Weekly email – Trinity 11 | All Saints Margaret Street All Saints Margaret Street | Weekly email – Trinity 11

Weekly email – Trinity 11

Friday 18 August 2023 at 13:45


Dear friends,

As I reflect on our keeping of Our Lady’s Assumption over the past week, I am filled with a profound gratitude to all those who have contributed in any way to our celebrations. We have seen many people join us from far and wide over the past few days to worship God and give thanks for our Lady’s life and destiny; and we have publicly proclaimed our faith in Jesus Christ through a procession which took an image of the Mother of God and her divine son through the West End and along the busiest street in Britain.

I am grateful to Bishop Glyn Webster for being with us and for preaching at Evensong. He gave an eloquent explanation of the importance of keeping the feast of the Assumption, and how crucial it is to our understanding of the Gospel. In the Magnificat, he told us, we see Mary’s humility and openness to God’s will, which is the reality that lies at the heart of her vocation. This is the key to understanding why she was taken body and soul to heaven. You can hear his sermon again here.

We owe a huge thank you to our Music department, and especially to our splendid Director of Music, Stevie Farr, for the tremendous music we have all enjoyed over the past few days. Not only did our organists and choir produce the usual high standard of music we would expect any weekend, but in addition to their Sunday duties, they accompanied a very complex evening liturgy, plus a large High Mass two days later. In addition, Hamish Wagstaff, our organ scholar, offered a first-rate organ recital on the Sunday afternoon as well. We are grateful to our whole Music department for the immense energy, focus and commitment they have shown over the past week. They have enabled the worship of the People of God in a wonderful way so that the presence of God was truly to be known in the midst of our prayer and praise.

We should also thank all those who have contributed to our welcome of so many visitors over the past few days and provided refreshments. Our parish party on Sunday evening was a triumph, and the bar has been full of visitors on several occasions. A huge thank you should go to Kate Hodgetts and Chris Self for all they have done to organise these events, and to everyone who has played any role in our ministry of welcome.

Our liturgies over the past week would not have been possible without the outstanding commitment and expertise of our serving team. I am very grateful indeed to each and every one of them for the time and effort they have dedicated to rehearsals, preparation and planning – and for the prayerful and effective way in which they led a number of complex liturgical celebrations. We are so lucky to have such a tremendous band of servers. I am sure I speak of behalf of all of our parish when I express my heartfelt gratitude to them for all they have accomplished over the past week.

As I ponder the liturgies we have celebrated, I am so grateful to all those who made live-streaming them possible so that friends far away, along with our housebound parishioners, could participate in our worship. We owe Huw Pryce and Richard Everton a particular word of thanks. Broadcasting a moving outside liturgy is no small task, but Richard and Huw pulled it off spectacularly well and viewing figures have been very impressive indeed. Thank you to both of them for all the time, energy and effort they put into liturgical live-streaming for our parish.

A crucial part of organising our liturgy on Sunday was the work of our team of stewards who acted so wonderfully in making sure the procession went off safely and in an orderly way. I particularly want to thank Chris Swift and Nick Gralka for all they did to organise the stewards and undertake risk assessments before the day. Many thanks indeed to those who ensured the safety of us all by volunteering for this important role.

Last, but not least, I would to say a special word of thanks to my clergy colleagues, Fr Alan and Fr Julian. They have both worked incredibly hard over the past few days and I am grateful for their support, wisdom, and humour. We are very blessed indeed to have them as part of the clergy team in our parish.

I pray our keeping of the Assumption may act as a joyful spring board to energise us over the coming months as we proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ and seek to serve the word in his name.

Fr Peter


All Saints’ Church just before the beginning of Evensong, Procession, and Benediction in honour of Our Lady’s Assumption.


Assumptiontide Procession on Social Media

Coverage of our procession of Our Lady has been very well received on various platforms on social media. If you want to see a full gallery of images of the evening the easiest place to find them is here on Facebook. Our live-stream video of the procession on Sunday night can be found here, and the High Mass for the feast day itself can be found here.

It would be hugely helpful if parishioners and friends could make sure they have “shared” and/or “retweeted” at least one of our parish posts about the procession on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram in order to raise awareness of our parish’s ministry and witness. Many thanks!


Our parish party after the procession of Our Lady on Sunday night: it was a beautiful, cool August evening and such a joy to chat with friends and visitors. Thank you to all who made it such an enjoyable occasion.


Priscilla Lois Angela Oakeshott RIP

A Requiem Mass for the soul of Priscilla will be offered at All Saints’ at noon this Wednesday, 23rd August.

Priscilla’s committal will take place at 3.30pm on Thursday 24th August at the East Chapel, Cambridge Crematorium, CB3 0JJ. This will be followed by a buffet and drinks at The Plough in Coton. Those planning to attend the buffet are asked to email rbs.oakeshott@gmail.com so that catering can be arranged.


Our Assumptiontide procession makes its way en fête down Oxford Street.


Parish barbecue: Sunday 27th August

On Sunday 27th August, all parishioners are invited by John McWhinney and Paul Weston to share a barbecue lunch from 1.30 pm onwards in Wapping where their boat is moored at Hermitage Moorings (16 Wapping High Street, E1W 1NG). The barbecue will cost £15 per head (to be paid in cash on the day) and participants are asked to bring a bottle.


Congratulations to Kush and Xenia who got married last Saturday at All Saints’. We wish then well in their new life together and assure them of our prayers.


Congratulations Hamish!

Many congratulations indeed to Hamish Wagstaff, our organ scholar, for recently receiving his Associateship of the Royal College of Organists. He received prizes for the highest marks in written and practical exams, and for the highest aggregate mark.

We are so grateful to him for all he contributes to the life of our parish and for his outstanding commitment and musicianship. We send him our best wishes and salute this significant achievement.


What a splendid occasion our parish party was after the procession of Our Lady on Sunday evening.


Zoom Theology

Our online theology seminar by Zoom resumes this autumn, giving those from further afield the opportunity to join in the discussion of a text or subject. These Zoom seminars always take place on Tuesdays at 7.00pm and last for no more than an hour.

Forthcoming seminars were announced in last week’s parish email. Topics include: the religious thought of Benjamin Disraeli; Eco-Theology and Maximus the Confessor; a refresher session in the doctrinal history of the Early Church; theological murder mysteries; and James Alison, René Girard and the theological concept of the Scapegoat.

For further details, along with the Zoom links, please go to the “Online Zoom Theology” section on the parish website here.


We are very grateful indeed to the four individuals who heroically carried Our Lady’s statue in our procession on Sunday. The image with its litter and canopy is not light at all, and they coped incredibly well with this not uncomplicated task. Thank you so much!


Many thanks, Jonathan

Jonathan Pease, our parish office administrator, will be leaving us at the beginning of September in order to take up a new post focussing on music and church revitalisation in the Tower Hamlets Deanery in east London.

We would like to thank him for all he has done for our parish in the two years he has been with us. His diligence, hard work, insight and humour have been exemplary. Jonathan has transformed so many elements of our bureaucracy and has run our parish office with immense efficiency and effectiveness. We are very grateful indeed for the commitment, wisdom and insight he has brought to his work, along with the love, care and sensitivity with which he has been a part of the day to day community at All Saints’.

We wish him well for this new project in the future and assure him of our prayers for him as he embarks on this new role.


Jonathan Pease, our parish office administrator: we are so grateful to him for all he has contributed to our parish’s life in his time working with us, and we wish him well in his new post.


North American Zoom Cocktail Hour – this Sunday

There will be an opportunity for our American and Canadian online worshippers and Friends to connect and catch up on Sunday 20th August at a time that takes account of the time difference between England and North America. This will be at 10.00 pm GMT, which should be 5.00 pm Eastern Time, and 2.00 pm Pacific Time.

If you are an online worshipper or a North American Friend of All Saints’, simply join us online where one of our clergy will be present for chat and to hear news from anyone who wishes to share it. The slightly later hour prompted us to think it wouldn’t be too early to come to the computer screen with a cocktail, but please feel free to drink whatever you want! The Zoom link is here.

Join us as we seek to get to know each other better and nurture the links we have with one another across continents.


It was such a joy to have Bishop Glyn Webster with us as our preacher on Sunday night. You can listen to his sermon again here.


Thoughts of a retired priest

Fr Pip Bevan offers some reflections on his ministry and life at All Saints’:

Life as a priest is changed when you no longer have Permission to Officiate from the Bishop. The diary which was always filled with services in this and that parish, or convent, now is empty. This happened to me when I was eighty, had a loss of balance, and also lost sight in my left eye, and decided to relinquish my Permission to Officiate. What does one “do”? How can one be useful to the local parish?

One is still an ordained a priest even though I no longer have a licence to practice. I did not feel that I was dispensed from saying the Daily Office, in my case: Morning Prayer, Midday Prayer with Readings for the day, Evening Prayer and Compline. These had hallowed my days since Theological College and subsequent ordination in 1968, and so I resolved to continue each day.

I was used to saying Mass almost daily, and I used to help out with the weekday Masses at All Saints’ prior to the Pandemic. Now I could not longer manage the steps and reading the missal was getting difficult. We began the Noon Mass each day once COVID restrictions were over, and subsequently the 6.30pm Mass each evening. I resolved to attend Mass six days of the week, Sunday to Friday. If I could not say Mass, I can attend the daily celebration. The core group at Mass, augmented by many visitors each day fills me with great joy, lifts my soul up and strengthens my spirit. And so began my retirement years, almost five years ago.

I get up each day when Richard goes to work at 08.30, wash and dress for the day, make a cup of coffee, take my medication and say Morning Prayer. Since the days of my youth I have loved chant, and so I sing the Hours with @SingtheHours on Youtube. This is a twice daily service from Paul Rose in Boston USA for Morning and Evening Prayer from the Roman Breviary and I love it. These two offices are the hinges of my day.

After Morning Prayer I put on my cassock and go out for breakfast on my way to All Saints’, either Caravan or Riding House Cafe. The staff know me, and are very kind. It is surprising how many people seeing a priest will say good morning, or some ask for a blessing or a chat. At 10.45 I travel down Great Titchfield Street on my mobility scooter on my way to the church which opens at 11.00. Cafes are buzzing, and the restaurants are setting up for the lunch service, I see the same people every morning, and it is good to wave or say good morning. People are surprisingly friendly.

I arrive at 11.00 am and to have an hour before the 12 noon Mass in the presence of the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament is of great importance for me. The Curé d’Ars once asked a man who came to Church every evening after work and sat in silence, what do you do in this time? The man replied, “I look at Him and He looks at me”. This is essentially the essence of contemplative prayer of the heart, which is so important. The Church is silent and empty except for occasional visitors. The silence wraps itself around me; it is a time of great depth of feeling and joy. I lay before God my life; all that I am, and all that I hope for – the things on my heart, our parish, and the people who have asked for my prayers either personally or from Twitter. Often I pray the Jesus Prayer, the foundation of my prayer life: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me”. It is the prayer of the Publican, and within it is contained the whole of the Gospel story.

At noon a bell rings and brings my Holy Hour to an end, we say The Angelus, and Mass begins. The Mass is a timeless liturgy that is the source and summit of the Christian life. Each day the readings of God’s Word in the Scriptures unfold, and Jesus becomes flesh again in the Sacrifice of the Altar. We have the immense privilege of receiving the Sacrament of Our Lord’s Body and Blood. The Mass is ancient and yet ever new.

After Mass there is brief fellowship in the courtyard, and lunch a bowl of pasta on Great Titchfield Street at T H Harris, the oldest Italian deli in our parish. I greet the same faces each day, as we eat our midday repast. Home after that – usually to watch a film for a couple of hours, or read until it is time for Evening Prayer and supper. Then Newsnight, Compline and bed. And so the days come and go in the life of a retired priest in the parish that is All Saints’, Margaret Street, W1.


We are so grateful to Fr Pip Bevan for his presence amongst us each day at the daily Mass. He is a treasure at the heart of our parish’s life and we thank him for his prayerful wisdom and faithful dedication to All Saints’.


The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Parishioners of All Saints’ are warmly invited to join St. Mary’s Cable Street for their Patronal Festival Mass on Friday 8th September at 7.30pm. The guest preacher is Fr. Ben Kerridge of Holy Innocents, Hornsey, and the service will be followed by a party.


Forthcoming guest preachers

Sunday 10th September – 14th Sunday after Trinity
High Mass | 11.00 am
The Revd Dr Michael Bowie,
Vicar, St Peter’s, Eastern Hill, Melbourne, Australia.

Sunday 1st October – 17th Sunday after Trinity
High Mass | 11.00 am
The Revd Katy Hacker Hughes,
Priest Pastor, St Marylebone Parish Church.

Wednesday 1st November 2023 – All Saints’ Day
High Mass | 6.30 pm
The Revd Richard Bastable,
Vicar, St Luke’s Uxbridge Road, and St Matthew’s, Kensington Olympia.

Tuesday 2nd November 2023 – All Souls’ Day
High Mass of Requiem | 6.30 pm
The Revd Dr Barry Orford.

Sunday 19th November 2023 – Trinity 24
High Mass | 11.00 am
The Revd Kathryn Bellhouse,
Assistant Curate, St Peter’s, Eastern Hill, Melbourne, Australia.

Friday 8th December 2023 – Immaculate Conception
High Mass | 6.30 pm
The Revd Canon Simon Morris,
Vicar, Holy Trinity, Winchmore Hill.

Friday 2nd January 2024 – Candlemas  
High Mass | 6.30 pm
The Revd James Wilkinson,
Vicar, the Guild Church of St Dunstan in the West
and Chaplain to the Bishop of Fulham.

Holy Week Preacher 2024 – The Revd Preb Dr David Houlding

Monday 8th April 2024 – Annunciation 
High Mass | 6.30 pm
The Revd Simon Buckley,
Rector, St Anne’s, Soho,
Sub Dean, Westminster (St Margaret’s) Deanery.

Sunday 19th May 2024 – Pentecost 2024 
High Mass with Baptisms and Confirmation | 11.00 am
The Bishop of Fulham


Guests, friends and parishioners share a time of fellowship and refreshment in our courtyard after the procession of Our Lady on Sunday evening.


Attendance last Sunday


Many thanks indeed to the Chelsea Pensioners for joining us on Sunday night for our procession of Our Lady. They formed a magnificent guard of honour around the image of Our Lady of Walsingham. It was such fun to chat with them and hear about their life at the Royal Hospital Chelsea at our parish party after the liturgy. We thank them for their service in the armed forces of our our country. Many thanks indeed also go to their chaplain, Fr Steven Brookes for accompanying them.


Links for Sunday

The links for the livestream and service sheet for this Sunday’s High Mass are at the end of this email.

Evensong and Benediction will take place at 6pm. Music will include Dyson’s Evening Service in C minor and Vaughan Williams’s The Song of the Tree of Life.


Prayer list

The sick

Fr. Harry Hodgetts, Amanda Barrett, Martin Berka, James Rodger, Elizabeth Lyon, Ray Oram, Roy Breare, Eddie Burns, Fiona Ellis, Gareth Chester-Jones

Anniversaries of death

August 20th – William Cargill Pr., Harry Allan, Patrick Martell
21st – George Jeynes, Leroy Lawes
22nd – Marion Ginger
23rd – Elsie Faithfull, John Hawkins Pr., Patricia Jones, Peter Vickers, Geoffrey Hughes, Lily Caplin
24th – Mary King, David Harris Pr., Linda Clarke
25th – Irene Harford, Elvira Dibley
26th – Robert Corbin Pr.

The Friends of All Saints’

August 20th – Fr. Barry Orford, Samantha Parker, Malcolm Parr, Bhaven Patel, Alma Pearson, Pat Phillips, Pamela Phillips
21st – Colin Podmore, Nick and Cecilia Powell, Simon Pusey, Simon Rainey, Gordon Reid, Carlos Remotti-Breton
22nd – Steve Rice, John Rick, Fr. Peter Roberts, Hilary Rodger, Fr. Jim Rosenthal, Mossman Roueche
23rd – Greg Round, Jamie Rundle, Mary Sherred, James Shrimpton, Gabriel Simerson, Fr. Peter Simpson
24th – Brad Singer, Ingrid Slaughter, Naomi Slippe, Gwynedd Sooke, Richard and Louise Stallwood, Jason Stewart, Iain Stewart
25th – Ian & Veronica Summers, Ann Tacchi, Sebastian Taite-Ellis, Michael Taylor, James Thomson, Charles Thomson
26th – Jeremy Thorp, Daniel Turner, Christine Vaughn Lillie, Sam Walsh, Christopher Walsh, Christopher Waterhouse


Service times this week

Saturday 19th August – Feria
12.00 pm Requiem Mass
6.30 pm Vigil Mass of Sunday

Sunday 20th August – Trinity 11
11.00 am High Mass
5.15 pm Mass
6.00 pm Evensong and Benediction

Monday 21st August – St. Pius X
12.00 pm Mass
6.30 pm Mass

Tuesday 22nd August – Feria
12.00 pm Mass
6.30 pm High Mass

Wednesday 23rd August – St. Rose of Lima
12.00 pm Mass of Requiem for Priscilla Oakeshott
6.30 pm Mass

Thursday 24th August – St. Bartholomew
12.00 pm Mass
6.30 pm Mass

Friday 25th August – Feria
12.00 pm Mass
6.30 pm Mass

Saturday 26th August – Feria
12.00 pm Mass
6.30 pm Vigil Mass of Sunday

Sunday 27th August – Trinity 12
11.00 am High Mass
5.15 pm Mass
6.00 pm Evensong and Benediction