Magazine – June 2019

My Dear People

Our Lord said: “I came to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already kindled!” (Luke 12:49)

Fire can destroy something totally. But fire is also necessary for creation: the creation of much food, and many artefacts. It is our main source of power. In some plants it provides the necessary stimulus for germination.

I believe our Lord was using it in all these ways: as a destroyer of everything that is wrong, and as the power, the germinator of a new world order.

“When the day of Pentecost came, all the believers were gathered together in one place. Suddenly there was a noise from the sky which sounded like a strong wind blowing, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then they saw what looked like tongues of fire which spread out and touched each person there. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to talk in other languages, as the Spirit enabled them to speak.” (Acts 2:1-4).

And the early church certainly did create a whole new way: a new way of relating to God, of relating to one another, and a completely new set of values in relation to the world.

Our bishops are their successors. That is why a bishop’s mitre is shaped like a flame.

But we are all their successors. We have each received the Spirit at our Baptism, been empowered by it at our Confirmation.

We need to rekindle that fire this Pentecost to burn away all that is not of God, and to empower us to live in that new way that leads to His Kingdom!

“I came to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already kindled!

Yours in Christ,

Fr John

(download):

Annual Parochial Church Meeting – April 2019

The meeting tool place on Sunday 28 April 2018.

Dennis Owen and Edward Holden were returned as Churchwarden and Deputy for All Saints.

Alan Philpott was returned as Churchwarden for St Alban’s and Peter Pye replaced Jaqueline Burden as Deputy Churchwarden for St Alban’s.

The following Annual Report was presented.

(download):

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Magazine – May 2019

My Dear People

Without its feminine dimension, the Church risks to become an old boy’s club and incapable of love, so says Pope Francis.

And Voltaire asserted that a male dominated society tends to be barbaric.

So why not celebrate this, the Merry Month of Mary?

But why is May the Month of Mary? (Apart from Chaucer telling us!)

In early Greece, May was dedicated to Artemis, the goddess of fecundity. In Ancient Rome, May was dedicated to Flora, the goddess of flowers. In medieval times, similar customs abounded, all around the practice of expelling winter, as May 1st was considered the start of new growth.

So the Church Christianised it, just as they Christianised gods’ hill to become God’s hill.

The ways Mary is honoured in May is as varied as the people who honour her.

It is a long-standing tradition to crown the statue of Mary during May – a custom known as May Crowning. [Anyone offering to make a crown for one of our statues?] The crown is usually made of flowers, representing Mary’s beauty
and virtue.

May Crowning in some areas is a huge celebration and is often done outside of Mass, and it isn’t just a “church” thing. We can and should be doing the same in our homes. When we echo the customs and traditions of the Church in our homes – our domestic churches – we participate more fully in the life of the Church.

If you haven’t already, I encourage you to erect a prayer corner in your home. It doesn’t matter how fancy or simple it is. The main point is that it’s a place designated for God, and more specifically, for spending time with him. Just as you need proper atmosphere to sleep, you also need proper atmosphere to pray.

For May, give Mary a special place in your prayer corner. It can be a statue or picture, but place there some representation of our Blessed Mother.

Then, crown Mary. You can give her an actual or spiritual crown and you can make it a subtle gesture or ornate ceremony of your own device. The meaning is far more important than the action. You can do it in the beginning, at the end of May or anywhere in between.

Just do it.

Why?

Not because it’s a long-standing tradition in the Church, although it is. Not because there are any special graces connected to it, although there are.

No, do it because Mary is Mother – your mother, my mother, everyone’s mother – and because she cares for all of us day-in-and-day-out without fail, interceding for us in even the tiniest matters.

For that, she deserves an entire month in her honour. And join us, even if it is only for this month, at our cell of the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham.

Yours in Christ,

Fr John

(download):

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