All Saints Parish Christmas Newsletter 25th December 2015
Last night we heard the message of the angels and went with the shepherds to the manger. This morning, in the Mass of Christmas Day, we hear John’s soaring meditation on the incarnation at the beginning of his Gospel.
John, whose feast we celebrate on Sunday, is symbolized by an eagle – soaring into the heights and far-seeing. In Eastern iconography, while the other gospel-writers are shown writing, John is pictured as dictating, unable to take his eyes from the vision of Christ.
His gospel, written after the others, and taking them as given, is the product of long and deep reflection on the life of Christ from incarnation to resurrection. The incarnate Lord is the one who was “In the beginning,” before creation. His earthly life is lived in communion with the Father. The risen Christ is exalted to the Father for all time.
Identified by tradition as the Beloved Disciple who lay close to Jesus at the Last Supper, who stood by the cross with the Mother of Jesus, and who sees and believes at the empty tomb, John represents that contemplative and reflective dimension so vital to the Church’s life.
This is so often in danger of being forgotten in the midst of busyness – whether in our daily life and work, in the life of a parish where it can overwhelmed by organisation and finance, or in the wider Church and world with their bureaucracy and politics. To say these things are unnecessary or unimportant would be to deny the incarnation: to pretend that we are disembodied spirits rather than flesh and blood. But in the midst of them our eyes must be kept on Christ, the divine Word who gives them their meaning and purpose.
In the epistle for John’s feast, we hear:
“this life was revealed , and we have seen it and testify to it, and declare to you what we have seen and heard so that you also may have fellowship with us, and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. We are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.”
The incarnation is both the word becoming flesh and our humanity being taken into divinity; that fellowship with the Father and his Son in which we can find complete joy.
In the Old Testament reading at Mass (Exodus 33: 7 – 11a), we hear of Moses pitching the tent of meeting outside the camp. “And everyone who sought the Lord would go out to the tent of meeting.” There, “The Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend.”
All Saints, is here to be a “tent of meeting,” a place where the Lord “tabernacles” with his people. It is meant to be a place to which those who “seek the Lord,” even if they do not really know quite what they are seeking, may find one who speaks to them as a friend.
That is why our doors are open every day. It is why our day is punctuated by services in which we hear in reading and homily “…what was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life.”
It is why we work hard to maintain silence, before and during services, so that we may hear and ponder deeply that word of life which is the source of complete joy.
On New Year’s Day, which in the Church is the feast of the Naming of Jesus, when we come to seek God in the Eucharist, we will hear these words in the Gospel: “Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart.”
Like Mary, John treasured and pondered the Word, and his gospel is the fruit of contemplation.
If we want a New Year resolution, we could do much worse than to resolve to spend more time treasuring his words and pondering them in our hearts. They were written, as the original ending of the Gospel says, that we might “believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing…may have life in his name” (John 20: 31).
With best wishes for Christmas.
Yours in Christ,
Fr Alan Moses
Prebendary Alan Moses
Vicar of All Saints Margaret Street
Area Dean of Westminster – St Marylebone
Please pray for those who have asked for our prayers: Asia Bibi, John Bailey, John Bradshaw, Fr Allan Buick, James Cary-Elwes, Ian Coull, Dennis Davis, Mark Dougly, Kate Down, David Fettke, Jonty Gordon, Fr Alan Gyle, Ghislain Hamelin, Lewis Harvey, Gwyneth Hopkins, Pat Hunt, David Jewkes, Alice Jullien, Andrew Laird, Tom Leader, Elizabeth Livingstone, Christine Loffty, Fr Frank Marriott, Miriam Nelson, David Pearce, Canon John Rees, Jock Scott, Patricia Searle, Stella Skinner and Helen, Rose Stephens, Judy Stewart, Buzz Stokes, Christine van Dyck and Juliet Windham.
For the recently departed: Thomas Markey, Robin Fletcher (former Administrator of the All Saints Foundation and for whom a High Mass of Requiem will be held at All Saints on Thursday 28 January at 11am), Valmai Jewkes, Mary Marriott, Margaret Chester, Basil Jones (Priest) and Hester Martineau (whose Funeral took place on 23 December).
Remember past priests, benefactors, friends, and all whose year’s mind occurs this week including: Desmond Berk, Kenneth Bond (former Chorister and sometime Head Boy), Percy Flemine, Richard Williams, Paul Drake (member of the PCC), Ernest Gaskell, Gordon Symes, Katherine Mundy (Priest), Brian Lee, Elsie Boyton, Mona Crompton, John Freebairn-Smith (former Headmaster of the Choir School), Malcolm Melville (former Headmaster of the Choir School), Ethel de Rougement, Trevor Burnett-Brown and Nicholas Luff (Assistant Director of Music, All Saints).
WORSHIP THIS SUNDAY 27 DECEMBER – ST JOHN, APOSTLE and EVANGELIST
HIGH MASS, 11am
Preacher: Fr Michael Bowie
Mass in G minor – Rheinberger
I sing of a maiden – Hadley
THERE IS NO CHORAL EVENSONG
CHRISTMAS WEEK SERVICES
CHRISTMAS EVE MIDNIGHT MASS &
Blessing of the Crib
Thursday 24 December 11pm
Preacher: The Vicar, Prebendary Alan Moses
Missa Sancti Nicolai – Haydn
Tomorrow shall be my dancing day – anon. arr Willcocks
CHRISTMAS DAY – THE NATIVITY OF OUR LORD
HIGH MASS OF THE DAY
Friday 25 December 11am
Preacher: Fr Michael Bowie
Spatzenmesse – Mozart
In dulci jubilo – trad German, arr Pearsall
Best wishes for Christmas and New Year 2016 from the Clergy, Churchwardens and Parish Office of All Saints, The Vicar, Prebendary Alan Moses – Fr Michael Bowie – Fr Gerald Beauchamp – Fr Julian Browning – John Forde – Chris Self – Dee Prior.
The Parish Office will be closed from Christmas Eve until Monday 28 December (inclusive) and then again from Thursday 31 December, reopening on Monday 4 January.
Monday 28 December 2015 – BANK HOLIDAY – 12 noon Mass only
Friday 1 January 2016 – NEW YEAR’S DAY BANK HOLIDAY – 12 noon Mass only at All Saints. The Vicar, Prebendary Alan Moses is preaching at St Paul’s Cathedral at 5pm.
For full service information over Christmastide: see: www.allsaintsmargaretstreet.org.uk.
WORSHIP NEXT SUNDAY 3 JANUARY – SECOND SUNDAY OF CHRISTMAS
HIGH MASS, 11am
Preacher: The Vicar, Prebendary Alan Moses
Missa Aeterna Christi munera – Palestrina
Gaudete! Christus est natus – anon
CHORAL EVENSONG & BENEDICTION, 6pm
Preacher: Fr Julian Browning
Magnificat sexti toni – Victoria
Nunc Dimittis tertii toni – attrib. Palestrina
Regina cœli – Whyte
EPIPHANY HIGH MASS, WEDS 6 JANUARY, 6pm
The Rt Rev’d Martin Seeley, Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich
Missa Brevis in B flat, K 275 – Mozart
The Three Kings – Cornelius arr Atkins
THREE x CHRISTMAS CHARITY COLLECTIONS:
1. PARISH CAROL SINGING – Thank you to all the kind volunteers who turned out last week to sing in the Parish in aid of our regular mission projects – the West London Day Centre & the Church Army Hostel for Homeless Women in Marylebone. They raised £230.
2. LUNCHTIME CAROL SERVICE – The collection at this service is traditionally for The Children’s Society – a national charity running local projects, helping children and young people at their most vulnerable – £223 was raised (with applicable Gift Aid) for this good cause.
3. NINE LESSONS & CAROLS – The special collection agreed by the PCC this year at this service was for the Foundation for Relief & Reconciliation in the Middle East and raised £900 (with applicable Gift Aid) for this small UK based charity working in northern Iraq, Jordan, Israel and Palestine, providing food, medical relief and shelter to refugees in the camps and to internally displaced Iraqis made homeless by Isis.
NEW POSTCARDS AVAILABLE – Now that the Church has been re-lit following the big Restoration Appeal and Electrical Renewal Project, we have been able to take some new photographs and create some new All Saints postcards. These are on sale, and proving popular, in the Parish Shop on Sundays and from the Parish Office (Mon – Fri 10 – 5) and from Church Watchers during the week in Church. Price: 30p each or a special deal of 4 for £1. The first set of postcard images are of: the High Altar, Christ in Majesty, the West window and the Chancel ceiling. Further images we hope to follow in 2016 will include: Our Lady and the Lady Altar.
Please see the noticeboard in Church where other events may be advertised as space is limited in the Newsletter.
SERVICES & EVENTS FOR YOUR 2016 DIARIES – at ALL SAINTS
Sunday 10 January 2016
BAPTISM OF CHRIST – HIGH MASS, 11am
Missa Euge Bone – Tye Kyrie – Missa de Angelis
Verbum caro factum est à 6 – Hassler
EPIPHANY CAROL SERVICE, 6pm
A service of Readings and Music by candlelight for Epiphany with the Choir of All Saints.
There is a HIGH MASS OF REQUIEM for ROBIN FLETCHER at 11am, Thursday 28 January 2016. Preacher: Canon David Hutt.
ORGAN RECITALS 2016 – all on Sunday at 7.15pm following Benediction
24 January – Charles Andrews
20 March – Palm Sunday – Laurence Long
22 May – Trinity Sunday – David Graham, Organist and Director of Music at The Jesuit Church of the Immaculate Conception, Farm Street Mayfair
3 July- Timothy Byram-Wigfield
18 September – Charles Andrews
20 November Christ the King – Charles Andrews
Entry is free, but we invite you to make a retiring donation (recommended £5) to support the Choir and Music at All Saints. The Licensed Club/Bar is open after each recital.
SMALL CHOIRS FESTIVAL 2016 – Saturday 6 February, 2 – 6pm
Small Choirs was set up in 2004 to support church choirs with few or no men by organising choral festivals with a repertoire that such choirs could manage in their own churches without further support, and also by providing suitable music for such choirs in downloadable form on the internet. The website now has over 700 pieces of music suitable for such choirs and hundreds of choirs around the globe (from every continent except Antarctica) are using the site and receiving the regular newsletter and updates.
The 2016 festival is being held in All Saints. After an afternoon of rehearsing, a Festival Service will be held at 5pm, with Fr. John Pritchard presiding, at which the festival pieces will be sung within a framework of well-known hymns and readings.
The Small Choirs Festivals are ecumenical in nature and, in previous years, church choirs from all the major denominations have been represented. One of the special features of the festivals is that participation is not restricted to small choirs only. Anyone who supports the ideals of the organisation is welcome to join in, whether from a large choir themselves or just a member of the congregation of the host church. So, if anyone from All Saints would like to be part of the festival, just access the website (www.small-choirs.org.uk/feb2016), see what is being sung, and fill in the online form. Alternatively, ring Philip Norman, on 020 8519 6491.
Even if you are not available to sing, do support the concluding Festival Service from 5 – 6pm.
CONFESSIONS at the beginning of LENT
Monday 8 February – 12 – 1pm and 5 – 6pm
Tuesday 9 February – 12 – 1pm and 5 – 6pm
ASH WEDNESDAY, 10 February
Low Mass with Ashing – 8am
Confessions 12 – 1pm
Low Mass with Ashing – 1.10pm
Confessions 5 – 5.45pm
HIGH MASS and Imposition of Ashes, 6.30pm
EVENTS FOR JANUARY 2016 BEYOND ALL SAINTS
CHURCHES TOGETHER IN WESTMINSTER 2016 AGM followed by a Panel Discussion to be held Monday, 18 January 2016 at 6.30pm at St George’s Church, Hanover Square, W1S 1FX. Everyone is invited. Followed by refreshments. Panel discussion:
MASS MIGRATION: CHURCHES’ ROLE – (How do we respond? What do we want? What do we do? What is a migrant? What is a refugee?)
Julian Coman (Assistant Editor, The Observer)
Revd Bob Fyffe (General Secretary, Churches Together in Britain & Ireland)
Ambra Longatti (International development project worker)
Revd Nadim Nassar (Director, Awareness Foundation for Syria)
PANCAKE PARTY AT ST CYPRIAN’S – Tuesday 9 February, 7.30pm
Fr Gerald Beauchamp writes: ‘All being well the new kitchen and toilets at St Cyprian’s should be finished by the end of January. To celebrate and to test them out informally St Cyprian’s is planning to have a pancake party on Tuesday 9 February starting at 7.30pm. I realise that you may already have plans that evening but you are very welcome to come if you are free. We will do something more official by way of thanksgiving on St Cyprian’s Day (Thursday 15 September) but that’s a bit long to wait.’ Please let Fr Gerald Beauchamp know if you can come on 9 February. E: Gerald.firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.
ALL SAINTS MISSION ACTIVITIES
ONGOING SUPPORT for HOMELESS PEOPLE through:
MARYLEBONE PROJECT run by the CHURCH ARMY – A Day Centre, Residential and Transitional accommodation provider, re-settlement project and Educational and Training Unit for women. The Emergency Bed Unit – for which we have for some years helped to provide the funds for one of the 4 beds –offers a safe haven and refuge for women escaping domestic violence, financial crisis, sexual exploitation and mental health issues.
Year Round Support – we also support the Marylebone Resettlement Project with non-perishable food and toiletries or household necessities like cutlery or bed linen/blankets. Thank you to everyone who contributes food and household essentials via the basket in Church or handed in to the Parish Office. Please continue to donate these so we can help more people in need during the cold weather.
Day-to-day Support – we respond to the needs of homeless people who visit the church, providing luncheon vouchers for the West London Day Centre for rough sleepers who apply to the office and allowing a few individuals, who need a place to shelter or sleep during the day, to rest in the back of the church. We have created an information resource for Church Watchers, giving useful advice to homeless and vulnerable people seeking particular support or services. In the face of a rising tide of homelessness in London, please help us fund and support people in need through our Mission activities.
Want to help someone sleeping rough but don’t know how?
Call Streetlink on 0300 500 0914 and they will get a visit from the local Street Team who can put them in contact with the services they may need.
FURTHER COMMUNICATIONS OR ASSISTANCE FROM ALL SAINTS MARGARET STREET:-
* If you would like to encourage others to take an interest in All Saints/keep up with what is happening here, please forward this email on to them, or to people you would like to invite to services or tell them about our websitewww.allsaintsmargaretstreet.org.uk, which has a full colour 360 virtual tour for viewing the wonderfully restored interior of the Church – seewww.allsaintsmargaretstreet.org.uk/history/virtualtour – before a visit or if unable to travel.
* If you know of others (near or far) who would like to receive this regular update on what’s happening at All Saints please encourage them to sign up for the email on the All Saints website – see the tab News & Events> Weekly Newsletter.
* If you would like prayers offered at All Saints, please email the Parish Administrator Mrs Dee Prior at: email@example.com. Or make use of the prayer request facility on the website at: www.allsaintsmargaretstreet.org.uk/prayer.
* If you would like any pastoral assistance, please do not hesitate to contact:
The Vicar, Prebendary Alan Moses: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or Assistant Priest Fr Michael Bowie: email@example.com.
DAILY SERVICES AT ALL SAINTS
On major weekday feasts, High Mass is sung at 6.30pm
SUNDAYS in Church
Low Mass 6.30pm (Saturday), 8am and 5.15pm. Morning Prayer 10.20am
HIGH MASS AND SERMON, 11am and
CHORAL EVENSONG, SERMON and BENEDICTION, 6pm.
MONDAY – FRIDAY
Morning Prayer 7.30am
Low Mass – 8am, 1.10pm and 6.30pm
Evening Prayer 6pm
(Except Bank Holidays – 12 noon Mass only)
Morning Prayer 7.30am
Low Mass – 12 noon and 6.30pm (First Mass of Sunday)
Evening Prayer 6pm
A priest is available for confessions/counsel Monday – Friday from 12.30-1pm and at 5.30pm Monday – Saturday, or by appointment. (Special arrangements apply in Lent and for Holy Week.)