My Thoughts 06/07/2022

Tomorrow 7th July is an important date in our parish calendar. We celebrate the anniversary of the Translation of the body of Thomas of Canterbury from the crypt the newly built shrine in 1220.

Those present on this date in 1220 were the thirteen year old Henry III, church leaders from across Europe, as well as a Hungarian archbishop the archbishop of Rheims and the papal legate. The translation of the relics had been delayed for many years and now the Archbishop of Canterbury, Stephen Langton was responsible for organising the event. His aim was to bring together Crown and church which had been at odds for so long. One chronicler recorded “such a number of people poured in to this festival that the city of Canterbury and its neighbouring towns and district round could scarcely take the multitude in.”

Stephen Langton was responsible for formulating a newly written translation of the liturgy which explicitly references the recent political instability in England. There were now two feasts of St Thomas in the ecclesiastical calendar his martyrdom on 29th December and his translation.

Last year our Archbishop, John Wilson, celebrated the Mass in the cathedral and he said this in his homily;

“St Thomas spoke out and stood up to be counted, to protect the concerns of the Church, of the gospel. We must do the same but always with the language of  loving compassion. Our voice must be raised not least for the voiceless, in defence of human life, of justice and dignity for every person, of support for families and those suffering, and in favour of refugees torn from their homeland. We must hear the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor. We must take action and respond. We cannot be indifferent to what faith teaches and asks, always desiring Christ’s peace to flow from us and to rest on others.”

You can join us on YouTube tomorrow

Canon Father Anthony Charlton
Canon Father Anthony CharltonParish Priest