Showing posts from 2007

DEc 31st/Jan 1st

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Sermon forDecember 30th 2007 (St. David's, Englewood, FL)

Sermon for December 30th 2007
The Revd. J. Michel Povey at St. David’s, Englewood, FL

(Revised Common Lectionary)
Isaiah 63:7-9; Hebrews 2:10-18; Matthew 2:13-23


Matthew 2:13-23
13Now after they had left, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” 14Then Joseph got up, took the child and his mother by night, and went to Egypt, 15and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet, “Out of Egypt I have called my son.”
16When Herod saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, he was infuriated, and he sent and killed all the children in and around Bethlehem who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had learned from the wise men. 17Then was fulfilled what had been spoken through the prophet Jeremiah: 18“A voice w…

My Banking Career (cont)

So there I was, working for the Westminster Bank in Knowle, Bristol. I was considered to be reliable if not brilliant. Most of all I liked being a cashier (teller).

Once I was left to interview a customer about a personal loan (usually a task for the Manager or Chief Clerk). I sat in the Manager’s office in all my glory. The customer was ushered in even as I had visions of promotions!

I needed to go out to the general office to retrieve some information. Like a fool, I knocked on the door of the Manager’s Office prior to my re-entry.

We dreaded “Bank Rate” changes. The Bank of England would announce such, and we knew that our work was cut out. As soon as business closed we would hie ourselves to the handwritten savings and loan ledgers. Then, in ink, we would “rule off” the decimals for the savings or loan (decimals were amount of loan/savings x the days since the account last moved). Then, using printed tables, we would calculate the interest paid or charged at the old…


Not the T.V. show type, who seemed to live their “friendship” by sarcastic put downs and faux humour.

Nor the Face Book or My Space “friends” who do not have to sweat with us, argue with us, touch us, or have belly laughs with us.

No, the friends who laugh, weep, argue or agree with us. The friends to whom we can “pour it all out, chaff and grain together - keep what is worth keeping, and then with the breath of kindness blow the rest away”.

Such are the Haulers for me.

I met them in 1976 in Fitchburg, MA. There I officiated (ten or so weeks into my ordained ministry) at Arthur Hauler’s funeral. He had grown up in Fitchburg, and long since moved away. I had never met him.

His widow Dorothy was at the funeral, together with his three sons and their families.

I was especially drawn to son Donald and his wife Barbara. And thus began a now 31 year friendship.

Captain Dr. Donald R Hauler MC, USN was stationed in D.C. at the Pentagon. The family lived in McLean VA. Barbara Hauler worked…

A new appreciation for an old song

Back in the 1960’s when I was yet a member of the Plymouth Brethren, I used to hang around with two sisters, Yvonne and Marilyn Draper, and their mother Kitty. They were also “Peebs”, but Kitty rarely if ever attended the Peeb Assembly.

We’d all be together with other of my pals on Sunday nights, munching goodies, drinking soft drinks and goofing around.

My heart was with Kitty who had been abandoned by a feckless Peeb husband. But there was one thing I could never “get”. Every Christmas she would love to play an old recording of Nat King Cole singing “O Holy Night”. I heard it many times in Kitty’s home.

Snob that I was, I thought that the song was garish and a bit trashy. And Anglicans/Episcopalians evidently agreed with me, for I have only once heard it sung in the Episcopal Church. That was when we gave way to Shirley Bayley, a Barbadian woman in Cambridge. It was her favourite Christmas song, and we “did it” for her.

But in recent weeks my wise and good friend Tracy Wells has …

Old Fashioned Flying

I flew from Tampa and Pensacola and back for Christmas, using one of Continental Airlines affiliates Gulfstream Air International.

What fun. We were in a 19 seater, twin engined propeller Beechcraft 1900.

This is the kind of little plane where you walk across the tarmac and climb a narrow staircase to get on board.

There is a centre aisle with 16 bucket type seats, one each side of the aisle, and three seats at the back. No bathrooms. No "cabin service", just the pilot and the first officer.

The flight from Tampa to Pensacola took 1 hour, 24 minutes.

The flight back was just one hour.

It was fun to fly this way.

Merry, merry etc

I will be away from Dec 21 through Dec 25 - visiting friends in Pensacola FL.

Look for the next posting on December 26th

My Dad's family

My Dad, Henry John Povey was an only child, the son of Henry George Povey and Sarah (Sally) Bennett.

Grandfather H.G. Povey, whom I never knew had a number of siblings, Dad’s aunts and my great-aunts.

Grandfather’s family had grown up in some style on Ashley Hill, Bristol in a mid-Victorian housing area where up and coming business people could buy fine houses.
I visited that house many times - more later.

Great Grandfather was a plumber, as was his son and grandson. Three generations of plumbers. My four brothers and I did not follow in those footsteps. We don’t do shit!

I think that my great grandfather was named Samuel George, or maybe George Henry Povey, but of that I cannot be sure. Family lore has it that he was an experimenter and dabbler in new ways of plumbing, and was known in a moment of frustration to have thrown a pot of hot lead across his workshop. We had in our family papers his contract with Bristol Corporation to do all the plumbing at the new Sefton Park School - c…

My letter to Bishop Gene Robinson of New Hampshire

Dear Gene

I am so pissed off at the way you and Mark are being treated in the Episcopal
Church, and in the Anglican Communion.

It offends me that the Bishop of South West Florida (where I am licensed to
serve, but happily am not canonically resident) has nixed the plan for your
visit to St. Boniface Church in Sarasota.

I am angry and appalled by his cowardice. He has surrendered to conservative bullies.

He has not, as far as I know, had the courtesy to reply to those who have written him (including
me) to protest his decision.

It offends me that the Archbishop of Canterbury will not invite you to the 2008
Lambeth Conference of Bishops. Does he not understand that your election and
consecration was canonically proper in the Episcopal Church, unlike the
consecrations of Bishop Minns and other conservatives.

A nixing of Bishop Minns as a quid pro quo of a nixing of you does not make for
Gospel math. He was chosen and consecrated without reference to any canonical
law! You were el…

(Simple blog tonight) Neighbourhood Dogs and their owners


“Of course I am a liberal” “Yes, I’d figured that out”. The first statement was mine. The reply came from a lovely older man at St. David’s in Englewood.

We were chatting this morning over coffee at the 8:00 a.m. service. He is from Newton, MA. His wife is from New Bedford, MA. They lived in Holliston, MA, and were founder members of the Episcopal Church there. But there hearts were, and are, at the Church of the Advent in Boston, a bastion of Anglo-Catholic worship and practice, “smells, bells and all”.

I preached there on Ascension Day a couple of years ago, and I was happy to tell them that the parish is flourishing and healthy. They told me of their hay-days at Advent when Whitney Hale was Rector. I never knew Whitney, but I met his matrician wife “Bootsy” in her later years, and I knew Whitney and Bootsy’s son Sam and daughter Margee. This couple were shocked when I told them that both Sam and Margee had passed from this life. They remembered Sam and Margee as y…

Gone to the dogs

I am not a great lover of animals. My Dad loved dogs, and my Mum hated cats, and I am somewhere in the middle.

I’ve had two cats and one dog. They were OK as pets go, but I never lavished them with attention. My brother Martyn and his wife Wendy had a retired Greyhound names “Misty”, and I grew very fond of her. But, then again, she did not live in my home!

Glen Oaks Ridge, where I live, is a 55+ community. This means that there are no children or young people in the neighbourhood, but there are a ton of dogs. And it is my duty to fawn over them.

Betty live across the street. She owns a Chihuahua named “Dauncey”. He is a barker. He does not care for people. When I walk at 6:00 a.m. and Betty is out, her “shushing” of Dauncey is noisier that the dog’s bark. I’ve bribed him with “doggie treats” so he no longer barks at me. But I am no more than a food supply. He will never like me (Ior anyone).

“Little Betty” lives around the corner. Her miserable pooch died, so she has just …

My religious journey (6)

So there I was, aged 21, working as a low level civil servant, with no plans for the future.
But I had learned to drink and to smoke. And I had left one Plymouth Brethren Assembly for another. Now I was “in fellowship” at Abingdon Road Gospel Hall. It was perceived to be slightly more progressive, but the perception and the reality were far apart.

After a year I applied for a job at the Westminster Bank. They’d turned me down when I had returned after the Eric Hutchins debacle, but “if at first you don’t succeed….”

A Mr. Hooper interviewed me. His opening words were not promising “Well Mr. Povey”, he said, “you are very persistent”. But I knew the game and pledged my life long fealty to the great and glorious Westminster Bank. “Never again”, I declared, “would I leave them”.

(Luckily for me the Westminster Bank merged with the National Provincial Bank a few years later, so my vow was null and void. I never left the Westminster Bank, but later I did leave the new “National Westmins…

It's a great time of year.....

Is that time of year when we who live in South West Florida vest ourselves with a self satisfied smile, and say “this is why I moved to Florida”.

In short, the weather is gorgeous. It was in the 80’s yesterday, without a trace of humidity. In Pittsfield, MA where I once served it was in the 20’s, and in Bristol, U.K., where I grew up, it was in the 40’s.

I am writing at 5:00 a.m. and the outdoor temperature is 72. That’s good for me, and especially good for my homeless friends who sleep in the woods.

Just outside my back window is a lovely orchid tree. Its branches, swathed in purple flowers attract monarch butterflies. There’ll be more next year as the “butterfly friendly” plants I put in a few months ago begin to settle in and blossom.

The old vine at the front of my home was long since past its best, so I dug it out and replaced it with three hibiscus bushes, each with a different coloured flower. They are in bloom, as are the chrysanthemums and geraniums in the little garden a…

Another day in Sarasota

He was microwaving some sandwiches in my local convenience store. I reached over to pour a coffee. He flashed me a gorgeous smile, thinking that he was in my way.

I assured him that this was not the case, and moved away to add some cream. I went back to him and said “We do not all hate you, you know”. He was puzzled. “Immigrants” I said. “We are not all bad” he replied. “I know that”, was my reply. He smiled again and we shook hands. (I am an immigrant too!).

“Fred” was in jail for 34 years for murdering a prison guard. He is cagey. He utters possible threats - “I’ll not be pushed around”. He was talking to C, one of our Resurrection House Volunteers. She was nervous. Me too, but I rescued her by calling him to his shower at Resurrection House. We do not want to offend him.

“Tim” asked me to take care of his belongings. He is an affable Irishman. I told him that I could not be responsible if they were stolen, but he took the chance. His belongings were in well …

A bit naughty! Things to say when stressed

Things to say when stressed (stolen from the Web)

1. "Okay, okay! I take it back. Unf--k you!!!"

2. "You say I'm a bitch like it's a bad thing?!"

3. "How many times do I have to flush before you go away?"

4. "Well this day was a total waste of make-up"

5. "Well aren't we a bloody ray of sunshine?"

6. "Don't bother me, I'm living happily ever after."

7. "Do I look like a f--king people person!"

8. "This isn't an office. It's HELL with fluorescent lighting"

9. "I started out with nothing still have most of it left"

10. "I pretend to work, they pretend to pay me"

11. "YOU!!... off my planet!!!"

12. "Therapy is expensive. Popping bubble plastic is cheap. You choose"

13. "Practice random acts of intelligence and senseless acts of self-control"

14. "Errors have been made. Others will be blamed"

15. "And your cry-baby, whiny-assed opin…

Friendship is good

My good friend Betsy Pusey of Pittsfield was here for the long weekend between Thursday last and today (Dec 10th).

We had a blast and a ball!

Betsy arrived on Thursday evening and we prattled and enjoyed beverages until about mid-night.

Friday morning saw us prattling again over coffee and toast until we hoved off to my bowling group. There I bowled (dismally); Betsy visited with the folks she had met last year; and one and all nibbled on chicken wings and pizza provided by Marie to celebrate Ann’s birthday.

After bowling Betsy joined the others at “Findaddys” (bar) for libations, whilst I rested and farted around at home.

At about 8:00 I broiled the most delicious T Bone steak, which we shared, with no veggies, potatoes or salad. Just steak!

On Saturday Bets and I went down to Sarasota’s North Lido Beach and swam in the 70 F water - my first time in the Gulf of Mexico since I moved here. Wonderful!

In the evening I hosted a party for two bi…


My good friend Betsy Pusey from Pittsfield arrived this evening (6 Dec.)

She'll be here until Monday 10th, so my blog will be on hiatus until then.

Her name was Carla. His name is Zach.

Her name was Carla.

I’d see her at Resurrection House, the day shelter for homeless people where I volunteer. She was slender, pretty, with lovely hair.

She was always in a daze. “Out there” I said to one of the other guests today. “Way out there” he replied.

There was a story about Carla in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune on December 4th 2007

HOLMES BEACH -- Investigators know Carla A. Beard left a residential drug rehabilitation center in Sarasota on Nov. 26, and that she died of blunt trauma to her head about two days later on Anna Maria Island.

As a first step to catch her killer, detectives are trying to piece together a time line of who was with the 29-year-old after she left the center and how she got to the Holmes Beach neighborhood.

Beard's decomposing, partially nude body was found this weekend, days after her death, giving investigators a slow start on the investigation into how she ended up about 100 feet from the Gulf of Mexico.

So Holmes Beach police Chief Jay Romine sent her…

My letter to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune today. Not sure if it will be published

Is Christmas a Christian adaptation of Saturnalia? That's widely believed, but there is an alternative idea as to why this festival is celebrated in December.

Some ancients believed that people died near to the date they were conceived. According to the Christian Gospels Jesus died at Passover time, in what we know as March or April. Hence, according to some, he would have been conceived at that time of year, and thus born nine months later, in December. So a December Christmas would be conceivable (pun intended!).

Christians have a blessed freedom in these United States to celebrate their festivals in any way they please. I suspect that most Christian celebrations of Christmas are not very different from those of non-Christians. They celebrate an essentially secular Christmas with a bit of Church thrown in. Never mind. It's great to have feasting, festivals and even worship which encourage charity and loving kindness for Christians and non-Christians alike.

And the culture w…


I was surfing through another blog “frjakestopsthe world” and came across this piece

(Cut and paste this, then scroll down to Autobiographical (on the right) and click on A Ghost from the Past)

He quotes the wonderful Paul, McCartney song “Blackbird”

It’s always been one of my favourites, and I had it sung on my last Sunday at the Church of the Good Shepherd, Fitchburg, MA - Easter Day 1980

Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise.

Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these sunken eyes and learn to see
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to be free.

Blackbird fly...Blackbird fly
Into the light of the dark black night.

Blackbird fly...Blackbird fly
Into the light of the dark black night.

Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life...
you were only waiting for this moment to arise…

In a "Wonder Bread" mood

I did not go to Church today. I was not slated to assist in Englewood, and I half a mind to go St. Boniface, but in the end I settled for a long nap.

I hang around three parishes. St. Boniface has the best sermons. St. David’s has the warmest Rector. All Angels has the friendliest congregation. Each congregation is fine in its own way, but they are still Church, and sometimes I don’t want to do Church.

Earlier in the week I was talking with Daegan, a young man from Canaan, New York who used to attend St. Stephen’s, Pittsfield with his sister Carrie and their parents Eric and Maggie

I’ve not set eyes on any of the family in nearly eight years. But have remembered them with fondness. Now Daegan is planning to get married to his beloved Talia, and they have asked my to officiate. It will be an outdoor wedding, next year in Massachusetts.

As you might guess, I was tickled pink to be remembered and asked.

Daegan started along that road which is often taken by those who have lapsed from Ch…

Moving away from being horribly religious

So I returned to Bristol with my tail between my legs after the failure of my stellar attempts (!) to become an Evangelist. The year was 1965 and I was 21 years old.

I was 21 years old and utterly unqualified for any career. After all, I had gained only two O levels in “High School” - in English Language and English Literature. Most white collar employers demanded a minimum of five O levels, and I was totally unprepared for blue collar work.

So I went on the “dole”. In order to receive unemployment payments I was required to sign in twice each week at the Employment Exchange on Nelson Street in Bristol.

I would shuffle through the lines of unemployed men and women to await my “interview” with a clerk. Most of the unemployed smoked cigarettes, and I joined them. We would puff away as we awaited our turn.

The dole lasted for ten weeks. Then I landed a job as a Civil Servant - at the very lowest level. I clerked at the “ Inspectorate of Armaments” (IArm) and the “Inspectorate of F…


There was a time when I wanted to become a Bishop. I had that dreadful Episcopal Church disease called “purple-itis”. Supremely confident in my own ability, I knew that I would be a great, godly and wise Bishop!

Bull-shit. If I ever had become a Bishop I would have fallen into that greatest trap - “believing my own propaganda”. That’s what happens to Bishops.

Bishops wear purple. Hence purple-itis. That purple came from the Roman Empire. Men of the equestrian and senatorial classes were allowed to wear togas with purple stripes. It was a sign of status.

Victorious Generals were allowed to wear the “toga piota”, a toga dyed entirely in bright purple. Later on Emperors wore this toga piota, even hairless boy Emperors who had never seen the light of battle.

That’s what our Bishops wear.

We swear that some parish Priests have a purple clerical shirt in their closet “just in case they should become a Bishop”. I never owned a purple shirt, but I wanted to be a Bishop.

That desire was…

When you are older than your Father.

I had been anticipating November 26th for about three months. In the event the day came and went, and it was not until this evening (29th Nov) that I remembered the significance of that date.

For on November 26th I became older than my father was when he died. That’s given me pause for thought.

Dad was born in November 1910. He died in May 1974.

He was born into a world in which Britain ruled the waves, and the British Empire had never been more “glorious”. That Empire wealth was leached away in the Great War -1914/18, a war from which the comparatively few “heroes” returned to a Britain which was beginning to go broke.

They came back to be heroes, and were greeted with massive unemployment for all but the reviled and despised military “Officer Class”.

Winston Churchill was discredited on account of the disastrous Dardanelles campaign against the Turkish Navy. The working people never forgot that Churchill had mobilised troops against strikers in 1910/11.

By 1926 when Dad was 16, t…

Aunts, Uncles and Cousins

My mother’s birth name was Evelyn Maud Finch. She hated her middle name. We would tease her by singing “Come into the garden Maud”.

Her parents were Francis Finch and Kate Ames.

Kate, my maternal grandmother died six months after my birth, and Francis died when I was less than two years old.

Mum had one sister, Kate, who died at a young age of what was called “lockjaw” (tetanus?).

There were six brothers. John, Harold, Reg, Fred, Wally and Albert.

I met my Uncle John only once. He was a mortician. He lived in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, and came to Bristol for the one family reunion which Mum organised. Uncle John and his wife (whose name I cannot remember) had one child, my cousin Margaret.

Harold was a cobbler. I knew him quite well, as well as his wife my Auntie Doll. They had two children, my cousins John and Shelia.

Reg was married to a fairly unkind woman, my Aunt Dorothy. They were childless, but “fostered” many children with a harshness that bordered on cruelty.

Uncle Fred and his w…

Her name is Anna

Her name is Anna. I met her at one of the three parishes I attend in this neck of the woods.

I recognised her faint German accent and told her about the wonderful German bakery here in SRQ.

Anna is in the hospital, and I visited her yesterday.

She was born in Berlin in 1930, just three years before H-tler’s rise to power. As inflation was conquered and employment grew, she enjoyed those days. A little girl would not understand the abnormality of the ghastly regime.

Even during the first years of the war, things seemed normal to Anna. Then the Allies began to bomb Berlin, and her father sent her, with her mother and sisters to a safe country place near the Polish border.

Anna was a member of the H-tler Youth (what child of that era in Germany was not?) and she, at aged 13 and 14 would be marched out every day, with other children, some younger, to dig trenches for the retreating German soldiers to occupy.

Then the Red Army began its march west, and the females of this divided family mov…

Friends and Thanksgiving

As you know my friend, Bruce Wirtz, a retired Episcopal Priest, died on October 2nd. He was but 73 years old. I had known him since 1976.

Bruce and his wife Mary Virginia divorced many years ago. They had four wonderful children, Nelson, Kati, Andrew and Eunice.

Mary Virginia died in 2006 and I officiated at her funeral in Worcester, MA. Just six week previously I had officiated at the marriage of Nelson and his beloved Meredith, on Cape Cod.

Bruce met Ben Morse 15 years ago and they enjoyed a wonderfully loving relationship. It was largely because of Bruce and Ben that I moved here last year.

Nelson, Kati, Andrew and Eunice adored their father, and his partner Ben.

So it was no surprise that Nelson and Meredith invited Ben to join them on Cape Cod for Thanksgiving. Ben (85) asked if I would travel with him, and I was pleased to do so and be part of this family Thanksgiving. The family includes Emma, a fine thirteen year old young woman from Nelson’s first marriage.

Ben and I left Sa…

Nov 25th Left brain sermon which I did NOT preach. Scroll down for the sermon I preached

Sermon for November 25th 2007
The Revd. J. Michael Povey at All Angels Church, Longboat Key, FL

Jeremiah 23: 1-6, Psalm 46, Colossians 1:11-20, and Luke 23: 33-43.

Thank you for your welcome when I visited last month, and again this morning.
My name is Michael Povey, and your Rector and I knew each other back in Massachusetts. I have one little question. What happened to St. Michael in your Church dedication!

The Queen and Prince Philip celebrated their sixtieth wedding anniversary last weekend. It always amuses me in republican (small R) America, that whenever we say “The Queen”, we know that we are taking about the Queen of the United Kingdom, not the Queen of Spain or of Belgium. Sometimes it feels as if she is our honorary monarch!

You know that today we reach the end of a one year cycles of readings for each Sunday. What we’ve read through the long green season, culminates in what Roman Catholics call the “Feast of Christ the King”. Although that is not an official feas…

November 25th Right Brain sermon which I preached

Sermon for November 25th 2007
The Revd. J. Michael Povey at All Angels Church, Longboat Key.

Jeremiah 23: 1-6, Psalm 46, Colossians 1:11-20, and Luke 23: 33-43.

Thank you for your welcome when I visited last month, and again this morning.
My name is Michael Povey, and your Rector and I knew each other back in Massachusetts. I have one little question. What happened to St. Michael in your Church dedication!

There is a word in the Welsh language which is almost untranslatable into English. It is “hierith”. It is a word for this time of year, between Thanksgiving and Advent.

Hierith is a word which is so hard to describe. It’s a longing for one’s home, land, family, and it’s a deep sadness in the soul for all those who are away from their homeland and kinfolk. It’s a longing, yearning to be whole again, both a sadness and a blessing.

I wrote my sermon for today last Monday. It’s alright in its own way, and I’ll post it to my blog. But it is not this sermon. For I had a moment o…

On flying AIR TRAN

Povey Prattle returns!

Ben Morse and I had a wonderful Thanksgiving trip to New England. More about this next week.

On the second leg of our return flight, from Atlanta to Sarasota, the cabin staff members were surly and unsmiling.

Ben and I recalled the days of wonderful service in trains, planes and hotels. I imagined that Ben made a very odd request of our stewardess, and that this was her reply.

“But of course Mr Morse, I will bring you a horse.
You will ride down the aisle in incredible style.
It will dance, it will leap,
It will prance - even creep.
We will do what we can.
We’re the best - we’re AIR TRAN”

Tomorrow (Nov 25th) I’ll blog two sermons, the one I preached and the one I left at home.

From former Pittsfield parishioner Steve Harris, to his Dad.

To Dad

Thanksgiving 2003

Love Steve

Thanksgiving with Mom

My Personal “All Saints Day”

I enjoyed speaking with you three weeks ago on Sunday, “All Saints Day”. I was glad to learn that both of us attended two different Church services (St. Stephen’s Episcopal in Pittsfield and Wellesley Hills Congregational) to hear our respective Ministers read Mom’s name, in recognition of hers and others’ deaths to honor their lives and understand the hope of eternal life. All Saints Day is normally about the “major league” saints like the Disciples who have helped shape our Christian Faith. But I truly believe the real saints in our lives are the “regular folks”, our loved ones, like “beacons of light” show us the way to love and grace everyday. These are the people that help us learn, work, love and shape our faith in our respecti ve paths to God. Saints, “major league or regular folk” have their faults but these faults pale in comparison to their “good works” of love. I know that Mom was with…

I am being silly!

Many have seen the “fish decals” on the boots (trunks) of cars. Here is what it is all about

The use of the Ichthys symbol by early Christians appears to date from towards the end of the 1st century AD.

Ichthus (the Greek word for fish) is an acronym, which is a word formed from the initial letters of the several words in the name. It compiles to "Jesus Christ God's Son is Saviour" or "Jesus Christ God's Son Saviour".

Iota is the first letter of Iesous Greek for Jesus.
Chi is the first letter of Christos Greek for "anointed".
Theta is the first letter of Theou genitive case of "God".
Upsilon is the first letter of Huios Greek for Son.
Sigma is the first letter of Soter Greek for Saviour.

I see more than enough of them in SRQ, often placed the wrong way round. But I feel certain that more than half the population does not know what they represent.

Fish feature a good bit in the Gospel stories, and some have posited that the Eucharist …