Our weekly session of bible reading continues its reading of St Luke’s gospel on Tuesdays 2nd, 9th, 16th and 23rd February. I prefer bible ‘reading’ to bible ‘study’ because it sounds less serious and suggests a learned teacher imparting ancient wisdom, which I do not pretend to be or to do. So we read the scriptures together as closely as we can. All I do is to make us slow down a little in our reading, to give the text the attention it deserves and, from time to time, to bring us back to the subject at hand, after the conversation has meandered this way and that, as it will do when prompted by such writings. All are welcome, of course. Tea and biscuits served with a smile.
A Parish Assembly
In March I shall be inviting everyone I can think of, for whom St Giles is a place of significance, to join me for what I am calling a Parish Assembly. The date will probably be Saturday, 5th March, the time 9am to 1pm and the place, the Church and Vestry House. (I will confirm all this in due course in the invitation).
I shall be calling people together so that we can think and talk about the way forward for us as a congregation and church. I have already proposed a scheme to the PCC for us to work on in the next three to five years for improvements and innovations which, hopefully, will serve our ministry and mission for the next 30 to 50 years. What I need, as priest and rector, and what we together need, is for us to come to a consensus on the scope of those practical projects which shall face us in the coming years in terms of both buildings and mission, and then to begin to sketch out a strategy for bringing them about (assuming God is on our side!) I very much hope that many of you will want to, and will be able to, join the PCC on this occasion. Please look out for your invitation.
Preaching in the Season of Lent
Lent begins nice and early this year [let us rejoice in the vagaries of the moon while we can before the liturgical bureaucrats get their hands on the date of Easter!] with Ash Wednesday on the 10th of the month, at 1pm if you are a day-time person or at 7pm if an evening type and enjoy the sound of plainchant. The imposition of ashes is offered at both services. Thereafter the music of worship will reflect the greater solemnity of the season, with other snatches of plainchant in the morning; and please remember that the Gloria is not sung in Lent.
Preaching in these weeks will take up some of the haunting and challenging themes of the Te Deum. For this I have invited four priests met with over the past year to preach in the evening for us and to take up and explore a verse I have given them. Michael Hampel, the Precentor of St Pauls, will preach on ‘We praise thee, O God : we acknowledge thee to be the Lord’ on the 14th, one of the chaplains of Highgate School Nick Lamb, on ‘When thou hadst overcome the sharpness of death : thou didst open the kingdom of heaven to all believers’ on the 21st, and The Reverend Rosie Lain-Priestly, one of our new Archdeacons, on ‘When thou tookest upon thee to deliver man : thou didst not abhor the Virgin’s womb’ on the 28th. Two other evenings will follow in March. We greatly look forward to hearing from them.