Parish of St Matthew the Apostle,
Douglas, Isle of Man

From the Archives

The Manx Church Magazine - October 1938

My dear people

I write this letter in the midst of our Patronal Festival. We had an inspiring service on the Eve of St Matthew, when the Guild of Servers of the Island sang their office with a good congregation present. On St Matthew's day we had our Sung Eucharist as usual, when Father Harrison, of S. Paul's, Ramsey, preached an excellent sermon to us from the text "Lord, I have loved the habitation of Thy House and the place where Thine honour dwelleth."

He pointed out that there were two festivals that belonged to every church in its dedication and patronal festival. From the earliest days of Christianity, the day on which the church was consecrated has been kept as a holy day. Gregory the Great, in his instructions to S. Augustine of Canterbury, ordered that the anniversary of the consecration of the church was to be kept as a solemn feast, and the preacher pointed out that the laws of Edward the Confessor provided for the observance of the rule.

Although the dedication and patronal festivals are usually quite distinct, yet many lessons to be drawn from them are applicable to both. And festivals should cement the ties that bind priest and people together: and should teach us to love and value the services in which we join and should enable us to estimate our religious privileges and to recognise the claims the Church has upon our time, our money, and our affections. Jesus still walks in His Temple now, as when he walked on earth, in the House which God has chosen to put His Name

here, and of which He has said, "Here will I dwell, for I have a delight therein."

Your sincere friend and Vicar

Lewis C. Watson

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