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

Inter Religious Affairs Programme Officer

London and Home Counties

Inter Religious Affairs Programme Officer Location: Lambeth Palace, London Salary: Starting salary of £27,911 rising to £30,326 upon successful completion of probation period. Contract Type: Full...  Read More

Signup for job alerts
Top feature

Keeping the faith under fire

Keeping the faith under fire

Large numbers of clergy volunteered to be military chaplains during the Great War. Peter Street tells some of their stories  Subscribe to read more

Question of the week
Is there enough reason now to impose tougher sanctions on Russia?

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

Can Catholics back women bishops?

Christopher Hill asks whether Catholics can back women bishops  Subscribe to read more

Tue 29 Jul 14 @ 15:13
Church Times job of the week > http://t.co/k0vo78F6uN

Tue 29 Jul 14 @ 13:04
RT @bishopcoynePlease pray for the safe release of Fr. Paolo Dall'Oglio, who was abducted in Syria one year ago today. http://t.co/r796npC2J9