On 16 December 2021 St Philip's celebrated the 50th anniversary of the dedication of our church building, and Bishop Warren's declaration of establishment of St Philip's as a Parish.
Evensong (1662), rarely heard at St Philip’s, was offered. The service was fittingly blessed with fine music from the St Philip's singers and soloists, directed by Colin Forbes.
Introit hymn: "Come build with us a house of prayer." (Words by Thomas Troeger, tune: ELLACOMBE).
Preces and response by Michael Cowgil (2013)
Psalm 26,Deus noster refugium; music: Martin Setchel; cantor: Denise Manley.
Genesis 20.10-18, read by the Revd Dr Colin Dundon.
The Magnificat, sung by Rosemary Lohman (soprano) to a setting by Australian Vivien Arnold.
John 4.19-24, read by Judy Lindbeck.
Nunc Dimmitis, sung by Peter Smith (Bass) to a new setting by Colin Forbes.
The Apostles Creed was then followed by prayers.
The anthem was "Ave Maria," by Michael Head, sung by Janene Broere (Mezzo).
Bishop Mark preached on the important distinction between space and place. St Philip’s is a ‘place’ where, in the words of TS Eliot, prayer has been valid; it is for us a sacred place.
After the service indoors, we concluded outdoors with the blessing and the hymn "Christ is our cornerstone." (C7th, trans John Chandler, 1806-76).
Left to right: Revd Robin Moore, deacon, Revd Canon Prof Scott Cowdell, Rt Revd Dr Mark Short, Bishop, Revd Martin Johnson, rector
Bishop Mark preaching at the service of evensong
At a celebratory meal in the courtyard, we received and enjoyed greetings and reflections from those who had served the parish in former years.
Here are two of them:
The Parable of the Plane Tree
In the courtyard at St Philip’s where to worship God I go
There’s a beautiful large plane tree continuing to grow.
In spring it’s clad in verdant green, a new resurrection done
As God renews us year by year with blessings from His Son.
The advent of its summer leaf in whose cool shade I’m seated,
Shows God’s care in clear relief; our troubles are depleted.
Then Lent is spent and Easter comes when God reveals Christ’s glory;
Our tree its autumn glory wears, and confirms the story.
As winter comes it sheds its bark, its leaves come falling down.
Falls too the work of the mud-lark that nested in its crown.
The courtyard then is thick with leaves, and each one is unique,
No two the same, from God they came, and to us they speak.
For we like them from God have come, and to Him we will go;
Each one unique and loved by Him, for Jesus told us so.
Hence in the passing of our years, earthly things shall pass away,
But faith, hope, love and joy through tears; God’s gifts are here to stay.
An Ode to the Philippians in honour of the 60th Anniversary of the Dedication.
Words, with love, George Garnsey
Tune: Cruger ("Hail to the Lord’s Annointed")
Praise to the brave Philippians,
Your faith shines bright and clear,
The Church of God salutes you
In this your sixtieth year.
Raise high the silver trumpets,
Sound forth the triumph song.
Your story is inspiring,
We honour you, so strong!
Your history is outstanding
Of Christian witness true,
You shine like Ainslie's beacon
For Canberra to view.
From you the nation’s capital
Will hear the prophet’s voice,
The everlasting gospel
To make us all rejoice!
As to the great Apostle
To us you are so dear,
The mighty Paul's Epistle
Of love that casts out fear.
His message of salvation
Has won your hearts, that's sure,
And you have God's firm promise
Of peace for evermore!