Sunday, 13 September 2009

13 September 2009

Here at St John’s the weekend starts by spending time in front of the Most Blessed Sacrament followed by Office of Readings, Vespers and Benediction.
On Saturday, some Pastoral Assistants visited us for us breakfast which ended with some prayers. Morning Mass was celebrated at the Walsingham altar. After Mass the church opened its doors for those who did the sponsored walk or bike ride around churches in Kent. A very good number walked through our doors and God is to be thanked for this. I was glad to be able to welcome the assistant priest from St Thomas RC church in Sevenoaks and show him around the church. A special thank you to Carolyn and Richard for organising this.
In the afternoon, Fr Mark and I went to Rochester for the farewell service to Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali. This was a Eucharist with (many) hymns reflecting the different styles of worship in the Diocese. It was good and well balanced albeit too long. Bishop’s Michael sermon was splendid all based on the call and the way we as Church answer it. We shared many things that Lord Carey said at his farewell speech especially that we have mixed feelings on his parting from leading this diocese. There were many presentations given to the Bishop and his family. The Bishop of Tonbridge led this part of the service in a very graceful way.
This morning Fr Mark celebrated the Early Mass with Roger’s assistance. After Lauds and choir practice Sung Mass was celebrated to a very full church with new families joining us. Our preacher today was one of our sub deacons: Michael Payne, he gave us a very uplifting homily on the readings. Thank you! We also read for the first time the banns of our Sacristan and one of our sub deacons; please pray for Rob and Frances as they prepare for their big day.
After visiting Fr Dawson I went to hospital, today apart from visits I also administered the last rites. How wonderful is priesthood that enables us to serve Jesus in the children, youths, young adults, families and older people, the newly born and the dying all in one day!
The day came to an end with the quiet and reflective service of Evening Prayer from the BCP. The words and diction of the Prayer Book are second to none in lifting up our hearts unto the Lord.

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