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Celebrating St Matthew’s 125

Local brewer leads the way
25 September 2018
 

It is often pointed out that St Matthew’s Church was built on the proceeds of beer, in fact as a memorial to Pickering Phipps, the local brewer who had twice been Mayor of Northampton and twice an MP. To recall the Phipps family’s endowment, Jeremy Phipps, the current chairman of the reinvigorated brewery, kindly consented to carry the silver processional cross at the head of this year’s procession. Among the family’s many gifts to the parish, the silver cross and matching acolytes where given on St Matthew’s Day 1891. Later, on the same date in 1893, Pickering Phipps’ son (of the same name) carried it into church on the day of consecration. (The cross is one of a pair; its larger bejewelled brother is in Westminster Abbey.) It must have been a great moment in the life of the local church and community. With hindsight, we might also say that the founding of St Matthew’s was an event which has proved to be of significance to the wider Church.

Here follows an excerpt from a contemporary account of the opening ceremonies:
 
 

After two years of arduous labour, at length arrived the long looked for return of September 21st (St Matthew’s Day), 1893. In the early morning, the last of the busy workmen departed, and the whole building was ready for the important ceremony of the day. At 7.30 a.m. there was a celebration of Holy Communion in the Temporary Iron Church. At eleven a.m. came the Consecration of the new Church, followed by the Institution and Induction of the Rev. J. R. Hussey as Vicar.

The Bishop, attended by his Chaplain, together with the Clergy, which came from all parts of the Diocese, robed at the Temporary Iron Church, and, with the choir, proceeded to the West Front of the new Church in the following Order, singing the hymn “Forward be our Watchword,” Mr. Pickering Phipps carrying the processional cross which was his gift on the day of the foundation stone laying …


That occasion would have been full of hope for the future, as indeed was this historically resonant and moving moment in this year’s anniversary celebrations. We give thanks to God for the foresight and generosity of our benefactors, and for the faithful of the intervening and continuing generations who have nurtured and sustained God’s Church into the future.
 

       
     

 
A Remembrance to Remember

Wednesday 7 November 2018

 

Lest We Forget?

We certainly did not forget the fallen of Kingsley as St Matthew's celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Armistice.

On Wednesday 7November, the church hosted a special evening entitled ‘We Will Remember Them’ to honour the 126 young men from our parish who gave their lives in the Great War.

Researcher Martin Stone who, with genealogist wife Lindsey, has spent the last year looking into the stories of all the heroes, talked about his work to a large crowd, while Fr Nicholas spoke about the role St Matthew's played during the war, holding multiple daily masses, each attended by 1,000 people.

Veteran broadcaster Paul Vaughan recited verse and poems from the war and read an incredible first-hand account of Christmas 1915 in the rain-sodden trenches.

Composer and pianist Piers Connor Kennedy accompanied countertenor Hugh Cutting for a series of beautiful songs based around WW1.

The church looked magnificent with its wonderful poppy cascade, handmade by members of the congregation and local schoolchildren, plus the beautifully-lit Remembrance chapel.

Haunting perspex silhouettes of soldiers were strategically placed on seats to represent fallen heroes.

Many who attended said they found the evening spiritually uplifting and very moving.

Martin's research has caused quite a media frenzy. Both he and Fr Nicholas were interviewed about the Kingsley fallen live on Radio Northampton on Tuesday 6 November. The next day a BBC Look East TV crew came to film them. The programme was aired that night. There was also extensive coverage in the local Chronicle and Echo.

It meant that on Remembrance Sunday, after Martin and Lindsey had placed their research files on the Remembrance Chapel altar, Fr Nicholas was able – for the first time – to read out the full names and ages of the WW1 fallen on our Roll of Honour.

It was an immensely moving tribute, followed by The Last Post – perfectly timed to end as the church bells struck 11am. Then came the two minute silence, and Reveille. With a rousing God Save The Queen to finish, I'd like to think we did those Kingsley lads proud.
 

       
 
 
 
  Advent &
Christmas 2018
 
 
 

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Events celebrating the 125th birthday year of St Matthew’s. Read more...

 
 
 

 
 
 

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Latest News

 

 

 

25 September 2018

 
   

Celebrating St Matthew’s 125 – Local brewer leads the way

 
 

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  What's New  
 

 

19 November 2018

 

 

 

December has been added to the Weekday Scripture Readings.

 

 

Scripture Readings

 

 


 

 

 

December has been added to the Worship Calendar.

 

 

Worship Calendar

 

 


 

 

16 November 2018

 

 

 

The music list for November is now available.

 

 

Music Lists

 

 

 

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