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Keep up with all the news and events happening in and around the parish.
Today, Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius is a national monument. But at its first performance in Birmingham, 105 years ago, the music was thought daring and difficult, while the subject matter was viewed in some quarters with intense suspicion. The text of The Dream of Gerontius – by the Victorian Catholic convert, Cardinal John Henry Newman – is rich in doctrine that had been emphatically rejected by the Protestant church since the time of the Reformation. The central character, Gerontius (the name derives from the Ancient Greek gero¯n, meaning simply ‘old man’), prays for assistance to the Blessed Virgin Mary and to other saints, and after his soulsearing first sight of God, he doesn’t go straight to Heaven, but is committed to Purgatory for purification. For some Protestants in Elgar’s day, all this would have been pure heresy. However, one could argue that this is an essay in the transition from time to eternity viewed through the doctrine of the Roman Church.
Last May, I was privileged to dedicate the Memorial Stone in the Castle grounds naming all the Nottingham and Nottinghamshire V.Cs. It was an event which meant a great deal to relatives and others as a reminder that these heroes deserve lasting public credit for their courage in the face of the enemy. At that ceremony it was fitting to remember the words of Jesus saying that “Greater love has no one than that they lay down their life for their friend” – in this case, their comrades and their country. The similar words which Col. Oldershaw read this morning, also from St John’s gospel, tell the followers of Jesus to love one another as He has loved us - which is a lot easier for all of us to say than to do. As I said, it’s good to honour the fallen as we do today. However, there are many issues about how we as a society protect those still serving, and how we pension the wounded and the widowed. I believe the Services have moved a very long way from recruiting those who only joined because there were no other jobs and treated them, to use that phrase from the First World War, as cannon fodder. But there is no room for complacency. It is we as society whom they serve and we as society have a heavy duty of responsibility.
A warm welcome to Sonia Barron, who is training for ordination and is with our parish on a training placement over the next few weeks. She will be mainly at St Mary's church, and is hoping to learn something about our traditions and worship. Sonia lives in Nottingham but is based in London during the week, working on minority ethnic issues for the Archbishops' Council. She writes...
The art exhibition, which has been running at St Mary’s during October, has been a great success. The work on display was of a very high standard, and we hope that this will be the beginning of the development of St Mary’s as an art exhibition centre in the city, connecting the arts and spirituality. With its close proximity to "Nottingham Contemporary" art gallery, the church already benefits from extra visitors, and we hope that this relationship will continue.
All three principal morning services in the parish observe the traditional Act of Remembrance on this day, when we remember all those who have died, and those who continue to fight, in conflicts across the world. A silence is observed at 11am (the time, on 11th November 1918, when the armistice was signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany, ceasing hostilies and bringing World War I to an end). The services at St Mary's and at St Peter's are led by the church choirs, and include the traditional bugle calls to signify the start and end of the two minute silence. The Eucharist is celebrated at St Mary's at 6.30pm, in a solemn service in commemoration of the faithful departed that includes Gabriel Fauré's moving setting of the Requiem Mass.
Monday 9am - 4.30pm
Tuesday 9am - 5pm
Wednesday 9am - 4.30pm
Thursday 9am - 5pm
Friday 9am - 5pm
Monday - Saturday, 10am - 4pm
Monday - Saturday, 10am - 3pm
For information on service times at All Saints', St Mary's & St Peter's, visit the services page
All Saints' Church - Raleigh Street, NG7 4DP
St Mary's Church - High Pavement, NG1 1HN
St Peter's Church - St Peter's Gate, NG1 2NW
Please contact the Parish Office for details of any events or to get in touch with a member of staff.
The office is situated on the upper floor of the St Peter's Centre, on the south side of St Peter's Church and adjacent to Marks & Spencer.
0115 948 3658 (+44 115 948 3658 outside the UK)
If you wish to trace a former resident or member of the parish, please address your requests to the Nottinghamshire Archives.