During the ‘reduced’ liturgy of the 10.30 a.m. service that we have been holding in St Mary’s, the Book of the Gospels hasn’t been used in procession, and latterly I haven’t been using it at all, but reading from the text printed in the service sheet. The reason for this is that Liz Roberts has had the book away with her to restore it. The binding was still strong enough, but the spine had become fragile and the gold embossing of the symbols of the four Evangelists was well worn, with weekly handling over some years. The first idea had been to buy a new copy, but it is out of print and unavailable, so the suggestion was made that a new cover be made. That has now been done.
I would like to thank Liz on behalf of the congregation of St Mary’s. She has made a lovely job of it, as I knew she would. It is exactly as I hoped it would be and we shall be able to use this book for at least another twenty years - perhaps much longer. In fact, the book is more striking now than it was before. It is to hold our attention in preparation as it it carried in procession, as we come to hear its words, including Christ’s own - which is why we treasure it. I shall not put it back in use until we can have a Gospel Procession once again, but I will leave it on view tomorrow, so you may see Liz’s work. Thank you, once again, Liz, we are very grateful to you.