26 May 2016
The Feast of Corpus Christi commemorates the institution and gift of the Eucharist, and is observed on the Thursday immediately following Trinity Sunday. By the 14th Century this feast was universally celebrated in the Western Church and in many towns, the feast was an occasion for the performance of religious plays and processions, providing an opportunity for the elaborate re-enactment of the Gospel stories.
At St Stephen’s on Thursday, we did not perform plays but the Bishop of Reading came to celebrate the Eucharist, thanking for the gift of Holy Communion. At the beginning of the service he rededicated the Walker organ originally installed in the 1870s and recently rebuilt by Peter Collins, organ builders. Bishop Andrew then renamed the church, which instead of being dedicated just to St Stephen is now dedicated to St Agnes also.
The service was sung by the Bishop, Team choir and congregation, and culminated in a procession of the sacrament through the church to the High altar where the Bishop blessed us all. He was able to stay for with a drink was able to talk to many people.
The sermon delivered by Bishop Andrew can be read in the sermon archive.