Posted by esbvm on 10th August 2009
The Branch celebrated the Annunciation at a meeting in St Thomas’ Church hall on 25 March.
The day began with Mass at noon, followed by the Rosary. There was then a buffet lunch in the hall and we viewed there a life-sized statue of the Archangel Gabriel, all resplendent with fairy lights. The statue had originally been a Marks and Spencer manikin and had been used previously in an exhibition of angels at St Mildred’s Anglican Church.
After lunch we greeted old friends especially Fr Stanley Evans who came all the way from Ramsgate. We then said and sang the office of Our Lady, the music being varied, ranging from J.S. Bach to Cliff Richard. We sang the Lord’s Prayer to the accompaniment of Cliff!. Everyone enjoyed the mixture of old and new and Fr Stanley closed the meeting with a prayer.
I would like to thank all those who make our meetings possible, especially our parish priest, Canon Bunce, who does our printing, our sacristan, Tina Hamilton, who organises the catering, our caretaker, John Spillett, who prepares the hall and Brenda Lippert, the parish secretary who does all the copying needed.
Strong links have been forged between St Thomas’ and St Mildred’s. Some of our folk also belong to the St Mildred’s Senior Citizen Club and we look forward to more combined social gatherings in a genuinely ecumenical spirit.
On Saturday 9 May, we made our firth visit to St Andrew’s, Deal. After Mass and the usual magnificent lunch, we had an interesting talk by Canon Martin Warner of Walsingham, who is also a canon of St Paul’s Cathedral. We had the usual procession of Our Lady’s statue through the town, followed by the blessing of the sea and the throwing of the wreath into it. We had with us a new member, Susan Shaw, who, a few years earlier, had been the organiser of a splendid exhibition of our Lady of Lourdes in Whitstable. We were glad to be with our Chairman, Fr Stanley Evans and his wife, Marie. It was a splendid day, enjoyed by everyone.
On June 13, we visited the East Kent Annual Festival of the Guild of Servers of the Sanctuary of which our chairman, Fr Stanley Evans is chaplain. The festival was held at Holy Trinity, Broadstairs. Afterwards, we were able to visit the shrine of Our Lady of Bradstow (the old name for Broadstairs).
On July 6, at St Andrew’s Church, the Deal Festival of Art and Music took place. We enjoyed a concert by the Cambrini ensemble. After lunch, we returned to the church to view Les Mysteres du Rosaire by Pierre Joincret of St Omer. The twenty paintings illustrative of the mysteries were placed round the church rather like stations of the cross. As we moved round, we said our own private prayers before each painting. The paintings were magnificent.