12 April 2021

Praying in Lent and Easter 2021:
55, the Comberford Chapel, Tamworth

The Comberford Chapel in Saint Editha’s Church, Tamworth … the burial place of generations of the Comberford family (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Patrick Comerford

During the Season of Easter this year, I am continuing my theme from Lent, taking some time each morning to reflect in these ways:

1, photographs of a church or place of worship that has been significant in my spiritual life;

2, the day’s Gospel reading;

3, a prayer from the prayer diary of the Anglican mission agency USPG (United Society Partners in the Gospel).

This week, I am offering photographs of churches with close associations with my family and ancestors. My photographs this morning (12 April 2021) are from the Comberford Chapel in the Collegiate Church of Saint Editha, Tamworth.

For many generations, my family continued to regard Comberford as our ancestral home, despite some of the complicated details in our family tree. My great-grandfather, James Comerford (1817-1902), had a very interesting visit to Comberford and Tamworth at the end of the 19th or in the early 20th century. His visits included Comberford Hall, the Comberford Chapel in Saint Editha’s Church and the Moat House in Tamworth.

The side chapels in Saint Editha’s Church include Saint George’s Chapel, the Lady Chapel and the Comberford Chapel. The Comberford Chapel in the former north transept was built by the Comberford family of Comberford Hall, north of Tamworth and east of Tamworth.

The monuments in the Comberford Chapel include the fragment of a 15th century effigy of a member of the Comberford family in the regalia of a knight, and a wall tablet with a Latin inscription erected in 1725 by members of the Comerford family in Ireland to members of Comberford family of Staffordshire.

A four-light window in the Comberford Chapel depicts Christ the Teacher and commemorates the Revd Francis Blick, Vicar of Tamworth (1796-1842).

The Comberford family also had family chapels in Comberford Hall and in the Moat House, the family townhouse on Lichfield Street, Tamworth.

‘Christ the Teacher’ … a stained glass window in the Comberford Chapel in Saint Editha’s Church, commemorates the Revd Francis Blick, Vicar of Tamworth (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

John 3: 1-8 (NRSVA):

1 Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. 2 He came to Jesus by night and said to him, ‘Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do apart from the presence of God.’ 3 Jesus answered him, ‘Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.’ 4 Nicodemus said to him, ‘How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother’s womb and be born?’ 5 Jesus answered, ‘Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. 6 What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not be astonished that I said to you, “You must be born from above.” 8 The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.’

The Comberford effigy in the Comberford chapel in Tamworth (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Prayer in the USPG Prayer Diary:

The Prayer in the USPG Prayer Diary today (12 April 2021) invites us to pray:

Let us pray for all those in university that through their studies they may grow in wisdom, and knowledge to better themselves and others.

The monument erected in the Comberford Chapel in 1725 by the Comerford family of Ireland

Yesterday’s reflection

Continued tomorrow

Saint Editha’s Collegiate Church Tamworth … one of the largest and oldest parish churches in the English Midlands (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicised Edition copyright © 1989, 1995, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. http://nrsvbibles.org

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