The Revd.

Matthew J Hughes

01689 856931

Associate Rector   

The Revd.
Stephen Broadie
 01689 852843

Assistant Priest  

The Revd.

Bill Mullenger

020 8462 9624


June Leader

Did you know that there are 260 different types of the colour blue? We would probably struggle to name many of them, but we might know some of the more familiar ones such as Cyan Blue, Navy Blue, Cerulean blue, Cobalt blue and Azure Blue. Azure Blue is a particular favourite of mine as it is the blue of a lovely clear sky on a warm, but not very hot day, the kind of sky blue that is so pleasant at this time of year.

For me it is also the colour of Christ’s Ascension. At his crucifixion the Gospel writers report that, ‘Darkness covered the whole land.’. (Luke 23:44) The full force of sin and suffering bore down on Christ’s shoulders. Afterwards he was laid in a dark tomb and even after the resurrection the minds of his disciples were anything but clear as to what it all meant Yet, with Christ’s Ascension into heaven the darkness and confusion finally lift, the church is born as the Holy Spirit begins to flow once again into the hearts of men and women at Pentecost, (this year celebrated on 31st May).

Now Christ is no longer limited to time and space, no longer subject to the attacks of hatred and evil, no longer humiliated and powerless but now Risen and Ascended, able to bring our prayers and concerns right to the heart of heaven as he stands at the right hand of God. The work of our salvation is complete, he has gone ahead (John 14:1 2) to prepare a place for those who love and trust him. The Azure sky is full of the radiance of his glory and yet at the same time, through his spirit he is able to be present and to fill hearts and minds with his abiding presence, especially in places where the emotional sky is dark and foreboding.

One of the small things that I have missed during the lockdown is the chance to sing with others that wonderful Ascension hymn, ‘Hail the Day That Sees Him Rise.’ This is Charles Wesley at his most vigorous and energetic, it is usually sung to the stirring tune Ascension by William Monk (1823 89). Note verse 6:

1 Hail the day that sees him rise, Alleluia! Glorious to His native skies; Alleluia! Christ, awhile to mortals given, Alleluia! Enters now the highest heaven. Alleluia!

2 There the glorious triumph waits; Alleluia! Lift your heads, eternal gates! Alleluia! Christ hath vanquished death and sin; Alleluia! Take the King of Glory in! Alleluia!

3 See! the heaven its Lord receives, Alleluia! Yet He loves the earth He leaves: Alleluia! Though returning to His throne, Alleluia! Still He calls mankind His own. Alleluia!

4 See! He lifts His hands above; Alleluia! See! He shows the prints of love: Alleluia! Hark! His gracious lips bestow Alleluia! Blessings on His Church below. Alleluia!

5 Still for us He intercedes; Alleluia! His prevailing Death He pleads; Alleluia! Near Himself prepares our place, Alleluia! Harbinger of human race. Alleluia!

6 Lord, though parted from our sight, Alleluia! Far beyond yon azure height, Alleluia! Grant our hearts may thither rise, Seeking Thee beyond the skies. Alleluia!

7 There we shall with Thee remain, Alleluia! Partners of Thine endless reign; Alleluia! There Thy face unclouded see, Alleluia! Find our heaven of heavens in Thee. Alleluia!

The next time you are walking under an Azure Sky think of Christ Ascended bringing your life to the heart of the Father. The Christ, who now fills all things and is above all things, yet is closer to us then our own heart beat.