Newsletter 9th August 2015
A quiet summer week and I hope that you are enjoying the holiday period.
Next Sunday we will be celebrating the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The feast is transferred from Saturday so that there is not a holy day on the 15th. It is a great feast in the Greek Orthodox Church and is celebrated as “The Dormition of Mary”. The Catholic declaration of faith does not make an explicit definition on whether or not Mary died before she was taken up into heaven.
I have been asked to mention that the Greenwich and Bexley Credit Union has opened a branch in the Eltham Centre. You may be interested in using this.
Please remember to return the First Communion inscription forms as soon as possible. I need to order the books for the classes.1
My herb garden is doing well. At long last the first shoots of the oregano have appeared and I hope that they will survive. There is a good strong crop of basil – and I am on to my second crop of cress. The flat leaf parsley does well but the curly leaf is more difficult. Once the seeds have germinated, the step at the back of the house is ideal – plenty of sun and I need to keep the pots well watered.
Monday is the feast of the deacon, St. Lawrence. He appears in a window on the left side of Church. Tuesday is the feast of St. Clare and Friday is the feast of St. Maximilian Kolbe. His statue is above the entrance to Westminster Abbey, as one of the saints of the 20th Century.
Farewell to Mary Scott, – both she and her mother helped the parish in many ways for a long period and we owe a special debt of gratitude to her. Lucy has now taken over the care of the repository from Mary.
The other day we made a tomato salad – thinly sliced and flavoured with some oil, wine vinegar and some basil from the garden and served with some pieces of feta cheese and sole olives. With some French bread it makes a good summer lunch – and very healthy.
A prayer for today:
Lighten our eyes with hope, open our ears to hear your word, lead us joyfully in the way of your commandments throughout this day so that we may praise your holy name. Amen.
So no more tea trollies on Southern trains. It is a long way from the days of the Brighton Belle – the all-Pullman electric train from Victoria. It should not be forgotten that many of the Brighton expresses also included a single Pullman car – they all had splendid names, such as Bertha and Ethel. In our journeys, my grandfather could always be persuaded to pay the supplement so we could travel in the Pullman car.
I promised you some Hopkins recently. Here is one of my favourite pieces.
For Christ plays in ten thousand places,
Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his
To the Father through the features of men’s faces.
A special message for the young people of the parish. I am pleased to report that a further payment has been received from the Myra Fund – about £180. This is your money, to be used for the benefit of the young people of the parish. Please let me know if you have any ideas – I have put a box in the Church – and I will see what is possible – something we can use in the Church – or in the garden – or for the Sunday classes – I look forward to hearing from you.
John Julius Norwich quotes the last words of General John Sedgwick, killed in May 1864 at the battle of Spotsylvania:
Why, they couldn’t hit an elephant at this dist…..
During the French Revolution, the names of the months were changed – we are now in the month of Thermidor – 20th July to 18th August (though it doesn’t seem very hot). This is followed by Fructidor from 19th August to 17th September. Luckily these new names did not survive.
Best wishes to you all
Monsignor Nicholas Rothon