St Stephen's Blog

September 11, 2019

Dear Friends,

A little while ago I was having a discussion about spending money on church buildings. It is a common discussion because it is a thorny question.

When there is so much need in the world, should we as Christians be spending money on a building? Didn’t Jesus tell us this was wrong? Did he not tell us to sell all we have to give to the poor?

Well, yes and no.

He did challenge people to give up their possessions – but he did so as a challenge to se...

August 26, 2019

I have the picture above as a postcard. A friend sent it to me a few years ago during a visit to Paris.

In the painting we see two French peasants pause in their work during the potato harvest. In the distance we see a church bell tower which presumably is sounding the Angelus bell.

The peasants pause to recite the Angelus as they hear the bell sound.

At 8.30am each Sunday, and after 10.30 am Sunday Mass at St Stephen’s and each day just before the Morning a...

March 30, 2019

Holy Week is most definitely a very sacred time of the year, for that is when we will commemorate and remember the last week of Jesus' life on this earth.

These are the days leading up to the great Easter Feast. The Lenten season of sacrifice and self-denial is about to come to an end, but this Holy Week is extremely important for all Christians.

The greatest focus of the week is the Passion (suffering) and Resurrection of Jesus Christ and the events that l...

February 28, 2019

Dear Friends,

As Christians prepare for Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent on 6th March, I hope and pray that each of you will take the opportunities seriously. At the very least, see Lent as an opportunity to strengthen simple habits of faith.

Pray in the morning and evening, and set aside five minutes every day to be quiet in the Lord’s presence. Go to confession and receive the Holy Communion frequently.

Lent is a penitential season leading up to...

January 27, 2019

The Anglo-Catholic tradition at St. Stephen’s has been there since the earliest days.

The article below shows how difficult such a tradition could be in the late 19th to early 20th Centuries.

Fr Tooth was still alive and in ministry when the foundation of our present church was laid, with Fr Freshwater wearing cope and biretta and the Bishop in cope and mitre!

It is easy these days for us to forget how unusual St Stephen’s was – and hopefully is! We should...

January 13, 2019

Over the next few week we'll be welcoming a new face at St Stephens. Iain Thomson is currently studying for the Reader Ministry and as part of his training he will be joining us on placement for a few months. I'm sure everyone will make him very welcome.

To help us get to know him Iain tells us a little about himself.

I was born in Berlin in 1973, but brought up in Scottish borders,  where  I went to school.

After several years working with adults with au...

October 21, 2018

After our long journey neared it's end on a narrow country lane, we wondered if we had journeyed to the middle of nowhere, when suddenly we came upon the entrance to the shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham.

Entering a courtyard we were at once in the presence of peace and sanctuary. A simple pool with a gentle fountain providing calm. The garden, with meandering pathways bordered by beds of flowers planted in natural drifts. In September the planting scheme was...

August 11, 2018

We sat down with our excellent sponsor several weeks after our confirmation to remember and reflect on what confirmation had meant to us.

Abby remembered us sitting privately with Bishop Philip just before the service and him talking to us kindly about what was about to happen. She also remembered him placing his bishop's hat (mitre) on her head like a crown.

We all remembered the bishop blessing us, saying a prayer for us, calling us by our name and anointin...

July 3, 2018

Dear Friends,

You may have noticed in the pew sheet, that this year’s Summer Fair has been cancelled.

Have you wondered why? Well, the answer is simple. There was no-one to organise it! Not quite true in one way. The four people who turned up to the last social team meeting felt that they could not do it alone.

Last year, even though a good number of people turned up on the day, only about six people were willing to do the planning or the heavy work of setti...

May 29, 2018

On Sunday 3 June we are keeping the lovely Feast of Corpus Christi, sometimes called Corpus et Sanguis Christi, Body and Blood of Christ, or Feast of Thanksgiving for the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ.

Liturgically, at this celebration, the Mass is celebrated in the normal way until after Communion. Normally at that point the consecrated Bread of Holy Communion is returned to the Lady Chapel (I’ll explain this later!) On this occasion however, t...

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