Rector’s Message

Welcome to the website for St Peter’s Church. We are pleased you have found your way to us and hope you enjoy looking through our pages.

Lent is drawing to a its conclusion in the Passion of the Lord-his suffering and death on the Cross. Holy Week and Easter Week are the most important and busy in the Christian year.

Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday Procession, reminding us of Our Lord’s entry into the city of Jerusalem, following the Father’s will to proclaim Good News of redemption-freedom from the slavery of living in broken relationships with God and each other. Such proclamation will cost Jesus his life, but gain ours! The events of Palm Sunday and the following days remind us of how fickle we all can be; from adoring adulation to cries for destruction. He is welcomed on Sunday and condemned on Friday!

During Holy Week the bishop celebrates the Mass of Chrism-he blesses the oils “as tools of the trade” used by his clergy on his behalf. The oils are used to anoint the sick and dying: Oil of the Sick- to anoint those preparing for baptism and confirmation: Oil of the Catechumens-to anoint the newly baptised and confirmed, the newly Ordained and to anoint altars and churches at their consecration: Oil of Chrism. This last gives the service its name-it is the oil of Spiritual Gifts. It reminds deacons, priest and bishops of their awesome responsibilities as well as their privileges as servants of the Lord and his people. It also reminds the people of God that their clergy are called and gifted by God for service-theirs is no human calling, but a vocation from God with his authority behind it.

Holy Thursday Evening begins the Triduum, or three great days of the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus.

Thursday witnesses the celebration of the Mass of the last Supper, during which the priest washes the feet of 12 people in imitation of Jesus’ act of serving. The Mass is followed by a vigil or watch, usually until midnight, before the Blessed Sacrament in specially prepared “garden” in church-representing the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus prayed before his arrest and trial.

On Good Friday Mass is no longer celebrated. The Holy Cross is venerated in a special service in the day or evening in the church which has been stripped of all ornament as a sign of mourning.

On Holy Saturday we await the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus and celebrate it with the greatest of all services in the Church: The Easter Vigil! It begins with the lighting of a new fire-to represent the Holy Spirit breathing new life. The Easter Candle is lit and a hymn of thanksgiving and praise for the Risen life of Jesus is sung. Readings from the Old Testament recall the story of God’s dealing with his people from the time of creation. The vows made at baptism and confirmation are renewed and the first Mass of Easter is offered for the salvation of all the world.

It is the most Holy time of the year and the most rewarding for those who attend, especially all the days of the Triduum. Why not join us at St Peter’s. See the services page for times.

A holy and happy Easter!

Our parish is affiliated to The Society of St Wilfred and St Hilda and registered with Forward in Faith; it is also wedded to the Five Guiding Principles of the House of Bishop’s Declaration on Holy Order, trying to maintain the highest possible unity of the Church of England. Bishop Graham Usher of Dudley preached for us an edifying homily on 5th July at the 10am Sung Mass and we look to invite him again.

Our family Masses are due for an overhaul and hopefully a new style will begin after Candlemass-2nd February.

Whilst these Masses will hopefully allow the newcomer to appreciate the central role of the Mass in the Christian life, solemn Masses will also be offered on other Sundays.

These Masses will continue to be at 10am.

The 8am Mass will continue to be said.

Evening services on Sundays are also being re-considered under various guises. There is likely to be a form of “healing service” once a month.

The particular service and its time will be advertised in church and in the pages of this website.

A prayer for England:

O Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God and our most gentle Queen and Mother, look down in mercy on England thy Dowry and upon us all who greatly hope and trust in thee. By thee it was that Jesus, our Saviour and our hope, was given to the world; and he has given thee to us that we might hope still more. Plead for us thy children, whom thou didst accept at the foot of the Cross, O Sorrowful Mother. Intercede for our separated brethren that with us in the one true fold they may be united to the One True Shepherd. Pray for us all, dear Mother, that by faith fruitful in good works we may all deserve to see and serve God, together with thee, in our heavenly home. Amen.

The Mission Society of St Wilfred & St Hilda was launched at St. Peter’s Crabbs Cross Redditch by Bishop Jonathan Baker. The Society’s aims and constitution can be read on its own website www.sswsh.com .

We are still fund raising to restore our church roof. One way to help is to visit www.easyfundraising.org.uk , sign in and look for St Peters Crabbs Cross-Church Roof Appeal. Thanks to all who have contributed in this and other ways. We have collected almost half the required amount.

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