For All The Saints

The world's churches procaim 'we believe in the communion of saints' in their common creed. They believe that all Christians are called to be be saints, though some are more saintly than others.The Bible calls them 'the cloud of witnesses' (Hebrews 12:1). Celtic Christians knows them as 'the holy and risen ones'.  Anglican, Catholic and Orthodox Christians highlight those who shine most brightly by giving them  the status of official saints of their church. This week churches focus on all saints and all souls. Rev John Vilaseca told my congregation that saints cry and laugh and love - they are among us and we can be among them.

Recently I wrote the following in  my occasional column for The Berwick Advertiser:

 'Berwick needs a saint’.  A saint holds us to our highest ideals, kindles fresh fires of endeavor, and purifies second rate developments in our characters and institutions.

 The original church at Tweedmouth was dedicated to Saint Boisil, the first prior of Melrose. Then in 1145 Pope Egerius 3, with his lust to Romanise the world, decreed that the parish church must henceforth be dedicated to Bartholomew, because the twelve apostles have a universal cachet.  However, among the people Boisil continued to hold sway. He remained the patron saint of the town which celebrated its annual festival on Saint Boisil’s Day, July 8. In 1995 the Bishop of Newcastle re-established St. Boisil as joint patron with Bartholomew of the parish church. Boisil had a loving heart and a teaching mind. He is a sign of a cross-border peace-maker. In a vision he appeared to Northumbria’s King Ecfrith and warned him against attacking the Picts.

  Boisil came by boat from his monastery in the river bend at Old Melrose to the Roman settlement in the mouth of the river Tweed. So did his famous protégé, Saint Cuthbert, after whom a Tweedmouth well is named.  Perhaps Cuthbert went from Berwick to Lindisfarne by boat.  As a missionary bishop he sailed up to the Forth, perhaps stopping  at Berwick, in order to plant a church in the shadow of Edinburgh’s Castle Rock. Cuthbert was a man of prayer. He had great healing and prophetic powers. Above all he had empathy,and shed tears at the pains of the people who confided their needs to him.

 Their faith communities brought friendship, food and faith to their localities.  If we, in common with all Christians, believe in the resurrection of the dead, then these holy and risen ones are with us still.

 Let those of us on both sides of the Tweed voyage with our saints.




Posted at 19:53pm on 1st November 2018
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