Hello again. Greetings from me at the presbytery. Once again I wish you all well, and hope you have enjoyed the Bank Holiday for celebrating VE Day.
Not many of you will remember the goings on at the end of the war in Europe 75 years ago. I remember a
street party in 1945 which I attended as a reluctant three year old, but itmay have been in September, when the war was really over.
I offered Mass today in thanksgiving for living in peace for seventy five years. Despite all these recent restrictions for the virus epidemic, we have not had our houses and churches bombed, or had to face family separations for five or six years, or rationing, or all the horrors that members of the armed forces had to face in the war.
Another contrast I came across was when I watched an art programme on TV about the state of Venice. In 1349 they had lost via the Black Death 50,000 people, more than half the total population. Their response was to build a new church in gratitude for their deliverance. The same number of deaths befell them in 1575 from another plague; and yet again in 1630.
On a similar theme, Thursday this week sees the feast of Our Lady who appeared at Fatima in 1917 to three children. Two of them, Jacinta and Francisco Marto, died during the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1919-20. As they were beatified in 2000, we could ask their prayers and those of Our Lady herself.
This weekend at Mass there is the peak of revelation, in that familiar gospel, the favourite choice at funeral services (‘There are many rooms in my Father’s house’), when the apostle Philip says to Jesus:
“Let us see the Father, and then we shall be satisfied”.
Jesus then replies:
“Have I been with you all this time, and still you do not know me? To have seen me is to have seen the Father”.
God’s self-disclosure is complete. All that long process through the prophets reaches its dramatic completion.
Our website decided to capsize last week, and I was so grateful to Tina and Denis who have numbers of e-mail addresses on file, and they kindly agreed to send round the newsletter that way. I hope you receive one again this week, and kindly pass it on if you have friends who are parishioners and who might like to receive it. I know from the response I am getting that it is appreciated. I am also sending news from the Churches Together group outlining responses from the churches in Lymm.
If you are not keen on giving to Christian Aid this week, I can tell you that you did give £759.36 to CAFOD during Lent. Thank you – but this was £200 less than before, and CAFOD have sent another appeal to me, following that touching one I got from Christian Aid, saying how the needs of the third world countries are even more heart-breaking because of the pandemic.
Sadly I have to report the sudden death of Mr Tony Cooke in an accident at his home last week. He was a C of E member who has been a committed supporter of the ecumenical movement all his life. Our sympathy goes to Moira his wife, Richard his son and their family. I will offer Mass for them on Saturday.
Fr Tony Elder