Looking in the mirror…

Thriplow School drawing

I’m going into lots of church schools this year to lead celebrations for the 200th anniversary of the National Society’s move to found them as a free provision for as many of our parishes as possible. This morning’s visit was to Swaffham Bulbeck, and more news of that in a later post.

One recent visit though was for a different sort of celebration – of Holy Communion, at Thriplow School. I mentioned it in my University Confirmation sermon, because I found it both challenging and exciting to get the heart of our Easter faith across to five year olds, and they were a great congregation.

Meanwhile of course the children were having their own ideas about me, and just this morning a thankyou card came through the post which showed me just how others see me. Actually, I really want one of these new heli-mitres. It would make getting around the diocese so much easier! So thankyou Thriplowites for the idea, and if you’d now like to try building one that would be great!

And for the liturgical purists out there (you know who you are) I was actually wearing a white stole for Easter, but green looks good too.


A double piscina – with washboard?!

Double piscina at Thriplow

Pope Innocent III ordered the construction of double piscinas, I believe, in 1216, to ensure that the water of the handwashing was kept separate from the water/wine of the ablutions before Communion. By the end of the century the regulation seems to have been regarded as otiose.

This is a simple example, without a double canopy, at Thriplow – but what are the ridges between the drains? Pevsner is silent.

The Church Revived: join in now!

The Cambridgeshire Historic Churches Trust warmly invites you to its Spring Conference on May 21st 2011 at Lee Hall, Wolfson College, for which a few places are still open.

The Conference is entitled: ‘The Church Revived’ and its programme has been expertly organised by Jane Kennedy and Dr John Maddison.

The modern history of Christianity in England is a sequence of revivals in spiritual life, liturgy and architecture. This year’s conference looks at some of these revivals and their architectural and artistic consequences.

As usual we have a group of distinguished speakers for what promises to be a very interesting and stimulating day. 

Professor Graham Parry of the University of York , author of Glory Laud and Honour; the arts of the Anglican Counter-Reformation (2006) will talk about the Laudian Revival.

Dr Christopher Wakeling who lectures at Keele University and chairs English Heritage’s Places of Worship Forum , Publications include ‘The Nonconformist Traditions: Chapels, Change and Continuity’ and ‘Rolling in the Aisles: Nonconformist Perspectives on the Gothic.’ will discuss the Wesleyan Revival and the architecture of Methodism.

Christopher Webster is joint editor of The Cambridge Camden Society and its Influence (2000). His lecture is entitled ‘The Revival of church architecture and correct church arrangements’; the work of the Cambridge Camden Society, 1839-1949.

Cambridge Camden Society

The day ends with a presentation by Scilla Latham, the recently appointed County Church Buildings Support Officer . She will talk about her work in helping parishes find ways of maintaining and adapting their churches  to meet the challenges of the new millennium.  She started work in January. The appointment is part of the English Heritage Inspired’ programme which helps congregations to help themselves. English Heritage is providing £1.5 million to part-fund 30 Support Officers for congregations of any faith or denomination who are working to maintain the historic places of worship in their care. The scheme will help best practice in conservation and management of historic places of worship to be shared across the country.

This post has been made possible through a funding partnership with English Heritage, the Diocese of Ely, Cambridgeshire Historic Churches Trust and the All Churches Trust. Scilla is employed by Cambridgeshire ACRE and is based in Littleport, where she is benefiting from the experience of other community project officers who have experience of many of the parishes with which she will be working.

CHCT Spring Conference 2011 booking form

If you would like to join us, please download the booking form above or contact the Conference Secretary by clicking here or phoning 01223 892430

Many thanks to NextNorth, & Wolfson College for all their great help, advice & Support

Pentecost Praise at Ely Cathedral




A service of


and renewal

with baptism and


Ely Cathedral

Pentecost Sunday

June 12th at 7.30pm

To be led by Bishops Stephen and David

With the Bishop’s Band

Candidates for baptism and/or confirmation are invited to attend with the support of their parish priest, who is asked to contact the Precentor, Canon James Garrard, Ely Cathedral, Chapter House, The College, Ely, Cambs. CB7 4DL : 01353 660335 : j.garrard@cathedral.ely.anglican.org as soon as possible.





Chief Executive of the Mothers’ Union

will speak on the current MU campaign



Thursday 23 June

7.30 pm

Great Shelford Memorial Hall

Tickets are free but please apply in advance as numbers in the Hall are limited. Send an sae to 13 Collier Way, Stapleford CB22 5DZ with number of tickets required.

There will be a Leaving Collection for Mothers’ Union projects after the talk.

Directions to Great Shelford:

From Cambridge, take the road to Trumpington, turn left onto the A1301 to ‘The Shelfords’. Continue to the traffic lights in Tunwells Lane, turn right into the village. The Memorial Hall is on the left.

From M11: exit at 11, direction towards Cambridge. Take the turn to the Hospital, right at the first lights, continue to Great Shelford as above.

Doors open at 6.30 pm. Tea and coffee available in the Hall.

Parking available around the Hall and in the Barclays Bank car park about 50 yards further on, to the side of the Bank.