Bishop’s Banter 02/02/2018

On Wednesday I had the lovely experience of blessing one of the little cottages behind the church here where Susan Davies now lives. Susan has become part of our parish family over the past months. The blessing of a home is a gentle ritual and is an intentional inviting in of the Lord that he might be a living presence there. In the bible the words used for blessing all have a deep sense of thanksgiving about them. To bless is to thank. Though it’s probably true that many associate the Lord and prayer for that matter, with goings on in the church building, it’s good to remember that Jesus did so much of his healing work in ordinary homes, beginning with Peter’s house in Capernaum. You might even come to the conclusion that he enjoyed being a presence in people’s homes and daily lives. And this is to say nothing of the house in Narareth where he grew up, submitted to his parents and grew in stature, in wisdom and in favour with God and men and women (Luke 2)

One of the great things about the life of a priest is that you are allowed into the celebrations as well as the sadnesses of people’s lives. A happy thing last Sunday was to share in the 80th birthday celebrations for Monica Jacomb. It was memorable occasion! There was a great cake, and there will be another one after the 10 a.m. mass on Sunday as we say our own ‘Happy Birthday!.’

Monica wields the knife @ 80
Monica wields the knife @ 80
Charles, King and Martyr
Charles, King and Martyr
Joe looking happy on the first day of secondary school...
Joe looking happy on the first day of secondary school…
...Celine looking very happy on her first day, too!
…Celine looking very happy on her first day, too!








And talking of new beginnings, two of the younger members of the parish family began the adventure of secondary school this week. It’s quite a leap as you go from being the biggest to the smallest! Sadly, for me, I was never the biggest….though perfectly formed it must be said!  Anyway, Celine, one of our trusty servers, and Jo, son of vicarage resident James began the next chapter of their learning journey this week May they grow from strength to strength and in their love of the Lord!

When coffee is not enough……

As you will know from previous Banter’s this Sunday evening’s celebration is a long standing tradition in the life of the parish. The annual lecture on the celebration of Charles, King and Martyr was inaugurated during David Farrer’s time as vicar and was delivered in 1983 by Philip Harris in whose memory the lecture is now given. When Philip, a faithful parishioner of Christ Church died in 1989, it was decided to name the lecture in his honour. On Sunday I shall be scratching the surface of issues related to secularism. To my title  ‘Wake up and smell the..incense’. I could have given the subtitle…when coffee is not enough…

I hope to see you there.

Fortunately the weather looks as if it might be somewhat cooler this Sunday than last,  and the temperature at the last two lectures for that matter. It was HOT last Sunday, but it didn’t seem to put may folk off coming to mass. I was asked whether we would abandon incense as a concession, and whether I would give up on my cassock, to which I say ‘No Surrender’! I must tell you some time about my experience in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem while wearing the white cassock I wore last week. I was mobbed by a group of Chinese pilgrims….much kissing of episcopal rings and blessing of rosaries….My more reticent Anglican group looked on with a mixture of amazement and amusement. “Watch and learn” was my message to them!

ON MARCH  4th there is the SYDNEY ROAD STREET PARTY. Last year we gave away free sausages and shaved ice to passers by.

Would you be willing to do a stint? We set up our stall outside the front door of the church, and there are fetching T shirts to wear…

Would you be willing to do a stint? There’s a list at the back of the church… no experience necessary!