Weekly Email – Advent 2 | All Saints Margaret Street All Saints Margaret Street | Weekly Email – Advent 2

Weekly Email – Advent 2

Friday 3 December 2021 at 13:45


Dear friends,

The practice of spiritual direction and the hearing of confessions has long been a crucial part of the life of All Saints’, Margaret Street. Many people  have spoken to me about the way in which they have benefited from this ministry over the years, and have used All Saints’ as a place to find spiritual counsel, advice, and forgiveness.

How this ministry operates is a big question which we need to consider as we emerge from COVID.

Before the pandemic it had been the practice of this parish to have a priest available sitting in the confessional to celebrate the sacrament of reconciliation twice a day. When the various COVID lockdowns came along, this practice was suspended and for several months we have simply been operating a system in which a person who wishes to make a confession makes an appointment with one of our parish’s priests.

Conversation with all those priests who regularly sat to hear confessions each day has revealed a widespread feeling that it was no longer a reasonable or practical way of offering the sacrament of reconciliation. The number of people who came to make their confessions in this way, unannounced and without an appointment, has been, in recent years, vanishingly small.

As we put back in place a sustainable offering of public worship and sacramental care post COVID, it strikes me that the practice of priests spending two periods a day waiting to hear confessions is probably one that should come to an end.

We need to find a different way of offering this ministry which is reliable and approachable, but which is realistic about the demands we make of our clergy in terms of their time and energy.

I am proposing that we move to a model where we simply have one or two key periods each week which are clearly advertised during which a priest will be waiting in the confessional ready to hear confessions. From this week onwards, a priest will be available from 11.00 am each Saturday until the 12 noon Mass through the whole of Advent.

It will remain the case that a priest will be available for anyone who wants to make a confession before any Mass; it simply won’t be that he will be waiting in the confessional. If you wish to make a confession before a Mass, simply speak to the priest who is in the sacristy preparing for Mass.

It will also remain the case that the clergy are more than happy to make an appointment at any stage to meet with someone who wants spiritual direction or the ministry of forgiveness. Please simply email any of our parish’s clergy if you wish to organise a meeting.

In the New Year we will have the opportunity to reflect on how well this plan has worked, and whether we need to change it in any way, expand it, or come up with another plan.

I hope and pray that this will make the blessing of knowing our sins are forgiven through a sacramental encounter with the Lord something a wider number of people in our parish can know, and that this ministry will form a healthy and valued part of how we prepare our hearts for the birth of the Christ child.

Fr Peter


Honours richly deserved

Many congratulations to parishioners of All Saints Margaret Street who received honours at Windsor Castle this week.

Dr Colin Podmore was awarded an MBE for services to the Church of England. Sir Robert Chote was also made a knight bachelor for services to fiscal policy and the economy, and was presented with his honour in the same ceremony as his wife, Dame Sharon White, was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in recognition of her public service at Ofcom.

Historians think this might be the first occasion when a husband and wife were awarded a damehood and a knighthood at the same ceremony. Hearty congratulations, thanks and prayers for all!

Many congratulations to Colin, Sharon and Robert, with thanks from us all for your service to the life of our country and church.

Durer Exhibition at National Gallery

Friday 14th January 2022, 5.15pm

We are organising a parish trip to visit “Dürer’s Journeys: Travels of a Renaissance Artist” at the National Gallery on Friday 14th January.

It is the first major UK exhibition of German Renaissance artist Albrecht Dürer in nearly 20 years. Through paintings, drawings, prints, and letters, this exhibition follows Dürer’s travels across Europe, bringing to life the artist himself, and the people and places he visited.

Charting his journeys to the Alps, Italy, Venice and the Netherlands, the exhibition will explore how Dürer’s travels sparked an exchange of ideas with Netherlandish and Italian Renaissance artists, fuelled his curiosity and creativity, and increased his fame and influence across Europe.

‘Dürer’s Journeys’ will bring together loans from museums and private collections across the world, including the artist’s striking ‘Madonna and Child’ (c. 1496/1499) from the National Gallery of Art, Washington, never before seen in the UK.

We will meet at the National Gallery for a talk from Dr Susan Foister, deputy director of the gallery, at 5.15pm. After viewing the exhibition there is the opportunity to have dinner together at Le Beaujolais restaurant in Litchfield Street.

Tickets are on a strictly ‘first come, first served’ basis. The exhibition tickets cost £20. A three-course dinner at Le Beaujolais will be £37 (without wine – each person will be able to pay for their own wine on the night), so if you wish to stay on for dinner, the total is £57. If you are a member of the National Gallery, the cost is £37 – please send your membership number to office@asms.uk so we can include you in the group.

To buy your ticket – either with dinner or without – visit this page and select one of the three price options. If you are unable to make a payment electronically by card, the parish office will be able to receive a cheque.

I hope you enjoy the rich programme of opportunities for study, reflection, and Christian education that will continue at All Saints next year, and am excited that we will be visiting a fascinating exhibition at one of the world’s finest galleries.

Links for Sunday

The link for the Propers for Advent 2 is at the end of this email.

Click here for the YouTube live stream for High Mass.

Evensong and Benediction is at 6pm. The music includes Gibbons Fauxbordon canticles, and Naylor Vox Dicentis.



The flowers are given by Ray Oram for the Immaculate Conception this coming week.
We are looking for volunteers to help with the flowers in church. If you have a particular talent for flower arranging and would like to help from time to time or on a regular basis, please contact Shawn on 07988 287 663 or shawnwilbe@outlook.com.
If you would like to make a donation for flowers, please contact Shawn or speak to Chris Self.


Walsingham Devotion

Tomorrow week our monthly Walsingham Devotion, in the form of the Rosary with intercessions, will be offered at 1130 before the noon Mass.


Prayer list

Prisoners and captives

Nazanin Zhagari-Ratcliffe, Ismaeil Maghrebinejad, Nasrin Sotoudeh
Maira Shabhaz
Rohingya Christians in Pakistan, Karen Christians in Burma, and Tigrayan Christians in Ethiopia

The sick

David Fettke, Vallery Tchukov, Sara Vice, Katherine Lee, Beth Klausing, Hilary Porter, Bruce Ross-Smith, Benjamin Woolf, James Shrimpton, Tony Rodger, Fr Michael Gudgeon, Chris and Carole Radley, Fr Harry Hodgetts, Rosemary Orr, Martin Berka, Joan Anna SLG, Sheila Wood, Jennifer Spreckley, Sue Yesnick, Elizabeth Lyon, Rosina Sargon Eskrya, Malcolm Brown, Geoff Vardy, Fr John O’Brien, Max Fernandes, Ross Dixon, Bernard Holmes, Elaine Bishop, Sabria Systermans, Peter Hoyle, Bishop Andrew St John, Emily Borland, Hazel Duckett, Fr Bob Nind, Jack de Gruiter, Frank Field, Fr Andrew, Belinda Marsh, Hilary Rodger

Those known to us recently departed

Craig Williams, Kathleen McMorran, Lorna Smith Pr

Anniversaries of death

5th – Mary Skelton, Mary Burton, Florence Duggan
6th – William Gelson, Thomas Vaughan, Rita Mather
7th – Morgan Griffiths Pr, John Slater, Frances Lloyd, Zena Monk
8th – Maude Bull, Christine Bramma, Ines Baxter
9th –
10th – Marian Borton, Hamish Gray, Natalie Dyrnes, Daniel Thomas
11th – Amelia Jones, Alice Trevor, Annie Jevons, Roscow Shedden Bp, Margaret Butterworth, Guy Pritchard, Ros Tagoe


Supporting All Saints

Parish Giving Scheme

You can set up a regular donation to All Saints here.

We use the Parish Giving Scheme, which allows contributions to be anonymous and deals with Gift Aid, saving our office a lot of time. You can read about how the scheme works here.

Donations for general church purposes

To give by BACS please use the following details, advising the Administrator to collect Gift Aid:

PCC All Saints (Charity no. 1132895)
Sort Code 60-09-15
A/C 04559452

Parish Legacy Policy

We are always delighted to hear from anyone who wants to support us with a donation. Our PCC Legacy Policy encourages people to leave bequests specifically to one of our two related charities to be used for purposes of lasting value (rather than day to day costs):

All Saints Choir & Music Trust (Charity # 802994)

or The All Saints Foundation (Charity # 273390).