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Magazine March 2021

Still in lock down but possibly a chance of some restrictions being eased during this month. Just a beginning – remember many will remain and should be observed. This is also Lent when we should prepare to focus on the Cross and Christ’s Resurrection at the beginning of next month. The articles from 100 years ago focus on Intercessions and Good Friday and Easter. An article on the month of March includes folk lore, significant dates and four people remembered this month. The is another quiz on events occurring in this month – the answers can be found at the end. Charlie explains why he is a ‘mouse pal’. Val has provided limericks inspired by the pandemic; perhaps you could provide more. An article on neighbourliness is food for thought. Some poems for you to enjoy. Stay safe and healthy. Happy Easter. Eva.

March.

“I Martius am! and now the third!
To lead the Year was my appointed place;
A mortal dispossessed me by a word’
And set there Janus with the double face.”
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

The Catholic tradition calls March the month of St Joseph. He is celebrated on the 19th. The Gospels state that he was a descendent of the house of David and was espoused to the Virgin Mary before her conception of our Lord. He was a devout Jew and was open the God’s messages relayed in dreams. Thus he married pregnant Mary and took Mary and Jesus to Egypt to escape the slaughter of the Innocents. When it was safe he took his family to Nazareth where he was known as a carpenter.

Significant days:-
March 15th. The Ides of March is regarded as an ill-fated day.
It is also known as Clean, or Pure, Monday and marks the beginning of Lent for the
Eastern Orthodox Church.
March 20th is the Equinox and marks the beginning of spring.
March 27th. Sunset marks the beginning of Passover.
March 28th. A full moon called the Worm Moon occurs.

Weather lore.
A wet spring a dry harvest.

In beginning or in end,
March its gifts will send.

Bleak winds assault us all around:
Dances aloft, or skims the ground:
See the school-boy – his hat in hand,
While on the path he scarce can stand.
The wild and windy spring.”
Elizabeth A. Allen.

March comes in with adders’ heads and goes out with peacocks’ tails.

So many mists in March you see,
So many frosts in May will be.

Thunder in spring,
Cold will bring.

A wet spring a dry harvest.
In beginning or in end, March its gifts will send.

Bleak winds assault us all around:
Dances aloft, or skims the ground:
See the school-boy – his hat in hand,
While on the path he scarce can stand.

People remembered in March.
Two bishops, an archbishop and a poet are remembered this month as well as many saints including David, Benedict and Cuthbert.

March 8th. Edward King. B. 29.12.1829 and D. 8.3.1910 at Lincoln.
He was ordained in 1885 and became curate at Wheatley, near Oxford, He became chaplain and lecturer at the theological college at Cuddlesden. He was the principal between 1863 and 1873. He became bishop of Lincoln in 1895. He stressed the importance of pastoral work especially among the poor, industrial workers and prisoners. He was known as a ‘gentle shepherd’.
As a member of the Oxford Movement he sought to reintroduce increased ceremony into the Church of England which was lost and discouraged after the Church broke form Rome. They wanted to stress the Catholic nature of the Church and so stay faithful to the teaching of the early and undivided Church. They also felt that the idea of apostolic succession was important linking the Church back to the apostles.

March 20th. Thomas Ken. 1632 to 1711. He was educated at Winchester College and then went to Oxford. He was ordained in 1662 and became bishop of Bath and Wells. He refused to take the oath of allegiance to King William and was deposed from his see. He wrote a number of hymns including “Awake my soul and with the sun”, and “Glory to Thee, my God, this night”.
After resigning he lived an ascetic life as a celibate.

March 21st. Thomas Cranmer. Born 2.7. 1489. D 21 3 1556 in Oxford. He was one of the leaders of the English Reformation and encouraged the circulation of the English version of the Bible. He was archbishop of Canterbury from 1532 to 1534 serving under henry VIII and Edward VI. He played an important part in the production of the Book of Common Prayer and his English style was much admired. He signed Edwards dying wish to give the crown to Lady Jane Grey but her reign was very short. She was succeeded by Mary, a Roman Catholic who had Cranmer convicted of treason and imprisoned in the tower. He was burned at the stake for heresy in 1556.

March 29th. John Keble. B. 25.4. 1792 at Fairford. D. 29.3.1816 at Bournemouth.
He was educated at home before winning a scholarship to Corpus Christi College, Oxford. He gained a double first in Maths and Latin. He was ordained in 1816 while still at Oxford. He was also a member of the Oxford Movement. He wrote a number of poems entitled “The Christian Year” and hymns including “Blest are the pure in heart.”

    From a 100 years ago.

                     Intercession.

“Intercessory prayer is a duty bidding upon every member of the Christian Church.
The Church of Christ is one great family, of which God is the head, and of which each individual member is a vital and important part.
Nothing affects the Body which does not affect the member, and the converse is equally true.

The child’s first prayer is usually an intercessory prayer. “God bless daddy, mother, baby, and pussy” prayed a tiny boy not yet three years old, and, wisely, his mother let it stand as that. But, in the spirit of the thing, do our own prayers get further than that? Clergy often remark that elderly people have never outgrown the prayers of their childhood.

Even if our prayers are confined to supplication only, this state of things should not be, for our own spiritual needs become greater as we advance in natural life; hence the great gift of Confirmation.
Intercession, therefore, must, to be beneficial, widen and grow with spiritual growth, and it must also, because it grows, become more detailed and specific.

The greatest advantage of intercessory prayers to the one who prays is that it can never be selfish. It is when we lose sight of self that we become most like our Blessed Lord, “Who pleased not Himself.” Anything that can cure, or help to cure, the inborn selfishness of most human beings is not to be despised, for to those who know their fault there is usually granted a desire to be rid of it. But used for this end alone it becomes in itself selfish. “Prayer moves the hand which moves the world,” and of the effect of even one prayer of intercession we may never know, so far reaching may it be, and we may reverently believe that God answers intercessory prayer in proportion to its unselfishness.

Prayer is never easy, of whatever kind it be, and intercessory prayer is particularly difficult for several reasons. We do not know what to ask or how to ask it; we do not know how great the need for our prayers, or who needs them in greatest measure.

Most of these difficulties can be met with, as far as the outside world is concerned, by using a good book of intercessions. Our own little private circle can be dealt with apart from this, if one wishes, but even here there is often the feeling that one is working, as it were in the dark.
What, then, are we to do about all the trials and anxieties of those we love, in whom we feel an interest, and those outside ourselves, whom we do not know and never will know in this world? We can only offer them to God.” E. Lyngates.

         The Gospel of Failure.
         “If the work be real, every failure has been a gain, and part of it is never lost. 
          We are nearer to God than we were.”  F. W. Robertson.
        ‘Keep me, O Lord, from bitterness,
        From angry thoughts of Thee,
        Because Thy wisdom doth withhold
        What most enchanted me.

        The praise of men -how good it seems!
        The wish for fame – how strong!
        Like golden fruit, they gleam and glow,
        Those things for which I long.

        I work and struggle, strain and strive,
        Some great success to gain,
        To labour lost, full well I know,
        My toil is all in vain.

        With care, I sift and sort the seed,
         Yet naught from it doth grow,
        To all my fond desires is sent
        An everlasting – No!

        And yet these failures – sharp and sore -
        These unregarded prayers,
        May be, as in the patriarch’s dream,
        Like shining steps of stairs.

        A pathway – stony, steep, and straight-
        Which, climbing in the night,
        Leads us away from earth to heaven,
        From darkness into light!
                                               C.J.Hamilton.


                        Neighbourliness.

A pessimist was walking down a country lane one autumn evening with a troubled-looking countenance, and footsteps which were slow and weary. He appeared very dissatisfied with the world in general. By and by he met a friend, and stopped to pass the day. His friend’s face was so full of pleasant good humour and happiness that he asked what he had been doing.

“Oh, nothing in particular,” replied the friend, “I only met a woman just now, carrying a heavy bundle of washing, and I took it from her. You cannot imagine how grateful she was!”

“What a funny fellow you are,” laughed the other, with rather a superior note in his voice; “why should you interfere? It was her washing not yours. You surely have enough to do without shouldering the burden of other folks. You will always be put upon, you know.”

“Very likely,” returned his friend, but he did not seem distressed about it, and changed the subject abruptly. “What a glorious evening it is!”

“Glorious evening! Why, what are you talking about? It poured with rain a short time ago – we are both of us wet through.”

“Poured? A beautiful, gentle shower, which has made the earth smell fresh and clean again! Do you mean to say you have not noticed?”

“I cannot say that I have. And, my good friend, look at those dark clouds all over the sky.”

“Clouds? I see no clouds, no black clouds, only a wonderful pearly grey, and the sky behind them is clear and bright. Where are you eyes?”

His companion stared in amazement.
“There is nothing wrong with my eyes,” he said, “I see things as they are, not as they are through rose-coloured spectacles. I see we do not agree. Good night.”

They parted, the one hurrying on with head erect and his heart singing, the other with drooping shoulders and downcast eyes. Presently the pessimist met an angel.
“Did you see that extraordinary fellow?” he inquired of the celestial being.
“Which?” asked the angel; “There are so many about!”

“He has been carrying home some washing,” exclaimed the pessimist, “and he thinks the clouds are pearly grey instead of dark and stormy, and the rain which lashed down a moment ago he called gentle and pleasant.”

The angel smile compassionately.
“After all, it is a beautify evening,” he replied thoughtfully,”but it is his neighbourliness that makes the world look bright, and which abates the fury of the storm for him. Why, you poor, blind creature, the blessed sun is shining all the while most brilliantly – it is you who cannot see.”
(Source unknown.)

O God we worship!
Though our hearts are dull and cold
Yet Thy Love doth make us bold
For Thou callest as of old,
And we worship. E.M.David.

A March quiz.

Match the right year to the following events.
44BC; 978; 1074; 1306; 1556; 1603; 1653; 1702; 1826; 1834;
1856; 1871; 1872; 1875; 1886; 1904; 1912; 1936; 1956; 1969.

1)March 2nd. Concord made the maiden flight.
2) 5th. The spitfire made the first test flight from Eastleigh.
3) 7th. The Scottish inventor, Alexander Graham bell, patented the telephone.
4) 8th. Anne became queen after William III died after a riding accident when his horse fell.
5) 9th. Pope Gregory VII excommunicated married priests.
6) 10th. Crufts held its first show in London.
7) 12th. Britain’s first mainline electric train ran between Liverpool and Southport.
8) 15th. “Ides of March” Julius Caesar was stabbed by Marcus Brutus.
9) 16th. The Wanderers beat the Royal Engineers 1-0 in the first English cup final at the Oval.
10) 18th. Edward, King of England, murdered at Corfe Castle,
possible ordered by his stepmother Aelfryth, mother of Ethelred the Unready.
11) 19th. Six farm labourers, The Tolpuddle Martyrs, were sentenced to
transportation to Australia for 7 years for forming a trade union.
12) 20th. Oliver Cromwell, Defender of England, dissolved the Long Parliament.
13) 21st. England’s first protestant Archbishop of Canterbury is burnt at the stake as a heretic
under Catholic Queen Mary.
14) 22nd. The British Parliament voted to purchase 38 paintings to establish a National Gallery.
15) 23rd. Queen Elizabeth II laid the foundation stone for the new cathedral at Coventry.
16) 24th. The crowns of England and Scotland united when James VI of Scotland succeeded
to the English throne.
17) 25th. The Earl of Carrick, Robert the Bruce crowned king of Scotland at Scone Palace.
18) 27th. England and Scotland played their first rugby football international at Edinburgh;
the first blood to Scotland.
19) 28th. Both Oxford and Cambridge boats sank in the Varsity boat race.
20) 30th. The Crimean War between Russia and Europe ended with the signing of the
Treaty of Paris.

Limericks inspired by lockdown.

This virus has caught us off guard
It seem I’m becoming a bard
What with shopping online
And drinking the wine
This lockdown has really been hard,
(A wonderful thing is a bottle of wine – but you’r not having mine.)

To attend HC (BCP)
I am told where to sit, (C of E)
So I sit where I’m put
And daren’t move a foot –
Or be branded a rebel – Not me!

Have you any to add to these given to me by Val? Have a go!

I’m a ‘mouse’ pal!

I thought life could not get worse – how wrong I have been. Lock down continues and I have lost my best friend – hopefully that will not be for long; only until his owner is fully fit and can walk again. Now I walk alone and sadly there are no rabbits to chase and not a smell of a fox.
Then things changed; firstly, I had a get well card from Toby, a spaniel, who lives near Dartmoor where ever that is, and secondly, we became ‘mouse’ pals. Soon my friend, Jake, another spaniel, joined in. I feel we are now in our own special bubble as well as ‘mouse’ pals. I think that is what we are! Have I made up a new name? If so, clever me!

I wanted to say thank you to Toby for his kind thoughts and photos of himself and his friends. I could not put pen to paper and realised a ‘mouse’ was the answer. I have used this thing before. Its not really a mouse – it has no eyes, no legs, no fur but a long, long tail that goes on for ever. This mouse cannot move on its own. How strange! So its not really a mouse and is not alive. If it was I could chase it and cause havoc all round the house. What fun that would be and would liven life up no end.

So back to this mouse. It is a strange thing that sits on a sort of a mat and glows red underneath if it lifts off the mat. Its just a useful thing that lets a line move on the screen if it’s used properly. I am clever and have learnt how to use it and so have my two friends. Now we speak to each other most days and describe what we have been up to. Jake has been exploring new places and walks with new friends. Luckily I know he will not forget me. Toby has told me that he is frightened when a train goes over the bridge when he is underneath it. He has to be groomed as he gets in such a mess and his fur gets matted. He is not very happy about this especially if the bubbles get into his eyes. He does not like going to the vets and clamps his mouth shut when they want to look at his teeth. I do not mind – I walk in as if I own the place. I know I will get a lots of fuss, I’m a sucker for that and a couple of treats as well.

Do you see why we are three ‘mouse’ pals and not pen pals? Do you have ‘mouse’ pals as well?
Charlie.

Another article     from a 100 years ago.

Good Friday and Easter, 1921.

“Last month – the beginning of Lent – we thought about ourselves. In the middle of March our lesson changes. . . . From the fifth Sunday in Lent to Easter Day, we are to think chiefly of our Lord: above all on Good Friday, and on Easter Day, and if our work be such that we cannot remain with Him outwardly, yet we must put force on ourselves never to forget Him for very long together. Can we make a special resolution to ask ourselves each night – have I thought of Him once at least each hour of the day? Perhaps we could say, if no more, at least, “O Saviour of the world, save us and help us, we beseech Thee, O Lord.”
The world won’t help us to keep Lent, least of all those wonderful weeks when all Christians who do keep them, in one way or another, are brought near–
“Unto the city of Living God, the heavenly Jerusalem;
To the general assembly and Church of the first born who are enrolled in heaven.
And to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of all just men made perfect, and to Jesus . . .
See that you refuse not him that speaketh.”

Our means.
The church says clearly what we are to do:

  1. Somehow get near or Lord.
  2. – – We must spend Good Friday as quietly as it is in our power to spend it.
  3. To prepare very solemnly indeed for our Easter Communion.
  4. To trust Him for all the rest. – – It does not matter what we feel. All we have to do is confess our
    sins in the Presence of God. – “If we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins.”

Our responsibility.
It is not enough to go ourselves to Good Friday services and Easter Communion. If we believe that our Lord died and rose again, we shall not be content – we shall share His sorrow – over the many [who are not keeping Good Friday and preparing for Easter Communion].
For Church people – who have been taught better – it is a terrible thing not to do these things during Eastertide.” or another, are brought near–
“Unto the city of Living God, the heavenly Jerusalem;
To the general assembly and Church of the first born who are enrolled in heaven.
And to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of all just men made perfect, and to Jesus . . .
See that you refuse not him that speaketh.”

(Placed here from the March mag. as Easter is at the very beginning of next month.)

A poem by John Keble.

Thou know’st He died not for Himself, nor for Himself arose;
Millions of souls were in His heart, and thee for one He chose,
Upon the palms of His pierc’d hands engraved was thy name,
He for thy cleansing had prepar’d His water and His flame.

Answers to the quiz.


1.1969; 2.1936; 3. 1702; 4. 1702; 5. 1074; 6 1886; 7. 1904;

  1. 44 BC; 9. 1872; 10. 978; 11. 1834; 12.1653; 13. 1556; 14. 1824;
  2. 1956; 16. 1603; 17. 1306; 18. 1871; 19. 1912; 20. 1856.