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LATEST

KATE : HRH THe Princess of WALes

27 March & 14 June 2024

Kate - 27 March 2024
The Princess made it known that she was
receiving treatment for cancer
.

Kate - 14 June 2024
The Princess announced that she would be attending the 'Trooping the Colour' (tomorrow) - 15 June 2024.

 Kate 1 - 14 June 2024   2 - 14 June 2024   Kate 3 - 14 June 2024 

"I am making good progress, but as anyone going through chemotherapy will know, there are good days and bad days."
"On those bad days you feel weak, tired have to give in to your body resting.
But on the good days, when you feel stronger, you want to make the most of feeling well"
"My treatment is ongoing and will be for a few more months."


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D-DAY 80 : 6 june 2024


D-Day 80 - logo

D-Day 80 - beaches

More details of these commemorations will appear here after this coming weekend when an overall summary can be given.  Meanwhile we Knights Templar, including many of our veteran membership, commend to God all those men and women who planned and took part in this momentous event which set the scene for the final defeat of the Nazi tyranny which had threatened to destroy civilisation and -

FREEDOM  

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TRINITY SUNDAY - 26 May 2024

Trinity Sunday


The celebration of the Holy Trinity on this important Christian festival day is best summed up in the words of the great hymn: "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God almighty":

                             Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
                             Early in the morning our song shall rise to thee;
                             Holy, holy, holy! merciful and mighty,
                             God in three persons, blessed Trinity!

                             Holy, holy, holy! All the saints adore thee,
                             Casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
                             Cherubim and seraphim falling down before thee,
                             Which wert and art and evermore shalt be.

                             Holy, holy, holy! Though the darkness hide thee,
                             Though the eye of sinful man thy glory may not see,
                             Only thou art holy; there is none beside thee,
                             Perfect in power, in love, and purity.

                             Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
                             All thy works shall praise thy name, in earth and sky and sea;
                             Holy, holy, holy! merciful and mighty,
                             God in three persons, blessed Trinity.

Holy, holy, holy

The writer of this hymn, Reginald Heber (1783-1826), was born into a wealthy, educated family.  He was a bright youth, translating a Latin classic into English verse by the time he was seven and entering Oxford University at 17.  He won two awards for his poetry during his time there.  After graduation he became rector of his father's church in the village of Hodnet near Shrewsbury in the west of England where he remained for 16 years.  He was appointed Bishop of Calcutta in 1823 and worked there tirelessly for three years until the weather and travel took its toll on his health and he died of a stroke.  Most of his 57 hymns, which include "Holy, Holy, Holy," are still in use today.

The usual tune, NICAEA, is named after the Council of Nicaea (A.D. 325), convened in the town of Nicaea in Bithynia, at which church leaders formulated a consensus of belief and practice amongst Christians concerning the doctrine of the Trinity in order to oppose the heresies of Arius. The result was the well-known Nicene Creed, a document passed down through the ages as one of the pillars of church doctrine.  The primary function of this creed was to establish a firm belief in the Trinity, countering Arius, who believed that Jesus was not fully divine and was neither the Creator of all things, nor “being of one substance with the Father …”, as the creed puts it so neatly.

The Nicene Creed inspired Reginald Heber to write this great hymn of praise to the Triune God, with the intent that the hymn be sung before or after the creed was recited in church services, and especially on Trinity Sunday – eight weeks after Easter.

The tune for this hymn is one of the finest composed by John Bacchus Dykes (1823-1876) in recognition of Heber's text.  The words evoke a sense of awe at the majesty of God and call on all of creation - humans, saints and angels and all living things - to praise the non-divisibility unity of God, three-in-one and one-in-three.

New Knights and Dames, seeking to be admitted to the Grand Priory of All Britain at their  Investiture, recite the Nicene Creed before kneeling to receive the accolade on behalf of the Grand Master.

Trinity Sunday - alternative


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PENTECOST - 19 May 2024

The celebration of Pentecost is regarded as the Birthday of the Church.  The first 'Christian' Pentecost is recorded in the New Testament in the Acts of the Apostles, Chapter 2.

The lesson for the Church in the 21st Century is that the experience of receiving the Holy Spirit enabled the early church to develop and grow and the result was that God blessed their work: "And every day the Lord added to their group those who were being saved" - as the last verse of Chapter 2 puts it.  And as Jesus put it "Go and do thou likewise".

The hymn "Breathe on me, Breath of God" beautifully expresses these sentiments:


Breathe on me, Breath of God

The text is a prayer for renewal by God's Spirit, a renewal that is to be expressed in a life of love (verse 1), in purity of heart and will (verse 2), and an intimacy with God that heralds the perfection of Eternal Life (verses 3 and 4).  In both Hebrew and Greek the Word for "spirit" is the same as "wind/air/breath"; so here the Spirit of God is referred to as the "Breath of God".

It was written by Edwin Hatch (born in Derby, England in 1835), printed privately in 1878 and then published in Henry Allon's "The Congregational Psalmist Hymnal" in 1886.

Hatch was educated at Pembroke College, Oxford but subsequently taught at Trinity College in Toronto, Canada (1859-1862) and at a high school in Quebec City (1862-1867).  He died in England in 1889.

(For the Scripture references see also: Ezekiel 36:27, Joel 2:28, John 20:22)


Prayer to the Holy Spirit

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10 & 11 MAY 2024

AURORA BOREALIS (NORTHERN LIGHTS)

&

SUNSPOTS

Sunspot - 10 May 2024  10.25

A massive sunspot at 10.15 on 10 May 2024

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A selection of Aurora Borealis photographs taken by our Knights and Dames:


Aurora Borealis - Turriff 02b
Seen above Turriff, Aberdeenshire

   Aurora Borealis - Turriff 05c   Aurora Borealis - Turriff 09
Seen above Turriff, Aberdeenshire                               Like an angel over Turriff

                Aurora Borealis - Turriff 12

Turriff, Aberdeenshire

Aurora Borealis - Felixstowe 01
Felixstowe, Suffolk


(More to follow)

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9 MAY 2024

ASCENSION DAY


The Ascension - Being witnesses of Christ


Today we celebrate the Ascension to heaven of the Lord Jesus.  This is when Our Lord and Saviour, after having finished his ministry here on earth, until he comes again in glory, returned to His Father in Heaven.  Let us look at what God's word in the Holy Gospel is telling us today:

 

Mark 16:15-20 (NIV)

15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptised will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”

19 After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. 20 Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.


The Gospel today seems to be focused more upon the apostles going out and spreading the Holy Gospel, than it does about Jesus going up to The Father.  As Jesus goes to his Father, the message to us is that we all must take over the spreading of Our Lord's Gospel now, and that we need to be witnesses to him.  We are all called to share that which we have received, and to speak of what we have seen and heard.

We witness to Jesus in our lives in many ways.  This includes by prayer, by reading and spreading the Gospel and in our service to others with Christ’s love.  Prayer is our time to be in personal touch with God who is constantly reaching out to us.  The Gospel feeds our souls, our minds, and our spirits.  It is a daily opening to the true words and deeds of Jesus, Our Lord and Saviour.  Our service in The Love of Christ to others, brings us to witness in the true way; the care of God as we give and receive care for each other.

NEW PRESENCE:  This is what we give to our ascended Lord and is also what we receive from him.  The Word of God is the divine word of truth and salvation, spoken in our human words.  All of our time in prayer with God is the linking of heaven and of earth, and we are each sharers in his divinity as we are in Jesus and Jesus is also in us.  He has shared in our humanity.  Far from being the absence of Jesus, it is his presence in a new way among us.

Indeed, Our Lord Jesus has gone back to The Father to make a heavenly place for us, and will return in Glory to bring us home.  Until then, we are all called to continue our Lord's ministry here upon the earth.  We are, as it seems, the only 'Jesus' that now can be seen, through our witnessing of him in our lives to others.

Are you being a true witness of Christ in your life?


Let us pray:

Lord Jesus Christ, before your Ascension into heaven you told your apostles to be your witnesses to the ends of the earth upon receiving the Holy Spirit.  May we be similarly inspired to spread your Gospel message in word and deed, according to your will for us.  And may we do so prudently and joyfully, with your help, your guidance, and your grace!  And remembering this glorious event, help us to seek what is above - Heaven - where you are to be seated at the right hand of God the Father!

Amen.

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25 APRIL 2024

ANZAC DAY

Rosemary for Remembrance
Rosemary for Remembrance

Anzac Day commemorates all Australians and New Zealanders who served and died
in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations and
the contribution and suffering of all those who have served.

Anzac Dawn 2024

We Templars of All Britain remember and honour all these brave men and women.
Their devotion to the fight for Freedom and the Rule of Law
will never be forgotten.

Thank you.  


Flag of Australia   Flag of New Zealand

                                                          Australia                                                                                              New Zealand

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23 APRIL 2024

St George's Day

St George of Svipi in Georgia
St George of Svipi in Georgia

St George, saint and martyr is the patron Saint of England.

St George is also the patron saint of many other countries and organisations.


Flag of St George
The traditional flag of St George


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8 APRIL 2024

"The heavens declare the glory of God;
t
he skies proclaim the work of his hands"
[Psalm 19: 1]

Total eclipse of the sun seen across North America:

Total Eclipse - 8 April 2024
Photo from NASA


New Moon seen across Britain:

New Moon 1
Photo from the Grand Prior's garden


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31 March 2024

EASTER DAY

 †   

ALLELUIA!  CHRIST IS RISEN!

Χριστός ἀνέστη!
Khristós Anésti!

 

Resurrection Brass

HE IS RISEN INDEED!  ALLELUIA!!

Ἀληθῶς ανέστη!
Alithós Anésti!


Here is the account in the Holy Bible of the first Easter Morning from the Gospel according to St John, Chapter 20, verses 1-18.


The Empty Tomb

1 Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”

So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.) 10 Then the disciples went back to where they were staying.

Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene

11 Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12 and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.

13 They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”

“They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” 14 At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.

15 He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”

Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”

16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.”

She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”).

17 Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”

18 Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.


Easter - Celandines

God so loved the world,
that He gave His only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth in Him,
should not perish,
but have everlasting  life.
[John 3: 16]


Easter Blessings


Jesus said:

“I am the resurrection and the life.  Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying.  Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die."

                                                                                                                                                                  [John 11:25-26]


A Prayer:

Lord God, the resurrection of Jesus
gives us new life and renewed hope.
Help us to live as new people
in pursuit of the Christian ideal.
Grant us wisdom to know what we must do,
the will to want to do it,
the courage to undertake it,
the perseverance to continue to do it,
and the strength to complete it.
Amen.


Easter Sunday 2019


 
Christ Crucified is God’s Power and Wisdom:

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing,
but to us who are being saved it 
is the power of God.

                                                                             1 Corinthians 1:18


Fish symbol

EASTER SUNDAY EVENING
31 March 2024


Here is the account in the Holy Bible of the first Easter Evening from the Gospel according to St Luke, Chapter 24, verses 13-49.

On the Road to Emmaus

13 Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. 15 As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; 16 but they were kept from recognizing him.

Road to Emmaus

17 He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?”

They stood still, their faces downcast. 18 One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?”

19 “What things?” he asked.

“About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. 20 The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; 21 but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. 22 In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning 23 but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. 24 Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.”

25 He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.

28 As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if he were going farther. 29 But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them.

30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them.

Bread broken

31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. 32 They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”

33 They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together 34 and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” 35 Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.

Jesus Appears to the Disciples

36 While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”

37 They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. 38 He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? 39 Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”

40 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. 41 And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate it in their presence.

44 He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”

45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46 He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”


ALLELUIA!  CHRIST IS RISEN!

Χριστός ἀνέστη!
Khristós Anésti!

 

Christ is Risen

HE IS RISEN INDEED!  ALLELUIA!!

Ἀληθῶς ανέστη!
Alithós Anésti!


 †   

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30 March 2024

HOLY WEEK - HOLY SATURDAY

The bodies of Jesus and the two criminals had been removed and their crosses were 'empty'. 

Good Friday - 3 crosses

The Biblical account of first Good Friday evening and Holy Saturday:

That Friday evening Joseph of Arimathaea, a member of the Jewish Governing Council but also a follower of Jesus, asked Pilate if he might have Jesus’ body. Once Pilate had given permission, the body was taken down from the cross and wrapped in a linen sheet. Then it was laid in a tomb cut out of the rock, which Joseph had prepared for himself, and a large stone was rolled in front of it. Some of the women who had witnessed the crucifixion watched over the grave.

The Jewish leaders asked Pilate if they could protect the tomb with a guard, lest the disciples should come, steal the body and then falsely claim that Jesus had risen from the dead. Pilate agreed to their request, and the tomb was sealed and guarded.

KTW - Holy Saturday



Here is a provocative and disturbing poem entitled "The Armaments Factory Worker" composed by the young Karol Wojtyla (pronounced Woi-tee-wa), long before he became Pope John-Paul II, when he was forced to work in such a factory under the then Communist regime in Poland when it was part of the USSR.  And it carries a message today to all those involved in the invasion of Ukraine - whether they are high Political Leaders, Armed Forces Commanders, officers, non-commissioned officers or other ranks in all the Services.  If War Crimes are committed all are equally guilty:

                                         I cannot influence the fate of the globe
                                         Do I start wars?  How can I know
                                              whether I'm for or against?
                                         It worries me not to have influence,
                                              that it is not I who sin.
                                        
 
                                         I only turn screws, weld together
                                              parts of destruction,
                                              never grasping the whole,
                                              or the human lot.

                                         I could do otherwise (would parts be left out?)
                                              contributing then to sacrificial toil
                                              which no one would blot out in action
                                              or belie in speech.

                                         Though what I create is all wrong,
                                              the world's evil is none of my doing.

                                         But is that enough? 
      

Holy Saturday

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29 March 2024

HOLY WEEK - GOOD FRIDAY

I am with you always

When I survey the wondrous cross

When I survey the wondrous cross
on which the Prince of Glory died,
my richest gain I count as loss,
and pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
save in the death of Christ my God:
all the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to his blood.

See from his head, his hands, his feet,
sorrow and love flow mingled down:
did e'r such love and sorrow meet,
or thorns compose so rich a crown?

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
that were an offering far too small;
love so amazing, so divine,
demands my soul, my life, my all!


Words: Isaac Watts

______

The events of the first Good Friday

During the night Jesus’ guards insulted and tormented him. They blindfolded and beat him, saying mockingly: ‘If you are a prophet, tell us who hit you’. When morning came Jesus was brought before the Jewish Governing Council, which consisted of the chief priests, elders and teachers of the Law. ‘Tell us,’ they said, ‘if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.’ His reply, ‘It is you who say that I am’, was regarded as sufficient evidence for his condemnation for blasphemy. He was taken before Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor, and accused of claiming to be King of the Jews and thus of subverting Roman rule. After interrogating him Pilate concluded he had done nothing wrong, and was inclined to release him. When however he discovered that Jesus came from Galilee, he sent him to be judged by the ruler of that province, Herod son of Herod the Great, who happened to be in Jerusalem.

Herod had heard a great deal about Jesus and had long wanted to meet him. He questioned him at length, but Jesus refused to reply. Eventually Herod sent him back to Pilate arrayed in a gorgeous robe, thereby making up a quarrel between them.

Pilate still believed that Jesus was being falsely accused, and his wife sent him a message to the same effect. So he decided to take advantage of a custom by which a prisoner chosen by the people was released at Passover-tide. He was holding another well-known prisoner whose name was Jesus Barabbas, and he asked the crowd which had gathered: ‘Which one would you like me to release - Jesus Barabbas or Jesus who is called the Messiah?’ The chief priests and elders had worked on the crowd, so they responded ‘Barabbas’. ‘What then am I to do with Jesus called Messiah?’ asked Pilate. The reply came repeatedly and with increasing emphasis: ‘Crucify him!’

When Pilate saw that his efforts to save Jesus were fruitless, and that there was a danger of a riot breaking out, he took water and washed his hands, saying; ‘My hands are clean of this man’s blood.’ He released Barabbas and had Jesus flogged; then he handed him over to be crucified. The soldiers made sport of him, stripping him, dressing him in a scarlet cloak, and putting a reed in his hand, like a royal sceptre, and a crown of thorns on his head.

Crown of Thorns

They paid him mock homage, spat upon him, and beat him. Then they put on his clothes again, and led him away.

(see: Luke 22.63 - 23.12; Matthew 27.15 - 31)

The Crucifixion

By then Jesus was too weak to carry his cross to the place of execution, so the soldiers compelled a man named Simon from Cyrene in North Africa to carry it for him. Among the great crowd which followed him were many women, who wept for him. Jesus told them to weep for themselves and for their children because dreadful times were coming.

When they reached the place called ‘The Skull’ the soldiers crucified him and two criminals, one of them on his right and one on his left.

Jesus said: ‘Father forgive them; they do not know what they are doing.’ Above his head was an inscription saying ‘The King of the Jews’. The soldiers shared out his clothes by casting lots; they and the crowd, which included Jewish leaders, jeered at him, saying: ‘He saved other people; now let him save himself if he really is God’s chosen Messiah’. Even one of the criminals crucified with him joined in the taunting; but the other reproached him, saying: ‘We are getting what we deserve, but this man has done nothing wrong’. Then he said to Jesus: ‘Remember me when you inherit your kingdom’. Jesus replied: ‘Today you will be with me in Paradise’

From midday darkness fell until three o’clock in the afternoon. Then Jesus shouted: ‘My God, my God, why have you deserted me?’ Some of the bystanders thought he was calling upon Elijah; one of them offered him wine in a sponge held on the end of a stick, and said: ‘Let’s see if Elijah will come and help him’. Jesus then gave another loud cry and died; and at that very moment the curtain dividing the Holy of Holies from the rest of the Temple building was torn in two. When the Roman officer who had supervised the execution saw how Jesus had died he said: ‘This man was really God’s Son.'

KTW - Good Friday


The day was a Friday, the eve of the Sabbath, and the Jews were anxious that the bodies should not remain on the crosses once the Sabbath had begun. Pilate therefore agreed that the legs of the condemned men should be broken, to hasten their deaths. This was done in the cases of the two criminals but when the soldiers came to Jesus they found he was already dead. They did not break his legs, but one of them thrust a spear into his side, causing a flow of blood and water.

(see: Luke 23.26 - 43; Mark 15.33 - 39; John 19.31 - 37)


 ______________________________________________ 


28 March 2024

HOLY WEEK - MAUNDY THURSDAY

The word 'maundy' comes from the Latin 'mandatum' - a mandate or command - recalling that on this day in Jerusalem Jesus gave his disciples his (new) Commandment for them to obey.  And so should we.  After this he symbolically washed their feet (as their servant) and, traditionally, the British Monarch follows this tradition.  This year Queen Camilla attended the Service in Worcester Cathedral on behalf of King Charles where, instead of actually washing the feet of anyone she gave purses of special money (called Maundy Money, of course) to 150 elderly men and women (one for each 75 years of the King's age).

Queen Camilla - Maundy Thursday 2024
The Queen at the Royal Maunday Service
© Chris Jackson/Getty Images


In a pre-recorded message to the congregation -

King Charles - Maundy Thursday 2024

His Majesty said:

"Ladies and Gentlemen, it is, for me, a great sadness that I cannot be with you all today.  The Maundy Service has a very special place in my heart.  It has its origin in the life of Our Lord who knelt before his disciples and, to their great surprise, washed their travel-weary feet.

"And, as we have just heard, in doing so he deliberately gave to them and to us all an example of how we should serve and care for each other.  In this country we are blessed by all the different services that exist for our welfare.  But over and above these organisations and their selfless staff, we need and benefit greatly from those who extend the hand of friendship to us, especially in a time of need.

"The 150 men and women who have been chosen today to receive the Maundy money from my wife are wonderful examples of such kindness; of going way beyond the call of duty and of giving so much of their lives to the service of others in their communities.  The act of worship, here in Worcester Cathedral, reminds me of the pledge I made at the beginning of the coronation service – to follow Christ’s example ‘not to be served but to serve’. That I have always tried to do and continue to do, with my whole heart.

“It is my special prayer today that Our Lord's example of serving one another might continue to inspire us and to strengthen all our communities.

“May God bless you all this Easter."


The biblical text of this New Commandment is in St John's Gospel (Chapter 13, verses 34-35):  

        34 Mandatum novum do vobis: ut diligatis invicem: sicut dilexi vos, ut et vos diligatis invicem.
       35 In hoc cognoscent omnes quia discipuli mei estis, si dilectionem habueritis ad invicem.                                                                                                                                          Ioannes 13: 34-35  (Biblia Sacra Vulgata [The Vulgate])

      34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love                    one another.
      35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

                                                                                          
John 13: 34-35 (Authorised Version [King James Version])

           34 Gorchymyn newydd yr wyf yn ei roddi i chwi, Ar garu ohonoch eich gilydd; fel y cerais i chwi, garu                          ohonoch chwithau bawb eich gilydd.
      35 Wrth hyn y gwybydd pawb mai disgyblion i mi ydych, os bydd gennych gariad i’ch gilydd.

                                                                                          
Ioan 13:34-35  (Beibl William Morgan [Welsh])


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27 March 2024

HOLY WEEK - "SPY WEDNESDAY"

We don't know very much about what happened on Holy Wednesday.  Most likely Jesus and his disciples prepared for Passover, which would occur on Friday.  The term "Spy" refers to Judas Iscariot and how he betrayed our Lord to the Sanhedrin, the religious leaders in Jerusalem.  In the New Testament St Matthew records the event thus:  "Then one of the twelve - the one called Judas Iscariot - went to the chief priests and asked, 'What are you willing to give me if I deliver him over to you?'  So they counted out for him thirty pieces of silver.  From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over."  (Matthew 26: 14-16)


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24 MARCH 2024

PALM SUNDAY

A passage from the Holy Bible, St Matthew's Gospel, Chapter 21, verses 1 - 11 which echoes what the Old Testament prophet Zechariah declared would be the manner in which the future King would arrive.
(see Zechariah Chapter 9, verse 9) 

Jesus Comes to Jerusalem as King

1 As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me.  If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.”  This took place to fulfil what was spoken through the prophet:  “Say to Daughter Zion, ‘See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’ ”  The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them.  They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on.  A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road.  The crowds tha went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Hosanna in the highest heaven!”  10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?”  11 The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”  


The view from the Chapel of Dominus Flevit ("Jesus wept") on the Mount of Olives, overlooking Jerusalem.

Dominus Flevit

The golden dome to the left of the cross is the 'Dome of the Rock' built on the site of the Temple destroyed by the Romans and just in front with the blue dome is the building given to the "Poor Soldiers of Christ" who therefore became the Knights Templar.  To the immediate right of the cross but partly hidden by the horizonal bar is another blue dome.  This is the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the site of the Crucifixion of Jesus.

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20 MARCH 2024

SPRING EQUINOX or VERNAL EQUINOX

Spring Equinox - Earth view

The word Equinox is made up from two Latin words: "equi" (= equal) and "nox (= night) and simply refers to the fact that on this day the length of daylight is the same as night (12 hours).  The alternative, Vernal, is also from the Latin - "vernus" (= of Spring) and infers 'fresh and new'.

Vernal Equinox sunrise at Stonehenge

Spring Equinox - Stonehenge

Apple Blossom in the Grand's Prior's Garden

Mothering Sunday - Apple Blossom - c

   Mothering Sunday - Apple Blossom - a.   Mothering Sunday - Apple Blossom - d


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18 MARCH 2024

710th ANNIVERSARY OF THE MARTYRDOM (1314)

OF

jAMES OF mOLAY

(Jacques de Molay - the 23rd and last Mediaeval Grand Master)

 (Paris, France - 18 March 1314)

Over the weekend 9 - 11 March 2018 nearly 700 Knights & Dames from 70 countries from all across the world gathered together in Paris, France, to celebrate the start of the 900th Anniversary of the Foundation of the Order in Jerusalem in 1118.

We were also there to Commemorate the Anniversary of the Martyrdom

Jacques de Molay - Memorial

in Paris in 1314 of Jacques de Molay, the last mediaeval Grand Master.

Five Knights and Dames of the Grand Priory of Wales attended the events.


Paris 2018 - 2

(left to right: Chevalier Ormond; the present Grand Prior Graham; Dame Phoebe)


The Grand Prior of All Britain humbly suggests that each year, on the 18th March - the anniversary of the execution and martyrdom of the last mediaeval Grand Master (Jacques de Molay) in Paris in 1314 - and on Holy Saturday (the day following Good Friday and before Easter Sunday), each Knight, Dame, Esquire an
Demoiselle should read The Rule of the Poor Knighthood of the Temple which forms part of The Primitive Rule of the Knights Templar.

This can be found on the next page on this website entitled: "Templars' History" (opposite, left) as the first sub-page there and shown as: "The Templars' Primitive Rule".


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St Patrick's Day
17 MARCH 2024


Lá fhéile Pádraig sona dhuir!

(Happy St Patrick's Day to you!)

St Patrick icon


         ST PATRICK'S BREASTPLATE

I bind  to myself today
The strong virtue of the Invocation of the Trinity:
I believe the Trinity in the Unity
The Creator of the Universe. 

I bind to myself today
The virtue of the Incarnation of Christ with His Baptism,
The virtue of His crucifixion with His burial,
The virtue of His Resurrection with His Ascension,
The virtue of His coming on the Judgement Day. 

I bind to myself today
The virtue of the love of seraphim,
In the obedience of angels,
In the hope of resurrection unto reward,
In prayers of Patriarchs,
In predictions of Prophets,
In preaching of Apostles,
In faith of Confessors,
In purity of holy Virgins,
In deeds of righteous men. 

I bind to myself today
The power of Heaven,
The light of the sun,
The brightness of the moon,
The splendour of fire,
The flashing of lightning,
The swiftness of wind,
The depth of sea,
The stability of earth,
The compactness of rocks. 

I bind to myself today
God’s Power to guide me,
God’s Might to uphold me,
God’s Wisdom to teach me,
God’s Eye to watch over me,
God’s Ear to hear me,
God’s Word to give me speech,
God’s Hand to guide me,
God’s Way to lie before me,
God’s Shield to shelter me,
God’s Host to secure me,
Against the snares of demons,
Against the seductions of vices,
Against the lusts of nature,
Against everyone who meditates injury to me,
Whether far or near,
Whether few or with many. 

I invoke today all these virtues
Against every hostile merciless power
Which may assail my body and my soul,
Against the incantations of false prophets,
Against the black laws of heathenism,
Against the false laws of heresy,
Against the deceits of idolatry,
Against the spells of evil people,
Against every knowledge that binds the soul of man.
Christ, protect me today
Against every poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against death-wound,
That I may receive abundant reward. 

Christ with me, Christ before me,
Christ behind me, Christ within me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ at my right, Christ at my left,
Christ in the fort,
Christ in the chariot seat,
Christ on the deck,
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks to me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me. 

I bind to myself today
The strong virtue of an invocation of the Trinity,
I believe the Trinity in the Unity
The Creator of the Universe.


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8 march 2024

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY

International Womens Day - 8 March 2023


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1 MARCH 2024

 

DEWI SANT HAPUS DYDD!

or

DYDD gŴYL DEWI HAPUS!

 

 Daffodils

Happy St David's Day

St David

Dewi Sant - Saint David

 

Dyuw ein Tad

Rydych yn enw dy was Dafydd
i gynnal y ffydd Gristnogol ymhlith pobl Cymru,
i'w hannog gan ei gadw at ymprydio ac ufudd-dod,
ac i ddangos tosturi iddynt trwy weithredoedd bach o gariad mawr.

Gan fod golau yn cael ei dywallt ar y bennau'r mynyddoedd
ac fel glaw ffres yn cael ei ysgeintio ar y bryniau,
yn ein helpu i fod yn ofalwyr da o un arall
ac o Eich Creation mawr a gogoneddus.

Amen.

†  †


God our Father,

You called your servant David
to uphold the Christian faith amongst the people of Wales,
to encourage them by his observance of fasting and obedience,
and to show them compassion through small acts of great love.

As light is poured onto the mountain-tops
and as fresh rain is sprinkled on the hills,
help us to be good carers of one another
and of Your great and glorious Creation.

Amen.

†  †

 

 (This prayer was written by a former Anglican Archbishop of Wales, The Most Reverend Dr Barry Morgan)

 

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SUNDAY 18 FEBRUARY 2024

Graduations at Llandaff Cathedral, Cardiff

OTJ - Keiron  Cero-Ann - BTh

We are delighted to send our whole-hearted congratulations to our husband and wife, Chevalier Keiron and Dame Ceri-Ann, on the award of their Batchelor of Theology (BTh) degrees.  Both are currently in training for ministry in the Church in Wales and we look forward to their ordinations in due course.  Very well-done! 


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14 FEBRUARY 2024

St Valentine's Day


ASH WENESDAY - BEGINNING OF LENT


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SHROVE TUESDAY - 13 FEBRUARY 2024

The World-famous Olney Pancake Race
(Olney, Buckinghamshire, England)

Olney - 1445
Firstly Recorded in 1445

     Olney - Warm up   Olney - Stand by
                               Warm Up                                                              Stand By

  Olney - Stand by   Olney - Get ready
                              Get Ready                                                              Get Steady

Olney - Underway
Underway

Olney - Not far now Olney - The Winner Olney - All done

               Not Far To Go                                   The Winner                                      All Done

    

SHROVE TUESDAY - 13 FEBRUARY 2024

"The heavens declare the glory of God"

OTJ - Shrove Tuesday 2024 - Moon view  OTJ - Shrove Tuesday 2024 - Moon view 2

OTJ - Shrove Tuesday 2024 - Moon

Two evening views from the Grand Prior's garden

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SUNDAY 11 FEBRUARY 2024

King Charles - 11 February 2024

His Majesty the King has expressed his thanks to the hundreds and thousands of people who have sent messages to him since he was diagnosed with cancer.  He wrote:

"As all those who have been affected by cancer will know, such kinds thoughts are the greatest comfort and encouragement."

"It is equally heartening to hear how sharing my own diagnosis has helped promote public understanding and shine a light on the work of all those organisations which support cancer patients and their families across the UK and wider world."

King Charles concluded: 

"My lifelong admiration for their tireless care and dedication is all the greater as a result of my own personal experience."

Queen Camilla said that the King was:

"very touched by all the letters and messages the public have been sending from everywhere ."

She added that the support had been:

"very cheering."


l King Charles - Sandringham
The King and Queen attending church at Sandringham today


 We Knights Templar continue to pray for His Majesty and all the Royal Family 


______________________________________________

 

18.05 : 5 FEBRUARY 2024

It was announced at 18.00 today that
His Majesty King Charles III
has been diagnosed with a form of cancer,

We Knights Templar send our very best wishes to His Majesty and we pray that God will protect and care for him and his family and will send one of his holy angels to stand beside them and assist in bringing about a satisfactory and early end to this most distressing news.

King Charles


GOD SAVE THE KING

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27 January 2024

DIWRNOD COFIO'R HOLOCOST

HOLOCAUST  MEMORIAL DAY

Dysgn gwersi o'r gorffennol er mwyn
cren dyfodol gwell a mwy diogel

Learning lessons from the past
to create a safer, better future


We Knights Templar have reason to remember that in the 14th century Templar knights across Europe were rounded up and many killed or died in prison, all as a result of the trumped-up charges of heresy and the like brought against the Order by King Philip of France. 

Today such an attempt to destroy a particular group of people on the basis of their perceived religious beliefs or practices would constitute an act of genocide.

However, and fortunately for the Order, the Pope eventually absolved the Order and its knights from the accusations.  Unfortunately this was not until after the Order had been 'officially' disbanded throughout the areas of the Pope's authority.

But many knights escaped the persecution, either having fled abroad or they were already based in countries like Scotland, Switzerland or Portugal where they regrouped and survived thus enabling the Order to emerge again and today it thrives and is growing across the world including, of course, in All Britain!


"FIRST THEY CAME"

by

Pastor Niemoller

                                      First they came for the Communists

And I did not speak out

Because I was not a Communist;

Then they came for the Socialists

And I did not speak out

Because I was not a Socialist;

Then they came for the trade unionists

And I did not speak out

Because I was not a trade unionist;

Then they came for the Jews

And I did not speak out

Because I was not a Jew;

Then they came for me

And there was no one left

To speak out for me.


 KT - Cross

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18 - 25 January 2024

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity


__________________________


6 JanUARY 2024 : EPIPHANY


Epiphany is an ancient Christian festival and is celebrated across the world in numerous ways.


The word comes from the Greek έπιφάνεια (epiphaneia) which means the “manifestation” or the “showing forth” of Jesus to non-Jews (the Gentiles) after his incarnation (his birth).
In the Western Church we usually relate this to the arrival of the Magi at the house where the Holy Family were living, some 2 years after the birth of Jesus.
In the Orthodox or Eastern Church the word is Theophany (
θεοφάνεια)
meaning the appearance of God.


According to the Holy Bible in the Gospel of St Matthew (Chapter 2:verse 11) they offered Jesus gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

Epiphany - gifts

The Gospel account indicates that the Magi had been following a star
which led them to the house where they found Jesus, his mother Mary and Joseph:

Epiphany - a star

The star which the Magi followed can remind us of the lovely Epiphany Carol
by William Chatterton Dix (1837-1898):

As with gladness, men of old
Did the guiding star behold
As with joy they hailed its light
Leading onward, beaming bright
So, most glorious Lord, may we
Evermore be led to Thee.

As with joyful steps they sped
To that lowly household bed
There to bend the knee before
Him Whom Heaven and earth adore;
So may we with willing feet
Ever seek Thy mercy seat.

As they offered gifts most rare
 In that homestead plain and bare;
So may we with holy joy,
Pure and free from sin’s alloy,
All our costliest treasures bring,
Christ, to Thee, our heavenly King.

Holy Jesus, every day
Keep us in the narrow way;
And, when earthly things are past,
Bring our ransomed souls at last
Where they need no star to guide,
Where no clouds Thy glory hide.

In the heavenly country bright,
Need they no created light;
Thou its Light, its Joy, its Crown,
Thou its Sun which goes not down;
There forever may we sing
Alleluias to our King!

 

 Or as the Gospel of St Matthew (Chapter 2, verse 10) puts it:

“When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.”

 

This event is re-enacted by some children:

Epiphany - children

Epiphany can also represent the flight of the Holy Family into Eygpt
in order to escape Herod's anger and the murder of boys under 2 years in Bethlehem:

Epiphany - Flight into Eygpt

 

 In Eastern churches, Epiphany usually celebrates the baptism of Jesus by St John the Baptist,
in the River Jordan:

Epiphany - Jesus Baptism

Alternatively it also commemorates Jesus' first miracle at the Wedding Feast at Cana in Galilee,
where he turned jars of water into high quality wine:

Epiphany - Cana  Magi


All of these celebrations and images seek to illustrate 'Epiphany'
'the showing forth' or 'revelation' of Jesus to non-Jews (that is, the Gentiles) -
on various occasions during His life.


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NEW YEAR'S DAY

1 JANUARY 2024

1 January 2024 - Elizabeth Tower clock face

1 January 2024 - Elizabeth Tower  fireworks

 

A Franciscan Benediction
Attributed to the earliest followers of St Francis
                    

                              
                      May God bless you with discomfort

                              at easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships,

                                   so that you may live deep within your heart.

                      May God bless you with anger

                             at injustice, oppression and exploitation of people,

                                    so that you may work for justice, freedom and peace.

                      May God bless you with tears

                             to shed for those who suffer pain, rejection, hunger, and war,

                                   so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them

                                   and turn their pain into joy.

                      And may God bless you with enough foolishness

                             to believe that you can make a difference in the world,

                                   so that you can do what others claim cannot be done

                                   to bring justice and kindness to all our children and the poor.

                      Amen.


 ___________________________________________


NEW yEAR'S EVE

31 DECEMBER 2023


OUR FIRST THOUGHTS MIGHT BE FROM ....

Minnie Louise Haskins' poem which as Princess Elizabeth, Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, gave to her father, the late King George VI, to say during his Christmas broadcast in 1939:

I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:

"Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown."

And he replied:

"Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God.
That shall be to you better than a light and safer than a known way."


(So I went forth, and finding the hand of God, trod gladly into the night.

And He led me towards the hills and the breaking of day in the lone East.)

There is always hope

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28 December 2023

THE HOLY INNOCENTS


This is the day on which we remember, in particular, the young children (boys) in Bethlehem who King Herod ordered his men to kill in his attempt to destroy the infant Jesus
(Matthew 2:16-18).

Jesus was unharmed because Joseph had been warned by God of this impending disaster and had left Bethlehem with Mary and Jesus and had fled into Egypt.

The Holy Family thus became refugees from violence and terror and surely today remind us of the fate of so many people across the world who leave their homes for the very same reasons and seek safety in other lands.  They deserve our compassion and support. 


All Saints Day - 3



KT - Cross


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THE FEASTDAY OF ST JOHN THE EVANGELIST

27 DECEMBER 2023


One of special days (a Feast day) which the Order observes is that of Saint John, the Apostle and Evangelist, Deacon and First Martyr:

St John the Evangelist


In the first extract from the Holy Bible below we read St John's own account of his encounter with Jesus.  The second piece is from St John's Gospel.  St John is sometimes depicted as an eagle and similarly used in church lecterns to hold the Bible - carrying the Word of God across the world.

The Epistle

1 St. John 1.1-end

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled of the word of life; (for the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, That God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all un-righteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.


St John the Evangelist - lectern


The Gospel

St. John 21.19-end

Jesus said unto Peter, Follow me. Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee? Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do? Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? Follow thou me. Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, That that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things, and we know that his testimony is true. And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which if they should be written every one, I suppose, that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written.

St John the Evangelist


A Prayer

Merciful Lord, we beseech thee to cast thy bright beams of light upon thy Church,
that it being enlightened by the doctrine of thy blessed Apostle and Evangelist Saint John
may so walk in the light of thy truth,
that it may at length attain to the light of everlasting life;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.



KT - Cross


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SAINT STEPHEN'S DAY

26 DECEMBER 2023

Stephen's death (by stoning!) is recorded in the Bible as the first Christian to die for his faith in the risen Lord Jesus Christ.  Stephen is the first Christian Martyr.

Here is that account as recorded in The New Testament:

Stephen, full of grace and power, did great wonders and signs among the people.  Then some of those who belonged to the synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called), Cyrenians, Alexandrians, and others of those from Cilicia and Asia, stood up and argued with Stephen.  But they could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he spoke.  Then they secretly instigated some men to say, "We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and God."  They stirred up the people as well as the elders and the scribes; then they suddenly confronted him, seized him, and brought him before the council.  They set up false witnesses who said, "This man never stops saying things against this holy place and the law; for we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and will change the customs that Moses handed on to us."  And all who sat in the council looked intently at him, and they saw that his face was like the face of an angel.

Then the high priest asked him, "Are these things so?"

And Stephen replied: "Brothers and fathers, listen to me.  You are forever opposing the Holy Spirit, just as your ancestors used to do.  Which of the prophets did your ancestors not persecute?  They killed those who foretold the coming of the Righteous One, and now you have become his betrayers and murderers.  You are the ones that received the law as ordained by angels, and yet you have not kept it."

When they heard these things, they became enraged and ground their teeth at Stephen.  But filled with the Holy Spirit, he gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.  "Look," he said, "I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!"  But they covered their ears, and with a loud shout all rushed together against him.  Then they dragged him out of the city and began to stone him; and the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul.  While they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit."  Then he knelt down and cried out in a loud voice, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them."  When he had said this, he died.
                                                                                                   (Acts 6: 8-7:2a,51c-60)


There are echoes of this action from the Old Testament in Psalm 31:

1 In you, O LORD, have I taken refuge; let me never be put to shame; deliver me in your righteousness.

2 Incline your ear to me; make haste to deliver me.

3 Be my strong rock, a castle to keep me safe, for you are my crag and my stronghold; for the sake of your Name, lead me and guide me.

4 Take me out of the net that they have secretly set for me, for you are my tower of strength.

5 Into your hands I commend my spirit, for you have redeemed me, O LORD, O God of truth.

6 I hate those who cling to worthless idols, and I put my trust in the LORD.

7 I will rejoice and be glad because of your mercy; for you have seen my affliction; you know my distress.

8 You have not shut me up in the power of the enemy; you have set my feet in an open place.

9 Have mercy on me, O LORD, for I am in trouble; my eye is consumed with sorrow, and also my throat and my belly.

10 For my life is wasted with grief, and my years with sighing; my strength fails me because of affliction, and my bones are consumed.

11 I have become a reproach to all my enemies and even to my neighbours, a dismay to those of my acquaintance; when they see me in the street they avoid me.

12 I am forgotten like a dead man, out of mind; I am as useless as a broken pot.

13 For I have heard the whispering of the crowd; fear is all around; they put their heads together against me; they plot to take my life.

14 But as for me, I have trusted in you, O LORD.  I have said, "You are my God.

15 My times are in your hand; rescue me from the hand of my enemies, and from those who persecute me.

16 Make your face to shine upon your servant, and in your loving-kindness save me."

17 LORD, let me not be ashamed for having called upon you; rather, let the wicked be put to shame; let them be silent in the grave.

18 Let the lying lips be silenced which speak against the righteous, haughtily, disdainfully, and with contempt.

19 How great is your goodness, O LORD! which you have laid up for those who fear you; which you have done in the sight of all for those who put their trust in you.

20 You hide them in the covert of your presence from those who slander them; you keep them in your shelter from the strife of tongues.

21 Blessed be the LORD! for he has shown me the wonders of his love in a besieged city.

22 Yet I said in my alarm, "I have been cut off from the sight of your eyes."  Nevertheless, you heard the sound of my entreaty when I cried out to you.

23 Love the LORD, all you who worship him; the LORD protects the faithful, but repays to the full those who act haughtily.

24 Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the LORD.


___________________________________________



CHRISTMAS DAY


Nadolig Llawen
(Happy Christmas)

***   ***   ***

To everyone who reads this page we send our very

Best Wishes for

a Holy and Joyful Christmas

and

a Peaceful New Year

***   ***   ***


KT - Cross

_______________________________________


His Majesty King Charles III

Charles III - Christmas 2023



The Christmas Message given by His Majesty King Charles III

Broadcast from Buckingham Palace at 15.00 (GMT) on 25 December 2023


"Many of the festivals of the great religions of the world are celebrated with a special meal.


"A chance for family and friends to come together across generations; the act of sharing food adding to conviviality and togetherness.

 

"For some, faith will be uppermost in their hearts.

 

"For others, it will be the joy of fellowship and the giving of presents.  It is also a time when we remember those who are no longer with us and think also of those whose work of caring for others continues, even on this special day.

 

"This care and compassion we show to others is one of the themes of the Christmas story, especially when Mary and Joseph were offered shelter in their hour of need by strangers, as they waited for Jesus to be born.

 

"Over this past year my heart has been warmed by countless examples of the imaginative ways in which people are caring for one another - going the extra mile to help those around them simply because they know it is the right thing to do: at work and at home; within and across communities.

 

"My wife and I were delighted when hundreds of representatives of that selfless army of people - volunteers who serve their communities in so many ways and with such distinction - were able to join us in Westminster Abbey for the coronation earlier this year.

 

"They are an essential backbone of our society.  Their presence meant so much to us both and emphasised the meaning of coronation itself: above all, a call to us all to serve one another; to love and care for all.

 

"Service also lies at the heart of the Christmas story - the birth of Jesus who came to serve the whole world, showing us by his own example how to love our neighbour as ourselves.

 

"Throughout the year, my family have witnessed how people of all ages are making a difference to their communities.  This is all the more important at a time of real hardship for many, when we need to build on existing ways to support others less fortunate than ourselves.

 

"Because out of God's providence we are blessed with much, and it is incumbent on us to use this wisely.

 

"However, service to others is but one way of honouring the whole of creation which, after all, is a manifestation of the divine.  This is a belief shared by all religions.

 

"To care for this creation is a responsibility owned by people of all faiths and of none.  We care for the Earth for the sake of our children's children.

 

"During my lifetime I have been so pleased to see a growing awareness of how we must protect the Earth and our natural world as the one home which we all share.

 

"I find great inspiration now from the way so many people recognise this - as does the Christmas story, which tells us that angels brought the message of hope first to shepherds.  These were people who lived simply amongst others of God's creatures.  Those close to nature were privileged that night.

 

"And at a time of increasingly tragic conflict around the World, I pray that we can also do all in our power to protect each other.


"The words of Jesus seem more than ever relevant:


'Do to others as you would have them do to you.'


Such values are universal, drawing together our Abrahamic family of religions, and other belief systems, across the Commonwealth and wider world.  They remind us to imagine ourselves in the shoes of our neighbours, and seek their good as we would our own.


"Soon this Christmas Day, my heart and my thanks go to all who are serving one another; all who are caring for our common home; and all who see and seek the good of others, not least the friend we do not yet know.  In this way, we bring out the best in ourselves.


"I wish you all a Christmas of 'peace on Earth and good will to all', today and always."

@



__________________


Christmas is all about the birth of Jesus.

The Bible placed on record the facts about Jesus.  In the passage below one of Jesus's main followers (St John) set out some of the initial information.  He referred to Jesus as 'the Word' and the man 'John' about whom he wrote is better know as John the Baptist, whose life story is also recorded in the Bible.  The account here is taken from St John's Gospel, Chapter 1, verses 1-14.  This is taken from the the Authorised or King James' Version of the Bible: 

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. 8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. 9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. 11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

 

Christmas - Holly  berries

 

A popular Christmas Carol, usually sung to a tune by Gustav Holst, is that written by Christina Rossetti in about 1872, entitled "In the bleak mid-winter" :
 

In the bleak mid-winter
Frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
Snow on snow,
In the bleak mid-winter
Long ago.

Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him
Nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away
When He comes to reign:
In the bleak mid-winter
A stable-place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty,
Jesus Christ..

Angels and archangels
May have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim
Thronged the air,
But only His mother
In her maiden bliss,
Worshipped the Beloved
With a kiss.

What can I give Him,
Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd
I would bring a lamb,
If I were a wise man
I would do my part,
Yet what I can I give Him,
Give my heart.



We light the 5th and final candle for the Advent season for the arrival of Jesus:


Five Advent Candles


__________________________



Advent Candles

24 DECEMBER 2023

THE FOURTH SUNDAY IN ADVENT

Our theme for this last Sunday in Advent is PEACE.

Here is a contribution by the Grand Prior's Chaplain, The Reverend Lady Sherwood DOTJ :

The angels proclaimed “Peace on Earth” when the Baby Jesus was born.  Today we wonder, as we listen or watch news programmes, is peace possible?

We all need two kinds of peace in our lives.  We need inner peace, but we also need peace with others.  God addresses both of these.  He tells us what to do to find such peace.

INNER PEACE:

Inner peace begins with a relationship with God, and it continues as we focus on His strength and trust Him to fill us.  We can exchange our weakness for His strength - in any area of life. As you can read what is written in the Bible about God: “You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is focused on You, because he trusts in You” (Isaiah 26:3).

If inner peace is eluding you these days and anxiety is spilling over in your life, choose to trust God.  You can choose to put your hand in His and draw from His patience and wisdom as you take each step.  He will guide you through the maze of life if you ask Him.  Choosing to trust God with those blind corners in your life will take you down the road to inner peace. Choosing not to trust Him will take you down the road to stress and worry.  Inner peace is there for the choosing.

PEACE WITH OTHERS:

“Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called the children of God” (Matthew 5:9).

Peace with others begins as we understand that God has called us to be peacemakers in our world.

Is there somewhere in your own world where you can be a peacemaker this Christmas?
Is there an invitation that needs to be extended to smooth over a fractured family relationship? Is there an apology to be made or a silence to be broken that has been a barrier for too long?

Don’t miss the blessings God promises in your life as you respond to His call to be a peacemaker in your own circle.

We can help to bring peace to our world - one heart at a time.


Advent Candle 4
Our fourth Advent candle is lit 


And now a prayer in English and Welsh:

Heavenly Father,

                      We ask that you keep our families safe while they travel for the Advent season so that we                             can celebrate the coming of baby Jesus.

Heavenly Father,

                      Please grant us all the wisdom in our leadership roles to do what is best for Your Kingdom                             and what Your will is for our people.

                      Amen.

Nefol Dad,

                      Gofynwn i ti gadw ein teuluoedd yn ddiogel, wrth iddynt deithio yng nghyfnod yr Adfent, fel                           medrwn ddathlu genedigaeth y baban Iesu.

Nefol Dad,

                      Dyro i ni ddoethineb yn ein arwainyddiaeth, fel y gwyddom beth sydd orau i adeiladu dy                               deyrnas, yn unol a'th ewyllys di ar gyfer dy bobl.

                      Amen.

                                                          ______________


Barnsley Museums has 'rediscovered' a carol for Christmas Eve written by a local man and it is getting a wide airing everywhere today and it's well worth while hearing and reading it.   Below are the words and a link if you want to hear it.

                                     Christmas Eve
                                     
           (Arthur Godfrey)

 

                    The chime of bells inspires the midnight breeze,

                    And greets with fond caress the whispering trees;

                    The moon-white hills around, in snow-shine splendour crowned,

                    With pealing joys resound of Christmas Bells

 

                    Glad tidings of the Saviour bring;

                    Peace reigneth as ye gaily ring;

                    Ring on, ring on, ring on while the

                    merry breezes sing of Christmas Bells

 

                    From out the ageless Deep, where sleepeth Time,

                    Steal silvery dreamings of the deathless chime,

                    Heard long ago by men, whose wandering souls were then

                    Refreshed once more again by Christmas Bells

 

                    The child who to the earth the Father gave,

                    From maze of Darkness human souls to save,

                    Speak to mankind this hour, from every belfry tower

                    His voice the vibrant power of Christmas Bells

 

                    The echoes softly die within the night

                    But brighter shine the rays of Christmas Light

                    For lands and rolling seas, all nationalities

                    Sing to your harmonies Sweet Christmas Bells

 

                    Glad tidings of the Saviour bring;

                    Peace reigneth as ye gaily ring;

                    Ring on, ring on, ring on while the

                    merry breezes sing of Christmas Bells 


                            Original words and music by Arthur Godfrey.

                            First published in the Barnsley Chronicle December 1933.

                            Edited version by Barnsley Museums December 2023.


To hear this carol sung, go to:   https://youtu.be/orlqLBPFnxk


Barnsley Christmas Carol 1933


___________________________________________

22 DECEMBER 2023

Winter Solstice

Today is the shortest day of the year with 7 hours, 49 minutes and 42 seconds of daylight.  Overnight (21st-22nd) the sky was lit:

 Moon  planet - 21-22 December 2023
Jupiter [top left] and the Moon[central]

In particular, the moon was thus:

Moon - 21-22 December 2023

[Photographs by the Grand Prior in his garden with a hand-held telephone]


___________________________________________


Advent Candles

17 DECEMBER 2023

THE THIRD SUNDAY IN ADVENT

Our theme for this Sunday in Advent is JOY.  In the last few days there's been a lot of publicity about a discovery at Barnsley Museums of a 'hidden gem' - a traditional Christmas Carol -
written 100 years ago.

The last line of the first verse echoes our theme: "With pealing joys resound of Christmas Bells":



                            Christmas Eve

The chime of bells inspires the midnight breeze,

And greets with fond caress the whispering trees;

The moon-white hills around, in snow-shine splendour crowned,

With pealing joys resound of Christmas Bells

 

Glad tidings of the Saviour bring;

Peace reigneth as ye gaily ring;

Ring on, ring on, ring on while the

merry breezes sing of Christmas Bells

 

From out the ageless Deep, where sleepeth Time,

Steal silvery dreamings of the deathless chime,

Heard long ago by men, whose wandering souls were then

Refreshed once more again by Christmas Bells

 

The child who to the earth the Father gave,

From maze of Darkness human souls to save,

Speak to mankind this hour, from every belfry tower

His voice the vibrant power of Christmas Bells

 

The echoes softly die within the night

But brighter shine the rays of Christmas Light

For lands and rolling seas, all nationalities

Sing to your harmonies Sweet Christmas Bells

 

 

Original words and music by Arthur Godfrey.

First published in the Barnsley Chronicle December 1933.

Edited version by Barnsley Museums December 2023.

 

To read more about the history of the Carol visit: https://barnsleymuseums.art.blog/2023/12/12/a-barnsley-christmas-eve-carol-1933/ 


To hear the carol sung, go to:   https://youtu.be/orlqLBPFnxk


Barnsley Christmas Carol 1933


We light the candle for this Third Sunday in Advent:

Advent Candle 3

___________________________________________


14-15 DECEMBER 2023

Christmas Lights

The Geminid Meteor Shower

"The Heavens declare the Glory of God; 
the skies proclaim the works of his hands."
(Psalm 19: 1)

Geminid Meteors

To night (14 December) or tomorrow night (15 December) present two ideal opportunities to see one of the very best meteor showers visible in the night sky.  The best time is about 19.30.  Usually one can see 100 to 120 meteors every hour.  They are also coloured, as the material (sand and small stones) are the remnants of the trail of a rocky asteroid through which the orbit of the earth passes each year.  The colours - red, green, yellow etc - originate from the metallic elements which made up the asteroid.  They appear to radiate from the constellation known as Gemini which can be seen to the left of the larger and brighter constellation of Orion (the hunter) - with its 3 stars making his 'belt' and 3 more making his 'sword' :

Gemini  Orion constellations  

The darker the sky the more easily the display will be seen and this year is especially advantageous as there is a slim-looking new moon which should not interfere with a good view.  

______________________

12-13 DECEMBER 2013

SNOW AT CHRISTMAS ?

Have you ever wondered whether it actually ever snows at Christmas-time in the Holy Land?


You may remember the Christmas carol usually sung to a tune by Gustav Holst with the words written by Christina Rossetti in about 1872, entitled: "In the bleak mid-winter" :

In the bleak mid-winter
Frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
Snow on snow,
In the bleak mid-winter
Long ago.

Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him
Nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away
When He comes to reign:
In the bleak mid-winter
A stable-place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty,
Jesus Christ..

Angels and archangels
May have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim
Thronged the air,
But only His mother
In her maiden bliss,
Worshipped the Beloved
With a kiss.

What can I give Him,
Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd
I would bring a lamb,
If I were a wise man
I would do my part,
Yet what I can I give Him,
Give my heart.


So the question is whether Rossetti was writing with "poetic licence" or did she know that it did occasionally snow at Christmas-time in the Holy Land?

The answer is a definite 'Yes'.  It certainly does snow there and the following photographs taken on 12 and 13 December 2013 show it snowing in Bethlehem and Jerusalem:

Snow in Jerusalem

Jerusalem - Christmas 2013

Snow at the Dome of the Rock

A Palestinian youth throws a snowball in front of the Dome of the Rock
at the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in the old city of Jerusalem
on 12 December 2013
as a winter weather front hit the region,
bringing early snow and a steep drop in temperatures.


The first Knights Templar believed that the Dome of the Rock was the original Temple of Solomon.  Consequently, when they made the site their headquarters, they came to be known as the Knights of the Temple - in short the Knights Templar - hence our name today.

Snow in Jerusalem

Jerusalem - 12 December 2013

Snow in Jerusalem

Jerusalem - 13 December 2013

Snow in Jerusalem

Jerusalem - 13 December 2013

Bethlehem - 12 December 2013

Snowing at Christmas in Bethlehem

Manger Square and the Church of the Nativity
12 December 2013

___________________________________________


Advent Candles

10 DECEMBER 2023

THE SECOND SUNDAY IN ADVENT

Here are some thoughts by the The Reverend Elizabeth Kerl DCOT
Senior (Anglican) Chaplain in the Grand Priory of All Britain

For the second week of Advent, it is my pleasure to talk about Love.  Love is the greatest gift of God.

‘God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.’ (John 3.16)  A fact, of course, that we celebrate at Christmas.

Love is also the fulfilment of the Commandments.  Jesus said, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind’  This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’. (Matthew 22.37-40) So love - being loving - is both our duty and our joy.  It is possible to love because God first loved us. (1 John 4.19)

It is possible, however, to feel that this is difficult for us to do.  Perhaps we have been hurt in love.  Perhaps we have loved and not been loved in return.  Perhaps we have difficulty expressing our love.  Do not be afraid if this is where you feel yourself to be at the moment. God leaves no-one behind.

After the resurrection, there is a beautiful account of Jesus meeting the disciples on the seashore. (see John chapter 21)  Jesus speaks with Peter and three times.  He asks Peter ‘Do you love me?’  And three times Peter says, ‘Lord you know that I love you.’  At first glance, this seems a bit cruel of Jesus to ask three times.  But you will remember that Peter had denied even knowing Jesus three times just a few days before this meeting and had wept bitterly about it.  Jesus was giving Peter the chance to ‘cancel out’ his earlier action and affirm his love for the Lord.

But there’s more.  And here is one of the few occasions when the English language is inadequate, so allow me to take you one step deeper.

There are three key words in Greek for ‘Love’:

   EROS (έρως) which means familiar love such as one has for family;
   PHILIO (φιλιώ) which means friendship, respect, brotherly love; and
   AGAPE (αγάπη) which is selfless, unconditional, Godly love.

Now when Jesus asks Peter if he loves Him.  The first TWO times, Jesus asks, ‘Peter do you agape me?’  Meaning, Peter do you love me unconditionally and selflessly in a complete and Godly way?  And Peter answers, ‘Lord you know that I PHILIO you.’  That is – I love you like a brother with great respect.’  But the third time, when Peter gets a bit uncomfortable, Jesus actually asks, ‘Peter do you philio me’ and Peter answers, ‘Lord you KNOW that I PHILIO you – because I’ve just said that 3 times.’

This is so powerful, because Jesus is asking Peter - Peter who denied him - to step forward and declare unconditional love.  Peter can’t in that moment because he is all too aware that, when the crunch came, he had succumbed to fear.  When Jesus finally asks, ‘Peter, do you love me as a brother with great respect?’  Jesus is MEETING PETER WHERE HE IS.  He is saying to Peter, ‘I know you cannot declare unconditional love right now, but if you love me as a brother, then that’s okay.  I can still use you for the Kingdom.’

And look at what that love brought Peter: First, it brought Peter a task – a purpose for his next steps – ‘If you love me, Jesus said, ‘then give your life to shepherd the sheep and the lambs of my flock.’  And we know as we read the Acts of the Apostles and Peter’s own letters, that he went on and did just that.  Still to this day, we continue to prove our love for Jesus by loving others.

Love is the greatest privilege in the world, but it also brings great responsibility.

As Peter served the Lord, we know that his love and closeness to the Lord grew.  And here is the power of God at work in our hearts: Jesus told Peter on the beach, that day, when you are young, you can choose where you will go, but the day will come when they will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go.’   The day did come when Peter was in Rome, that people came and they bound him and took him where he did not want to go.  And the only thing Peter had to do was deny the Lord.  They said 'Just deny him – and you can live!'

But Peter had been there before.  He had denied Jesus before.  He had wept bitterly before.  He had carefully PHILIO’d the Lord before.

And he had stepped forward in the Lord’s name, and healed in His name, and taught in His name, and established churches in His name – and Peter had grown and prayed and learned and praised and loved.  When it came to save his life or deny the Lord, Peter said: ‘I will not deny that Jesus Christ is my Lord and my God because I AGAPE him.’  And so Peter was crucified. Upside down, at his own request, as he felt unworthy to die as his Lord died.

Everything about today is about love.

God’s love for us and our growing love for Him.

Do not be afraid if you (only) PHILIO the Lord right now.  Declare your Philio and allow the Lord to work with what you have; where you are at this moment.  From that place of willingness, God is able to do great things.  And in the meantime?  Carry on with what God has called us all to do: Love Him and love our neighbour.

This week, embrace YOUR purpose, meet God where YOU are, as you are able and, with His help, go and be Christ’s light in the world around you.

Amen.

 

Let us pray:

Lord God, we thank you so much for sending your Son to share our life.  We thank you that You love us so much, You meet us exactly where we are in this moment and help us move forward. As we think about love this week, we ask Your blessing to accept the love that You freely offer to us, to be filled with Your love and, in turn, when we are able, to share that love with others.  In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen.


We light the candle for this Second Sunday in Advent:

Advent Candle 2

______________________


3 DECEMBER 2023

Advent Sunday

Advent Candles

 Welcome to Advent, the general theme is one of light in the darkness.  In many churches a series of five candles are lit - one extra each Sunday starting (today) on Advent Sunday.

We start with a hymn by Charles Wesley which looks ahead to the Second Coming of Jesus ...

Lo! He comes with clouds descending,
once for ev'ry sinner slain;
thousand, thousand saints attending
swell the triumph of his train:
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!
Christ reveals his endless reign.

 Ev'ry eye shall now behold him
robed in glorious majesty;
those who set at naught and sold him,
pierced and nailed him to the tree,
deeply wailing, deeply wailing, deeply wailing,
shall their true Messiah see.

Those dear tokens of his passion
still his dazzling body bears,
cause of endless exultation
to his ransomed worshipers.
With what rapture, with what rapture, with what rapture,
gaze we on those glorious scar!

Yea, amen, let all adore thee
high on thine eternal throne;
Saviour, take the pow'r and glory,
claim the kingdom as thine own.
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!
Thou shalt reign, and thou alone.


Light in the darkness 1


Christmas - 2017
Illuminated Letter 'A' - Venturino Mercati (c. 1450-1500)

An introduction by the Grand Prior:

Remembering that ‘Advent’, as a ‘season’ within the Church’s calendar, is a relatively recent innovation and not, strictly, ‘scriptural’, we should not limit our Templar contribution either to current woes of increased rent/mortgages or international wars and so on OR entirely relate these 4 weeks to a pre-Christmas bonanza overview, but rather look ahead to the Second Coming and the Promise made by Jesus that he would return and that we need to be ready at any moment and not be caught out unprepared or even caught up doing wrong and sinning but instead be expectant, anticipating, excited, and knowing that our filthy rags of this world will be changed to pure vestments fit to appear before the King of Glory – not a mere doll in a manger, annually revived at a school nativity play, but the Living God who is our crucified and risen Friend and Saviour, Jesus Christ.  “Lo. He comes, with clouds, descending”.  Amen.


And so we can light a candle for this First Sunday in Advent:

 

Advent Candle 1

 A prayer:

Creator God, you saw a world in darkness.  And when you saw your people losing hope, you kindled a flame within them and sent hope to the world that was not an empty hope but a hope that has moved through your people and that has touched the hearts of many  the hope that we can bring and live out, that we can inspire others and bring your kingdom closer.  Amen.

______________________


FRIDAY 1 DECEMBER 2023

The Church-in-the-Park : Abington, Northampton

Church-in-the-Park - 1 December 2023

Church-in-the-Park - 1 Dec 2023 - Horse Chestnut leaf 1 Church-in-the-Park - 1 Dec 2023 - Leaves.jpg Church-in-the-Park - 1 Dec 2023 - Horse Chestnut leaf 2.jpg

Lest We Forget

Church-in-the-Park - 1 Dec 2023 - Brasher

Church-in-the-Park - 1 Dec 2023 - Cook Church-in-the-Park - 1 Dec 2023 - Jones Church-in-the-Park - 1 Dec 2023 - Taylor

Church-in-the-Park - 1 Dec 2023 - Poppies - 4 Church-in-the-Park - 1 Dec 2023 - Poppy group Church-in-the-Park - 1 Dec 2023 - Poppies - 5

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SUNDAY 26 NOVEMBER 2023

Christmas Pudding Sunday?

At this time of the year some people ask why it is that this particular Sunday is occasionally referred to as "Christmas Pudding Sunday".  The very simple answer is that in those churches which still use the 1662 Book of Common Prayer the 'Collect' [the introductory prayer to the Sunday Service] for the day was this:

Book of Common Prayer - Stir up Sunday

Taken from a 1701 Book of Common Prayer printed by the Oxford University Press: 

Book of Common Prayer - Printer

The words "Stir up O Lord ... " inspired mothers and others to invite members of their family to join in making the annual Christmas Pudding by stirring the pudding mixture - usually in a large bowl on the kitchen table.  Children were often invited to make a 'wish' - possibly related to what Christmas present they would like 'Santa Claus' to bring them for Christmas.

Hence an alternative name was to call the day "Stir up Sunday".

Meanwhile it is perhaps interesting to note that no matter how many Sundays had passed since the earlier Trinity Sunday (always more than 20), the Sunday before Advent Sunday, which could have been the 25th Sunday after Trinity, was always designated the Sunday in which this prayer was used.  It's as if no one wanted to miss out on the opportunity to make a Christmas wish!

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SATURDAY 25 NOVEMBER 2022

91st Anniversary of the death of John Fielding Williams VC

Wales - 2022 - Headstones - Williams VC

During a visit to the Regimental Museum of the Royal Welsh in March last year a group of us we were able view the original headstone from the grave of John Fielding Williams VC (on the left here) and therefore compare it (on the right here) with the present headstone in the churchyard of
St Michael & All Angels in Llantarnam.

Each year we hold a memorial service in the churchyard against this headstone.  if anyone would like to know when this will be in 2024, please complete the "CONTACT US" form. 

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THURSDAY 23 NOVEMBER 2023

MORNING GLORY?

Red sky in the morning           Red sky in the morning
"Red sky in the morning : Shepherd's warning!"

[Photographed from the Grand Prior's garden]

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TUESDAY 14 NOVEMBER 2023

The Grand Prior undertook a pilgrimage to Tewkesbury Abbey and Pershore

(More details to come)

OTJ -Tewkesbury Abbey - 14 November 2023

Tewkesbury Abbey

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ALSO BIRTHDAY GREETINGS

    King Charles - 14 November 2022  Grand Master - Happy Birthday - 14 November 2022 - 2
                     King Charles III                                   General Mangum

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SUNDAY 12 NOVEMBER 2023

REMEMBRANCE DAY

Remembrance Sunday 2023 -11.00



Remembrance - The souls of the righteous


AT THE CENOTAPH IN CENTRAL LONDON


Remembrance Sunday 2022 - 11.00am
11.00am : Big Ben tolls and the UK falls silent

 

Remembrance Sunday - The Kings Salute - 2023.King Charles III


Remembrance Sunday - The Kings Wreath - 2023.
The King's wreath

Remembrance Sunday - The Glorious Dead
The words on the Cenotaph


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10 NOVEMBER 2023

ELEVENTH ANNIVERSARY OF THE RE-FOUNDATION
OF A PRIORY IN WALES

At an international Convocation which was held at St Andrews in Scotland Chevalier Brian Ansen was appointed to be the Prior of the Supreme Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem (OSMTH), Priory of Wales.

Subsequently, in September 2013, at an international Convention held in Edinburgh, and for the avoidance of doubt, the then Chaplain-General of the OSMTH Grand Priory of England (Dr Graham) was successfully able to establish that, as the Statutes did not permit the existence of a priory which extended over more than one nation, then the priory known as "The Priory of England and Wales" was unconstitutional.  This was agreed by all present (and confirmed by the Grand Master) and the "Priory of Wales" was re-established (after a potential interlude of some 700 years).  Dr Graham agreed to become the first Chaplain-General of the OSMTH Priory of Wales.

That Priory became the Grand Priory of Wales and following the death of Grand Prior Brian in August 2018, Graham was elected Grand Prior in April 2019.  Unfortunately, OSMTH Grand Master Fontes had died in May 2018 and there appeared to be some dispute as to the result of the ‘election’ of a new OSMTH Grand Master, so we realigned ourselves in 2020 to the much longer established Sovereign and Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem [OSMTJ] under their Grand Master, General Ronald Mangum (US Army retired).

More recently, in 2023, the Order was re-registered in Belgium using its 1932 registration as the Order of the Temple of Jerusalem [OTJ] whilst retaining its earlier OSMTJ usage.   For our part, both in the Grand Priory of Wales and the over-arching Grand Priory of All Britain, we shall mainly use the new title of the Order of the Temple of Jerusalem [OTJ].  This will help to distinguish us from those 'other' groups who claim to be OSMTJ or similar.

Should anyone require further information about this matters they should complete the 'Contact Us' form on this website 


KT - Cross


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REMEMBRANCE-TIDE

Lest We Forget

Poppy

A Prayer for the Fallen

Remember, O Lord

     all those who have died the death of honour and

     are departed in the hope of resurrection to Eternal Life,

     especially the Officers, Men and Women

     of our Sea, Land and, Air Forces,

     to whom it was given to lay down their lives

     for the cause of Freedom and Justice.

In your heavenly place of Light,

     where pain, sorrow, tears and mourning are no more,

     give them rest, O Lord, the Lover of all people.

Grant this for Jesus Christ’s sake.

Amen.

Poppy Pin - We Will Remember     Poppy Pin - All Gave Some

In Flanders fields - poem
                                                    

KT - Cross


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Thursday 9 November 2023

Queen Camilla at Westminster Abbey

Queen Camila at Westminster Abbey  Queen Camila at Westminster Abbey

Queen Camila at Westminster Abbey

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Tuesday 7 November 2023

The State Opening of Parliament
by
His Majesty King Charles III

King Charles - Speech - 7 November 2023


His Majesty was accompanied by Queen Camilla

King Charles  Queen Camilla - 7 November 2023


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All Souls' Tide : Thursday 2 November 2023

   Crowned Cross

Non Nobis, Domine, Non Nobis,
Sed Nomini Tuo Da Gloriam

 

 At this All Souls' Tide we remember past Knights Templar
and particularly those who have kept the Christian Faith
in their lives, actions, homes, hearts and minds.

Especially we give thanks to God for those who have died for the Faith.

Therefore we recall those Knights Templar who have suffered martyrdom,
including Jacques de Molay (the last medieval Grand Master) and
Geoffroi de Charnay (the Master of Normandy)
who were cruellly burnt at the stake in Paris in March1314
on the false orders of the King of France, Philip IV (known as Philip the Fair)


Arms - Jacques de Molay
Jacques de Molay - Coat of Arms
 
 
Jacques de Molay - Execution
Depiction of the Martyrdom of
Jacques de Molay, Grand Master and
Geoffroi de Charney, Master of Normandy




Nearer to home we remember our Patron Saint, St Thomas Cantilupe (1218-1282),
also known as St Thomas of Hereford.
He was a Provincial Grand Master of the Order
and Bishop of Hereford (including parishes in Wales):



  St Thomas Cantilupe - window    St Thomas Cantelupe - Hereford    St Thomas Cantilupe - Hambleden


Locally we recall our brother Knights Templar
who have passed from our sight in recent times:

Chevalier David Bergstrom (1946-2016)
Chevalier Jonathan Griffiths (1955-2017)
Chevalier Brian W Ansen (1941-2018)
Chevalier H John Sommerin (1946-2020)  
Chevalier Richard Lewis (died 16 April 2021)
Chevalier John Robert Victor Iles (1942-2021)


KT - Cross


In memoria aeterna erit iustus.
Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine,
et lux perpetua luceat eis.

The just shall be in everlasting remembrance.
Grant them eternal rest, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them.

 

KT - Cross


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Wednesday 1 November 2023


All Saints Day - 1

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened
in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you -
the riches of his glorious inheritance in his saints

[Ephesians 1: 18]



The well-known hymn "For all the saints" is a favourite with Templars.
It expresses our hope and trust in the future and
calls upon us to follow the example of our forebears:


1 For all the saints who from their labours rest,
who thee by faith before the world confessed,
thy name, O Jesus, be forever blest.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

2 Thou wast their rock, their fortress, and their might;
thou, Lord, their captain in the well-fought fight;
thou, in the darkness drear, their one true light.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

3 O may thy soldiers, faithful, true, and bold,
fight as the saints who nobly fought of old,
and win with them the victor's crown of gold.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

4 O blest communion, fellowship divine,
we feebly struggle, they in glory shine;
yet all are one in thee, for all are thine.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

5 And when the fight is fierce, the warfare long,
steals on the ear the distant triumph song,
and hearts are brave again, and arms are strong.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

6 The golden evening brightens in the west;
soon, soon to faithful warrior cometh rest;
sweet is the calm of paradise the blest.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

7 But lo! there breaks a yet more glorious day;
the saints triumphant rise in bright array;
the King of glory passes on his way.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

8 From earth's wide bounds, from ocean's farthest coast,
through gates of pearl streams in the countless host,
singing to Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

Words: William Walsham How (1864)
Tune (Sine Nomine): Ralph Vaughan Williams (1906)

 


All Saints Day - 3



KT - Cross


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Tuesday 31 October 2023

His Majesty King Charles III & Queen Camilla paying a State Visit to Kenya

Kenya 1 - Royal Salute  Kenya 2 - Inspecting the parade


Kenya 3 - March Past


Kenya 4 - Taking the Salute


Kenya 5 - Officer in Charge   Kenya 6 - Command


Kenya - Charles


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Friday 13 October 2023

Friday 13 October 1307

Friday 13 October 1307 is a day that will live in infamy in the history of the Knights Templar.     

Founded around 1118 as a semi-monastic-style military order devoted to the protection of pilgrims travelling to the Holy Land following the Christian capture of Jerusalem in 1099 during the First Crusade, the Knights Templar quickly became one of the richest and most influential groups of the Middle Ages, thanks to lavish donations from the crowned heads of Europe, eager to curry favour with these fierce Knights.  By the turn of the 14th century, the Templars had established a system of castles, churches and 'banking-like' arrangements throughout Western Europe.  And it was this astonishing wealth that would lead to their downfall.  For the Templars, that end began in the early morning hours of Friday, 13 October 1307.  In the days and weeks that followed that fateful Friday, more than 600 Templars were arrested, including Grand Master Jacques de Molay, and the Order’s Treasurer.  But while some of the highest-ranking members were caught up in the net of the French King Philip IV ("the Fair"), so too were hundreds of non-warriors; middle-aged men who managed the day-to-day banking and farming activities that kept the organization humming.  The men were charged with a wide array of offenses including heresy, devil worship and spitting on the cross, homosexuality,  fraud and financial corruption.  Many were tortured and some died.

Burnt at the Stake

____


KT - Cross


In memoria aeterna erit iustus.
Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine,
et lux perpetua luceat eis.

The just shall be in everlasting remembrance.
Grant them eternal rest, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them,

 

KT - Cross

____

But today the Order lives on throughout the world and we, in the Grand Priory of All Britain, are open tp welcome into membership committed Christian men and and women who are willing to pray and work together for the wholesome good of all peoples, everywhere.

If you are interested do please get in touch via our "Contact Us" form (lower down of the menu).  Please state whereabouts you normally reside.

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"All things bright and beautiful"


Seen in the Grand Prior's garden in September


September - Moth

Moth


September - Cobweb 1    September - Cobweb 2
Spider's Web

September - Cobweb 4   September - Cobweb 3

September - Rhododendron  Spider
Rhododendron and a spider

September - Blackberry flower  September - Blackberries

Blackberry flower and fruit

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Senior (Wales) Staff Meetings : 7-10 September 2023

The Grand Prior of All Britain was in Wales for a few days carrying out a "Visitation" (mainly with Chaplains) to plan some of our activities in the coming twelve months.

The Grand Prior also met some members of our Guild of St Thomas Cantilupe.
He was accompanied by the Warden of the Guild.

During the course of the visit the Grand Prior went to the Parish Church of St Michael & All Angels in Llantarnam and paid his respects at the grave of John Fielding VC - one of the heroes of the Defence of Rorke's Drift in January 1879 during the Zulu War.  He also inspected the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's headstone of local man, Guardsman Penry Morgan, which one of our members has been given permission to care for.

 Headstone- John Fielding VC    Headstone - Penry Morgan   


Fish symbol

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2 September 2023

78th anniversary of the end of World War II

Tokyo Bay - 2 September 1945 - 1

    Tokyo Bay - 2 September 1945 - 2

Japanese officials signing the unconditional Instrument of Surrender
on board the USS Missouri, in Tokyo Bay,
on behalf of Emperor Hirohito
2 September 1945
6 years (less 1 day) since it started.

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SEPTEMBER RE-START

As we start to plan our activities for the coming twelve months we seek the continuing support of the Holy Spirit in everything we do.  Traditionally the Holy Spirit has been visualised both as a wind and also as a butterfly.  Most of the main season for seeing butterflies 'on the wing' is now  Lord our God we pray that you will encourage and support of of the Knights and Dames of your coming to an end but here are two seen in the Grand Prior's garden on 1 September 2023:

       Red Admiral Butterfly   Speckled Wood Butterfly

                     Red Admiral Butterfly                                      Speckled Wood Butterfly

It is also appropriate that we should start our new year with prayer:

               O Lord our God we pray that you will bless and encourage
               all of the Knights and Dames
               of your Order of the Temple of Jerusalem throughout the world
               and especially those members and supporters
               of the Grand Priory of All Britain
               in our endeavours to work together
               and assist us in fulfilling Jesus' recorded prayer:

"I pray not only for them [his disciples] but also for those who believe in me because of their message [us].  I pray that they may all be one, Father.  May they be in us, just as you are in me and I am in you.  May they be one so that the world will believe that you sent me."
                                                                                                          [St John's Gospel: Chapter17, verses 20-21]
               Amen.


May they be one so that the world will believe!


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31 AUGUST 2023

Today is the 26th Anniversary of the tragic death of Princess Diana 

John Bunyan the famous Christian writer died on 31 August 1688

His major work: "The Pilgrim's Progress" is almost as well-known as his most famous hymn: "He who would valiant be".  We should all endeavour to be a Pilgrim and follow the Lord Jesus Christ.

He who would valiant be
'Gainst all disaster,
Let him in constancy
Follow the Master.
There's no discouragement
Shall make him once relent
His first avowed intent
To be a pilgrim.

Who so beset him round
With dismal stories,
Do but themselves confound -
His strength the more is.
No foes shall stay his might,
Though he with giants fight;
He will make good his right
To be a pilgrim.

Since, Lord, Thou dost defend
Us with Thy Spirit,
We know we at the end
Shall life inherit.
Then, fancies, flee away!
I'll fear not what men say,
I'll labour night and day
To be a pilgrim.

                              ____________________________


Sunday 6 August 2023

THE TRANSFIGURATION OF JESUS

The Gospel according to St Luke: Chapter 9, verses 28 - 36
(New International Version)

28 ... Jesus ... took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray. 29 As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning. 30 Two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared in glorious splendor, talking with Jesus. 31 They spoke about his departure, which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem. 32 Peter and his companions were very sleepy, but when they became fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him. 33 As the men were leaving Jesus, Peter said to him, “Master, it is good for us to be here.  Let us put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.”  (He did not know what he was saying.)

34 While he was speaking, a cloud appeared and covered them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. 35 A voice came from the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him.” 36 When the voice had spoken, they found that Jesus was alone. The disciples kept this to themselves and did not tell anyone at that time what they had seen.

Transformation in Nature

Gatekeeper or Hedge Bown Butterfly - (Pyronia tithonus)

Gatekeeper - caterpillar
Gatekeeper - Caterpillar

    Gatekeeper - male  Gatekeeper - female
                 
Gatekeeper - Adult Male                                 Gatekeeper - Adult Female

On 6 August, the Church celebrates the feast of the Transfiguration, the event when Jesus was transfigured, his face shining as the sun and his garments becoming white as the light before the prophets Elijah and Moses appear.

Fr Ralph de Hahn reflects on its significance:

The Transfiguration of the Lord, the feast of which we celebrate on August 6, speaks of intrigue and mystery.

There is so much in sacred Scripture which prefigures this extraordinary event.  It is the inauguration of the Messianic age; the true feast of Tabernacles has arrived.

Luke says that “Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and went up the mountain to pray” (9:28). It is a prayer event with a clear message.  Matthew and Mark also relate the event.

All three evangelists mention this to take place six — or maybe eight — days “after that”.  What is this “after that” to which are they referring?  It would appear they are all recalling the confession of Peter, “You are the Christ, the son of the living God”, at Caesarea Philippi (Mt 16).

There is evidently some strong relationship in these two events: Peter’s acclamation of faith, inspired by the Holy Spirit, is ratified in the Transfiguration.

Again we have the mountain symbolism: God speaks from the heights with authority and power; it speaks of some closeness to God himself, and sometimes from a cloud.  The Scriptures speak often of mountain encounters with God and man.

On the mountains

We have Abraham and Isaac on Mount Moriah, Moses on Mount Sinai and Mount Horeb (and he died on a mountain!), Elijah on Mount Carmel, and so on in the Old Testament.

In the Gospel we have Mounts Tabor and Hermon, the Mount of Olives (with the site of Jesus’ arrest in Gethsemane at the foot of it) and Mount Zion, on which the Lord instituted the Eucharist.  And, of course, there’s Calvary.

There are two interesting mountain events from Exodus which, I feel, may offer a key to interpreting the Transfiguration, which tradition places on Mount Tabor in Galilee.

Moses took Aaron, Nadab and Abihu with him up the mountain, but Moses alone approached Yahweh, and finally sealed the covenant with God’s people as “a cloud covered the mountain and the glory of Yahweh settled on Mount Sinai” (Ex 24:16).

A more dramatic occurrence on Mount Sinai is “when Moses did not know that his skin was radiant, because he had been speaking to Yahweh” and so placed a veil over his face (Ex 34:29).  Moses’ request is fascinating: “Show me your glory, I beg you.”  Yahweh replies: “You cannot see my face and live…my face is not to be seen” (Ex 33:18).

In the Sinai, the light of revelation came from the outside; however in the Mount Tabor revelation, the light of Jesus came from the inside, as related by the three evangelists. “His face shone like the sun and his clothes became as white as the light” (Matthew).  Dazzingly white, whiter than any earthly bleach (Mark).  His face was changed, his clothing became brilliant as lightning (Luke).

The disciples were obviously in shock and fearful.  This particular mountain revelation took place at the end of the feast of Tabernacles.

The truly great events in Jesus’ life were very much connected to the Jewish festival calendar.  This great event took place at the end of the feast of Tabernacles (or of huts, or tents) which prompted Peter, in total confusion, to utter: “Master, let us make three tents, one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.”

A short reflection brings to mind the prologue of John’s Gospel: “…and the Word became flesh and he pitched his tent among us” (1:14).  At once we are linked up to the Incarnation; the babe of Bethlehem is here glorified.

Cloud of God

The vision lasted only a few seconds, but Moses, the great lawgiver, and Elijah, the greatest of the Jewish prophets, accompanied Jesus and were clearly speaking to him.

Again we have the cloud and the voice, “This is my son, my beloved, listen to him”, as occurred at the Jordan at Jesus’ baptism (Mk 1:9; Lk 3:21).

We find the Cloud of God’s presence so often: “Yahweh went before them by day in the form of a pillar of cloud” (Ex 13:21; “In the wilderness, there was the glory of Yahweh appearing in the form of a cloud” (Ex 16:10).  See also Leviticus 16:2, Ezekiel 1:28, 1 Kings 8:12, and Psalm 97:2.

Both Moses and Elijah were privileged to receive God’s revelation, and here on this mountain they are conversing, in person, with the One who is God’s revelation.  But speaking of what?  “They were speaking of his passing which he was to accomplish in Jerusalem” (Lk 9:31).

This spectacular vision is centred on the cross, but with a glittering hope.  This passion will lead to a glorious triumph in Christ.

The three disciples get a short glimpse of his glory: “It is not some cleverly invented myth we speak of…we had seen his majesty for ourselves…he was honoured and glorified by the Father…we heard this, spoken from heaven, when we were with him on the mountain” (2 Peter 1:16-18).

All the previous mountain revelations now reach the peak.  The messianic age has arrived.

We remember that on Sinai the people received God’s teaching word; here Jesus is revealed as the perfect Torah, the very Word of God made flesh.

It is interesting indeed to hear Jesus say: “Truly I say to you, there are some standing here who will not see death until they see the Kingdom of God come with power” (Mk 9:1).  He is not speaking about the end of the world but rather the great happening on Mount Tabor.  He promised that the disciples would personally witness the coming of the Kingdom in Christ, for the true feast of Tabernacles had come.

The three witnesses experience the anticipation of the passion as the way to glory.  However, coming down from the mountain, Jesus commanded them to “tell no one about this vision until the Son of Man has risen from the dead”.

Fr Ralph de Hahn is a priest of the archdiocese of Cape Town.

                                                                                                                 __________________



Transfiguration - Mount - Tabo
The Transfiguration of Jesus as depicted in a mural in the Franciscan church on Mount Tabor in Galilee,
where tradition places the miracle.



                                                When the Lord in Glory comes
                                                                            [Author: Timothy Dudley-Smith (1967)]

When the Lord in glory comes,
not the trumpets, not the drums,
not the anthem, not the psalm,
not the thunder, not the calm,
not the shout the heavens raise,
not the chorus, not the praise,
not the silences sublime,
not the sounds of space and time,
but His voice when He appears
shall be music to my ears;
but His voice when He appears
shall be music to my ears.
When the Lord is seen again,
not the glories of His reign,
not the lightnings through the storm,
not the radiance of His form,
not His pomp and power alone,
not the splendours of His throne,
not His robe and diadems,
not the gold and not the gems,
but His face upon my sight
shall be darkness into light;
but His face upon my sight
shall be darkness into light.
When the Lord to human eyes
shall bestride our narrow skies,
not the child of humble birth,
not the carpenter of earth,
not the man by all denied,
not the victim crucified,
but the God who died to save,
but the victor of the grave,
He it is to whom I fall,
Jesus Christ, my all in all;
He it is to whom I fall,
Jesus Christ, my all in all.

Author: Timothy Dudley-Smith (1967)

                                                ___________________________________________


SATURDAY 22 JULY 2023

All Britain logo - copyright
Arms and Banner of the Grand Priory of All Britain

[Note:
The design or use of this Banner is very strictly Copyright and must not be copied under any and all circumstances without the written permission, obtained in advance, of the Grand Prior (the copyright holder).]

 _____________________________

TUESDAY 4 JULY 2023

MORE CHARITY ASSISTANCE
(see also the page 'Contributing to the Community' below)

The Grand Prior delivered another 'Moses basket' for the "Baby Basics" project, which he had recently acquired from a charity shop (4 July 2023):


  OTJ - Baby basics - Store OTJ - Baby Basics -  at Emmanuel Church


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MONDAY 3 JULY 2023

THE 'BUCK' MOON WILL BE VISIBLE TONIGHT

This is a rather poor quality photograph taken (hand-held) on a mobile phone at 01.52 this morning (3 July 2023):

Buck Moon - July 2023
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SATURDAY 24 JUNE 2023

THE ORDINATION OF ONE OF OUR CHAPLAINS

The Revd Chevalier Darren Lynch has been one of our Chaplains in Wales since 2021 and today he was ordained as a priest in the Church in Wales by The Rt Revd Mary Stallard, Bishop of Llandaff.

Darrens Ordination 10


Darrens Ordination - 1   Darrens Ordination - 2

Darrens Ordination - 6
The Bishop prays and lays hands on Darren - the Ordination.


Darrens Ordination 11

Darrens Ordination 12

Darren's Ordination 14
Darren signs the Register

Darrens Ordination - 3    Darrens Ordination - 4
Darren expresses his joy after his ordination!

 

Darrens Ordination - 5Darren with his family after his ordination.

Darrens Ordination - 9
Ordination group with the Bishop


Darrens Ordination - 7The Rt Revd Mary Stafford (Centre); The Revd Darren Lynch (Right)


Darren's fellow Templar Knights and Dames are delighted to congratulate him on his ordination and look forward to the continuation his Ministry with us.


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FRIDAY 23 JUNE 2023

Supporting Charities

We are keen to support all sorts of charities.  Amongst these are Baby Basics: (Registered Charity Number 1168099)

Baby Basics logo

The introduction on the Baby Basics website (baby-basic.org.uk) reads:

Baby Basics is a volunteer-led project aiming to support new mothers and families who are struggling to meet the financial and practical burden of looking after a new baby.  Baby Basics started in Sheffield in the spring of 2009, this centre continues to support families across Sheffield working with a wide range of frontline health and social care professionals.  There is an ever increasing network of Baby Basics centres across the country each staffed by a committed team of volunteers.

Baby Basics provides much needed essentials and equipment to mothers and families who are unable to provide these items for themselves; including but not limited to teenage mums, people seeking asylum and women fleeing domestic abuse and trafficking.

Working with midwives, health visitors and other professional groups to provide support directly where it is most needed, Baby Basics volunteers lovingly collect, sort and package a ‘Moses Basket’ of clothing, toiletries and essential baby equipment as an attractive gift to new mothers.

The aim is to help these new mothers practically and generously, demonstrating the love of God through our care.  God is at the centre of Baby Basics as we are inspired and motivated by His heart for everyone.  Every day we continue – and every item we send out, is thanks to His kindness, grace and provision.

Our vision is based on Matthew 25:37-40:

Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?  When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?  When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’  The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’


Our Grand Prior and his wife delivered a Moses Basket to a collection centre today:

Moses Basket delivery - 23 June 2023

There are Basic Baby collection centres all over the UK, including Wales in Swansea, Port Talbot, Barry (south of Cardiff) and Mountain Ash (north of Cardiff).

For your nearest Baby Basics please click here.

baby Basics - here to help   Baby Basics - locations map 


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9 JUNE 2023

Investiture at Brecon Cathedral

In addition to the Investitures of new members we were presented with a Processional Cross which had been made for us by our Membership Secretary who is also a master craftsman in both wood and metal.  The cross was inspired by a stained glass window on the south side of the Lady Chapel at Hereford Cathedral which depicts Jesus carrying a green cross:


OTJ - Green Cross window


OTJ - Brecon - Green Cross 2
Membership Secretary and Grand Prior with our new Green Processional Cross


OTJ - Investiture - Brecon - 9 June 2023 - 1

OTJ - Investiture - Brecon - 9 June 2023 - 2

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6 May 2023

THE CORONATION OF HIS MAJESTY

KING CHARLES III



The Archbishop of Canterbury’s Sermon
for The Coronation of King Charles III
6 May 2023

Charles III - being crowned.


Colossians 1:9-17, Luke 4:16-21


Come Holy Spirit, and fill our hearts with the flame of your love. Amen.

We are here to crown a King, and we crown a King to serve.

What is 
given today is for the gain of all. For Jesus Christ announced a Kingdom in which the poor and oppressed are freed from the chains of injustice.  The blind see.  The bruised and broken-hearted are healed.

That Kingdom sets the 
aims of all righteous government, all authority.  And the Kingdom also sets the means of all government and authority.  For Jesus doesn’t grasp power or hold onto status.

The King of Kings, Jesus Christ, was anointed not to be served, but to serve.  He creates the unchangeable law of good authority that with the privilege of power comes the duty to serve.

Service is love in action.  We see active love in our care for the most vulnerable, the way we nurture and encourage the young, in the conservation of the natural world.  We have seen those priorities in the life of duty lived by our King.

Today we have the honour of being in this Abbey with so many who show such love; you work with charities and organisations, you build community, you serve the nation in Armed Forces, in emergency services, and so many other ways.  Next door are 400 or more extraordinary young people in St Margaret’s Church, whose lives speak of service.  Around the world in the Realms and Commonwealth are so many more.  You live your lives for the sake of others.

The unity you show, the example you give, is what binds us together and offers societies that are strong, joyful, happy and glorious.  They bear heavy weights for us.

And the weight of the task given today, Your Majesties, is only bearable by the Spirit of God, who gives us the strength to give our lives to others.  With the anointing of the Holy Spirit, the King is given freely what no ruler can ever attain through will, or politics, or war, or tyranny: the Holy Spirit draws us to love in action.

This is promised by Jesus who put aside all privilege, because, as the first reading tells us, God will give all things for our sake, even His own life.

His throne was a Cross.  His crown was made of thorns.  His regalia were the wounds that pierced his body.

Each of us is called by God to serve.  Whatever that looks like in our own lives, each of us can choose God’s way today.

We can say to the King of Kings, God Himself, as does the King here today, ‘give grace that in thy service I may find perfect freedom’.

In that prayer there is promise beyond measure, joy beyond dreams, hope that endures.  By that prayer, for every King, every ruler, and, yes, for every person, for all of us, we are opened to the transforming love of God.



We, the Knights Templar, of the Grand Priory of All Britain,
the Grand Priory of Wales and the Grand Priory of England,
send our Loyal and Very Best Wishes to His Majesty the King on his Coronation, today.

We pray that God will continue the Bless and Keep him throughout his reign and will encourage and support him
for many years ahead.


GOD SAVE THE KING

____________________________________________________________


Before 6 May 2023

The Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III


Charles III - night rehearsal

A night time rehearsal with the Gold State Coach

Walkabout on the Mall - 5 May 2023

The King on a walk along The Mall (Friday 5May2023)

One of Knights in The Mall

One of our Knights in The (almost empty) Mall


GOD SAVE THE KING

__________________________________________


22 April 2023

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING at HEREFORD CATHEDRAL

For some of our new Knights and Dames we also held a pilgrimage to the
Shrine of St Thomas Cantilupe at the Cathedral.

Hereford Cathedral  AGM - Shrine 1


Minutes of the AGM will be sent to all Knights and Dames in due course.

__________________________________






30 MARCH 2023

Spring Arrives


Brimstone Butterfly.
A Brimstone Butterfly : Two seen in the Grand Prior's garden today.

Weeping Pear - 30 March 2023 - 2 Weeping Pear - 30 March 2023 - 1 Weeping Pear - 30 March 2023 - 3

                      Weeping Pear - 30 March 2023 - 4       Weeping Pear - 30 March 2023 - 5

Weeping Pear - 30 March 2023 - 6

Weeping Pear in the Grand Prior's garden today.


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22 MARCH 2023

New Moon

New Moon 1

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19 MARCH 2023

MOTHERING SUNDAY

Some flowers and shrubs in the Grand Prior's garden today

Mothering Sunday - Daffodils a Mothering Sunday - Daffodils b Mothering Sunday - Daffodils cDaffodils and Honesty

Mothering Sunday - Heather Mothering Sunday - Photinia Mothering Sunday - Flowering Currant
                     Heather                                                         Photinia                                                 Flowering Currant

Mothering Sunday - Forsythia Mothering Sunday - Mahonia Mothering Sunday - Yellow Dead Nettle                   Forsythia                                                       Mahonia                                            Yellow Dead Nettle

_____________________________________________________

17 MARCH 2023

SAINT PATRICK'S DAY

Shamrocks

A prayer of St Patrick

Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,

Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, 

Christ on my right, Christ on my left, 

Christ where I lie, Christ where I sit, Christ where I arise, 

Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me, 

Christ in the mouth of 

every one who speaks to me, 

Christ in every eye that sees me, 

Christ in every ear that hears me. 

Salvation is of the Lord. 

Salvation is of Christ. 

May your salvation, Lord, be ever with us.

Amen.

___________________________

The Princess of Wales, as the new Honorary Colonel of the Irish Guards, presents traditional shamrocks to the officers and men of the Regiment at Aldershot on 17 March 2023.

  Kate 2023  Kate 2

St Patricks Day - Colonel Kate

St Patricks Day - William  Kate 2023

_________________________________________

Amen.

10 MARCH 2023

 

King Charles III appointed his brother, Prince Edward, to be

DUKE OF EDINBURGH

on Edward's 59th Birthday

Edward - Duke of Edinburgh - 10 March 2023

SO WE SAY "CONGRATULATIONS"

____________________________________



24 FEBRUARY 2023

One year on from the Russian invasion of Ukraine

His Majesty King Charles III expresses:

"Personal support for the people of Ukraine"

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says:

"2023 will be the year of our victory"



OUR PRAYERS MUST BE FOR PEACE:

Almighty and ever Loving God
in fellowship with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ
the Prince of Peace
we pray that You will speak to the hearts and minds of
Russian and Ukrainian leaders and people
that as fellow Orthodox Christians
they will unite against the evil forces of devision and domination
and recognise their common humanity,
rejecting war and its consequencies of death and misery
on both sides and re-establish the bonds of peace
which are the rights of all Russian and Ukrainian people.
AMEN


KT - Cross


In memoria aeterna erit iustus.
Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine,
et lux perpetua luceat eis.

The just shall be in everlasting remembrance.
Grant them eternal rest, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them,

 

KT - Cross


Hereford Cathedral:

Lord God,

whose compassion never fails:

comfort and support, we pray,

the people on whom

the terrors of invasion have fallen;

Union Flag  Ukraine Flag

if their liberty be lost to the oppressor,

let not their spirit be broken,

but stayed upon your strength

until the day of deliverance;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.


_____________________________________________


19 FEBRUARY 2023

We are delighted to announce a Mutual Recognition and Friendship Agreement with OSTI - Ordre Souverain du Temple Initiatique - a Templar Order that was founded in 1988 by Raymond Bernard, a man with multiple Templar pedigrees, including the OSMTJ, to which he was initiated in the 1960s.

While we recognise that OSTI and the OSMTJ represent different traditions of Templarism, nevertheless, we embrace one another as part of a legacy that can authentically be traced back to the Ordre du Temple under Bernard Raymond Fabre-Palaprat.  We welcome the future coodination and cooperation between our members.

 OSMTJ  OSTI Certificate

OSMTJ  OSTI Mutual Agreement Text


_______________________________


APRIL 2023

Arrangements are being made for our Annual General Meeting.

This will take place on a date and time to be finalised.

Attendance is by invitation only.


______________________________________________________


27 JANUARY 2023
HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL dAY

Today is Holocaust Memorial Day, the international day to remember the 6 million Jews murdered during the Holocaust, alongside the millions of other people murdered under Nazi persecution of other groups, and in more recent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.

The Holocaust threatened the fabric of civilisation, and the world said ‘never again’, but genocides have continued to take place.

Holocaust Memorial Day is a time to come together to remember all those affected by the Holocaust and more recent genocides, and to take action to protect those currently at risk of persecution.  From educating ourselves to better understand those whom we perceive as different, to reporting hate crime if we see it, there are actions we can and should take
* 
to make our communities safer.

Go to the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust website for more details.


HMDT Candle Flicker


We the Knights Templars of All Britain support the magnificent work of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust because the history of the Knights Templar was cruelly 'interrupted' by the false accusations made against the members of the Order in October 1307 by King Philip IV ('the Fair') of France who secretly ordered the arrest of the knights, including The Master of the Temple, Jacques de Molay, and the sequestration of their property.

Pope Clement V ordered an investigation into the charges levelled against the Templars and under immense political pressure, he ordered the arrest of all Templars within Christian Europe and the seizure of their property.

In an attempt to resolve the issue, Clement convoked the Council of Vienne in 1312.  The lack of credible incriminating evidence led the majority of the Council Fathers to conclude that the charges lacked merit.  Then the Pope on his own authority issued the Bull, Vox In Excelso, dissolving the Order.  Templars were to be pensioned off and their property turned over to the Hospitallers.  But since the Order had existed eleven years before Papal recognition (founded in 1118, recognized by the Pope in 1129 at the Council of Troyes), the Pope only had the power to remove his ecclesiastical recognition.

The final act came on March 18, 1314, when Philip IV ordered the execution by fire of Jacques de Molay and Geoffroy de Charnay as relapsed heretics.  Finding courage at the end, they both vigorously denied the charges against the Order.  Many kings and nobles, who had been supporting the Knights up until that time, finally acquiesced and dissolved the orders in their fiefs in accordance with the Papal command.  Most were not as brutal as the French.  In England, many Knights were arrested and tried, but not found guilty.

Later the Templars were absolved but by then the damage had been done.

We look at this episode in our history as a form of genocide since King Philip - through greed and jealousy - wanted to eliminate the Templars.  Hundreds of years later the Nazis sought to destroy all Jews.  And in more recent years oppressive regimes have tried to kill their opponents.  One has to consider whether the current Russian unprovoked attack on Ukraine has a hint of genocide!


A hymn for remembering Holocaust victims

Words – Charles Henry Wood


May be sung to the tune "Finlandia" by Jean Sibelius


Grant peace, O Lord, across our strife-torn world,

Where war divides and greed and dogma drive.

Help us to learn the lessons from the past,

That all are human and all pay the price.

All life is dear and should be treated so;

Joined, not divided, is the way to go.


Protect, dear Lord, all who, on our behalf,

Now take the steps that place them in harm's way.

May they find courage for each task they face

By knowing they are in our thoughts always.

Then, duty done and missions at an end,

Return them safe to family and friends.


Grant rest, O Lord, to those no longer with us;

Who died protecting us and this their land.

Bring healing, Lord, to those who, through their service,

Bear conflict’s scars on body or in mind.

With those who mourn support and comfort share.

Give strength to those who for hurt loved-ones care.


And some there be who no memorial have;

Who perished are as though they’d never been.

For our tomorrows their today they gave,

And simply asked that in our hearts they'd live.

We heed their call and pledge ourselves again,

At dusk and dawn - we will remember them!


________________________


A Franciscan Benediction
Attributed to the earliest followers of St Francis

                      May God bless you with discomfort
                      at easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships,
                      so that you may live deep within your heart.

                      May God bless you with anger
                      at injustice, oppression and exploitation of people,
                      so that you may work for justice, freedom and peace.

                      May God bless you with tears
                      to shed for those who suffer pain, rejection, hunger, and war,
                      so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them
                      and turn their pain into joy.

                      And may God bless you with enough foolishness
                      to believe that you can make a difference in the world,
                      so that you can do what others claim cannot be done
                      to bring justice and kindness to all our children and the poor.

                      Amen.


________________________



JOHN NEWTON’S HYMN AMAZING GRACE CELEBRATES 250TH ANNIVERSARY

John Newton’s world-famous hymn, Amazing Grace, was first publicly read aloud 250 years ago on New Year’s Day.

The former slave trader who became a Church of England minister and abolitionist, penned the hymn to accompany his sermon on 1 Chronicles 17:16 at St Peter and St Paul Church in Olney, Buckinghamshire on 1 January 1773:

Then King David went in and sat before the Lord, and he said:
"Who am I, O Lord God. and what is my family,
that you have brought me thus far?" 
 [1 Chronicles 17:16]

The words of Amazing Grace reflect John Newton’s journey to faith.

Born in 1725, he became the captain of a slave ship which was caught in a severe storm in 1748 on its journey back to England.  During that time, he was struck by Thomas à Kempis’s quote on the “uncertain continuance of life”, and Proverbs 1:23-26 which states, “since you rejected me when I called…I in turn will laugh at your disaster”.  Newton later marked the event as the start of his turning to Christ.

After returning to live in England, he was ordained in the Church of England in 1764 and appointed curate in Olney, Buckinghamshire.  In 1767, the poet William Cowper also settled in the town and together they published The Olney Hymns in 1779, where Amazing Grace first appeared in print under the title ‘Faith’s Review and Expectation’.

The first verse reads:

Amazing grace!  How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now I'm found;
Was blind, but now I see.

In 1796, Newton wrote to his friend and campaigner William Wilberforce to urge him not to give up his campaign against slavery and stay in Parliament to accomplish the will of God.  Newton continued to preach until his death in 1807, nine months after Parliament abolished the slave trade in the British Empire.

His world-renowned hymn, now well-known to a 19th century tune, continues to be sung as a testament to God’s mercy in bringing countless people from across the world back to him.


KT - Cross



_______________________________________________



NEW YEAR'S EVE 2023


The last minute:

Big Ben at 23.59 31 December 2020

Great Clock, Elizabeth Tower, London


_____________________________________________________




THE ORDER - WORLD-WIDE - IS FIRMLY COMMITTED TO THE HIGH IDEAL TO BE ABSOLUTELY AT ONE WITH JESUS CHRIST IN HIS PRAYER THAT ALL CHRISTIANS MIGHT BE ONE WITH HIM, AS HE IS WITH THE FATHER:

"...THAT THEY MAY BE ONE, EVEN AS WE ARE ONE:
I IN THEM, AND THOU IN ME,
THAT THEY MAY BE MADE PERFECT IN ONE;
AND THAT THE WORLD MAY KNOW THAT THOU HAST SENT ME ... ".

                                                                                                                                        (JOHN 17: 22-23)

FOR EXAMPLE:


THE SWANWICK DECLARATION


WE, THE KNIGHTS TEMPLAR OF THE GRAND PRIORY OF ALL BRITAIN, THE TWO GRAND PRIORIES OF WALES AND OF ENGLAND AS WELL AS OUR MEMBERS IN SCOTLAND AND NORTHERN IRELAND, ARE COMMITTED TO CHRISTIAN UNITY AND FOR WHICH JESUS HIMSELF PRAYED TO THE FATHER: "THAT THEY MAY BE ONE, EVEN AS WE ARE ONE: I IN THEM, AND THOU IN ME, THAT THEY MAY BE MADE PERFECT IN ONE; AND THAT THE WORLD MAY KNOW THAT THOU HAST SENT ME ... " (JOHN 17: 22-23)

IN 1986 AND 1987 INDIVIDUAL CHRISTIANS AND REPRESENTATIVES FROM JUST ABOUT EVERY CHURCH, DENOMINATION AND GROUPING IN BRITAIN AND IRELAND PRAYED AND STUDIED - WITH LITERATURE, RADIO AND TELEVISION BROADCASTS TO ASSIST - ABOUT HOW TO MAKE PROGRESS TOWARDS CHRISTIAN UNITY.

NATIONAL CONFERENCES WERE HELD IN EACH OF THE FOUR NATIONS WHICH MAKE UP THE UNITED KINGDOM, WITH A FINAL MEETING IN SEPTEMBER 1987 AT THE HAYES CONFERENCE CENTRE AT SWANWICK IN DERBYSHIRE.  AMONGST THE MANY IN ATTENDANCE WERE THE LEADERS OF ALL THE MAIN CHURCHES.  OUR PRESENT GRAND PRIOR WAS THERE REPRESENTING ONE CHURCH GROUP.  THE THEN CHURCH OF ENGLAND ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY AND THE PRESENT ROMAN CATHOLIC CARDINAL ARCHBISHOP OF WESTMINSTER, VINCENT NICHOLS, WERE ALSO PRESENT.

THOSE ATTENDING SIGNED "THE SWANWICK DECLARATION" AT THE END OF THE MEETING AND FROM THAT THE OLD BRITISH COUNCIL OF CHURCHES WAS RENEWED (ESPECIALLY WITH THE INCLUSION OF THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCHES) TO FORM THE COUNCIL OF CHURCHES FOR BRITAIN AND IRELAND.  THIS IS ALSO KNOWN AS CHURCHES TOGETHER IN BRITAIN AND IRELAND, HAVING ITS OWN SUB-GROUPS IN EACH OF THE FOUR NATIONS.

WE KNIGHTS TEMPLAR DO OUR BEST TO LIVE OUT THE IDEAS AND IDEALS LAID OUT IN THE SWANWICK DECLARATION.

THE 'SWANWICK DECLARATION' OF 1987 PAVED THE WAY FOR THE CREATION OF 'CHURCHES TOGETHER'. THE DECLARATION IS COMMEMORATED BY A PLAQUE OUTSIDE THE CHAPEL AT THE HAYES CONFERENCE CENTRE IN SWANWICK, DERBYSHIRE:

Swanwick Declaration

 

THE `SWANWICK DECLARATION' READS:

"THE FOLLOWING `SWANWICK DECLARATION' WAS ADOPTED BY ACCLAIM AND PERSONALLY SIGNED BY THOSE PRESENT AT THE HAYES CONFERENCE CENTRE, SWANWICK, ON FRIDAY 4 SEPTEMBER 1987.  THE CONFERENCE ASKED THAT IT SHOULD BE READ IN CHURCHES IN ENGLAND, SCOTLAND AND WALES ON ONE OF THE SUNDAYS IN OCTOBER.

"NO LONGER STANGERS - PILGRIMS!

"NID DIEITHRIAID MWYACH - PERERINION!

"LUCHD TURUIS - CONHLA!

"APPOINTED BY OUR CHURCHES AND UNDER THE GUIDANCE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT WE DECLARE THAT THIS, THE BROADEST ASSEMBLY OF BRITISH AND IRISH CHURCHES EVER TO MEET IN THESE ISLANDS HAS REACHED A COMMON MIND.  WE ARE AWARE THAT NOT ALL CHRISTIANS ARE REPRESENTED AMONGST US BUT WE LOOK FORWARD TO THE TIME WHEN THEY WILL SHARE FULLY WITH US.

"WE CAME WITH DIFFERENT EXPERIENCES AND TRADITIONS, SOME WITH LONG ECUMENICAL SERVICE, SOME FOR WHOM THIS IS A NEW ADVENTURE.  WE ARE ONE BAND OF PILGRIMS.  WE ARE OLD AND YOUNG, WOMEN AND MEN, BLACK AND WHITE, LAY AND ORDAINED AND WE TRAVELLED FROM THE FOUR CORNERS OF THESE ISLANDS TO MEET AT SWANWICK IN DERBYSHIRE.  THERE WE MET, WE LISTENED, WE TALKED, WE WORSHIPPED, WE PRAYED, WE SAT IN SILENCE, DEEPER THAN WORDS.  AGAINST THE BACKGROUND OF SO MUCH SUFFERING AND SINFULNESS IN OUR SOCIETY WE WERE REMINDED OF OUR CALL TO WITNESS THAT GOD WAS IN CHRIST RECONCILING THE WORLD TO HIMSELF.  WE AFFIRMED THAT THIS WORLD WITH ALL ITS SIN AND SPLENDOUR BELONGS TO GOD.  YOUNG PEOPLE CALLED ON US TO BE READY TO SORT OUT OUR PRIORITIES SO THAT WE COULD TRAVEL LIGHT AND CONCEN­TRATE ON OUR GOAL.  DRIVEN ON BY A GOSPEL IMPERATIVE TO SEEK UNITY THAT THE WORLD MAY BELIEVE, WE REJOICED THAT WE ARE PILGRIMS TOGETHER AND STRANGERS NO LONGER.

"WE NOW DECLARE TOGETHER OUR READINESS TO COMMIT OURSELVES TO EACH OTHER UNDER GOD.  OUR EARNEST DESIRE IS TO BECOME MORE FULLY, IN HIS OWN TIME, THE ONE CHURCH OF CHRIST, UNITED IN FAITH, COMMUNION, PASTORAL CARE AND MISSION.  SUCH UNITY IS THE GIFT OF GOD.  WITH GRATITUDE WE HAVE TRULY EXPERIENCED THIS GIFT, GROWING AMONGST US IN THESE DAYS.  WE AFFIRM OUR OPENNESS TO THIS GROWING UNITY IN OBEDIENCE TO THE WORD OF GOD, SO THAT WE MAY FULLY SHARE, HOLD IN COMMON AND OFFER TO THE WORLD THOSE GIFTS WHICH WE HAVE RECEIVED AND STILL HOLD IN SEPARATION.  IN THE UNITY WE SEEK WE RECOGNISE THAT THERE WILL NOT BE UNIFORMITY BUT LEGITIMATE DIVERSITY.

"IT IS OUR CONVICTION THAT, AS A MATTER OF POLICY AT ALL LEVELS AND IN ALL PLACES, OUR CHURCHES MUST NOW MOVE FROM CO-OPERATION TO CLEAR COMMITMENT TO EACH OTHER, IN SEARCH OF THE UNITY FOR WHICH CHRIST PRAYED AND IN COMMON EVANGELISM AND SERVICE OF THE WORLD.

"WE URGE CHURCH LEADERS AND REPRESENTATIVES TO TAKE ALL NECESSARY STEPS TO PRESENT, AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, TO OUR CHURCH AUTHORITIES, ASSEMBLIES AND CONGREGATIONS, THE REPORT OF THIS CONFERENCE TOGETHER WITH DEVELOPED PROPOSALS FOR ECUMENICAL INSTRUMENTS TO HELP THE CHURCHES OF THESE ISLANDS TO MOVE AHEAD TOGETHER.

"CONTINUING TO TRUST IN THE PROMISED GIFT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, WE LOOK FORWARD WITH CONFIDENCE TO SHARING WITH OUR OWN CHURCHES THE JOYS OF THIS HISTORIC CONFERENCE.  WE THANK GOD FOR ALL THOSE WHO, FROM LENT '86 AND BEFORE, HAVE BEEN PART OF THIS PILGRIMAGE.  WE FEEL THEIR PRESENCE WITH US.  WE URGE OUR CHURCHES TO CONFIRM BY DECISION AND ACTION THE HOPES AND VISION ON WHICH WE HAVE LAID HOLD, AND WHICH WE SHALL NOT LET GO.

"THIS IS A NEW BEGINNING.  WE SET OUT ON OUR FURTHER PILGRIMAGE READY TO TAKE RISKS AND DETERMINED NOT TO BE PUT OFF BY 'DISMAL STORIES'.  WE RESOLVE THAT NO DISCOURAGEMENT WILL MAKE US ONCE RELENT OUR AVOWED INTENT TO BE PILGRIMS TOGETHER.  LEAVING BEHIND PAINFUL MEMORIES AND REACHING OUT FOR WHAT LIES AHEAD, WE PRESS ON TOWARDS THE FULL RECONCILIATION IN CHRIST OF ALL THINGS IN HEAVEN AND ON EARTH, THAT GOD HAS PROMISED IN HIS KINGDOM.

"LORD GOD, WE THANK YOU
FOR CALLING US INTO THE COMPANY
OF THOSE WHO TRUST IN CHRIST
AND SEEK TO OBEY HIS WILL.
MAY YOUR SPIRIT GUIDE AND STRENGTHEN US
IN MISSION AND SERVICE TO YOUR WORLD;
FOR WE ARE STRANGERS NO LONGER
BUT PILGRIMS TOGETHER ON THE WAY TO YOUR KINGDOM.
AMEN."

AT OUR INVESTITURE SERVICES ALL PRESENT SAY THE ABOVE PRAYER TOGETHER
AND SO WE REGULARLY RENEW OUR COMMITMENT TO CHRISTIAN UNITY.

KT - Cross


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