The Parish of
From the vicar
At the time of writing I have just finished a virtual meeting with other clergy in the Deanery Chapter. This is not the first time that local clergy have had the opportunity to catch up with each other since the present restrictions began, but it is the first opportunity to do so without the presence of a bishop or archdeacon. As a result people were a little more frank in their comments and it was probably of greater benefit!
Gathering together is an essential part of church life. Christians have always gathered for prayer and worship, for the celebration of the sacraments, for sharing the faith, and for fun and fundraising. Perhaps one of the greatest sadnesses of the present time is that we have not been able to meet together just to enjoy a social occasion. The other things have taken place, even if in a different form, but our social events have simply been cancelled. Pray that 2021 will be different.
One of the characteristics (and strengths) of Anglo-Catholicism has been the formation of guilds and societies which have sought to strengthen the corporate life of the Church and deepen the faith of the members, whilst often performing useful tasks of one sort or another. Some of the guilds have now been in existence for many years and continue to contribute to the well-being of the Church. Others have done their job and disappeared.
One obscure guild was the Guild of St. Zenas and St. Zeta which was founded in 1922 at St. Alban, Holborn to encourage the faith amongst domestic servants. It has since disappeared. The same is not true of some of the groups dedicated to the reunion of Christendom. Through the work of the Association for the Promotion of the Unity of Christendom and the Association of St. Thomas of Canterbury (there were others), the Octave of Prayer for Christian Unity was first held in 1908. Although it was concerned solely with reconciliation between Canterbury and Rome, it eventually became global and extended its concerns to the whole of Christendom as the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity which we have today.
One of the best supported societies over the years has been the (English) Church Union, founded in 1859 as the Church of England Protection Society, which has sought to support Catholic revival within the Church of England initially by attempting to counter Erastianism. It remains very active in the production of literature and on-line resources.
For a number of years now it has been my joy and privilege to be a priest of the Society of the Holy Cross (Societas Sanctae Crucis). The society exists in order to ‘defend and strengthen the spiritual life of the clergy, to defend the faith of the Church, and to carry on and aid Mission work both at home and abroad’. The society was founded in 1855 in London by Father Charles Lowder and a small group of Anglo-Catholic priests who recognised the need for support, mutual prayer and encouragement in the midst of changing and troubled times. Today the society numbers over a thousand priests across the world, but mainly in England.
The Guild of All Souls was founded by the laity in 1873 to encourage prayer for the departed and more recently prayer for the sick, dying and bereaved. The Guild produces useful literature to support this ministry and in the last few years has begun offering training on these subjects for those in ministry whether lay or ordained. The Guild maintains a beautiful chapel in the shrine grounds at Walsingham where it is served by a chantry priest. I attend the daily mass there when I am at Walsingham.
The Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament was founded by Canon T. T. Carter in 1862 to be a confraternity of men and women praying and working for a greater devotion to our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. It continues its work today in its wards throughout the country.
Space hardly permits an exhaustive list, but there is also the Society of Mary and the societies associated with shrines such as Walsingham along with associations promoting pilgrimage to other places in this country and elsewhere. Some are ecumenical whilst others retain an Anglican membership. What they all have in common is that they bring people together for a common purpose, primarily in prayer, but also from time to time in person for fellowship, encouragement and fun. The Guild and Societies continue to serve the Church well. May the faithfulness of their members be rewarded.
That we may not lose heart as we prepare to celebrate Christmas on a smaller scale, but persevere in the faith.
From the diary…
Sunday 25th October Trinity 20
Tuesday 27th October, 10.00am Mass
Wednesday 28th October, 10.00am Mass (St. Simon and St. Jude)
Thursday 29th October, 10.00am Mass
Friday 30th October, 7.00pm Mass
Sunday 1st November All Saints’ Day
Requiem for All Souls
Tuesday 3rd November, 8.00pm
For convenience during the present crisis the names recorded last year will be read out again along with those who have died since the last service. Please pass any further names to Father Andrew.
Wednesday 4th November, 10.00am Mass (Mothers’ Union Corporate Communion)
Thursday 5th November, 10.00am Mass
Friday 6th November, 7.00pm Mass
Sunday 8th November Trinity 22 (Remembrance Sunday) (no Family Service at 11.15am)
Wednesday 11th November, 10.00am Mass
Thursday 12th November, 10.00am Mass
Friday 13th November, 7.00pm Mass
Sunday 15th November Trinity 23
Wednesday 18th November, 10.00am Mass
Thursday 19th November, 10.00am Mass (St. Hilda of Whitby)
Friday 20th November, 7.00pm Mass (St. Edmund of East Anglia)
Sunday 22nd November Trinity 25
Wednesday 25th November SSC Synod
Thursday 26th November, 10.00am Mass (St. Katharine of Alexandria, tr.)
Friday 27th November, 7.00pm Mass
Sunday 29th November Advent 1
In memory of Joyce Coombs
St. Peter’s has received a gift of a pair of brass candlesticks in memory of Joyce Coombs. The candlesticks, which are intended for use at the offices, were a generous gift from Joyce’s family.
Joyce died earlier this year at the residential home in Surrey where she had been living for a number of years, but prior to that she lived in Bushey Heath and worshipped at St. Peter’s for many years. The candlesticks were blessed at an 8.00am service in September as latterly Joyce had attended at that time. Do ask if you would like to see them.
Church Heating: latest news
A few days ago we had a visit from a company which specialises in electric heating for churches. The result is that we now have a draft scheme to install electric heaters under the pews in the church whilst St. George’s Chapel, the vestries and the toilet will be served by a mixture of electric panel heaters and radiators. The system is very efficient and reliable and those churches which have installed it are delighted both with the company and the equipment.
The PCC has discussed the options for heating the church at length and feel confident that the proposed system will be superior to a new gas central heating system and cheaper to install, run and maintain. More importantly those who sit in the pews will be warm because the system is designed to heat people not the roof space! The company will now visit to do the measuring required for a full specification to be drawn up. Once this has been received and approved by the PCC an application will be made for a faculty to install the heaters.
The cost of the system will be around £30,000 – less than half the cost of the cheapest gas system. If anyone would like to make a donation towards the cost of the heating it will be gratefully received. The fundraising over the summer has got us off to a good start and we have already received some generous donations, but there is still some way to go. If you are able to make a donation please consider doing so.
Vicar: Fr. Andrew Burton SSC, a priest of the Society. (020 8950 1424). Usual day off Monday.
Churchwarden: Mrs. Anne Swerling (020 8950 8923).
www.stpeterbusheyheath.org.uk / www.achurchnearyou.com