St Hilda's Anglican Catholic Church Service Times

You are invited to join us for Anglican Catholic Holy Communion / Mass on:
Every Sunday, Maitland NSW Australia. Venue: St Marys School Chapel in Victoria St. Mass at 11am.
Fr Matthew Kirby for further details.
Check here for any additions or cancelations of services.

Saturday 28 November 2015

Tuesday 17 November 2015

Saint Hilda of Whitby

Saint Hilda of Whitby is the patron Saint of our Anglican Catholic Parish in Maitland NSW Australia.
In modern times  Saint Hilda of Whitby is commemorated on the 18th of November, but the mediƦval commemoration was a day earlier, on the actual anniversary of her decease.
Edward Bridle has translated her entry from the ninth-century Old English Martyrology for us, which describes the signs which marked her birth and her passing:

“On the seventeenth day of the month is the passing of the holy abbess in Britain whose name was Saint Hilda. She was the first builder of the minster which is named Whitby.
Her father’s name was Hereric and her mother’s name was Bregoswyth; and to her mother was shewn on sleep, when she was pregnant with the child, that a jewel was thrust into her bosom, and it began to shine over all Britain. That betokened the fame of the maiden’s holiness. And Saint Hilda was three-and-thirty years in the secular state, and three-and-thirty years under the holy veil, and then she departed to Christ. And one of her nuns [literally, “of her handmaids-of-God”] saw how angels led her spirit to Heaven, and she glittered in the midst of the angels like the shining sun or a newly-pressed garment; and the same handmaid of God heard, at the same hour when she departed, the sound of a wondrous bell in the sky, and she saw also that angels raised up before her spirit a very great and wondrous Christ’s rood [cross], and it shone like a star of Heaven. And with such bliss was Saint Hilda’s spirit led to the royal glory of Heaven, where she now beholds our Lord for ever and ever, Whose will she did before, the while that on life she dwelt in her body.”
Please join us to commemorate St Hilda next Sunday 22nd November 2015,
at the school chapel in St Marys Campus of the All Saints College.
Entrance to the chapel is via Victoria St Maitland NSW.

Saturday 14 November 2015

Five Anglican Saintly Men

I thank my God upon every remembrance of you,  Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now; Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: Even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace. For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ. And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ. Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God. (Philippians 1:3)
“I thank my God upon every remembrance of you”. 

On the Octave Day of All Saints, we commemorate Anglican Saints and “Worthies”. This year we will briefly talk about five: Blessed Lancelot Andrewes, Blessed John Coleridge Patteson, William Wilberforce, Lord Shaftesbury, and Edward Pusey.
Lancelot Andrewes (1555 – 1626): A 17th Century Church of England bishop and scholar, respected by all, he was chosen as a chaplain by the Queen and the Archbishop of Canterbury. He oversaw the translation of the King James Version of the Bible (or Authorized Version). Even King James I minded his manners in awe of him when in his presence. He is considered a great defender of the Catholic heritage of the Church. He celebrated the liturgy with beauty and reverence, including, e.g., the use of incense. Lancelot Andrewes defended our catholicity and orthodoxy against Roman and Protestant opponents. He was immersed in both the Bible and the early Church Fathers. He gave much of his resources to the poor and much of his time in prayer to God and study. His private devotions were collected and published after his death, enriching many lives.

John Patteson (1827 – 1871): As a missionary to South Pacific peoples,  he became an accomplished linguist, learning 23 of the islands' more than 1,000 languages. In 1861 he was consecrated first Bishop of Melanesia. It was not an easy calling: the islands were scattered over 1,800 miles of ocean. He was not always welcomed, particularly since the native peoples were subject to abuses at the hands of blackbirders. These essentially impressed men as labourers, transporting them away under harsh conditions. He was a devout High-Churchman, willing to live a life of constant work and hardship. He was humble, gentle and loving with them. He was known to have protested against their wicked, illegal enslavement. Unfortunately he may have been martyred due to being mistaken for an agent of these slave-ship kidnappers and subsequently clubbed to death, but he had faced danger before (for example, Once when he and his assistants were about to leave Santa Cruz, they were shot at with arrows. Patteson's assistants were wounded, and the arrows turned out to be poisoned, since both ultimately died from the wounds). Despite having great respect for Anglican tradition, he also respected the local cultures and said they should not be trying to make Englishmen of the Islanders.
William Wilberforce (1759 – 1833): In 1785, he became an Evangelical Christian, which resulted in major changes to his lifestyle and a lifelong concern for reform. He was a famous politician who worked, successfully in the end, for the abolition of slavery. He helped found the RSPCA. He also worked for prison reform, law reform (fewer death penalties especially), and greater access to education for all. But he also rejected revolutionary and disloyal approaches to reform which he saw as destructive. He was convinced of the importance of religion, morality and education. He supported improving the moral fibre of society through Christianity and laws against immoral, anti-social behaviour, he condemned anti-Indian racism of British but also Hindu practices such as widow-burning and the discriminatory caste system. Being very generous with money he impoverished himself, to an extent paying off a son's debts, despite others offering to help instead.

The 7th Earl of Shaftesbury (1801-1885): He pushed for factory reform, saving children from mines, chimneys and industrialists, and pushed for other reforms for workers. He worked for the general welfare of poor children giving them education in the Ragged Schools which sprang up from volunteers. He was appointed to the Select Committee on asylums and was one of the first to see that the mentally ill should be treated as patients, not prisoners or objects of amusement. His committee establishment of a Board of Commissioners possessing extensive powers of licensing, inspection and control over the asylums. He supported the restoration of the Jews to the Holy Land and he was a supporter of Florence Nightingale.
Blessed Edward Pusey (1800 – 1882): Helped restore the Catholic self-understanding and popular teaching of the Church  of England. Incredibly productive scholar. Very holy man, and a family man. “His chief influence was that of a preacher and a spiritual adviser. As a preacher he lacked all the graces of oratory, but compelled attention by his searching and practical earnestness. His correspondence as a spiritual adviser was enormous; his deserved reputation for piety and for solidity of character made him the chosen confessor to whom large numbers of men and women unburdened their doubts and their sins. In private life Pusey's habits were simple almost to austerity. ...  his munificent charities gave him a warm place in the hearts of many to whom he was personally unknown.”
What do these men have to teach us by their faith and their example, by their “walk and talk”, if you will? What do they reveal of the special characteristics of the Anglican branch of the Catholic Church?

1.       Acknowledgement of mistakes, repentance for own sins and those of their community. E.g., Wilberforce and Slavery, and his change of mind on Catholic Emancipation. Andrewes regarding his acquiescence to an annulment and divorce, which turned out to be based on fraud. Thus a strong sense of being redeemed sinners.

2.       Practical love of the poor and oppressed. All deeply generous with personal time and money for the needy.

3.       A real but moderated asceticism. ( Asceticism is a lifestyle characterized by abstinence from worldly pleasures, often for the purpose of pursuing spiritual goals.)

4.       People of persistent Prayer, Lovers of the Scripture and the priority of core Gospel truths (including Pusey, who acknowledged and emphasised much common ground with Evangelicals).

5.       Generally reading the Scripture with the Church, not against it, respecting its consistent consensus as a sure sign of God's guidance.

6.       Committed to their Church but respectful of other Christians. An early stand for religious freedom common, if imperfect. Ready to persuade with reason and not force. E.g., Patteson with the natives, Wilberforce with the British populace, Pusey with opponents inside and outside the Church.

7.       Showing that heroic holiness is not restricted to a restricted class consisting of the clergy, the religious or the celibate, but is accessible to all Christians.

8.       A strong devotion to learning and true scholarship. E.g., Wilberforce and Shaftesbury with education for the masses and Andrewes and Pusey as great theologians.

And so we see a beautiful balance between Scripture, Tradition and Reason; between Gospel simplicity and thelogical and sacramental depth within the fullness of the Catholic Faith; between practical works and devoted prayer; between freedom from tyranny and submision to authority and self-discipline. It is this note of constructive and fulsome balance rather than mere compromise which is characteristic of Anglicanism at its best. That is what the Via Media or middle way often mentioned in connection with us should be.

If we look beyond these five men,
we see a long list of Anglican worthies with similar characteristics:

We have a truly worthy inheritance,
of which we ourselves should strive to be worthy. 
Join us for Anglican Catholic Mass / Holy Communion each Sunday, 
offering worship and prayer to God.
We can be found at the chapel in St Marys campus of the All Saints School.
Victoria Street entrance in Maitland NSW Australia.

Saturday 7 November 2015

Collect for All Saints

“Almighty God,
who hast knit together thine elect
in one communion and fellowship
in the mystical body of Thy Son, Christ our Lord:
Give us grace so to follow Thy blessed saints
in all virtuous and godly living,
that we may come
to those ineffable joys
that thou hast prepared for those
who unfeignedly love thee;
through the same Jesus Christ our Lord,
who with thee and the Holy Spirit liveth and reigneth,
one God, in glory everlasting. Amen”

Friday 6 November 2015

Octave Day of All Saints 2015

This  oil painting is titled "The Christian Martyrs" by mid-19th century French artist Gustave Dore.
 In the Anglican Communion, the communion of saints includes everyone who has tried or is trying to follow the teachings of Christ. Anglican Feast Days celebrate men and women for their bravery, insights, contributions, and faith. Last week we celebrated All Saints Day, followed by All Souls Day.
 This week 8th November our altar is still white, why? This week represents the Octave Day of All Saints, specially set aside for all Anglican Martyrs and other Saints.
Saints have been talked about on our blog in the past. All religions have them, they are people recognised within their tradition as having fulfilled the highest aspirations of religious teaching.
In Christianity Saints are those whose surrender to God's love is so generous an approach to the total surrender of Jesus that the Church recognises them as heroes and heroines worthy to be held up for our inspiration as role models to encourage the believer in us.
What then is a Christian Martyr?
They are a person who endures great suffering on behalf of their belief and willingly suffers death rather than renounce his or her religion.

Saints are our role models. They are not Gods in their own right, but rather imperfect people like us, who manage to shine the light of God and do amazing things through their faith, and the gifts and grace they are given through the mercy of God.
So if you are doing so much wonderful work for God and He is shining through you, what possible good is there in death, won't that cut short the good that is happening?
Saints are our role models, so are the Martyrs. They have an amazing message for us through their dedication and trust. Their belief and faith is so strong and they are so dedicated to God that they are willing to die rather than deny Him.
We are to place God first in our lives and while that is easy to do when everything is going right for us, it isn't so simple a choice when things become disastrous. Our natural instinct is to live. The idea of enduring avoidable pain and death holds fear for most people. Jesus was our ultimate example of how to face martyrdom. He died on the cross for our sins. His trust and love of God outweighed his pain or fear and He knowingly accepted his sacrificial role. Christian Martyrs, like our Saints are imperfect people too, just like us. They have been placed in the ultimate test of faith.

In our lives, we may be comforted with the knowledge that we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses that help us to run the race set before us. Saints and martyrs are not superhuman men and women but sinners just like me and you. We pray that we will never walk in their final steps of the martyrs, but If ever we are placed in the situation of choosing our life or renouncing God, we pray that we have the strength that they have demonstrated.
The following links list Anglican Saints:
Join us for Anglican Catholic Holy Communion / Mass on Sunday 8th November at 11am.
Celebrate the Octave Of All Saints offering prayer and worship to God.

Wednesday 4 November 2015

Photo's at St Hilda's 1-10-15


This is "Tempy", she is exploring outside our chapel in Maitland.
She has been coming to our mass the last few weeks with her family and it is a pleasure to have her smiling face among us.

Monday 2 November 2015

All Souls - 2015

By Thy resurrection from the dead, O Christ, death no longer hath dominion over those who die in holiness. So, we beseech Thee, give rest to Thy servants in Thy sanctuary and in Abraham's bosom. Grant it to those, who from Adam until now have adored Thee with purity, to our fathers and brothers, to our kinsmen and friends, to all men who have lived by faith and passed on their road to Thee, by a thousand ways, and in all conditions, and make them worthy of the heavenly kingdom.
(prayer drawn from the Byzantine Divine Liturgy)
O Lord, who art ever merciful and bounteous with Thy gifts, look down upon the suffering souls in purgatory. Remember not their offenses and negligence's, but be mindful of Thy loving mercy, which is from all eternity. Cleanse them of their sins and fulfil their ardent desires that they may be made worthy to behold Thee face to face in Thy glory. May they soon be united with Thee and hear those blessed words which will call them to their heavenly home: "Come, blessed of My Father, take possession of the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world."
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them.
May the souls of the faithful departed,
through the mercy of God,
rest in peace, and rise in glory.
Join St Hilda's Parish
for Anglican Catholic Mass / Communion / Prayer / Worship for All Souls,
Monday evening 2nd Nov 2015 at 6pm.
St Marys Campus Chapel of the All Saints College,
Victoria Street Maitland NSW.

Sunday 1 November 2015

All Saints Day Prayer

Thank you, God, for the tremendous sacrifices
made by those who have gone before us.
Bless the memories of your saints, God.
May we learn how to walk wisely
from their examples
of faith, dedication, worship, and love.

Almighty God,
who hast knit together thine elect in one communion and fellowship in the mystical body of Your Son, Christ our Lord: Give us grace so to follow Your blessed saints in all virtuous and godly living, that we may come to those ineffable joys that thou hast prepared for those who unfeignedly love thee; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who with thee and the Holy Spirit liveth and reigneth, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen
Book of Common Prayer, 1979
God,  source of all holiness, you have given us all the saints, our brothers and sisters, as models of Christian life. Known and unknown, named and unnamed, they are gathered now around Your table in heaven, where they enjoy the company of Your Mother Mary; your angels and one another. As pilgrims on the journey of faith on Earth, they showed their love, friendship, and care for us' still assisting us on our journey may their prayers lead us at last to the joy of the Eternal Jerusalem. We ask this through Christ the Lord.
(Carlo Saraceni 1590-1620)

Requiem Mass for Kay

This is a photo taken of Father Matthew Kirby when St Hilda's Parish held a Requiem Mass for Kay Jackson-Rees on Friday 31st October at 10am.
Kay was diagnosed with terminal cancer 2 years ago.
Kay was originally baptised when in her teens as a dare with her young friend, they wanted to see the "swimming pool" under the floor. Her life wasn't always easy but regardless of the challenges and pain which came her way she always found what she called her "Pollyanna", a positive way of looking at things, she remained giving and forgiving to all she met. Although she lived a very Christian ideal, the pain from her younger years meant she had trouble accepting "God".
The 2 years since she was diagnosed represented a time of growth and new understanding. It is interesting how our focus of what is important can shift when we hear the word terminal. Things we once thought was important seem quite trivial. We start to look closely at who we are and our mistakes, our regrets, our loves, our achievements. We re-evaluate how we see ourselves and what is of the most importance. We look for love, acceptance and peace while we still have the opportunity.
This year she renewed her Baptismal promise and started taking the sacraments. Kay never physically attended a mass at our chapel as her health made travel almost impossible this past year. Her name was mentioned in many of the lists of Intentions each Sunday and Kay prayed regularly for Father Matthew and many of his parishioners.
Kay passed away in her home in the company of her brother and friend on Sunday 18th November.
God Have mercy on the soul of Kay.
Eternal rest, grant unto her, O LORD,...

And let your light perpetual shine upon her.
May she rest in eternal peace, and rise in glory.

The Holy Spirit guide and comfort
all of Kay's family and friends,
that they may hold tight to the peace and love of God
during their time of grief and sadness.


( Written by Di Mathews: churchwarden /blog administrator)