Today is the feast of St Birinus, the Apostle of Wessex, who baptised King Cynegils, and thereby converted the House of Wessex, and the bishop who was also the founder (? re-founder ) of the church at Dorchester on Thames. Last night I attended an anticipated Solemn High Mass in his honour at the Catholic church under his patronage in Dorchester.
The Baptism of King Cynegils of Wessex by St Birinus in 634
Painted by Sister Petra Clare, of the Benedictine Abbey of St Cecilia on the Isle of Wight.
The icon is in memory of the former Parish Secretary, Liz Pinniger, RIP, a suppliant of Saint Birinus, and was blessed on Trinity Sunday, June 15th, 2014 by the Most Rev. Kallistos Ware, Metropolitan of Diokleia.
The Mass was celebrated in the Extraordinary Form by Fr John Osman the parish priest, with Fr Guy Nichols C.O. as Deacon and Fr Kenneth Macnab as Dub-Deacon. The preacher was the parish priest of Caversham.
This was assisted by the musicians who sang a Mozart Missa Brevis, and the whole took place in the exquisite church, which has been so lovingly restored and decorated by Fr Osman in recent years.
Afterwards there was an opportunity to continue the celebrations in the Presbytery at the always enjoyable reception and to meet up with old friends, and make new ones.