Posts Tagged ‘Holy Trinity’

Simple Singers at Holy Trinity

May 28, 2011

It was the end of evensong at Holy Trinity in Guildford, when in strolled a crowd of Danes.

You have timed that well, I told them, you are lucky to find the church open.

We are here to sing, they told me, please join us as we like to have an audience, not sing to an empty church.

I was actually on my way home, and had only been at evensong by accident, but I decided to stay.

I was treated to a wonderful hour or more of choral and harmony singing by Simple Singers, a choral group from Denmark. James Bond theme music (with vocalisation of the instruments), Danish and Latvian folk songs, spine-tingling performance of Gershwin, spiritual and gospel and at the end their own version of Bridge over Troubled Waters. [see Danish rhythmical choir visits London and Guildford]

The acoustics were perfect. A pity the concert was not recorded with a simple pair of crossed microphones. It was also a pity that so few people were there. Beside myself, five people, later joined by four more.

The concert had no publicity, no mention at evensong.

Simple Singers are twenty people. For the concert at Holy Trinity there were fifteen, five men and ten women. They were accompanied at times on piano. Plus a conductor and a man at the door.

The next day, ie today, they were to sing in Covent Garden in London.

I gave them a copy of The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho to say thank you.

Beautiful sung evensong

May 27, 2011

Beautiful sung choral evensong this evening with Guildford Cathedral Choir at Holy Trinity Church in Guildford.

Sometimes we need these rituals. Instead of going away reflecting on the words of the priest, we immerse ourselves, experience the glory.

I was about to go home, when in walked a Danish choir, Simple Singers. Please join us they said. How could I say no? [see Danish rhythmical choir visits London and Guildford]

The Celebration of the Lord’s Passion

April 22, 2011
Crucifixion - Carl Bloch

Crucifixion - Carl Bloch

It was Good Friday. I was in Guildford and it was one of those very rare occasions when Holy Trinity is open. Therefore I popped in.

On the door was a notice asking for quiet as Easter Meditation. I walked in trying to be quiet, such was my level of concentration that I smashed my knee on one of the wooden seats and created a racket.

I found myself at The Celebration of the Lord’s Passion. It was a very moving service and sadly I missed the first five minutes. I missed the silent procession.

Part-way through we were all asked to come forward, light a candle and place it at the foot of the cross.

My thoughts strayed to Ash Wednesday en La Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Peña de Francia en Puerto de la Cruz en Tenerife. Then I looked through the open door into the sunlit street outside. Today I was able to do the same, the sunlit street outside, opposite was Abbot’s Hospital, founded by George Abbot, one of the translators of the King James Bible.

My thoughts strayed to the last words of Jesus on the cross, I thirst.

He was offered sour wine. Vinegar can be sour wine, but it does not follow that sour wine is vinegar. Too often I must admit I have been offered sour wine by people who buy cheap plonk.

The gesture by the soldiers is often seen as the last insult, but was it, was it not an act of kindness? To parched lips, even sour wine would have been a blessing. Canon Stephen Cottrell in ‘I Thirst’, a meditation on Easter, suggests what was offered was posca, a mix of beaten eggs, wine, vinegar and water, an opiate to dull the pain.

John provides us with a lot of details, which gives an air of authenticity, or was it rather to fulfill what had been foretold in Scripture?

John appears to have got his dates in a muddle. He says this was the start of Passover, whereas the other gospel writers place the Last Supper as taking place at Passover. And by tradition we assume they are one and the same otherwise a lot of the symbolism is lost.

I asked Canon Robert Cotton about this anomaly. One possible explanation is they were using different calenders and this may explain the problem. Giving the matter some thought I decided this does not resolve the problem. If it was a discrepancy on dates, then yes, but Passover is a very important fixture in the Jewish Calender. No writer at the time would be confused as to when an event took place in relationship to Passover irrespective of the actual calender date.

I humbly offer a different explanation. By putting the Crucifixion at the start of Passover, John very cleverly has Jesus dying on the cross at just the moment the sacrificial lamb is slaughtered. This does of course then raise the problem of Jesus alluding to his own death at Passover if it has not yet happened.

It is a conundrum.

Top story in The starleigh_grass Daily (Saturday 23 April 2011).

‘I Thirst’
Holy Week
The First Easter Week Musing
Quema de Palmitos
Ash Wednesday
Passover supper
Maundy Thursday
The Cross
Crucifixion or Corpus Hypercubus
Christ of Saint John of the Cross

Sung evensong in Holy Trinity

January 21, 2011
Holy Trinity Guildford

Holy Trinity Guildford

There is a passage in The Valkyries by Paulo Coelho, where something happens, causing a delay. Why has this happened? It is a cause for reflection, in the same way as synchronicity is a cause for refection.

We have been jolted out of our time frame, we are on a different path. There was a reason for it.

On my way to Guildford, the man at the station had a problem issuing with me with a ticket, which meant I missed my train and had a 40 minute wait in the cold for the next train. My whole day was out of kilter.

I made use of the wait to call a friend, the times thus passed quickly.

I was late having my lunch. I did though as a consequent meet a lady who was organising an art exhibition of works by veterans who were suffering war trauma. The exhibition ‘Having the Courage’ (11 January – 8 March 2011) was mounted by Combat Stress.

Founded in 1919, Combat Stress provides specialist help to ex-Service men and women who suffer from Service related psychological injury. The title for the exhibition is from an observation made by one veteran about the challenges of engaging in a creative pursuit. ‘Having the courage to give it a go’ can open up a whole range of new possibilities. Apart from gaining a sense of achievement, art-making also provides an important and pleasant distraction from intrusive memories of past trauma.

This made me later than I meant to be visiting a local market in Guildford. I was buying some lovely yellow tomatoes, a voice in my ear, the wife of my friend who I had spoken to earlier. We had a wander and a chat.

I could then have gone home, caught a train, before everyone finished shopping and left work and the trains are horribly overcrowded, but I decided no, I would climb back up to the top of the town to hopefully see a lady who had broken her wrist. I had with me Chinese balls and I had suggested the previous week she used them as fairly non-strenuous exercise. She was not there, had gone home early.

I walked further up to the Oxfam Bookshop. Overpriced but that is another story. The previous week I had had an interesting conversation with the guy in the shop about Orhan Pamuk and Paulo Coelho. He told me he had liked Veronika Decides to Die and I recommended he read My Name is Red which was sitting on the shelves.

Synchronicity: Paulo Coelho posted on his blog Veronika as his Character of the Week.

Sychronicity: Whilst we were talking a young guy walked to the counter with a pile of books in his hand. One if which was My Name is Red by Orhan Pamuk.

Sychronicity: The guy I was talking to in the bookshop had until recently been living in Istanbul. Istanbul is where Paulo Coelho will hold his St Joseph Party this year (19 March).

Sychronicity: Paulo Coelho had a few days earlier posted on his blog the significance of vespers.

Walking back down the town I noticed the lights were on in Holy Trinity and it looked like there were some people in the church. It is sadly so rare these days to find any church open, that you takes the opportunity when you can.

I had stumbled upon sung evensong by the choir from Guildford Cathedral, which was due to start in ten minutes time. This was the second time I had stumbled upon. The previous occasion was summer 2010. I decided to stay.

The format appears to be fairly fixed, singing interspersed with two readings, the first from the Old Testament, the second from the New Testament. It may even be more prescriptive than that as when I asked later of the Rector for chapter and verse he looked it up in his diary.

God’s Covenant With Noah – Genesis 9:8-19

Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him: “I now establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you and with every living creature that was with you – the birds, the livestock and all the wild animals, all those that came out of the ark with you – every living creature on earth. I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be cut off by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.”

And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.”

So God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and all life on the earth.”

The sons of Noah who came out of the ark were Shem, Ham and Japheth. (Ham was the father of Canaan.) These were the three sons of Noah, and from them came the people who were scattered over the earth.

Man has a Covenant with God. He broke that Covenant. Man is the Custodian of Gaia. Man despoiled the environment around him. He laid waste to the Earth and Civilisations collapsed. Now he lays waste to the Planet. The End of Days? [see Christian Theology and Gaia]

The parable of the Talents – Matthew 25:14-30

Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. 17 So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’

“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

“The man with two bags of gold also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two bags of gold; see, I have gained two more.’

“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

“Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’

“His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27 Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.

“‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. 29 For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

Note: a talent was worth about 20 years of a day labourer’s wage.

I always have problems with this passage. Jesus, with one or two exceptions, associated with the poor not the rich. Was it not more difficult for a rich man to enter heaven, than a camel to pass through the eye of a needle? Are we not required to relinquish our earthly possessions, to help the poor and those in need? I see this as a refection on the ills of society, the widening gap between rich and poor. The rich get richer whilst the poor get poorer. The rich use their wealth to accrue more wealth, the poor struggle to make ends meet and get by with what little they have, they cannot afford to speculate, to take risks. Never has this been more true as it is today, and yet as Muhammad Yunus and the Grameen Bank has shown and the Church Urban Fund, if the poor are given a little helping hand, they can be quite enterprising. [see Tackling poverty together]

I learnt that Holy Trinity (sister church of St Mary’s) are discussing the sale of Israeli so-called Peace Oil at St Mary’s. This can only be a good thing, and well done all those who raised its sale. Hopefully Holy Trinity will reach the right decision and not permit its sale. It should not be on sale on either moral or ethical grounds, and if the church does not set moral and ethical standards who does? It would also be contrary to the church’s own declaration that it is a Fairtrade Church! [see Peace Oil or taking the piss?]

I picked up two copies of Blessed Trinity – Music from Holy Trinity Guildford. Two copies because I did not have the right money for one copy!

On my way home, I met a lovely French girl on the train!

All what happened today would not have happened but for a series of delays, each of which, starting with my missing my train, led to the next delay.

Note: Vespers is the evening prayer in the Orthodox Church. Evensong is the equivalent in the Anglican Church.

Top story in The Prayer Daily (Saturday 22 January 2011).

St Nicolas: A Taste of Silence – An 11 week course on Christian Meditation starting at 8pm on Tuesday 1 February 2011.

The Good Book Tour: The Story of the Common Bible in English. The Millmead Centre, Guildford 7:30pm Saturday 12 Feb 2011.

Eden People – Mind Body Spirit – Holy Trinity

November 6, 2010
mind body spirit

mind body spirit



It was pleasing to see Holy Trinity Church in Guildford used to host Mind Body Spirit by Eden People. The church looked different and it was a while before I realised why, it was the sense of space with all the seating removed. Visit Lincoln Cathedral and you get this amazing sense of space as you look into the cathedral from the main doors.

Around Holy Trinity were various activities and stalls – prayer, Katrina with her Ruach Cards, Jesus Cards, massage, healing, dream interpretation, stalls selling trinkets, information stalls, in the corner tea and snacks.

I was pleased to be able to pick up prayer and mediation cards. I want to carry out an experiment. I had wished to launch it some time ago, but I lacked sufficient cards and what I had written got wiped out. The gist is this. Often I see claimed the power of prayer, but never any references. What I wish to try is people pick one of the prayer and meditation cards and carry out what it says. Then report back, the effect on them, the effect on those around them. If enough people participate will we achieve a critical mass? I do not know, which is why I wish to try.

Holy Trinity is rarely open, therefore to find Holy Trinity open was in itself a blessing. We live in a society where sadly churches are locked.

I discussed with a few people the scandal of so-called Peace Oil on sale at St Mary’s, the sister church of Holy Trinity. I had hoped there would be someone from Holy Trinity around but apparently not. The church is aware of the issues surrounding this oil, but the deafening silence would appear to condone its sale on church premises. If you wish to help Palestinians, then please buy Zaytoun fairtrade olive oil that is on sale in Guildford at Food for Thought and from the Fairtrade stall at the farmers market. Some churches also have fairtrade Palestinian olive oil. Holy Trinity is one such church, which begs the question why did they not have it on sale at Mind Body Spirit? If you wish to help Middle East peace then please make a donation to FRRME. [see Peace Oil or taking the piss?]

I discussed with one lady who had two marvellous characters on her stall the strange examples of synchronicity I had been experiencing all week, starting with being sent out of the blue by Juan Carlos Hernandez the poem Passion within written by April Higney to illustrate one of his photos. It was strange as I had not heard of either of them before and Passion within came unbidden out of the blue and yet it captured my mood at the time. I was so struck that I wrote of what was happening. On my way home from Mind Body Spirit April Higney sent me Fragrance of the heart, again inspired by Juan Carlos Hernandez. [see Communication with the Soul of the World]

I wished to take a picture of the lovely characters on the stall and wished the rather unattractive tacky mirror in the background out of the way. It leapt to the floor and smashed to pieces. Sorry about that. I suggested a mirror in a lovely old wooden frame wood be more appropriate to the stall.

The characters were part of a series but these were the only two left.

I would have liked to have had a chat with Katrina but such was the demand for her reading of Ruach Cards that all we could manage was a hug and an exchange of a few words.

Also see

Dinner with Canon Andrew White

The Role of Science and Faith in the Development of Civilisations

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