All Saints Parish Newsletter
Sunday’s Gospel is the Parable of the Prodigal Son, so familiar to so many of us that we run the risk of assuming that we know what it means. But parables do not yield all their meaning in one or even a hundred readings. We hear new things in them in new situations. They challenge our assumptions and stretch our imaginations. They do this because these very human tales, in which we can often recognise ourselves, are also stories about God.
So the Prodigal Son is as much about God, the Father, as it is about us, the Prodigal and the Elder Brother. The Prodigal is us as both sinner and penitent, his brother as religious and respectable, self-righteous and judgemental. The besetting sin of the devout springs from our very concern for goodness and holiness. Deep down, we know our own failure to be as good or holy as we would wish, but we can blunt this recognition by looking to the failings of others. It is especially helpful if their sins and of a very public and flagrant nature, while ours may be more hidden.
The Father shows us the God who is ready to forgive even before we have had chance to make our confession. He is ready to forgive the blatant sinner, but also the one who gently shows us that it is right to rejoice that the dead are alive again and the lost found.
Our good friend Fr. John Gaskell, who for many years exercised his ministry as a wise confessor here at All Saints, drew my attention to a piece in the Church Times in which a priest recalled coming here as a young man to make his confession and the impression that sacramental encounter had made. The priest who heard his confession was Fr, David Sparrow, who even though he was already dying of cancer, was there to represent the Father who forgives and welcomes home the sinner.
It is part of the calling of All Saints to offer this ministry here in the heart of London. Many of those who avail themselves of it are unknown to the regular congregation. It is part of our common calling to make sure that it is available.
But both parable and sacrament challenge us: about our own attitudes, our repentance of cold-hearted as well as flagrant sin; about our community as one through which God welcomes people home
Yours in Christ,
Please pray for Mary Barnet, Eleanor Chapman, Rachel Clayton, David Day, Rosie Flack, Charles Forker, Cecil Garrett, Timothy Harding, Michael Harris, Mason Jacobson, Jonathan Jennings, Barbara Laws, Joshua Levy, Fred Mansfield, Timothy Montgomery, Linda Orme, John Rogers, Martin Sargeant, Celia Shore, Stephen Short, Brian Sparkes, Ian Stevens, Isabel Stoughton, Andrew Tillyard, Melanie Toogood, Heather Walker, Wendy Wall The Recently Departed: John Gilmour, Mark Dalby (priest), Robert Milner, Daphne Langford, Diane Stonebanks, Florence Watts, Susan Hainsworth, Richard Turner At the anniversary of their death: Arthur William Smallwood, Alice Mary Styan, Dorothy Hilda Gregory, Dennis Cooper (Priest), Charles Mills, Rooie Bullock, Peter Harding (Priest), Clark Vaughan, William Allen Whitworth (Priest), Emily Woodard, Peter Geoffrey Brealey, Rosemary Lloyd, Barry Blacklock, Elizabeth Mary Middlemist-Downer, Annie Ethel Slater, Revd Basil Whitworth, Ann Sculley, Sydney Heales, Vera Martin, Peggy Shepherd, James Smith Robertson (Priest),
This Sunday The 4th Sunday of Lent has attracted a number of customs over the centuries.
At the mid-point of Lent, this “Refreshment Sunday” gives a respite from the austerity of the Lenten Fast. Organ music extends to more than the accompaniment of hymns and rose coloured vestments are worn. After High Mass we have the old English custom of Simnel Cake.
In England, this day is also “Mothering Sunday.” The origin of this seems to be in the Prayer Book epistle for the day which speaks of the Jerusalem above that is the mother of us all. From this came the custom of visiting the cathedral, the mother church of a diocese. Then came something more familiar and familial: the visiting of our own mothers. So, at High Mass we will have the blessing and distribution of posies to the mothers of the congregation.
New Electoral Role, 2013
At the Annual Parochial Church Meeting in 2012 I gave Notice that a completely new Electoral Roll would be prepared in 2013. This exercise is now due.
Each person on the present Roll must make a new application if they wish to be included on the new Roll. Names cannot be carried over from the old Roll. Anyone not on the present Roll and who fulfils the qualifications is welcome to apply. The application forms are available at the back of the Church.
This exercise has to be completed before the Annual Parochial Church Meeting on Sunday April 21st 2013, and all forms should be returned to me c/o the Parish Office, 7 Margaret Street, to arrive not later than Tuesday March 26th 2013. Inclusion on the new Roll is the qualification to attend, participate and vote at the Annual Parochial Church Meeting,
Catherine T Burling,
Electoral Roll Officer
Monday 11th March 7:30pm- The Licensing by The Bishop of Southwark of Fr. John Pritchard as Priest-in-Charge, St John The Evangelist, Upper Norwood SE19 2RX ALL WELCOME Fr. John has sent these travel directions: Overground train from Victoria to Crystal Palace. No. 410 bus from outside station (stop on main road opposite pub) stops at the Vicarage (about 2 minutes. To walk, turn left on leaving station on main road. Walk down hill, past Tesco’s on the right. Turn right down Hamlet Rd. Carry on straight. It becomes Auckland Rd. St. John’s is then ahead of you. It takes about 12 minutes.
Friday 15th March 7:05pm-Stations of the Cross, led by the Vicar.