About 65 people attended the service celebrating our patron saint (Hilda) last Sunday (19 Nov). A Celtic service from St Patrick's Episcopal, L. Tahoe, Nevada was adapted for the occassion to reflect S. Hilda's Celtic sympathies. The service used is available via the PDF link below.
Guest speaker at the service was Christine Cuthbert who is a long time member and leader at St Hilda's Church, Island Bay in Wellington. She brought to the service her reflections on S. Hilda, along with a stone relic from the Abbey at Whitby and an image of St Hilda's, Island Bay S. Hilda window. During the service Priest in Charge Terry reflected on the significance and symbolism of the prominent S. Hilda stained glass window at S. Hilda's, Upper Hutt. A feature of this window is the merging of the Celtic and Roman traditions which were at issue in the Synod of Whitby in 664 AD which S. Hilda and her community hosted, and where a decision was taken for the Church in England to follow the Roman tradition, including the dating for Easter.
St Hilda of Whitby is the Patron saint of Upper Hutt Anglicans. The reason why is lost in the mists of time. However, we do endeavour each year to honour our link with St Hilda and Whitby in the UK. Our tradition is to share breakfast as the St Hilda's Congregations (9am) and have one Celebratory service (10am) followed by morning tea together. That will happen again this year on Sunday 19th November.
Features of the this year's service are:
* 'Clypping' is an old English word which means 'embracing' or 'clasping' and during the patronal service, everyone is encouraged to form a circle round the Church, hold hands and so clyppe or embrace the Church. As we do this we sing the clypping hymn. It is a way of showing our thanks to God for our Church and asking God to bless it. It also reminds us that we are joined together as the community of St Hilda's, Upper Hutt.