St Endellion Summer Music Festival sermon

by Revd Canon Keith Lamdin 30th July 2017

There is a Russian story with a moral that I like. A peasant was walking along in the dead of winter and came across a half frozen bird. He picked it up and came across a newly laid and steaming cowpat. He tucked the bird in the pat up to its neck and went on his way. The bird began to warm up and coming back to life began to sing. A hungry wolf on its way heard the sound and sprang to the bird and ate it up. The moral goes like this. It is not always your enemies that put you in it nor is it always your friends who get you out of it, and if you are in it up to your neck don’t sing about it. I like it because it turns things on their heads and that is always a good thing to do.

And thinking upside down leads me to say that singing when things are at their worst, and writing poems, and dancing for rain, and laying flowers and lighting candles and swinging incense is exactly what we all do, sometimes not quite knowing why. In moments of great joy or pain we turn to music and poetry and the realm of the spirit. And here today we do the same thing. We take the poetic words of the mass, set them to music and sing hymns, and craft this together into a theatre of God’s presence and kingdom.

What is distinctive about the poetic is the juxtaposition of words and thoughts without worrying about what people might make of it. Take John Donne for instance, writing the words of our anthem three years before he died, and after the death of his daughter and his own life threatening illness.

  • where there shall be no darkness nor dazzling, but one equal light;
  • no noise nor silence, but one equal music;
  • no fears nor hopes, but one equal possession;
  • no ends nor beginnings, but one equal eternity:

These words do not make any sense to accountants or management consultants, as they are words that make sense and make no sense at the same time, allowing you in between them to make your own meaning, purpose and food for the spirit. Take for instance a single sentence from RS Thomas that I love – The cross an example of the power of art to transcend timber.

Some of you will know that we have today the first mass setting by Britten written for Westminster Boys choir whose sound he came to love, coached by George Malcolm who wanted them to sing in church as they did in the playground. Boys singing in church as they do in the playground, is not what we expect, but again art collapses the boundaries and breaks the rules, just as Jesus did.

It is as if we live in a world in the west that is deeply divided between the rational and the poetic. Ian McGilchrist, in his wonderful book the Master and his emissary indicates that singing came before the speaking of words and the scientific revolution brought the use of words to serve the investigation of the world rather than its celebration. Yet musicians nearly always take the words not of prose, but of poets, and create celebrations of hope and imagination of human life. Of course we need both languages but today we bring the poetic language of faith coined hundreds of years ago and the music of the last century to call attention to something that is eternal and of life changing significance.

This brings me, and I hope you as well to these two short parables of Jesus, told as stories so we can never be sure exactly what they mean. Here are two people. The first recognizes a pearl of great value. My guess is that he must have been an expert, with many years of practice before he could recognize such excellence. The other? A treasure seeker or just someone who came across it without even looking for it.

For both it was a moment of inspiration. A life changing moment; a moment of decision and commitment. A moment when all other things pale into insignificance and committed action seems the only thing to do.

RS Thomas again captures this is his poem The Bright Field.

I have seen the sun break though
To illume a small field
For a while, and gone on my way
And forgotten it. But that was the pearl
Of great price, the one field that had
The treasure in it. I realize now
That I must give all that I have
To possess it. Life is not for hurrying

For both these people it marks a turning point – a moment of decision – or if you like, a moment of inspiration. The same kind of inspiration, that comes from God that brought us the words of John Donne and the mass and the music of William Harris and Benjamin Britten.

This is the world, not of the moneychangers and strategic planners, or politicians but of the poets, artists and the composers, and the musicians and the bird up to its neck in it that sings as an act of celebration regardless of the consequences.

Sara Miles in her book Take this Bread tells the story walking into a church on a Sunday morning that she normally walked past on her walks. Without understanding what she was doing she stayed and ate a piece of bread and took a sip of wine. She writes:

‘what I found wasn’t about angels or going to church or trying to be good in a pious idealized way. It wasn’t about arguing about doctrine – the virgin birth, predestination, the sinfulness of homosexuality and divorce – or pledging blind allegiance to a denomination. I was hungering and thirsting after righteousness (like the man searching for treasure or the pearl) and I found it at the eternal and material core of Christianity: body, blood, bread and wine, poured out and freely share by all. I discovered a religion rooted in the most ordinary yet subversive practice: a dinner table where everyone is welcome, where the despised and outcast are honoured.’

For her, like the pearl finder and the treasure hunter it was a moment of inspiration that changed her life. I find myself wondering how often such moments come my way and I guess it would do us all some good, like `R S Thomas found, not to hurry for a change.

SCLERDER FAMILY FESTIVAL 2017

On the theme: ‘Home is where the heart is’

Saturday 19th August, 10am – 9:30pm

Sclerder Abbey, Nr. Looe, Cornwall – PL13 2JD

Open to all denominations and all ages!
A spiritual adventure for all the family,
Indoor & outdoor activities – Historical tour of the abbey
Arts & crafts workshops – Sports – Live worship band tea & cakes / evening BBQ

Tickets £10 / family ticket £20 including Picnic lunch.

In collaboration with:
The Anglican diocese of Truro,
the Roman Catholic diocese of Plymouth,
Churches Together Cornwall, Celebrate, Looe Parishioners, etc,

Information & Booking now at:

http://www.sclerderfamilyfestival.chemin-neuf.org.uk/

 

The St Minver Church Fete 23rd August

The St Minver Church Fete will be on Wednesday 23rd August commencing at 2pm, whatever the weather! So please come along to the Cricket Field to enjoy all the family fun and games, taste delicious home cooked refreshments and listened to the sounds of the St.Minver Silver Band. Parking and entrance is free. In the main marquee will be stalls of all kinds and our grand raffle. This year we also have a marquee of ‘local crafts’.

Our traditional games include ‘rats’, ‘ducks’, ‘horses’ and, of course, ‘the orange bomber’. If you don’t know what this is, you really have to find out! And why not have your face painted too?!

‘Bottle Sunday’ will be Sunday 20th August, Please bring bottles of any contents to St Minver as a donation to the bottle stall.

Reflective Day on Hymns Saturday 19th August 10am – 3pm

angel-painting

How shall I sing that majesty? led by the Ven. John Rawlings, former Archdeacon of Totnes

Saturday 19 August, 10am-3pm

The poetry of thoughtfully chosen hymns can lift our thoughts and prayers into another dimension. Some have sublime insights, others are more mundane, but they have shaped the faith, theology, understanding and prayer of many generations of Christians.

Cost £10.  Bring a picnic lunch

Save Our Post Office

Many of our readers will be aware that Mrs Maureen Rickard, the Village Postmistress, has been given notice to vacate the existing post office building. The Perceval Institute Management Committee is striving hard to relocate the Post Office to the rear of the Perceval Institute building but this comes at enormous cost. A fund raising appeal is being launched at a  COFFEE MORNING in the Perceval Institute on Saturday 8th July 2017 10am to 12noon. Admission is £2.50 which will include coffee and biscuits and various stalls.

This is your opportunity to see the design plans and talk to members of the Committee. Please come along and show your support for our most valuable village asset.

Port Isaac Lifeboat Service

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Annual Lifeboat Service was well received on the Platt in Port Isaac on Sunday 11th June. Revd. Elizabeth Wild led the service with readings from Bob Bulgin BEM, Senior Helmsman Damien Bolton and Chris Bolton.

A cheque for £1,500 was given to Port Isaac RNLI by actor Ian McNeice (of Doc Martin fame).

Pew Sheet 4th June Pentecost

North Cornwall Cluster of Churches
Week beginning 4th June

Day of Pentecost

Additional Collect:
Holy Spirit, sent by the Father,
ignite in us your holy fire;
strengthen your children with the gift of faith,
revive your Church with the breath of love,
and renew the face of the earth,
through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Sunday Services

St Kew    9.30am    Holy Communion    Elizabeth Wild
St Peter    9.30am    Morning Worship    Michael Wild & Marcus Jones
St Endellion    11am     Sung Eucharist       Elizabeth Wild
St Minver    11am     Holy Communion     Judith Pollinger
St Enodoc    3pm    Evensong    Bill Nimmo
St Michael    6pm    Evensong    Elizabeth Wild

Services & Events for the week

Everyone is welcome to attend

Tuesday 6    8am     Holy Communion (BCP), St Endellion, Elizabeth Wild
3pm    Interment of ashes, Ruth Lane, St Michael’s, Judith Pollinger
Wednesday 7     10am    Holy Communion, St Minver, Andrew Lewis
Friday 9    10am    Mini Fingers Baby & Toddlers, Perceval Institute
Saturday 10     12noon    Wedding of Stacey Phillips and Matt Ireland, St Enodoc, Andrew Lewis
2pm     Wedding Blessing of Katy Austin and Jon Waters,  St Michael, Elizabeth Wild
2pm    Wedding of Alexandra Walls and Bertie Readhead, St Kew, Judith Pollinger

Sunday 11th June – Trinity

St Kew    9.30am    All Age Worship    David Foster, Rob Soley  & Geraldine Ashton
St Peter    9.30am    Holy Communion     Andrew Lewis
12.30pm    RNLI service    Elizabeth Wild
St Endellion    11am     Sung Eucharist       Judith Pollinger & David Foster
St Minver    11am     All Age Worship     Worship Leader & Geraldine Ashton
St Enodoc    3pm    Evensong    Bill Nimmo
St Michael    9.15am     Holy Communion     Judith Pollinger
6pm    Evensong    Elizabeth Wild

Please pray for the sick, among them Gerry Stone, Rosalind Smith, Valerie Davey, Anne Pethick, Tom Miller, George Fleming and Betty Milton. Remember those who have died recently including Dorothy Buse and those whose anniversary of death occurs at this time.
Taking it in turns to pray for each other – this week we pray for St Kew.

Diary Dates & News

Change of date: “TIP the teapot!” Everyone welcome to A Tea party for Elizabeth Gowing and The Ideas Partnership at The Angry Anchovy, Port Isaac (near top car park) on Sunday 11th June 2-5. Meet Elizabeth and enjoy a cuppa! Raffle and cake stall (Please note that the afternoon tea advertised on 12th has now been postponed until later in the summer. And a huge thank you to everyone who has given so generously through their knitting needles!)

Living the Questions: An Invitation to Journey. This is a DVD and discussion based course for all those, at any point on the Christian journey, who would like to explore some of the questions and challenges it involves, and who are seeking a relevant and engaged way of being a Christian in the 21st Century. Mondays 12th, 19th & 26th June at 7pm at Trellij, Rock. Contact Elizabeth Wild for more information and Henry Gompertz (01208 869421) if you would like to come along.

Bristol University Madrigal Ensemble Friday 16 June, 7.30pm, St Endellion. The programme will include Macmillan, Arvo Pärt, and specially commissioned works by young composers.  Suggested entry donation £5.

Reflective Day on the birth of Orthodox Christianity Saturday 24th June. 10am -3pm Revd John Binns, Cambridge. St Endellion Church.  £10 Book with Judith or
on www.endelienta.org.uk

Endelienta Ensemble

Endelienta Ensemble – “Eclectic & Evocotive”

Saturday 15 July, 7.30pm,

St Endellion Church

Conducted by Adam Hickox and Rees Webster, the Endelienta Ensemble is a chamber orchestra comprised of students from London and Cambridge. This summer the ensemble returns to St Endellion, performing Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony and Kurt Weill’s 2nd Symphony. An eclectic pairing, both works are cinematic and highly evocative.

Adam Hickox, locally born, is in his final year reading music at Gonville and Caius college, Cambridge. Next year he takes up a place to study conducting at the Royal Academy of Music. Having graduated from Cambridge, Rees Webster is now studying at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where he is a Guildhall Scholar.

Tickets £10,  free for accompanied under-16s

Available from Box office  07787 944935

Or  click here  to book on-line and pay by credit card or Pay-Pal

Or in person at the Wadebridge Bookshop

A Reflective Day on Faith in Ethiopia

A different way of being Christian, an African form of faith in Ethiopia, led by Dr John Binns

Saturday 24 June, 10am to 3pm, St Endellion Church

The Revd John Binns, Vicar of Great St Mary Cambridge and author of a recently published listed book on the history of the Orthodox Church in Ethiopia, will be leading the day.

His subject will be: ‘A different way of being Christian – the development of an African form of the faith in Ethiopia.

He will talk about the fact that  Ethiopia is a very ancient Church and was among the First Nations to become Christian, following its own way of being Christian, keeping the a Jewish laws if the Old Testament, a close relationship with Islam and with a unique approach to liturgy and church architect, as well as an oral tradition of theological scholarship.

Cost £10

To book with the Endelienta Box Office  telephone 07787 944935  or go  online  www.endelienta.org.uk

Or call Rev. Prebendary Judith Pollinger on 01208 880181 or email rev.judith@btinternet.com

Please bring a picnic lunch, drinks provided