Devotional societies offer a great deal to small rural congregations. We are fortunate that the Society of Mary’s North-West Ward is an active branch of a venerable Catholic Society, more often based in the inner city.
In the rather cold and rational context of the Church of England, devotion to Mary matters. It is not enough simply to acknowledge that she is the mother of Our Lord; we do need to love her if we are truly to love Jesus.
The Society of Mary helps its members to deepen that love, through sharing with others in the celebration of her great festivals. Devout certainly, but also sociable, friendly and great fun. We hosted the Assumptiontide festival at Thornton and Broughton, and some of the photos from that day are in the gallery.
Here at the Immaculate Conception Festival on Saturday, 13th December 2014, it was the parish of St Catherine’s Church Burnley, and Fr Roger Parker, who played host to groups from around the region. Thanks to the encouragement of our Reader, Paul Christodoulou, the Society of Mary is becoming a greater part of our parish life; and a thoroughly good thing too. Today, Robert Hall was inducted as a member.
Here Robert helps to carry the figure of Jesus in his mother’s arms (note the careful CofE phrasing), with David Martlew, secretary of the ward; and here he is inducted by Fr Ian Brooks, chairman of the ward.