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Assumptiontide Festival 2014
article posted 21 Aug 2014

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Uncertainty about the weather, with gloomy predictions about the last efforts of hurricane Bertha, failed to dampen the spirits of fifty members of the NW Ward who made the journey to the lovely little church of St Mary, Thornton-in-Craven, set in the beautiful North Yorkshire countryside near Skipton. We were welcomed by the Rector, Canon Nicholas Turner, and made our way down the winding path to the Holy Well. Here, from the spring which from Saxon times has brought blessings to countless believers, we received Sprinkling accompanied by the words of the Lord: “Ask of him, and he will give you living water.”

Returning to the church, where the Holy Sacrifice has been offered for a thousand years, we celebrated the Mass. Fr Tom Davis, SSC, gave the Address, reminding us that the wonderful ending of our Lady’s life, her falling asleep in the Lord, was the fitting conclusion of a life of faithfulness and loving service that flowed from her “Yes” to Gabriel’s message. Her entrance into the glory of Heaven serves as an inspiration and a sign of hope to all who follow her in humble obedience to her beloved Son.

Along narrow lanes, lined by dry stone walls, we travelled to All Saints, Broughton, where a sumptuous feast awaited us in the hall. Greeted by Deacon Ann Turner and her splendid team of helpers, we enjoyed a spread of succulent roast beef and delicious ham with an array of accompaniments, followed by a tempting variety of homemade fruit crumbles and cream. Thus fortified, we assembled in the church where Reader Paul Christodoulou led intercessions as we knelt in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, and Fr Turner gave us Benediction.

How thankful we were for the day: the prayer-soaked atmosphere of the simple rural churches, the warm welcome and generous hospitality of their clergy and people. Wind and clouds could not dampen the spirits on such a day as this. The radiance of heaven’s glory shone bright in our hearts as we journeyed homeward.

Fr Ian Brooks, Ward Superior

pictures by Annette Carter