Newsletter – 1 November 2020

Sunday Letter

Benefice of Padstow & Trevone,

St. Merryn, & St Issey with Little Petherick

During this extraordinary time, we thought our congregations might appreciate an emailed letter with the prayers and readings for the Sunday and a short devotional piece, as a way of keeping us together and sharing any thoughts we may have.

Sunday November 1st 2020

All Saints Sunday

Collect

Almighty God, you have knit together your elect
in one communion and fellowship

in the mystical body of your Son Christ our Lord:
grant us grace so to follow your blessed saints in all virtuous and godly living
that we may come to those inexpressible joys
that you have prepared for those who truly love you;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Readings

First Reading          Daniel 7: 1-3, 15-18

The prophet, in a vision, sees the Son of Man brought to the throne of God in heaven and given an everlasting kingdom

Second Reading     Ephesians 1: 11-23

The letter of “Christ the Church”.  This opening chapter recalls the high privilege of our calling as Christians.

Gospel                    St. Luke 6: 20-31

Jesus’ manifesto, of reliance on God, and the consequential blessing, given us through “The Beatitudes”. Our rule for Christian living

Reflection for All Saints Day

“Piran, Petrock, Paul Aurelian,
Euny, Samson, Winwalloe
.”
I expect you have at least once sung the rousing chorus to Canon Miles Brown’s hymn of the Saints of Cornwall, God, who for the world’s new framing”.  On this Sunday, which falls on All Saints’ Day, let’s look at one of these Saints of Cornwall. I say, “Saints of Cornwall”, rather than Cornish Saints, because with a few exceptions (St Constantine being one), they were not actually Cornish. Most, like our patron, St Petroc, came from South Wales, a few from Ireland, but that is pretty well all we know about most of them. There are “Lives of the Saints”, but these have a lot of legend and not much history in them.

There is one exception to this: St Samson. The “Life of Samson” was written fifty years after his death, which seems a long time, but most of the saints’ Lives were written hundreds of years after they lived, and Samson’s Life was based on a much earlier one, written by Samson’s cousin, which including information from Samson’s mother. So of all the Lives of the Celtic saints, St Samson’s is the one we have most trust in.

Samson had a very active life, too long to recount in this letter*, but briefly he was born about AD 490 in South Wales, entered a monastery at an early age and was eventually elected the abbot. But the monks soon regretted their choice, as Samson introduced a stricter way of life than they were used to. “In the midst of ample dinners and abundant drink, he strove to fast and thirst”, says his biographer. Samson left the monastery to live alone but found himself appointed as a bishop – we are not told where. This was not to his liking, so he set sail for Cornwall. He seems to have landed at Hawker’s Cove, where in ancient times there was a chapel of St Samson, and went from there to Landocco (now St Kew) and attempted to join a monastery there, but again the monks did not appreciate his strict way of life. His way of life may have been ascetic, but he did not forget his status as a bishop. According to his biographer he travelled in style; “In a chariot drawn by two Irish horses, with a cart following with his holy vessels and books, and an escort before and behind”. Samson stayed long enough in Cornwall to found two churches: Southill and Golant, but then sailed to Brittany where he became Bishop of Dol. As far as we know he never came back to Cornwall. He did visit the Channel Islands and went to Paris in 557 for a Church Council. We know that because he signed the Acts of the Council which still exist. He returned to Brittany where he died in 560.

His story is typical of so many Christian teachers of his time, but his is so much better documented and reliable. The story of Samson shows how interrelated were the nations of Western Europe at that time, with people passing freely from one country to another, which was a legacy of the Roman Empire. Whatever local associations people had, they still felt that in some way they were “Roman”, and spiritually they had a strong sense of being all part of the universal Church and servants of Christ – a conviction we heed to keep and preserve in our time also.

Finally, there is the eternal reason for remembering the saints, whether on this day or another, which is well summed by the writer of The Life of Samson:

“Dearest brothers and sisters, take it to heart that, while you reverence the saints by celebrating their honour at the yearly festivals, you reverence them also by following them steadfastly in the paths of divine truth and goodness.”

*If anyone would like to know more about St Samson, I would be happy to supply a short version of his Life – Michael.

Post-Communion Prayer

God, the source of all holiness and giver of all good things: may we who have shared at this table
as strangers and pilgrims here on earth
be welcomed with all your saints to the heavenly

feast on the day of your kingdom;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

SUGGESTIONS FOR PRAYER

Workers in health and social care and emergency services, local GPs and all keyworkers.

Our Benefice and all its communities

Those losing jobs, or facing financial difficulty

Those with mental health problems

Schools-teachers, children and parents

Colleges and students

Church – worldwide, Diocese and Benefice

World – peace, equality and justice for all

            – those affected by Coronavirus

Suffering – all who are sick, anxious, lonely

– refugees and all who are homeless

Radio4   8.10am   Sunday Worship

Online video services:

www.churchofengland.org 

www.trurocathedral.org 

            (Video Recorded Services page)  

www.kerdh.co.uk for readings, prayers & reflections.

Facebook pages:

United Benefice of Padstow, St Merryn St Issey

St Columb Minor & St. Colan Parish Churches

United Benefice of West Kerrier

Wednesday Morning Prayer 9.00am by Zoom

Email Revd Fiona for link   giorlaf@outlook.com

PRAYERS FOR THIS TIME

Keep us, good Lord,

under the shadow of your mercy

in this time of uncertainty and distress.

Sustain and support the anxious and fearful, and lift up all who are brought low;

that we may rejoice in your comfort

knowing that nothing can separate us

from your love in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.

Let us pray to Almighty God,

who alone makes us dwell in safety.

For all who are affected by coronavirus,

through illness or isolation or anxiety,

that they may find relief and recovery …

Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

For those who are guiding our nation at this time, and shaping national policies that they may make wise decisions, and that all people will be considerate of others …

Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

For doctors, nurses and medical researchers,

that through their skill and insights

many will be restored to health …

Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

For a blessing on our homes and families, and our local communities, that all who still need help will be known and cared for …

Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

We commend ourselves,

and all for whom we pray,

to the mercy and protection of God.

Merciful Father,

accept these prayers

for the sake of your Son,

our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Amen.

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