December 2019 – February 2020
ST GEORGE THE MARTYR, GOODWOOD
From the Rector
I’ve recently become a Netflix person, getting my televison programmes from this supplier. I can now bingewatch, see any serial as soon as they come out, often being able to see a whole series in a few days, or, if I wanted, in one long night.
So unlike the old way, of waiting patiently next week for the next instalment of my favourite series.
Well, Advent is like the old way of television watching. We are not meant to binge Christmas; we are meant to savour it and approach it through the season of Advent. Advent is the time of watching and waiting for the Lord. We contemplate our Lord coming to us in three ways: in the past through the moment of his birth, at the end of our lives, and at the end of time itself. Our Lord comes to us at Christmas not as an overwhelming encounter with God, as when Moses met God at Sinai, but in the form of a baby, vulnerable and in need of our love, to show us that is how God also loves us. Then we are faced with our own ending, meeting our Lord at the end of our lives. Traditionally we contemplate in Advent the four last things for this: death, judgment, heaven and hell, as a preparation for making a good death, a death at peace with God, peace with our families, peace with our neighbours and world. Then finally we have the final coming of Christ at the end of time, a reminder that nothing lasts except God.
In the parish we had two notable deaths the last few months: Mabel Trenordan and Audrey Rodger. Mabel had served in PNG in the early 50s as secretary to Bishop Strong, who led the church there during the war, later becoming Archbishop of Brisbane. She then became secretary to Bishop, later Archbishop, Reid of Adelaide. She served on parish council for many years and was a faithful member of the parish, regularly attending the different services. In later years she moved to Lutheran Homes at Fullarton, where she joined Audrey Rodger for the last years of their lives.
Audrey Rodger was a cradle to grave St Georger. She attended the school here and although a shy woman in many ways, was always serving everyone in the kitchen with countless cups of tea. She was also at nearly every service she could make, and found in St George’s a centre of her life and friends. Immensely frugal, she seemed never to buy new clothes, preferring to wear out the old ones over the years.
Neither of these two women were great in the eyes of the world. Yet both knew the love of Our Lord and his presence in their lives and the power of prayer. I read out at Audrey’s requiem a quote that I think applies to them both from Middlemarch by George Eliot: “Her finely-touched spirit had still its fine issues, though they were not widely visible. Her full nature, like that river of which Cyrus broke the strength, spent itself in channels which have no great name on earth. But the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive: for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.”
During the next three months I hope the next stage of the church renovations will start: the polishing of the floorboards of the church. This may mean one Sunday we will have to have mass in the hall, to allow the proper drying. We will then lay new carpet in the church once we decide which areas need to be carpeted – we are uncertain if the aisles need carpet or not.
A final reminder: midnight mass for Christmas starts at 11 pm on Christmas Eve and there is one mass on Christmas Day at 9 am. The children’s service is Christmas eve at 6 pm.
New Year’s Eve
5 pm Tuesday 31 December
A short mass to give thanks for the year and to pray for the year ahead.
6 pm Tuesday 24 December
Starting 11 pm 24 December
Solemn Sung Mass
9 am Wed 25 December
St George meets St Sidwell
In 1992 Fr Peter Thomson, the then parish priest at St George’s, received a visit from a Richard Stanley who brought with him photos that had been taken in the early years of the 20th century at St Sidwell’s Art Works in Devon. They were of various items destined for St George’s that had been made in their workshop. The photos included our High Altar candlesticks and cross, the gradine behind the High Altar with its finely carved inscription, the Lady Chapel altar with its accompanying crucifix and candlesticks, the Lady Chapel triptych depicting the Annunciation, the Processional Cross, the font cover and the crucifixion scene above the font, and several other items. There are other carvings in the church that are known to have been made at St Sidwell’s. The same company was also responsible for the reredos in St Peter’s Cathedral.
Here is St Sidwell’s story.
Had you lived in England a thousand years ago, you might well have joined a group of pilgrims bent on visiting the shrine of St Sidwell in Exeter in Devon. Some of you may have been seeking healing at St Sidwell’s grave. The story goes that, in about the eighth century, a young woman by the name of Sidwell suffered death by beheading with a scythe. She came to be regarded as a virgin-martyr and is said to have been buried outside the city where “by her merits God heals the sick”.
Whatever the veracity of this tale, Sidwell’s name lives on in the historic church of St Sidwell’s in Exeter and also in that part of Exeter, formerly a village outside the city, that likewise bears her name.
It was in this village of St Sidwell’s that in 1888 one Henry Herbert Read, having learnt the skills of traditional wood carving from a noted local woodcarver Harry Hems, established St Sidwell’s Art Works. This company would come to have close ties with St George’s for, as noted in an article about the master craftsman Nathaniel Hitch in the last issue of “The Messenger”, St Sidwell’s Art Works enlisted the services of Hitch, and thus many of the carved items that grace St George’s today came from this workshop.
While accepting commissions for private houses and other buildings, St Sidwell’s main focus over the years was high quality ecclesiastical woodcarving. Their watchword was “Nothing but the best!”
Henry Herbert’s son, Herbert Edmund Read, took over the business in 1908 and carried on until his death in 1951. During this period St Sidwell’s was presented with both opportunities and challenges. In the 1930’s Harry Hem’s company closed, leaving St Sidwell’s as the major provider of woodcarving work in Devon, both restoration and new. But May 1942 saw the coming of the blitz to Exeter. The workshop of St Sidwell’s was destroyed and a large quantity of correspondence and other records lost. But fortunately the drawings (and presumably also photographs – see above) were kept elsewhere. These were later discovered and moved to safety and are now in the safe hands of the Devon Records Office. Exeter Cathedral was among the buildings hit, and it was Herbert Edmund Read who undertook the task of combing through the rubble for several weeks in an effort to retrieve any lost or damaged items with the aim of reconstruction in due course. At the outbreak of war in 1939 he had dismantled the bishop’s throne and stored it away from the city. He was able to put it back together at the end of the war. His obituary in The Times told of his skill and care in looking after ancient woodwork and his ability to design beautiful new work for churches.
The founder’s grandson, Herbert (Dick) Read, took over the business following the death of his father. His talent as a designer ensured the Company’s survival after the Second World War. He did work for several American churches, his greatest task being that of designing and making woodwork for the Washington National Cathedral. Sadly, Dick Read was killed in an accident in 1972. After his death St Sidwell’s Art Works was re-named Herbert Read Ltd in honour of his father.
Herbert Read Ltd formally ceased trading in the late 1990’s, but its work lives on. Hugh Harrison had joined the company before Dick Read’s death and it was he who eventually carried on the tradition of the finest in woodwork and carving begun by Henry Herbert Read a century earlier, a tradition that continues to this day. Harrison describes himself as the “…inheritor of 100 years of the Herbert Read family business of St Sidwell’s Art Works of Exeter…” and states with some pride that “Apprenticed to the famous joiners and carvers at Herbert Read Ltd of Exeter, our craftsmen have all worked with us for many years and are thus able to produce complex work of exceptional craftsmanship while sourcing materials of the very best quality…”
Herbert Read Ltd had undertaken numerous prestigious projects including, in 1992, the conservation and repair of the Grinling Gibbons carvings at Hampton Court Palace following a fire. In more recent years, under the name of Hugh Harrison Conservation, the company has been involved in joinery and carving projects at such notable places as Eton College, Bath Abbey and the Globe Theatre, to name but a few.
And so today the watchword of St Sidwell’s Art Works lives on – “Nothing but the best!”
With acknowledgement to The Oxford Book of Saints and an article by Fr P S Thomson in “The Messenger” July 1992. Websites including those of St Sidwell’s Heritage Hub: The Herbert Read Archive: National Archives UK – The Herbert Read Collection (Church Architecture): Hugh Harrison Joinery and Carving.
“…For to us a Child is born, to us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father [of Eternity], Prince of Peace…” – Isaiah 9:6
As we are heading towards Christmas, let us focus on the reason for the season, which is Jesus. Jesus is our Wonderful Counsellor. He is our Mighty God – the Everlasting Father. He is the Prince of Peace. His coming was prophesied, long before He came. His names were given to Him long before His lowly birth. May we focus on and celebrate who Jesus is and all that His names represent.
His miraculous birth was the start of something that history will never repeat. Christ’s birth, His life, death and resurrection, and our relationship with Him because of this, is the reason we celebrate.
No one else can bear these names
For no one could ever be the same.
M S Lowndes
In the prophecy of his coming the first and the second time there was disparity as well as correspondence. It is true in both cases he will come attended by angels, and the song shall be, ‘Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, good will toward men.’ It is true in both cases, shepherds who keep watch over their flocks even by night shall be among the first to hail him with their sleepless eyes—blessed shepherds who watch Christ’s folds and therefore shall see the Great Shepherd when he comes. Still, how different, I say, will be his coming. At first he came an infant; now he shall come—‘In rainbow-wreath and clouds of storm’, the glorious One. Then he entered into a manger, now he shall ascend his throne. Then he appeared the infant, now the infinite. Then he was born to trouble as the sparks fly upward, now he comes to glory as the lightning from one end of heaven to the other. A stable received him then; now the high arches of earth and heaven shall be too little for him. Horned oxen were then his companions, but now the chariots of God which are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels, shall be at his right hand. Then in poverty his parents were glad to receive the offerings of gold and frankincense and myrrh; but now in splendour, King of kings, and Lord of lords, all nations shall bow before him, and kings and princes shall pay homage at his feet. Still he shall need nothing at their hands.
C.H. Spurgeon Sermon 22 December 1861
1 ADVENT 1
1 Charles de Foucauld, Hermit, Servant of the Poor, 1916
2 Frances Perry, Founder of Royal Women’s Hospital, Melbourne, 1892
2 Channing Moore Williams, Anglican Missionary Bishop to China and Japan, 1910
3 Francis Xavier, Apostle of the Indies, missionary, 1552
4 John of Damascus, Monk, Teacher of the Faith, c749
4 Nicholas Ferrar, Deacon, Founder of the Little Gidding Community, 1637
6 Nicholas, Bishop of Myra, c326
7 The Rorate, or Golden Mass for the BVM
8 ADVENT 2
10 THE CONCEPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY (from 8th)
8 Richard Baxter, Pastor and Spiritual Writer, 1691
13 LUCY, MARTYR AT SYRACUSE, 304
13 Samuel Johnson, Moralist, 1784
14 John of the Cross, Poet, Teacher of the Faith, 1591
15 ADVENT 3
17 O Sapientia
17 Eglantine Jebb, Social Reformer, Founder of “Save the Children”, 1928
18 Ember Wednesday
20 Ember Friday
21 THOMAS, APOSTLE AND MARTYR
22 ADVENT 4
25 THE BIRTH OF OUR LORD; CHRISTMAS DAY
26 STEPHEN, DEACON AND FIRST MARTYR
27 JOHN, APOSTLE AND EVANGELIST
28 HOLY INNOCENTS
29 HOLY FAMILY
30 Josephine Butler, Social Reformer, 1905
31 John Wyclif, Reformer, 1384
1 THE NAMING AND CIRCUMCISION OF JESUS: Solemnity of MARY, MOTHER OF GOD
2 Basil of Caesarea and Gregory of Nazianzus, Bishops, Teachers of the Faith, 379 & 389
2 Eliza Hassall, CMS Missionary in the Middle East, 1917
2 Seraphim, Monk of Sarov, Spiritual Guide, 1833
2 Vedanayagam Samuel Azariah, Bishop in South India, Evangelist, 1945
5 THE EPIPHANY OF OUR LORD (from 6)
10 William Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1645
12 BAPTISM OF OUR LORD
12 Dedication of 1st Church, 1882
13 Hilary of Poitiers, Teacher of the Faith, 367
13 Kentigern [Mungo], Missionary Bishop in Strathclyde and Cumbria, 603
14 Sava, first Archbishop of the Serbian Church, 1235
17 Antony of Egypt, Hermit, Abbot, 356
17 Charles Gore, Bishop, Teacher, Founder of the Community of the Resurrection, 1932
18 CONFESSION OF PETER
19 EPIPHANY 2
20 Richard Rolle of Hampole, Spiritual Writer, 1349
21 AGNES, CHILD-MARTYR OF ROME, 304
21 Mt Lamington Memorial Day (1951)
22 Vincent of Saragossa, Deacon, First Martyr of Spain, 304
24 Companions of Paul, including Timothy, Titus and Silas
24 Francis de Sales, Bishop of Geneva, Teacher of the Faith, 1622
25 CONVERSION OF PAUL
26 EPIPHANY 3
26 Australia Day
27 John Chrysostom, Bishop of Constantinople, Teacher, 407
28 Thomas Aquinas, Priest, Teacher, 1274
30 Charles, King and Martyr, 1649
30 Laying of Foundation Stone of Oratory 1915
1 Brigid, Abbess of Kildare, c525
2 THE PRESENTATION OF CHRIST IN THE TEMPLE (Candlemas)
3 First Anglican Service in Australia, 1788
3 Anskar, Archbishop of Hamburg, Missionary in Denmark & Sweden, 865
3 Blaise, martyr, Bishop of Sebastea, Armenia, c316
5 Paul Miki and the Martyrs of Japan, 1597
10 Scholastica, sister of Benedict, Abbess of Plombariola, c543
14 Cyril and Methodius, Missionaries to the Slavs, 869 & 885
15 Thomas Bray, Priest, missionary, Founder of SPCK and the SPG, 1730
20 William Grant Broughton, first Bishop of Australia, 1853
24 MATTHIAS, APOSTLE AND MARTYR
25 Shrove Tuesday – The Holy Face of Jesus
26 ASH WEDNESDAY
27 George Herbert, Priest, Poet, 1633
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
The Story of the Other Wise Man
One of the Christmas stories I love is the short novel called “The Other Wise Man” by Henry van Dyke. It was initially published in 1895 and has been reprinted many times since then.
In the mountains of ancient Persia, lived Artaban, whose study of the planets and the stars led him to predict the birth of the King of Kings. He sold his house and every possession and purchased a large sapphire blue as a fragment of the night sky, a flawless ruby redder than a ray of sunrise, and a lustrous pearl as pure as the peak of a snow mountain at twilight — which he intended to carry as tribute to the King. He then set out for Jerusalem where he had arranged to meet up with three other wise men, or Magi, to find the new-born. After many weeks of difficult travel and frustrating delays, one night, he saw a man lying on the road. The man begged for help.
Artaban hesitated. If he lingered to minister to a dying stranger even for an hour, he could miss his three friends. But he turned to the sick man and carefully attended to him, leaving with him all that he had left of bread and wine, and his store of healing herbs. “I have nothing to give you in return,” said the grateful man, “…only this: our prophets have decreed that the Messiah will be born in Bethlehem, not in Jerusalem. May the Lord bring you in safety to that place, because you had pity upon the sick.”
When he reached the meeting place, he was too late to join the others. Artaban sold the sapphire, and bought a train of camels, and provisions for the journey. He arrived at Bethlehem with his remaining ruby and pearl offerings, but it was three whole days after the three other wise men had found Mary, Joseph and Jesus, and had laid gifts at the baby’s feet.
In a little cottage, he met a woman with her son, who told him Joseph and family had fled secretly that very night. As she spoke, there was uproar in the streets as the soldiers of Herod searched for any male children to kill. The terrified young mother clasped her child to her. But Artaban rushed to the doorway and held out the ruby to the soldier, who snatched it eagerly. “March on!” he commanded his men, “there is no child here.”
Artaban sighed: “Now two of my gifts are gone. I have spent for man that which was meant for God. Shall I ever be worthy to see the face of the King?” But the woman, weeping for joy, said gently: “Because you have saved the life of my little one, may the Lord bless you and keep you and give you peace.”
Arbatan wandered for 33 years in search of the little family from Bethlehem. Worn and weary, and ready to die, but still looking for the King, he had come for the last time to Jerusalem. Hearing of a great person who was to be put to death that very day, and hearing of his life and teachings, Artaban realised this was indeed his ‘King’, but as he made his way to Golgotha, hoping his priceless pearl could buy the great one’s release, he saw a troop of soldiers marching down the street, dragging a young girl in chains. “Have pity on me; save me! I am to be sold as a slave.”
The fourth wise man knew what he must do. He took the pearl from his bosom. He exchanged the girl’s freedom for the pearl. His grief at not being able to see the ‘King’ caused him to collapse, but in his half-conscious state he heard a gentle yet compelling voice: “Verily I say unto thee, inasmuch as thou hast done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, thou hast done it unto me.” His journey had ended. His treasures were accepted. The fourth Wise Man had indeed found the King.
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
4.45 pm Evensong
5.15 pm Mass
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.