St George the Martyr, Goodwood
WHAT’S A HOLY PLACE? Why do we have some places where we feel the presence of God in a more profound way than others? Why do we dedicate these spaces to God in contrast to the rest of our space? Our Dedication Festival on the first Sunday in September challenges us as to the nature of holy places. We believe in a God who is the creator of the world, who saw everything and said it was good. As such God is everywhere. Yet at the same time we seek special places: from ancient times we have sought holy places, whether they be temples or sacred trees: we have sought to make some places holy in a special way. We need such places, we need colour in the world, we need special places to meet God. At this time when so many of us have been locked down and remain so (and we pray particularly for our friends in Victoria here every day) there has been a grey dullness of everyday life, with no special holidays, no special celebrations, no churches open. The world can seem a grey dull place without the special, the holy. Perhaps in this time of restrictions we can reflect on the beauty of holy places, and how we need God to break into our lives filling them with joy and special moments. Perhaps we can reflect on our need for churches, where we can meet God in a deeper way.
September starts its cycle with our celebration of the Dedication of our Church of 1903. This is the start of a church building’s life, when it is placed under the protection of a saint, in our case St George. Fr Wise, the initiator of the new building, wanted it named St Michael’s after his boyhood church in Exeter, but St Michael’s, Mitcham, was thought too close, so it remained St George’s. However, we have some wonderful images of St Michael in our building as a consolation. When the building debt is paid off, the bishop then returns to consecrate the building. It’s a bit like a confirmation after a baptism I find. Unusually our church was consecrated and dedicated together on the same day, as the debt had been paid in full through the generosity of Mrs Bickford of Bickford cordials. Fr Wise’s love of St Michael is reflected in our custom of still keeping a Sunday dedicated to him, in this case the last Sunday of September.
August started with a wonderful initiative to help foreign students in Adelaide. As you know, many are completely bereft of any income, with so many casual jobs gone, and no government assistance, as well as being unable to return home. The Anglican parishes of Mount Gambier and Mount Barker, which are run by two excellent priests originally from Sri Lanka and India respectively, had been collecting food for them and were well organised with a range of parcels for collection. I am not sure how many parcels we gave out, but it was in excess of one hundred. We had the easy part, of just supplying our hall as a collection point in Adelaide. The need for generosity is at the heart of Christianity, and I was honoured that our parish could assist.
Our Covid restrictions continue to change. In line with advice from the government, although we had the permission of the Premier, the archbishop has now directed that hymn singing must cease to limit the risk of infection. It’s frustrating that changes keep happening, but we are in a much better situation to our friends in Melbourne, where the churches are again closed. There the Archbishop has directed that even clergy are not to go into churches. However, our choir continues, and has used this time to explore some of the great chant traditions of the church – not the modern day Taizé style but the centuries old chants, such as that which we are using this month for the mass setting, the wonderful Missa Primitiva, so called because of its ancient primitive chants.
If you are interested in our wonderful heritage of chant music, our Director of Music, Sarah Clay, runs a learners’ choir for chant singing every Thursday evening starting at 7.30 in the hall.
Our new gardeners’ group is working hard every Tuesday morning. We meet for mass at 10 am, then a coffee up the street before an hour or so of gardening, or brass cleaning for the less horticulturally inclined. We are blessed with some wonderful gardens here with many mature trees.
We are slowly raising money for the organ repairs, now reaching $2190 as of 1 September. We have to raise over $5000 for the repairs to two stops, so any donations would be gratefully received. The cost will be around $5800.
On 2nd September we also celebrated here the Martyrs of Papua New Guinea. Our parish has had a long association with that country and some of our parishioners have served there. We also have a rather unusual tapa cloth chasuble we wear for that occasion, a gift to us from the church in PNG.
Looking ahead, the first Sunday of October we will be keeping as the feast of St Francis. We have a simple statue of him carved by a member of the Oliphant family in the church near the pulpit. That afternoon I will be available to bury the ashes of any pets in the gardens, with a simple prayer. Pets are a wonderful gift to us and a great love and trust, and we make our gardens available for those who wish to bury the ashes of their pets here.
8.00 am Mass
10.00 am Solemn Sung Mass
Monday Fr Scott’s Day Off
Tuesday 10.00 am Mass, followed by gardening
Wednesday 8.00 am Mass
Thursday 12 noon Mass
Friday 8.00 am Mass
Saturday 8.00 am Mass
1 CONSECRATION & DEDICATION OF CHURCH, 1903
2 THE MARTYRS OF NEW GUINEA, 1942
3 Gregory of Rome, Teacher of the Faith, 640; Eliza Darling
4 Birinus of Dorchester, Apostle of Wessex, 650
4 Translation of St Cuthbert
6 SUNDAY IN OCTAVE OF DEDICATION
8 BIRTH OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
9 Charles Fuge Lowder, Priest, 1880
11 Mother Esther CHN, Founder of the Community of the Holy Name, 1931
13 PENTECOST 15
15 HOLY CROSS DAY (from 14)
16 Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage, bishop and martyr, (d.258)
16 Ninian, Bishop of Galloway, Apostle to the Picts, c432
16 Edward Bouverie Pusey, Priest, Tractarian, 1882
17 Hildegard, Abbess of Bingen, Visionary, 1179
18 John Ramsden Wollaston, Priest and Missionary of Western Australia, 1856
19 Theodore of Tarsus, Archbishop of Canterbury, 690
20 PENTECOST 16
20 John Coleridge Patterson, First Bishop of Melanesia, and his Companions, Martyrs, 1871
20 Andrew Kin Taegon and the Martyrs of Korea and the Pacific
22 MATTHEW, APOSTLE, EVANGELIST AND MARTYR (fro 21)
23 Thecla, Virgin 1st C.
23 Ember Wednesday
24 Our Lady of Walsingham
25 Ember Friday
25 Sergius of Radonezh, Russian Monastic, Reformer, Teacher of the Faith, 1392
25 Lancelot Andrewes, Bishop of Winchester, Spiritual Writer, 1626
26 Ember Saturday
26 Wilson Carlile, Priest, Founder of the Church Army, 1942
27 MICHAEL AND ALL ANGELS (from 29)
28 Wenceslas, Prince, Martyr, Apostle to the Czechs, c907
30 Jerome, Translator of the Scriptures, Teacher of the Faith, 420