Thursday, 18 March 2010

A Run of White Feasts

Today is actually the Feast of St. Cyril of Jerusalem. But at St. Cuthbert's we've been celebrating St. Joseph instead. I know it's his Feast Day tomorrow, 19th March, but we're using Friday evening instead for our own Patronal Celebration, keeping the Eve of St. Cuthbert's Day. So there's a plug for our Patronal Festival - join us, if you can, for a Sung Eucharist at 7p.m. There are more celebrations to follow. If you can't be there, remember us in your prayers.

The Diocese begins its celebrations the same evening in Durham Cathedral, but for the Feast Day itself moves north for a Pilgrimage to Holy Island off the Northumberland Coast. Pilgrims are to gather at 10a.m. - and there'll be a Eucharist in the Priory ruins. If the weather is inclement, it'll be in the Parish Church next door. After lunch everyone is to move off to Durham and there's an invitation  to walk back across the sands on the Pilgrim's Route (hoping the motorised will pick them up on the mainland). It may seem strange to have the pilgrims walk the return route rather than the approach - but there is the question of tides (and just how early they would want to start!). Anyway it's part of the pilgrimage, because the idea then is to go on to Durham for Choral Evensong - I've said I'll join in at least for that part.

And yesterday of course was St. Patrick's Day. I found myself back in my last parish, presiding and preaching at St. Patrick's, High Spen on the 120th anniversary of the church's consecration. St. Patrick's has the distinction amongst Durham churches of having been consecrated by a Bishop of Newcastle. Bishop Lightfoot had died leaving an episcopal interregnum at the time he should have made his way to St. Pat's. But Bishop Westcott turned up the following year to check that all was well.

The people were certainly in good spirits - with visitors too. But they are themselves in  the midst of an interregnum (the third since I left). Pray for them, and for a speedy and good appointment. This is what I had to say in my homily.

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