News from St Mary the Virgin, Kenton on Friday 23rd and Saturday 24th September 2022: Our Lady of Walsingham – Our Patronal Festival
As I write, final preparations are being made for my Collation and Induction on Friday – and I am deeply grateful to all whose hard work will doubtless make the evening a happy and memorable one! Please continue to pray for me, as I am praying for you.
This week began, of course, on a sombre note – as the country, the Commonwealth, and many more people around the world bade farewell to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II during her funeral service. We live in a time of change and transition, and of various new beginnings – and so we pray also for His Majesty King Charles III, as well as for our new Prime Minister and the Government.
New beginnings often involve recommitments – to the ideals and values which animate the institutions to which we belong, and within which we serve. During my Collation and Induction, for example, I will be asked to reaffirm my 'loyalty to [the Church's] inheritance of faith', to swear allegiance to the King and to pledge obedience to the Church's hierarchy.
Perhaps therefore as a new beginning beckons for this parish, we might all – in prayer – pledge ourselves anew to the fundamentals of Christian believing and belonging, using this coming Sunday's second reading as a prompt: there, in St Paul's first letter to St Timothy (who had himself recently assumed responsibility for a Christian congregation), we learn that as those dedicated to God, we must all 'aim to be saintly and religious, filled with faith and love, patient and gentle'. May almighty God, at the intercession of Our Lady of Walsingham, grant us thus these gifts of holiness and devotion, faith and love – to play our part in this new chapter of the story of God's Good News.
Finally, just in case in the busyness of Friday evening I haven't the opportunity to meet and speak properly with all of you, I would like also to invite you to drinks after each of the Masses on Saturday (9.30am and 6pm), and after Sunday's 10.30am Mass – further details to follow, but all will be very welcome!
History is indeed being made this week – and we are a living part of it. Not only on the National and Worldwide scale as Fr Richard mentions in his letter above, but in our Parish in Kenton too. Just five months after her Majesty Queen Elizabeth was born, discussions were being held regarding the building of a church for Kenton – and today we are fortunate to benefit from those discussions that were started 96 years ago. We do hope that you will be able to join us in the days and weeks ahead, to meet Fr Richard and to join in these historical new beginnings. We know, however, that some of our regular worshippers may still not feel comfortable in large gatherings or are not happy to venture out as the evenings draw in. Fr Richard's Induction and Collation will be broadcast over our webcams on our YouTube channel and the Order of Service has been attached for those who would like to follow it from home.
Ladye of Walsingham, be as thou hast been
England's Protectress, our Mother and our Queen!