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BBC Pentecost Broadcast

News

A Celebration for Pentecost: Some thank yous.

21st May 2024


I met a lady yesterday who told me that, while watching our broadcast of A Celebration for Pentecost, she nearly called the fire brigade! It has, nevertheless, been wonderfully overwhelming to see so many kind and enthusiastic comments about Sunday's worship. If you missed it, it's going to be available on BBC iPlayer for some time, and you can find that here:

Watch 2024: A Celebration for Pentecost on BBC iPlayer

A huge debt of gratitude is owed to the many people who contributed spectacularly to the service, and among them our choristers and our servers have rightly attracted the highest praise. Jem Lowther is rightly to be lauded for the choir's outstanding performance, and each and every member of the choir for their skill and commitment. The vast majority of our choir are young people, and my thanks go to parents and carers who enabled the whole group to keep a highly demanding schedule as the production took shape. The serving was meticulous, and owes much to the leadership of Tom Brown-Flowers in the sacristy. The preparations and dedication of choir and servers were brought to incredible effect in the 58 minutes we were 'on air', but most importantly as everyone prepared for a nail-biting experience. While we mostly only saw the back of his head, we certainly heard Laurence Caldecote give something of a masterclass as he accompanied the choir and the liturgy, demonstrating not merely a highly enviable talent as an improviser, but a deep bond with our two instruments that brings them to such great effect.

A huge thank you to Alison and Robin, our churchwardens and to their deputies. They knew - I think - from the very start that this would be an ambitious project, but have been a massive support right the way through. It was they who chose Pradeep and Obi to lead the scripture readings, and I'm very grateful that they said yes. It was also wonderful to welcome Debbie Sellin, our new diocesan bishop, to preach so splendidly for us, and to share with our parish in such an undertaking.

We owe a great debt of gratitude to the team from BBC Events who produced this programme. At Easter they were with our Archbishop at Canterbury Cathedral, and two years ago many were part of the spectacular Coronation Service in Westminster Abbey. Not unreasonably, we mused that hosting them was somewhat beyond our paygrade. But not only did they take us as we are, supporting us fully right through the planning process, but having entrusted to them our worship they were hugely sensitive to what we were attempting to share. The result was a programme that seemed to comprehend the worship of our parish community in a beautifully moving way. Watching it back was a very emotional experience.

Lastly, some of you have been kind enough to point to my own contribution to this. At the outset, we were certain that nothing would go into this service that wasn't already a part of how we worship: the cameras provided a window into that and the message that this was 'just an ordinary Sunday' was very important - come on another Sunday, and you'll have a very similar worshipping experience, just without the Floor Manager helping us start on time! As we did early rehearsals with just a few of us, enabling the crew to set their cameras and other equipment, a deep apprehensiveness set in. But for the dress rehearsal on Saturday night, our full choir, servers, and team of wardens were there: the presence of a decent chunk of our church family was a potent reminder of the purpose of our parish life. As Bishop Debbie led us in prayer while we waited for the Floor Manager to count us down the apprehensiveness melted away, and the Spirit of the Lord led us to the altar. So, thanks be to God for shattering any sense of performativeness and calling us to worship, as he does daily.

I hope that you were able to participate - whether in church or at home - joyfully in this year's celebration of Pentecost. The response has been great to read, and it's wonderful to see Northampton positively shown as the excellent place it is.

Oliver J Coss,
Rector


All Saints' Church in the heart of Northampton, England

News

Our New Assistant Curate

15th April 2024


Some months ago we were given permission by the Diocese of Peterborough to assemble a profile and seek a candidate to serve a curacy at All Saints' Church. This marks a considerable event in the life of any parish, but as it has been some thirty years since we last had a curate here, it is of particular moment.

I am delighted to announce that Mr Nicolas Boisson will join us from Petertide 2024 as our Assistant Curate. At the time of writing, he is coming to the end of residential training at the College of the Resurrection, Mirfield in West Yorkshire. He will move to Northampton following the conclusion of his studies in the early summer, and be ordained deacon by Jonathan, Bishop of Fulham (who is kindly overseeing parishes in the Diocese of Peterborough following Bishop Norman's retirement) sometime in mid-July, at a date and time to be confirmed.

I am very grateful to the diocese for entrusting me and our parish with this training role. It will be something of an adjustment for us all to reorient our parish life toward equipping and preparing a new minister for ordained ministry in the Church of England. It will involve walking with him through the intricate process of preparing for ordination to the priesthood in 2025, together with all of the joys and sorrows that will punctuate that journey. In my (nearly) eight years as your Rector, you have all been part of holding me up, encouraging me on, and helping me to grow and mature. I am very confident that we will be the same for a new colleague, and a new pastor among us.

I am also indebted to a small group of people, drawn from the membership of our Parochial Church Council, who kindly agreed to meet Nicolas with me and to provide invaluable advice. While training posts are selected on the basis of the trainer, the role of supporting, equipping, encouraging, and upholding a new gospel minister belongs to the whole Church. As Nicolas is ordained to the diaconate and to the priesthood among us we will all have our moment to call out 'Axios!', or 'worthy', in hopeful, prayerful confidence that Jesus Christ has made him so.

I know that you will make Father Nicolas (as he will be known) very welcome. Please remember to keep him continually in your prayers, not merely as he prepares to be ordained deacon, but as his share in the ministry of Jesus Christ the High Priest unfolds among us in the years to come.

Nicolas writes:

Greetings everyone,

My name is Nicolas. I was born in the south of Paris and grew up in a lovely family. After graduating with a BA in Theology, I came to England to discern my priestly vocation. I am finishing training at the College of the Resurrection in Mirfield.

Soon, I shall serve the wonderful people of the Parish of All Saints. I am thrilled to be able to fulfil my vocation in this beautiful town, where my love for God and his people will grow considerably.

I look forward to being the most compassionate deacon and priest I can be, taking deep care of you, and exploring the life of a civic parish.

If you don't find me in the church, you might try the local coffee shop or even the Italian restaurant! Nothing is better to me than a nice croissant or a pasta dish.


I look forward to announcing further details of Nicolas' (nb -- the 's' is silent!) arrival and the arrangements for his ordination in due course.

With every good wish,

Oliver J Coss,
Rector


BBC One

Pentecost Live on BBC One

6th April 2024


We are delighted to announce that on Sunday 19th May 2024, the BBC will broadcast our Pentecost morning service live on BBC One. This special airing will seamlessly integrate with our standard worship practices, likely eliminating the need for our own livestream of the service. The sermon will be delivered by the Bishop of Peterborough. We will share more details as they become available.

In the meantime, please extend an invitation to your family and friends. We aim to gather as large a congregation as possible for this significant occasion.


Princess of Wales

Princess of Wales says she is undergoing cancer treatment

22nd March 2024


The media can often be a dark place, and social media doubly so. The past weeks have seen unhinged speculation, unfounded allegation, and heartless gossip invade the lives of, presumably, otherwise rational people, as rumours mounted about the Princess of Wales.

The message she has shared this afternoon, and the steadfastness of the Prince is astonishingly moving to watch, not least as we think of their young family - who are also coping with the illness of their grandfather - and how difficult news like this must be to assimilate.

We shall, in full knowledge of our tendency toward sinful gossip and idle speculation, embark on Holy Week praying that - piece by piece - we might die to sin and be raised to life. May faith, hope, and light surround the Princess, her family, and all who suffer in body, mind, or spirit.


David Laing CBE DL

David Laing CBE DL

5th March 2024


It has, I think, been no secret that our former Lord-Lieutenant David Laing has been ill recently, and we received the sad news of his death last week. We seem to be entering another period where our public institutions are short of resource, and even shorter of good ideas. Under David's leadership Northamptonshire Lieutenancy ably made up what was lacking in so much of our county, reasserting the centrality of Northampton as the County Town, and surrounding himself with a team who could drive innovation and civic pride in a way that continues to speak powerfully.

In that role, and subsequent to his retirement in 2020, David has been a wise, generous, and faithful friend to All Saints' Church, and was instrumental in helping us out of a financial crisis in 2017-18 and unto more sound foundations. As the news of his death has reached across the county, countless more stories of his generosity and kindness have emerged from so many quarters. A private funeral will be celebrated in the coming days, but we have been asked to hold a memorial service for him later this year, which we shall do with no small measure of pride and privilege. A motto he often used 'let your light shine' was excerpted from St Matthew's Gospel - we all know how that passage ends, and how the shining lights of human beings reflect the "glory of our Father in heaven". In thanksgiving for David's part in this, we commend him to God in sure hope of the resurrection to eternal life.


HRH King Charles III

Domine salvum fac Regem nostrum Carolum.

6th February 2024


It's estimated that 1,100 people receive a cancer diagnosis each day in the United Kingdom. Though medical advances, treatments, and therapies continue to work wonders for so many people, we will all have the memory of someone close who has not been so fortunate. And one in every two people will have experienced the terrifying moment when they received a diagnosis, and have had to adjust to life 'with cancer', and whatever that means for them individually.

Yesterday, breaking news bore the unwelcome tidings that King Charles has been diagnosed with cancer. We are told it has been 'caught early' and have heard from the statement issued by Buckingham Palace (what will doubtless be comforting news for his family) that his condition it is treatable. For those able, from their own experience, to empathise, even the terminology will stir strong emotions.

We shall continue our prayers for the King, as (in the spirit of 1 Peter 2) we regularly do, and while we shall ask for his healing and restoration we shall also pray that whatever suffering he endures might strengthen him in his service of our nation. For "suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us."

May almighty God, at the intercession of Blessed Mary and Saint Peregrine, the patron saint of cancer sufferers, grant to Charles our King, and to all God's people, healing, life, and peace.


The Right Reverend Norman Banks SSC at Candlemas

Our Bishop Norman is Retiring

4th February 2024


Our Bishop Norman is retiring on 31st March 2024. He had his last pastoral visit to All Saints' Church as we marked Candlemas on Sunday 4th February.

We were able to share with him in the celebration of the eucharist, hear a mighty word from the pulpit, and pay tribute to his generous ministry among us since his consecration in 2011. We shall be remembering him in our prayers as Easter Day approaches, as well as asking God's blessing on those who will be seeking his successor.

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