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Sunday, 20 May 2018

The most marvellous Pentecost Sunday

Today has been, I think, the most marvellous Pentecost Sunday I can remember experiencing and enjoying.

Feel the Spirit - A Celebration for Pentecost was broadcast live from St Martin-in-the-Fields on BBC1. The preacher was the new bishop of London, the Rt Rev Sarah Mullally, and the Mass setting, Will Todd's wonderful Jazz Missa Brevis, was sung by the combined choirs of St Martin's and directed by Andrew Earis. Hymns include the 'Every Time I Feel the Spirit', 'God is Love', 'Let Heaven Adore Him' and 'Come Down, O Love Divine'. The service also included a moving Pentecost drama with members of our congregation as the disciples speaking in their mother tongues, as well as a specially written Affirmation of Faith and intercessions. This was a tremendous celebration of the gift of the Spirit to the church through the wonderful diversity of the St Martin’s community.

Then I went to Regent Hall Salvation Army for the Churches Together in Westminster Pentecost Service with a great variety provided by the Regent Hall Band, Songsters, Worship Group and young people's band and choir. The service was led by Major Richard Mingay and the preacher was Fr Dominic Robinson SJ. We also viewed the video above of Presiding Bishop Michael Curry exploring what we mean when we pray 'Thy Kingdom Come'. I was interviewed about my upbringing, calling to ordained ministry, partnership development role at St Martin's, and my co-authored book 'The Secret Chord'. 

I talked about the Spirit's leading in my call through the thought that I had built up a set of skills and experiences through my work in the Civil Service and lay ministry that would be of use in ordained ministry. As I explored ordination I came to see that it could bring together my interests in partnership work, social action, spirituality and the Arts. I spoke of 'The Secret Chord' as an impassioned study of the role of music in cultural life, written through the prism of Christian belief. By exploring artistic dilemmas from a range of different perspectives the book draws its readers into an appreciation of harmony in performance as revealing the Secret Chord. 

HeartEdge is a growing ecumenical and international network of churches and other organisations initiated by St Martin’s, and focused around the model of mission with which St Martin’s works – congregation, commerce, culture and compassion. HeartEdge aims to catalyse kingdom communities by building association, learning, development and resource. The Spirit has been active in calling, creativity and the emerging HeartEdge community. I said that ecumenical partnerships and relationships are important because they place us at the heart of Jesus' prayer for unity among his disciples and provide the fullest expression of the Body of Christ.

Finally, the Choir of St Martin-in-the-Fields gave us the most magnificent Choral Evensong to end  Pentecost Sunday. The service included: Purcell's 'I was glad' as the Introit; Responses by Rose, Canticles from the Evening Service in B flat by Stanford; and Parry's 'Blest pair of sirens' as the anthem.


Regent Hall Band - Expressions.

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