All Saints Parish Newsletter 21st April 2017
There is a painting by Caravaggio in the Sans Souci Palace in Potsdam which shows the encounter between the risen Jesus and “Doubting Thomas” which forms the second part of Sunday’s Gospel reading (John 20.19-31). On the left is Jesus who holds back his robe so that the wound in his side is exposed and illuminated. On the right, emerging from darkness, is Thomas who stoops to poke his index finger into it. Two other disciples peer over his shoulder.
But if we read St. John carefully, we find that, while Jesus invites Thomas to, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side,” we are not told that he actually did so. In fact, the Gospel moves immediately to Thomas’s profession of faith: “My Lord and my God!”
Poor Thomas has been for ever defined by his, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe,” rather than his profession of faith. He has been dubbed “Doubting Thomas” because of his refusal to accept the testimony of the others to the resurrection of Jesus. rather than “Believing Thomas” on the strength of his belated belief in the lordship and divinity of Jesus; expressed in the strongest terms to be found in the New Testament, and echoing John’s “the Word was with God and the Word was God” at the beginning of the Gospel.
Thomas is singled out for his scepticism. However, if we read the whole of John’s chapter 20, we see that the other disciples had been, in the language Jesus uses in Luke’s Gospel, “slow to believe.” Mary Magdalene has told them of her meeting with the risen Lord in the garden but the news does not seem to have had any transforming effect on them; they are still cowering behind locked doors. It is only when Jesus appears and shows them the marks of his crucifixion that they believe. Thomas’s demand for proof is couched in extreme terms but is he asking to see more than the others have already seen?
Is his demand to touch and see so different from the questions many of us ask about what is a unique and unprecedented event: Has Jesus really been raised from the dead, bodily, historically, or was this just devout wishful thinking or ecstatic vision? Thomas represents sincere inquirers and honest seekers in every generation. Jesus, who knows of Thomas’s demand, does not dismiss it but grants him what he asks. The Gospel takes our questions, our different roads to faith, seriously.
Thomas’s encounter with the risen Lord ends with Jesus saying: “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.”
John might have concluded his Gospel with the risen Christ breathing his Spirit on the disciples for their role in his continuing mission, but his addition of the story of Thomas reflects the aim he states in what was probably the original conclusion of the Gospel: “Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.” The Gospel looks not only to Jesus’ contemporaries, those who knew him in the flesh, but to future generations who will not.
Belief in John’s Gospel is not just a matter of accepting information about God or Jesus: it is entering and abiding in a relationship of trust with Jesus. As Sunday’s epistle from 1 Peter (1.3-9) says, “Although you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, for you are receiving the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”
That relationship of love and trust is founded on the Gospel which is not merely a record of the past. Through it the risen Lord addresses us with the same challenge to believe in him; the same blessing on us as we believe. Nor are we left with words alone. Jesus shows Thomas the wounded side from which blood and water had issued on the cross – signs of the sacramental life of the Church which sustains our relationship, our communion with Christ. Jesus invites Thomas to reach out and touch him, to put his hand in the wound; literally to “throw’ his hand into it. The risen Lord invites us to reach out our hands to touch and receive, to eat and drink the sacramental signs of his passion; to share in his self-giving love and so to find “life in his name.”
We have, too, the testimony of both past and present generations of those who have put these signs to the test and found them to be true in a way which has been life-transforming and enriching even as they came to bear the marks of the cross: the source of that abundant life which Jesus promises.
Yours in Christ,
Fr Alan Moses
Vicar, All Saints Margaret Street
Please pray for those who have asked for our prayers: Asia Bibi, Pearl Baker, Rachel Boulding, Katie Marko, Andrew Evans, Joan Cook, Rose Stevens, Rebekka Norvik-Smith, Neli Dias, Sarah Payne, Rodney Bickerstaffe, Sally Bower, Tony Hawkins and Jan Williams.
Please pray for Damon and Emma Brash and their son Christian Edward, being baptised at High Mass at All Saints on Sunday 23 April.
For the recently departed: Joan Wicken, Bishop Michael Perham, PC Keith Palmer and the other victims of the Westminster terrorist attack 22 March 2017.
Remember past priests, benefactors, friends, and all whose year’s mind occurs this week including:
Hannah Ebbs, John Burton-White, Beatrice Atkins, Ada Brookes, Letitia Nettey, Ambrose Weekes (Bishop), Sarah Edmonds, Sister Elizabeth Noel (Society of All Saints), Leslie Clutterham, Dorothy Coles, Ze Renato, Denzil Freeth, Priscilla Black, Isabel Sturges-Jones, Lilian Raven, John Birch, John Simpson (Bishop) and Beatrice Hudson.
For full service information: www.allsaintsmargaretstreet.org.uk.
WORSHIP THIS WEEK:
SUNDAY 23 APRIL – SECOND SUNDAY OF EASTER
The London Marathon takes place on closed roads in central London on Sunday 23 April 2017. If you’re travelling in London on the day, here’s how your journey may be affected – please see: https://tfl.gov.uk/status-updates/major-works-and-events/london-marathon
HIGH MASS with Holy Baptism (Christian Edward Brash), 11am
Preacher: The Vicar
Jugendmesse – Haydn
Beati quorum via – Stanford
Sunday Lunch is being cooked by Patrick Hartley and Rebecca Hirst. The menu is: Roast Beef and Yorkshire pudding with four vegetables, followed by dessert and coffee – £5/ticket, on sale at the Church shop before and after Mass (subject to availability). Please join us.
6pm EVENSONG and BENEDICTION
Preacher: Fr Michael Bowie
Murrill in E
Christ ist erstanden – Schubert
WORSHIP NEXT WEEK:
SUNDAY 30 APRIL – THIRD OF EASTER
HIGH MASS, 11am
Preacher: Fr Michael Bowie
Missa Brevis – Jonathan Dove
Easter – Vaughan Williams
EVENSONG & BENEDICTION, 6pm
Preacher: The Vicar, Prebendary Alan Moses
Naylor in A
O filii et filiae – Anon, arr. Timothy Byram-Wigfield
PARISH NOTICES & NEWS
Maundy Thursday Flowers – thank you to Jackie Wesley, who donated flowers in loving memory of Maisie who died recently aged 100 years. Easter Sunday Flowers were kindly given by the Caplin family in loving memory of Lily and Norman on their Wedding Anniversary.
PILGRIMAGE TO ITALY, 10- 18 MAY 2018
Following the success of the Parish Pilgrimage to the Isle of Iona a couple of years ago, Fr Gerald Beauchamp and Fr Michael Bowie are planning a pilgrimage to Italy next year. The itinerary includes San Giovanni Rotondo, Loreto, Ravenna & Assisi. Cost £1,400 (approx). If you are interested in joining the party please contact Fr Gerald (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Fr Michael (email@example.com). Thank you.
ALL SAINTS LENT APPEAL 2017
Our Lenten almsgiving is directed to support our regular Mission Projects (USPG and the Marylebone Project), the Bishop of London’s Lent Appeal 2017 and the Soup Kitchen at the American Church. The proceeds will be shared between the four charities.
The All Saints’ Lent Appeal in 2016 raised over £8,000. Please give generously this year so we can try and raise more than in 2017. Cheques should be made payable to: Parochial Church All Saints. Please use a Gift Aid envelope wherever possible since it increases the value of your gift by 25% at no cost to you. Please try to return your donation to the Parish Office by Sunday 30 April for prompt counting and claiming of Gift Aid to add to the total raised.
PARISH RETREAT, 19 – 21 MAY 2017
This year the Retreat will be from May 19-21 at Bishop Woodford House in Ely. It will be conducted by Fr Michael Bowie. If you want to come, or would like further information, please contact Martin Woolley on 07976275383 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Rooms will be allocated in the order in which bookings are received.
The WALSINGHAM NATIONAL PILGRIMAGE takes place on Monday 29 May. The preacher will be Padre Raniero Cantalamessa OFM Cap, Preacher to the Papal Household. As in previous years, a coach will leave All Saints at 7.30 am. Please contact Ross Buchanan, Assistant Secretary to the Cell of Our Lady of Walsingham, ASMS Mob: 07905 863578 or email: email@example.com. if you would like to book a place.
The ALL SAINTS PARISH PILGRIMAGE TO WALSINGHAM will take place from Friday 21 – Monday 24 July. Places are limited. So if you would like to book place and have not already done so or would like to know more, please also contact Ross Buchanan (details above) as soon as possible.
BEYOND ALL SAINTS and of interest…
WIGMORE HALL – The Purcell School – Saturday 22 April, 11.30am
Several of the School’s Chamber ensembles are performing a programme including works by: Ligeti, Brahms, Andrès, Bowen and Holst. This is an hour long concert with no interval. The All Saints’ congregation has been offered discounted tickets at £5 per ticket (full price £11-£13). If anyone wishes to take up this offer, please contact Abigail Willer, Concerts Assistant: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01923 331109.
HUGH PRICE HUGHES 2017 LECTURES – “Speaking of God in Public”
All lectures at Hinde St Methodist Church, London W1. Admission free. All welcome.
Tuesday 9 May at 7.30pm
Which God? Which public?
Revd Gareth Powell [Secretary of the Methodist Conference]
Gareth will begin to explore these questions in the context of the Methodist Church in Britain today. What is our experience of God? Which “God” are we speaking about? In what context are we speaking, and to whom? What are the ‘points of contact’? And how, in the light of this, do we speak of God in public with confidence and imagination?
** MISSION NEWS**
Men’s clothing especially is needed by the Jesus Centre in Margaret Street and also by the Soup Kitchen at the American International Church, both of whom provide a daily range of services to homeless people. If you have women’s or men’s clothes to give away, please bring to Church and leave at the Parish Office so we can continue to help support our neighbours’ efforts. The Church Army is now also collecting women’s clothes for their Homeless Hostel so all donations can be found a good new home!
The Soup Kitchen specifically calls for: men’s trousers (sizes 32-36) and men’s sturdy/athletic shoes (sizes 9-12 especially) and say ‘we are also beginning to need men’s outerwear of all varieties and we always need rucksacks and duffle-bags to help our guests carry their belongings!’
The Soup Kitchen team (only part-time) asks: ‘Please drop me a line if you are planning to drop things off here. As always, many thanks for your support.’ Soup Kitchen at the American International Church, 79a Tottenham Court Road, London W1T 4TD T: 020 7580 2791 www.amchurch.co.uk/soup-kitchen/
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/virtual tour – 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
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)
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.)
www.allsaintsmargaretstreet.org.uk and e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org