St Laurence, St Clare of Assisi and St Maximilian Kolbe

Monday 10th August St Laurence, Deacon and Martyr (d. 258)

Laurence was one of the seven deacons of the Church of Rome and was executed on 10th August 258, four days after Pope St Sixtus II and his companions, it is thought by being burned alive on a gridiron … By now, few of the facts of his life are known for certain: he was probably a Spaniard from Toledo. A basilica was built over his tomb fifty years after his death, by the Emperor Constantine, and the anniversary of his martyrdom was kept as a solemn feast – with considerably more solemnity than that of Pope Sixtus II (we do not know why). By the sixth century, it was one of the most important feasts throughout much of western Christendom. His name occurs (with Sixtus’) in the earliest Canon of the Mass.

Tuesday 11th August St Clare of Assisi (1193-1253)

She was born at Assisi and came under the influence of St Francis. She left home at the age of 18 and, under Francis’s guidance, began a community that grew to become the order of the Poor Clares (she was later joined both by her sister and by her widowed mother). In its radical attachment to poverty the Rule of the order was much more severe than that of any other order of nuns. In 1215 Clare obtained from the Pope the privilege of owning nothing, so that the nuns of the order were to be sustained by alms and nothing else. Such a rule was (like the Franciscan rule) both a challenge to established structures and a risk to those who followed it, and successive Popes tried to modify it. In 1247 Pope Innocent IV promulgated a new Rule that allowed the ownership of communal property: Clare rewrote it. A later attempt at mitigation in 1263 partly succeeded (perhaps because Clare was dead by then): some communities followed the old, strict rule and some followed the new. Clare was a noted contemplative and a caring mother to her nuns. She died at Assisi on this day in 1253.

Friday 14th August St Maximilian Kolbe (1894-1941)

He was born on 8 January 1894 in occupied Poland: he joined the Franciscans in Lwów in 1910, and was ordained to the priesthood eight years later, as his country became free and independent for the first time in over 120 years. He believed that the world was passing through a time of intense spiritual crisis, and that Christians must fight for the world’s salvation with all the means of modern communication. He founded a newspaper, and a sodality called the Knights of Mary Immaculate, which spread widely both in Poland and abroad. In 1927 he founded a community, a ‘city of Mary’, at Terezin: centred round the Franciscan friary, it attracted many lay people, and became self-supporting, publishing many periodicals and running its own radio station. In 1930 he went to Japan, studied Buddhism and Shintoism, and through the Japanese edition of his newspaper spread the Christian message in a way that was in harmony with Japanese culture. In Nagasaki, he set up a ‘Garden of the Immaculate’, which survived the atomic bomb. He also travelled to Malabar and to Moscow, but was recalled to Poland in 1936 for reasons of health. When the Nazis invaded in 1939, the community at Terezin sheltered thousands of refugees, most of them Jews. In 1941 he was arrested and sent to the concentration camp at Auschwitz, where he helped and succoured the inmates. In August of that year a prisoner escaped, and in reprisal the authorities chose ten people to die by starvation. One of the men had a family, and Maximilian Kolbe offered to take his place. The offer was accepted, and he spent his last days comforting his fellow prisoners before being given a lethal injection on 14th August. The man he saved was present at his canonization in 1982. The cell in which he died, in the centre of Auschwitz 1, is now a shrine to his memory. St Maximilian’s martyrdom, however, is possibly the least important thing about him. We are none of us likely to find ourselves in a position to emulate his sacrifice, and speculation as to the heroic way in which we would have behaved in his place is a pernicious waste of time. What is important is that he acted the way he did because of who he was – or, rather, because of who he had become. It is because of who he had become that we revere him as a saint: he would have been a saint (though perhaps not canonized) even if he had not been martyred. And that process of becoming is something we can all emulate. We can all become people for whom doing the right thing is obvious, natural, and easy. It requires no heroism, no special gifts: just perseverance, and prayer. He is the patron saint of amateur-radio operators, of drug addicts, of political prisoners, of journalists, of prisoners, and of the pro-life movement.

Coronavirus daily prayer June 27

Today’s daily prayer comes from the Rev Deacon Corinne Smith, from the parishes of All Saints, Godshill, St Alban’s, Ventnor, Good Shepherd, Lake, and St Saviour-on-the-cliff, Shanklin, who reflects on using all five of our senses. Spend a moment praying alongside her as you start this new day.

Every morning at 8am while our churches are closed for public worship, we’re sharing a one-minute video prayer from one of our clergy team. You can join in with those prayers on Youtube, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, or on our website here – https://bit.ly/33GRRqD. We’ll end this feature on July 4, when our churches are allowed to re-open for worship services.

Deacon Corinne with the Diocese of Portsmouth prayer for the day

Diocese of Portsmouth

As we head into Day 3 of Thy Kingdom Come, our daily prayer today comes from the Rev Deacon Corinne Smith, from All Saints, Godshill and St Alban’s Ventnor; and from Good Shepherd, Lake, and St Saviour on the Cliff, Shanklin, who reflects on some key words from the Lord’s Prayer. Spend a moment in prayer with her at the start of this new day.

We’re sharing prayers each morning from our clergy team during the lockdown. Do follow our social media accounts or look at our website here – https://www.portsmouth.anglican.org/video-reflections/ – each day at around 8am for the latest one-minute video prayer.

IoW Archdeacon Peter Reads to Children

The diocese of Portsmouth has been asking people to read stories for children who are at school and those learning at home.

Here is the Archdeacon of the Isle of Wight, Peter Leonard, reading a story about a small Viking who was brave. This hilarious tale, for three to six year olds, shows the true meaning of bravery and the delights that await when one faces one’s fear.

FaceBook, Twitter and Donations

social media

We are reaching out to all of our congregation, both local and visitors. Besides the weekly pastoral letters on this website, there are now more frequent messageson social media via FaceBook backed up by Twitter.

Our username on both FaceBook and Twitter is @GodshillChurch

In addition, if you would like to help support us at any time, you can make a donation of any amount on our charity page:

https://givealittle.co/campaigns/9b513803-69de-4b64-bb4f-09767d261d36

So, please follow and like us on FaceBook and Twitter and support us with your prayers and donations.

Coronavirus / COVID-19

cofe

The Parish of All Saints, Godshill

Friday 27th March 2020

Coronavirus
COVID-19

In line with Government Regulations
The Archbishops of Canterbury and York
have instructed that all public worship
is suspended until further notice.

Accordingly,
All Saints Church, Godshill & Saint Alban’s Church, Ventnor
are closed until we are advised it is safe to re-open

For the latest information & prayers for both Churches, the St. Alban’s Website is updated daily: www.stalbansiw.org.uk

Should you feel anxious or worried or would just like a chat, or to ask for prayers, please feel free to contact either:
Deacon Corinne on 07775 628593 or
Lay Minister Dr. Jennifer Hopkins-Holder MBE on 01983 852575
and remember to pray for each other and for everyone affected by the Pandemic.

Father John’s Final All Saints Mass – 23 February 2020

father john

Following his decision in early January to retire after some 30 years in Godshill, Father John gave his last mass in All Saints church with a large congregation and splendid music from the organ.

With the wind howling a gale outside, everyone enjoyed this wonderful celebration of Father John’s time and dedication to the parish of Godshill. Churchwarden Dennis Owen and the wonderful band of helpers laid on an enormous spread which the congregation enjoyed for quite some time as Father John and Brenda spent their time chatting to everyone, some of whom they have known for decades!

all saints organ

Magazine – January 2020

My Dear People

As most of you will know by now I am retiring next month, so this will be my last monthly newsletter. We have been very touched by the comments you have made in response to this announcement. Thank you all so very much.

We are extremely sad to be leaving you, and here. Perhaps fortuitously I was sent a link to some islanders’ sad reaction to the news that the Island trains are soon to be replaced. This lightened my mood somewhat as I felt somewhat akin to the old carriages.

The time between priests inevitably has its stressful moments, but it is also an opportunity to blow out the cobwebs and look afresh at things. You will get support from the Area Dean and Archdeacon, Deacon Corinne and our very helpful and capable Patrons The Guild of All Souls.

And we will be praying for you at the feet of Our Lady of Ipswich.

Yours in Christ,

Fr John

(download):

magazine-20200104

Father John announces his retirement

Dear Friends

It is with great sadness that I write to let you know that I have decided to retire. We have lived here longer than we have ever lived anywhere else, and it will be a great wrench to leave you, these churches and the island. We will be moving to be closer to the hospitals we need to attend, and to our children.

A PCC meeting will soon be arranged to meet with the Archdeacon to plan for the interregnum. My last service will be on Sunday 23rd February.

Yours in Christ

Fr John & Brenda