St. Augustine's Emblem

On 19th April 2009 the parish of Devonport installed a new vicar, Rev. Charmaine Braatvedt. As a part of the ceremony in Holy Trinity church, there was to be a procession of parish activities, with a representative of each activity carrying some article symbolic of the activity from the back of the church up to the altar, where it would be arranged with the other symbols to form a display of what went on in the parish.

St Augustine's is certainly one of the parish activities, so we were invited to participate. The invitation arrived uncomfortably close to the time of the ordination, so we had to find a symbol of St Augustine's at fairly short notice. What should we use ?

We didn't have anything. Marching in procession is not one of our regular activities, and we certainly haven't done anything like it for quite a long time. Our first idea was to find some sort of heraldic symbol which was somehow appropriate to St Augustine. Did he perhaps have a coat of arms, or some other such identifying picture ? Well, yes, he does - but by the time we'd worked that out we decided that it was too late to get all the work done before the ceremony. ( We did it later - here are the details )

After some thought, someone remembered Hermione's drawing of St Augustine; perhaps that would do if we made a bigger version and mounted on some sort of pole which could be carried easily.

So we did. We made a nice big copy ( approximately A2 ) of Hermione's picture, and mounted it on a polystyrene sheet. On another polystyrene sheet we mounted a mirror image of the picture ( so that the saint didn't appear to perform a sudden reversal as the picture went past the specatators - compare the picture below ). Then we stuck the two polystyrene sheets together, sandwiching a stout wire loop, the ends of which were turned outwards and pushed down the middle of a bamboo pole.

That gave us a very light ( though not very strong, but we didn't think that would matter ) emblem, big enough to see from afar, but easy to carry. The picture on the right shows the bearer just about to carry it in the procession.

Young girl holding the emblem, with the pole holding the emblem reaching comfortably above her head.

Here's the emblem displayed at the altar, with the other symbols. Ours is the biggest .... More to the point, the picture gives a better idea of the size of the pole.

Wooden altar, bearing a large cross and two candles. There are several objects on the altar, and the St Augustine's emblem is displayed at the right-hand side.

NOTE : we've called it an emblem because we couldn't think of a better word. It isn't a flag, it isn't a banner, etc. If you can suggest something better, please let us know !

Alan Creak,
2009 July.