We feel it is important to have our own local calendar which helps inform and affirm us in the ministry we do and helps reflect the wide variety of people in our congregation.
Naturally we draw on already existing church wide calendars – especially the one of Common Worship. It is important to be selective, there are simply too many listed in many official calendars. At the same time most church calendars of saints are far too weighted towards male saints, and in particular educated celibate male clergy. (For more on this please see this post on our church blog.) We wish to redress the balance and look for inspiration, for role models, from lay people, women and those in relationships, including those who were parents.
In our wonderfully varied congregation we have those who have been granted asylum, or those seeking asylum, we have those new to Christianity, survivors of trafficking etc. and we have people of many differing languages and cultures. In our worship and liturgy we must honour holy women and men from such backgrounds.
In addition there are certain national or international days which we wish to highlight in our church life. These are not just days focusing on issues such as refugees, slavery, women’s rights, but also days which encourage inclusion, culture, and tolerance.
An important principle is not to overload, we need the regular rhythm of the liturgy to go through the year, and not be too disrupted. Consequently observances at major seasons such as Lent and Easter are avoided. We also have to question some of that which is ‘given’ in official church lists. We may need to prune. For example, is it helpful to observe separately as feasts the days of all the twelve disciples – could we not focus on simply two or three one year then different ones the next. (The Kalendar changes and adapts year by year).
And so we welcome suggestions for this year – simply give your suggestions (perhaps with a reason and link to more information, if possible) as a comment below. Thank you.