The Holy Trinity Blog
I always listen to classic radio when I am driving. It is something I have done for many years. As certain tracks are played again which I have heard before I try and remember where I was driving the last time I heard it played. Sometimes it is easier to remember than others. November is a time of remembering in the church year.
The period from All Saints to Advent is a time when we are reminded of the fact that ‘no Christian is solitary’. All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day are days when we reflect on this sense of belonging and remembering. On All Saints’ we celebrate men and women in whose lives the Church as a whole has seen God at work. God’s work of grace can be seen in the ordinary and extraordinary, as any flick through a dictionary of saints will demonstrate. The services where we commemorate the faithful departed are a more local and personal way of remembering those whom we have loved and are no longer with us. They allow us to remember those whom we have known more directly, those saints in our lives, who have nurtured us, who gave us life, and made us who we are.
Then we move to Remembrance Sunday, where we explore further the theme of memory, both corporate and individual, as we confront issues of war and peace, loss and self-giving, memory and forgetting. So November – a time of remembering, of reflecting, of moving towards a renewed hope as we prepare to celebrate the birth of God’s son sent to save us.
That’s worth remembering.
Canon AndrewRead More
I was interested to read recently about an amusing exercise which had taken place, asking people about their washing habits. Here are some of the responses:
‘I tried washing once but I didn’t like it’. ‘I was forced to wash as a child, which put me off washing’. ‘I used to wash, but it got boring so I stopped’. ‘Very few of my friends wash’. ‘I wash on special occasions like Christmas and Easter’. ‘I used to wash regularly but I don’t have the time anymore’. ‘Washing once a month is more than enough’. ‘People who wash are hypocrites, they think they are cleaner than everyone else’.
These responses are all quite amusing, but I was drawn to thinking that these are the sort of excuses that people sometimes use for not going to church. But why is attending church with others in a public act of worship so important? Here are a few reasons:
We are instructed to do so: ‘Let us not give up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing’, Hebrews 10:25. In Matthew 18:20 we are told that ‘when two or three gather in my name, there I am with them.’
It is important to remember that we do not go to church to be entertained, but to worship Almighty God as equals and brothers and sisters and to be nourished in the Eucharist. This was very important in the early church. It is also the same for us: when we neglect our public worship, it impacts our faith in Jesus Christ. Christians cannot grow in isolation. If the Church is to function properly, all its body parts need to be present and working, so 1 Corinthians 12: 14-20 tells us. The reason for this is that WE ARE THE CHURCH.
Although far from a summers evening outside due to the heavy rain and winds, a good and appreciative audience gathered at Holy Trinity church for a splendid evening of music performed by Vox Serenata.
If you were not at this concert you missed a treat!
A very accomplished quartet, one of whom is a brilliant pianist, performed music covering a wide spectrum from Tallis via Cesar Franck, Goodall’s 23rd Psalm to Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah and many more in between. Particularly beautiful was Douglas Guest’s setting of Lawrence Binyon’s poem To the Fallen and Richard Lloyd’s exquisite setting of words by Thomas Campion’s ‘View Me Lord a Work of Thine’.
We hope they will return sometime in the future.Read More
I want to focus on the feast of the Transfiguration (6th August) in this double summer edition magazine. So far I haven’t come across many mountains in Weymouth, but there are some beautiful views. I have been blessed in my ministry to have had some experiences with a view. Perhaps not your conventional views. As a student I spent time on placement working for the inner London probation service and working at St Matthew’s Church at the Elephant and Castle.
This was thirty-five years ago. I lived in a flat on the 11th floor of one of the long blocks on the New Kent Road. The area has all been demolished now and a huge regeneration has taken place. You may not have been able to see all the nations of the earth from my flat, but from the kitchen window you did get a full view of the city panorama from the Houses of Parliament (if you leant out a bit), the Telecom Tower, the Barbican, past Tower Bridge and the Tower of London. Behind that a new skyline was emerging the Nat West Tower, the Lloyds building and the definite shape of Canary Wharf. One was very aware of a skyline that proclaimed wealth and security while ministering in a deprived, fractured parish which lay in its shadow. Mountains are usually remote places of withdrawal.
A place where one gets life in perspective. The mountain we encounter in the story of the transfiguration, like other mountains in the Bible, is a place very much away from the places where the action takes place, away from the towns and villages of Galilee where Jesus had been teaching. Yet on that mountain all reality bursts in, priorities are decided, agendas are set – there is no getting away from the demands and the responsibilities in store for those who find themselves high on the mountainside. Jesus knows the responsibilities, the issues and tensions that lie below.
The glory those disciples glimpse defines the vocation of their master and the possibilities for themselves. In that moment they glimpsed the reality behind all Jesus said and did, and the possibility of their part in it. There is no discipleship without a master to listen and learn from, there is no discipleship without following Jesus and, as Jesus explains to them as they descend the mountain, that following leads to the cross. I think for us two millennia later our transfiguration can happen when our lives, our stories, our lives together as church, become joined in their deepest core to the gospel.
That will demand listening and discerning God’s vision for us. That will be worked out in reality, not on the mountain top but in our everyday lives, the places we live and work. Where we are called to seek God’s kingdom and its righteousness. What vision are we part of, that might help people see things differently? Christians should talk more about a transfigured community, a transfigured Weymouth – where justice and faithfulness matter, where values and vocation, are caught in a new vision, that affects the way we live. The church must be the first witness of what it proclaims to the world. We need structures for the future which will speak to church members and society of a gospel of self-worth, mutual trust, tenderness, openness, and a holistic balance between achieving and letting be – the integration of gentleness and strength. Our very practise of Christian discipleships, as church, must speak of the type of society we are willing to work for.
Canon Andrew – VicarRead More
Everyone having a good time during our recent 1940s Tea Party on the 21st June 2019. They was a great patriotic atmosphere as well as the odd Union flag on display. A massive thanks goes to our Musical Director Alistair Dean, the performers and all who helped with the event.Read More
Please remember Bishop Stephen in your prayers on the 1st June as he celebrates 50th anniversary of priesthood and his 25th anniversary of his consecration as a Bishop in the Church of God.
Bishop Stephen writes: ‘I would dearly value the thoughts and prayers of all at Holy Trinity where so much of my journey was founded’.Read More
Nowadays the custom of ‘giving the peace’ during the Eucharist is central to most Christian worship. Yet although it is among the most ancient of all Christian customs, it has been rescued only comparatively recently and, when it was reintroduced into contemporary Anglican liturgy, many folk had some misgivings and even suspicion.
We need to remember how it is referred to in the New Testament. Clearly, it was one of the most powerful and formative signs of fellowship among Christians in the early Church. From the number of times the phrase appears in the letters of both St Paul and St Peter, we know that ‘Greet one another with an holy kiss’ was almost certainly a liturgical formula which was used regularly in worship. Some scholars think this instruction helped to give rise to the accusation of scandal and immorality among Christians at the time. It may even have been the origin of the custom in some places of segregating the congregation and arranging church seating to keep the sexes apart on either side of the building!
By now, surely, we see things very differently. Most of us would feel deprived if the custom of exchanging the Peace were discontinued. Occasionally there is still hesitancy at this point in the service but most people now appreciate the privilege of giving the Peace to one another. The sign gives real and physical expression to our recognition and acceptance of each person within the Christian family.
These thoughts come to mind as we shall celebrate Trinity Sunday this month. Which of course is our church patronal festival. On Trinity Sunday we shall look forward to welcoming the Rev Ada Whittock as our celebrant and preacher.
One of the signs of the trinitarian nature of God is ‘the fellowship of the Holy Spirit’. God the Holy Spirit can only draw us closer to the Father by drawing us closer to one another and if we make this a stumbling block between ourselves it cannot help but obscure our vision of God: a rather solemn yet joyful thought when we give it full consideration. Giving one another the sign of Peace is as demanding and as creative as that.
Canon Andrew Gough – vicarRead More
After eight weeks of preparation under the instruction of the parish priest Canon Andrew Gough, our young people and adults were formally admitted on the 19th May, 2019 by the Rt Reverend Karen Gorham, the Bishop of Sherborne into full membership of the Church of God and received their first communion. We were also pleased to welcome some candidates from other churches. After the service church members served wine and Confirmation cake. After being sent out by the Bishop to proclaim the good news of God’s love we see above the Holy Trinity candidates holding their lighted candles – a symbol of Jesus the light of the world MANY CONGRATULATIONS!Read More
Feelings throughout the country and in Parliament continue to run high as I write this monthly letter and as we discover what kind of Brexit we want or indeed whether we want one at all. To offer any comment on the debate exposes one to support or attack depending on your point of view. What is certain is that we cannot distance ourselves from it because we will all be affected by the outcome.
One thing that has seriously troubled me in the debate is the way both sides try to woo us by challenging the threat to our individual prosperity; Financial losses in our household is sure to make us sit up and think and may make us support the ‘stay-in’ position. The plea that the billions we send to Europe could be used for the NHS is never accompanied in the Brexit camp with comment on how much we receive.
What I find fearsome is the way we think as a Nation on both sides in that we have lost the moral position that bids us think of others before ourselves which is rooted in our Christian heritage. I get the feeling that Brexit will overshadow the Christian Aid Week drive and as a result the really poor of this world will suffer more. The history of Christian Europe has been ensnared within its politics and the new thinking, theologically, cosmologically and territorially brought about a Reformation that broke up what had been a united Christian Community.
No generation since has been able to heal that fragmentation. It is always easier to fall-out than to make-up. Broken Christendom learnt to define itself by its differences rather than looking for the things we have in common.
There is much we can learn from this. There are those who are comfortable living on an island with the mentality of islanders but there are others who cherish the bonds we have with our European brothers and sisters and who fear as many of us do what a withdrawal from the European Union might mean, not only now, but also in the future. The end to border control, free trade, sharing resources and culture is something our generation has enjoyed. While some have hoped for a federation of states in Europe others have been anxious that distinctive national cultures and traditions have been sacrificed. Is this not all part of the debate which I think ought to be going on from within the Union rather than opting out? The issues of security are real for all of us under the shadow of militant Islam which has created an atmosphere of civil war across the continent, and the politicians are at a loss as to how to deal with this. The policy allowing the free movement of peoples is now not so much the possibility it was and which we have enjoyed but is now more an ideal in the fast changing circumstances involving the huge movement of peoples. It needs to be revisited. Such policy making, in my view, needs to be done collaboratively.
I hope that you all will continue to pray hard for right decisions to be made in whatever the outcome is which will affect our future. While it is taking considerable energy and time I hope we will be able to rise above these local issues and not loose sight of the global challenges that face us all.
Canon Andrew Gough – VicarRead More