New user? Register here:
Email Address:
Password:
Retype Password:
First Name:
Last Name:
Existing user? Login here:
 
 
Gazette >

324 years and still preaching

*

JUST £4 a year to pay two visiting preachers no longer covers their expenses, let alone “gratifies them”, in the sense it was meant, but the sermons still go on.

Sir Ralph Assheton, patron of St Leonard’s in the estate village of Downham in rural Blackburn diocese, left that sum in his will when he died on 30 January 1680. He wanted visiting preachers on two Sundays of the year, on 5 February and “on the day of the month it shall please God to call me from this transitory life”; and he left two possible texts for each sermon.

His hope was that “two able ministers” would preach “onely for the better occasioning of a fuller congregation of people being willing, for the most parte, to heare strangers rather than their owne (though perhaps better)”.

The new Priest-in-Charge, the Revd Rodney Nicholson, tells me that the tradition has been kept up without a break, and the 324th Assheton Sermon was preached at a service of matins this year on the exact anniversary of Sir Ralph’s death by the Bishop of Blackburn, the Rt Revd Nicholas Reade. He used the text from the Book of Job, “I know that my redeemer liveth,” and — just as Sir Ralph hoped — the church was full. The congregation of 150, says Mr Nicholson, included many members of the Prayer Book Society.

 

Job of the week

Ecumenical Chaplain

Wales

G4S An equal opportunities employer Ecumenical Chaplain HMP Parc, Bridgend £29,920 pa | Full time As the world's leading security solutions group with operations in over 120 countries an...  Read More

Signup for job alerts
Top feature

Putting Passion into performance

Putting Passion into performance

Pat Ashworth talks to the originators of two home-grown Passion stagings, one musical and the other theatrical  Subscribe to read more

Question of the week
Should parishes be able to sell treasures that no longer reside in their churches?

To prevent multiple voting, we now ask readers to be logged in. This is free, quick and easy, honestly. Click here to login or register

Top comment

My faith in the Church of England

David Cameron expresses his pride in its openness, beauty, social action, and pastoral care  Read More

Mon 21 Apr 14 @ 7:35
RT @CofEWorcesterVery sadly, Denise Inge, wife of @BishopWorcester died this afternoon. An amazing & inspirational woman. http://t.co/fPAz61ImOQ.

Sun 20 Apr 14 @ 16:11
RT @nickbainesThe appointed day -the Diocese of @wyorksdales is born! Happy Easter! A new day dawns http://t.co/niyNdoDTE2