[the letter inside the January parish magazine of CHRIST CHURCH, BIDDULPH MOOR. My 0.5 status means I shall have time to write if I can make enough to keep the rectory lit and warm….]
New Year Greetings in the name of Jesus, the Christ and the Lord.
Out of the window I can see snow on the ground, and for us this is the first sight of English snow for eleven years. On my many visits from the USA to the UK from 1990-2001 we do not recall seeing any snow. But it is a pretty sight.
It is good to be back in the Church of England again, where there is a level of sanity and orthodoxy which is absent from the Anglican Church in the USA (called The Episcopal Church). And it is very good to be in a parish where the classic Prayer Book, The Book of Common Prayer, is still in regular use. I am not against the use of dignified and biblically orthodox modern services; but, I do rejoice to use the great treasure of Christian doctrine, liturgy and piety, and also standard English, which is the Prayer Book of 1662.
It is also good (and exciting for me) to come to a parish that is called CHRIST CHURCH. This is a marvelous name for a building that is consecrated to the service, worship, adoration and praise of the Lord Jesus CHRIST.
Christ Church is the translation of the Latin, AEDES CHRISTI, and means “The Temple of Christ.” I cannot think of a better Name for a consecrated building (= church) than this. It is also the Name of the Cathedral in Oxford and since there is attached to the Cathedral a College, its name is also “Aedes Christi.” And this is my Oxford College from where in the mid 1970s I studied to obtain the Doctor of Philosophy degree.
I think that I need to explain that the Diocese of Lichfield has determined that this parish, Christ Church, Biddulph Moor, in terms of clergy work and stipend a 0.5 (or half-time parish). Thus do not be surprised if you see my helping out at another parish soon.
You may have seen me walking around the parish. I try to walk a mile or two most days of the week and I have been seeking to discover the many roads and lanes within the parish boundaries. Soon I hope to learn all the footpaths.
I would like to visit every person/family who is on the Electoral Roll and also any persons who are home-bound and would like me to visit. Please call me to tell me that I would be welcome – 513323. I am desirous to do this as soon as possible.
In a week or two, when we have got the Rectory sorted out you will be most welcome to knock on the door and pay us a visit. Vita and I will be glad to see you.
We all are most grateful to the Church Wardens, the Reader and others who have worked hard and long to keep this parish in good shape in the long period since the Rev’d Mr. McGuire left.
At the beginning of 2002, I would like to express my earnest desire & prayer that that you will find CHRIST CHURCH in Biddulph Moor a holy place where, by the presence and help of Almighty God, your spiritual and moral needs will be fulfilled.
The Rev’d Dr. Peter Toon
The Revd. Dr. Peter Toon
Christ Church Rectory
Hot Lane, Biddulph Moor
Stoke-on-Trent ST8 7HP