Our weekly ‘From the Vicar’ letter will resume in September. In the meantime, you can download the current Weekly Sheet here:
The image that I’ve used in this weekend’s e-Church is one that I’ve found myself returning to over and over again since the first lockdown. It is an ancient and simple wall painting of a woman kneeling and reaching out to touch the hem of Jesus’ garment. It depicts the scene described in the gospel reading for this morning, the story of a woman healed of an illness of many years’ duration.
Last week the church celebrated two hymn writers in its calendar. On Tuesday, it was the 17th Century English Bishop, Thomas Ken. This week’s e-Church video features one of Ken’s hymns, ‘Awake, my soul, and with the sun’ for this reason. On Wednesday it was the 4th Century deacon St Ephrem the Syrian. Ephrem’s best known hymn in England is ‘Strengthen for service, Lord, the hands’, which by popular acclaim will now be making a comeback at St Nicholas.
As I said at the Eucharist on Wednesday, music is important in the life of faith. Hymns are important. Music writes the words of our faith on our hearts in a way that nothing else can accomplish. Many of us may remember the words of hymns we learned as children and find them surfacing in our prayers to this day.
I begin this week with thanks to our curate, Mthr Alice Jolley, for preaching and presiding at both of our morning services this week while I am at St George’s, Swallowbeck, and to Fr Alan Moses, who will be preaching and presiding at our service on Wednesday while I am on leave.