The Minster Church of St Michael

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The Minster Church of

St Michael & All Angels, Sunderland.

PLEASE VISIT the 'Announcements' page for notes and news about future Services, events, etc. For regular service, please go towards the bottom of this page

CHRISTMASTIDE

What period does this cover?  Nowadays, most folk (and our church itself) seems anxious to 'get it behind us as quickly as possible  -- but is this really advisable?

   There is little argument that the Christmas message is one which appeals to most non-churchgoers. If they are tempted to attend a church service ( other than 'hatch,match or dispatch', it will be at Christmas.

 For this reason, I (and, happily, my wife) keep the Christmas season (as of old) up to Candlemas Eve - leaving one room seasonally decorated until Candlemas Eve- and ending it with a festive meal on that day.

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  Peter Mullen: Reporter's profile - from The Northern Echo:- writing about Baroness Thatcher's magnificent funeral service. Click HERE to read Peter's stirring article, including ......

          "Mrs Thatcher has requested the order of service to be The Burial of the Dead from The Book of Common Prayer (1662). This is the one that mentions worms: “…worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God.” The authorities don’t like the traditional English Prayer Book, so they replaced it in 1980 with a book of their own concocting.     After advertising their new book as “the greatest publishing event in 400 years,”     the authorities themselves actually banned it in 2000 and replaced their replacement with something even worse."

What it means to be an Anglican. Read the words of our wise Archbishop - of York . Click HERE

--- and for comparisons between our old 'C of E' texts and the modern interpretation click HERE

 

HELP !!   Our wonderful organ is in trouble Please see the Minster Music page

         AS STATED ON THE INDEX PAGE, THIS IS ONLY A PRIVATE SITE.  However, I hope that in this and the other pages that I offer you will get some insight into what has made this house of God so special.  

          For me, this is particularly expressed in the richness of the Book of Common Prayer services) and has been for a great many generations. It is my prayer that this Minster church will, indeed, become and remain a special place for those now using it, here and elsewhere -- and for generations yet to come !

These are my thoughts, but those of the Archbishop Williams of Canterbury express it far more eloquently as this 'excerpt of an excerpt' of his 2011 Christmas Sermon, the full text of which can be found on his website :-

"Bound Together by the Book of Common Prayer

             The Prayer Book is a treasury of words and phrases that are still for countless English-speaking people the nearest you can come to an adequate language for the mysteries of faith. It gives words which say where and who we are before God: ‘we have erred and strayed from our ways like lost sheep,’ ‘we are not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs under thy table’, but also ‘we are very members incorporate in the mystical body of the Son, which is the blessed company of all faithful people; and are also heirs through hope of thy everlasting kingdom.’ It gives us words for God that hold on to the paradoxes that we can’t avoid: ‘God ….who art always ready to hear than we are to pray,’ ‘ who declarest  thy almighty power most chiefly in showing mercy and pity,’

       A treasury of words for God – but also a source of vision for an entire society: ‘Give us grace seriously to lay heart the great dangers we are in by our unhappy divisions,’ ‘If ye shall perceive your offences to be suchas are not only against God  but also against your neighbours; then ye shall reconcile yourselves unto them; being ready to make restitution.

      The world has changed, the very rhythms of our speech have changed, our society is irreversibly more plural, and we have – with varying degrees of reluctance – found other and usually less resonant ways of talking to God and identifying who we are in his presence. If we used only the Prayer Book these days we’d risk confusing the strangeness of the mysteries of faith with the strangeness of antique and lovely language. But we’re much the poorer for forgetting it and pushing it to the margins as much as we often do in the Church. And it is crucial to remember the point about the Prayer Book as something for a whole society, binding together our obligations to God and to one another, in a dense interweaving of love and duty joyfully performed.

    The Prayer Book was once the way our society found words to respond to the Word, to say who and where they were in answer to God’s question. Those who prayed the Prayer Book,  remember, included those who abolished the Slave Trade, put an end to child labour, because of what they learned in this book and in their Bibles about the honour of God and of God’s children ……….

    ………….That’s why is year’s celebration is not about a museum piece."

 

       'The King James Bible is a Magna Carta for the poor and oppressed: the most democratic book in the world. '    ( Theodore Roosevelt, speaking in 1912 )

'There is no doubt in my mind that the King James Bible, not Shakespeare, set this language on its path to become a universal language on a scale unprecedented before or since.'   (Melvyn Bragg)

 

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Regular Services at the Minster:-

SUNDAYS

 

Holy Communion (Book of Common Prayer 1662) 8.00am  2nd Sun of the month

 

Sung Eucharist (Common Worship)         10.00am  - weekly

 

CHORAL EVENSONG - Book of Common Prayer - Now held ONLY on the 3rd Sunday in the month, (except August when the choir is on holiday) with an Anthem, chanted Preces & Responses and the Canticles

     ---- I am pleased to report that the canticles (Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis, will again sometimes be sung to settings by such composer Sumsion, Stainer, Moeran, Walmisley,matters. Formally, this was a problen is that our small but faithful congregation objected at being unable to chant these well-loved canticles - but this has, happily, been overcome.

 

 

Your opinion on these pages is invited. Please contact me by e-mail:- herring57@btinternet.com with any queries, comments, criticisms or suggestions - all are equally welcome !

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Pages prepared/updated by David Herring 04/02/2014

     Minster, High Street West, Sunderland SRI 3ET

    Tel: 01 9 1 5654066 Mob: 07983 71 0559      Email: admln@sunderlandmlnster.org

    www.sunderlandminster.org