08 August 2021

Praying in Ordinary Time 2021:
71, Christ’s College, Cambridge

Inside the chapel in Christ’s College, Cambridge (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Patrick Comerford

The prayer diary of the Anglican mission agency USPG (United Society Partners in the Gospel) is focussing this week on USPG’s links with the Abundant Life Programme (ALP), an initiative run by the Iglesia Filipina Independiente (IFI) to support indigenous communities in the Caraga, Mindanao and Manila regions of the Philippines.

Later this morning I am presiding and preaching at the Parish Eucharist in Castletown Church, Co Limerick, and leading Morning Prayer in Holy Trinity Church, Rathkeale, Co Limerick.

Before the day gets busy, I am taking a little time this morning for prayer, reflection and reading.

During this time in the Church Calendar known as Ordinary Time, I am taking some time each morning to reflect in these ways:

1, photographs of a church or place of worship;

2, the day’s Gospel reading;

3, a prayer from the USPG prayer diary.

This week’s theme is seven college chapels in Cambridge. In this series, I have already visited the chapel of Sidney Sussex College (13 March 2021). My photographs this morning (8 August 2021) are of Christ’s College.

The entrance to the chapel in Christ’s College is in a quiet corner of First Court (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

I preached in the Chapel in Christ’s College, Cambridge, and was a visiting lecturer in 2009 at the invitation of the then chaplain, the Revd Christopher Woods. I stayed there again in 2010 in advance of that year’s summer school at Sidney Sussex College, organised by the Institute for Orthodox Christian Studies.

The original college buildings in Christ’s College from the 15th and 16th centuries now forming part of First Court include the Chapel, the Master’s Lodge and the Great Gate tower.

Christ’s College was originally established in 1437 by William Byngham, who called his new college God’s House. The college moved to its present location in 1448 after Henry VI decided that he needed the original site for his new King’s College. Lady Margaret Beaufort, the mother of Henry VII and grandmother of Henry VIII, who refounded the college in the early 16th century.

In 1505, God’s House was re-dedicated as Christ’s College under the patronage of Lady Margaret Beaufort. The Chapel of Christ’s College was consecrated in 1510 by the then Bishop of Ely, James Stanley, a stepson of Lady Margaret Beaufort.

Lady Margaret was a pious woman. It is said that even before the chapel was consecrated she heard Mass from a gallery now represented by a window in the south wall of the chapel, although the chapel was not formally consecrated until a year after her death.

In 2010, Christ’s College celebrated the 500th anniversary of the consecration of the chapel.

Lady Margaret Beaufort’s statue on the gatehouse at Christ’s College, Cambridge (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

John 6: 35, 41-51 (NRSVA):

35 Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.’

41 Then the Jews began to complain about him because he said, ‘I am the bread that came down from heaven.’ 42 They were saying, ‘Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, “I have come down from heaven”?’ 43 Jesus answered them, ‘Do not complain among yourselves. 44 No one can come to me unless drawn by the Father who sent me; and I will raise that person up on the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets, “And they shall all be taught by God.” Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me. 46 Not that anyone has seen the Father except the one who is from God; he has seen the Father. 47 Very truly, I tell you, whoever believes has eternal life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 50 This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live for ever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.’

Snow blankets the First Court and the entrance to the chapel at Christ’s College, Cambridge … John Milton and Charles Darwin were undergraduates (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Prayer in the USPG Prayer Diary:

The Prayer in the USPG Prayer Diary today (8 August 2021) invites us to pray:

‘I wait for the Lord,
My soul waits, and in His word I hope’.
Loving God, grant us patience and forgiveness.
May we share our hope with the world.

Yesterday’s reflection

Continued tomorrow

The gatehouse at Christ’s College, Cambridge was restored and repainted in a project that took four years to complete (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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