Bring on the Bears!
Sunday, October 9th, 2016, in the Octave of Saint Faith, Virgin and Martyr, Patron of our Church, was celebrated with more than the usual pomp and circumstance.
Our neighbouring Waterloo Anglican Churches (St Mary's, our United Benefice partners, and Christ Church and St John's, our prospective Team mates),
joined us, and there was a plethora of patronal priests on parade. One of these was Canon Michael Finlay, who a good many years ago
was very much part of our church life before beginning a life-long ministry. His entertaining sermon recalled his past and ours,
not least the many men and women who began their journey to priesthood at St Faith's.
They pose above in their finery - Fr Colin Oxenforth on the left, Fr Dennis and Mtr Denise on the right.
As will become entirely obvious from the gallery below, this was a Sung Eucharist with Offering Up of Teddy Bears: almost certainly a first for St Faith's.
There are full explanations and individual bear pictures online (linked below) and in our magazines, but here is an outline of what went on.
The sponsors and creators of the bears bore them up triumphant one by one at the end of the service; an explanation of their significance and function
was provided by way of one of Fr Dennis Smith's inimitable running commentaries. The bears were commissioned (can you bless a bear?)
and in due course conveyed to their permanent resting places around the church. In the fullness of time a Teddy Bear Trail guide will be created
so that the young (and young in heart) can locate the bears (some 19 so far) can learn more about the many aspects of church life that they represent.
Fr Dennis's bear was a temporary stand-in, garbed strangely in a knitted dress, an early work of the aforementioned cleric.
The service itself was well-attended, colourful and joyous. Revs Greg and Janet from Christ Church and St Mary's took part,
and posed for us as may be seen below. Finally, the traditional bun-fight was enjoyed by all in the church hall, at the end of a morning which,
we would like to think, showed St Faith's at its hospitable and celebratory best.
Photos: Chris Price
The Bear Necessities - read more Teddy text