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|1941: St Leonard
and St Jude, Doncaster, England
Sts Leonard and Jude, Doncaster, England.
Church of England, Diocese
A modern building consecrated on 5 November 1960, although work
on the church hall started in 1939 and this was used for worship
until the church proper was opened. It is quite plain and airy
inside, mostly white, stone and red brick with a striking wrought
iron cross behind the altar along with beautiful railings, behind
which appeared to be some lower area.
Although part of the Diocese of Sheffield, the Monarch is the
patron and there have only been four priests in total.
Doncaster is in South Yorkshire, about 20 miles from Sheffield.
It is home to the Dome Leisure Centre, an arena with a swimming
complex, bars, an event venue, and the United Kingdom's first
ever split level ice skating rink. The church is located opposite
an Aldi supermarket, which made parking very easy on Easter
Sunday, as the shop was closed and we had use of the car park.
The road is extremely busy, even on a Sunday morning with the
The Rt Revd Martyn Jarrett, Bishop of Beverley, was the celebrant
and preacher. The bishop was assisted by the Revd Norman Pay,
The date & time:
Easter Sunday, 4 April 2010, 10.00am.
What was the name of the service?
Feast of the Resurrection Easter Day Mass.
How full was the building?
Almost full, and with a real mix of ages, from the elderly to
the very young with all ages in between. In front of us was
a whole row of late teens, early twenties who were obvious regular
Did anyone welcome you
Sidespeople welcomed us, gave us our books, and said that we
could sit anywhere we liked. "There are no reserved seats
apart from the choir," we were advised. We asked
where a good spot would be to watch the proceedings. I also
asked if they had a booklet about the church. The vicar sought
me out before the service and gave me a very out-of-date booklet
that had been put together in 1964 to celebrate the Silver Jubilee.
It was very kind of him to go to the trouble, though.
Was your pew comfortable?
Surprisingly it was comfortable, although it didn't look as
if it would be. The kneelers looked a bit thin, so Mr Bunny
and I adopted the Anglican squat position when we had to kneel.
However, a lot of the prayers were said with us standing rather
How would you describe the pre-service
There was a happy buzz of people chatting. A couple of minutes
before the service was due to start, the vicar entered and rang
a bell. I immediately expected the entrance procession and was
about to stand, but just then the vicar said, "We'll have a
couple of minutes quiet before the service" and then disappeared.
Whilst sitting quietly I was aware of the smell of candle wax
What were the exact opening words of the
"Good morning. There are no news sheets. Times of mass
are as usual."
What books did the congregation use during the
The New English Hymnal and a specially printed booklet
with the service music, psalms, etc.
What musical instruments were played?
Organ and violin.
Did anything distract you?
At one point it sounded as if an entire chapter of Hells Angels
were driving past with a loud and throaty sound of engines.
The children seemed to have very noisy toys and it sounded as
if there was a lot of building (or demolishing) going on. The
music for the Agnus Dei was a little too upbeat for my taste.
Was the worship stiff-upper-lip, happy clappy, or
It was extremely eclectic. The mass was definitely high church,
but the music was a real mix of old and new. There were lots
of bells and censing, and we were all sprayed with baptismal
water as we renewed our baptismal vows. A Hail Mary was said
and we ended the service with Regina Coeli, something I had
not done before. A new experience.
Exactly how long was the sermon?
On a scale of 1-10, how good was the preacher?
8 The bishop was a very clear speaker and his sermon
had form. It was easy to follow his train of thought.
In a nutshell, what was
the sermon about?
He saw and he believed (John 20:8) so what? People now
put faith in unlikely things. People think that money will make
them happy. When you are in the Isle of Man, you are told to
say hello to the fairies or else you will have bad luck. But
people still have car accidents. Many New Testament passages
speak of fear: Gabriel told Mary not to be afraid; Joseph was
told not to fear marrying Mary; the disciples were told not
to fear on the Sea of Galilee during a storm. After Jesus was
arrested, the disciples were even more frightened, to the extent
of forsaking him and fleeing. Simon Peter denied him three times
after avowing never to desert Jesus. On the first Easter morn,
when Jesus' tomb was found empty, they were also afraid. But
the circle of sin is broken by Easter. The disciple who entered
the tomb saw and believed and knew fear was over. Jesus is risen
from the dead. All God's love is in Jesus and is true forever.
Love and victory over evil are true forever. The gift of Easter
is ours to take home forever. Not even death stops this
promise. There will still be terrible things ahead in life.
We do not know what is to come, but we can all face the future
in hope and trust, as God's love is stronger than evil.
Which part of the service
was like being in heaven?
The friendliness of the congregation and priest. We both felt very welcome.
And which part was like being in... er... the other place?
The noisy children's toys. Also, the choir's communion motet
began in "the other place" as they were out of tune
with each other. But once they got it together, they redeemed
What happened when you hung around after the service looking lost?
We were repeatedly invited to join everyone for coffee, but
I had to rush back for Easter lunch. Full marks for hospitality,
though. We were seen as new faces and not ignored.
How would you describe the after-service
How would you feel about making this church your regular (where 10 = ecstatic, 0 = terminal)?
7 The congregation and priest were very friendly, but
I'm not sure I'm quite ready yet for church as high as this.
Did the service make you feel glad to be a
What one thing will you remember about all this in seven days' time?
The happy, friendly people.
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