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…

Vicar’s Window June 2017

VICAR’S WINDOW Dear friends, In this magazine there is an article which you may consider to be in the wrong month. It is entitled “Holy Thursday” – not a reference to the universal title for the Thursday before Easter (called Maundy Thursday only in this country) but to the Feast of the Ascension of the Lord. Although many churches now celebrate the feast on the Seventh Sunday in Eastertide, it is really to be kept on the fortieth day. The Acts of the Apostles informs us that Our Lord returned to His Father in heaven forty days after His resurrection. … Continue reading…

Vicar’s Window May 2017

Dear friends, The whole of March was given over to Lent. The month of May is both entirely Easter-filled – and is also Mary’s month. It ends with the celebration of Mary’s visit to her cousin, Elizabeth, who was about to give birth to John the Baptist. Eastertide ends with the Feast of Pentecost on June 4th. May is, therefore a cause of great rejoicing. Mary, whose heart was pierced with a sword on Good Friday, rejoices in the risen life of her divine Son, rejoices in the giving of the Spirit at Pentecost, and is called to share Our … Continue reading…

Vicar’s Window – April 2017

Dear friends, Holy Week and Easter are fast approaching. (The notion that time can expand or contract is not I can remember the football results on Saturday TV taking an age while Doctor Who flashed by in seconds!) Once again we gather in the park to commemorate Our Lord’s entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. Once again we gather in the Upper Room with Jesus and the disciples as we re-enact the events of that aweful night. Once again, we have our feet washed and Watch with the Lord in the Garden of Gethsemane. Once again we gather at the … Continue reading…

Vicar’s Window – March 2017

Dear friends, S. David’s Day is overtaken by Ash Wednesday this year. This, of course, is the beginning of Lent and a time to take spiritual stock. We live in an amazingly complex world – very different to when I was ordained. Occasionally, I boor young people with stories about walking to a friend’s house two miles away, only to find that he had gone out. I would happily trudge back home or go somewhere else. His family didn’t have a telephone. We didn’t have one. Apart from the telephone box at the end of the road, I only had … Continue reading…

Vicar’s Window – February 2017

Dear friends, The second day of February brings the wonderful feast of Candlemass. This marks the fortieth day after Christmass and originates in the Jewish custom of presenting the first-born male child as an offering to God. In principle, the child would be handed over to the Temple authorities to be nurtured and trained for service in the temple. The first-born male was seen as belonging to God. When Mary and Joseph brought the child Jesus to the Temple they made an offering as a substitute for their son. The wealthy would sacrifice two doves. The poor would offer two … Continue reading…