Posted by esbvm on 10th August 2009
Our 2008 AGM was held in Edlington, Doncaster, at St Kentigern’s Orthodox Church during November. Our Officers were re-elected and agreed a programme of ten events for 2009. We had sent out 4 Branch newsletters and 2 Notices in the year, in addition to the 3 Society Newsletters. Hopefully this policy will keep our members in touch, and provide a source of information on Mariology, and encouragement in their day to day approach to Ecumenism.
Membership remains static at 25 with another 20 members living in Greater Yorkshire. We expect to arrange at least one event each year which will enable all Yorkshire members to come together. Meeting some of them at Lastingham last year was thoroughly enjoyable.
Our programme for 2009 commenced in January when we were again invited to celebrate the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, with Fr Alan Watson’s congregation at Dunscroft St Edwin, near Doncaster. During Mass, we heard an inspired sermon on Our Lady by the Rev. J. Stokoe, the Vicar of nearby Edlington. It was encouraging to speak to our members and friends in the congregation of around 80, as we enjoyed the legendary hospitality of what has been the anchor event of our Annual programme for some past years. With grateful thanks to Fr. Alan Watson and to Tina Harper, who offers us much splendid support each year.
On Tuesday 19th May, we had a ‘Quiet Day’ at Whirlow Grange Ecumenical Centre in Sheffield. Commencing at 9.45am and ending at 3.45pm., the day included a Eucharist, and a guided programme of Readings, Prayer, and Meditation. An opportunity to relax and enjoy the peace and tranquillity of this lovely centre. Lunch will be provided and there is a charge for the day. For information and to book please ring the Secretary on 0114.2682984.
On Saturday the 13th June. Pilgrimage to St Anne in the Grove.Parish Church, Southoram, near Halifax, by kind invitation of the Vicar, Rev. Guy Jamieson. We especially hoped that our Yorkshire members and those interested in the Society would join us for this Ecumenical day commencing with ’The Angelus’ and Mass at 12 Noon, and concluding at 3.30pm with the Society Office.
St Anne’s has an appealing history which spans both sides of the Reformation. It has a Walsingham Chapel and there are some small but beautiful stained glass windows of St Anne with Our Lady on the South side of the building. Lunch was to be provided by the good ladies of the parish.
Tags: Angelus, Octave of Prayer, retreat, St Anne, Walsingham
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Posted by esbvm on 10th August 2009
In the February edition of the Newsletter, I reported that the North-West branch had visited Waddington, near Clitheroe to hear a talk on Fr Arthur Wagner, the apostle of Anglo-Catholicism in Brighton. Since the report appeared, I have had several stories about Fr Wagner, including the one about his father, also a clergyman, who became so distressed at the amount of the family fortune Fr Arthur was spending on building churches that he preached a sermon with the text “Lord have mercy on my son, for he is a lunatic.”! As Colin Stephenson points out in his “Merrily On High” texts were much used in this way, so that when Fr Arthur fired two of his curates after some trouble, the older one preached on the text “Stay ye here with the ass, while the lad and I go yonder.”
For our Spring meeting the North-West branch indeed “went yonder” to Carnforth in the north of Lancashire and which just sneaks into the Southern Lakes. It is a beautiful part of the country, even in the depths of winter. We had gone for a Lenten Day of Mediation to the monastery of Our Lady of Hyning. We began with coffee and a talk by Sister Mary Stella on icons. Every Wednesday Sister Mary Stella runs an icon painting class and we saw many examples of her work and that of her students before she took one icon to explain to us. It was the Icon of the Nativity after Rublev, an icon painter of the early 15th Century. Our tutor patiently explained the composition of the painting: the mountain is a favourite image as a place where God converses with Man; the symbolism of the Cave, the Old Testament echoes with the ox and the ass, the rays coming down from Heaven onto the Christ-Child wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. She then explained the various groups of figures – angels, shepherds, and midwives washing the newborn Child, St Joseph in conversation with the Tempter, the Magi galloping towards Bethlehem. As the end of her short talk, we had gained a fuller, better idea of what the icon was meant to signify.
We joined the nuns for their Midday Office in the simple chapel before having our packed lunch in one of the sitting rooms they provide for guests. They also have an extensive bookshop and piety stall for visitors. It is possible to book in for a stay and enjoy good food but the Sisters are an enclosed Order and so don’t join guests for meals.
After lunch and some recreational time, Canon Brenda Harding led us on a meditation. She argues that if Lent is about our journey towards God, we could consider four of the journeys Mary made and see what they tell us. The first was the Annunciation and from this we learn to echo Mary as she cries out, Be it done unto me according to Thy word. The second event was losing Jesus in Jerusalem and then finding Him three days later in the Temple. The thing we learn here is that like Mary and Joseph, we too must go on searching for the Lord until we find Him. The third episode was the wedding at Cana and Mary’s instructions to the servants should be our watchword, Do whatever He tells you. Finally Brenda took us to the Foot of the Cross where we could do no better than echo Jesus’ words, Behold your mother! After saying the Evening Office, we set off home after a productive day at Hyning.
Our Summer outing took place on Saturday 30th May when we teamed up with the Walsingham cells of St Peter’s Oughtrington and St Chrysostom’s Manchester to visit Ladyewell for the day. All in the area were urged to join us.
Tags: iconography, Ladyewell, Lent, retreat
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Posted by esbvmusa on 30th May 2009
The May 2009 ESBVM USA meeting was held in Walton, New York, a small mountain village in the Catskill mountains. We met at a lovely, historic UCC church. The topic of the day was a discussion on the merits of developing a model for a “Day of reflection and prayer on Mary” in any church who would be interested including Protestant churches. Such days were held at this church in Walton the Fall 2007 and 2008.
At the May ESBVM USA meeting, a panel discussion was held with representatives of the church and ESBVM USA board members. The discussion was taped. It is included here in an audio podcast, with many thanks to audio engineer Pat Gohn who volunteered her time and efforts to make this possible. We invite anyone who listens to provide a comment. Would this be a worthy endeavor for ESBVM USA to do – to develop a model for a day of prayer and reflection for churches to use?
An audio podcast of this forum can be accessed here.
BE PATIENT … it may take five to ten minutes on some computers to load this audiopod.
Member Pat Gohn, who now coordinates a Catholic radio program for women, Among Women graciously volunteered to record and produce this audio podcast. [Be sure to click on image.] We thank her for her many efforts.
ESBVM USA members who participated were Rev. Jennifer Juliano (pastor of the Walton UCC church), Rev. Donald Lacy (Methodist minister and author), Dr. Maura Hearden (Roman Catholic mariologist at DeSales University), Dr. Janyce Jorgensen (Lutheran pastor and professor of ecumenical theology at St. Mary’s Catholic Seminary in Baltimore, Maryland), and Dr. Virginia M. Kimball (Eastern Orthodox.)
If you listen to the audiopod, please comment on the ideas presented. We are most interested in what ESBVM members have to say.
Tags: Catholic Church, Lutheran, Methodism, Orthodoxy, Prayer, retreat
Posted in ESBVM USA, News | 2 Comments »
Posted by esbvm on 28th February 2009
The North-West branch held its last meeting of the year in the picturesque Lancashire village of Waddington, a couple of miles north-west of the town of Clitheroe. For those of the Society who have not ventured to this part of the world, the Ribble valley is second-to-none in scenery, beauty and interest. Our venue was St Helen’s church and the reason for our visit was to hear a talk by one of our own branch members, Nigel McNeill, on “Buxted, Nazareth in Sussex”
Nigel began by reminding us of the glorious medieval shrine of Walsingham, of its origins and its popularity in the Middle Ages with many English monarchs, including Henry VIII before his break with Rome. After the rupture, the image of Our Lady of Walsingham was removed to be burned with others in the hope that Mary would thus be expelled from the consciousness of the faithful. Whilst Walsingham awaited its resurrection, events in other parts of England contributed to this.
One of the unsung champions of the Oxford Movement (and a particular hero of Nigel’s) was a Fr Wagner, parish priest of St Bartholomew’s in Brighton. He was a wealthy man in his own right and did great work building churches at his own expense. One of these, St Mary’s was in the village of Buxted, near Uckfield in Sussex. Fr Wagner had a house there that he used as a retreat from his parish work in Brighton and he had built a Lady Chapel for the church. It seems he was a man entranced by proportion: St Bartholomew’s was built on the proportions of Noah’s Ark; the Lady Chapel at Buxted was built on the proportions of Walsingham’s Holy House. Quite how he got the Walsingham proportions is a mystery but he was very friendly with J.M. Neale, who was an antiquarian as well as hymn writer.
A later rector of Buxted was Fr Charles Rowe, whose brother was the Rural Dean of Norfolk. He was looking for a vicar for the living of Little Walsingham and asked Fr Charles for suggestions. Fr Charles remembered a keen young clergyman who might fit the bill, one Fr Hope Patten and duly recommended him. As the cliché says, the rest is history – or mystery! There are those who would point to serendipity but to those of us who know and love Our Lady, the request to Fr Charles and appointment of Fr Hope Patten was more than mere serendipity. Hope Patten had the model and proportions for the Holy House from Buxted and so it can truly be called England’s Nazareth in Sussex.
After Evening Prayer from the Ecumenical Office, the North-West branch shared ideas for next year’s venues and topics and we only need to organise these to provide our programme for next year.
Tags: Buxted, England's Nazareth, Henry VIII, Hope Patten, JM Neale, retreat, Walsingham
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