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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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[AUGUST PAUSE - MAIN UK HOLIDAY SEASON]

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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).]

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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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PENTECOST - 28 May 2023


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)


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6 May 2023

THE CORONATION OF HIS MAJESTY

KING CHARLES III


Official Portrait

Soon


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.


(More information and pictures will appear here as and when they become available)



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

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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.

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9 April 2023

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


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8 April 2023

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 togther
                        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? 
      


KT - Cross


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7 April 2023

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. 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)

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6 April 2023

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 King Charles attends the Service in York Minster where, instead of actually washing the feet of anyone he gives wallets of special money (called Maundy Money, of course) to a small group of elderly people.

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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5 April 2023

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 oppprtunity to hand him over."  (Matthew 26: 14-16)


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2 APRIL 2023

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.
(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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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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20 MARCH 2023

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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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

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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

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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"

____________________________________


8 MARCH 2023
international women's day

International Womens Day - 8 March 2023


_________________________________


1 MARCH 2023

 

DYDD GWYL DEWI SANT 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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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


The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution that demands #Russia leave #Ukraine.

In favour: 141

Against: 7

Abstentions: 32

Image



I am grateful to all the countries that endorsed the crucial General Assembly resolution "Principles of the Charter of the United Nations that underline the comprehensive, just and lasting peace in Ukraine".




A Prayer for Ukraine

based on one seen at the Shrine of St Thomas Cantilupe

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.


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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!


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18 - 25 JANUARY 2023

week of prayer for christian unity

see also the page entitled "ChristiAN unity"
 

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.


________________________


15 JANUARY 2023

ANNIVERSAY OF THE BIRTH OF
dR mARTIN LUTHER KING jR


Martin Luther King Jr.

The Revd Dr Martin Luther King Jr. (born Michael King Jr.; 15 January 1929 – 4 April 1968) was an American Christian minister and activist who became the most visible spokesperson and leader in the Civil Rights Movement from 1955 until his assassination in 1968.  Dr King is best known for advancing civil rights through non-violence and civil disobedience, inspired by his Christian beliefs and the nonviolent activism of Mahatma Gandhi.  The following is the full text of one of his most famous speeches. 

 

 "I've been to the Mountaintop"

ADDRESS DELIVERED BY THE REVD DR MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR

AT THE BISHOP CHARLES MASON TEMPLE (CHURCH OF GOD IN CHRIST HQ),

MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE. 3 APRIL 1968

 [ON THE FOLLOWING DAY, 4 APRIL 1968, DR KING WAS ASSASSINATED]

 

Thank you very kindly, my friends. As I listened to Ralph Abernathy and his eloquent and generous introduction and then thought about myself, I wondered who he was talking about. [Laughter] It's always good to have your closest friend and associate to say something good about you, and Ralph Abernathy is the best friend that I have in the world.

I'm delighted to see each of you here tonight in spite of a storm warning. You reveal that you are determined [Audience:] (Right) to go on anyhow. (Yeah, All right) Something is happening in Memphis, something is happening in our world. And you know, if I were standing at the beginning of time with the possibility of taking a kind of general and panoramic view of the whole of human history up to now, and the Almighty said to me, "Martin Luther King, which age would you like to live in?" I would take my mental flight by Egypt (Yeah), and I would watch God's children in their magnificent trek from the dark dungeons of Egypt through, or rather, across the Red Sea, through the wilderness, on toward the Promised Land. And in spite of its magnificence, I wouldn't stop there. (All right)

I would move on by Greece, and take my mind to Mount Olympus. And I would see Plato, Aristotle, Socrates, Euripides, and Aristophanes assembled around the Parthenon [Applause], and I would watch them around the Parthenon as they discussed the great and eternal issues of reality. But I wouldn't stop there. (Oh yeah)

I would go on even to the great heyday of the Roman Empire (Yes), and I would see developments around there, through various emperors and leaders. But I wouldn't stop there. (Keep on)

I would even come up to the day of the Renaissance and get a quick picture of all that the Renaissance did for the cultural and aesthetic life of man. But I wouldn't stop there. (Yeah)

I would even go by the way that the man for whom I'm named had his habitat, and I would watch Martin Luther as he tacks his ninety-five theses on the door at the church of Wittenberg. But I wouldn't stop there. (All right) But I wouldn't stop there. (Yeah) [Applause]

I would come on up even to 1863 and watch a vacillating president by the name of Abraham Lincoln finally come to the conclusion that he had to sign the Emancipation Proclamation. But I wouldn't stop there. (Yeah) [Applause]

I would even come up to the early thirties and see a man grappling with the problems of the bankruptcy of his nation, and come with an eloquent cry that "we have nothing to fear but fear itself." But I wouldn't stop there. (All right)

Strangely enough, I would turn to the Almighty and say, "If you allow me to live just a few years in the second half of the twentieth century, I will be happy." [Applause]

Now that's a strange statement to make because the world is all messed up. The nation is sick, trouble is in the land, confusion all around. That's a strange statement. But I know, somehow, that only when it is dark enough can you see the stars. (All right, Yes) And I see God working in this period of the twentieth century in a way that men in some strange way are responding. Something is happening in our world. (Yeah) The masses of people are rising up. And wherever they are assembled today, whether they are in Johannesburg, South Africa; Nairobi, Kenya; Accra, Ghana; New York City; Atlanta, Georgia; Jackson, Mississippi; or Memphis, Tennessee, the cry is always the same: "We want to be free." [Applause]

And another reason I'm happy to live in this period is that we have been forced to a point where we are going to have to grapple with the problems that men have been trying to grapple with through history, but the demands didn't force them to do it. Survival demands that we grapple with them. (Yes) Men for years now have been talking about war and peace. But now no longer can they just talk about it. It is no longer a choice between violence and nonviolence in this world; it's nonviolence or nonexistence. That is where we are today. [Applause]

And also, in the human rights revolution, if something isn't done and done in a hurry to bring the colored peoples of the world out of their long years of poverty; their long years of hurt and neglect, the whole world is doomed. (All right) [Applause] Now I'm just happy that God has allowed me to live in this period, to see what is unfolding. And I'm happy that he's allowed me to be in Memphis. (Oh yeah)

I can remember [Applause], I can remember when Negroes were just going around, as Ralph has said so often, scratching where they didn't itch and laughing when they were not tickled. [Laughter, applause] But that day is all over. (Yeah) [Applause] We mean business now and we are determined to gain our rightful place in God's world. (Yeah) [Applause] And that's all this whole thing is about. We aren't engaged in any negative protest and in any negative arguments with anybody. We are saying that we are determined to be men. We are determined to be people. (Yeah) We are saying [Applause], we are saying that we are God's children. (Yeah) [Applause] And if we are God's children, we don't have to live like we are forced to live.

Now what does all this mean in this great period of history? It means that we've got to stay together. (Yeah) We've got to stay together and maintain unity. You know, whenever Pharaoh wanted to prolong the period of slavery in Egypt, he had a favorite, favorite formula of doing it. What was that? He kept the slaves fighting among themselves. [Applause] But whenever the slaves get together, something happens in Pharaoh's court, and he cannot hold the slaves in slavery. When the slaves get together, that's the beginning of getting out of slavery. [Applause] Now let us maintain unity.

Secondly, let us keep the issues where they are. (Right) The issue is injustice. The issue is the refusal of Memphis to be fair and honest in its dealings with its public servants, who happen to be sanitation workers. [Applause] Now we've got to keep attention on that. (That's right) That's always the problem with a little violence. You know what happened the other day, and the press dealt only with the window breaking. (That's right) I read the articles. They very seldom got around to mentioning the fact that 1,300 sanitation workers are on strike, and that Memphis is not being fair to them, and that Mayor Loeb is in dire need of a doctor. They didn't get around to that. (Yeah) [Applause]

Now we're going to march again, and we've got to march again (Yeah), in order to put the issue where it is supposed to be (Yeah) [Applause] and force everybody to see that there are thirteen hundred of God's children here suffering (That's right), sometimes going hungry, going through dark and dreary nights wondering how this thing is going to come out. That's the issue. (That's right) And we've got to say to the nation, we know how it's coming out. For when people get caught up with that which is right and they are willing to sacrifice for it, there is no stopping point short of victory. [Applause]

We aren't going to let any mace stop us. We are masters in our nonviolent movement in disarming police forces. They don't know what to do. I've seen them so often. I remember in Birmingham, Alabama, when we were in that majestic struggle there, we would move out of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church day after day. By the hundreds we would move out, and Bull Connor would tell them to send the dogs forth, and they did come. But we just went before the dogs singing, "Ain't gonna let nobody turn me around." [Applause] Bull Connor next would say, "Turn the fire hoses on." (Yeah) And as I said to you the other night, Bull Connor didn't know history. He knew a kind of physics that somehow didn't relate to the trans-physics that we knew about. And that was the fact that there was a certain kind of fire that no water could put out. [Applause] And we went before the fire hoses. (Yeah) We had known water. (All right) If we were Baptist or some other denominations, we had been immersed. If we were Methodist or some others, we had been sprinkled. But we knew water. That couldn't stop us. [Applause]

And we just went on before the dogs and we would look at them, and we'd go on before the water hoses and we would look at it. And we'd just go on singing, "Over my head, I see freedom in the air." (Yeah) [Applause] And then we would be thrown into paddy wagons, and sometimes we were stacked in there like sardines in a can. (All right) And they would throw us in, and old Bull would say, "Take 'em off." And they did, and we would just go on in the paddy wagon singing, "We Shall Overcome." (Yeah) And every now and then we'd get in jail, and we'd see the jailers looking through the windows being moved by our prayers (Yes) and being moved by our words and our songs. (Yes) And there was a power there which Bull Connor couldn't adjust to (All right), and so we ended up transforming Bull into a steer, and we on our struggle in Birmingham. [Applause]

Now we've got to go on in Memphis just like that. I call upon you to be with us when we go out Monday. (Yes) Now about injunctions. We have an injunction and we're going into court tomorrow morning (Go ahead) to fight this illegal, unconstitutional injunction. All we say to America is to be true to what you said on paper. [Applause] If I lived in China or even Russia, or any totalitarian country, maybe I could understand some of these illegal injunctions. Maybe I could understand the denial of certain basic First Amendment privileges, because they haven't committed themselves to that over there. But somewhere I read of the freedom of assembly. Somewhere I read (Yes) of the freedom of speech. (Yes) Somewhere I read (All right) of the freedom of press. (Yes) Somewhere I read (Yes) that the greatness of America is the right to protest for right. [Applause] And so just as I say we aren't going to let any dogs or water hoses turn us around, we aren't going to let any injunction turn us around. [Applause] We are going on. We need all of you.

You know, what's beautiful to me is to see all of these ministers of the Gospel. (Amen) It's a marvelous picture. (Yes) Who is it that is supposed to articulate the longings and aspirations of the people more than the preacher? Somewhere the preacher must have a kind of fire shut up in his bones (Yes), and whenever injustice is around he must tell it. (Yes) Somehow the preacher must be an Amos, who said, "When God Speaks, who can but prophesy?" (Yes) Again with Amos, "Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream." (Yes) Somehow the preacher must say with Jesus, "The spirit of the Lord is upon me (Yes), because He hath anointed me (Yes), and He's anointed me to deal with the problems of the poor." (Go ahead)

And I want to commend the preachers, under the leadership of these noble men: James Lawson, one who has been in this struggle for many years. He's been to jail for struggling; he's been kicked out of Vanderbilt University for this struggling; but he's still going on, fighting for the rights of his people. [Applause] Reverend Ralph Jackson, Billy Kyles; I could just go right on down the list, but time will not permit. But I want to thank all of them, and I want you to thank them because so often preachers aren't concerned about anything but themselves. [Applause] And I'm always happy to see a relevant ministry. It's all right to talk about long white robes over yonder, in all of its symbolism, but ultimately people want some suits and dresses and shoes to wear down here. [Applause] It's all right to talk about streets flowing with milk and honey, but God has commanded us to be concerned about the slums down here and His children who can't eat three square meals a day. [Applause] It's all right to talk about the new Jerusalem, but one day God's preacher must talk about the new New York, the new Atlanta, the new Philadelphia, the new Los Angeles, the new Memphis, Tennessee. [Applause] This is what we have to do.

Now the other thing we'll have to do is this: always anchor our external direct action with the power of economic withdrawal. Now we are poor people, individually we are poor when you compare us with white society in America. We are poor. Never stop and forget that collectively, that means all of us together, collectively we are richer than all the nations in the world, with the exception of nine. Did you ever think about that? After you leave the United States, Soviet Russia, Great Britain, West Germany, France, and I could name the others, the American Negro collectively is richer than most nations of the world. We have an annual income of more than thirty billion dollars a year, which is more than all of the exports of the United States and more than the national budget of Canada. Did you know that? That's power right there, if we know how to pool it. (Yeah) [Applause]

We don't have to argue with anybody. We don't have to curse and go around acting bad with our words. We don't need any bricks and bottles; we don't need any Molotov cocktails. (Yes) We just need to go around to these stores (Yes sir), and to these massive industries in our country (Amen), and say, "God sent us by here (All right) to say to you that you're not treating His children right. (That's right) And we've come by here to ask you to make the first item on your agenda fair treatment where God's children are concerned. Now if you are not prepared to do that, we do have an agenda that we must follow. And our agenda calls for withdrawing economic support from you." [Applause]

And so, as a result of this, we are asking you tonight (Amen) to go out and tell your neighbors not to buy Coca-Cola in Memphis. (Yeah) [Applause] Go by and tell them not to buy Sealtest milk. (Yeah)[Applause] Tell them not to buy–what is the other bread?–Wonder Bread. [Applause] And what is the other bread company, Jesse? Tell them not to buy Hart's bread. [Applause] As Jesse Jackson has said, up to now only the garbage men have been feeling pain. Now we must kind of redistribute that pain. [Applause] We are choosing these companies because they haven't been fair in their hiring policies, and we are choosing them because they can begin the process of saying they are going to support the needs and the rights of these men who are on strike. And then they can move on downtown and tell Mayor Loeb to do what is right. (That's right, Speak) [Applause]

Now not only that, we've got to strengthen black institutions. (That's right, Yeah) I call upon you to take your money out of the banks downtown and deposit your money in Tri-State Bank. (Yeah) [Applause] We want a "bank-in" movement in Memphis. (Yes) Go by the savings and loan association. I'm not asking you something that we don't do ourselves in SCLC. Judge Hooks and others will tell you that we have an account here in the savings and loan association from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. We are telling you to follow what we're doing, put your money there. [Applause] You have six or seven black insurance companies here in the city of Memphis. Take out your insurance there. We want to have an "insurance-in." [Applause] Now these are some practical things that we can do. We begin the process of building a greater economic base, and at the same time, we are putting pressure where it really hurts. (There you go) And I ask you to follow through here. [Applause]

Now let me say as I move to my conclusion that we've got to give ourselves to this struggle until the end. (Amen) Nothing would be more tragic than to stop at this point in Memphis. We've got to see it through. [Applause] And when we have our march, you need to be there. If it means leaving work, if it means leaving school, be there. [Applause] Be concerned about your brother. You may not be on strike (Yeah), but either we go up together or we go down together. [Applause] Let us develop a kind of dangerous unselfishness.

One day a man came to Jesus and he wanted to raise some questions about some vital matters of life. At points he wanted to trick Jesus (That's right), and show him that he knew a little more than Jesus knew and throw him off base. [Recording interrupted] Now that question could have easily ended up in a philosophical and theological debate. But Jesus immediately pulled that question from midair and placed it on a dangerous curve between Jerusalem and Jericho. (Yeah) And he talked about a certain man who fell among thieves. (Sure) You remember that a Levite (Sure) and a priest passed by on the other side; they didn't stop to help him. Finally, a man of another race came by. (Yes sir) He got down from his beast, decided not to be compassionate by proxy. But he got down with him, administered first aid, and helped the man in need. Jesus ended up saying this was the good man, this was the great man because he had the capacity to project the "I" into the "thou," and to be concerned about his brother.

Now, you know, we use our imagination a great deal to try to determine why the priest and the Levite didn't stop. At times we say they were busy going to a church meeting, an ecclesiastical gathering, and they had to get on down to Jerusalem so they wouldn't be late for their meeting. (Yeah) At other times we would speculate that there was a religious law that one who was engaged in religious ceremonials was not to touch a human body twenty-four hours before the ceremony. (All right) And every now and then we begin to wonder whether maybe they were not going down to Jerusalem, or down to Jericho, rather, to organize a Jericho Road Improvement Association. [Laughter] That's a possibility. Maybe they felt it was better to deal with the problem from the causal root, rather than to get bogged down with an individual effect. [Laughter]

But I'm going to tell you what my imagination tells me. It's possible that those men were afraid. You see, the Jericho Road is a dangerous road. (That's right) I remember when Mrs. King and I were first in Jerusalem. We rented a car and drove from Jerusalem down to Jericho. (Yeah) And as soon as we got on that road I said to my wife, "I can see why Jesus used this as the setting for his parable." It's a winding, meandering road. (Yes) It's really conducive for ambushing. You start out in Jerusalem, which is about twelve hundred miles, or rather, twelve hundred feet above sea level. And by the time you get down to Jericho fifteen or twenty minutes later, you're about twenty-two feet below sea level. That's a dangerous road. (Yes) In the days of Jesus it came to be known as the "Bloody Pass." And you know, it's possible that the priest and the Levite looked over that man on the ground and wondered if the robbers were still around. (Go ahead) Or it's possible that they felt that the man on the ground was merely faking (Yeah), and he was acting like he had been robbed and hurt in order to seize them over there, lure them there for quick and easy seizure. (Oh yeah) And so the first question that the priest asked, the first question that the Levite asked was, "If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?" (All right)

But then the Good Samaritan came by, and he reversed the question: "If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?" That's the question before you tonight. (Yes) Not, "If I stop to help the sanitation workers, what will happen to my job?" Not, "If I stop to help the sanitation workers, what will happen to all of the hours that I usually spend in my office every day and every week as a pastor?" (Yes) The question is not, "If I stop to help this man in need, what will happen to me?" The question is, "If I do not stop to help the sanitation workers, what will happen to them?" That's the question. [Applause]

Let us rise up tonight with a greater readiness. Let us stand with a greater determination. And let us move on in these powerful days, these days of challenge, to make America what it ought to be. We have an opportunity to make America a better nation. (Amen)

And I want to thank God, once more, for allowing me to be here with you. (Yes sir) You know, several years ago I was in New York City autographing the first book that I had written. And while sitting there autographing books, a demented black woman came up. The only question I heard from her was, "Are you Martin Luther King?" And I was looking down writing and I said, "Yes."

The next minute I felt something beating on my chest. Before I knew it I had been stabbed by this demented woman. I was rushed to Harlem Hospital. It was a dark Saturday afternoon. And that blade had gone through, and the X rays revealed that the tip of the blade was on the edge of my aorta, the main artery. And once that's punctured you're drowned in your own blood, that's the end of you. (Yes sir) It came out in the New York Times the next morning that if I had merely sneezed, I would have died.

Well, about four days later, they allowed me, after the operation, after my chest had been opened and the blade had been taken out, to move around in the wheelchair of the hospital. They allowed me to read some of the mail that came in, and from all over the states and the world kind letters came in. I read a few, but one of them I will never forget. I had received one from the president and the vice president; I've forgotten what those telegrams said. I'd received a visit and a letter from the governor of New York, but I've forgotten what that letter said. (Yes)

But there was another letter (All right) that came from a little girl, a young girl who was a student at the White Plains High School. And I looked at that letter and I'll never forget it. It said simply, "Dear Dr. King: I am a ninth-grade student at the White Plains High School." She said, "While it should not matter, I would like to mention that I'm a white girl. I read in the paper of your misfortune and of your suffering. And I read that if you had sneezed, you would have died. And I'm simply writing you to say that I'm so happy that you didn't sneeze." (Yes) [Applause]

And I want to say tonight [Applause], I want to say tonight that I, too, am happy that I didn't sneeze. Because if I had sneezed (All right), I wouldn't have been around here in 1960 (Well), when students all over the South started sitting-in at lunch counters. And I knew that as they were sitting in, they were really standing up (Yes sir) for the best in the American dream and taking the whole nation back to those great wells of democracy, which were dug deep by the founding fathers in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

If I had sneezed (Yes), I wouldn't have been around here in 1961, when we decided to take a ride for freedom and ended segregation in interstate travel. (All right)

If I had sneezed (Yes), I wouldn't have been around here in 1962, when Negroes in Albany, Georgia, decided to straighten their backs up. And whenever men and women straighten their backs up, they are going somewhere, because a man can't ride your back unless it is bent.

If I had sneezed [Applause], if I had sneezed, I wouldn't have been here in 1963 (All right), when the black people of Birmingham, Alabama, aroused the conscience of this nation and brought into being the Civil Rights Bill.

If I had sneezed, I wouldn't have had a chance later that year, in August, to try to tell America about a dream that I had had. (Yes)

If I had sneezed [Applause], I wouldn't have been down in Selma, Alabama, to see the great movement there.

If I had sneezed, I wouldn't have been in Memphis to see a community rally around those brothers and sisters who are suffering. (Yes) I'm so happy that I didn't sneeze.

And they were telling me. [Applause] Now it doesn't matter now. (Go ahead) It really doesn't matter what happens now. I left Atlanta this morning, and as we got started on the plane–there were six of us–the pilot said over the public address system: "We are sorry for the delay, but we have Dr. Martin Luther King on the plane. And to be sure that all of the bags were checked, and to be sure that nothing would be wrong on the plane, we had to check out everything carefully. And we've had the plane protected and guarded all night."

And then I got into Memphis. And some began to say the threats, or talk about the threats that were out (Yeah), or what would happen to me from some of our sick white brothers.

Well, I don't know what will happen now; we've got some difficult days ahead. (AmenBut it really doesn't matter with me now, because I've been to the mountaintop. (Yeah) [ApplauseAnd I don't mind. [Applause continuesLike anybody, I would like to live a long life — longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. (YeahAnd He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. (Go aheadAnd I've looked over, (Yes sirand I've seen the Promised Land. (Go aheadI may not get there with you. (Go aheadBut I want you to know tonight, (Yesthat we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land. [Applause] (Go ahead, Go aheadAnd so I'm happy tonight; I'm not worried about anything; I'm not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord. [Applause]


Source: 

MLKEC, INP, Martin Luther King, Jr. Estate Collection, In Private Hands, NYC-4A & 4B


KT - Cross


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6 JANUARY 2023 : 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 2023


OUR FIRST THOUGHTS MIGHT BE FROM ....

Minnie Louise Haskins' poem which the then 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.)


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NEW YEAR'S EVE 2022


The last minute:

Big Ben at 23.59 31 December 2020

Great Clock, Elizabeth Tower, London


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NEW YEAR'S EVE

31 DECEMBER 2022


The death of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI was announced by the Vatican today

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI


Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI - 2
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI
1927-2022


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

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

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THE FEASTDAY OF ST JOHN THE EVANGELIST

27 DECEMBER 2019


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

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 2022


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 neighbors, 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.


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25 DECEMBER 2022
CHRISTMAS AFTERNOON - 3pm

His Majesty, King Charles III, delivered his first Christmas message to the people of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth on Christmas Day at the traditional time of 3pm in the afternoon.  Here is what he said in full.

King Charles III - Christmas 2022

I am standing here in this exquisite Chapel of St George at Windsor Castle, so close to where my beloved mother, the late Queen, is laid to rest with my dear father.

I am reminded of the deeply touching letters, cards and messages which so many of you have sent my wife and myself and I cannot thank you enough for the love and sympathy you have shown our whole family.

Christmas is a particularly poignant time for all of us who have lost loved ones. We feel their absence at every familiar turn of the season and remember them in each cherished tradition.

In the much-loved carol O Little Town Of Bethlehem we sing of how “in thy dark streets shineth the everlasting light”.

My mother’s belief in the power of that light was an essential part of her faith in God, but also her faith in people and it is one which I share with my whole heart.

It is a belief in the extraordinary ability of each person to touch, with goodness and compassion, the lives of others, and to shine a light in the world around them.

This is the essence of our community and the very foundation of our society.

We see it in the selfless dedication of our armed forces and emergency services who work tirelessly to keep us all safe, and who performed so magnificently as we mourned the passing of our late Queen.

We see it in our health and social care professionals, our teachers and indeed all those working in public service, whose skill and commitment are at the heart of our communities.

And at this time of great anxiety and hardship, be it for those around the world facing conflict, famine or natural disaster, or for those at home finding ways to pay their bills and keep their families fed and warm, we see it in the humanity of people throughout our nations and the Commonwealth who so readily respond to the plight of others.

I particularly want to pay tribute to all those wonderfully kind people who so generously give food or donations, or that most precious commodity of all, their time, to support those around them in greatest need, together with the many charitable organisations which do such extraordinary work in the most difficult circumstances.

Our churches, synagogues, mosques, temples and gurdwaras, have once again united in feeding the hungry, providing love and support throughout the year. Such heartfelt solidarity is the most inspiring expression of loving our neighbour as our self.

The Prince and Princess of Wales recently visited Wales, shining a light on practical examples of this community spirit.

Some years ago, I was able to fulfil a life-long wish to visit Bethlehem and the Church of the Nativity.

There, I went down into the Chapel of the Manger and stood in silent reverence by the silver star that is inlaid on the floor and marks the place of our Lord Jesus Christ’s birth.

It meant more to me than I can possibly express to stand on that spot where, as the Bible tells us, ‘the light that has come into the world’ was born.

While Christmas is, of course, a Christian celebration, the power of light overcoming darkness is celebrated across the boundaries of faith and belief.

So, whatever faith you have, or whether you have none, it is in this life-giving light, and with the true humility that lies in our service to others, that I believe we can find hope for the future.

Let us therefore celebrate it together, and cherish it always.

With all my heart, I wish each of you a Christmas of peace, happiness and everlasting light.


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25 DECEMBER 2022

CHRISTMAS DAY


One of our Knights (The Revd Tony Markey) is working over Christmas on board ship but he sent us this photograph to show that it's not all work and no play!

  Tony & Christine at Christmas 2022


But of course Christmas is really 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 the Gospel of St John, Chapter 1, verses 1-14.  It 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.



***   ***   ***

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


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CHRISTMAS EVE - 24 DECEMBER 2022

THE LAST DAY IN ADVENT

OSMTJ - Bishop Caesar Johnson
OSMTJ Grand Chaplain : Bishop Caesar Johnson

At a zoom meeting a few days ago, hosted by our Grand Master, General Ronald Mangum, of the world-wide group of Grand Priors, the OSMTJ Grand Chaplain, Bishop Caesar Johnson, offered the following prayer.  Our Chaplain in West Wales (The Reverend Elizabeth Jones DOTJ) has translated it into Welsh for us and our Grand Prior has circulated both versions to those same global Grand Priors.  


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 y 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.

Bethlehem - Christmas Eve 2019
A Christian pilgrim kisses an icon of the Virgin Mary
as she visits the Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem
on Christmas Eve.


An ancient prayer for Advent:

Lord, thou hast given us thy Word for a light to shine upon our path;

grant us so to meditate on that Word, and to follow its teaching,

that we may find in it the light that shines more and more

until the perfect day;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

(St. Jerome, c 342 - 420)

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18 DECEMBER 2022

THE FOURTH SUNDAY IN ADVENT

Advent Sayund

A beautiful hymn written by Isaac Watts in 1719, is based on Psalm 98 which calls all creation to make a joyful noise to God, for He has come to "judge the earth" and restore His Creation.  With the current crisis of the warming of the world we can easily see our own hands at work in the destruction of nature and our waste of resources, general greed and sinfulness.  Clearly this "judgment of the earth" is partly a judgment on us as caretakers of God's world.  But God is merciful and full of grace, and rather than leave everything in our hands, "when the time was right" He entered His own creation and was born as Jesus in Bethlehem.  Isaac Watts makes the direct connection between the coming of Jesus and a new beginning to restore and establish His Kingdom again.  Jesus is the Life-giver, who brings "joy to the world", a light where there is darkness, growth where there is decay so that we, along with all Creation, can now sing this lovely song of praise:

          Joy to the world!  The Lord is come!
          Let earth receive her King:
          Let ev'ry heart prepare Him room,
          And heaven and nature sing,
          And heaven and nature sing,
          And heaven and heaven and nature sing.

                    Joy to the world! The Saviour reigns!
                    Let all their songs employ:
                    While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains
                    Repeat the sounding joy,
                    Repeat the sounding joy,
                    Repeat, repeat the sounding joy.

                              He rules the world with truth and grace,
                              And makes the nations prove
                              The glories of His righteousness,
                              And wonders of His love,
                              And wonders of His love,
                              And wonders, wonders of His love.


Here is a contribution by The Reverend Elizabeth Jones DOTJ
a Chaplain in our Commandery of West Wales in the OSMTJ Grand Priory of Wales:

As I sit to write this reflection for the Fourth Sunday in Advent, I have before me two Collects, which are prayers the church commends to all Christians, to summarise the general themes for the church to reflect on.

In the first the Book of Common Prayer calls:

             "O Lord, raise up we pray thee thy power and come among us
             and with great might succour us:
             that whereas, through our sins and wickedness,
             we are sore let and hindered in running the race that is before us,
             thy bountiful grace and mercy may speedily help and deliver us…”

To me, this rousing entreaty says much: it is the week before Christmas, and the darkest time of the year.  Many of us are beset with colds and winter ailments, some of us will be tired because it is the end of term at college, some of us will have flagging spirits as we prepare to work over the busy Christmas period.  It is a time, for many, that amid the bright lights and general festivity of the season, we are aware of our vulnerability.  We see, with eyes of faith, the manger before us, and the birth of the Christ Child, which we remember with deep joy, but will our flagging spirits get us across the line?  The prayer suggests not.

So, we pray, for the grace and mercy to keep us going, to celebrate worthily our commemoration of that special birth.

This prayer also orients us towards that time when the child in the manger, will return to be our judge, so the bright lights of the festive period illuminate all those things which we have done, and ought not to have done, as well as those things we should have done, but didn’t.

Our approach to the crib, we can perform in a measured way - with lists of things to do - so that nothing is forgotten or over-looked.  We have a sense of control; but the return of Christ as King and Judge will happen at a time and in a manner which we can’t predict, or control.  In the race of life that is set before us, the penetrating gaze of Jesus our judge will reveal many faults and flaws.

So, we pray, for the grace and mercy to keep going, aware of our vulnerability but also full of faith that the grace and mercy revealed to us in the birth, life and saving death of Jesus is ours for the asking.

In the second a more modern Collect turns our attention to Mary:

               “God our redeemer,
               who prepared the Blessed Virgin Mary to be the mother of your son:
               grant that, as she looked for his coming as our saviour,
               so may we be ready to greet him when he comes again as our judge.”

It is so pleasant at Christmas, to eat fine foods and exchange cards and gifts and greetings, but we come to the manger with empty hands, and we hope that when Christ come as our Judge, we shall stand before him with clean hands and a pure heart, through the grace which he has given us.

So, the reference to Mary can give us hope too.  She was an ordinary young woman, but she was greeted by an Archangel; and being found pregnant and unmarried would have been a terrible scandal, but she remained faithful to God’s promise.

God choses us, not because we are who we are, but because God is who God is.

This choosing or calling into relationship with God is the miracle which we are all called to share.  There may not be an Archangel to call us, but the miracle is there none the less.  We will be as unknowing as Mary, and perhaps as vulnerable to shame and ridicule because of that calling, but if we can stay faithful to that miracle, despite or weakness and frailty, God’s bountiful mercy and grace will see us through.

Amen.

Advent Candle 4
Our fourth Advent candle is lit 

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12 DECEMBER 2022

FIRST SNOW OF WINTER IN ENGLAND - 2022


Snow  berries 6 - 12 December 2022 

    Snow  berries 1 - 12 December 2022    Snow  fern - 12 December 2022    Snow  berries 5 - 12 December 2022

Snow  fence - 12 December 2022

   Snow  shoe  bird - 12 December 2022   Snow  shoe  fox - 12 December 2022   Snow  bird track - 12 December 2022

      Snow  car tracks
  With best wishes for the journey - to The Revd Lady Sherwood

All photographs above taken by the Grand Prior in his garden or the road in front

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12-13 DECEMBER 2013

SNOW IN THE HOLY LAND

With a reminder of the Christmas carol "See amid the winter's snow" by Edward Caswall
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


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.

Words by Christina Rossetti [1872]
Usual tune by Gustav Holst [1806]

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11 DECEMBER 2022

THE THIRD SUNDAY IN ADVENT

Here is a contribution by the The Reverend Elizabeth Kerl DOTJ
Chaplain in the Grand Priory of All Britain

For the third 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 denied 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 AT.  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.  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 Third Sunday in Advent:

Advent Candle 3

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9 DECEMBER 2022

FIRST FROST OF WINTER 2022-2023

Frosty Cross

        Frost 2 - 8 December 2022   Frost 3 - 8 December 2022

  Frost 6 - 8 December 2022    Frost 4 - 8 December 2022 

Frost 5 - 8 December 2022

All photographs taken by the Grand Prior in his garden

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4 DECEMBER 2022

THE SECOND SUNDAY IN ADVENT

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.


And now the well-known prayer* and song:

     Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
     Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
     Where there is injury, pardon.  Where there is doubt, faith.
     Where there is despair, hope.  Where there is darkness, light.
     And where there is sadness, only joy.

     Divine Master, Grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console.
     To be understood as to understand.
     To be loved as to love with all my heart.

     For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
     and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

     Amen.


We light the candle for this Second Sunday in Advent:

  Advent Candle 2



*Copyright Note:  This prayer in its present form has NOT been traced back before 1912.  Its first known occurrence was in French, in a small spiritual magazine called La Clochette (The Little Bell).  It is often, though incorrectly, associated with the Italian St Francis of Assisi (1182-1226), but it is entirely absent from his writings.  The original French version and a line-by-line translation into English can be found on this website on the page "Not the Prayer of St Francis". 


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27 NOVEMBER 2022

ADVENT SUNDAY

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 egg shortages 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.  “Lo. He comes, with clouds, descending”.  Amen.


Here is a contribution by our Chaplain-at-Large, The Reverend Chevalier Antony Markey KCTJ

(Tony reports that currently he is south-west of mid-Atlantic and will be in Nassau soon and finally Miami)  

"Advent", comes from adventus meaning "coming", and we celebrate it as a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus.  However, in connection with the Second Coming of Christ from Heaven where he now sits at the Right Hand of God the Greek word parousia, is used more. 

 

How do we bring this into our own lives?

 

In T.S. Elliot’s JOURNEY OF THE MAGI, we are told:

 

     A cold coming we had of it,
     Just the worst time of the year
     For a journey, and such a long journey;
     The ways deep and the weather sharp.
     The very dead of winter.
     And the Camels galled, sore-footed, refractory,
          lying down in the melting snow.
     There were times we regretted
     The Summer palaces on slopes, the terraces,
     And the silken girls bringing sherbet. ©

Does this mean the Magi did not want to journey to see the newborn Saviour?  The work goes on to describe the journey in greater detail from the very human perspective and the privations they (and we all) suffer on our various roads we take for our faith.

 

There was / is a tradition of fasting for advent that could last almost the entire month but our privations should surely be more personal for not just our faith but our daily lives?

 

As we approach the most incredible time of the birth of our Saviour and the Saviour of all people we should be reminded that the struggles we may be going through in this time of political, economic and social uncertainty teach us to ‘gird our loins’.

 

“And the hand of the Lord was on Elijah; and he girded up his loins, and ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel”. (1 Kings 18:46)

“Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you… .’" (1 Peter 1:13)

 

Be ready for the coming of our Lord and whether you are ‘high born’ and of privilege of ‘lowly born’ in rags and tatters.  Remember our Saviour was born in a stable and rose to be with His father to give those who believe in him, eternal life, redemption and salvation.

 

In those quiet moments when we can be alone with our thoughts, let us turn them to that promise and thought and realise that God sees all and knows all.  Let us remember to shine with the light within and always be ready for His calling.  As we are told “The Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect”. (Luke 12:14)

 

Turn your thoughts away from the ‘commercial’ aspect of Christmas and remember what it actually means and represents.  Look around to those maybe less fortunate and reach out the hand of eternal friendship in the spirit of the Templars, to help a brother or sister and through your love envelope others in His love.

 

Finally, as we think of the second coming of our Lord, I am reminded of the words of Cardinal Newman:

 

Lord Jesus,

Master of both the light and the darkness,
    send your Holy Spirit upon our preparations for Christmas.

We who have so much to do and seek quiet spaces to hear your voice each day,

We who are anxious over many things look forward to your coming among us.

We who are blessed in so many ways long for the complete joy of your kingdom.

We whose hearts are heavy seek the joy of your presence.

We are your people, walking in darkness, yet seeking the light.

To you we say, "Come Lord Jesus!"
Amen. ©


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Advent Candles

 Welcome to Advent, the 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.  Some of our Chaplains will explore an idea each week as we work our way to Christmas.

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


Here is a contribution by our Chaplain for Wales, The Reverend Darren Lynch KOTJ

On this First Sunday in Advent, we look at Hope.  To illustrate this, if you will indulge me, I draw your attention to two of the Star Wars movies.  Most notably the Revenge of the Sith (2005) and A New Hope (1977).  At the end of the first the 'Jedi' Order lays in ruins, they are all but destroyed with seemingly less than a handful of survivors, who are now fugitives.  The Galactic Senate once a beacon of fairness and reason is transformed into an Empire.  It seems very bleak indeed, yet into this bleakness, this darkness, there is a small hope because in a distant medical centre two children were born.  One of whom is Luke Skywalker (played in the film by the actor Mark Hamill), the man who will one day train as a Jedi and defeat the insidious Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) and the other, the brutal Darth Vader (David Prowse/James Earl Jones).  But that small, tiny spark of hope in a far corner of the galaxy one day bought peace and victory for the light.

That was a modern fantasy film, yet 2000 years ago in a minor Roman province, before the birth of our Lord Jesus, the real world was cold, brutal and unfeeling.  Trusting in itself, in its own righteousness and its own power, humanity had fallen into the very trap that the prophet Samuel had cautioned against.  But in a forgotten corner of the country, in Bethlehem, Hope - that small spark would arrive.

Those of us who live in the darkness of today hold in our hearts that same hope which believers who were alive in the weeks leading up to the birth of Jesus also did.  That hope that better is coming, that hope that the Spirit will move, the Lord will say the words and we shall all be saved.

You don’t need me to tell you how hard it is out there; you don’t need me to tell you of the perils of the world today.  Spend 5 minutes watching the news and all that darkness, all that division and evil is there for us to see.  We have to Believe though.  We have to see that small spark of Hope that still shines even when all around is darkness.  As the Gospels tell us, from that small spark in Bethlehem came the Light of the World.  Let Hope guide you, let Hope sustain you and let Hope bring you out of the darkness and into the Light.  Amen. 

And so we can light the candle for this first period in Advent:

 

Advent Candle 1

 

We hold that hope of change, especially at this time of economic uncertainty, rising prices and increasing secularisation.  But there is good news, we get to be hope-givers to a weary and hurting world.  We get to share our hope so that others are liberated and can also walk free from the chains of despair, or addiction, or fear.  We have that faith that God will send the Holy Spirit, His Light upon us.

And so we pray:

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.


Advent Candles


KT - Cross



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25 NOVEMBER 2022

90th 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 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.

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16 NOVEMBER 2022

NORTHERN IRELAND

On 16 November 2022 the Grand Master confirmed to the Grand Prior of All Britain that Northern Ireland has, within the Statutes of the Order, potential 'entity' status, being a nation within the United Kingdom and not being part of the Republic of Ireland.

Here is an extract of the relevant Article:

Article V. Structure of the Order

1. The Order is composed of autonomous Grand Priories.  Only one Grand Priory may exist in any one nation or state.

Consequently aspiring Templars resident in Northern Ireland or anyone wishing to join the Order can now help to establish a group there.

The support of existing Templars in Northern Ireland currently in any Templar group who would be interested in assisting in the process will be very welcome.

The new group will join the family of the Grand Priory of All Britain and we are pleased to support this programme.

Anyone interested can get in touch via the "Contact Us" page on the menu on the left.


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14 NOVEMBER 2022

BIRTHDAY GREETINGS

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

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13 NOVEMBER 2022

REMEMBRANCE SUNDAY

Remembrance - The souls of the righteous


AT THE CENOTAPH IN CENTRAL LONDON

Remembrance Sunday 2022 - The Cenotaph


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


 Remembrance Sunday 2022 - King Charles

King Charles III

Remembrance Sunday 2022 - Kings wreath
The King's wreath

 Remembrance Sunday 2022 - Princess Anne  Remembrance Sunday 2022 - Prince William  Remembrance Sunday 2022 - Prince Edward

          Princess Anne                      Prince William                  Prince Edward 


                       Remembrance Sunday 2022 - Party Leaders 

     Sir Jeffrey Donaldson  Sir Ed Davey   Mr Ian Blackford    Sir Keir Starmer   Mr Rishi Sunak

       [Leaders representing the main UK Political Parties at the Cenotaph in London]

Sir Jeffrey Donaldson : Northern Ireland (Democratic Unionist Party)

Sir Ed Davey : Liberal Democrats

Mr Ian Blackford : Scottish National Party & Plaid Cymru (Wales)

Sir Keir Starmer : The Labour Party (and leader of His Majesty's loyal Opposition)

Mr Rishi Sunak : The Conservative Party (and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom)


Remembrance Sunday observed in the other Nations of the United Kingdom

   
 Remembrance Sunday 2022 - Cardiff  Remembrance Sunday 2022 - Edinburgh                       Wales (Cardiff)                                       Scotland (Edinburgh)

                               Remembrance Sunday 2022 - Enniskillen
                                           Northern Ireland (Enniskillen)


Remembrance Sunday 2022 - Cenotaph Marchpast
10,000 Veterans from all over the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth marched past the Cenotaph and laid their wreaths  

  

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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


                                                    

KT - Cross



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10 NOVEMBER 2022

TENTH 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 OSMTH Priory of Wales.

Subsequently, in September 2013, at an international Convention held in Edinburgh, and for the avoidance of doubt, the Chaplain-General of the OSMTH Grand Priory of England (The Revd Chevalier Dr Graham St.John-Willey) 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 later confirmed by the Grand Master) and as a result 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, the OSMTH Grand Master 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 longer established OSMTJ under their new Grand Master, General Ronald Mangum (US Army retired).

And now, for the next 12 months or so, we shall be celebrating this 10th year of our new Foundation as we continue to grow and develop as the OSMTJ Grand Priory of Wales.


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All Souls' Tide : 2 November 2022

   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):
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 (died 17 December 2021)


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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.

 

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1 November 2022

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



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25 OCTOBER 2022

Star Gazing

On 25 October there will be a partial eclipse of the sun.  In addition, that night there will be a New Moon so the sky will be especially dark and it will therefore a good opportunity to view stars and galaxies etc.

A new moon happens when the moon is located on the same side of the Earth as the Sun and will not be visible in the night sky.  This is the best time of the month to observe faint objects such as galaxies and star clusters because there is no moonlight to interfere.  For similar dates see the menu page "Star Gazing"


The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

(Psalm 19, verse 1)


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8 OCTOBER 2022

Our most recent Investiture was at the Parish Church of St Michael & All Angels,
Llantarnam, South Wales on Saturday afternoon, 8 October 2022.

OSMTJ - 08102022 - Front Cover.jpg
Front cover of the Order of Service


Church in Wales - Flag
Flag of the Church in Wales (Anglican)

 Llantarnam - CWGC  Llantarnam - 8 October 2022 - Church  Llantarnam - VC grave

     Guardsman P Morgan           Parish Church of St Michael & All Angels, Llantarnam        Private John Fielding Williams VC

  
 Llantarnam - Painting of a Knight
   Painting by Danielle


Llantarnam - Grand Prior      Llantarnam - Altar  Flag
 The Grand Prior                                        The Flag of the Grand Priory of Wales


OSMTJ - 08102022 - Declaration.jpg
Page 6 of the Order of Service

Llantarnam - Group
Some of the Knights and Dames in attendance


OSMTJ - 08102022 - National Anthem.jpg
Page 22 of the Order of Service


OSMTJ - All Britain arms  logo - Copyright


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8 - 19 SEPTEMBER 2022

The Queen is dead.  Long live the King.


In order to observe the official period of National Mourning following the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II this website is in suspense for a while until the funeral of the Queen has taken place on Monday 18 September and official mourning has ended later.

                        Tribute from the Poet Laureateening will come, however determined the late afternoon,

Limes and oaks in their last green flush, pearled in September mist.

I have conjured a lily to light these hours, a token of thanks,

Zones and auras of soft glare framing the brilliant globes.

A promise made and kept for life - that was your gift -

Because of which, here is a gift in return, glovewort to some,

Each shining bonnet guarded by stern lance-like leaves.

The country loaded its whole self into your slender hands,

Hands that can rest, now, relieved of a century's weight.

 

Evening has come. Rain on the black lochs and dark Munros.

Lily of the Valley, a namesake almost, a favourite flower

Interlaced with your famous bouquets, the restrained

Zeal and forceful grace of its lanterns, each inflorescence

A silent bell disguising a singular voice. A blurred new day

Breaks uncrowned on remote peaks and public parks, and

Everything turns on these luminous petals and deep roots,

This lily that thrives between spire and tree, whose brightness

Holds and glows beyond the life and border of its bloom.

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8 SEPTEMBER 2022

Flag at half mast

Double rainbow for the Queen
A double rainbow appeared at Buckingham Palace this afternoon.
 
(for the Queen & Prince Philip?)

he Queen

King Charles II re the Queen

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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.

 

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Grand Master.re The Queen

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LET US PRAY: 

Eternal God and Father,

we praise you that you have made people to share life together

and to reflect your glory in the world.

We thank you now for our dear sister, Queen Elizabeth II,

for all that we saw of your goodness and love in her life

and for all that she means to each one of us.

As we too journey towards death

may we do so in the company of Jesus,

who came to share our life

that we might share the life of eternity.

To him be glory with you and the Holy Spirit

for ever and ever. Amen.

 

Bless The Royal Family as they mourn, eternal God, with the comfort of your love that they may face each new day with hope and the certainty that nothing can destroy the good that has been given.  May their memories become joyful, their days enriched with friendship, and their lives encircled by your love.

 

May Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II rest in peace and Rise in Glory.

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8 SEPTEMBER 2022 - LATE AFTERNOON

The Queen is dead!  Long live the King!

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8 SEPTEMBER 2022 - EARLY AFTERNOON

Buckingham Palace announced this afternoon that there is considerable concern over the health of Her Majesty the Queen who is currently at Balmoral Castle in Scotland.

We, the Knights and Dames of the Order of the Temple of Jerusalem here in Britain, hold Her Majesty and all of the Royal Family in our prayers and thoughts and we send our very best wishes to them.  We pray especially that God will protect and guard her and bring a sense of peace and calm to all of us who love and respect her.

The Archbishop of Canterbury wrote, "May God's presence strengthen and comfort Her Majesty, her family, and those who are caring for her."

God save the Queen!



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31 AUGUST 2022

Today is the 25th 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.

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"The heavens declare the glory of God" [Psalm 19, verse 1]

James Webb telescope takes super sharp view of early cosmos
NASA reveals more stunning images from James Webb telescope (msn.com)

More photographs can be found on the Nasa website.

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SEA SUNDAY - 10 July 2022

Creator and Father of all,
we pray for those who go down to the sea in ships
and serve upon the waters of the world.
Bless them and all who minister to their needs,
that they may put their trust in you
and find in you a strong anchor for their hopes
and so be filled with your peace
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.


In a similar way Alfred, Lord Tennyson, is believed to have written the poem 'Crossing the Bar' in 1889 (after suffering a serious illness) while on the sea, crossing the Solent from Aldworth to Farringford on the Isle of Wight.  Separately, it has been suggested he may have written it on a yacht anchored in Salcombe, where there is a moaning sandbar.  "The words", he said, "came in a moment".  Shortly before he died, Tennyson told his son Hallam to "put 'Crossing the Bar' at the end of all editions of my poems".

The extended metaphor of "crossing the bar" represents travelling serenely and securely from life through death.  The Pilot is a metaphor for God, whom the speaker hopes to meet face to face.  Tennyson explained, "The Pilot has been on board all the while, but in the dark I have not seen him… [He is] that Divine and Unseen, Who is always guiding us."


  CROSSING THE BAR

Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,

But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;

For tho' from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
  When I have cross'd the bar.


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 FLYING INSECTS - 1 July 2022

(Seen in the Grand Prior's garden today)

  Strawbell plant in pot   20220629145752 2   20220629145122 2
     
Strawberry plantpot       A piece of leaf disappears          A bee emerges

20220629144936 20220629165254         The leafcutter bee (family: megachilidae)                  Cut leaves nearby

20220629111134
Larval form of a Shield Beetle variety



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ORDINATION DAY - 25 June 2022

ESGOBAETH LLANDAF : EGLWYS GADEIRIOL LLANDAF
The Diocese of Llandaff : Llandaff Cathedral

ORDEINIO DIACONIAID
Ordination of Deacons

OMSTJ - Diocese of Llandaff - arms

OSMTJ - Ordination - Bishop blessing

 OSMTJ - Ordination - Darren a  OSMTJ - Ordination - Darren b

OSMTJ - Ordination - 8 Deacons 2

One of our Chaplains, The Revd Darren being ordained into the Church in Wales.

OSMTJ - Ordination - 8 Deacons

CONGRATULATIONS !


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ARMED FORCES DAY - 25 June 2022

OSMTJ - Armed Forces Day 2022 - General

       OSMTJ - Armed Forces Day 2022 - Welsh  OSMTJ - Armed Forces Day 2022 - English

There are Armed Forces Day events taking place all over the country.
For more details go to https://armedforcesday.or.uk 

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FATHER'S DAY - 19 June 2022

Fathers Day - Duke of Cambridge 2022
The Duke of Cambridge with Prince Louis, Princess Charlotte & Prince George
on holiday in Jordan (Photograph issued by Kensington Palace).

At this time we're very pleased to send our love and very best wishes to the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge and family.  


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2 June 2022

ANNIVERSARY OF THE CORONATION IN 1953

Millions of people around the world are celebrating the Platinum Jubilee of the reign of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and today is the anniversary of her Coronation in Westminster Abbey, London, in 1953.

We, the Knights Templar of All Britain, which includes the Grand Priory of Wales and the Grand Priory of England, have sent our loyal and loving greetings to Her Majesty at Windsor Castle.  We pray that Almighty God will continue bless and keep her safe in His eternal love and care.

GOD SAVE THE QUEEN

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21 - 28 May 2022

COMMONWEALTH WAR GRAVES COMMISSION WEEK

There are many events happening across the UK and Europe.  Discover the CWGC  cemeteries and memorials in your local area, learn about the work of the Commission and remember the men and women of the Armed Forces who died during the two World Wars and are buried or commemorated locally or elsewhere.

War Graves Week is the annual awareness week that aims to encourage communities
to come together and discover our World War heritage.

Below is a photograph of an unusual triple-headstone which can be found at the cemetery in
Bassaleg Road, Newport, South Wales (St Woolos area), NP20 3PY:

Headstone - Bowen Collins  Powe

                                                   16521 L/Cpl                 387 Private               9273 Guardsman
                                                     D. BOWEN                  M. J. COLLINS                   J. POWER
                                                   Welch Regt                Middlesex Regt               Irish Guards
                                                27th May 1916             7th March 1916           27th August 1916
                                                                                      DEAR BELOVED
                                                                                BY FATHER & MOTHER


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23 April 2022

ST GEORGE'S DAY

St George Cross
St George's Cross

St George as a Crusader Knight - Copy
St George as a Crusader Knight

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21 April 2022

BIRTHDAY OF HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN

HMQ  96 on 21 April 2022
Her Majesty with two Fell ponies at the Royal Windsor Horse Show

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 Her Majesty the Queen on the anniversary of her birthday, today.

We pray that God will continue the Bless and Keep her in this the Platinum Anniversary of her reign and will encourage and support her in the years ahead.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

GOD SAVE THE QUEEN!

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