05 July 2023
Daily prayers in Ordinary Time
with USPG: (38) 5 July 2023
We are in Ordinary Time in the Church Calendar, and the week began with the Fourth Sunday after Trinity (3 July 2023).
I am taking part in a funeral in Saint Mary and Saint Giles Church, Stony Stratford, later this morning. But, before this becomes a busy day, I am taking some time this morning for prayer, reading and reflection.
Over these weeks after Trinity Sunday, I have been reflecting each morning in these ways:
1, Looking at relevant images or stained glass window in a church, chapel or cathedral I know;
2, the Gospel reading of the day in the Church of England lectionary;
3, a prayer from the USPG prayer diary.
Holy Trinity Church, Goodramgate, York:
Holy Trinity Church, on Goodramgate in York, is a Grade I listed former parish church in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust.
Walking into Holy Trinity, the church has the air of a hidden treasure. It stands in a small, secluded, leafy churchyard, with York Minster towering behind, tucked away behind Goodramgate – one of York’s busiest shopping streets.
During one of our recent visits to York, two of us found our way into the church through an 18th century archway tacked on to buildings that served as artisans’ workshops in the 14th century.
Inside, the church is full of character. The interior is lit only by light filtered through the stained glass windows and by candlelight. There is no electricity or gas in the church, nor running water, with candles offering a soft golden glow. Light filters through the windows, illuminating honey-coloured stone. The floors and arcades are charmingly uneven.
There was a church on this site at the time of the Domesday Book, and Holy Trinity includes features from the 12th century. However, most of the building today dates from the 15th century, most of the exterior dates from the 17th and 18th centuries, and there are right up to the 19th century.
There are two mediaeval altar stones, one set in the chancel floor and one in the north chancel aisle. In the south-east chapel is a 1452 brass to a former Mayor of York, Thomas Danby.
The mediaeval features include the late 15th century east window, donated by the Revd John Walker, rector in 1471. Walker was not averse to a degree of self-aggrandisement, and inserted an image of himself, kneeling in prayer, below a depiction of the Holy Trinity.
The unusual inner Chantry Chapel of Saint James was separated from the south aisle and the main body of the church, and dates from the 13th century. A hagioscope or angled window was built into the chapel wall and allowed the chantry priest to say Mass simultaneously with the priest celebrating at the High Altar. This is a rare feature and the only one of its type in York. However, local lore continues to claim the hagioscope was a ‘leper squint’ that allowed people with leprosy to keep at a distance yet still take part in church services.
The south aisle and south arcade date from the 14th century, the font dates from the late 15th century with an oak cover is made from oak and dates from 1787, the reredos boards were installed in 1691, the double-decker oak pulpit is dated 1695, and the oak Communion rails and Altar or Communion table date from the late 18th century.
The irregular and rare 17th century box pews are unique in York and the only remaining box pews in the city. The high-sided pews gave churchgoers a degree of privacy but also helped to keep out drafts on a chilly day.
The monuments and memorials paint a picture of life in York through the ages. Two boards, with heads shaped like grandfather clocks, record the names of the Lords Mayors of York, including George Hudson, who made York a major railway centre in the 19th century.
The church was enlarged in 1823 when the north side was rebuilt. The south porch was added in 1849.
The church was in a poor state of maintenance by 1882 and regular worship was suspended for over half a century until 1937, when restoration work was completed. The oak rafters were renewed and the unusual saddleback roof was restored. The pier supporting the arches between the nave and north aisle were underpinned with concrete, and the decaying stonework on the south aisle walls was renewed.
Outdoor benches make the churchyard an inviting place for reflection, offering a welcome retreat from the hectic world outside.
A blue plaque marks the occasion when Anne Lister and Ann Walker took Holy Communion together at the church at Easter 1834 as an affirmation of their relationship. After that they considering themselves married.
The church was declared redundant in 1971, and has been in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust since 1972. Restoration was carried out between 1973 and 1974. Holy Trinity Church is used for services on at least two days a year and is open to visitors on most days.
Matthew 8: 28-34 (NRSVA):
28 When he came to the other side, to the country of the Gadarenes, two demoniacs coming out of the tombs met him. They were so fierce that no one could pass that way. 29 Suddenly they shouted, ‘What have you to do with us, Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time?’ 30 Now a large herd of swine was feeding at some distance from them. 31 The demons begged him, ‘If you cast us out, send us into the herd of swine.’ 32 And he said to them, ‘Go!’ So they came out and entered the swine; and suddenly, the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and perished in the water. 33 The swineherds ran off, and on going into the town, they told the whole story about what had happened to the demoniacs. 34 Then the whole town came out to meet Jesus; and when they saw him, they begged him to leave their neighbourhood.
The theme this week in ‘Pray With the World Church,’ the Prayer Diary of the Anglican mission agency USPG (United Society Partners in the Gospel), is ‘FeAST – Fellowship of Anglican Scholars of Theology.’ This theme was introduced on Sunday by the Revd Canon Dr Peniel Rajkumar of USPG.
Find out more HERE.
The Prayer in the USPG Prayer Diary today (5 July 2023) invites us to pray:
Let us pray for our theological institutions, teachers and scholars and for the work of theological education and churches together.
O God, the protector of all who trust in you,
without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy:
increase and multiply upon us your mercy;
that with you as our ruler and guide
we may so pass through things temporal
that we lose not our hold on things eternal;
grant this, heavenly Father,
for our Lord Jesus Christ’s sake,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
comfort of the afflicted and healer of the broken,
you have fed us at the table of life and hope:
teach us the ways of gentleness and peace,
that all the world may acknowledge
the kingdom of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
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