Dates for your diary


High Days & Holy Days for JUNE 2019

1      Justin Martyr – first ever Christian philosopher
2      Erasmus – a good saint for when you’re all at sea
3      The Martyrs of Uganda
4      Petroc – the abbot of Padstow
6      Gudwal – the first Christian in Brittany?
8      William of York – victim of injustice
9      Columba of Iona – missionary to Scotland
11    Barnabas – Paul’s first missionary companion
13    Antony of Padua – friend of St Francis of Assisi
14    Richard Baxter – Puritan Divine
15    Evelyn Underhill – mystical writer of the 20th century
16    Richard of Chichester – wanting God more clearly, dearly and nearly
16    Father’s Day – time to celebrate male role models
21    Summer Solstice – longest day of the year
22    St Alban – British martyr under the Romans
24    St John the Baptist – preparing the way for the Messiah29     Feast of SS Peter & Paul – the two most famous apostles


PENTECOST: 9th June - Not a Ghost but a Gift 

We used to call it Whitsun – White Sunday because long ago children marched to church in white on that day. No processions nowadays, and we’ve even changed its name. It’s now ‘Pentecost’, which is more accurate but needs explaining.

This year Whitsun/Pentecost is on Sunday June 9th. Pentecost marks a vital event in Christian history. It is a celebrated 50 days after Easter. On the year Jesus was crucified (which took place at the Passover), the remnant of His followers, just 120 of them, were together in an upper room in Jerusalem. They were afraid to show their faces in case the authorities arrested them. But on the day of Passover they had an amazing collective experience.

They described it in terms of wind and fire, a great surge of spiritual energy and confidence. Afraid no longer they burst out on to the streets where crowds were gathering for the festival, led by Peter they began to tell them about Jesus and His resurrection. As they did so, although many of the people in the crowd were foreigners who spoke other languages, everyone heard them in their own tongue. Peter told them that what they were seeing was the fulfilment of an old prophecy when God would pour out His Spirit on the human race, men and women, young and old.

As a result of His words and the extraordinary spectacle, 3000 people believed and were baptized in the name of Jesus. They were the nucleus of what in 100 years would be a Church that would turn history upside down. For Christians Pentecost is in effect the birthday of the Church.

I realise many people find the whole idea of the Holy Spirit mysterious and elusive. It wasn’t helped by the earlier title ‘Holy Ghost’. The spirit is not spiritually a ‘ghost’ but a precious gift.