Sermon preached on 4 August 2013

I used to work in a church with murals. Well one mural. It wasn’t this church and it wasn’t these glorious murals. It was somewhere else entirely.

(By which I mean Edinburgh).

Throughout the late fifties, the sixties and early seventies, a sustained period of liturgical reform had happened. The altar had been pulled away from the wall. The priest now faced the people. The peace was shared and communion started to happen every Sunday. Those of you who have been around for a bit might remember that story from all kinds of contexts. Those who are new to Episcopal worship might be surprised to learn that how we do things is not in fact as old as the hills at all.

Anyway, these liturgical reforms in this church had left a big space to fill. Somewhere along the way, the East Window had been bricked up and whitewashed over and now there was a giant wall to fill.

And, of course, just as we can be sure that someone was heartily trying to encourage the congregation to sing Kum By Yah. so, inevitably, someone got to paint a mural.

Unlike Gwyneth Leech’s paintings, which surround me here in this church. this was a rather less successful piece. [Read more…]