Sunday 31 May 2009 what a day! In the morning, the Pentecost Liturgy in St Marys Church, Woodbridge; in the afternoon Festal Evensong in the cathedral and back to a HUGE party in the evening! Two full coaches and a flotilla of cars made the journey to the Installation of The Revd Kevan McCormack as an Honorary Canon of St Edmundsbury Cathedral, the mother-church of the diocese, in the Stall of St Fursa (see below).
Although not responsible for staffing the daily life of the cathedral (the Dean and Residentiary Canons do that), Kevan now takes his place in its College, at the centre of the Diocese. This will no doubt inform his work among us in Woodbridge and as Chaplain to Ipswich Town Football Club, just as he will carry something of the life of Woodbridge Deanery to the heart of Suffolk.
The ancient and graceful ceremonies, the glorious music of Evensong in the renewed splendour of the cathedral all was moving and joyful. At the party afterwards (in St Marys House), with occasional flourishes of canonical red, the Rector said that he could only accept this Dignity on behalf of the community around him and all that was living and growing in this place. Thanks be to God.
We owe much of our knowledge of St Fursa to Bede, who recorded details of his life in A history of the English church and people. Fursa (or Fursey) was a seventh-century monk of noble Irish blood, who established a monastery in the ruins of Burgh Castle. He worked for the re-conversion of the East Angles by the native British Church, meeting hereabouts the missions of St Augustines monks sent by Pope Gregory. Fursa had the support of "devout King Sigbert", the next king of the East Angles but one after our own King Raedwald of Sutton Hoo fame. Bedes fine portrait of Fursa reads thus: "He had made a vow to spend his life as a pilgrim for love of our Lord. Inspired by the example of his goodness and the effectiveness of his teaching, many unbelievers were converted to Christ, and those who already believed were drawn to greater love and faith in him ..."
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