Posted by esbvm on 28th February 2009
In August, we continued a very busy programme with what has become for us, an Annual ‘Assumption’ Pilgrimage to the Anglican parish Church and Shrine of Our Lady, at Egmanton in North Notts.
A group of 20 members participated in the day of worship starting with The Angelus, and followed by Solemn Mass. The Chief Celebrant and Preacher was Fr Alan Townsend from Birmingham, who is well known to Society members. After a delectable lunch provided by the ladies of the village, our small group returned to the parish church to recite the Rosary and prayers. In the afternoon we joined the procession into the village with the Statue of Our Lady, returning to the church for Benediction, and a delicious afternoon tea before leaving for home. To complete our spiritual programme, we said evening prayers, on the return journey, sang hymns and received a final blessing from Fr Brian Coleman, the Vicar of St Oswald’s church in Sheffield, who had accompanied us for the day.
In September we returned to the beautiful village of Lastingham in North Yorks, for an ecumenical pilgrimage to St Mary’s Anglican Church. (founded by St Chad, as a Celtic Monastery in AD 654). The Orthodox Divine Liturgy was celebrated by Fr George, parish priest of St Columba and St Kentigern church in Edlington, Doncaster, assisted by our Chairman, Fr Dennis. After this, we listened to a `talk by the Rev. Peter Howard, a retired Methodist Minister from York, entitled ‘How Blessed is Our Lady.’ We had met Peter and his wife Kathleen earlier in the year at Mount Grace Priory, an encounter which led to his accepting our invitation to speak. Both have been members of the Society since its earliest days, and we much enjoyed their company. We also welcomed a Society member, Luisa Duffy from Robin Hood’s Bay. Luisa is a member of the Melkite Rite, and she was joined by two colleagues whom we met and chatted with later on, at the local hostelry. Thanks are due to Fr Alastaire Ferguson, the Vicar of St Mary’s for his invitation to visit, and for his most kind welcome.
Our Steering Committee met also in September to review branch policy and activities, with particular attention to Membership which is fairly dormant, and to events for 2009. It was agreed to seek new members as a particular priority, and to cancel some of our more distant activities, attendances at which had suffered due to increased travel costs. It was agreed to continue sending our Branch Newsletter to interested members in Greater Yorkshire in light of the valuable contacts we have already made there.
By the time this report is published, we will have attended the Advent ecumenical Service at St Oswald’s Church in Sheffield, and our AGM on the 10th December held at the Orthodox Church in Edlington, Doncaster.
Future events include a visit to Dunscroft St Edwin’s Anglican Church near Hatfield in Doncaster on Monday 26th January at 7.30pm. to celebrate the ‘Octave of Prayer for Christian Unity’. We have an invitation from The Vicar, Fr Alan Watson and our members at the Parish Church, to join them for Mass at 7.30pm. There will be hospitality afterwards and the opportunity to meet members and fellow Christians. We are pleased to welcome Fr. Alan back to full health once more after a long illness, coupled with our thanks to him for his continued support for the Society.
In March, we will join with the Mothers at St Oswald’s Anglican Church In Sheffield, in their ‘Lenten Meditation’. The service will conclude with a Eucharistic Celebration. We continue to enjoy the company and hospitality always offered at this event and invite all our members and friends to join us for this introduction to ‘Holy Week’.
In May we are planning a Day Retreat at Mirfield in West Yorks, details later.
On Saturday, 13th June we have an opportunity for all our Yorkshire members to meet up. The Rev. Guy Jamieson, Vicar of St Anne in the Grove, Anglican Church at Southoram near Halifax, has invited us to visit for an ecumenical Pilgrimage in honour of Our Lady. We are looking forward together with Father to a day in which we will enjoy a Eucharist, Rosary, Benediction, Hymns and Prayers. Food will be on offer together with some lovely Yorkshire (West Riding) hospitality.