Monday, 9 May 2011

Annual Prayer Walk in the Constable Country

The Annual Prayer Walk in the Constable Country is, D.V., on the third Saturday in May. That's 21 May! We start at Dedham, where we meet by the War Memorial in Royal Square at 10.30 a.m. BST.  We usually visit the churches of Dedham, Langham, Stratford St. Mary and East Bergholt. (All are dedicated to St. Mary.)  We pass the little (Datchet/Rural Ministries) chapel in Stratford St. Mary and the Congregational Church in East Bergholt, which is near John Constable's studio (in years gone by).  Constable was born nearby in 1776 and died in London in 1837.  (His wife died at the age of 41, after the birth of their seventh child.)

I am very interested in the life of John "Roaring Rogers", lecturer (not vicar as some scholars believe) of Dedham and puritan preacher.  He had an extraordinary ministry in the first half of the 17th century.  His grave is on the north side

of the Church of St Mary, Dedham, and there is a bust of him on the north side of the sanctuary. (Please see my blog of 26 March 2009 for further details.)  The church's muniment room has some of his works, which I hope to study some day.  I used to borrow John Rogers' Doctrine of Faith from the Evangelical Library near Baker Street and read his Commentary on the First Epistle of Peter in Dr Williams' Library in Bloomsbury.  These were 17th century books and very rare ones.  In 1918 the roles of lecturer and vicar were combined.  In John Rogers' day there was a clear distinction between the vicar and the lecturer. There is a board inside the church, by the north door, which records the vicars and lecturers of St. Mary's Church, Dedham.

This photograph, taken on 17 May 2011, of the list of vicars and lecturers was added to this blog on 19 May 2011.

It is hoped that we will end the prayer walk by the car park near the bridge and River Stour at around 5 p.m.

Psalm 84:5.

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River Stour