Monday, 25 March 2013

Holy Week

We enter a busy week in the church. Services every day, the big events of Maunday Thursday and the preparation for the striping of the Altar and other parts of the church.
The preparation for the veneration of the cross on Good Friday. Some church like ours has walks of witness and the organisation involved with this.
There is the work on Easter Saturday with events such as Easter workshops and getting the church ready for Easter Sunday.
Our Easter Sunday has a 5:00am service, which means getting up even earlier this year with the clocks going forwards on the Saturday/Sunday night.
Then there are all the events on Easter day and the much larger expected congregations and the planning involved in this.
Easter Monday often provides no rest as if like us you have a pilgrimage to St Albans Abbey.

I wish you a happy and busy Holy week and a busy Easter, and a week after maybe to recover before low Sunday.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Frank Lane unwell

Frank is poorly at the moment and would appreciate a prayer and perhaps a get well card.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Peter Palmers best wishes

Peter a proud member of the Guild
Dear Vergers,
What can I say? but a huge ‘thank you’ for your certificate making me a Chaplain Emeritus of the Guild. The lovely card and your kind thoughts with your generous cheque as I retire as your chaplain was certainly “icing on the cake”. It has been a great joy and privilege to be with you over the past 14 years. I will certainly keep in touch with the Guild as you enter a new chapter with Fr. Andrew.

With my very best wishes, grateful thanks and prayers
God bless you all

Peter Palmer
Chaplain Emeritus

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Message from Father Andrew

Dear Vergers
I join you as your Chaplain at a most significant time of the Christian year. The outward signs of Lent within our Church buildings are obvious, purple on the Altar and purple vestments for those celebrating Holy Communion: a colour signifying penitence and sorrow for the actions, words and thoughts that divide us one from another, and also from our relationship with God. It is also a royal colour in this country, so can be seen as the colour of Christ the King, whose kingship became evident on Easter Day, the day towards which we are moving and which is central to our Christian faith. There are no flowers for Sunday services, and the contrast between the glory and fragrance of the Churches on Easter Sunday decorated with the glories of nature and the empty Lenten Church buildings, is particularly powerful.
Of course, these are outward signs. Some people have their own personal disciplines during Lent; abstinence from alcohol, chocolate or some other pleasure. Perhaps you just make space for stillness in your busy life, or sacrifice some of your time for the care of those less fortunate than yourself.

Yet whatever these outward disciplines might be, there is also the call for our own internal time of reflection. The global economic crisis has touched all of us. For too long, we have lived off the fat of the land, with frightening over borrowing. Lent is an ideal time to reflect on getting our priorities right. The call of the prophets in the Old Testament was for the people to turn away from the social evils that beset the culture of their day, and to turn instead to the source and inspiration of their lives, God himself. Jesus made similar calls on the Jewish population of his own day.
Such a calling is timely for our own culture. There are many who are suffering badly and will no doubt will continue to suffer for sometime. We have corporate responsibility for the current situation, however much we might like to find someone or some organisation to blame. The world has got out of balance, and we all have a responsibility for that imbalance. We need to try and put it right both for our personal lives and for the lives of those in poverty around the wider community.
In so many parishes today, people seem merely concerned with survival. But the Lord of the Church shows through the glory of Easter that he isn’t interested in mere survival. Easter doesn’t speak to us about survival or existence. It speaks of New Life. Starting from now we need to rediscover that the risen Christ is our mainspring; only then can we hope to share in the permanent life of Easter. As twenty first century followers of the Risen Lord we believe that the world was changed when God raised his Son Jesus from the tomb. The only possible explanation for the transformation which occurred in the lives of the first disciples, turning them into a world changing power, was the reality of the resurrection. Sadly, so often in the West there has often been more fear than faith in our Christianity, more gloom than joy! No wonder that so many turn their back on us and look desperately elsewhere for life, for meaning in life, and for the living joy that only a living faith can give.

Yet, when I read the New Testament I am struck by the fact that those books were written by men who passionately believed in a Living Lord. They didn’t worry or argue how Christ had come alive. What they knew, beyond doubt, is that Christ was alive. Many of them suffered and died but that didn’t deter others. St. Paul, for one, was certain that nothing, not even death itself, could separate him from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus.

Lord grant those who are called to work as Vergers in the House of God, the faith and grace to hear those words again, to have the courage and humility to accept them as the truth. May we live at all times in the joy that comes from accepting and rejoicing in the life that comes from knowing Jesus as Risen Lord.

With every blessing for a Holy Lent and a Happy Easter

About Fr Andrew Ferrar

I spent my formative years at St Peter’s School, York and soon found a spiritual home assisting the Chaplain. It was then on to Emmanuel College, Cambridge to read Natural Sciences. This led to research for a doctorate with the team in Industrial Chemistry at Liverpool University specialising in polymerisation. A career in manufacturing industry followed spanning forty years and working on printing, packaging and industrial textiles.

Board level appointments were held in international chemical groups with emphasis on new business development. This meant moving around so the family have lived in Somerset, London, Lancashire, Angus and latterly Hertfordshire. My wife Ann and I have three children, all now married with families of their own so we are proud grandparents to seven of the next generation.

A lifelong Christian, I have served as Lay Representative to the congregation of St Mary’s Broughty Ferry where I was a member of the General Synod of the Scottish Episcopal Church. Here in Hertfordshire at St Mary’s Church Redbourn, I was part of the first Lay Ministry Team in our Diocese. I trained for the sacramental ministry and was ordained Deacon at St Albans Abbey at Michaelmas 2006 and priested a year later. Since then I have served as a SSM at St Saviour’s Church, St Albans.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Making a Vergers Gown

 The hardest part of this was getting the pattern and getting the pattern right. It is hard enough truing to get a pattern, but of course no one does a pattern, so my wife after me spending lots of money on her going to tailoring classes, managed to create a set of patterns to make up the vergers gown that goes over the cassock.
Each Gown that is made has to be modified to fit the customer. Once this is done the real hard work starts of cutting out the material, making up the parts and getting them to fit. A typical  can take several weeks to complete as Ros also works full time.
The fished article is the same as a bought one, except that it has been fitted several times and fits the wearer like a glove.

St Alban's Vergers Blog gets going

This Blog is set up to allow not only me to write the pages but also to get the word out in other ways. So lets get started.