A red altar frontal in church symbolising the death of a martyr: St Thomas died for his Christian faith -- as Christians still do today in some parts of the world. The disciple who has been called "doubting Thomas" was a courageous, loyal and honest man. We remembered the Gospel account of Thomas's recognising the Risen Christ today on his feast day, 3rd July, exactly twenty three years after I was ordained to the priesthood. On that day I read the Gospel in Canterbury Cathedral; today I did so in St Cuthbert's Bellingham and in All Saints Corsenside at the baptism of a child whose second name is Thomas.
Red was appropriately symbolic in the evening for our Commemoration of the Battle of the Somme with the dreadful loss of so many Northumberland Fusiliers and others from the North Tyne and Rede valleys