Reflections of Glory

Reflections of Glory

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Bourne Street 2017 Lecture Series


Rowan Williams - The Malines Conversations
in memory of Lord Halifax

Chris Chivers - Grace and Glory
in memory of E.L.Mascall

Jonathan Freeman-Attwood - a Trendellian Legacy
in memory of David Trendell

David Neuberger - The Grace of God is in Courtesy
in memory of John Gilling

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From the Foreword . . .

In my first sermon at St Mary’s in October 2014, I referred to Lord Halifax, Fr Gilling and Professor Mascall, all of whom had been influential in the life of the church, as well as in the wider context of the Church of England and beyond. Lord Halifax had a vision formed out of prayer and heartfelt conviction. At the end of the Malines conversations, he concluded that although they had not reached the outcome for which he had hoped, they had nevertheless been guided by the Holy Spirit. What Lord Halifax and Cardinal Mercier began, became, some four decades later, the much-welcomed Decree on Ecumenism of the Second Vatican Council. I am most grateful to Rowan Williams for placing Lord Halifax’s life and vision before us, as a foundation for continued thought and development.

During the late 1970s and early 1980s I remember meeting Fr Gilling at the church door after weekday masses. There is no doubt that Fr Gilling’s ministry reached a generation of young people, both as Chaplain at Christ Church, Oxford and here at St Mary’s. 

By the late 1970s Fr Eric Mascall had retired as Professor of Historical Theology at King’s College, London, but he was still active in the life of St Mary’s. During my time as Priest in Charge, I have found new perceptions from wise and learned members of our congregation who have passed on to me elements of his teaching. Every Sunday night at the conclusion of Solemn Evensong when the Anthem to Our Lady is sung, we stand and face the wonderful image of her crowning by Christ in Heaven that is at the top of the reredos. This practice was begun by Dr Mascall and endorsed by Fr Gilling. Private prayer is offered for both of them in thanksgiving for their lives and wonderful contribution to St Mary’s and I am most grateful to Lord Neuberger and Canon Chris Chivers for the lectures given in their memory.

On my first Sunday evening at Saint Mary’s, a musician whom I had never met leant over from the gallery and asked me ‘What is the cue for the Tantum Ergo?’ I replied ‘O Sacrament most holy, O Sacrament divine, all praise and all thanksgiving be every moment thine.’ We said thank you to each other and by the time I had reached the church door at the end of Benediction, he had gone. Little did I know that this was David Trendell, the Director of Music, and I had no idea that my first Sunday was to be the last before he died. In the context of his ministry within and beyond Saint Mary’s, I am amazed how many people were influenced and touched by David’s life. I am most grateful to Professor Jonathan Freeman-Attwood for the lecture in his honour.

I hope that all who read Reflections of Glory will find it stimulating and enriching.

Fr Neil Bunker
Priest in Charge
St Mary’s Bourne Street