Remembrance Sunday 2019
This year the Garden of Remembrance was set up again A simple wooden cross, styled on the grave markers that once dotted the Western Front, from which spread 101 small white crosses, each bearing a simple red poppy.
A poem, by Marjorie Pickthall, beautifully read as our Introit by Philippa te West, was chosen by our Chaplain to set the theme and mood of our Remembrance Sunday Eucharist and our act of Remembrance... ...
Under the level winter sky, I saw a thousand Christs go by.
They sang an idle song and free more ......
(It comes from the hand of a civilian who was also a woman, both rare profiles for a war poet. She was, too, a Canadian, calling to mind for us the significant part that the Canadian Armed Forces played in WW1, and also, especially in our own area in the Netherlands towards the close of WW2.
For Marjorie Pickthall, she was thinking about the sacrifice made by soldiers during the First World War, who saw such sacrifice as particularly Christian in character. Like Christ, whose path through life is epitomized by the Via Dolorosa, the sorrowful way of the cross, her vision is of a thousand Christ’s passing by. Her poem honours the men answering the call to selfless duty, putting their lives in mortal danger, like Christ burdened by his cross on the way to be crucified. Hers is a moving and religiously apprehended response to the sacrifice of countless numbers made each day of the war. Their sacrifice was real and consequential as was that of Christ.
The “Seven swords” rent the hearts of every grieving mother, just as Simeon had foretold that Mary’s soul would be pierced by the agony demanded by such sacrifice. In this, we call to mind that famous close to Wilfred Owen’s poem, “Dulce et Decorum EST”: when we really allow ourselves to see the brutal agony of war, we could surely not bring ourselves to recite propagandist platitudes like, “Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori” (“How sweet and honorable it is to die for one’s country”) (First written by the Roman poet, Horace). From Wilfred Owen, we hear the truth, from a man who lived the horror of war and died in the horror of war. He calls this, “The Old Lie”, perpetuated by all whose interest is in supporting and making profit, of one kind or another, from war.)
After laying the wreath, Arthur read the poem:
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them".
Baptism, Confirmation, Reader Licensing and Welcoming Service
Sunday October 13th was a very special day for our congregation. Two of our youngsters were baptised, eight were confirmed and two new members were welcomed into the Church of England. Simone Yallop, having studied for quite some time did finally get her License as our Reader.
For this the Archdecon Paul Vrolijk and Bishop Michael Langrish were in our midst. Bishop Michael did the Sermon and Archdeacon Paul Vrolijk did install Simone as Reader.
Castle Fair 2019
A Wardens Viewpoint.
The weather over the days leading up to the Castle Fair did not bode well with windy, drizzly, grey days. Come the day the sun reappeared, the wind dropped to a light breeze, and the people poured through the gate in a steady stream throughout the day.
The Raffle Stall was placed this year at the top of the drive, between the ice cream stall and the English Fudge. Great spot for attracting visitors but not so great for the waistline. The two ladies on the stall, Marilyn and Lillian, had far more self-control than your warden and the author of this viewpoint.
The three of us had the privilege of acting like Father Christmas, (or in the ladies’ case, Mary Christmas) throughout the day as we handed out prizes to lucky ticket holders. The only prize that proved difficult to give away was a voucher for a tree. It kept getting won by flat dwellers whose only outdoor space was a balcony.
Happily, a gardener eventually won it and went away with a smile on her face.
Smiles on faces were the order of the day for our visitors. From the moment they arrived at the ticket stall most appeared amazed at the incredible array of stalls set in the grounds of the stunning Weldam Castle grounds. Those visitors who arrived at the beginning of the fair were met by the Highland pipe and drum band who marched up the drive playing a selection of music. Somehow, the skirl of the pipes and the rhythmic drumbeat of Highland Laddie, Scotland the Brae and Black Bear amongst others seemed to fit the scene.
The volunteers in the tearoom deserve a special mention as they dispensed tea, coffee and a huge variety of home-baked cakes throughout the day. Behind the scenes, out of sight of the crowd, volunteers toiled away washing an endless stream of crockery and glassware. At times, there more visitors than there were chairs and tables available. Mention must also be made at this point of the Lub Gringhuis Patent Fly and Wasp Blower that kept the cakes both cool and insect free throughout the day. If you are curious, ask about this device when you are next in the Hut.
The Church Stall was placed in its usual position just inside the courtyard. by the gate. All day long Theda and Els informed interested visitors about the activities of St Mary’s Chapel, and the charities the chaplaincy supported. They also sold a variety of goods, many hand-crafted by Theda.
That afternoon, the Dog Show took place on the front lawn. Around twenty dogs and their minders participated in over an hour of riotous fun. Identifying some dogs was easy, such as the Pembroke Corgi, a Shi Tzu, and a Labrador. For the rest, though it was more fun to speculate on what they were a mix of.
The international judging panel consisted of Arthur, representing the United Kingdom, Sebastian, representing the Netherlands and yours truly, representing the Republic of Ireland, scrutinised the entrants with professional skill. Bilingual commentary and instructions were blasted out via a Bull Horn by Joyce Wigboldus. (Using the Americanism for an electronic megaphone seems more appropriate.)
Dogs valiantly competed to gain the judges' attention in classes such as Cutest Dog, Waggiest Tail and Most Appealing Eyes. Judges equally bravely tried to not get bitten, by the human minders, in classes such as Dog that looks most like their owner and Dog the Judges would most like to take Home. The highlight was during the Best Trick event, when the dog had to fetch a squeaky plastic hamburger and return it to the thrower. Rusty, a multi-breed rescue dog raced past the hamburger and kept on going through the crowds, followed in hot pursuit by Katelyn, his rescuer, calling for him to come back.
At the end of the event, every dog had won at least one prize. Admittedly, it took a lot of judging skill, but no dog went home empty-pawed. The crowds who had gathered to watch a typical British church fete style dog show appeared to enjoy the spectacle.
At the end of the day, Jeanet and the other hard-working members of the Castle Fair Committee led the weary volunteers into winding up and clearing up after the last visitor had left. After all, the gardens of Weldam Castle had to be returned in the same condition. Seven Hundred and Seventy-Seven tickets were sold and over six thousand years were raised for the chaplaincy funds. As an exercise in fundraising, the Castle Fair was a great success. But as a great fun day out, lets-get-to-know-other event for those of us who worship at St Mary’s Chapel, the Castle Fair was enormously successful. Many thanks to all who took part, and to the Solms family, for the use of the Weldam Castle grounds.
Below is a selection of images, more to follow.
Ascension Day opened with light drizzle and thick cloud cover. Did a bit of cold, damp and miserable weather deter the Weldam picnickers? Oh no! Forty Five people attended a wonderful Ascension Day service in the chapel. There would have been more, but some of the congregation were unable to attend either for health reasons or other commitments. An unexpected visitor was Daisy the dog, who was invited in. Daisy was beautifully behaved and happily participated in the Peace, receiving many a pat on her head as she stood in her pew, happily wagging her tail.
After the service everyone wended their way out of the chapel and up through the trees to the woodyard. Fortunately, though still cloudy, the drizzle had ceased. Most people had brought in food for the bring-and-share picnic and this was now laid out in the workshop. Visitors and guests who had not come with food to offer were made welcome and assured that there was more than enough for everyone. And of course there was. A wonderful spread of dishes representing both Dutch cuisine and the mixed range of cuisines from the diverse congregation.
First, our chaplain offered up an entirely appropriate grace to get the meal started. People sat at the tables laid out in front of the workshop, chatting over the food. Then going back for more and moving to a different table or group. It was a great way to meet new people and catch up with old friends.
Music as usual was provided by our musical maid from the Cape of Good Hope, Carol. Requests were taken and everyone was invited to join in with any of their favourite
songs. While this was going on the several dogs that had arrived with their owners, took the opportunity to socialise with each other and the humans. One dog in particular was sorely missed, little Dirk.
A plant sale was organised on the same lines as the food. People donated plants to be sold with the proceeds going to flower fund.
Thus the meal comprised of sampling different foods, listening to music, exercising dogs, buying plants, comparing gardening experiences and catching up on each others news. As the old saying goes, A’ good time was had by all’.
Flower Fund Book Sale
Happily the environment was not burdened with a huge fire to get rid of all the books brought into the hut for this year’s Flower Fund Book sale. Even the amount of people using an E-reader did remain quite low I understood. In fact, quite a number of members of our congregation did rummage through the, generously donated, huge pile of books on offer. Unfortunately the amount of books in the English language was a bit disappointing. Luckily a lot of us do read Dutch as well and they could find a lot of fine quality reading material.
Friday before the Book sale started Theda and I did sort through a large amount of boxes and tried to set up the tables in an orderly display of categories and titles. In fact there were so many books we even had to temporary clear the church library to find place for everything on offer.
This year’s books were quite a number of literature works by famous Dutch writers as well as cooking books, travel guides and a number of historical books. Even before the Book sale did start several books were already sold. Quite a lot of cash was spent, however in some cases, one would like to purchase a particular book, having no more cash at hand. New was the possibility to do a bank transfer during the week after. I will most probably repeat this extra service next year. This year’s Book Sale did make a very nice total of € 176, 60.
At the end of the Book sale quite a lot of titles were still unsold. A portion of those were taken by Nicky, a few bags were taken by Theda to try and sell them at the Summer Teas and the Castle Fair church stall in due time. The remainder was taken to the collection point of the Glanerbrug Book Fair depot. They organize, each January a huge Book Fair aimed for Charities. The revenue is split three ways, one part for the homeless shelter “De Wonne” in downtown Enschede. Another part for the young girls home “Casa de Menino in Campina Grande, Brazil and the last part for the Vincentius Vereeniging (Association to counter poverty in material and physical sense > community social service.) For more details you may find these charities in the following link: http://www.boekenbeursglanerbrug.nl/testbb/goede-doelen/
I would like to thank everyone who did contribute by bringing in books, buying the books but I would like to thank Theda in particular, because she knows a lot about how to handle the books, set up the stall and moreover to bargain for a good price. And for next year if you did forget this year to bring in books, especially English one, I would offer you this suggestion: Get yourself a big bag from one of our Supermarkets, and fill it gradually with books you think might be suitable for next year’s Flower Fund Book Sale.
Once again thank you all.