Vicar’s Window May 2018

Dear friends, I recently did a funeral visit to a family in the parish. During the conversation, the grand-daughter came home from school dressed in some outrageous (to me) outfit. Apparently it was “Book Day” or some such title. The children in school were expected to turn up dressed as their favourite character from a book. I can’t remember who the child was meant to be but I do remember that it cost the parents (or grandparents) about £20 for the outfit. Thinking positively, I did wonder if it would be better for the school to have a dressing-up box … Continue reading…

Vicar’s Window April 2018

Dear friends, This month’s “Window” is coming out two days before Holy Week. I have no idea how Holy Week will be celebrated, other than the fact that we will do what the Church has done for at least 1700 years. An early account of Holy Week in Jerusalem is recorded by the holy nun, Egeria in the early 4th century. She describes, among other things, the the commemoration of the Last Supper in the Upper Room, the veneration of the Holy Cross on Good Friday, and the great celebration of Easter in the night of Holy Saturday/Easter Day. If … Continue reading…

Vicar’s Window March 2018

Dear friends, Did you know that I am, apparently, a blogger? I received a telephone-call from a man in Newcastle to say that he enjoyed reading my blog. “What blog?” I asked. ‘The one on-line on your church’s website.” “You mean the ‘Vicar’s Window’ in the parish magazine.” I replied. Does this mean that I have been a blogger since before blogs began. I would like to think of myself as the first blogger, were it not for the fact that clergy have blogged since S. Paul. (His, of course, being declared Holy Writ because the Church said it was. … Continue reading…

Vicar’s Window February 2018

Dear friends, This month sees the end of the Christmass Cycle with the Feast of Candlemass. For entirely selfish reasons, the sung mass will take place on the eve of the feast at 1930. This will include the usual candle-lit procession from the porch to the altar. February 2nd is the actual Feast Day and there will be the standard midday mass for those unable to be present on the Thursday evening. Come and celebrate the Presentation of the Christ in the Temple. This month also sees the start of the holy season of Lent. Ash Wednesday is on the … Continue reading…

Vicar’s Window January 2018

Dear friends, During the days prior to Christmass I had a number of phone calls from people who wanted to help with providing food for homeless and housebound people. From the conversations which followed, I get the impression that people now see the church as the stop-gap for a situation created by the collapse of society as we knew it, together with the financial straits caused by the mishandling of finance in the past few years. Unfortunately, the absence of people in the pews means that there are not the able-bodied people available to make up the provision formerly offered … Continue reading…

Vicar’s Window December 2017

VICAR’S WINDOW Dear friends, Thanks to a suggestion by the people at “Business Products”, our magazine now boasts a much more sophisticated cover. I now send a suitable photograph and text via my mobile telephone and Glen prints the required number of covers. Last month, the month of Christ the King, showed the “Majestas” (Christ in majesty) which hangs above the east window in Holy Trinity Church. This was based on Sir Ninian Comper’s figure of Christ which forms part of the tester (canopy) over the high altar at S. Cyprian’s, Clarence Gate, London. Comper used the image of the … Continue reading…

Vicar’s Window November 2017

Dear friends, The month of November is the Month of the Dead. “El dia de los Muertos” (The Day of the Dead.) is the title given in Mexico. Anyone who has seen the Bond film “Spectre” will remember the amazing opening scenes of a great procession of people dressed, among other things, in skeleton suits. Like many people, I thought that this was an annual event – until I learned that it was invented for the Bond movie. “El dia de los Muertos” is indeed celebrated, but only with intimate gatherings at churches and graveyards to pray for the dead. … Continue reading…

Vicar’s Window October 2017

Dear friends, Many many years ago, I attended High Mass at a church on Merseyside. The choir sang beautifully, the church looked stunning, the “bowing and scraping” in the sanctuary was second-to-none. Perhaps I was too new to the church thing (any church) that I found the experience both mystifying and downright hilarious. I had a fit of the giggles. Not many months later, I attended S. Luke’s Tranmere, a gloomy, red sandstone pile at the other end of the park near my then home. S. Luke’s had a small congregation and was due for closure. I walked into the … Continue reading…

Vicar’s Window September 2017

Dear friends, This has been a busy month. The Feast of the Assumption of Our Lady was kept wonderfully on the Sunday afternoon at S. Werburgh’s and at Holy Trinity on the day. Thankfully, a number of people and priests from neighbouring parishes joined in our celebration. I say thankfully because a number of our own people were either on holiday or employed in more important matters. I fail to understand the inability of Christians to fulfil their Christian duty on Holy Days of Obligation. There is a great danger that the total Christian observance is restricted to Sunday morning … Continue reading…

Vicar’s Window July-August 2017

Dear friends, A little basement window for the double month. Here are a few items of news and comment. The terrible events in the past few weeks, both deliberate and accidental, make for harrowing reading and viewing. Thank God for the outpouring of human-kindness in the face of adversity. The decision taken by the Scottish Episcopal Church to allow same-sex couples to marry in church. Goodness knows what effect this is going to have on the Church of England. (The SEC is a branch of the C of E north of the border, to put it simply and slightly wrongly.) … Continue reading…