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Spring Newsletter page 2

PURGATORY AND INDULGENCES

What on earth are Indulgences? For the average person in the Late Mediaeval Period, their destination was not Heaven, but Purgatory. An Indulgence was everything to do with Purgatory.

Purgatory was an idea that did not come from the Bible but was imported into Christianity during the later period of the early centuries of the Church. It was taught as an idea of a place where, when you died, you went to have the remaining penalty for sins paid off. This could last for millions of years.

To be clear on this: God had definitely forgiven the sin but the Church had imposed a Penance that needed to be paid in full.

Purgatory was a massive industry. It involved, not only indulgencies (a certificate to say how many years had been taken off Purgatory), but also an extensive trade in relics- places, objects, even skeletal remains associated with famous followers of Jesus and who were given the title 'Saint'.

Through this trade, it was possible to see and touch a piece of the 'true cross' (i.e., the cross on which Jesus died), a feather from the wing of the Angel Gabriel, or even a vial of Mary's breast milk! The list was endless, convoluted, and, above all, costly. It cost a lot of money to amass a collection of relics, and it cost money to see them.

Sadly, people were more than happy to pay as the trade in relics helped to reduce one's time in Purgatory.

All things that were done to relieve Purgatory were regarded as 'good works', and these 'good works' released 'extra grace' that was stored in a so-called Treasury of Merits - the excess of 'good works' that the Saints had gained in life' and could be dispensed to others.

The Reformers rejected all this completely. Their ideas are detailed in four of The Thirty-Nine Articles, and intentionally reject these Mediaeval teachings; specifically Articles 12 (Of Good Works), 13 (of Works before Justification), 14 (Of Works of Supererogation) and 22 (Of Purgatory).

Rev'd Derek McClean

Rector St Remigius Hethersett

PRAYER NET

This prayer net round the font is based on a similar installation at Ely Cathedral. All visitors are invited to make use of our prayer net to make a prayer: tying a piece of coloured wool onto the net becomes a symbol of this prayer, and an inclusion into the community of pilgrims who visit our church. We hope to see this growing in colour and diversity.

INGATESTONE CHURCHES TOGETHER

Lent Course

This year the course is based on the film 'The Way' Each Wednesday for 5 weeks at Ingatestone Parish Church at 12 noon starting 9th March. Light lunch included. Alternatively each Thursday via Zoom at 7.30pm for 5 weeks commencing 10th March.

Please contact Rev'd Sally on 07850 361101 or email Rene :renedhorner@gmail.com ASAP to register your place.

Good Friday - 15 April

The provisional arrangements for Good Friday are stations of the cross in the Catholic Church at 12 noon followed by a procession of Witness at 1pm, pausing at the Elim and United Reformed Churches for short acts of worship, to arrive at the Parish Church by 2.00pm where there will be a more formal act of worship for the last hour. All are welcome to all or just part of the devotion.

Advance notice:

Buttsbury Open Day: Saturday 18th June with the annual Buttsbury Fayre, 2.00-4.30.

WEB SITE

Thanks to Michael Pointer the web site is up and running again. Visit it at www.buttsburychurch.org.uk

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