25 October 2022

Praying in Ordinary Time with USPG:
Tuesday 25 October 2022

‘It grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air made nests in its branches’ (Luke 13: 19) … ‘World’s Smallest Seed,’ 40”x30” oil/canvas, by James B Janknegt

Patrick Comerford

The Calendar of the Church of England in Common Worship today (25 October) remembers Saint Crispin and Saint Crispinian, Martyrs at Rome, ca 287, with a commemoration.

Before today gets busy, I am taking some time this morning for reading, prayer and reflection.

For the rest of this week, I am reflecting in these ways:

1, One of the readings for the morning;

2, A reflection based on six churches or church sites I visited in London last week;

3, a prayer from the USPG prayer diary, ‘Pray with the World Church.’

‘The kingdom of God … is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour until all of it was leavened’ (Luke 13: 20-21) (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Saint Crispin and Saint Crispinian were shoemakers who lived in the third century. They are reputed to have preached the Christian faith in Gaul while exercising their trade and so, like Saint Paul earning his living as a tent-maker, were no drain on the Christian community. They were put to death for their faith at the beginning of the persecutions of Diocletian and died about the year 287 in Rome.

Luke 13: 18-21 (NRSVA):

18 He [Jesus] said therefore, ‘What is the kingdom of God like? And to what should I compare it? 19 It is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in the garden; it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air made nests in its branches.’

20 And again he said, ‘To what should I compare the kingdom of God? 21 It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour until all of it was leavened.’

The buried remains of Saint Pancras Church, Soper Lane, are preserved in a courtyard on Pancras Lane, behind 70-80 Cheapside, London (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2022)

Saint Pancras Church, Soper Lane:

Saint Pancras Church, Soper Lane, was a mediaeval parish church in the City of London. It was destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666 and was not rebuilt.

Saint Pancras was in the Ward of Cheap in the City of London. Soper Lane, where it stood, was renamed after the Great Fire, becoming Pancras Lane and Queen Street.

The church was first built in the 12th century. It was a small building, with a chapel on the north side and a tower that had five bells.

The patronage of the church belonged to the prior and chapter of Christ Church, Canterbury, until 1365, when it was transferred to the Archbishop of Canterbury. The church was a peculiar under the jurisdiction of the Court of Arches at Saint Mary-le-Bow.

The parish was small but had some wealthy residents, and the church received many benefactions. In 1617, it was presented with a monument commemorating Elizabeth I by Thomas Chapman. The renovation of the church in 1621 was financed by a group of benefactors, including Chapman, and a porch added in 1624 was paid for by Chapman’s son.

The parsonage house on the corner of Pancras Lane and Queen Street was leased in 1670 for 40 years, at an annual rent of £2.

Along with the majority of churches in the City, Saint Pancras, Soper Lane, was destroyed in the Great Fire of London in September 1666. It was not rebuilt, and instead the parish was united with those of Saint Mary-le-Bow and All Hallows, Honey Lane. The rebuilt Saint Mary-le-Bow served as the church for the united parishes, and the site of Saint Pancras was retained as a graveyard.

The remains of the medieval parish church survive as below-ground remains, on low-lying ground between Pancras Lane and Cheapside. The buried remains are preserved in a courtyard on Pancras Lane, at the rear of 70 to 80 Cheapside. The ragstone walls and foundations of the church are about 1 metre wide and are preserved at about 0.6 to 0.9 metres below present ground level. It is approximately 14 metres long by 7 metres wide and includes a nave and apsidal chancel at the east end.

The site was partially excavated in 1963-1964, when part of the walls of the church and a barrel-lined well to the east were revealed. The north wall was externally faced with squared blocks above a plinth, and the length that survived was not pierced by doors or windows. The well was over 1 metre in diameter and contained 13th century pottery.

Partial excavation in 1992, in advance of adjacent redevelopment work, revealed a north-south ragstone wall of the nave or tower and part of a cleared burial vault to the north.

The site of Saint Pancras Church is marked in a courtyard at Pancras Lane, behind Cheapside (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2022)

Today’s Prayer (Tuesday 25 October 2022):

The Collect:

Blessed Lord,
who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning:
help us so to hear them,
to read, mark, learn and inwardly digest them
that, through patience, and the comfort of your holy word,
we may embrace and for ever hold fast
the hope of everlasting life,
which you have given us in our Saviour Jesus Christ,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

The Post Communion Prayer:

God of all grace,
your Son Jesus Christ fed the hungry
with the bread of his life
and the word of his kingdom:
renew your people with your heavenly grace,
and in all our weakness
sustain us by your true and living bread;
who is alive and reigns, now and for ever.

The theme in the USPG Prayer Diary this week is ‘Theology in Korea.’ This theme was introduced on Sunday.

The USPG Prayer Diary invites us to pray today in these words:

Let us pray for the Anglican Church of Korea. May we be inspired by their service to the people of Korea and their commitment to peace.

Yesterday’s reflection

Continued tomorrow

Sculpture on the site of Saint Pancras Church in a courtyard at Pancras Lane (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

Pancras Lane is on a corner with Queen Street, behind Cheapside (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2022)

No comments: