I have often reflected on the strangeness of the promotion of the feast of Christ the King to a major festival during the late twentieth century at a time when republicanism across the globe had probably never before been such a significant force, and indeed when the remaining monarchies are confined to a ceremonial role. How useful is it to describe God’s dominion in terms of monarchy today, when most monarchies have so little power? Therefore I am going to pass over Christ the King to talk about something more traditional.
In old language this was ‘Stir up Sunday’, so named after the collect for today in the Book of Common Prayer, which is now the post communion prayer. Traditionally this was linked to the idea of everyone stirring up Christmas cakes and puddings, but I want to suggest that there is something significant about the idea of us being ‘stirred up’ at the end of a liturgical year. After all, what is church life about, if it is not about stirring up souls to do the will of God?
St Augustine, when he asks what makes a good sermon, gives three key measures. He says that a sermon should teach (so have content), delight (so be interesting) and persuade (so actually move people to do something). I think the last two of these three are generally neglected both in terms of teaching how to preach, and also in the way we think of what we do in church more generally. Yet, content is not enough: church life needs to be interesting and applicable to life.
Today we gather for Helena’s baptism, and we ask that the stirring of the waters of baptism will stir up the spirit in her soul and in each one of us. As we prepare to celebrate the birth of Christ during Advent, let us use this time to renew our sense of vocation as God’s pilgrim people on earth.
The Revd Canon Anthony Rustell
Welcome to all those joining us today including those attending Helena’s baptism this morning and the families of Nicholas, Elijah and Jimmie being admitted as Pro-Choristers and Jake as a Chorister this evening.
Annual Sidespersons’ Meeting 12.00-1.30pm in the Bishop Kenneth Room. If you would like to find out more about becoming a Sidesperson please speak to one of our Churchwardens: Mike Purvis or Sheila Picton.
Services and Events The new editions of The List and our Monthly Events listing are available in the Cathedral or on the website.
'Make a Fish~Make a Wish' The unique shoals of over four hundred handmade clay fish now in the Nave were created by visitors, and members of the Cathedral community. The project, funded by Awards for All, was led by Ginny Topp of Claystation, supported by Sharon Court our Annual Theme Curator, and installed by Gavin & Sam from The Makers Guild. We are grateful for their help in bringing the vision for this work to life!
Chapter meets on Wednesday evening to approve the 2018 Budget. The full agenda is on the website and notice board.
Cathedral Shop Advent candles and calendars and Cathedral Christmas cards are now in stock. The cards which feature detail of the Madonna and child from the stained glass window in Saint Thomas’s Chapel cost £2.50 for five with proceeds in aid of the Cathedral and the Friends and are also available by mail order.
Churches Homeless Action Churches across the city are collecting supermarket gift vouchers (£5.00 value please) to be distributed through charities which support the homeless. The cards will be presented at a special service at midday on Friday 15th December St Mary’s, Fratton. Donations can be handed into the Cathedral Offices or Shop.
Volunteers to serve tea after the Dementia Friendly Carol Service 3.00pm Wednesday 6th December. Invitations have gone out across Portsmouth to all organisations supporting those with dementia and their carers. Jill Phipps, Portsmouth Deanery’s Older Persons Champion, is anticipating that there could be up to 300 people attending the service, hence the need for volunteers! If you are able to help please contact Sarah Lovatt in the Cathedral Offices or Jill at Jill.Phipps@portsmouthcathedral.org.uk
Lunchtime Live: We are looking for volunteers to help provide sandwiches, snacks, and hot drinks at our term-time weekly recital series on Thursdays. For further information or to volunteer please contact Tim Burnett in the Cathedral Offices.
Friends trip to Winchester Cathedral Christmas Market and The City Mill Thursday 14th December. Cost £20.00 (NT member) £24.00 (Non-NT member). If you would like further details or to join the group please contact the Cathedral offices or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lunchtime Live 1.10pm this Thursday. Violin recital by Fumi Otsuki. Free entry, with retiring collection. Light refreshments from 12.30pm.
Christmas Fair 11.00am-2.00pm Saturday 2nd December. Many stalls including china, collectables, toiletries, glass Christmas gifts, cakes, preserves, scarves and jewellery. Refreshments and activities for children. Pick up a flyer for details including donations of items which can be left in the Cloister from Thursday.
Craft and Chat Group 2.30pm Thursday 7th December in the Bishop Kenneth Room. All welcome.
Silver Screen ‘A Miracle on 34th Street’ (1947) 2.00pm Tuesday 12th December. Our bimonthly film screening following Cathedral Lunch Club in Becket Hall. Free but please pick up a ticket from the Cathedral Shop.
Messy Cathedral A special Messy Christmas session will be held 2.00-4.00pm on Saturday 16th December in Becket Hall. Join us for an hour of fun and craft activities followed by the telling of the Christmas Story and a special Christmas themed tea. Suitable for all ages. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
Nelson Consort 7.30pm Saturday 16th December. Silent Night the eight singers of the Nelson Consort, under Director Oliver Hancock, offer a programme of music for Christmas with Seasonal Refreshments. Tickets £10.00 (£8.00 concessions) from the Cathedral Shop.
Armed Forces’ Covenant On Tuesday the Bishop will be signing our Diocese’s commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant during Choral Evensong at 6.00pm. All are welcome.
Advent Carol Service 6.00pm Sunday 3rd December. A sequence of music and dramatic readings foretelling the birth of Jesus Christ into our world.
PLEASE PRAY FOR
All those in need including: Martin, Alex, Frank, John, Christine, Roger, Amanda, Vic, Alan, Ayu, Joan, and Rachael.
And those who have died: Judith Gibbon, and Gwendoline Hamilton-Swann RIP.
For the complete listing of this week's notices, please click here.