Purgatory – Dr Brian Hodgkinson

A big welcome and thank you to Dr Brian Hodgkinson for his talk on PURGATORY on Saturday afternoon – 19th November 2023.

It was his first visit to us, and everybody enjoyed his well-written and well-presented talk on an interesting subject. Purgatory is now a thing of the past (thank goodness) but a very real and frightening thing at the time.

Purgatory, the condition, process, or place of purification or temporary punishment in which according to medieval Christian and Roman Catholic belief, the souls of those who die in a state of grace are made ready for heaven. (BRITANNICA)

Basically, the very Good go to Heaven and the very Bad go to Hell, those who were not quite so good or quite so bad go to Purgatory until it is decided where they are going.

Whilst in Purgatory tasks must be performed to be able to get to the highest level and therefore into Heaven. This can take very long time!

This time can be reduced by having Masses said for you and lots of people praying for you. The rich could leave money to the church for masses and money for the poor to pray for them. You could pay lots of money for your body to be buried in the Church itself (hence the phrase Stinking Rich) or in the front of the church door so people would walk over you and remember and pray for you.

Later on, you could spend more money and buy Indulgences that would shorten you time in purgatory. Of course, no one who died ever came back and said this was money well spent and it aided you journey through purgatory, but the church and several people made money, churches were built and improved, and pocket were lined.

Then in 1536 it was decided that, as it not in the bible, then it cannot be true and therefore did it not exist. (This is my own shortened version and may contain errors!)

As is usual there was a themed cake provided by the Artisan Bakery of Firsby, which Brian very kindly cut for us. It, along with other cakes, was quickly consumed.

We hope Brian will return and give us further talks.

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