Not a month has passed since I was standing in St. Anselm’s new permanent church in Pembury, and since then the new developments have not ceased. First a tabernacle, then veils, crosses, a sacristy bell, last week the pews and now Fr. Ed reports that a pulpit has been given to the parish and has been inaugurated with two homilies this Sunday.
This morning people were overjoyed with the new benches which have given St. Anselm’s a feeling of being a permanent and proper church. And we were also overjoyed, and grateful, that a new pulpit has been gifted to us this week. It fits so perfectly into the sanctuary and is another item of quality to glorify this space and set it aside for the devout worship and praise of God.
The pulpit has been given as a memorial to Father Ambrose McLoughlin, who passed away this year, by members of his family and former parishioners. Fr. Ambrose was, for some 70 years, a priest of the Archdiocese of Southwark serving as parish priest of Our Lady of Victories, Wimbledon until his retirement. An uncompromising man who spoke truth to those in authority he hated sin and loved sinners. This pulpit is given that his work may be continued in God’s name.
Being filled with child like excitement at the fruits being harvested in Pembury, Father Nicholas and I both wished to try out the new pulpit! So I preached at 9:15am and he at 11am! During his homily he took up the theme of abundance from left overs – reflecting on the feeding of the 5000. He pointed out to us that everything brought into our church these last three years- altar, pulpit, benches, stations, cruficixes et al, were at some point considered surplus to requirements. Either due to parish closure or refurbishment. And so from the left overs of others we have built this place. And now we must go out and fill it with abundance to the glory of God.
The inscription carved around the new pulpit is rather apt. “be ye doers of the word and not hearers only” A motto for each one of us to take to heart. Do click on the images to enlarge them. They were taken on Friday morning when the pulpit was gathered into the church. We owe thanks to Mike Blande for driving to collect it and helping to polish and instal it. And to Jemima for modelling it for us. This morning the hymn board was placed in a new position and a crucifix hung above the pulpit as is fitting.