Our latest message July 2019

Dear Friends,

July is, in many Christian quarters, including some Anglican, known as the month of the Precious Blood of Jesus.  Why might we need a month with this dedication when the Mass is celebrated every day by Christians around the world  during which we are given the Body and Blood of Christ?  We also have, during June, the Feast of Corpus et Sanguis Christi (The Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ, sometimes called the Day of Thanksgiving for Holy Communion) and, every Maundy Thursday, during the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, we give thanks for the institution of the Eucharist in which Jesus gives us the command to “Do this in remembrance of me.”

Is a whole month dedicated to the Precious Blood not just one thing too many?  Not if we step further into our Christian story to that which lies behind, or perhaps it may be better to say, to that which infuses, the Blood of Christ which we receive during Holy Communion: the Christ’s incarnate Blood that was shed on the Cross. 

St Clement is recorded as saying (circa AD96), “Let us fix our gaze on the Blood of Christ and realize how truly precious it is, seeing that It was poured out for our salvation and brought the grace of conversion to the whole world”. To understand the immense grace of salvation, we first have to admit the gravity of human sinfulness.   Society doesn’t like to talk about sin, but Christ’s salvific act only makes sense in the context of sin and human separation from God.  The Blood which was shed on the Cross was shed because of Love’s response to sin.  The more we recognise human sinfulness as a damaging reality (and how we cannot exempt ourselves from it) the more we appreciate the pouring out of the Blood of Salvation - indeed we may even acknowledge that we need to venerate that Blood.  Hold in your thoughts the words “Precious” and “Blood”.  Contemplate what they mean in all their fulness for us as Christians. 

Our faith is also one of imitation: we don’t just adore Christ and give thanks for all that he is, we imitate Him too.  A devotion to the Precious Blood would be incomplete if we don’t then seek to imitate Him in every aspect of our lives.  The words of the Prophet Isaiah are as relevant to Christians as they were to the people of Israel:

Your new moons and your appointed festivals
    my soul hates;
they have become a burden to me,
    I am weary of bearing them.
15 When you stretch out your hands,
    I will hide my eyes from you;
even though you make many prayers,
    I will not listen;
    your hands are full of blood.
16 Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean;
    remove the evil of your doings
    from before my eyes;
cease to do evil,
17     learn to do good;
seek justice,
    rescue the oppressed,
defend the orphan,
    plead for the widow.  (Is Ch 1 v 14—17)

Or as Our Lord said:   For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you  (John  Ch13 v  15).

Fr Stephen

Some Dates for your diaries

  • 14 July, Sea Sunday - DURING JULY WE WILL TAKE EXTRA COLLECTIONS FOR THE MISSION TO SEAFARERS and we will pray for the brand new mission in Central and South America, known to Fr Miguel.  A prayer is below.
  • 17 July, 2pm Mothers’ Union in the Parish Hall
  • 21 September - Heritage Open Day, more details to follow, but there will be a concert in St Mary’s that evening too.
  • 29 September - 10am Benefice Service at St George’s
  • 4th October - Harvest Supper
  • 6th October - Harvest Festival Masses
  • 23 November - Christmas Fair






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