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Saturday, February 17, 2007

Archiepiscopal Visitation

Behold a mighty prelate, who in his lifetime pleased God,
and was found righteous.

There was none like unto him,
who kept the law of the Most High all the days of his life.

The Lord, therefore, assured by an oath
that He would bless the nations in his seed.

On Monday and Tuesday of this week, my parish had a visitation from one of the emmbers of our Synod of Bishops in the person of His Eminence Archbishop KYRILL, of the Diocese of San Francisco and Western America.

It was a joy to have him. As many of you will remember, there have been some difficult times recently within our diocese, and even within our parish as some people have left more locally. The archbishop spent time with us on Monday evening, and was unbelievably warm and open about the current situation and his own personal experiences. I believe that this will prove to be a very major part of the healing process.

On Tuesday, we went along to venerate the shrine of St Werburgh in Chester. The Dean and his staff at the Anglican cathedral there were extremely hospitable to us. They really went out of their way to make us feel welcome. It was such an awe-inspiring experience to be able to take part in the veneration of the restored shrine of so great a Saint with one of our bishops. I'll never forget that, or the pleasant afternoon that we spant together as a small group, eating and talking in Christian love.

I took my camera along and we got some photographs, which now appear on the parish website. Until this week just gone, I had successfully managed not to appear in any of the photographs on the website, which is an arrangement with which I was quite happy. More seriously, it was good to get more people involved in taking photographs and things, as it means that the site is really turning into a parish effort, even if it does mean that the world has to be subjected to my image all over the show.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting the pictures - I really enjoyed viewing them - the Pilgrimage to Chester especially looks like a wonderful time was had.

Keith Patterson

Michael Astley said...

Keith! Good to see you here!

I'm glad you enjoyed the photographs. Yes, it was truly a beautiful time. I had been to the cathedral a few times before but never to the shrine, and it was indeed a blessing. I was informed immediately afterwards that our tiny gathering had been Mystery Worshipped, which is rather daunting, but there we go. :-)