04 June 2023

Daily prayers in Ordinary Time
with USPG: (7) 4 June 2023,
Trinity Sunday

The symbol of the Holy Trinity in the outer circle of the East Window in Holy Trinity Church, Old Wolverton (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2023)

Patrick Comerford

Today is Trinity Sunday (4 June 2023).

This morning, and over the next few weeks after Trinity Sunday, I am 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.

A symbol of the Holy Trinity on the noticeboard in Holy Trinity Church, Old Wolverton, reflecting the image in the East Window (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2023)

Holy Trinity Church, Old Wolverton:

Trinity Sunday Is the Patronal Festival of Holy Trinity Church, Old Wolverton. There is only one main Sunday service today at Holy Trinity at 11 am, although there is a traditional service of Holy Communion in Saint George’s Church, Wolverton, at 8 am.

I hope to be present at the Parish Eucharist in Holy Trinity Church this morning, which is followed by a picnic on the lawn at Old Wolverton.

Holy Trinity Church is a Grade II* listed church, incorporating Saxon and mediaeval elements, and was rebuilt in 1809-1815. This is the original parish church of the Saxon settlement of Wolverton, on a prominent site overlooking the valley of the River Ouse, close to the mound of a Norman motte and bailey castle first built by Manno the Breton.

The mediaeval church in Old Wolverton was replaced in the early 19th century, and the new church incorporates the 14th-century central tower of the old church, although this was re-cased in new masonry as a west tower.

Holy Trinity Church now consists of a chancel, nave, transepts and west tower. The tower dates from the 14th century and the rest of the building from 1815, when the church was rebuilt and the tower encased, the work being carried out in the Norman style.

An important scheme of decoration began in the church in 1870. This was designed by Edward Swinfen Harris (1841-1924), an eminent Victorian and Edwardian architect in Stony Stratford. His aim was to give the interior a more full-blooded character, inspired by mediaeval church interiors. This included brightly coloured woodwork, vivid stained glass windows, and wall paintings, combined with stencilled decoration by the firm of Bell and Almond.

Inside, the church is dominated by the great round East Window, with Portland stone tracery of eight lobes round a large central circle. The stained glass in this East Window, dating from 1888, was designed by Nathaniel Westlake and was made by Lavers and Westlake.

Holy Trinity lost its patron and benefactor in 1970 when the Radcliffe Trust sold the Wolverton estate to the Milton Keynes Development Corporation. The Parks Trust established by Milton Keynes Development Corporation looks after the parkland setting of church, and the earthworks of the larger village which the church used to serve in the Middle Ages, in the field to the west.

Worship at Holy Trinity Church ranges from traditional liturgies, including sung Book of Common Prayer liturgies, as well as contemporary services, Taizé-style services and some fresh expressions styles of worship.

The team ministry with Saint George’s began in 1973. Holy Trinity is grouped with Saint George the Martyr in Wolverton, the rector is the Revd Gill Barrow-Jones, and the other clergy are the Revd Francesca Vernon and the Revd Chibuzor Okpala.

The East Window in Holy Trinity Church, Old Wolverton (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2023)

Matthew 28: 16-20 (NRSVA):

16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 When they saw him, they worshipped him; but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’

The East Window by Nathaniel Westlake (1888) dominates the chancel and Holy Trinity Church in Old Wolverton (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2023)

Today’s prayer:

The theme in the prayer diary of the Anglican mission agency USPG (United Society Partners in the Gospel) this week is ‘Protecting the Environment in Zambia. This theme is introduced this morning by USPG’s Regional Manager for Africa, Fran Mate, who brings a reflection from Zambia for the United Nations World Environment Day:

‘World Environment Day, which falls on 5 June, urges all of us to protect our natural surroundings and with good reason. For example, an estimated seven million people die each year from causes related to air pollution.

‘World Environment Day encourages worldwide activism on everything from littering to climate change. It is both a global celebration and a platform for public outreach.

‘In Zambia, one of the biggest environmental challenges is plastic waste. Zambia has poor waste management services and single-use plastic is at the top of the list of the waste generated countrywide. Poor or non-existent solid waste management services in some areas and high levels of illegal dumping of waste in public places have contributed to the biggest challenge of environmental pollution being faced by the country to date.

During World Environment Day, the Zambia Anglican Council will facilitate activities such as awareness walks, speeches, and exhibitions, and will advocate for the reduction of plastic and waste emissions. The Church realises that it has a very important role to play in stopping or reducing plastic and waste emissions.’

The USPG Prayer invites us to pray this morning (Sunday 4 June 2023, Trinity Sunday):

Loving God,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
through your being show us how to love one another,
to live in harmony with our neighbour,
to care for our planet
and to be at one with the Earth.


Almighty and everlasting God,
you have given us your servants grace,
by the confession of a true faith,
to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity
and in the power of the divine majesty to worship the Unity:
keep us steadfast in this faith,
that we may evermore be defended from all adversities;
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.

Post Communion:

Almighty and eternal God,
you have revealed yourself as Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
and live and reign in the perfect unity of love:
hold us firm in this faith,
that we may know you in all your ways
and evermore rejoice in your eternal glory,
who are three Persons yet one God,
now and for ever.

Holy Trinity Church, Old Wolverton, is the original parish church of the Saxon settlement of Wolverton (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2023)

Yesterday’s reflection<

Continued tomorrow

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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