With November slipping into December, it’s time to remember Saint Andrew, Apostle and mariner, missionary and martyr, whose feastday is tomorrow.
We passed through his parish in Dover on our L’Arche Kent Pilgrimage in May. All walkers received a sticker with a fish, designed by Ines, one of the community.
The Parish website tells us:
The ancient Buckland Yew Tree suggests that Christian worship has taken place on the site for many centuries, possibly as long as the Christian message came to these shores.
Yew trees are evergreen, and so have been seen as a symbol of eternal life. Ancient yews are to be found at many of the churches we visited on our pilgrimage, including Coldred, Barfrestone, Patrixbourne, and Saint Mildred’s in Canterbury, which is hollow enough for Abel to hide in! Some yews are reckoned to be older than the church beside them: not the first nor the last pagan sites to be Christened.
The present church dates back to 1180, but the Doomsday Book records the fact that there was already a church on the site by 1086. The church is dedicated to St Andrew, Apostle and Martyr (feast day 30th November). The East window depicts St Andrew kneeling at the side of Our Lord Jesus Christ clutching the church of Buckland in his hands.
The Saint holding the Church: we saw that also at Barfrestone and at Saint Mildred’s in Canterbury: an image of the Communion of Saints we profess in the Creed. ‘Our’ saint, our patron, will pray for us and bring our prayers to God.
So we thank God for the welcome we received at Saint Andrew’s – we did fill a couple of pages in the visitors’ book to say thank you at the time, and left a sticker! And we pray for the parish, especially as they ar given a mission to new families on the old paper mill site.
Saint Andrew, pray for us.
Saint Andrew, pray for Dover.
Saint Andrew, pray for those in peril on the sea.