Posted by esbvm on 17th October 2007
On 16 October 2007, members of the Society were welcomed to the Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Moscow Road in London. The splendid surroundings lent extra solemnity to the occasion of praying THE ESBVM ECUMENICAL OFFICE OF EVENING PRAYER. A young church choir from All Saints Anglican Church, Blackheath, Kent under the direction of Ben Saul, ARCO gave an extra dimension to the celebration of our prayer and Metropolitan Kallistos graced the occasion by presiding in the absence of our patron Archbishop Gregorios who had hoped to be with us. Metropolitan Kallistos gave a homily.
After the ESBVM Ecumenical Office, there was a reception hosted by members of the society and the representatives of our publishers, Gracewing, for a further launch of our latest collection of essays Mary for Time and Eternity. We made several new members and it was a unique opportunity to meet members of the Orthodox Church and for them to learn more about the Society. There is a constant need for each tradition within the ESBVM to promote contact with those of their tradition and to encourage membership of the society.
Tags: Ecumenical Office, Greek Orthodox
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Posted by esbvm on 11th July 2007
Letter from Cardinal Walter Kasper, President of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity
Letter from Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor, Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster
On 5th July The Ecumenical Society of the Blessed Virgin Mary (ESBVM) celebrated its fortieth anniversary at a reception at Lambeth Palace. Bishop Christopher Hill welcomed the Society on behalf of the Archbishop of Canterbury, who is on sabbatical. He said that a great achievement of the Society had been in providing a major archive of theological resource on Mary and ecumenism that had been used in preparation for ARCIC’s document last year. Bishop Christopher has been one of the four denominational Moderators of the Society for several years.
Founded by Martin Gillett and a group of ecumenically minded friends, to promote the cause of Christian Unity through a focus on Mary, it has theologians and scholars as members as well as lay people from all walks of life and Christian traditions.
Fr Bill McLoughlin, OSM, Hon. General Secretary, read a message from Cardinal Kasper, President of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity, who recently became a patron. He said that the Society had helped bring about an important transition so that Mary is "seen less as a source of division and increasingly one who we jointly understand to be the Mother of God" It was his profound hope that "the society will continue to be a source of encouragement to Christians and that it will make a significant contribution in this important area of ecumenical work."
Amongst those present were Metropolitan Kallistos Ware of Diokleia, Bishop Howard Tripp, Bishop Roger Jupp, The Abbott of Downside, Archimandrite Aemilianos Papadakis , former General Secretary, Dom Alberic Stacpoole OSB, St.Teresa Burke of Selly Park and Mr.Joseph Farrelly KCSG , Membership Secretary, who continued the work of Martin Gillett in developing the society in Britain , Dublin, Rome and America.
Dr. John Newton, former President of the Methodist Conference, expressed the Society’s thanks to the Archbishop, the Palace staff and the Librarian for their support in welcoming the Society and giving a guided tour of the palace and special exhibits.
During the champagne tea, a book launch was held for Mary for Time and Eternity, the latest collection of ESBVM International Congress and conference papers on Mary and ecumenism, published by Gracewing.
Following the reception, the Society’s’ ecumenical service of Evening Prayer in the Palace Chapel was led by the Abbot of Downside and sung by the Youth Choir of All Saints Church , Blackheath.
The Society is indebted to Kit Haffner for arranging the event with Lambeth Palace and co-ordinating proceedings on the day.
Tags: 40th Anniversary, Archbishop of Canterbury, Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor, Cardinal Kasper, Catholic Church, CofE, Ecumenical Office, Martin Gillett, Mary for Time and Eternity, Methodism, Orthodoxy
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Posted by esbvm on 30th January 2007
Our AGM was held on the 31st October at St Oswald’s Anglican Church in Sheffield. Our secretary, John Harrison, reported on the past year’s activities which included two pilgrimages to the Shrine of Our Lady at Egmanton, support for a pilgrimage to Ladyewell, and two presentations given by Sr. Ruth, on ‘Holy Grandmothers’, and the Shrines at Walsingham. John confirmed his retirement as our Secretary for 18 years.
Our re-elected Chairman, Fr. Dennis, thanked John warmly for his many years of work for the Branch and then made a presentation to him on behalf of the members. The meeting closed with the Ecumenical Office of Mary.
Refreshments were then served, courtesy of our lady members, and we enjoyed a pleasant ecumenical chat. With 18 members plus Father Alan Watson (Anglican) who has just joined us, we hope to continue our activities, and have already made an excellent start.
A group of 11 accepted an invitation to join the congregation at Ss. Columba & Kentigern Orthodox Church, Doncaster, where we had Vespers, followed by Mass, to celebrate the Presentation of the Mother of God in the Temple. We enjoyed the rich orthodox Liturgy (some for the first time), and the warm welcome and hospitality extended to us. We returned home fortified by a lovely buffet, after a holy and spiritually uplifting evening. Grateful thanks to our hosts.
The first of our programme of events for the new year takes place on the 23rd January 2007, in the’ Week of Prayer for Unity’. We have been invited to join the congregation at St Edwin’s Anglican Church, Dunscroft, near Doncaster, where the Vicar, Rev. Alan Watson, will celebrate Mass at 7.30pm. In addition, we have set out a full programme of activities through to September 2007, details of which may be had from the Secretary or the Chairman.
Tags: Ecumenical Office, Egmanton, Ladyewell, Octave of Prayer, Walsingham
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Posted by esbvm on 30th September 2006
Sat 30 Sept. Visit to St Hubert’s Church at Dunsop Bridge in the Trough of Bowland. 2-4 pm. Talk at the Church on the Rosary followed by the Ecumenical Office. The church is set in beautiful countryside and we are grateful to Fr. John Challenor for his hospitality.
Our branch has held three meetings this year. In April, we met at Lymm to explore the most recent ARCIC statement on Mary: Grace and Hope in Christ. We saw how important this document is in providing for future growth and in not perpetuating past controversy. We praise Mary because she brings Christians together to show them Jesus. In the following month we were at St Chrysostom’s Church in Manchester for an inspiring evening of readings and music in praise of Mary. The programme had four sections- the Middle Ages, the post-Reformation period, the nineteenth century and the present age. The readings varied from devotional poems to an extract from David Wilbourne’s vivid and earthy A Virgin’s Diary. A large screen showed paintings from the four periods as a background. In July, we made our annual pilgrimage to the shrine of Our Lady at Ladyewell, near Preston. The new director, Fr. Thomas Hoole, welcomed us as we visited the well, said the Rosary and ended the afternoon with the Office. The shrine is very much a place of prayer and peace, down a meandering lane just off the M6. We appreciated that time apart on a warm July day.
Tags: ARCIC, Ecumenical Office, Ladyewell, Mary: Grace and Hope in Christ
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