All Saints Parish Newsletter 25th November 2016
In Rory Stewart’s book The Marches, the MP for Penrith and the Border writes about two long walks. The first was along Hadrian’s Wall – built to mark and defend the frontier of the Roman Empire. It was manned by Roman soldiers whose equipment Paul would have been so familiar with that it sparked the idea of the “armour of light” in the passage from the Letter to the Romans (13.11-14) which we read as the epistle on Advent Sunday; and from there into the Collect which Thomas Cranmer composed for that day, and for use throughout Advent.
The soldiers who garrisoned the wall were there to keep watch. Those on duty had to keep awake so as to be ready to warn of the approach of enemies. Jesus speaks in Sunday’s Gospel of the householder who, if he had known when in the night the thief was coming, “would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour” (Matthew 24.36-44).
Stewart’s second walk took him from his present home in Cumbria to his father’s near Crieff. Along the way, he talks to local people and investigates landscape and history. At Abbeytown, he comes to the remains of Holme Cultram Abbey; for 300 years a Cistercian monastery. The monks had come from Melrose, to what was a wilderness, in search of solitude for prayer. They would rise at 3am for the 2 hour office of Vigils to sing the psalms and hear the scriptures and the Fathers of the Church read: more watching.
“The unintended by-product of their faith,” Stewart writes, “was an agricultural revolution…” They dug ditches to drain the land and make it fertile enough to support 20,000 sheep and allow trees to grow. The monks had transformed a wilderness. Similar land on the Scottish side of the Solway, where there had been no monks, remained barren and treeless for centuries.
Another book I have just begun reading is Nick Spencer’s “The Evolution of the West: How Christianity Shaped our Values.” Spencer is the Research Director at Theos, the Christian Think Tank based in Westminster. His book is a collection of essays which challenge the widely-held assumption that our democratic values spring from the 18th Century Enlightenment and before that all was barbarism, with the Church as the principal villain of the piece. In fact, ideas like human dignity and rights, the rule of law, science, have their roots in Christian soil.
The story of those Cumbrian Cistercians seems to me a parable of two aspects of the Church’s calling in our world. It has to be on watch and to warn against the resurgence of barbarism: the fomenting of hatreds: the coarsening and debasement of political language; contempt for truth. The American Trappist monk Thomas Merton, a latter-day Cistercian, spoke of monks as being on the frontier, the edge of society, and so able to see more clearly than many of those involved in its life.
Cistercians keep silence in order to hear God speaking. The Church must watch and pray and keep silence in order to recognize Christ when he comes.
Like those Cistercian farmers, the Church also has to build and sustain communities of civilization and civility, of prayer and study, of care and hospitality.
In Sunday’s reading from Isaiah (2.1-5), the prophet who has just been denouncing Jerusalem for its infidelity, gives a vision of it as renewed and renewing:
Many peoples shall come and say,
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
to the house of the God of Jacob;
that he may teach us his ways
and that we may walk in his paths.
For out of Zion shall go forth instruction,
and the world of the Lord from Jerusalem….
O house of Jacob,
come, let us walk
in the light of the Lord.”
That, surely, is a vision for the Church. Our continent may have forgotten its roots and the Church in it may seem to have been careless of them too, or at least lost confidence in them, but it is being called to remember them and to remind others of them.
The Romans saw the wall as a defending their civilization against barbarism. We hear much these days about building walls or fences to keep people out; even of people claiming to be defending a “Christian civilization,” of which they clearly have no understanding. A different voice is heard from Rome now, from a pope whose own family were migrants, and who speaks of building not walls but bridges.
Have a watchful and prayerful Advent.
Yours in Christ,
Fr. Alan Moses
Prebendary Alan Moses
Vicar, All Saints Margaret Street
Area Dean of Westminster (St Marylebone)
Please pray for those who have asked for our prayers: Asia Bibi, Bishop Michael Perham, Doris Saunders, Anthony O’Connor, Archbishop Barry Morgan, Iris Podmore, Paul Curno, Agnes Poitevin-Navarre, José de Oliveira, Nick Russell, James Cary-Elwes, Tim Harding, Patricia Capon, Michael Sullivan, Mary Thomas, Rosemary Harris and Valerie Reddington.
For the recently departed: Frank Owen, Bernardina Pontoglio, Eric Christiansen, Dilys Thomas (former All Saints’ PCC Secretary for a great many years, who died on the Eve of All Saints), Barbara Reynolds, Patrick Phelan (Priest), David Pearce, Pamela O’Brien, Maria Keen, Timothy Raphael (Priest), Jennifer Shillito and Stuart Pascall. We also remember those who died in the early November Croydon tram derailment.
Remember past priests, benefactors, friends, and all whose year’s mind occurs this week including: Edith Martin, Margaret Mack, James Crompton, Joseph Kirkham, Margaret Pickering, Valerie Oram, Ann Cook, Phyllis James, Annie Marshall, Doris Harmsworth, Lovinia Miller, John Clough (former Chorister), Walter Ward (Priest), Archibald Ward (Priest), Florence Edwards, Emily West, Katherine O’Neil, Margaret Rodger, Douglas Lawson and Kenneth Armstrong.
For full service information: www.allsaintsmargaretstreet.org.uk.
WORSHIP THIS WEEK:
SUNDAY 27 NOVEMBER – FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT
HIGH MASS, 11am
Preacher: The Vicar, Prebendary Alan Moses
Missa Iste Confessor – Palestrina
People, look East – anon
With one new oven now on site we can offer hot snacks after Mass, with coffee. We will be working on the installation of more new equipment in the kitchens next week and will update you about Sunday lunches as soon as we have the information.
ADVENT SEQUENCE OF READINGS & MUSIC, with the Choir of All Saints, 6pm
The December Parish Paper is now available in Church for £1 a copy.
MAKE A REAL DIFFERENCE TO CHRISTMAS for a HOMELESS PERSON THIS YEAR
THE MARYLEBONE PROJECT CHRISTMAS APPEAL
The Church Army-run Marylebone Project – providing 112 long and short term beds to homeless women and essential facilities and support to women who visit their rough sleepers’ drop-in at the Marylebone Centre – has asked for donations of practical items that can be given as Christmas presents. They particularly need: Coats, belts, dressing gowns, blankets, sleeping bags, bubble bath, soap, shampoo, scarves & gloves, socks, make-up, perfume, chocolates, hairbrushes & combs, dress jewellery, books (including puzzle books). There is no need to wrap these items.
MINCE PIES FOR ALL SAINTS CAROL SERVICES
Donations of mince pies would also be appreciated for hospitality at our forthcoming Carol Services.
Please drop off donations for the Marylebone Project Christmas Appeal or of mince pies, to the Parish Office (Mon – Fri 9-1 and 2- 5) or give to Janet Drake or Chris Self on Sundays by Sunday 11 December. Thank you!
WORSHIP NEXT WEEK:
Please note: as the Worldwide Cancer Research Carol Service takes place on THURSDAY 1 DECEMBER at 7pm, there will be no Evening Mass that day. Morning and Lunchtimes Masses take place as usual.
SUNDAY 4 DECEMBER, Advent 2
HIGH MASS, 11am
Preacher: Fr Michael Bowie
Missa Brevis – Gabrieli
How beautiful upon the mountains – Stainer
EVENSONG & BENEDICTION, 6pm
Preacher: Fr Julian Browning
Short Service – Weelkes
Remember, O thou man-Ravenscroft
THE ADVENT READING GROUP will meet on Friday mornings in Advent (2, 9, & 16* December). 11am at the Vicarage. We will be using Meeting God in Paul by Rowan Williams. It is published by SPCK in paperback and is also available as an e-book. The book is based on one of the series of Holy Week lectures Archbishop Rowan gave at Canterbury Cathedral.
*Please Note: Friday 16 December 12.30pm is the Lunchtime Carol Service with an octet from the All Saints Choir, so Advent Reading Group attenders may like to plan on coming to that service to complete their morning at All Saints.
Please note: as the Freud’s Carol Service takes place on TUESDAY 13 DECEMBER at 7pm, there will be no Evening Mass that day. Morning and Lunchtimes Masses take place as usual.
CHRISTMAS SERVICES WITH THE ALL SAINTS CHOIR
Friday 16 December 12.30pm
LUNCHTIME Carol Service followed by Mince pies & mulled wine
Monday 19 December 6pm
FESTIVAL of NINE LESSONS
& CAROLS by candlelight followed by Mince pies & mulled wine
Saturday 24 December 11pm
CHRISTMAS EVE Midnight Mass
& Blessing of the Crib
Missa Sancti Nicolai – Haydn
Sunday 25 December 11am
CHRISTMAS DAY High Mass
Missa Brevis, K194– Mozart
PARISH NOTICES & NEWS
PARISH ROOM TEA & COFFEE POINT RENEWED and new Parish Room events for 2017
This small facility outside the Parish Room adjacent to the Church (which supports the service of refreshments on Sunday after Mass) has had a makeover in the last week and now looks more worthy of its other role in support of the Parish Room. Several new regular bookings for that space get underway in the New Year, with the Open University Geological Society bringing its AGM and monthly lectures to us from the Natural History Museum. Members of the All Saints’ congregation will be invited to attend these evening talks free of charge if they would like to do so.
Open Age are bringing to us a programme of hour-long over 50s exercise classes (formerly held at the Jesus Army Centre in Margaret Street) on Mondays at 11.45am and 1pm starting on Monday 9 January 2017. For more information about the work of Open Age, please see: http://www.openage.org.uk. These will run throughout the year breaking for holiday periods and relocating to the Dining Room for the annual John Lewis Exhibition in the Parish Room each September.
NEW ALL SAINTS GREETINGS CARDS SELLING WELL – Over £1600 worth of the beautiful new cards have been sold in aid of All Saints in the first few weeks, and new stocks of the Nativity image have now been delivered. The images are: the traditional Tile Nativity Scene; a new and dramatically lit shot of Our Lady of Margaret Street and a new and beautifully coloured image of the Sanctuary. Cards can be bought from the Parish Shop on Sundays and from the Parish Office in packs of 6 cards (all one design in each pack) for £5. Fridge magnets are also available of the image of the Sanctuary, which we hope will prove a popular small memento for visitors to the Church at £3 each (£4 with P&P). If you are with us this Sunday, they will be on sale in the courtyard after Mass.
NEXT PCC MEETING – the next regular meeting of the PCC is on Tuesday 29 November at 7pm in the Parish Room and will only consider the matter of the Resolutions in place at All Saints.
Thursday 8 December 2016 – Conception of Our Lady at St Mary’s Bourne Street – 7pm High Mass
You need not be a member of the Cell to join in this event. They are organised by the Cell members for all to join as they wish.
Saturday 10 December, 3pm – CHRISTMAS POETRY TEA at Pamela Botsford’s home – the theme for which is Seasonal. Tickets: £6 sold in aid of the All Saints’ Restoration Appeal. Please see Pamela or Sandra Allan in the courtyard to obtain further details.
ACTIVITIES ELSEWHERE BEYOND ALL SAINTS that may be of interest:
SUPPORT FOR CHRISTIANS IN THE HOLY LAND – PILGRIMAGE OCT/NOV 2017
Bishop Stephen Platten will be leading a pilgrimage from the City Deaneries to the Holy Land in the autumn of 2017 not only visiting the Holy Places, but also meeting with the Christian community who face daily difficulties in living their faith. Travelling from 30 October to 6 November the cost of the pilgrimage is £1400 per person sharing a twin room. For more details or to book, please contact Pilgrimage People on 0800 6123423 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org or join us on Monday 28 November at 6pm for an information evening at St Michael’s Cornhill ECV3 9DS.
** MISSION NEWS** Men’s clothing especially is badly 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. As you prepare for the winter season, but 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!’
Miranda Suit, Director of the Soup Kitchen (part-time, usually in the office on Tuesdays and Thursdays) says: 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/
ALL SAINTS MISSION ACTIVITIES:-
The charities we had agreed to support through the Lent Appeal 2016 (and including applicable Gift Aid) received the following sums:-
Marylebone Project – £2,666.67 – emergency refuge and rehoming project for homeless women.
USPG – £2,666.67 – work with those experiencing Aids and HIV in Zimbabwe.
London Diocese Lent Appeal – £3,001.66– this year supporting Syrian and Iraqi refugees through charities Open Doors and Aid to the Church in Need. The certificate of appreciation is on the Church noticeboard. Thank you to everyone who contributed to this great achievement – a significantly enhanced total collected through the Lent Appeal compared with recent years – of £8,335 (including some late funds generated by the Queen’s 90th Birthday Raffle). To this sum must now be added the further £20k raised by the Vicar’s Pilgrimage of earlier this year.
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.
Day-to-day Support – we respond to the needs of homeless people who visit the church allowing them to sleep there in the daytime and signposting them to other agencies who can offer help and donating £1,000 towards the Soup Kitchen at the American International Church in Tottenham Court Road this year. We also allow 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 and as the cold weather starts to bite, 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/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)
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.)
www.allsaintsmargaretstreet.org.uk and e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org