All Saints Margaret Street | All Saints Parish Newsletter 20th December 2013

All Saints Parish Newsletter 20th December 2013

Friday 20 December 2013 at 11:07

Dear friends,

Sunday’s Gospel is Matthew’s account of the birth of Jesus (Matthew 1.18-25).

Unlike Luke’s, its “annunciation” is to Joseph. 

Joseph was for centuries the strong silent man of the Christmas story. In countless nativity plays he gets to lead the donkey and stand behind the crib. Perhaps he exchanges a few words with the innkeeper; that’s more than he gets to say in the Gospel – where he utters not a word.

The marginalisation of Joseph extended to the liturgy.  If you look in the Prayer Book Calendar, he is not there. This reflects his late arrival in the western Church. He wasn’t included in the Roman Calendar until 1479 and hadn’t made it in England by the time of the Reformation.  More recent Anglican revisions have made up for the omission.

Paradoxically, the huge emphasis on both the divinity of Christ and on Mary as his mother seems to have led to this side-lining of the one chosen by God to be the foster-father of one and husband of the other.

We owe a greater emphasis on Joseph in large part to the Franciscans. Their emphasis on the humanity of Jesus helped bring him out of the shadows.

In an age when we hear more and more about “men behaving badly” with women and children subjected to physical, psychological and sexual violence; with mass rape used as a weapon of war; of young men growing up with no model of responsible relationships, perhaps Joseph, the just man can help us see a model of masculinity which is not based on the exercise of power and an unquestioning sense of entitlement.

At a time when our appetite for cheap consumer goods often leads to the exploitation of workers in far-off places, and nearer to home where countless people have to get by on low wages and have no job security, the carpenter of Nazareth, who worked not to amass wealth but to support his family, can remind us of the proper dignity and worth of human labour.

As war rages in Syria and countless refugee families huddle in camps during a bleak midwinter,
and Christians in the ancient lands of the Bible suffer harassment and violence, the story of the man forced to flee with his family from persecution, and to live as a refugee sounds all too familiar.

The story of Christmas, of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, shows us as Matthew says, “God-with-us,” but it also shows us Jesus who came to “save his people from their sins.”

May we know both God’s presence and his power to transform our lives.

With best wishes and prayers for Christmas.

Yours in Christ,

Fr. Alan Moses

PRAYER DIARY:
Please pray for those who have asked for our prayers:
Harry Allan, Jean Brackston, Margaret Campbell, Rachel Clayton, Rosie Davis, Ursula Edwards, Arthur Fearns, Charles Forker, Joan Foster, Gwen Gamatz, Denise Inge, Philip Harland, Mason Jacobsen, Jill, Katherine Lee, Joshua Levy, Christine Loffty, The Revd. Andrew O’Connor, Rachel Perez-Catalan, Marimar Perez-Fabo, Celia Shore, Stephen Short, Andrew Tillyard, Paolla Vincentin, Fr Stephen Williams.

For the recently departed: Din Callan-Jones, Pamela Freer, Nelson Mandela, Sandra O’Brien, Pamela Freer, Thomas Vaughan, Sister Mary Magdalene SLG.

At the anniversary of their death (during the coming week): Elizabeth Ross, Anthony Greek, Richard Routledge (Sub-Deacon and former member of the PCC), Harold Pobjoy (Priest), Anne Scott, Cynthia Tucker, Miriam Smith, Augustus Thompson, Paul de Fortis (Priest), Doreen Forde, Hugh Warren (Priest), Lennox Berkeley, Desmond Berk, Kenneth Bond (former Chorister and sometime Head Boy), Percy Fleming, Paul Drake, Ernest Gaskell, Gordon Symes.

WORSHIP AT ALL SAINTS THIS SUNDAY:

THE FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT – 22 DECEMBER 2013:

Music and Preachers:
HIGH MASS 11am
Preacher:
The Vicar, Prebendary Alan Moses
Mass Movements – Mendelssohn
A Hymn to the Virgin – Britten

CHORAL EVENSONG & BENEDICTION 6pm
Preacher: Fr Neil Bunker

The Short Service – Weelkes  
Gabriel’s Message – Basque carol, arr. Pettman

TEACHING THE FAITH AT ALL SAINTS – Ten-to-One Talk Series by the Vicar: WHY DO YOU DO THAT? – Christmas: Carols and the Crib. The bell will ring to announce the start of the talk.

NEXT SUNDAY – 29 DECEMBER 2013 – THE FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT
Music and Preachers:
HIGH MASS 11am
Preacher: The Vicar, Prebendary Alan Moses

Mass in G minor – Rheinberger
I sing of a maiden – Hadley 

Low Mass 5.15pm. No Evensong & Benediction. 

NOTICES & NEWS 

CAROL SINGING IN THE PARISH OF ALL SAINTS – thank you to those who kindly volunteered (including representatives of St Giles-in-the-Fields) to come out and sing on what turned out to be a rather wet evening. The collection for the Church Army Hostel Emergency Bed supported by All Saints Margaret Street raised £237. Congratulations!

PARISH OFFICE CLOSURE OVER THE HOLIDAY
Please note that the All Saints Parish Office will close from Christmas Eve and reopen on Monday 6 January 2014.

ALL SAINTS RESTORATION APPEAL – Church Lighting & Electrical Renewal

Update on Fundraising – we have already raised £154,000 (with anticipated Gift Aid) or 62%, towards our total of £250,000.  The balance we still need to fund-raise for is £96,000

Thank you to everyone who has already contributed so generously to this important project; we are very grateful.

If you have still to contribute, please make cheques payable to: All Saints Margaret Street PCC Restoration Account and send to Restoration Appeal, All Saints Church Parish Office, 7 Margaret Street, London W1W 8JG. 

If you are a UK tax payer and have signed/will sign a Gift Aid declaration
with us, your donation to the Appeal is increased by 25%.  Please indicate that you wish your donation to be Gift Aided and ensure we have your full name (with initial/s), address and postcode. If you are unsure if you have signed a Gift Aid declaration form, please pick one up from the table in church, complete the details and return with your donation to: Mrs Dee Prior, Parish Administrator.

2014 ALL SAINTS LICENSED CLUB MEMBERSHIP CARDS
These are now available in the All Saints Bar at £3.00 for the calendar year (same rate as 2013). Please see one of the Bar team after Mass or Choral Evensong.

CHRISTMASTIDE AT ALL SAINTSAll welcome – please bring some friends!

Tuesday 24 December, 11pm – MIDNIGHT HIGH MASS AND BLESSING OF THE CRIB Missa Sancti Nicolai – Haydn and O magnum mysterium – Victoria Preacher: The Vicar, Prebendary Alan Moses

Wednesday 25 December, 11am – CHRISTMAS DAY HIGH MASS (Low Mass 9am) Spatzenmesse – Mozart and In dulci jubilo – trad carol, arr Pearsall
Preacher: Fr Julian Browning

Thursday 26 December, ST STEPHEN’S DAY – Mass at 1.10pm only.

Sunday 29 December, 11am – FIRST SUNDAY OF CHRISTMAS HIGH MASS
Mass in G minor – Rheinberger and I sing of a maiden – Hadley
Preacher: The Vicar, Prebendary Alan Moses
Low Mass – 5.15pm. No Evensong and Benediction.  

Monday 6 January 2014 – THE EPIPHANY OF OUR LORD – Procession and High Mass, 6.30pmMissa ‘Bel’ amfitrit altera’– Lassus and Magi videntes stellam Clemens non Papa
Preacher: Canon Michael Hempel, St Paul’s Cathedral

Sunday 12 January 2014 – THE BAPTISM OF CHRIST – High Mass, 11am
Missa Brevis – Berkeley and Lo, star-led chiefs – Crotch

Preacher: The Vicar, Prebendary Alan Moses


Sunday 12 January 2014 –
Epiphany Carol Service, 6pm
A service of Readings and Music for the Epiphany with the Choir of All Saints. 


A CHRISTMAS GIFT – Sandra Wheen has written up the recent Poetry Tea:
‘As I made my way to Pamela’s house I passed the grandly twinkling lights of the Landmark Hotel, and glimpsed the warmly lit interior of Marylebone Station. Inside her home the themes of warmth and light continued with her cosy gas fire, coloured lights on the mantelpiece and Pamela herself struggling to light a candle behind a transparent image of the virgin and child on her patio.  And in keeping with these themes, the proceeds of this Poetry Tea would contribute towards the lighting and electrical renewal of All Saints in the next phase of the Restoration.   

We were very happy to welcome to this Poetry Tea a few people who had not been before.  Among them was William who read us some of his own poems, including his beautifully observed winter poem ‘First Frost’, and Neil whom we were very pleased to have with us for a short time in the middle of his busy afternoon.

Our readings explored an amazing range of feelings about the Christmas Season.  And it was not all tinsel and teddy bears.  We passed from the darkest anguish of the human spirit, to awed gazing at the night sky and back down to earth with a bump in Pam Ayres’ ‘A Crabbie Christmas’ read by Charles.   There was a well-known American children’s poem  ‘A Visit from St Nicholas’ read by Daphne, a nostalgic piece called ‘The Singer was Irish’ read by Mary who is herself Irish, a poem by Rudyard Kipling about feelings of alienation in ‘Christmas in India’ read by Gary and, lovely as ever, John Betjeman’s tender and faith-filled ‘Christmas’ read by James.  Sometimes at a Poetry Tea a poem is read which touches a nerve and leads to a suspension of reading in favour of lively discussion about something on which people have strong feelings.  On this occasion the issue that led to debate was the de-Christianisation of Christmas in our multi-cultural society, which was universally deplored.

Poetry is a free country and our whistle-stop tour of the territory left me dazed.  Walking home through the dark streets of Marylebone I wondered how to make sense of it all.  I remembered my arrival at Pamela’s, my thoughts of warmth and light and I wondered about the darkness of some of the poems.  It came to me that although this had been a Christmas Poetry Tea we were in fact in Advent which is a time of darkness and that this darkness is important.  Next day I heard of the newly declared Dark Sky Park in Northumberland where, free from light pollution, it is possible to see the full glory of the Milky Way.  It seemed a kind of parable of the darkness of Advent, in which we are invited to seek the star of faith.’

FUTURE EVENTS (note for your diary)

Sunday 26 January 2014 – 7.15pm (after Evensong & Benediction) – ORGAN RECITAL – Charles Andrews, Associate Director of Music All Saints. Programme includes works by J. S. Bach and Karg-Elert. Post recital collection to support the Choir and Music at All Saints.

If you would like to encourage others to receive this weekly email, please forward this email on to them, or people you would like to invite to services. If you know of others who would like to receive this correspondence, or for whom you would like prayers offered at All Saints, please ask them to email the Parish Administrator Mrs Dee Prior at: astsmgtst@aol.com.

If you would like any pastoral assistance, please do not hesitate to contact the Vicar, Prebendary Alan Moses: alanmoses111@gmail.com.