March – May 2020
From the Rector
Small things make the big thing. It is the myriad of little steps that complete a long journey, and so it is with Lent. A good Lent is a time when we look at ourselves, and challenge ourselves with the three calls of Lent: prayer, fasting and almsgiving. These three things are enormous calls: but we tackle them by making small steps each day. How have I prayed this day – have I listened to God? How have I fasted – what have I done without? How have I given things away today – what have I given to help others? A good Lent is the daily challenge of these questions. Lent started this year on 26 February, but there is plenty of time left before we reach its climax in Holy Week, starting with Palm Sunday on 5 April and finishing on Easter Sunday on 12 April. The service times are in this magazine, and I encourage you to make the extra effort to get to some service each week: maybe the stations of the cross on Friday, or a midweek mass. God’s grace is waiting for you.
Around the parish it has been a busy time getting the church floors polished. With the completion of the major electrical works we can tidy up, and this was the first time the floors have been polished since the church was built. We had to move out of the church for two weeks into the hall while the work was done; that was a different experience, cramped into one room cheek by jowl with the choir and altar. What a difference the polishing has made. The floor was remarkably well made, we think it may be the New Zealand wood kohekohe. The wood is extra thick and the joists are closer together than normal – it’s a well-built floor and now looking lovely with a red tinge.
Study groups at St George’s have always been difficult to organise owing to the reality that not many people live near our church, and coming to mass is the priority. However, we are trying a new group on the last Sunday of the month after the 9.30 mass, starting at 11 am. It will go for no longer than an hour and we hope to cover a range of topics, from Bible studies to history.
Our annual vestry meeting will be 15 March. We will be discussing an offer to us from the diocese of Riverina of the old ciborium magnum or baldacchino from the disused pro-cathedral at Hay. A ciborium is a structure built around the altar to help emphasise its importance. It was designed in the 1960s by the noted Australian church architect Louis Williams. It was the original plan at St George’s to build a screen behind the altar, similar to that erected at St Peter’s Cathedral. However, that was too costly, and various ways were used to draw focus to the altar, such as curtains, and the lovely picture of the Flight into Egypt that graces the wall on the north side now. The Crown was then commissioned and has now been the focus for many years. If we accept this offer, the Crown will remain in its present spot but be raised higher.
In the meantime, knuckle down to Lent, one small thing at a time.
Stations of the Cross
Every Friday in Lent
Follow our Lord
on the Way to the Cross
HOLY WEEK & EASTER
5 April Palm Sunday
8.00 a.m. Mass
9.30 a.m. Blessing of Palms & Solemn Mass
4.00 p.m. Evensong
6 April Holy Monday
6 p.m. Mass
9.00 p.m. Compline
7 April Holy Tuesday
10 a.m. Mass
9.00 p.m. Compline
8 April Holy Wednesday
8 a.m. Mass
9.00 p.m. Compline
9 April Maundy Thursday
12 noon Mass
7.30 p.m. Solemn Mass
The Watch of the Passion will be kept until Midnight
10 April Good Friday
10.00 a.m. Stations of the Cross
3.00 p.m. Mass of the Pre-Sanctified
5.00 p.m. Confessions
11 April Easter Eve
8 p.m. Vigil Mass
12 April Easter Day
8.00 a.m. Mass
9.30 a.m. Solemn Mass
ST GEORGE’S DAY
Sunday 26 May
Mass at 10.30
Followed by a shared lunch
A Date with Easter
Last year Easter Day fell on 21 April, this year it falls on 12 April, and next year it comes on 4 April. We are spoilt for choice when it comes to finding out the date of Easter. We can check diaries and lectionaries and online, and our ever-helpful parish priest announces the forthcoming moveable feasts at Epiphany each year.
If all else fails, we can fall back on The Book of Common Prayer. My copy gives the dates of moveable feasts including Easter for the years 1932 to 1975. After that you are on your own.
But for those with good eyesight (for standard Common Prayer Book print) all is not lost. The Book of Common Prayer obligingly provides sets of tables which, when used in conjunction with a number called the Golden Number, provide the means of calculating the dates of moveable feasts for an indefinite period into the future. However be warned. These calculations come with a maze of instructions that are not user-friendly for the time-poor or impatient. For example: “To find the Month and Days of the Month to which the Golden Numbers ought to be prefixed in the Calendar, in any given Year of Our Lord, consisting of entire Hundred Years, and in all the intermediate years betwixt that and the next Hundredth Year following, look in the second Column of Table II…”. You get the idea.
The earliest date upon which Easter can fall is 22 March, but don’t hold your breath. The last time this happened was in 1818. It will not do so again in this century. But depending upon your age you may have better luck with the latest possible date – 25 April. You will only have to wait until 2038.
A Tale of Two Saints
For the Roman Empire the 3rd century AD was not the worst of times, but neither could it be called the best of times, beset as the Empire was by the threat of barbarian invasion from without and varying degrees of social, political and economic instability within.
One way in which such calamities could be avoided and the continued peace and prosperity of the Empire and the security of the State guaranteed was the correct observance by its citizens of “the pieties”, acts of worship and sacrifice that involved offering incense (one grain would do) before a statue of one of the gods or the emperor, or the swearing of an oath by the spirit or “genius” of the emperor. In carrying out these “pieties” one showed to the world that one was a loyal citizen of Rome.
So when things went wrong the burning question was “Who is to blame?” Anyone refusing to engage in “the pieties” was suspected of disloyalty and subversion so it is not surprising that Christians, with their insistence that there was only one God worthy of worship, suffered the not uncommon fate of a marginalized minority of being made scapegoats for all of the ills of society.
For most of the Roman era, the persecution of Christians was by and large local and spasmodic. (Some local officials were so reluctant to condemn Christians in their communities that they made every endeavour to persuade them to offer at least one small grain of incense in sacrifice. After all, what would it matter!).
But from the mid-third century and in the decades that followed, the persecution of Christians became general. The issuance of a decree by the emperor Decius in 249 AD that everyone had to possess a certificate evidencing that he or she had offered appropriate sacrifice was followed by a further decree in 304 AD by the Emperor Diocletian directing that “…all citizens of the Empire were required to sacrifice on pain of death…”. It is from this world that the stories of two saints whose memories we honour in our church emerge.
They are St Agnes and St Alban, the shrines of whom are to be found in our baptistery.
St Agnes’ Story
St Agnes lived in Rome at the turn of the third century. The story of her life as it has come down to us is contained in a 5th century document known as her “Acts”. According to this account St Agnes was only thirteen when she refused marriage because of her dedication to Christ, ultimately preferring death to any violation to her consecrated virginity. She was killed by the sword, that is, through her throat being pierced, in c.305 AD.
Her feast was kept in both the Eastern and Western churches from earliest times and we remember her here in St George’s on her feast day, 21 January. The name Agnes closely resembles “agnus”, the Latin for lamb, and thus a lamb has become her principal emblem. Our shrine statue depicts a lamb by her side, licking her hand as she enters eternal life. This may be an intentional reference to the symbolism of Christ as the Lamb of God.
St Agnes is also much honoured in Rome today. On her feast day lambs are blessed which produce the wool from which pallia (a kind of liturgical neck scarf) worn by the pope and archbishops are woven by the nuns of St Agnes’ Convent.
St Alban’s Story
A world away from Rome on the edge of the Empire, a man who came to be honoured as the first British martyr was put to death in possibly the same year as St Agnes, that is 305 AD. We know him as St Alban.
Very little is known about him. The account of his Acts, much of which is considered legendary, has come down to us through the Venerable Bede who was writing some 350 years later.
The story goes that St Alban, a Roman citizen, sheltered a priest and was converted by him and baptized. When soldiers came to his house to search for the priest, St Alban dressed in the priest’s clothes and enabled him to escape. Alban was arrested and after refusing to offer sacrifice, was condemned to death.
He was buried near the place of his death where in due course his shrine became a place of healing.
From possibly as early as the 8th C, monastic foundations had links with this site with an abbey being completed there in 1089. St Alban’s became a cathedral in 1877. One of its claims to fame is that of having the longest nave of any church building in England.
Our shrine statue depicts St Alban in the garb of a Roman soldier but it only became customary to represent him in this way after World War One. His feast day is 22 July.
We are unable, some 2,000 years on, to “get under the skin” of the early martyrs. Over time their stories have been adapted and embellished, but always with the same end in view that prompted the telling and re-telling of their stories in the first place – that by honouring the martyrs and holding them in remembrance, Christians have before them examples of steadfast faith in the face of adversity by which to be encouraged and inspired.
And to conclude in a lighter vein. The early church fathers are not usually noted for their sense of humour, but Tertullian (c. 200 AD) was inspired to write (albeit sarcastically):
‘If the Tiber reaches the walls,
if the Nile does not rise to the fields,
if the sky doesn’t move or if the earth does,
if there is famine, if there is plague,
the cry is at once ‘The Christians to the Lion’.
What, all of them to one lion?’
With acknowledgements to W.H.C. Frend “The Rise of Christianity”, Henry Chadwick “The Early Church”, “Oxford Dictionary of Saints” and other sources.
St George’s Goodwood is now on Facebook – follow us, lots of fresh photos.
Bible Reading Plans 2020
Lent is a great time to start reading the Bible – or to revisit that New Year’s resolution to finally make the effort! Jumping-in at Genesis 1 and climbing back out at Revelation 22 can be a very long slog and the Anglican tradition of three shorter readings at each sitting is far more appealing. But even then, which readings do we use, how do we keep ourselves focussed on reading each day, and how do we catch-up when we don’t?
The answer is a Bible Reading Plan! Here we’ll look at a couple of different options and there’s sure to be one to suit you.
- Australian Lectionary 2020
The Australian Lectionary is based on the Revised Common Lectionary which is used by the Anglican, most Protestant and the Roman Catholic churches worldwide. There’s a real grace from sharing your daily reading with your fellow Christians around the world. However, it’s focussed on Sunday readings, the steady flow is often broken-up by feast days and the sequence of Bible books can be confusing. This means that keeping track can be tricky and my view is that the Lectionary is for the professionals and regular weekday mass attendees.
Available on-line or instore from Koorong.
- Five Day a Week Reading Plans 2020
My favourite! Not only does it allow for two days of late nights a week, it also orders the History books of the Old Testament in some form of chronological sequence – anybody who’s struggled through Kings and Chronicles will know the mind-numbing confusion of who is doing what to whom. The PDF print out, as with all the following plans, is neat and easy to use.
A similar plan, for the New Testament only, is also available. This is strongly recommended for anybody who is new to Bible reading or has a timely calling to a deeper understanding of the Gospel and Christ’s gifts for us.
PDF or on-line link available from Tim Hender.
- Two Year and Open-Ended Plans
Time still tight? Then why not move the horizon out and commit to two years instead! The two-year plan largely moves in sequential order from Genesis forward and offers two catch-up days once each major book is completed. For even more flexibility, there is an open-ended plan that simply allows you to mark-off each book and chapter as you’ve read it. I’ve found this very useful to use over several years as you can focus on chosen books in-depth, but still check what you’ve missed in the meantime.
PDF or on-line link available from Tim Hender.
The important thing is not to be discouraged! We’re called as Christians to know and love the Lord through the scriptures, not to meet a reading schedule. Even a little Bible reading is a great offering to God.
Next time, we’ll look at guided podcasts for use at home, work or in the car and commentaries such as Daylight.
Pax et Bonum,
From the Register
We record the death of Nancy Charlotte O’Neill on the 3 February, a former parishioner of our parish and member of the Fellowship Group. She had moved to Port Macquarie around ten years ago to be closer to her daughter. She was buried with her husband at Centennial Park.
If we truly preferred nothing to the love of Christ, we would be sinless saints. We would need no other rule! Small wonder that most of us read and look away in embarrassment. But ALL of us, everyone, can chisel at that mountain day by day, resolutely. A day in which the seemingly tiniest and most token of obstacles to the love of Christ is conquered and removed is a day of great rejoicing in heaven! As St. Teresa of Calcutta observed, “We can do no great things, only small things with great love.” We HAVE to start small, because, for most of us, if it weren’t for small, we’d never start at all! Ah, but those tiniest things done with love delight the heart of the Divine Merciful Christ more than we could ever imagine! Go for it!!!
Br Jerome, OSB
1 LENT 1
1 David, Bishop of Menevia, Patron of Wales, c601
2 Chad, Bishop of Lichfield, Missionary, 672
4 Ember Wednesday
6 Ember Friday
7 Ember Saturday
7 Perpetua and her Companions, Martyrs at Carthage, 203
8 LENT 2
9 Sister Emma SSA, Superior of the Society of the Sacred Advent, Qld, 1939
15 LENT 3
17 Patrick, Bishop of Armagh Missionary, Patron of Ireland, c460
18 Cyril, Bishop of Jerusalem, Teacher of the Faith, 386
19 JOSEPH OF NAZARETH
20 Cuthbert of Lindisfarne, Bishop and missionary (d. 687) or 4th Sept.
21 Transitus of Benedict, Abbot of Monte Casino, Father of Western Monasticism, patron of Europe, c550
21 Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1556
22 LENT 4 – MOTHERING SUNDAY
24 Paul Couturier, Ecumenist, 1953
24 Walter Hilton of Thurgartan, Augustian Friar, Mystic, 1396
24 Oscar Romero, Archbishop of San Salvador, Martyr, 1980
25 THE ANNUNCIATION TO THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
26 Harriet Monsell, Founder of the Community of St John the Baptist, Clewer, 1883
29 LENT 5 – PASSION SUNDAY
31 John Donne, Priest, Poet, 1631
1 Frederick Denison Maurice, Priest, Teacher of the Faith, 1872
5 LENT 6 – PALM SUNDAY
9 MAUNDY THURSDAY
10 GOOD FRIDAY
11 HOLY SATURDAY
19 EASTER 2
21 Anselm, Abbot of Le Bec, Archbishop of Canterbury, Teacher of the Faith, 1109
21 The Annotine Easter 2019
23 GEORGE, MARTYR, PATRON SAINT, c304
24 The Seven Martyrs of the Melanesian Brotherhood, Solomon Islands, 2003
25 ANZAC DAY
26 SUNDAY IN OCTAVE OF ST GEORGE
28 MARK, EVANGELIST AND MARTYR (from 26)
29 Catherine of Siena, Mystic, Teacher, 1380
30 Pandita Mary Ramabai, Translator of the Scriptures, 1922
1 PHILIP AND JAMES, APOSTLES AND MARTYRS
2 Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria, Teacher of the Faith, 373
3 EASTER 4
4 English Saints & Martyrs of the Reformation Era
8 Julian of Norwich, Mystic, Teacher, c1417
10 EASTER 5
12 Gregory Dix, Priest, Monk, Scholar, 1952
16 Caroline Chisholm, Social Reformer, 1877
17 EASTER 6 – ROGATION SUNDAY
19 Dunstan, Archbishop of Canterbury, Restorer of Monastic Life, 988
20 Alcuin of York, Deacon, Abbot of Tours, 820
21 Helena, Protector of the Holy Places, 330
24 John & Charles Wesley, Priest, Evangelists, Hymn Writers, 1792 & 1788
25 The Venerable Bede, Priest, Monk at Jarrow, Scholar, Historian, 735
26 Augustine, First Archbishop of Canterbury, 605
26 John Calvin, Reformer, 1564
28 Lanfranc, Prior of Le Bec, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1089
30 Joan of Arc, Visionary, 1431
30 Josephine Butler, Social Reformer, 1906
30 Apolo Kivebulaya, Priest, Evangelist in Central Africa, 1933
Parish Office Holders
Priest’s Warden Ranjan Ponniah 8272 5835
People’s Warden Lyn Dutton 8357 2895
Director of Music Sarah Clay 0488 133 645
Parish Treasurer Emily Harding 8261 0332
Fellowship Group Lyn Dutton 8357 2895
Parish Priest: Fr Scott Moncrieff
St George’s Rectory
34 Angus Street, Goodwood, SA, 5034.
Telephone 08 82729495
8.00 am Mass
9.30 am Solemn Sung Mass, followed by morning tea
4.00 pm Evensong (BCP)
Monday Fr Scott’s Day Off
Tuesday 10.00 am Mass, followed by morning tea
Wednesday 7.30 am Matins
8.00 am Mass
Thursday 12 noon Mass
In Lent 4.30 pm Stations of the Cross
5.15 pm Mass English Missal
Saturday 7.30 am Matins
8.00 am Mass
A monthly requiem is held on the first free Friday of the month, when all whose year’s mind falls in that month and the recently departed are remembered and prayed for.
Confessions are heard by appointment.