Weekly Newsletter(click to download PDF)
The Rector writes ...
The celebration of the present church building’s opening 125 years ago last Tuesday saw a Mass at which there was standing room only, and was followed on Wednesday by a sell-out reception at the Spanish Embassy. We have so much for which to be grateful to Almighty God, not just for the happiness associated with this past week in particular, but for all that Saint James’s has meant to so many people through the decades. At the end of the Solemn Mass this Sunday we shall sing a hymn which sums up the gratitude we feel towards those who worked so hard to hand on to us such a rich and soundly based heritage …
In our day of thanksgiving one psalm let us offer
For the saints who before us have found their reward;
When the shadow of death fell upon them we sorrowed,
But now we rejoice that they rest in the Lord.
In the morning of life, and at noon, and at even,
He called them away from our worship below;
But not till his love, at the font and the altar,
Had girt them with grace for the way they should go
These stones that have echoed their praises are holy,
And dear is the ground where their feet have once trod;
Yet here they confessed they were strangers and pilgrims,
And still they were seeking the city of God.
Sing praise, then for all who here sought and have found him,
Whose journey is ended, whose perils are past;
They believe in the Light, and its glory is round them.
Where the clouds of earth’s sorrows are lifted at last.
As well as being rightly conscious of those who have made the parish what it is today, I want to express a public “thank you” to those who worked so hard to make this week’s celebrations so glorious. Chris. Daly has a theatrical background – and it showed! We thank him and his team in the sanctuary and look forward to even more candles being lit on a future occasion and even more flowers being assembled. Iestyn Evans, assisted by Edward Tambling, offered superb music which raised hearts and souls to heaven – the orchestra, added a splendid dimension (and can be repeated any time someone might want to mark an anniversary or other special occasion). The “downstairs” should not be forgotten, and for this, and for many other events, not least the regular Sunday round, we would want Carola Hickling, Shona Moller, Ivana Tornambe, Elizabeth Isles, David Newbery and Paul Thomson to know our gratitude – a very special mention has to go to Lisa Proctor for her heroic organisational skills, most particularly in seeing to every detail and every ticket for the Spanish Embassy reception – without her it would not have happened. These celebrations come at a cost, and many individuals made generous contributions to defray the expenses – in particular, thanks are due to John Gilhooly for paying for the orchestra, and to Ridgeford Developments and the Howard De Walden Trust for their generous help.And now we move on. Next weekend, Pope Francis has convoked a Synod in Rome which will be considering the place of the family (which St. John Paul II famously described as “the domestic Church”. The Synod will last for three weeks and will be examining the importance of the family unit within society and the problems and questions which accompany its strengthening. The Holy Father has asked that we support the participants with our prayer.
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