Vicar’s Blog June 2019

Dear Friends, There isn’t much room for me in this month’s packed magazine! I don’t mind – as the American Composer John Cage once said, ‘I have nothing to say and I am saying it’! To be serious, we congratulate and welcome Annaliese Fenwick on her election as new Churchwarden and, for the second time and thank Alison Reeve for … Read More

Vicar’s Blog May 2019

Dear friends, Happy Easter! You will know that we have been spending time and money on the organ, and while we had hoped it would be ready for Easter Day, it wasn’t quite ready, but it very soon will be. The weekend of 18/19 May will be the time to celebrate its inauguration, and we have a free concert and … Read More

Vicar’s Blog April 2019

Dear friends, We must congratulate the ladies on the choir, who have now been singing with us for a hundred years! In the Parish magazine of April 1919, our predecessors reported: “An innovation has been introduced into the services at S.Mary’s by the admission of ladies into the choir in place of boys, and we are very pleased to say … Read More

Vicar’s Blog March 2019

Dear Friends, It is the time of year again, but this time in a year that only comes around every six years, when we revise and reconstitute the Electoral Roll of the Parish. From what follows, dug up by Joy Heywood from the Parish Archives, you’ll see that this is the centenary of our Electoral Roll, which was introduced here … Read More

Vicar’s Blog February 2019

Dear Friends, As well as telling us how many days to next Sunday there are, or what date to write at the top of the page, our calendars remind us of which secular, religious or family festival is approaching. As we near someone’s birthday or wedding anniversary, we think of them, perhaps pray for them, at the very least we … Read More

Vicar’s Blog January 2019

Dear friends, It has been another good Christmas, for which we welcomed congregations of our usual increased numbers for Crib and Carol Services, and had a wonderful orchestral carol concert with readings too. As always, feedback is useful in terms of what we do in future years, although I cannot see us changing our hugely popular and successful Christingle offerings … Read More

Vicar’s Blog November 2018

Dear friends, Here are the words of a hymn written by Canon Rosalind Brown, who recently retired from Durham Cathedral: ©Rosalind Brown 20/10/2000 Four years ago we began a period of Remembrance which brought into focus a series of events that encompassed the significant and tragic milestones of the Great War. In 2014 we ‘marked’ the beginning of hostilities, avoiding … Read More

Vicar’s Blog October 2018

Dear Friends, Dear Friends, Here’s a little conundrum for you: The police are looking for a suspected murderer – they know his name is John, but they do not know what he looks like. But they do know where he lives. They raid the house, and find a poker game in progress, being played by a fire officer, a mechanic, … Read More

Vicar’s Blog September 2018

Dear Friends, It’s five years now since Archbishop Justin Welby declared what the press decided to call the ‘war on Wonga’. You probably remember – Wonga were in the habit of advertising short-term unsecured loans with their 2 little old people saying in their cartoony way that this was the solution to all their problems. Ironic that they were shortsighted, … Read More

Vicar’s Blog August 2018

Dear friends, All this sweltering heat we are having reminds me of the places in the world where I have been, where such temperatures are normal. Usually hot weather is associated with holidays – or pilgrimages – and for sure we have had Israeli and Jordanian and Egyptian temperatures these last few weeks haven’t we?!. So having to work in … Read More

Vicar’s Blog July 2018

Dear Friends, As the NHS celebrates its 70th birthday, most of us have no conception of what life without penicillin, surgery and medicine would be like. Clearly it would be painful and short, especially at the end. Similarly, even only a few centuries ago people could not have conceived of our world of hospitals, surgery and chemotherapy. A hospital was, … Read More

Vicar’s Blog June 2018

Dear Friends, Suddenly summer is upon us, after what can only be described as a bumpy ride in! Which means we can turn our attention to the summer of 2020 – only 2 years away. Casting our minds back 8 years, we went with 50 others to Oberammergau, the Bavarian town where the famous Passion Play is enacted every decade, … Read More

Vicar’s Blog May 2018

APCM Vicar’s report – 29/4/18 Dear Friends, This time last year I had left for the United States on my study leave, and I managed to be a very long way away from the APCM! You managed admirably without me, and indeed, assisted by Jackie and Mo, the whole three months of my absence was looked after very well indeed. … Read More

Vicar’s Blog April 2018

Dear Friends, It’s not every year that the magazine is published on Easter Day. And certainly not every year that the first Sunday of April is not only Easter Day but April 1st, All Fools’ Day! In fact that hasn’t happened since 1327*. That was the year Elizabeth de Burgh died. She was the wife – Queen – of Robert … Read More

Vicar’s Blog March 2018

Dear Friends, This year we began Lent on St Valentine’s Day, and will end it on April Fools’ Day, and we have not had a year like this since 1945! It means we began the season with a secular focus on love and will end it on foolishness. Both of these lie at the heart of our faith and mission … Read More

Vicar’s Blog February 2018

Dear Friends, This year, Ash Wednesday falls on St Valentine’s Day in the middle of Half Term, and Easter Day is April Fool’s Day. I didn’t vote for either of those! The dating of Easter (and thereby of everything that relates to it, in Lent, and afterwards at Ascension and Pentecost), hinges on the phases of the moon, for us … Read More

Vicar’s Blog January 2018

Dear Friends, Happy New Year! And Happy Christmas! Christmas is not over yet… Whether you have taken your decorations down or not, we continue to bask in the glow from the Christmas Crib throughout January, until we turn towards Lent after Candlemas. That said, we have had an excellent Christmas weekend at St Mary Magdalene’s, as we always do, with … Read More