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Healing and Renewal – 15/04/18

On Sunday morning, +Lindsay reminded us of some words from Pope Francis: that priests, and by extension, churches, should smell of the Oil of the Sick (otherwise known as Unction), because one of their primary purposes is to be houses of healing, of body, mind, and spirit.

This led perfectly in to the evening, when Christ Church played host to a service of Healing and Renewal.  It was a beautiful service, including “sprinkling” with water from the holy well at Walsingham (a holy place of pilgrimage in Norfolk, England), anointing with the Oil of Unction, laying-on of hands, beautiful music from our hard-working choir, and a stirring homily from Fr Matthew Dowsey.

The background to the healing liturgy, and especially the involvement of the water from Walsingham, stems from the act of pilgrimage.  Pilgrims to the shrine at Walsingham often make the journey to experience the healing effects of the water from its well, which has been associated with numerous healing acts over the centuries.  

It became a place of pilgrimage in the eleventh century when a woman in the village received a series of visions or dreams in which she was taken to Nazareth and shown the house in which Mary received the visitation of the angel Gabriel asking her to be the Mother of Jesus. Richeldis (as the woman was called) built a simple house that became a great centre of pilgrimage and devotion for Christians from all over Europe. It was second only to Canterbury’s shrine to St Thomas Becket, and was up there with Compostella and Rome during the Middle Ages. Known as Éngland’s Nazareth’, monarchs and their consorts were regular pilgrims alongside the ordinary people of England.  Destroyed during the turmoil of the English Reformation it was restored by both Anglicans and Roman Catholics in the first part of the twentieth century, and now attracts thousands of tourists and pilgrims each year.

“Friend, your sins are forgiven you.” (St Luke 5:20 NRSVACE)
“Friend, your sins are forgiven you.” (St Luke 5:20 NRSVACE)

Our very own vicar, Bishop Lindsay, was the Anglican shrine’s administrator for several years, and has a longer association still, its use here in Brunswick makes a lot of sense, and is a beautiful part of the healing ministry offered here.

We had a good number of attendees to the service, and it was wonderful to see so many people coming forward to receive prayer and anointing, but we were also reminded that ministries of healing are not limited to those who attend services such as these, as God offers His boundless mercy and healing power to those who accept Him.  As such, we were invited to offer and request prayer for those we know who were not present, reminded of the story of the men who broke through a roof to lower their friend into Jesus’ presence: Jesus, after seeing the faith of his friends, said to the man: “Friend, your sins are forgiven you.” (St Luke 5:20 NRSVACE).

One important thing to remember is that the ministry of laying on of hands or anointing is always available at Christ Church. If you would like to experience these gifts, contact Bishop Lindsay Urwin at vicar@christchurchbrunswick.org

After the service, the wine flowed in the Vicarage almost as freely as had the water earlier in the church, as the congregation decamped there for a social gathering – as always, it was wonderful to see the place so full and effervescent with life and laughter!

If you would like to know more about the Shrine and its history and ministry, please visit www.walsinghamanglican.org.uk, and for yet more information about the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham, including the healing ministries offered there and the usage of its water, you might like to see the video below, a slightly-dated documentary from 1984, narrated by David Jacobi.  (See if you can spot a young +Lindsay – he’s in it!  Also, there’s a bonus “tribute” video showing some of his…memorable…moments from his time at the shrine).


The parish prepares to welcome a new pastoral assistantpeter

In March 2018 Peter Cotterill will join the parish ministry team as pastoral assistant in succession to Mason Morgan who returned to Wales in November past.

Known as the parish ‘Year for God’ scheme, a young person is offered the opportunity to share in the leadership and ministry of the parish for up to 12 months. He or she lives in the vicarage,  shares in the offering and leadership of the daily rhythm of prayer so central to life at Christ Church, and does anything that turns up and appears to be necessary!  The parish council contributes a monthly honorarium.

Like Mason before him, Peter, who is 27, hails from the U.K. and currently lives in Wakefield. His first degree was in Business Management which should be a help (!) and he is currently on the last leg of a Masters in Reconciliation and Peace Building, skills we sincerely hope won’t need to be called on too much  around the parish…

Peter lists motor sport as one of his interests, along with music and photography. For eighteen months he lived as a community member at Scargill House a retreat and conference centre in north Yorkshire. There he tells us, you had to learn to turn your hand to anything from housekeeping to building maintenance to sharing in the pastoral and worship teams. A good preparation for what lies ahead!


Celebrating 160 years of Dedication!

On Sunday September 10th 2017 a church full of people celebrated the Eucharist together and then over 80 people enjoyed a spit roast lunch in the parish hall. The preacher was Bishop David Farrer, a former vicar of the parish during the 1980’s and 90’s. It was a delight to welcome +David and Helen back to the parish for worship and then to have the opportunity for catching up with ‘old timers’ and meet new folk.

Of course it was and is always right to give thanks for past blessings, but it was a fitting day to baptise a new Christian and admit three young people to receive the sacrament of Holy Communion.

Let a few photos tell the story of the day..

+Lindsay anoints newly baptised Leilani Collins
+Lindsay anoints newly baptised Leilani Collins
The sanctuary party looking a bit happy, and joined by Leilani, Xavier and Max. Leilani is holding her baptismal candle given to her that morning, and Max and Xavier hold the candles kept since their baptism as babies.
The sanctuary party looking a bit happy, and joined by Leilani, Xavier and Max. Leilani is holding her baptismal candle given to her that morning, and Max and Xavier hold the candles kept since their baptism as babies.
The three children admitted to first Communion stand at the altar during the Eucharistic prayer
The three children admitted to first Communion stand at the altar during the Eucharistic prayer
Lunch!
Lunch!

 


Our Lady of Walsingham comes to Brunswick!

On Sunday October 2nd Christ Church was full to bursting as Christians from a number of traditions gathered to celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Walsingham. Russian Orthodox, Chaldean Christians, Roman Catholics and of course Anglicans all united in the reverence for the Mother of God and the great doctrine on which Christianity stands, the Incarnation.

Walsingham, in the county of Norfolk in the U.K. became a place of pilgrimage in the eleventh century when a woman in the village received a series of visions or dreams in which she was taken to Nazareth and shown the house in which Mary received the visitation of the angel Gabriel asking her to be the Mother of Jesus. Richeldis (as the woman was called) built a simple house that became a great centre of pilgrimage and devotion for Christians from all over Europe. It was second only to Canterbury’s shrine to St Thomas Becket, and was up there with Compostella and Rome during the Middle Ages. Known as Éngland’s Nazareth’, monarchs and their consorts were regular pilgrims alongside the ordinary people of England.  Destroyed during the turmoil of the English Reformation it was restored by both Anglicans and Roman Catholics in the first part of the twentieth century, and now attracts thousands of tourists and pilgrims each year.

If you would like to know more about the Shrine and its history and ministry see www.walsinghamanglican.org.uk.

The healing ministry is a central part of pilgrimage and water from the Holy Well at Walsingham was brought from England for the Brunswick Celebration. All those at the service were invited to receive the waters and then, if they wished, to experience the gentle and strong ministries of the laying on of hands with prayer and anointing. It was a time filled with expectancy and hope.

After the service, the congregation packed in to the vicarage for refreshments based on recipes from East Anglia.

The ministry of laying on of hands or anointing is always available at Christ Church. If you would like to experience these gifts,contact Bishop Lindsay Urwin  on vicar@christchurchbrunswick.org

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