Exploring the Church
The Font is near the entrance to the church as it signifies the start of the Christian life. It is at the font that baptism takes place .
Baptism is the start of the Christian life, the admission into the Church, the beginning of your spiritual journey, the start of learning Christ's way of life. At the end of the baptism service a candle is lit from the Paschal Candle (behind the font) to signify the passing from darkness into Christ's light: joining His Church as a child of God.
Jesus us baptised: Luke 3.21, John 1.29, Matthew 3.13, Mark 1.9
A Place of Reconciliation
At certain times in our lives, it is a good thing to stop and take a look at what we have done so far. No matter how hard we try to be good there are and always will be things of which we are ashamed and are sorry about. Here there is a chance to make small reconcilliationour peace with God. In thinking of all the things we have done wrong, in thought by words and by action, and by relating these to a priest we can leave our sins behind. We receive God's forgiveness provided we are truly sorry. This can give us great relief and a chance to start again in the way of life Jesus taught us.
A Prayer of Repentance:
I confess to You O God
That I have sinned against You
(Think here of any particular ways in which you have failed God or other people)
I am sorry for my sins
Because they have wounded You
I promise to do my best
To fight to do my best
To fight against them.
Help me to keep my promise.
The Tabernacle Light
The light which hangs in front of the altar is always burning whilst there is consecrated bread in the tabernacle, which is behind the altar. It reminds us that Jesus is really here with us and is able to guide and strengthen us day by day. We sometimes speak of him as 'the light of the world' and our baptism candle shows us that we can spread the light to others because it has been given to us.
Take this Light
So that you may shine as a light to the world
To the glory of God the Father
The central part of the worship of the Church is the Mass (also called the Eucharist from the Greek meaning thanksgiving). Here at the altar whilst the people of Jesus are gathered together, bread and wine are blessed and distributed. In this way Jesus himself is present with his people and they are able to meet him.
Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day. John 6:54
The Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said 'This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.' In the same way after supper he said 'This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.' 1 Corinthians 11:23
The Rose Window
The Rose window is at the east end of the Church. The work of Hugh Easton, and given by Charles Randall in 1937. The window depicts Our Lord surrounded by the emblems of the saints, and so refers to the dedication of the Church. Then there are three circles each of twelve segments. The inner circle depicts rays of glory. The next circle designs symbolic of the twelve apostles. Starting at the top and moving clockwise they are:
St Andrew - A White Cross
St Philip - A Cross, a Staff, Five Loaves and Two Fish
St John - An Eagle
St Matthias - Dice
St James the Less - A Club and Saw
St Thomas - Three Spears
St Simon the Zealot - Two Fish, crossed
St Bartholomew - Three Flaying Knives
St James the Great - Three Scallops
St Jude - A Ship
St Matthew - A Winged Man
St Peter - Crossed Keys
The outer circle adds the emblems of St Mark - a Winged Lion, St Luke - a Winged Ox, St Michael - a Red Cross Pommy and St George - A Red Cross.
The other lights are the arms of the Dioceses and Counties with which the parish has been associated. Starting at the top right is St Luke, then the dioceses of Canterbury, Rochester, Lichfield and the county of Essex. St Michael, St George, The County of Hertford. The dioceses of Lincoln, St Albans, Chelmsford and St Mark.
Again Jesus spoke to them, saying 'I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.' John 8:12