Rector’s Message


The Priory Church of St Mary and the Holy Cross is open daily between 10am and 4.00pm for individual prayer in line with social distancing and  hand hygiene guidelines.

The Priory Church of St Mary and the Holy Cross is open for worship  as listed under Services in line with social distancing and  hand hygiene guidelines.


Zoom Services on Sundays will continue on a monthly basis  – the first Sunday of the month at 5pm.

To participate please telephone Ian Newton on 01328 830947 or email iannewton46@ You will be warmly welcomed.

Ian Whittle is very keen that we continue to offer services for any who are not able to come to church.

I have been delighted to take part in Divine Worship on Zoom, made possible by Mr. Ian & Canon Fiona Newton, with whom I’ve worked closely over these last months. Vast thanks to all.



Dear Friends and Parishioners,

When I was at school I had rather a lot of trouble learning French grammar. But some words were always easy to remember: the folies bergère at Paris, where les mademoiselles performed le can-can. And of course there are those words that have become part of our language: restaurant, café, parliament. And there are phrases too that mean more to us in French than their English equivalent would. What about raison d’être? The reason to be, it means in English. But it means more to us than that, doesn’t it? Raison d’être can mean our purpose, our motivation, our distinguishing mark.

In the calling and response of the Disciples we discover that the raison d’être of the Christian is the willingness to hear the call and to forgive.

We who are members of the kingdom of heaven are people who have been called and have been forgiven. This community to which we belong owes its very existence to the forgiveness made possible by the Lord Jesus’ death, for we are the people for whom Jesus died.

And there’s another French word that comes into use here. You’ve heard the expression ‘noblesse oblige’. ‘I do what I do because I’m obliged to do it’. It’s my duty! And so we are obliged, it is our duty – to forgive any personal wrong that has been done to us. This means we must always be conscious of and never get tired of forgiving others.

How can the forgiven be unforgiving? It’s an impossibility. We should think of ourselves as a society – the society of the forgiven. But this society will have no purpose if we who are forgiven are ourselves unforgiving. May I wish you every Spring delight as new growth and new life burst forth.

‘And That Will be Heaven’,  Evangeline Paterson 20th century

and that will be heaven and that will be heaven
at last the first unclouded seeing

to stand like the sunflower turned full face to the sun drenched with light in the still centre
held while the circling planets
hum with an utter joy

seeing and knowing at last in every particle

seen and known and not turning away

Yours very truly,

Ian Whittle, The Rectory, Langham 01328 830246