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Letter from the Vicar (June 2018)

Dear friends,

CLOSE ENCOUNTERS When Moses came down from the mountain his face shone. He had been close to, and had spoken with, God. (Read Exodus 34:29-35.) Elijah had a similar experience, again, on a mountain top. After a raging storm he recognised God’s presence in the calm and peace, in the ‘still, small voice’. So we sing:

“Let sense be dumb, let flesh retire
Speak through the earthquake, wind and fire
O still, small voice of calm.”

There is a sense in which our worship should be a ‘mountain top’ experience. Part of our human situation, however, is that one person’s mountain top seems to be another’s valley of dry bones.

The Orthodox Church regards each church as being at the very gate of heaven. During their worship - the Divine Liturgy - from time to time the doors open, the heavenly choir is heard singing a litany of praise to the Creator, and the altar stands just inside the gate. Christ comes in mystical form, and the priest brings out the Sacrament to the people who queue at the gate.

As I explained in my letter to the parish after I was appointed as vicar just over twelve months ago I have a passion for good liturgy and music.  I hope that you will see that, as we move forward together, the liturgy of the Church will continue to be significant and presented in such a way that people may get lifted into heavenly places rather than into the valley of dry bones!

Revd Canon Andrew Gough

June 2018


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