The Liberal Catholic Church
St Francis of Assisi, Tekels Park, Camberley, Surrey GU15 2LF
The Prayer of St Francis of Assisi
Lord, Make me an instrument of Thy Peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt,faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I might not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be love as to love; for it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
About St Francis Church and Tekels Park.
St Francis Church was built in 1930/31 and was registered as a place of public worship in 1932 (6th March). The vestry was added a year later.
A few years prior to this (1929), members of the Theosophical Society in England (TS) had purchased Tekels Park Estate in Camberley in order to establish a spiritual centre. The founders of this centre included Edward L Gardner, Guy N Stephenson (later a Priest in Charge at St Francis), Captain Cyril Paul, W M Dimbleby and Rt Rev James I Wedgwood (1st Presiding Bishop of the Liberal Catholic Church). The finance for the church building itself was provided privately by Josephine Chambres, then General-Secretary of the TS in England. The building was given to be used principally by the LCC, the TS and the Co-Masonic Order (Le Droit Humain). The building has been managed by the Parish since this time. In addition, it is also used by other organisations such as The Order of the Round Table in England (a children's organisation), Reiki healers, Pilates students, Spiritual Healers, Ayurvedic practitioners and others.
The Main Altar
Because of the nature of the use of the building, the main altar has its own consecrated space within the body of the church. Beneath the altar stone (and touching it) is a pillar that reaches below the foundations of the church. The icon above the altar was commissioned in 1935 by Bishop Wedgwood for St Francis Church.
Also in the main body of the church is a small side altar to Our Lady; and another small altar dedicated to St Francis.
The Lady Chapel
In 1935, Bishop Wedgwood and Josephine Chambres added a small chapel to the building. This Chapel is dedicated to the Holy Lady Mary and all the Holy Angels. The chapel contains space enough for about 15 people and is used often for Prime and Compline and occasionally Holy Eucharist. The Sacrament is Reserved in this chapel.
Clergy in the Liberal Catholic Church
The clergy of the Liberal Catholic Church make no claim to spiritual or temporal domination over those who adhere to its Rite. In common with the priesthood of other churches they hold Christ's commission to teach (Matt. 28: 18-20) but claim no authority over the individual conscience, stress being laid rather upon their function as ministers of the divine sacraments, stewards of the mysteries of God, ready to place themselves in all reasonable ways at the disposal of those who may ask their help. The Liberal Catholic Church neither forbids or enjoins the marriage of its clergy. It does, of course, expect that its clergy, as well as its members, will respect the sanctity of marriage vows, and show responsibility in their behaviour towards other people. The clergy of the Liberal Catholic Church are unpaid and usually retain secular occupations while devoting to the service of the Church other available time.