefit of others’ enjoyment and ultimately for the benefit of St Faith’s. A box will be placed at the back of church for your donated books.

The library needs no manning: it only requires the boxes of books to be placed on a table together with the said record ledger and honesty box – the rest is up to you. Happy reading!

All enquiries, see me or telephone 476 1310.

Irene Taylor

Best Ever Recitals Season!

The 2008 season of Summer Saturday Recitals has, as well as being the longest with 23 recitals, been the most successful.  By the end of July, over £2,100 had been raised through refreshments and donations and 1,300 people had supported them.  We have been treated to organ recitals, choirs, jazz bands, soloists and instrumentalists.  At time of writing, there are still three great recitals before the end of another season. We shall shortly be able to publish the results of the questionnaires which many people kindly completed.  It really does help us to have honest feedback for planning the next series.

This year, for the first time, we have much to thank our Parish Administrator, Liz Mooney, for in this musical sphere. We have enjoyed huge coverage (almost weekly) in the Crosby Herald, the Liverpool Echo, BBC Radio and the regular e-bulletins from the Diocese and, as a result, the regular attenders and the retiring collection are up considerably on last year. Also, for the first time, we have enjoyed a consistent “house style” to the weekly programmes. It is no mean feat chasing performers for the programme details (many do not decide their programme till the week before – Father Neil has confessed!).

Many thanks to the small army of helpers, organizers and caterers who work hard to ensure that everyone receives a welcome and that everything is in place each week, not forgetting all those who get the church ready and make sure it is put back afterwards ready for business on Sunday.  More recitals this year has meant even more work than usual so a very big THANK YOU to everyone.

Organizing the 2009 series of concerts will be one of Liz’s major tasks in the coming months and this means we can look with certainty to another fine season of marvellous music-making.  You may wish to make a note that the 2009 Recitals will start at 12.00 noon on Saturday, 18 April which is the Saturday after Easter.

Very grateful thanks to everyone for your hard work and support and it is great to know that this is most definitely and firmly one of the much enjoyed Crosby institutions!

We look forward to seeing you again soon.

David Jones


The Things They Say…

I had a rose named after me and I was very flattered. But I was not pleased to read the description in the catalogue: ‘No good in a bed, but fine against a wall’.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Eleanor Roosevelt
The secret of a good sermon is to have a good beginning and a good ending; and to have the two as close together as possible. George Burns

My wife has a slight impediment in her speech. Every now and then she stops to breathe. Jimmy Durante

The male is a domestic animal which, if treated with firmness and kindness, can be trained to do most things.  Jilly Cooper

What’s the use of happiness? It can’t buy you money. Henny Youngman

I don’t feel old. I don’t feel anything until noon. Then it’s time for my nap. Bob Hope

I never drink water because of the disgusting things that fish do in it. W. C. Fields

Don’t worry about avoiding temptation... as you grow older, it will avoid you.   Winston Churchill

(as provided for Fr Dennis’ enjoyment by Martin Freeman, one-time member of St Faith’s)

‘Food for Thought’
Sermon preached by Fr. Neil on Sunday 3rd August.

On Friday afternoon, we ended the Holiday Club service by singing the song “Our God is a great big God”. Knowing the delicate sensibilities of the good people at S. Faith’s I am not going to teach you the words and actions to the song! But what an important message for children, as well as adults, to carry with them.

Our God is a great big God. Or, to use a more poetically acceptable language here at S. Faith’s. God is a generous God. Our God is a generous, overwhelmingly lavish God!

I can’t help but feeling that those who threaten to split from the church because they disapprove of gay bishops, or women bishops, or gay women lesbian bishops, have a very small view of God, or a limited understanding of God’s capacity to cope with difference and variety. Their God is a very small God!

The generosity of God is best expressed for the Christian community when we break bread together in obedience to the Lord’s command. Jesus didn’t tell us to have a service of prayer book matins, or great pyrotechnical all singing, all dancing, new fangled all age or even new age worship, fun though it might be – he told us to obey a command. To take bread, bless it, break it and share it.

In some miraculous way, just as with the feeding of the five thousand in today’s Gospel, something holy happens. In the forms of bread and wine, consecrated by the priest, we receive the very life-force of Jesus Christ Himself. How? You tell me!

At the heart of our liturgy we proclaim a “mystery of faith” – Christ has died, Christ is Risen, and Christ will come again. It doesn’t matter that we understand every single detail – where would be the need for faith then? - but it does matter that we are open to receive the gifts of God and willing to share them.

Both PCCs will be debating in the autumn the practice of admitting children to Holy Communion at a younger age and before Confirmation. There will be those who will say – they are too young? Do they understand? I think it will be interesting to see how the PCC votes as a vote will, I believe, give us a true indicator of whether we believe children are truly full members of the Body of Christ, or whether we wouldn’t honestly prefer them to be seen, heard a little, yet kept away from something “grown up”. Do they understand what goes on? Do you understand the mystery of the eucharist?

We celebrate the eucharist in a particular way on a Sunday, with ritual and ceremonial, with music and formality. But those who attend weekday masses (sadly very few) might experience the eucharist celebrated in a more simple way gathering around the altar of the chapel of the cross. Not the same formality but the same things happening.

But in each and every Eucharist the actions are the same: 1. the Priest Takes Bread; 2. the priest Blesses bread; the priest Breaks the bread; the People Share the Consecrated Bread.

In today’s Gospel reading food was taken to a gathering. A gathering of hungry souls. Our Lord raised his eyes to heaven and said the blessing. Then the loaves were broken. 5,000 souls were fed, importantly, men, women and children too!

The Lord is overwhelming in his generosity towards us. He lavishly gives us the food of life, the Eucharist, which we celebrate together today. He gives it even when we are not worthy (which we never are!). So as we thank him for the gift of the Eucharist, and indeed the many ways we are fed, what do we need to take on board?

God gives himself freely to us in word and sacrament. We are encouraged to imitate this same generosity. Great charitable movements come from people feeling free to give out of their little.

We are challenged to give freely in all aspects of our lives. At the end of the day, the manner of the Eucharistic celebration is nowhere near as important as the act itself, nor as important as the need all of us have to be nourished by the Lord.

Some of my friends are getting fed up with my obsession with reading the labels on packaging telling you how many calories something contains, or how much sugar or fat. For someone trying to be careful about food after nearly 40 years of not being, such information is helpful though very often depressing! But we all know what happens when we eat what is good for us and when we eat what isn’t good for us.

People say very often, you are what you eat!! We can interpret that in many ways. St. Augustine said: “Become what you eat; receive what you are”. How is the balance of your spiritual diet?

Are you getting enough nourishment from the Word of God? That is to say, are you reading your Bible regularly? How often are we fed? Is our feeding on Christ haphazard? Does the bread of life nourish and feed us regularly or are we not bothered if we miss mass on a Sunday or two? We shouldn’t skip meals – even spiritual ones!

The phrase “to keep body and soul together” is a silly one – our souls of course are bound up with our bodies, at least while we are alive.

But just think how you and I might be – just think how the world might be – if we took the same trouble with our spiritual health and diet as we do – often to the point of obsession – with our physical health and well-being. A ‘companion’ is literally one with whom we share bread. As we eat the Bread of Heaven, as we receive the Body and Blood of Jesus, are we prepared to become like him? Are we prepared to be broken so that His life can be given to the world through us?

God is a generous God and the call to share at his table is a call to all the baptized, young and old, rich and poor, gay and straight, famous and infamous, black and white. At God’s celebration there are potentially as many places at the table as there are people he has created.

In the eucharist, Christ provides the food needed for the journey and if we place ourselves in His hands we can truly become what we receive.

You Are So Extravagant Jesus

You are so extravagant Jesus –
unbelievably extravagant in everything you do.
You made a superabundance of things that are considered
of little value.

How many cast a second glance
at sunrises and sunsets?
Yet both go flaunting around the skies
like women parading new dresses.

How many of us bother our heads
about a field filled with varnished buttercups?
We can’t eat them.
Yet you find buttercups so cheap and fascinating
to produce
that golden carpets flop around everywhere.

Then there are the huge heaving seas.
Why make so much water Jesus?
We can’t drink it.
And all those snowflakes endlessly parachuting to earth.
Why send so many
and why each one a different pattern and shape?
Sheer extravagance.

No Jesus
you are by no means economical.
Even a picnic on a hill
resulted in twelve baskets filled with leftovers.

When Mary of Bethany was extravagant in her worship of you
people cried ‘Economise!’
You said,
‘This woman’s extravagance will be praised and remembered for ever.’

Yes, my younger brother,
you are beginning to glimpse
a hue in the rainbow of My character:
creation demonstrates My extravagance
and may be considered outlandish, preposterous
yet it symbolises My love for you.

Commonsense is finite
a companion of timidity
and timidity produces

I was not sensible
or calculating
or precise
when I loved you
from that hillside.

Economy takes no risks.
Without venture
there can be no adventure.

I tell you
My younger brother
that, alongside wealth,
economy has been deified.
However, I make no allowances for
cutting cloth accordingly,
nor for hoarding for rainy days;
you must give yourself extravagantly.
The security in the apparent wisdom of economy
is opposite to the nature of My Father
who delights in feeding millions of birds
with billions of insects;
Who cultivates grasses and invents flowers
simply for the joy of it.

Phil Streeter   

The Sand Dune Story!

As I’m sure many of you know by now, next March I shall be trekking 100km across the Sahara Desert for the music charity Classic fm Music Makers, helping to bring music to the handicapped and under-privileged. I thought I would give you details of our itinerary.

On Day 1 we depart Heathrow for Ouarzazate via Casablanca: so far so good! The next day we have a detailed briefing then leave for the 5 hour drive to M’Hamid where we have lunch, the camels are loaded and we start our late-afternoon trek across flat open  plains to Erg Loudi, our first taste of small dunes where we make camp. We will be walking for 3 hours.

Day 3. Hot coffee and a good breakfast set us up for a 6-hour trek into a flat rocky plateau where we will eventually stop for the night. The following day we walk across flat open plains where the ground is firm and stony; later we head across beauifully formed low dunes (although after walking all that time I’m not sure I’ll think so!) and we camp on a bluff overlooking the dunes. This will mean walking for 7 hours and this will be the pattern for the rest of the week.

On Day 5 we head off down a gulley on to the desert floor. We spend the morning crossing the Hamada (stony desert). We have several short climbs and cross dry and dusty plains. There is very little vegetation around but we find the only tree for miles and sit under it to have lunch. Then we set off until we cross a ridge and have a spectacular view of Chgaga, the largest sand dune of the region and we camp below the dune for the night. The day starts with the spectacular climb and incredible view from the top of Chgaga -  a 100m height gain. To the south are rolling dunes as far as you can see and to the north Hamada and the Jebel Bani. In the late afternoon we finally reappear (hopefully!) from the dunes and head out across flat desert and acacia trees where we camp near a well.

Day 7 is a day of mirages and flat saltpans. We firstly walk across several kilometres of Hamada with dunes lying to the south. We are pretty close to our 100th kilometre now and the last few are done crossing this remote and desolate place. Our last night is spent on the salt pan with its incredible sunset.

On the final day we load into open trucks for a 2-hour dusty, bumpy drive back to a coach and a 6-hour drive to Marrakech.

For the privilege of doing this I have to raise £2,500! Over the next few weeks I shall be meeting myself coming back! August 16th featured a Nearly New and home made cake sale in church. I shall be bag packing in Waitrose, Formby on 6th September, so if anyone has an hour to spare that day please let me know. 13th September sees a quiz night in the church hall. Tickets will be £5,  to include a hot supper; please bring your own drink. To date that’s all I have organised, but if anyone has a fund raising ideas I would be glad to hear them, although I have one or two other things up my sleeve.

I would like to thank all those who have helped me so far, I wouldn't have managed without them, and a special thank you to Father Neil for his support.

More news soon,

Mari Griffiths

(See the notice above about the Patronal Festival Concert  for another source of funding for the Cause. Follow the front page link for more about the charity (and the walker!) – and how to donate online.)

News from Medic Malawi: An Amazing Gift

The Trustees of Medic Malawi have once again been overwhelmed by the generosity of an anonymous benefactor, who has donated a very large sum to the charity. 

Following her recent visit to Mthunthama, Dot Forsyth has brought back the news that rising fuel prices and many other commodities are bringing further hardship to the area; for example fuel has more than trebled in price and is extremely scarce and fertilizer, essential to successful crops, has risen from K3,000 to K9,000 in the last few months. Famine is again on its way and more money will have to be provided by Medic Malawi to sustain the hundreds of under-fives as they daily arrive at the nutritional centre for help.

The donation has indeed arrived at a fortuitous time! The foundations have been laid for two new houses, but funds have run out for the building of them. Thanks to the donation these can now be completed, thus enabling the hospital to employ two more nurses, who will be housed in the new buildings. At present seven nurses are employed to run the whole of the hospital, but two are on maternity leave, therefore five nurses are working flat out to cover all the necessary duties.

On behalf of the people of Mtunthama we would like to thank the person who so generously and selflessly supports the work of Medic Malawi.  A text message was sent to Mac Forsyth, still working in Malawi until the end of July, about the gift and his reply says it all “Praise God”.

Margaret Houghton

Dear All,

Greetings in the Mighty Name of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Amen. You are always in our prayers and thoughts.  And our family is proud of you.

We are all fine only that the crops in many gardens haven’t done very well as such the hunger that has hit Mtunthama will prolong.  Thanks  for all  the  financial  support you
always give to our family. We were able to buy enough fertilizer for our garden. This year we will have good harvest from our garden unlike last year. This time we have a problem of food/maize because the prices have gone so high also.

At the Orphanage, everything is alright only that we are struggling to find food as Malawi is also experiencing hunger this year, especially here at our area. Most of the days the children go hungry due to food problems.

People are excited with the coming of two groups from U.K. in July. There are so many things and work to be done by them here like painting, teaching, sewing, cheering the sick, chatting to the orphans and many more. The work will be done at different places like the Church, the Hospital, Orphanage, Primary School, Secondary School, St Faith’s Kindergarten and in  the Community.


Rev. Frank, Eunice and Maranatha

Panto Time Again!

Our February production of Snow White seems like a distant memory now, and as ever, after a gruelling rehearsal schedule and hectic performance week, it is always my instinct to suggest that we should ‘have a year off next year’. However, now that it’s summer, I can’t help but think how dull next February will be if we were to have a year off. We have done three in successive years now, and we have built up some considerable momentum, not to mention a fantastic team of dedicated panto enthusiasts (particularly our costume, scenery and stage management departments!) So, even though I may have suggested ‘a year off’, I didn’t mean it, and have in fact changed my mind. I have decided to organise myself a bit earlier than normal this year, and would like to open up the opportunities to get involved in our 2009 pantomime (in any capacity, from actor to scenery decorator) to as wide an audience as possible from within our two churches. It would be great to have some new faces on board, so that our weary, time-served band of actors can have ‘a year off’ if they so choose. The actual performances will be during the February half term week, 16-22 February 2009.

If you are interested in participating, please let me know. I am going to shorten the schedule even more this year, so that those taking part don’t lose quite so many weekends. I would like to hold auditions in a more formal way than we have in previous years, by circulating scripts to those who are interested in taking character parts in advance of a ‘read through’ which will take place in St Mary’s Church Hall on
the afternoon of Sunday 12th October. This will allow people to familiarise themselves with the characters they wish to audition for, and the audition will take place the following Sunday afternoon on 19th October. I hope, by doing it this way, to give more people a chance to take part and appear in the pantomime. Principal characters will need to be available on Saturday morning during November, and then all-cast rehearsals will take place on Saturday mornings and Sunday afternoons during December, January and the run up to the show in February (with a bit of time off for Christmas!) There will of course be our usual ‘chorus’ parts, which won’t require any auditioning, as it is just nice to have you on board.

Hopefully, by the time you read this, I will have completed the script, so please let me know if you are interested in auditioning, so I can get a copy to you. Similarly, if you would like to help in a ‘non-acting’ capacity, please let me know and I’m sure we’ll be able to find something for you to do. There will be forms at the back of both churches for you to complete so as to indicate how you might be able to help.

So…on with the show. In case you’re wondering what it is, I thought we might try…RUMPELSTILTSKIN!

See you on the stage.
Leo Appleton
(Oh yes it is!)

Red Letter Events

Recent weeks have seen two very different events – one lasting a few hours, the other five days – both of which could well be described as Red Letter Happenings. This month’s centre page colour spread (many thanks to those who sponsor the cost of colour printing – more sponsors always welcome!) show some of the highlights of both events; as always the website has many more pictures.

The Deanery Eucharist was a very special event and very possibly the first time such a service has been held, at least at St Faith’s. In the run-up to the Lambeth Conference, where the bishops of the worldwide Anglican Communion meet (well, all but about 200 of them, but that’s another story) the Dioceses of the English Church played host to visiting bishops from abroad. Bishop Michael Sande, of Butere, Kenya, stayed in the Bootle Deanery and presided at the service at St Faith’s.

Every Anglican church in our Deanery was invited to join us, and many cancelled their normal services. They were also invited to sign up for lunch, an invitation which not surprisingly caused a flutter of excitement with our gallant team of catering ladies, as they waited to hear just how many to expect and how they could all be catered for.

In the end the morning was a huge success. There were over 300 in church, with a plethora of deanery priests and readers, headed up by the Area Dean, and they were treated to a splendid St Faith’s service, with an entertaining and inspiring sermon from the bishop, who clearly enjoyed himself greatly. His presence here and at the Conference was all the more welcome, since he told us that his Archbishop had discouraged his Diocesan bishops from attending, as part of the painful process of dispute over the issues of homosexuality and the ordination of women.

The after-church session was an equally happy occasion. The sun shone, and most of the congregation could wend their way into the hall, pick up their food, get a drink from the back of church and either fill their faces on consecrated ground or repair to the delights of the vicarage garden. Without doubt, a Good Time was Had by All, and the many appreciative comments at the time and afterwards made all the efforts by clergy, servers, caterers and assorted menials in every way worthwhile. The only problem was that there were several suggestions that, since it all went so well, we ought to do it as a regular event…

Scarcely time to relax, and it was time for the Children’s Holiday Club. This annual extravaganza sees some fifty children, between five and eleven abandoned for a week by their parents to the tender mercies of a band of dedicated leaders and helpers. The theme this year was Pirates, and four groups made things, painted things, dressed themselves up and learnt songs and routines. On one morning (again thankfully a fine one) they played games on Merchant Taylors’ School field; for a full day an old banger of a double-decker bus rattled them off to a Farm Centre near Queensferry where they fed animals, and themselves, and were towed around by tractors.

The last day saw a marvellous celebration service in the afternoon, where a goodly number of parents saw presentations by the groups (fully-costumed, with all the appropriately piratical accessories, including a pirate ship). Surely, never in the long history of international piracy have so many pious pirates prayed together.

The traditional disco and barbecue rounded everything off. More nice weather meant that those who chose not to be deafened by the disco in the Church hall could sit, and eat, and drink, in the fragrant bower that is the vicarage garden, as a fun-filled and rewarding week finally wound down, with more thanks and appreciation from parents and friends for another job well done. Just the cleaning away and sweeping up to be done then, with the happy thought that it was all over, at least for the next fifty-one weeks…

Chris Price

Time for Thanks

Many thanks to all those who donated to the sponsored walk, which took place on 31st May last in aid of church funds. We have banked a total of £450 so far, but 4 or 5 walkers are yet to collect up all their sponsor money (you know who you are). I realise that it seems quite some time ago now, but if there is anyone who didn't get a chance to sponsor the team or any individuals at the time, you may do so retrospectively. Meanwhile we look forward to doing another sponsored walk next year.


Leo Appleton

Margaret Hesketh Roberts. R.I.P

A retrospective tribute from Fr Dennis

Following admission to hospital on Palm Sunday, Margaret spent ten weeks being cared for until she died on May 25th last. Throughout that time she was occasionally in pain from her feet but was generally relaxed, comfortable and at peace. Having for many years sought stillness and contemplation in her own home, this final chapter in her life afforded her an even greater measure of that which she most enjoyed.

Margaret, and her husband Edward who died in 1978, moved to Crosby from London in 1948. They began worshipping at St Faith’s during the incumbency of Fr William Hassall and were grateful to him for his ministrations to Margaret’s mother, to whom he regularly brought the sacrament of Holy Communion. Edward’s health deteriorated throughout the 1970s and much of Margaret’s time was taken up with his care and nursing.

Following Edward’s death, Margaret participated more fully in the life of St Faith’s, was a regular mid-week communicant and served for many years on the P.C.C. and as a sidesperson.

In more recent times, through available car lifts and the help of friends, she was often able to attend the 6.30 pm mass on Fridays as well as the 11.00 am on Sunday. Margaret was a good and dear friend to many of us at St Faith’s and will be greatly missed. Her long life was underpinned by the importance and value she attached to her prayers and to the pursuit of being still in God’s presence. May she now rest in His peace and be raised in His glory.

Julie Andrews Comes Of Age

To commemorate her 69th birthday, Julie Andrews performed ‘My Favourite Things’  from the legendary movie ‘Sound Of Music’.  Here are the lyrics she used. Readers are encouraged to sing along with her…

Botox and nose drops and needles for knitting,
Walkers and handrails and new dental fittings,
Bundles of magazines tied up in string,
     These are a few of my favourite things.

Cadillacs and cataracts, hearing aids and glasses,
Polident and Fixodent and false teeth in glasses,
Pacemakers, golf carts and porches with swings,
     These are a few of my favourite things.

When the pipes leak,
When the bones creak,
When the knees go bad,
I simply remember my favourite things,
      And then I don’t feel so bad.

Hot tea and crumpets and corn pads for bunions,
No spicy hot food or food cooked with onions,
Bathrobes and heating pads and hot meals they bring,
      These are a few of my favourite things.

Back pain, confused brains and no need for sinning,
Thin bones and fractures and hair that is thinning, 
And we won’t mention our short shrunken frames,
      When we remember our favourite things.

When the joints ache,
When the hips break,
 When the eyes grow dim,
 Then I remember the great life I’ve had,
        And then I don’t feel so bad.

(Internet circulation)

Through the good offices of Hilary Pennington, who most readers will remember from her years at St Faith’s, I have exchanged poetry with David Yarham, a Methodist Lay Preacher from Norfolk (in which county Hilary now resides). Like me, he writes from a Christian perspective about places, people and beliefs, and I have found his poems, the writings of a fellow-traveller, appealing. I hope to reproduce examples from his publications from time to time, beginning with this thoughtful offering.

Inter-Faith Friendship
(to a Buddhist friend)

That we shall meet again you may be sure -
on some blue sea-beach in the Pleiades
or bivouacked beyond the Milky Way...

We will remember then how once we met
on this green planet,
how our lives touched briefly
and then went their separate ways.

And you shall teach me all the mysteries
 to which, along your way, you found the key.
And I will tell how every path I trod
(by mosque or temple, synagogue or shrine)
led always back to where I had begun
- a bloodied cross which from a hill proclaimed
the love of one who suffered there for me
and taught, ‘Love God, for this much God loves you
and such should your own love for others be’.

Forgive me if I have not understood
your view of truth - my own will take me more
than one brief lifetime fully to explore.

David Yarham

100+ club winners: August 2008

1    136    Sarah Evison             2      71    Jackie Dale
3      18    Miriam Jones             4    102    Irene Salisbury

What’s In A Name?

Recently, a long-running correspondence in The Daily Telegraph featured real people whose names gave rise to comical misunderstandings or which occasioned a variety of other flippant responses. For those who, like the editor, find such things amusing, a selection appears below. The first five have a religious flavour; the rest are ones which raised a special smile, once the editor had worked them out…

Sir, Imagine our delight at school when our dear Rev Mr Ball was made a Canon.
        Eleanor Norman, Hamoon, Dorset
Sir, Many years ago the telephone rang on Christmas Day in the porters’ lodge at Jesus College, Cambridge. ‘Hello, is that Jesus?’ asked the undergraduates on the line.
‘Yes,’ said the hapless porter. They started singing ‘Happy Birthday’.
        Jeremy Havard, London SW3
Sir, my wife’s cousin, whose name is Berry, is an Elder at his local church.
        Les Wray, Rainton, North Yorkshire
Sir, A much-loved bishop, the late Tom Savage, who headed the Anglican Diocese of Zululand and Swaziland, was heard at a Lambeth Conference to introduce himself as ‘Savage of Zululand’.
        Andrew Peile, Warfield, Berkshire
Sir, we arranged for the order of service at my mother’s funeral to end with the not unusual phrase, ‘Requiescat in pace’. Mourners at Brompton Oratory were probably surprised to find that, far from wanting to rest in  peace, my mother’s dying wish was, ‘Requires a cat’.
        Christopher Batchelor, Penrith, Cumbria
Sir, When I met my wife 42 years ago she was Sandy Jefferies.
        Mike Beech, Wokingham, Berkshire
Sir, my paternal aunt never married.
        Anthony Leeding, Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex
Sir, I became aware of an electricity linesman at work who signed safety permits as R. Safter. His colleagues referred to him as ‘Headfirst’.
        John Pointer, Pitlochry, Perthshire

Hotter Shoes
Rosie Walker is arranging a visit to the Hotter Shoe factory in Skelmersdale on Wednesday 5th November. The visit will include a tour around the production department, and a talk by their podiatrist on your feet!

A free lunch is included and the afternoon session includes a chance to win a pair of Hotters shoes. We will be leaving St Faith’s at 10.00 and will be returning at about 3.30. Numbers are limited so PLEASE sign up on the list at the back of Church as soon as you can.

The Tall Ships

July saw the spectacular procession of Tall Ships from all over the world sailing out past Crosby waterfront. On board the Lord Nelson was Guider Chloe Johnson of St Mary’s.

To mark the occasion, we print the prayer used by Fr Neil recently at St Faith’s, wishing calm seas and prosperous voyage not only to those who go down to the sea in ships, but also to all on the journey of life.  It came at the end of a sermon ‘Riding the Waves’ which, together with a choice selection of sermons, homilies and addresses from recent months and years, may be read online on the church website, at:

The Lord is my Pilot: I shall not drift.
He lighteth me across the dark water,
He steereth me in the dark channels,
He keepeth my log,
He guideth me by the Star of Holiness for his name’s sake;

Yea, though I sail amid the thunder and tempests of life,
I shall dread no danger, for thou art with me;
Thy love and thy care, they shelter me,

Though preparest a harbour before me in the homeland of Eternity:
Thou hast anointed the waves with oil, my ship rideth calmly,

Surely sunlight and starlight shall favour me in the voyage I take,
And I will rest in the Port of my God forever.

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