St Michael & All Angels: "Goodbye To All That"

The Revd Brutus Green

"We are approaching the close of the year. And we are approaching also… the close of my ministry among you.” Thus began the vicar of St John’s, Paddington, as this church was called, the Revd Dr Edward Goulburn’s penultimate sermon of December 1866. You may think that September is a little early to quote ‘the close of the year’, but for Bryan, our administrator, who begins his count down to Christmas each year at Epiphany, or in excitable years on Boxing Day, September 28 is most of the way there. Interestingly, Goulburn’s farewell sermons are on almost identical subjects to his successor Gilbert Karney’s, 40 years later; issues which at the time were dividing the church. So if it amazes you that the church can tear itself apart for 40 years over the same issue, do not be surprised. There is great precedent played out in the very church you are sitting in.