Sunday, 18 November 2012

Farewell to Mass in Anglican Parish Church

L-R: Deacon Tim, Fr Chris and Marian
The regular First Friday evening Mass in the Anglican Church of St. Mary the Virgin in Bletchingley has had to stop as the number of priests has been reduced in the parish of the Nativity of the Lord, Surrey. This means that the Friday evening Masses have had cease.

The last of these Masses was marked by a fitting celebration of many years of collaboration with the Anglican community. A votive Mass of the Holy Trinity was said by Fr. Chris Spain, assisted by Deacon Tim Murrill. In his homily Fr. Chris spoke about the warmth of the people of Betchingley as an ecumenical enterprise, symbolised by the open door of the church, and expressed the hope that the relationship will continue to prosper. He recalled how, as a nervous seminarian over 20 years ago, he had had to speak at a Sunday Service in this very church. His anxiety had been very quickly dispelled as the same warmth had reached out to him on that occasion.

At the end of Mass he thanked the Anglicans for their contribution, the kindness of having the church and beautiful vestments made available to us, the service rendered by George, the organist who played each month, and the team of bell ringers who made sure we had a melodious welcome. A presentation was made to Mrs. Marian Buck who, for many years, has been co-ordinator making sure no detail was overlooked. There is still open to an occasional Mass wherever there might be a special occasion.

The Anglican Clergy, the bell ringers, and parishioners attended the Mass. Afterwards we all spent a convivial time enjoying wine and snacks.

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