28 September 2022

Praying in Ordinary Time with USPG:
Wednesday 28 September 2022

All Saints’ Church, North Street, York, has been described as ‘York’s finest mediaeval church’ (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2022)

Patrick Comerford

In the Calendar of Common Worship in the Church of England, today (28 September 2022) is an Ember Day. The Michaelmas Embertide retains its traditional association with the autumn harvest.

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

This morning, and throughout this week and next, I am reflecting each morning on a church, chapel, or place of worship in York, where I stayed earlier this month after a surgical procedure in Sheffield.

In my prayer diary this week I am reflecting in these ways:

1, One of the readings for the morning;

2, Reflecting on a church, chapel or place of worship in York;

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

Inside All Saints’ Church, North Street, facing the east end (Photograph Patrick Comerford, 2022)

Luke 9: 57-62:

57 As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, ‘I will follow you wherever you go.’

58 Jesus replied, ‘Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.’

59 He said to another man, ‘Follow me.’

But he replied, ‘Lord, first let me go and bury my father.’

60 Jesus said to him, ‘Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.’

61 Still another said, ‘I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.’

62 Jesus replied, ‘No one who puts a hand to the plough and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.

The chancel screen in All Saints’ Church was designed by the York architect Edwin Ridsdale Tate (Photograph Patrick Comerford, 2022)

All Saints’ Church, North Street, York:

All Saints’ Church, North Street, York, is described as ‘York’s finest mediaeval church.’ It is attractively located near the River Ouse and next to a row of 15th century timber-framed houses, and should not be confused with All Saints’ Church, North Street, which I described yesterday.

All Saints’ Church was founded in the 11th century on land reputedly donated by Ralph de Paganel, whose name is commemorated in the Yorkshire village of Hooton Pagnell.

Externally, the main feature is the impressive tower with a tall octagonal spire. The earliest part of the church is the nave dating from the 12th century. The arcades date from the 13th century and the east end was rebuilt in the 14th century, when the chancel chapels were added. Most of the present building dates from the 14th and 15th century.

Inside, the church has 15th-century hammerbeam roofs and a collection of mediaeval stained glass, including the Corporal Works of Mercy (see Matthew 25: 31ff) and the ‘Pricke of Conscience’ window, depicting the 15 signs of the End of the World.

The windows in the south aisle were being restored when I returned to All Saints’ Church recently. I hope to draw inspiration from the church windows in a later series of morning reflections in October.

The pulpit dates from 1675.

The church was restored between 1866 and 1867 by the architects JB and W Atkinson of York. This work included rebuilding the south aisle wall, adding a porch and a vestry, replacing half the roof, providing new seating throughout, scraping the pillars and walls, and installing a new organ.

The masonry work was carried out by Mr Brumby of Skeldergate, the carpentry by Mr Dennison, the plumbing and glazing by Messrs Hodgson and the painting by Mr Lee of Gillygate. The chancel ceiling and reredos were decorated by John Ward Knowles (1838-1931). The chancel was laid with Minton tiles. The total cost of the restoration was £1,500. The chancel screen was designed by the York architect, Edwin Ridsdale Tate (1862-1922), and installed in 1906.

An anchorite building was erected at the west end of the church in the 15th century and a squint made through the wall so that Emma Raughton could observe the Mass being celebrated. The anchorite’s house was rebuilt in 1910 by E Ridsdale Tate.

All Saints’ Church is a Grade I listed building and was restored again in 1991 by the architect Peter Marshall.

The church has an Anglo-Catholic heritage, and worship is centred on the Eucharist. Mass is celebrated three times a week and the main service is Sung or High Mass at 5.30 pm every Sunday.

The north aisle and Lady Chapel in All Saints’ Church (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2022)

Today’s Prayer (Wednesday 28 September 2022):

The Collect (for those to be ordained):

Almighty God, the giver of all good gifts,
by your Holy Spirit you have appointed
various orders of ministry in the Church:
look with mercy on your servants
now called to be deacons and priests;
maintain them in truth and renew them in holiness,
that by word and good example they may faithfully serve you
to the glory of your name and the benefit of your Church;
through the merits of 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:

Heavenly Father,
whose ascended Son gave gifts of leadership and service to the Church:
strengthen us who have received this holy food
to be good stewards of your manifold grace,
through him who came not to be served but to serve,
and give his life as a ransom for many,
Jesus Christ our Lord.

The theme in the USPG prayer diary this week is ‘Celebrating 75 Years,’ which was introduced on Sunday by the Revd Davidson Solanki, USPG’s Regional Manager for Asia and the Middle East.

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

Let us pray for the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, USPG’s sister society. May the work of Christian publishers in fostering theological debate and helping people on their faith journeys be valued and recognised.

Yesterday’s reflection

Continued tomorrow

The mediaeval stained glass includes the ‘Pricke of Conscience’ window, depicting the 15 signs of the End of the World (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2022)

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

All Saints’ Church has an Anglo-Catholic heritage (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2022)

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