A dark, wet morning with the memory of a recent, failed attempt at snow lingering in the air greeted us in Prestwich on this feast of Christ the King. The heating, at full blast, just about warmed the Church and our organist played vigorously to ward off chills.
The procession makes it's way in. Photographs were not going to be provided today, but were needed for a later event, so have been taken with the usual long exposure to belay the need for the flash. This week from he front of the nave, as Ken was away in Ipswich, or somewhere else unknown to me.
Canon Denby sang the Mass today and can be seen here walking in wearing the chasuble from a very fine High Mass set made by a brother of a monastery in England. A small prize, again, will be offered to anyone who can guess where it may be from.
The altar is censed. Father Norman Price, associate priest of Saint Hilda's can be seen in choir, now recovering well from his recent operation.
Les, the thurifer, looks on as Matthew, who takes a great interest in things of the Church, looks at the camera, missing nothing as usual.
The end of the Preface and start of the Sanctus. The New English Hymnal, which I usually like, let us down today by not containing within itself 'Hail Redeemer, King Divine', written for the dedication of the Cathedral of Christ the King, Liverpool.
We have, in the past, offered Benediction after the Mass of Christ the King, but we have Evensong and Benediction next Sunday evening as well as the Carol Service and Solemn Benediction a couple of weeks after that, with mulled wine and mince pies afterwards. Not being a quiet Church, but not having so many people we can spread ourselves too thinly, we decided to stick to Benediction on the two forthcoming occasions rather than offer too much of a good thing. Here you can see the Senior Fire Officer for the county presenting our Treasurer, Phyllis, with a most generous cheque from the Lord Lieutenants Fund towards purchasing materials and machinary for our new childrens evening craft club, which will commence early next year.
Canon Denby gives the solemn blessing after Mass. We used the one for the new year as seen as it is the beginning of the Church's new year next week.
And out we go, led by the acolytes with the candles from Saint Benedict's Ardwick. James, our second (and very valued) organist can be seen in the background (by the organ, naturally). James came from Saint Margaret's up the road and has made his new home with us.
The Angelus is sung, as always, after Mass. Next week we will start with the Asperges as is our custom in Advent and Lent (takes some getting used to, Carole, but you'll come to like it). The purple drawers will be dusted off soon and the advent wreath made up, the candles were bought last January, donated as part of the Epiphany gift drive. What we could really do with are two purple dalmatics and a matching cope from our friend Frank in India, who makes excellent vestments if you specify exactly what you want and the fabrics and style to use.