NOVEMBER 2019 COMING EVENTS
|Friday 1 November||Feast of All saints||9.00 Sung Eucharist|
|Saturday 2 November||Commemoration of All Souls||9.00 Sung Eucharist|
|Sunday 3 November||Fourth Sunday before Advent||9.00 Sung Sucharist
and procession with the Blessed Sacrament to the temporary chapel
|Thursday 14 November||8.30 Terce and Eucharist|
|Saturday 30 November||Feast of St Andrew||9.30 Eucharist|
It’s a disappointment that the start date has been put back to February, but the delay gives us more time to manage the major task of moving ourselves, clearing the buildings, and of storing furniture and the library.
The Divine Office (the Daily Prayer of the Church) and the Eucharist will continue to be at the heart of our community life. The patterns of when, and where, and how, need to be adapted to our dispersed life: this will involve some trial and error!
After Sunday 3 November our temporary Chapel will be a room on the ground floor of St Michael’s (44 Fairacres Road, to the left of the gate, facing Fellowship House).
For the first few weeks at least we plan to celebrate the Eucharist at our usual time of 9.00 am, Sunday to Friday, and will post a notice outside the Fairacres Road gate with more details.
The new entrance
Dispersal on this scale is a new thing for us, and it feels quite big. We decided that we would like to mark it for us all with a short service which would combine three strands.
One is our ‘Itinerary’ (prayers for a Sister going on a journey, especially a significant one such as a visit to family overseas or to spend time with another community), a second is the beautiful form drawn up by the Society of Saint Francis, ‘Praying our Farewells’, and the third a service of Anointing which we use on the Monday of Holy Week as preparation for that journey. Thank you all for the prayer and encouragement with which we know we are surrounded.
Father Nev Boundy again spent a month in St Columba, celebrating the Eucharist and welcoming sisters to tea (or fruit juice) and talk each afternoon before Vespers. Another returning guest, Cathrine, stayed with us two years ago when she was a member of the St Anselm Community and asked to come again on placement from her theological college. She lived, worked and prayed alongside us, and on her last day preached a challenging and encouraging sermon at the Eucharist.
Three sisters attended the Anglican Religious Communities’ Conference at High Leigh. The title was ‘Differences in Common’, and it did feel that we were living the theme as well as talking (and listening) and praying. We started with a mystery activity—being expertly shaped into an instant Rock Choir! The rest of the programme was more conventional, with challenging talks from Sister Gemma Simmonds of the Congregation of Jesus and Dr Petà Dunstan, shared stories, shared silence, shared worship from the heart of different traditions, conversations large and small, walks in the park, drinks after supper.
We celebrated Harvest Thanksgiving, mindful that we will soon have rather limited access to the garden, and to the flowers, fruit and vegetables it produces.
Dr Petà Dunstan and the Internovitiate Study group were our last guests before we closed Fellowship House and the bungalows. The study-pilgrimage followed a well established programme featuring places in and around Oxford associated with the revival of Religious Life in the Church of England. This year there was a special focus on the visit to Littlemore where John Henry Newman’s commitment to his marginalised parishioners led him to build a church—St Mary and St Nicholas—in the 1830s. Now this building is being transformed into a flexible meeting place, celebrating Newman’s canonisation and embodying the love of God in the community. In an issue of The Tablet devoted to Newman we particularly enjoyed the article by Teresa Morgan, Associate Priest in the parish, who refers to the surviving oral tradition around our new local and universal saint. https://www.thetablet.co.uk/features/2/16853/newman-the-parish-pastor
On the Feast of St Francis we responded to an invitation by Franciscans in Belgium and the Netherlands to ring our Chapel bell at 14.00 hours ‘to give a hopeful sign of prayer, peace and reconciliation among all people of goodwill throughout the world’ marking the anniversary of the meeting in1419 between St Francis and Sultan Al-Kamil of Egypt.