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Views from the Vicarage - May 2018

Dear Friends,

May begins with the Feast of S. Philip (my namesake) & S. James 1st May. Philip was an apostle with common sense. Is there someone in church whom you respect for their spirituality and common sense combined - someone you feel easy about approaching to ask questions?

That person's patron saint should be Philip. Philip came from Bethsaida, and was a disciple of Jesus from early on. He knew how to lead others to Jesus.

Along with S. Philip we celebrate S. James the Less. This is the name we give to James the son of Alphaeus, but - beyond that, who was he? Sometimes he is identified as the James whose mother stood by Christ on the cross. Sometimes he is thought to be the James who was 'brother of the Lord'. Sometimes he is thought to be the James who saw the risen Christ. He has also, and often, been called the first bishop of Jerusalem. And finally, sometimes James the Less has been thought of as the author of the Epistle of James.

On the 2nd May we remember S. Athanasius - the theologian who gave us the Nicene Creed who became Bishop of Alexandria and defended the idea of God being in Three Persons, Father Son and Holy Spirit, all equal and co-eternal.

Ascension Day comes forty days after Easter (10th May) We climb the Tower and sing at 7.30am followed by breakfast and in the evening we have a Sung Eucharist. Please join us!

Then 10 days afterwards is the Day of Pentecost - Whit Sunday 20th May.

Pentecost took place on the well-established Jewish festival of First fruits, which was observed at the beginning of the wheat harvest. It was exactly 50 days after the Passover, the time of Jesus' crucifixion. It became one of the most important days in world history. For Pentecost was the day that Jesus sent the Holy Spirit - the day the Church was born. As the disciples prayed together in the Upper Room there was suddenly the sound as of a mighty rushing wind. Tongues of flame flickered on their heads, and they began to praise God in many tongues. Peter gave the first ever sermon of the Christian Church that morning: proclaiming Jesus was the Messiah. And 3,000 people responded, were converted, and were baptised.

The following Sunday is Trinity Sunday 27th May. This is the beginning of the ordinary time of the year. We change from gold for Easter to white for Ascension and red for Pentecost to green for Trinity and nature for most of the rest of the year. And on the first Thursday of Trinity time we give thanks for the Institution of the Holy Communion ie Corpus Christi with a Eucharist at 7pm.

My Prayers and best wishes,

Fr. Philip Edge - Vicar