The shape and content of the anniversary service echoes much in the 1914 ceremony; we hear the same readings and sing some of the same hymns.
Pusey House was founded in 1884 as a centre of theological study, worship, and pastoral care, and as a most fitting memorial to Dr E. B. Pusey, Regius Professor of Hebrew, Canon of Christ Church, and a leader of the Oxford Movement. Pusey’s biographer, Canon H. P. Liddon, hoped that the new institution would be both ‘a home of sacred learning and a rallying point of the Christian faith’. This meant that the House would not only promote ‘those great and majestic studies which attend on Christian theology’, but also examine the ‘speculations’ and ‘ever-changeful fashion’ of the day. In other words, to fulfil its mission, Pusey House would encourage serious engagement with contemporary society and nurture a thoughtful and robust faith nourished by rich worship and expressed in lives of service in the world and in the Church. These principles still offer a foundation on which to build the life of House. In working to renew the Church of England’s life and witness, Pusey and his colleagues also sought to understand and respond to the most profound needs of society in their day. While the character of those needs may have changed, the challenge of accepting a share in the vocation of both presenting and living something of the richness and insights of the catholic faith as the Church of England has received it is all the more pressing.
A New Organ
The first services in the Chapel of the Resurrection were beautified by a new organ which was the gift of Mr Ivor Beattie of Corpus Christi College. The Church Times noted that although the organ was not yet complete ‘no one could fail to mark the sweetness of its tone’. In the early 1980s when that organ needed significant work it was replaced by the electronic organ which we currently use in the chapel. After more than thirty years of service, this instrument is on its last legs. After considering various possibilities, the Governing Body has decided to acquire a fine J. W. Walker organ from a church where it is no longer in use. In addition to being in unusually good condition for an organ built in 1908, it has a warm ringing tone with a wide variety of timbres that will sound well in Pusey House Chapel. By acquiring an instrument suitable to the majestic space of the chapel and capable of building on an already strong musical tradition, the Governors are seeking to enrich another hundred years of edifying worship to the glory of God. The collection at Mass today will go toward the cost of refurbishing and installing this organ.
May we all share in something of the vision which inspired those who, even as the devastating and far-reaching consequences of the War became more apparent, built and dedicated the Pusey Chapel to the truth and hope of the Resurrection, and who worked to shape a Church rooted in thankful praise and prepared for service in the world.
Rev’d Dr George Westhaver