01 October 2022
Praying in Ordinary Time with USPG:
Saturday 1 October 2022
In the Calendar in Common Worship, the Church of England today (1 October 2022) commemorates both Remigius (533), Bishop of Rheims, Apostle of the Franks, and Anthony Ashley Cooper (1885), Earl of Shaftesbury, Social Reformer. Today is also an Ember Day.
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 in mid-September.
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.’
Anthony Ashley Cooper (1801-1885) was first elected to the House of Commons in 1826. In 1851, he succeeded his father as the 7th Earl of Shaftesbury and sat in the House of Lords. His service in parliament was marked from the beginning by a desire to reform social abuses, an impulse which derived from his strong Evangelical Anglican piety. He campaigned successfully for measures to improve housing and to create schools for the poor. He pioneered legislation on conditions of employment, for example, in mines and factories, particularly with respect to the protection of children. He became the epitome of the Victorian Christian philanthropist, working within the political system to redress social evils. He died on this day in 1885.
Luke 10: 17-24 (NRSVA):
17 The seventy-two returned with joy and said, ‘Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.’
18 He replied, ‘I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. 20 However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.’
21 At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, ‘I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.
22 ‘All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.’
23 Then he turned to his disciples and said privately, ‘Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. 24 For I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.’
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 the Minster towering behind, tucked away behind Goodramgate – one of York’s busiest shopping streets.
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 main body of the church, and dates from the 13th century. A hagioscope or angled window was built into the 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.
Holy Trinity Church Goodramgate should not be confused with the similarly-named Priory Church of Holy Trinity, Micklegate, the only pre-Reformation monastic building still in use in York.
Holy Trinity Micklegate is on the west bank of the River Ouse inside the walled city. The church building is a complex structure incorporating parts of the fabric of a mediaeval priory church dedicated to Holy Trinity and a mediaeval parish church dedicated to Saint Nicholas.
Holy Trinity is listed in the Domesday Book in 1086 as one of five great northern churches, alongside York Minster.
The church was re-founded ca 1089 as a Benedictine priory. It may be that a ‘double church’ was built at that date, with one half, Holy Trinity, providing a place of worship for the monastic community and a second, dedicated to Saint Nicholas, used by the parish.
Today, the parish includes the former parishes of two neighbouring churches, Saint John and Saint Martin in Micklegate, which are now redundant and have other uses. Holy Trinity is a living, inclusive church and is open every day for prayer and meditation.
Today’s Prayer (Saturday 1 October 2022, Saint Jerome):
God, who in generous mercy sent the Holy Spirit
upon your Church in the burning fire of your love:
grant that your people may be fervent
in the fellowship of the gospel
that, always abiding in you,
they may be found steadfast in faith and active in service;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
The Post Communion Prayer:
Keep, O Lord, your Church, with your perpetual mercy;
and, because without you our human frailty cannot but fall,
keep us ever by your help from all things hurtful,
and lead us to all things profitable to our salvation;
through 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 (International Day of Older Persons) in these words:
Let us pray for the elderly. May their dignity be upheld and their contribution to society recognised.
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