Wednesday, April 01, 2009

For Women, For the Environment


A picture of Father Richard Biggerstaff is on the front of a new document published by the Bishop's of England and Wales Liturgy Committe entitled "For Women, For the Environment".
It contains such classic phrases as

For too long the liturgical contribution of women has been neglected, thus identifying the Church with an oppressive patriachal structure which has deliberately sidelined the artistic contribution of half the Church.

......

The arts, traditionally associated with women must be revived, and welcomed and refined!

The document speaks specifically about these arts...

Western women should learn again from their third world and older sisters to celebrate painstaking crafts of couching, embroidery, gold threadwork, nor should the crafts lace and drawnthread work and tatting be neglected.

.....

The dignity of women is reflected in the dignity of liturgical textiles...


On the the environment

...The skills of women have long contibuted to safeguarding the environment

.... the ability to repair, to make good, to recycle has long been the preserve ofd women in the Church.
....
The choice of natural and sustainable materials in the liturgy should be a priority,

... neither should recycling be ignored....

The choice of unnatural fibres, produced in comercial chemical plants has a serious and damaging environmental impact. Just say "no" to polyester.

...in the present economic climate parishes should always choose the handcrafted, the locally made and should not ignore the old and antique, indeed these should be our model, a way of identifying ourselves in an unbroken hermeneutic of continuity with our sisters of the past!

This vestment [pictured above] was restored by Norma O’Keeffe of St Pancras Lewes. The orphreys were used in a St Pancras vestment made for the first parish priest, Fr Hubert Wood. Fr Wood and his family were generous benefactors of the parish. A convert Anglican minister, Fr Wood died in his early 40s. We regular offer Mass for the repose of his soul and continue to use his very beautiful chalice. The red damask was sourced locally. St Stephen, St Thomas of Canterbury and St Hubert are also depicted on this lovely vestment, the best of noble simplicity.

11 comments:

Miss Stipes said...

Ah! You almost had us there, Father....

ffn said...

Happy April the First!

Mrs Jackie Parkes MJ said...

You mean they want me to sew? You gotta be joking! How is that empowering women??

Fr Christopher Back said...

From Fr Christopher Back.

Oh dear! dear Father. I was fooled for a moment, and my heart leapt for joy within me. Perhaps the new incumbent of the Westminter throne will, truly, issue such a wise and pastoral instruction. I fear not.
Given, this Feast of Fools, apud Cantabrigiensem.

Emma said...

I love the April fool Father. Only, I wish it was just a joke-in some places I'm not so sure.

Mary B said...

I had no idea that the Liturgy Committee of the Bishops of England and Wales has such a good sense of humour or that they are so aware of 1st of April

Francis said...

Fr. Ray,

I began to suspect this was an April Fools joke when I saw the definite article appearing too many times in front of the word "Church", and also no mention of "ministry", "empowerment", "sisters and brothers" and the old chestnut "challenged."

C said...

If only these so-called 'Catholic nuns' did just keep to arts, crafts, tatting etc.....if you click on the links section of their website there is an appalling array of recommended links to dissenting organisations and secular 'justice and peace type' organisations that support abortion. Go to
http://www.rndm.org/

and then to their links page.

gemoftheocean said...

Actually a good seamstress is worth her weight in gold. Too bad she is seldom paid for it...which is why western women don't do much of it any more for fun. Now lace makers....a la Madame Martin back in the 1800s had sucessful businesses (Louis sold his own watch making shop to help his wife with the buyers in Paris, etc.) - and they had a very upper middle class lifestyle due to their joint efforts. But no one wants to do it for slave labor.

However, those are fine arts.

Elizabeth said...

Women of the world unite, today is April Fools Day lets join the lady dancer on the altar, we can sew, cook, sing kumbaya and dance at the same time, after all we are the champions of multi tasking LOL.

gemoftheocean said...

BTW, if I were casting around for someone to play the Easter Bunny, I'd pick Fr. Biggerstaff.