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Trinity, Tarleton, Lancashire, England
Worshipper: Chris Teean.
Trinity, Tarleton, Lancashire, England.
of England, Diocese
The church was completed in 1888 to replace an earlier one,
and the steeple was added in 1914. It is easily spotted from
the surrounding countryside. The first thing to notice when
entering the church is the resplendent high altar. The oak communion
table is backed by a gold and ivory reredos in the form of a
triptych depicting part of the Last Supper, with attendant angels
on either side. Above it is a splendid east window showing the
crucifixion. Interesting stained glass windows and icons depicting
saints and biblical scenes line both sides of the nave.
The Revd Nicholas Davis is priest-in-charge to both Holy Trinity
and St Mary in the nearby village of Rufford, and he manages
regular services of the eucharist at both churches several times
every Sunday and also at other times during the week. Societies
include bell ringing and a Mothers' Union, and a social committee
has organised events such as bowling, a treasure hunt and a
harvest quiz. They are looking forward to hosting a concert
by Preston Opera next month.
Originally a small rural village in the middle of the rich agricultural
lands of west Lancashire, Tarleton is now swamped with modern
housing developments whose inhabitants commute to the towns
of Southport, Preston and Chorley. The immediate neighbours
of the church are a primary school, a row of small shops, a
bank, a supermarket, some cafes, pubs, and residential houses.
The Rt Revd John Goddard, Bishop of Burnley, was the celebrant
and preacher. He was assisted by the Revd Nicholas Davis. Bishop
John is a member of SSC (Societas Sanctae Crucis or The Society
of the Holy Cross) and the clergy in attendance were also SSC
The date & time:
Monday, 12 September 2011, 7.30 pm.
What was the name of the
Festal Eucharist of the Holy Cross on the Fortieth Anniversary
of the Ordination to the Sacred Priesthood of John Goddard,
Bishop of Burnley.
How full was the building?
Quite full, with well over 200 people in the congregation.
Did anyone welcome you
Yes. The bishop welcomed everyone as soon as they stepped inside
the door, and the sidesmen were also very welcoming.
Was your pew comfortable?
It was as comfortable as you would expect. A piece of carpet
laid along the pew was meant to enhance the feeling of comfort!
How would you describe
the pre-service atmosphere?
Fairly quiet and expectant. The weather outside was blustery,
as we were experiencing the remnants of Hurricane Katia, and
the interior of the church was a welcome respite from the storm,
as they say.
What were the exact opening
words of the service?
"In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the
What books did the congregation
use during the service?
A specially prepared service leaflet had everything in it.
What musical instruments
A gentleman apparently called Jordan played a large and impressive
looking pipe organ. When I had a look around the church prior
to the service, the organ was being tuned and put through its
paces by technicians from the Liverpool firm of David Wells
Organ Builders Ltd.
Did anything distract
Several stained glass windows depicted saints and the one nearest
to me showed St Barnabas. I kept wondering what the significance
was to this church.
Was the worship stiff-upper-lip,
happy clappy, or what?
There seemed to be something for everyone in this service. The
thurifer, crucifer and acolytes preceded the immaculately vested
clergy and bishop as they processed into the nave. Bishop John
censed the altar with gusto and was obviously enjoying his special
service. There was much bowing and genuflecting, and incense
and bells were used wherever appropriate. A gentleman and a
lady took it in turns to act as cantor in chanting the liturgy,
although quite a few melodies were unfamiliar to me. The hymn
tunes were a mixture of traditional and modern, some of the
latter tending toward the happy-clappy in my opinion.
Exactly how long was the
On a scale of 1-10, how
good was the preacher?
8 Bishop John stood at the foot of the chancel steps and
spoke fervently without using notes. He told us that he had
always wanted to be a parish priest and peppered his homily
with references to his childhood and family. He also spoke about
his membership in the Society of the Holy Cross and his desire
to bear witness to the Cross of Christ.
In a nutshell, what was
the sermon about?
It was about the great honour of priesthood. God has given us
the ordained ministry of deacon, priest and bishop, but we are
all part of the royal priesthood of Christ. We know that we
are eternally loved and by following the Cross of Christ we
can rejoice in our Christian lives.
Which part of the service
was like being in heaven?
I was in heaven throughout most of the service, taking place
in such a beautiful setting. The gold and ivory of the altar,
complemented by the matching red and cream vestments, and even
the red carpet, made the whole chancel look absolutely glorious.
Bishop John looked resplendent in his episcopal vestments. The
congregation sang the responses joyously and everyone sang the
And which part was like
being in... er... the other place?
The only thing that was a source of disappointment to me was
the tune chosen for the recessional hymn: "Stand up, stand
up for Jesus." Being a traditionalist at heart, I thought
the chosen modern version sounded like something straight out
of a fairground!
What happened when you
hung around after the service looking lost?
It was difficult to move because the church was so full, so
most people stayed where they were and chatted with friends.
How would you describe
the after-service coffee?
There was a choice of wine and soft drinks as well as a lovely
selection of cheese and biscuits.
How would you feel about
making this church your regular (where 10 = ecstatic, 0 = terminal)?
9 The ornate altar with six large candles, the Lady chapel,
the Stations of the Cross, the icons and statues around the
church, the warm and friendly welcome, all helped me feel at
home in this church that was obviously following the Anglo-Catholic
tradition. I would be happy to worship here regularly if I lived
in the vicinity.
Did the service make you
feel glad to be a Christian?
I found Bishop John's sermon thought-provoking and it certainly
helped to consolidate my Christian being.
What one thing will you
remember about all this in seven days' time?
Entering the church after being buffeted and blown about outside
was like entering a magnificent palace, a haven of peace, glory
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