Traditionally the period the celebrate the birth of Our Saviour lasts from the 25th of December (Christmas Day) to the 2nd of February (Candlemas) when Christ was presented in the temple. The feast marks the end of the festive period and turning point towards Lent and Easter. There is very much divided opinion when Christmas decorations are to be put up and also when they supposed to come down. I have softened and mellowed in my views in old age so at St Andrew’s we live with a happy fudge. Decorations in the hall and outside appeared before Christmas and have already disappeared (so the evil fairies or whoever cannot complain). The church decorations are still up for today’s feast of the Baptism of Our Lord but we will take them down (apart from the crib) on Saturday morning (15th January, 9.15am to 11.15am – please feel free to join us and give us a hand!). It is possible to keep everything up until the 2nd of February but that is properly countercultural and trees start to look very sad by then. There is nothing wrong with a bit of a fudge…
Epiphany House Blessing
Meanwhile feel free to pick up some chalk from church to bless your house. The lintel (or some suitable place) of the main door of the house (or other doors if desired) is marked in the following way: 20 + C + M + B + 22 whilst saying the following prayer or the one in the picture:
The three Wise Men
followed the star of God’s Son who became human Two Thousand and twenty two years ago. May Christ bless our home and remain with us through the new year.
For a more in-depth explanation see here.
Diocesan Catholic Fellowship
For a number of years those Anglicans who identify as catholics have been divided by disagreement over issues like the ordination of women and human sexuality. Our witness and our mission has hugely suffered from this. It is high time to graciously acknowledge that we may disagree on some issues but nevertheless agree on many more things – the centrality of the Eucharist, the importance of sacraments or the belief that Christ can be found in everything to name but three.
A group of us has been meeting regularly and decided to support each other by celebrating occasions and feasts together in the diocese which are important to our tradition but not done sufficiently in every parish – either for lack of will or lack of resources. We will start with the Feast of Candlemas on Wednesday, 2nd February 2022 at 7pm in St Catherine’s Church in Burbage. The Bishop will be celebrating the Mass. Please join on this day if you are able to.
Ordinand on Placement
For the next 3 weeks Mark Burbage from the Parish of St Denys in Evington will be on placement at St Andrew’s. Mark is an ordinand for the Diocese and needs to write a report about his time with us: he will not mention any names in his report but if you do not want him to mention anything coming up in a conversation with you please let him know that.
Reordering of the interior of the Church
You may have noticed that a group of people took up the carpets in front of the pews (and removed all the staples!). This doesn’t look too beautiful at the moment but needed to happen now to know exactly what was underneath. Before things can look really good things will need to look less beautiful for a little while.
I hope that by the end of May the pews will be spaced out and moved closer to the sanctuary, closing most of the superfluous gap between the congregation and the altar party. At the same time the altar will be relocated to its original location and also get professionally repaired – the top got badly cracked during its moving away from the candles in the mid-1970s.
Following all this the altar needs reconsecrating by a bishop, providing excellent reasons for a celebration and a garden party – hopefully in June. As soon as dates are firmed up I will communicate details.
Please talk to me if you want to know more details about what is going to happen and why, or if you wonder how to help both practically and financially.