The Parish Magazine of St Faith`s Church, Great Crosby
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From the Ministry Team: September
‘The Passing out Parade’ or ‘The Sacrament of Exit’ are two phrases often used (flippantly) to describe the Rite of Confirmation. Confirmation is the time when those baptized, often at a young age, confirm the promises made on their behalf by parents and godparents. Encouraging children to ‘grow in the faith in which they have been baptized’ is the responsibility of all parents and godparents. Sadly this is rarely the case. If every parent and godparent took to heart the words of the baptism service then, given the large numbers of baptisms we have in our two churches, we should expect young people to be flooding into our churches month by month! They don’t.
But for those currently preparing for Confirmation, what example are we setting? Children might be young but they are not stupid! They see and hear moans and squabbles amongst members of the congregation. They are told by me and others that they are expected to be in church each week but you don’t need to be Sherlock Holmes to realize that many of the so-called regular church members aren’t in church each week! Is it a case of ‘don’t do as we do, do as we say’?
Do our young people look at us and see something they wish to aspire to? They won‘t look at us and see perfect Christians because there is no such thing. But they could look at us and see people who are trying hard to lead faithful Christian lives.
On September 14th the Church celebrates the Feast of the Holy Cross. The Cross is central to the life of the Christian and reminds us ultimately of the sacrifice involved in following the Way of the Lord. It is not an easy road and we fall many times. The most important thing is that we never give up! Perhaps that is one lesson we need to re-learn ourselves and in turn pass on to those coming forward for Confirmation.
Above all we need to be people of hope and encouragement, not seeking to point the finger when we see that someone has fallen, but ready to encourage, affirm and nurture.
By the way we lead our lives let us give hope and encouragement to those who are preparing to ‘confirm’ the promises made on their behalf years ago, so that they see their confirmation day not as an end but as a beginning of an even more exciting life in Christ.
With my love and prayers
‘Martin you’re a very nice chap but I’m afraid you do not meet our selection criteria.’
That was over three years ago, and such a statement focuses the mind, it makes you aware of who you thought you are, who you actually are, and what you need to do to make yourself into what you want to be. In other words a self-examination of identity, vocation and character. It was time to address my developmental areas.
That has been my occupation over the last two years, going to college to develop spiritually and intellectually. The course has done exactly what it said on the tin, in preparing me educationally for my recent selection conference.
I went to this conference eager, I was looking forward to it, even though I knew what was ahead. At this conference, I was better, grown stronger in faith and understanding, maintained by the Spirit. The result, an unconditional recommendation for training.
St Faith’s, I’s said, is used to nurturing vocation, many candidates have gone before me and I'm sure others will follow, but it is your nurture of Miriam and me that has helped us thus far on our spiritual pilgrimage. Thank you, God bless.
It was wonderful to hear the great news that Martin Jones has
been accepted for training for the priesthood on the Northern Ordination
Course, starting very soon. All at Saint Faith’s share his happiness and
send him and Miriam our congratulations and love. Ed.
Please note that in our two churches Harvest Festival will be celebrated
on Sunday 26th September. The speaker at the 11am Family Folk Mass will
be Kathleen Zimak. Christian Aid is this year encouraging a special appeal
for Sierra Leone at Harvest Festival celebrations and this will be reflected
in the content and presentation of the liturgy.
Saint Faith’s Day
Wednesday 6th October
8.00pm PROCESSION & 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 buffet and refreshments after Mass.
The Bishop of Beverley (one of the assistant Bishops in the Liverpool Diocese) will administer the Sacrament of Confirmation here in S. Faith’s on SUNDAY 30th OCTOBER 2004 at 10.30am.
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,
Medic Malawi Report
Margaret Houghton has given this report on the activities of our Missionary Project.
As in a lot of successful ventures, little is forthcoming when all is running smoothly; hence the absence of news about St. Andrew’s Clinic, Mnthumtama. However, I hope that supporters at St Faith’s will find the following information not just of interest, but an astounding list of achievements concerning the on-going development of Medic Malawi.
Staff at the clinic now number 40, between 40 to 70 outpatients are seen daily, mainly for malaria, diarrhoea, pneumonia, accidents and, unfortunately, increasing numbers of meningitis. Three to four people are admitted daily with serious conditions of the above. Anaemia is also a great problem among the young. Ante-natal clinics are held twice a week, attended by 50 to 70 patients. Between two and five babies are born at the clinic each day, with a maximum of 8 in one night! The under-5 clinic, started during the dreadful famine two years ago, is receiving much needed help from UNICEF, Action Against Hunger, CHAM, and Norwegian Church Aid. Donations of maize flour, cooking oil, milk, blankets, mosquito nets and some medical supplies has eased the pressure on Medic Malawi, and frees funds to allow further developments. Two Homecraft workers have joined the team to teach nutrition, hygiene and child care. Once a week, a demonstration meal is provided, teaching mothers how best to make use of the foods available; the children of those attending are given a meal, and then take home enough food to feed them for the rest of the week. Also under way is an under-5 immunisation programme against measles, T.B. and polio.
Soon the local chiefs, who control all the land surrounding the Hospital, are to be approached, with a view to their providing more land for further developments. A second ambulance has now been purchased and so sights are set on starting Outreach Clinics in areas where there is no medical care available, and establishing follow-up clinics in the villages to build on the work of the under-5 nutrition programme.
St Faith’s Kindergarten (named after our Church. Ed.) is thriving. Forty children, about half of whom are orphans, attend each day. They play, learn songs and rhymes and are fed. With funds donated by a Dawlish lady, toys, including a tricycle, have been provided, together with much-needed cash to pay the helpers, who have worked as volunteers for the past few months, as money has been in short supply. This will be sufficient to tide the kindergarten over until St. Mary’s, Waterloo Park, manage to establish their support for the upkeep of salaries, which is a wonderful and much-needed opportunity to continue the basic work these helpers have being doing.
All water to the Hospital is now supplied from their own bore-hole, no more pipes running from the lake at Kamuzu Academy. The management team at the Hospital is indeed excelling itself! Increasing confidence in its abilities means Medic Malawi can look forward to them being able to take on more and more of the major decisions.
Although it is a delight to report all these successes, beyond the wildest dreams of the founders of Medic Malawi, there is always the ever-close concern of further food shortages. Indeed it is anticipated that by October of this year another major food shortage will have started, although hopefully not as severe as the last.
It is because of such constant dangers that it never pays to be complacent; the support so generously given by St. Faith’s congregation and friends is ever needed, and guaranteed to ‘hit where it hurt’ every time.
Many, many thanks for the continued interest and help provided.
The photographs on this month’s cover and accompanying this article, showed the children of Saint Faith's School - proudly wearing their uniform pullovers with our name emblazoned! - and the staff of St Andrew's Hospital, Mnthunthama, Malawi, posing in front of the clinic with their ambulance. They can be seen on a separate page of this site, linked from the home page.
It is good to be able to report, as Margaret’ss article states, that
the people of Saint Mary’s have pledged to support Medic Malawi and St
Faith’s Kindergarten providing each month the money to pay for a kindergarten
teacher there. Ed.
Weekend School of Prayer
When we ask people what sort of help they would value most as part of
their spiritual growth, the request that comes time after time is for more
help with prayer. (This applies equally to those exercising a ministry
in the Church!) To this end the Ministry Team are organising a weekend
where people can come along and explore aspects of prayer.
More details in due course but please put the date in your diary and if you think you would benefit from this weekend then please come along!
101 Things to do during a Dull Sermon
An entertaining little book of this name was found by the Editor, puzzlingly, in the choirstalls at Saint Faith’s recently. Although it had quite obviously strayed in from some other church, the editor thought it might be amusing to reproduce (with a few relevant alterations and updates), some of the helpful suggestions, if only to see what people get up to in other churches…
Locate all the typing mistakes in the
church magazine. Allow yourself extra points for bad grammar (again, surely
some mistake? Ed.).
See how many bird names you can list. Match the birds you have listed with church members who look or sound like them. Attract their attention with the appropriate mating call.
Listen to your preacher to use a word beginning with ‘A’, then ‘B’ and so on through the alphabet. You may get stuck on ‘Q’ unless your preacher is preaching against
Sit in the back pew and roll a handful of marbles under the pews ahead of you. After the service, credit yourself with ten points for each marble that made it to the front.
Play footsie with the person in front of you. If he or she turns round, shake your head and point to the person next to you. Give that person a disgusted look.
See if yawning is really contagious.
Start from the back of the church and try to crawl all the way to the front, under the pews, without being noticed.
Slap your neighbour. See if he or she turns the other cheek. If not, raise your hand and tell the preacher.
Learn to sleep while kneeling. If someone wakes you up, simply say ?Amen‘, and they will be embarrassed that they disturbed you.
Blink and squint dramatically, then get down on your hands and knees. If the person next to you asks what the matter is, say you‘ve lost a contact lens. Crawl quickly towards the
Listen carefully to each word the preacher says, but imagine how it would sound if Tony Blair or John Prescott was speaking. Try not to burst out laughing.
Count the number of times the preacher has said ‘And finally’ in today’s sermon.
The centre pages of this issue carry some of my photos from the 2004 Saint Faith‘s Holiday Club (not reproduced here, but online via the home page link of this site. Ed.). This venture, established some years ago at Saint Mary’s, was held at Saint Faith’s for the first time in 2003 and repeated at the beginning of this August. Last year we were grateful for the expertise and much staffing help from the good folk of our sister parish: this year, although they again gave invaluable assistance, we took over much of the planning and executing of the week.
At both churches, some sixty local children between the ages of 6 and 11 took up places (and there was a waiting list). From the Monday to the Friday, they took part in a wide range of craft, play and other activities in the hall and church, the vicarage garden (the Bouncy Castle!), and out and about -on Merchant Taylors’ School field and further afield to the Southport Botanic Gardens and to Bodelwyddan Castle in North Wales. The sun shone for most of the week, and when it rained it wasn‘t usually a problem, and, as the saying goes, a great time was had by all.
The week ended with entertainment by the children, and a farewell barbecue and disco. On the day after, the helpers from both churches basked in the sunshine for a few drinks and alfresco barbecued offerings.
It goes without saying that making the week the huge success that it was needed a major team effort. Joan Tudhope had been planning the operation with her customary efficiency for months before. There were, of course, the long-suffering team leaders, including Fr Neil, this year accompanied by his nephew and niece. There were providers of refreshments. There were fetchers and carriers. There were cleaners, putter-out and putters-away (your editor was busy picking up broken glass and unblocking washbasins and other porcelain items). It was exhausting, and it was rewarding. And it was a visible sign of our continued commitment to the young people of the parish, for some of whom there is little other provision in the neighbourhood, and for most of whom involvement in a church community is like visiting a foreign country. Finally, the week yielded a useful cash profit to be sent to the Sudan Dharfur Appeal.
Over a relaxing glass or three of lemonade(!) at the helpers‘ barbecue,
it was good to reflect on a job well done, and to contemplate the eleven
months before the 2005 Holiday Clubs hit the road. Whoever wrote ‘summertime,
and the living is easy’ obviously hadn’t been to Saint Faith’s or Saint
Anyone Know a Retired Bank Manager...?
On October 1st changes in the Disability Discrimination Act come into force: changes which will require all public service providers (which includes churches) to make reasonable efforts to ensure that ‘access, use and exit’ is the same for the disabled and the able-bodied.
At our last two meetings, the members of the Finance Committee have considered the implications for St Faith‘s. Briefly, we shall have to build ramps up to the entrance of the Church Hall and to the South Porch of the Church, where the level of the floor will need raising; in addition, the Ladies’ Toilets will have to be re-designed in order to provide a toilet for use by the disabled. One estimate received to date for this work is for £27,000!
Needless to say, we don’t have the means of meeting that kind of expense and shall have to raise funds.
We have also discussed the urgent need to replace our existing church heating system, which is not only unreliable but is also slowly but surely damaging both the reredos and the organ.
With these necessary improvements in mind - to say nothing of the aim of converting the North Porch of the church into a mini-kitchen and toilets - and since none of us in the team (or in the congregation) has the time, energy or financial skills to raise funds of this size, we have decided to insert a short piece in the local papers advertising our need for a professional fund-raiser. With financial wizardry to aid us we might even raise £300,000 - who knows?
One World Week 2004
One World Week, held between 17th and 24th October, will continue last year’s theme of ‘moving’, particularly the work on issues facing refugees and people seeking asylum.
Locally, Churches Together in Waterloo are planning a joint service at Waterloo United Free Church on Sunday 17th October, followed by a discussion workshop on Wednesday 20th October, at Christ Church Waterloo. More details in next month’s magazine.
The Ministry of Healing
It is now just over a year since Healing Services became a regular feature of our church life once again. They have happened of course over many decades. But with a fresh impetus and focus they were re-launched on S. Thomas’s Day 2003. Why?
‘Is any one among you suffering? Let him pray. Is any cheerful? Let him sing praise. Is any among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer of faith will save the sick man, and the Lord will raise him up; and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed.’ (James 5:13-16a)
These words from the letter of S. James remind us of the importance of the Ministry of Healing. Since the days of the early church people have been anointed, have had hands laid on them and prayers said for the gift of healing. At S. Faith’s and S. Mary’ we now have a regular monthly Healing Service (non-Eucharistic except on Solemnities), alternating between the two parishes. In this service prayers for Healing are offered, and those who wish to come forward to receive the laying on of hands and to be anointed with the Holy Oil. Although the sacramental act of anointing is performed by the priest, lay people share with the priest in the laying on of hands. This is a reminder to us that all who are baptized in the name of Jesus Christ share in the ministry of His Church. I’m glad to say that more people are offering to share in this ministry. And even more, please!
Healing, reconciliation and restoration are integral to the good news of Jesus Christ. For this reason prayer for individuals, focused through laying on of hands or anointing with oil, has a proper place within the public prayer of the Church. God’s gracious activity of healing is to be seen both as part of the proclaiming of the good news and as an outworking of the presence of the Spirit in the life of the Church. Prayer for healing needs to take seriously the way in which individual sickness and vulnerability are often the result of injustice and social oppression. Equally importantly such prayer should not imply that the restoration of physical wholeness is the only way in which Christ meets human need. Healing has always to be seen against the background of the continuing anguish of an alienated world and the hidden work of the Holy Spirit bringing God’s new order to birth. It is a way of partaking in God's new life that will not be complete until it includes the whole creation and the destruction of death itself.
It may be that you are reading this and desire prayers for healing for yourself or for someone close to you. Please be assured of a warm welcome at these services of healing. Below are the dates of the services for the remainder of 2004. Alternatively, if you wish anyone to be prayed for at these services, please email me on email@example.com in good time and we will include the name(s) (and specific intention if you wish) in the next Healing Service.
Please use this prayer as we give thanks for the Ministry of Healing in the Church and for those who administer it.
Heavenly Father, you anointed your Son Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit and with power to bring to us the blessings of your kingdom. Anoint your Church with the same Holy Spirit, that we who share in his suffering and victory may bear witness to the gospel of salvation; through Jesus Christ, your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Dates of forthcoming Healing Services are:
Thursday 23rd September at 7.30 pm in Saint Faith’s Church
Thursday 28th October at 7.30 pm in Saint Mary’s Church
Thursday 25th November at 7.30 pm in Saint Faith’s Church
preached by Father Neil at the Healing Service on the Feast of S. Mary Magdalene (July 22nd)
Today is the Feast of S. Mary Magdalene, often referred to as ‘the Penitent’. Popular legend suggests that she was a prostitute- though there is no documented evidence to support that claim. Nothing new there then! Many today are happy spreading malicious gossip and scandal, whether there is any truth in it or not, and nothing grabs the headlines as boldly as sexual sins, as if they were the worst in the book. Is it not Rule 1 of journalism: ‘Don‘t let the facts get in the way of a good story’?
What is known about Mary Magdalene is that she was a well known sinner
- just like you and me in fact - but when she encountered Christ her life
began to change and was put in some sort of proper order and perspective.
It mattered not what her sins were, the most important thing to Jesus was
the fact that she wanted to change and to be changed.
Is that not why we are here tonight, in order to encounter the healing power of Christ in the sacramental act of anointing? … to be assured in the laying-on of hands that nothing can ever separate us from his love? … to be reminded that even in the most difficult situations in life Jesus is always present?
God meets us where we are - none of us is perfect - and the suffering and pain which is so real, in our own lives, and in the lives of others, is never a bar to Christ filling us with his healing love. S. Mary Magdalene teaches us powerfully that love overcomes fear and despair. She may well have felt when she met Jesus that she was someone outside his love, a million miles away from where others ‘seemed’ to be. The truth is we are all in the same place - frail, fragile, vulnerable, aching, longing…. But it is precisely in that place that God meets us.
S. Mary Magdalene was present at the Cross just as people we know (carers, partners, spouses, friends), are there sharing the pain of those they love: powerless, often wishing they could take the pain themselves instead of watching a loved one suffer. They follow the example of Mary Magdalene who didn‘t run away when things got difficult but stayed the course.
There is no room for God in pain-less, sin-free people! Sorry to disappoint! There is a shape in each one of us that only God can fill. God can only work miracles, in lives and people, where there is brokenness.
I have been very taken recently with a book which was given to me called ‘The Heart of Henri Nouwen’. It is a collection of bits and pieces from his many books. There is a wonderful chapter entitled 'Broken Glass’:
‘I recall a scene from Leonard Bernstein‘s Mass (a musical work written in memory of John F. Kennedy) that embodied for me the thought of brokenness put under the blessing. Toward the end of this work, the priest, richly dressed in splendid liturgical vestments, is lifted up by his people. He towers high above the adoring crowd, carrying in his hands a glass chalice. Suddenly, the human pyramid collapses, and the priest comes tumbling down. His vestments are ripped off, and his glass chalice falls to the ground and is shattered. As he walks slowly through the debris of his former glory - barefoot, wearing only blue jeans and a T-shirt – children’s voices are heard singing, Laude, laude, laude - ‘Praise, praise, praise’. Suddenly the priest notices the broken chalice. He looks at it for a long time and then, haltingly he says, ‘I never realized that broken glass could shine so brightly.’
It may not look that way to the world, but in God’s eyes the brokenness
of our lives is precisely what is used for His glory to shine. Forget how
Mary Magdalene looked to the world. She was the first one chosen to see
the Risen Lord. That speaks volumes about the depth of God’s love which
is offered to us in this liturgy. We are every bit as special to Him as
Holiday Club 2004
You will doubtless read all about it elsewhere in this magazine and those who have helped will have a story or two to share. I know the children enjoyed themselves very much indeed. I hope the helpers did too! Special thanks to Joy, Jill, Lynne and Peter from S. Mary’s who came to help us as well as those from S. Faith’s. We had a good number of people doing all sorts of jobs - all important and necessary. (We even had some clearing up glass every morning to make sure that if children fell over waiting for the day to start they wouldn’t hurt themselves more than usual!)
Particular thanks must go to Joan Tudhope who has been the driving force
behind this since the last one finished 12 months ago. Many hours, some
frustrating, have been spent organizing this which was evident by the way
it all went so smoothly. Thank you all very much indeed. Just in case you
want to know when the next one is I think it is safe to say: 1st - 5th
August 2005. Exact timings to be confirmed!
An Evening of Song
(Pupils of Ranee Seneviratne)
to be held at St Faith’s Church, Great Crosby
Saturday 25th September, 2004 at 7.30 pm
Music to include opera, musicals, English Art songs, ballads and folk
Admission £5 (concessions £3). Proceeds to Church funds.
The first service that one owes to others in the fellowship consists in listening to them. Just as love to God begins with listening to His Word, so the beginning of love for the brethren is learning to listen to them. It is God’s love for us that He not only gives us His Word but also lends His ear. So it is His work that we do for our brother when we learn to listen to him. Christians, especially ministers, so often think they must always contribute something when they are in the company of others, that this is the one service they have to reader. They forget that listening can be a greater service than speaking.
Many people are looking for an ear that will listen. They do not find it among Christians, because these Christians are talking where they should be listening. But he who can no longer listen to his brother will soon be no longer listening to God either; he will be doing nothing but prattle in the service of God too. This is the beginning of the death of the spiritual life, and in the end there is nothing left but spiritual chatter and clerical condescension arrayed in pious words. One who cannot listen long and patiently will presently be talking beside the point and be never really speaking to others, albeit he be not conscious of it. Anyone who thinks that his time is too valuable to spend keeping quiet will eventually have no time for God and his brother, but only for himself and his own follies…
There is a kind of listening with half an ear that presumes already to know what the other person has to say. It is an impatient, inattentive listening, that despises the brother and is only waiting for a chance to speak and thus get rid of the other person. This is no fulfilment of our obligation, and it is certain that here too our attitude toward our brother only reflects our relationship to God. It is little wonder that we are no longer capable of the greatest service of listening that God has committed to us, that of hearing our brother's confession, if we refuse to give ear to our brother on lesser subjects. Secular education today is aware that often a person can be helped merely by having someone who will listen to him seriously, and upon this insight it has constructed its own soul therapy, which has attracted great numbers of people, including Christians. But Christians have forgotten that the ministry of listening has been committed to them by Him who is Himself the great listener and whose work they should share. We should listen with the ears of God that we may speak the Word of God.
What the Papers Say...
‘Ian Dunning will take to the stage to perform a selection of tunes on the baritone.’
(Crosby Herald, July 15th, announcing Saturday Recital at St
Forty years! How time rolls on, and on. We could not have marked our Ruby Wedding in a better way. A blessing at the Parish Eucharist at St Faith’s, followed by unexpected presentations of flowers - a lovely bouquet - and the tub which now stands at our front door. And vouchers for the Liverpool Phil. All very moving.
It was all a delightful surprise. Thank you all very much.
Peter and Margaret Goodrich
Collection boxes are now due in for emptying. Can you please bring them to Church and pass them to ROSIE WALKER in the next month?
The visit to the theatre this Christmas is now on Saturday, 11th December for the evening performance of ‘Annie’ at the Liverpool Empire. Sign up on the notice board to secure your tickets at £18 each. There will as usual be a ‘Harry Ramsden’ supper before the show!
The next show after this will be ‘Starlight Express’ on 12th July where tickets have already been reserved. Keep the date free and more details will be available later.
January - June 2004
1 £119.00 33 £35.00
2 3.00 35 161.00
4 245.00 36 257.00
5 120.00 37 32.00
6 103.00 38 120.00
7 149.00 40 21.00
8 370.00 41
9 36.50 42 34.00
10 34.84 43 66.50
11 118.50 44 22.00
12 70.00 45 137.50
13 124.00 46 560.00
14 203.00 47 299.00
15 18.28 48 20.00
16 135.00 49 130.00
17 187.50 51 6.25
18 114.50 53 52.00
19 182.00 54 69.00
20 90.00 55 515.00
21 130.00 57 63.00
22 66.00 58 16.20
23 34.00 59 156.00
24 142.00 68 250.00
25 215.00 69 1.00
26 95.50 71 180.00
27 204.00 72 135.00
28 75 175.00
29 104.00 76 120.00
31 54.00 78 170.00
32 42.70 79 290.00
Worry is paying in advance for something you may never own.
A successful man is one who can earn more money than his wife can spend.
A successful woman is one who can find such a man...
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