16th December, 2016 - Annual Service of Lessons & Carols
This year we held our Annual Christmas Carol Service on the eve of St. Lazarus’ Day, Friday 16th December 2016 at our regular venue, Saint Thomas à Becket Church, Huntington, near Kington, Herefordshire. The Service of Christmas Carols and Readings was led by our Chaplain, The Reverend Prebendary Edward Ward TD, SChLJ, assisted by the vicar, The Reverend Ben Griffith. The church is reputed to have been erected as part of the penance of one of the murderers of Thomas à Becket in 1170 and it is an ideal size for our service as the little church is filled by attendance of our members.
On the 10th November 2016 our Commandery suffered a devastating loss with the sudden death of our Founding Commander Chevalier James Turner, ERD, SBStJ, KCLJ, KMLJ. who had guided and been the bedrock of our Commandery since its foundation in 2002 until his retirement in April of this year. His funeral service took place on Monday, 28th November 2016 at The Church of St. Laurence, Upminster in Essex. Although a number of us attended the funeral, owing to age, infirmity and the excessive distance to travel many of our members who wished to attend found it impossible to do so. It was, therefore, agreed that there would be a short memorial service for Jim at the beginning of our Christmas Carol Service.
The Reverend Prebendary Edward Ward duly gave a moving address on Chevalier James Turner – the following is an extract:
"James Turner was a charismatic leader of men. His love and support of people was unquestioned. His support for his family, his friends, for all those he knew and his care for the wider community was a cornerstone of his life. He could speak to the oldest and the newest member of any Order he belonged to and make them feel that he was not only concerned with what they were saying, but the conversation was important and that he was focused on that individual. Jim’s membership of any Order was not an end in itself but a means to the end, and that end was to spread the good news to others. His faith in Jesus sustained him in all he did, a faith which guided him throughout all his life and in all he did. He was willing to give his time and energy to charity and charitable work. Whatever he joined he was committed to it, as we in the Order of St. Lazarus know.
We remember his and Audrey’s most generous hospitality, especially after our Annual Service at St. Laurence’s, Ludlow, or after the Committee meetings. Indeed in his Eulogy, Alex (one of Jim & Audrey’s sons) spoke of Jim’s unflappability when he would come down in the morning and find the house full of friends of one of the sons, and would proceed to make them all a cup of tea and cook breakfast for them.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Audrey, Laurence, Alex and Richard, at this time. And we pray that they may be comforted by their faith in that Light, which is never conquered by the darkness, whose coming into the world we celebrate at Christmas."
Following the memorial the main part of our service of Christmas Carols, Readings and Prayers took place. The lessons in the service were read by members of the Commandery and all the well known carols were sung with enthusiasm. The occasion was both reflective and enjoyable and set us all in the right frame of mind to celebrate both St. Lazarus and the birth of Christ.
Prior to the service we all met, for an excellent lunch, at the Burton Hotel in Kington, at which a raffle raised £95.00. We then travelled, in convoy, to the church.
Thanks must go to Chevalier Bryan Giddings and Confrere Allan Lloyd for organising the event.
The Church of St Thomas a Becket, Huntington
Members and Guests with the vicar in church after the Carol Service
31st May, 2016 - Visit to Abbey-cwm-hir
A report of this visit can be read here.
Sunday 24th May 2015 - Visit to St Thomas à Becket Church Huntington
Some members of the Commandery enjoyed an excellent lunch in Kington before proceeding to St. Thomas a Becket Church at Huntington, Nr Kington
The Church of St. Thomas à Becket, Huntington, was honoured to receive a visit of 17 members at the Pentecost Evensong Service on Sunday May 24th. The service was conducted by Mr Rob MacCurragh and the preacher was a guest, Mr Antony Weld Forester, a lay-reader and former auctioneer of Sotheby’s, from Scotland.
Members wore their mantles. This was the second visit by the Order to Huntington Church and in appreciation of the privilege of having been allowed to hold the Commandery’s Annual Service on 17th December 2014 at the church, Chevalier James Turner, Commander of the Commandery of The Marches, presented Mr Peter Kelly, the Church Warden, with a plaque of the Order’s Coat of Arms, for which the church was very grateful.
Following the Service members enjoyed a delicious afternoon tea at the Burton Hotel, Kington.
Members of the Commandery with the Church Warden, Peter Kelly, outside the Church of St Thomas a Becket, Huntington
Thursday 25th June - Boat Trip on the River Severn
Twelve members of the Commandery enjoyed a trip on the River Severn from Upton-on-Severn to Worcester and back on Thursday 25th June. The weather was glorious and the staff on board “The Conway Castle” were most helpful. We stayed in Worcester for two hours and some of us opted for a leisurely lunch while others visited the beautiful Cathedral.
On our return journey we saw several herons and families of ducks with the baby chicks paddling in the water. The scenery varied from willows at the water’s edge to several mobile home parks, and houses with steps leading down to the river. It was a peaceful and tranquil trip and much enjoyed.
After we disembarked we made our way to the Fish & Chip Shop in Upton where we all enjoyed an appropriate supper: an excellent way to end a lovely day.
Outing to Welshpool Area, 15th September
Click here to see the report.