You are hereFebruary 2011

February 2011

By Ian Cardinal - Posted on 01 February 2011


Rectory Ramblings


            A very Happy New Year to you, especially those I have not been able to greet so far! May 2011 be a blessed time for you all. Of course this magazine comes out after one of the worst and coldest December that any of us can remember! One member of my household is still muttering darkly about January being worse than December – but with this country’s climate, who can tell?

            So what does the New Year hold? One of the things that will affect us all is the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible, also known as the Authorised Version (although what truly authorized it was its own excellence, nothing else.) When King James I & VI came to the throne in 1603 he found a much divided country: Roman Catholics were hoping fro much from the Son of Mary Queen of Scots – and yet extreme Protestants also hoped much from a King from the more rigorously Reformed traditions of Scotland.

            Of course there were many disappointments – thus the story of the Gunpowder plot from 1605 – and the Puritans were also disappointed that the King did not see fit to alter the religious settlement of Queen Elizabeth (“No Bishops, No King” James is supposed to have said) – but as a gesture in their direction, The King agreed to a new translation of the Bible that would become standard for many hundreds of years

            Of course there were Bibles in English before this: but many of them had things against them. Versions from abroad often contained controversial footnotes of a highly Protestant flavour that the King disliked. There had been a “Bishop’s Bible” that was not much loved and sometimes rendered the text in a garbled manner. But the new Version was of high scholarship and generally without anything controversial within it. As such it became almost an English Standard text until the 19th Century. Phrases such as “gave up the ghost” etc come directly from this translation and show the depth to which it permeated popular culture

            Often we are not good with the Bible: frankly when was the last time that you opened yours except in Church? The story of the English Bible is not without the cost of lives that were spent in order that we might be able to read it in our mother-tongue. I suspect the Tyndales, Coverdales and even Kings of our history probably reflect sadly upon the jewel that they have handed down to us. Holy Scripture is meant to be read, studied and prayed through, not to gather dust upon our shelves! Maybe it would do us all good to have a “Bible Sunday” in which we all bring our own Bibles to Church, rather than read from the pewsheet! (and that would only be the beginning.)

            New translations have come – and sometimes gone – since the King James Version was printed. Some of them have better scholarship – for resources have improved since 1611! But few have had the impact of this version – and we shall celebrate it during the coming year. But undoubtedly the best way to celebrate it, that would make its authors rejoice most, would be to read, mark, learn and inwardly digest Holy Scripture much better, in any version at all!



Ian Cardinal









8am Stone

9.15am Aston

10.45am Stone

6th February


Bryan Fletcher

Andy King

13th February


Sheila Howells


20th February

Annette Hawkins

Mary Babb

Dennis Abbott

27th February

Roy Ball

Lin Davies


6th March

Ted Pick


Nichola Abbott


Christmas Tree Festival

The Christmas Tree festival was an enormous success on so many different levels: numbers of groups participating, number of people coming to view the Church and, not least, £212 sent to the Donna Louise Hospice. Can we say a really big thank you to all those who helped in any kind of way? It was a new venture, to be repeated this year, that has helped us focus once again on being the town centre Church!



Very big CONGRATULATIONS to all those who were Confirmed on December 12th: we were delighted to welcome into the Church family

Helen Smith, Pauline & Tony Lindsay, Edith Leason, Kizzy Smith, Hannah Scott, Sophie Scott & Emilia Wesson Wyatt

We promise we shall continue to pray for you


Coffee Morning

The Christmas Coffee morning on December 4th raised over £350 for St Michael’s Church funds: thanks to everyone who helped in any kind of way, and especially to the those who manned stalls, made Coffee etc.