All Saints Parish Newsletter 9th January 2015
During my priestly formation Fr Ted Yarnold SJ was deputed to teach us liturgical theology: our first topic was baptism. Being a philosophically acute Jesuit he began with a proper question – why do we baptize people (not just infants, but anyone). Like many of you, I suspect, it had never occurred to me even to ask that question, but it is a proper question in the philosophical sense. You might quote to me the concluding verses of Matthew’s gospel:
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
But we know that these verses were added later to support the practice of bringing people into membership of the church by baptism, so we need to think again.
So why do we do it? First, we baptize people into membership of the church because Jesus was himself baptized.
Second, it is obvious from a large number of early church documents that baptism replaced circumcision (which is a naming rite as well as a membership rite): St Paul, writing before any of the gospels, teaches that circumcision is no longer required. Rather, baptism in the name of Jesus (note that, not yet in the name of the Trinity) and signing with the cross in holy oil (‘the seal of the spirit’ as Paul calls it) marks people as belonging to Christ, as Christians.
Third, and following from that, whereas circumcision was one of the works of the Law (which Paul explains are now superseded by faith in Jesus Christ), baptism is not such a ‘work’; rather it is a sacramental entering into the death and resurrection of Jesus, a complete identification with what Jesus has done to save us and put us right with God. That is why this sacrament is as core a part of our Christian faith as the Eucharist in which it entitles us to partake. Baptism is unrepeatable, a one-off grafting into the vine; the Eucharist is repeatable, a regular and nourishing participation of the baptized believer in the sacrificial events of Calvary and the new life of Easter.
This suffices to explain why we keep the feast of the Lord’s baptism as a part of the Christmas/Epiphany cycle. This moment in Jesus’ earthly life signifies something for us – our identity as members of the church – and something for him – a revealing of his full identity (of equal significance to the naming he received at circumcision).
And that, to return to the first reason for this feast, is relevant to what we celebrate on Sunday. If it is a proper question to ask ‘why do we baptize people’, it would have been a more pressing question, just under 2000 years ago, to ask ‘why was Jesus baptized’?
Again, it might not immediately occur to us, but this was a controversial question for the early church. It was a question of his authority (submitting to his cousin John in this way) and also of John’s baptism being one of repentance, whereas the sinless Son of God who comes to save the world from sin presumably has no need to express repentance.
For me that makes this story a perfect parable to put before people who want to draw neat lines around what is right and wrong Christian practice about anything, because Jesus’ baptism is neither logical nor obvious. It is, however, what we would call a pastoral move, something done in order to help the other people involved to understand God’s loving purpose. The church often has to compromise in that way; it’s good to be able to say that Jesus did so from the beginning.
Yours in Christ,
Fr Michael Bowie
Assistant Priest, All Saints Margaret Street
Please pray for those who have asked for our prayers: George Askey, Asia Bibi. Heather Brown, Lily Caplin, James Cary-Elwes, Kate Down, Cynthia Drury, Norman Greenfield (Priest), Tim Harding, Yvonne & Philip Harland, Elspeth Harley, Lewis Harvey, Myrtle Hughes, Sheila Kenyon, Molly Leng, Joshua Levy, Christine Loffty, Hilary Morgan, Norman Newby, Linda Orme, Malcolm Richards, Peter Royle, Jock Scott, Nicholas Stacey (Priest), Buzz Stokes, Robert Streit, Celia Swan, Dilys Thomas, Jane Wildash, Joy Wright and Mark Young.
For the recently departed: Ian Stevens (Friend of All Saints), Annie Moran, Michael Hare Duke (Bishop), Louis Lewis, Tony Marks (Priest), Simon Goldstein, Helen Turner and Maisie Orr.
Remember past priests, benefactors, friends, and all whose year’s mind occurs this week: Eric Charles Bailey (Priest), Sophia Wickenden, Beryl Peryer, Charles Backus, Dorothea Graha, Vivian Curson, George Currie, Alfred Stephens, Ethel Hewelson, Hugh Shepheard, Lyn Jones, John Downing Spencer, Margaret Henwood, George Haines, Dennis Black and Elizabeth King.
WORSHIP THIS WEEK
SATURDAY 10 JANUARY, 3.30pm – CHRIST CHURCH ST LAURENCE CHOIR
will sing Evensong & Benediction for the Eve of The Baptism of the Lord
Canticles: Magnificat & Nunc dimittis on Plainsong Tones – Wills
Anthem: Sicut cervus – Palestrina
Benediction: O salutaris – de la Rue
Tantum ergo – Duruflé
SUNDAY 11 JANUARY – BAPTISM OF CHRIST (First Sunday of Epiphany)
HIGH MASS, 11am
Preacher: Father Julian Browning
Missa Brevis – Berkeley
Kindle a light – Fleming
There is a Servers’ Meeting after Mass and a a Ten to One Talk – the bell will be rung beforehand. The theme is The Gospel Procession.
There is no Sunday lunch service this week – it will recommence on Sunday 18 January.
EPIPHANY CAROL SERVICE, 6pm – A candle-lit service with Readings & Music for the Epiphany with the Choir of All Saints
Weekday Masses remain in the Parish Room, while the scaffolding for the electrical works remains in Church.
WORSHIP NEXT SUNDAY 18 JANUARY 2015 – SECOND SUNDAY OF EPIPHANY
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 18 – 25 January
HIGH MASS, 11am
Preacher: Fr Michael Bowie
Missa Previs – Palestrina
Tribus miraculis – Marenzio
Ten to One Talk Theme: The Gospel – the bell will ring beforehand.
There is a Mission Committee Meeting after Mass in the Parish Office.
Sunday Lunch will be served – tickets £5 from the Parish Shop (subject to availability).
CHORAL EVENSONG & BENEDICTION, 6pm
Preacher: Fr Julian Browning
Service in E – Watson
Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern – Praetorius
Please Note: ALL SAINTS’ CLUB BAR PRICES WENT UP ON 1ST JANUARY 2015 for the first time since 2012. New Annual Membership cards are required – price held at £3. Please purchase your new membership from the Bar.
ALL SAINTS RESTORATION PROJECT UPDATE – EXCELLENT PROGRESS but FURTHER DONATIONS NEEDED to complete works
New wiring and lighting cost £350,000. Essential CCTV security and fire detection systems cost £22,000. We have completed these works while scaffolding is in place, to minimise the cost. We now want to reduce our reliance on loans so any further gifts will help us to do that. We plan to celebrate the newly lit All Saints at Candlemas.
HOW YOU CAN HELP………. please be as generous as you can making cheques payable to: All Saints Church Restoration Appeal and sending them to:
The Parish Administrator, 7 Margaret Street, London W1W 8JG.
Please indicate where Gift Aid may be applied as it increases the value of your contribution by 25% at no cost to yourself. Thank you!
WEEKDAY SERVICES – taking place in the Parish Room and Confessions heard in the Oratory (access via the Parish Office). Church will be open on Sunday throughout the electrical renewal project and at other times when safe to do so.
ALL SAINTS’ DATES FOR YOUR DIARY IN JANUARY 2015
Saturday 10 January, 3.30pm – the visiting Choir of Christ Church St Laurence, Sydney sing Evensong & Benediction for the Eve of The Baptism of the Lord at All Saints
Canticles: Magnificat & Nunc dimittis on Plainsong Tones – Wills
Anthem: Sicut cervus – Palestrina
Benediction: O salutaris – de la Rue; Tantum ergo – Duruflé
The choir is touring various churches and other venues in the UK, Belgium and France, and will spend a week in residence at St Paul’s (past visits have often included residencies at Westminster Abbey); they will also sing in Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Full details of the tour can be found online at www.ccsl.org.au/11-latest-news/256-frontispiece2-9.
Christ Church St Laurence, Sydney is a sister parish to All Saints (actually a slightly older sister, completed in 1845!) with shared roots in the early stages of the Oxford Movement (the first Bishop of Sydney, William Grant Broughton, was a Tractarian: the diocese did not embrace his ideals, but Christ Church still bears witness to his part in its foundation). It is now known as the most vibrant Anglo-Catholic Church in Australia, with a fine musical tradition which was part of the founding vision and, like All Saints, once included a choir school. All Saints Director of Music, Dr Neil McEwan, and Organist Peter Jewkes (a frequent visitor to All Saints) are former colleagues of Fr Michael Bowie, our Assistant Priest. Come and worship; conclude your Saturday shopping with a meditative and worshipful preparation for Sunday’s Feast!
Monday 19 January, 7pm – Meeting of the All Saints PCC following Evening Mass at 6.30pm
Sunday 25 January, 7.15pm (after Benediction)
ORGAN RECITAL – CHARLES ANDREWS (Associate Director of Music)
By J. S. Bach (1685-1750):
Vom Himmel hoch, da komm’ ich her BWV 606
Mit Fried’ und Freud’ ich fahr’ dahin BWV 616
Herr Gott, nun schleuß den Himmel auf BWV 617
Vom Himmel hoch, da komm’ ich her BWV 700
Prelude and fugue in A minor BWV 543
In dulci jubilo BWV 608
By M. Dupré (1886-1971):
Variations sur un Noël op. 20
Retiring collection to support the Choir and Music at All Saints (suggested donation £4)
The All Saints Licensed Club/Bar below the Church will be open after this recital.
EVENTS BEYOND ALL SAINTS
Wednesday 14 January, 1.10pm – Organ Recital St Cyprian’s – NICHOLAS MANNOUKAS – Dr John Birch Organ Scholar. The full programme is still to be finalised, but it will include Mendelssohn’s complete 6th Sonata. If you can, please come along and support Nicholas.
Entry is free with a retiring collection for St Cyprian’s
ALL SAINTS YEAR ROUND SUPPORT for HOMELESS PEOPLE
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.
Seasonal Appeals – The grand total was £3,463 (up significantly on last year’s support of £2,790) to this Mission Project and a further £3,000 to Us collected through the All Saints Festival and Lent Appeals. Thank you for your generosity in supporting these Appeals.
Year Round Support – we also support the Resettlement Project with non-perishable food and toiletries or household necessities like cutlery or bed linen/blankets. Please contribute to this effort, bringing donations to the Parish Office or leaving them in Church in the basket in the Baptistery.
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 project.
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.
* If you know of others who would like to receive this correspondence 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.
DAILY SERVICES AT ALL SAINTS during Refurbishment until the end of January 2015
(Church guaranteed open Sunday only from 7am to 7pm and at other times when safe to do so)
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 – SATURDAY in the Parish Room
Morning Prayer 7.30am
Low Mass – 8am, 1.10pm and 6.30pm
Evening Prayer 6pm
(Except Bank Holiday – 1.10pm Mass only)
A priest is available for confessions/counsel Monday – Friday from 12.30-1pm and at 5.30pm Monday – Saturday, or by appointment. During the refurbishment works, confessions will be heard Monday – Friday in the Oratory at 7 Margaret Street. Please ring the bell
at the Vicarage or Parish Office doors for admittance.