The Vicar’s weekly letter will resume next week. In the meantime, you can download the Weekly Sheet using the button below.
Remembrance Sunday provokes mixed reactions.
For some, it is one of the most important days in the year. It is, at least, one of the few days in the year when our civic institutions look to the church to provide a spiritual and liturgical expression of our national life. We are called upon to set ‘our island story’ in a religious context. There is, I’m confident, no other day in our calendar where church and state come together in quite the same way with quite the same purpose.
I’ve never much cared for horror films. This has, over the years, dealt a bit of a blow to my aspirations to be taken seriously as a movie buff, but there it is. By the time most of you read this, Halloween will already have passed, but I’m writing this on 31st October, now an almost entirely secular celebration of all things scary and spooky, including horror films.
I wonder if I can be the only person struggling to accept that it is already nearly the end of October? That person I’ve written about in this column before, the one who is turning up the speed of time, seems to be putting in some extra work at the moment.
When I lived in London I helped to run the music at St Luke’s church in West Holloway. That church was also home to the year round offices and operations of the Greenbelt festival. St Luke is the patron saint of artists, and the arts were important in that church’s sense of identity through that connection with Greenbelt. It was a good combination, although St Luke is also the patron saint of doctors, students and butchers and not the patron saint of musicians. (St Cecilia is.)
I was never a boy scout, and a bit of a disaster as a cub if I’m honest, but I do remember the famous motto of the scouting movement, ‘Be Prepared’. I will doubtless get into trouble for saying so, but the wisdom of this motto has some very definite limitations. Of course it’s good to be prepared, but it is also possible to be over-prepared.
This week, I am reproducing words from the service booklet that has been prepared for this afternoon’s service, Alice’s First Eucharist as Priest and President.
Last week, if you choose to look at it this way, Boris Johnson became the first political leader since Oliver Cromwell to impose significant legal restrictions on the celebration of Christmas.
It has been a worrying week! At one point, we were concerned that we might be required to close the church doors once again to comply with tightening restrictions. We give thanks that this has not turned out to be the case. We are able, in fact, to continue as we are. Our building and our practices are compliant with current Government rules and national church guidelines.