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

Lecturer in Biblical Studies

New Zealand

THE COLLEGE OF ST JOHN THE EVANGELIST LECTURER IN BIBLICAL STUDIES (known as 'The Sir Paul Reeves' Lecturer') St John's Theological College (An Anglican Seminary of the Province of Aotearoa, New ...  Read More

Signup for job alerts
Top feature

I was there when the tsunami struck

I was there when the tsunami struck

Ten years ago, Maxwell Hutchinson and his wife were on holiday in Sri Lanka when it was torn apart by the tsunami. He tells how they survived  Subscribe to read more

Question of the week
Should sanctions be imposed on clergy who marry a same-sex partner?

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

There is no divine right of managers

Business should be learning from the Church rather than the other way round, argues Justin Lewis-Anthony  Subscribe to read more

Fri 19 Dec 14 @ 19:00
Pakistani Taliban condemned for Peshawar school massacre http://t.co/YN0ofY7Rlf

Fri 19 Dec 14 @ 17:41
Episcopal cloud hangs over conversion of civil partnerships http://t.co/5jPcl1T2Sa