For full magazine, please see a copy in church.
Getting to Church
Please if you have a difficulty in getting to church or know of someone else who would appreciate a lift, do tell us.
Christine & Michael.
As we are in a Conservation Area and the West End of Church is historically important it is not easy to put up disabled parking signs. If you are able to walk from the parking on the Gatehouse approach, or the Car Park on Priorswell Road, that would be appreciated. Otherwise please do park in front of the West doors.
Christianity comes to Britain
When the Romans came to Britain they brought their own religious customs with them and built temples in which to worship their gods. Apart from their loathing of the Druids, they were tolerant of the islanders’ beliefs. As in so many other things the men of Rome and the people of Britain went their own different ways. One morning in 313 an event occurred that was to affect the whole world, and which eventually enabled Romans and Britons to worship side by side. The Roman Emperor Constantine I was converted to Christianity. Inevitably, word of this reached the empire’s outposts; and, just as certainly, the old gods were put on one side. The message of Christianity was universal. The Britons too accepted it.
When the Romans withdrew the Barbarians brought their pagan gods with them. For 150 years Christianity was driven underground and when it returned the message travelled across the land from the north and from the south. During one of their raids on Wales, the Irish had snatched a Christian boy named Patrick from his home near the River Severn. Patrick was sold as a slave and learned the Irish language; and some years later he escaped to England where he studied to become a priest. In 432 the Pope ordered him back to Ireland as a missionary and within ten years Patrick had converted very nearly the whole island. Thanks to his work it was an Irishman who took Christianity to Scotland and in 563 a monk named Columba landed on the island of Iona off the western coast. He built a monastery and taught the gospel to the Picts. From this base the new faith spread across Scotland and southwards into England.
Christianity returned to southern England in 567 when Pope Gregory sent forty monks led by a man Augustine from Rome. These men were afraid as they had heard such tales of British brutality. Before they had travelled very far they asked Augustine to return and beg Gregory to release them from their task, but Gregory refused and the journey continued. They were fortunate and landed on Thanet. As it happened the ruler of Kent, King Ethelbert had a Christian wife. He told them to go ahead with their work; and even offered them lodgings in his capital at Canterbury. Some while later he himself became converted. During the first year of their mission, Augustine and his monks baptised ten thousand people.
Epiphany Blessing of Chalk
The Church has a custom of blessing homes on the Feast of the Epiphany and the week following. Family and friends gather to ask God’s blessing on their homes and those who live in or visit the home. It is an invitation for Jesus to be a daily guest in our home, our comings and goings, our conversations, our work and play, our joys and sorrows.
A traditional way of doing this is to use chalk blessed during the Epiphany liturgy and write above the home’s entryway, 20 + C + M + B + 17. The letters C, M, B have two meanings. They are the initials of the traditional names of the three magi: Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar. They also abbreviate the Latin words Christus mansionem benedicat, “May Christ bless the house.” The “+” signs represent the cross and 2017 is the year.
Using the blessed chalk mark the lintel of your front door (or front porch step) as follows:
20 + C + M + B + 17
The three Wise Men, Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar followed the star of God’s Son who became human two thousand and sixteen years ago. May Christ bless our home and remain with us throughout the New Year. Amen.
Then offer the following prayer:
Visit, O blessed Lord, this home with the gladness of your presence. Bless all who live or visit here with the gift of your love; and grant that we may manifest your love to each other and to all whose lives we touch. May we grow in grace and in the knowledge and love of you; guide, comfort, and strengthen us in peace, O Jesus Christ, now and for ever. Amen
The Hundred Club
Thank you to everyone who participates in the 100 Club which is one of our main fundraisers here at Priory. If anyone is interested in joining, there are a few numbers available. Please see Ivy who will be pleased to help you. The cost is £1 per week and we have prizes of 1 x £20, 1 x £10 and 2 x £5 weekly, 1 x £100 twice yearly and 1 x £500 annually.
Congratulations to Graham Hutchinson on winning the £500 prize!
Thanks again for the support.