Services at St Michael and All Angels
1440 Fra Angelico
Sunday 18th March, Passion Sunday
Fifth Sunday of Lent,
Sunday 1 April, First Sunday of Easter
The Resurrection of Our Lord
Sunday 15 April, Third Sunday of Easter
Sundays with no Eucharist service
at St Michael’s:
Sunday 25th March, The Annunciation
of our Lady
Sunday 8 April, Second Sunday of Easter
Sunday 22 April, Fourth Sunday of Easter
Note: No service on Good Friday at St Michael’s
Bishop Richard will be in New Zealand to celebrate Easter at St Francis in Auckland.
50 years anniversary of the “Standard Model”
This month celebrates the 50th anniversary of the formulation of the “Standard Model” of particle physics.
Elementary particle traces in a cloud chamber (from CERN)
The “Standard “Model” of particle physics, which was formulated by theoretical scientists and mathematicians 50 years ago, consists of a relatively small number of mathematical formulas and an associated narrative describing the physical meaning of the formulas.
The Standard Model enables practitioners to make sense of the picture above from CERN in Switzerland, what happened, how it happened and what would happen if some things were changed. In other words, the Standard Model can predict the behaviour of the tiny building blocks of the material world. This understanding has led onto most of the technology developed in the last and this century, technology which profoundly changes many aspects of all our lives. But not all aspects. The Standard Model is not a great help in predicting human behaviour, what might be the best way to live, what is the meaning of life, and similar “non-material” topics.
1465 Michelino – Dante and his Divine Comedy
Approximately 2000 years ago, various writings, many from St Paul, were circulated around the communities that dotted the edge of the Mediterranean from Eqypt to Rome. These “letters” and narratives told of a new spiritual perspective and a new way of living. Those who engaged with this new spiritual view were offered insights into the meaning of life, an inner joy and guidance into living peacefully in their communities. These were the early Christians, the followers of Christ Jesus.
In the thirteenth century, Dante wrote his epic poem entitled “The Divine Comedy”. He is shown in Michelino’s picture above holding his book. Through his poem, Dante set out his “Standard Model”, this time in connection with human behaviour on earth and the many and varied consequences of that behaviour. The Divine Comedy presents the journey of the soul towards God.
A little over 100 years ago, our Founding Bishops started a new spiritual “Standard Model” which was a restatement of the concepts in the deep, early roots of Christianity and which was summarised in the Liberal Catholic Church Statement of Principles and Summary of Doctrine. These documents reconnect two aspects of a Christian Spiritual Path that were separated in the early centuries of the Christian era. The two aspects are Christian sacramentalism through the seven traditional rites (Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Eucharist, Absolution, Holy Unction – Healing, Holy Matrimony, Holy Orders) and the esoteric Wisdom Tradition which brings meaning into people’s lives. The Liberal Catholic Church has sought to combine Catholic forms of worship – stately ritual, deep mysticism and witness to the reality of sacramental grace – with the widest measure of intellectual liberty, and respect for the individual conscience.
A summary of the Statement of Principles can be found at
In the power of Christ’s love, we develop that universal tolerance and concern for the wellbeing of others, which is the cornerstone of a true religious life, and without which no system of social organisation can function properly. It leads us to recognise the inherent oneness of all life. We have ethical duties, not only to our fellow human beings, but also to all the realms of nature, which constitute our world environment.
Can I strongly suggest that we use this Lenten preparation period, the Passion week and the Festival of Easter for reading, reflecting and trying out the concepts set out by our Founding Bishops. Give their Standard Model an opportunity to bring joy, insights and a life lived with meaning.
With God’s blessing