Weekly Email – Christ the King | All Saints Margaret Street All Saints Margaret Street | Weekly Email – Christ the King

Weekly Email – Christ the King

Friday 24 November 2023 at 13:45


Dear friends,

I was very pleased to be able to visit the All Saints’ Sisters of the Poor in Oxford last week. I had a lovely day, was very touched to be invited to have lunch with them, and was able to hear about their community life, and to see their house and chapel.

The All Saints Sisters of the Poor form a crucial part of the history of our parish. They were founded in 1851 by an inspiring woman called Harriet Brownlow Byron to undertake pioneering work with the poor and underprivileged in the area around All Saints’. For many years, they had a significant presence in Margaret Street through their convent opposite All Saints’ Church, and through their involvement in the ministry and outreach of our parish.

The foundation of their community was part of the magnificent rediscovery of the religious life that characterised the Catholic Revival within the Church of England in the 19th century.

Their presence at the heart of those early formative years of our parish’s life also reveals to us, however, the importance our founders laid on the need to reach out to the world in loving action, and to be a sign of God’s love to the poorest and most marginalised. The Catholic renewal of the Church of England was not just about how we celebrated services in church, but also about the tangible difference we made in the world, and the living out of our baptismal calling in sacrificial service of neighbour.

The All Saints’ Sisters common life has changed in the way it expresses itself, as has so much in the culture both of our country and church since Mother Harriet’s time. They left the convent in Margaret Street 20 years ago and now live in one house in East Oxford. However, their vocation to serve the poor remains as steadfast as ever. I was so pleased to be able to share with the community our own plans for the future, which our PCC is considering at the moment, for renewal of our own parish’s charitable action and service of the world.

The sisters’ pioneering work now continues in Oxford through various inspiring projects which they founded: Helen House, a hospice for children and young adults; St John’s Home, a care home for the elderly; and The Porch, a project aimed at helping the homeless and vulnerably housed.

I was able to visit the sisters’ present chapel, which I discovered is called the “Upton Chapel” and is named after our own founder, Fr William Upton Richards, who was so influential on the birth of their community. I also looked around their guest house. Each room is named after a place where the sisters have had a religious house over the years, and I was very pleased to discover that room number 1 is called, “Margaret Street”!

I was so pleased to make good contact in this way with the All Saints Sisters. They were so welcoming and encouraging to me. I felt I had so much to learn from their charism and the history of their community. It was fascinating to see the amazing work that takes place as a result of their vision and witness. I ask that you keep them in your prayers and I hope that we will be able to foster a good relationship with the community in the years to come so that we might support each other in our different ministries and callings.

Fr Peter


Fr Peter with Sister Jane, Sister Jean Raphael, and Sister Helen Mary in Oxford last week.


Thank you to our servers!

We are grateful for a generous gift made last night to our parish by our serving team of a beautiful new reliquary. It will house the relic of the True Cross recently given to All Saints’ by a munificent benefactor who wishes to remain anonymous – and to whom we are very thankful.

The magnificent reliquary has been given in memory of our long-standing friend, parishioner and server Craig Williams who died two years ago yesterday. It was dedicated at a Requiem Mass in Craig’s memory last night. Thank you so much to our servers for their generosity and kindness in making this gift as Craig’s memorial.

The reliquary will be placed on the Lady Chapel altar each Friday from now on so that the relic of the Cross can be seen with reverence and joy by the faithful, and as a weekly reminder to his friends of Craig’s faithful service to our church.


Thank you to our servers for their kind contribution of a new reliquary to our parish in memory of Craig Williams.


Carol Service volunteers needed

We need volunteers to help organise welcome and serve refreshments at the many carol services we host in the weeks before Christmas. If you are able to help with this important task, please be in touch with Kate Hodgetts.

Carol services will be held on the following evenings and we need several volunteers for each one: 5th December (Rugby School); 6th December (Bishop’s Diocesan College, Cape Town); 12th December (Magdalen College, Oxford); 13th December (Keble College, Oxford); 14th December (Freud Communications); 17th December (our own parish carol service).


It was a joy to welcome as our preacher last Sunday the Revd Kathryn Bellhouse. You can watch last Sunday’s High Mass here.


Advent Carol Service

Our annual Advent Carol Service, including Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, will take place on Sunday 3rd December at 6.00 pm.

Music will include: Matin Responsory – Palestrina; A tender shoot – Goldschmidt; Laetentur caeli – Byrd; O thou, the central Orb – Gibbons; There is a flower – Vann; Im Advent – Mendelssohn.

Do join us for this beautiful liturgy which is a wonderful way of preparing for Christmas and the coming of the Christ Child. The service will be live-streamed via our parish YouTube Channel here.


What a jolly time was had by those who participated in our online Zoom coffee hour, hosted by Fr Alan after the High Mass on Sunday. It was an opportunity for our online worshippers and housebound parishioners to chat and catch up with each other’s news over a cup of coffee. New dates for further online coffee hours in the will be released soon.


Visiting Confessor: Fr Graeme Rowlands

Fr Graeme Rowlands will be available to hear confession at All Saints’ at the following times over the next month: 5.30 pm, Monday 4th Dec; 11.00 am, Wednesday 13th December; 5.30 pm, Monday 18th December; and 5.30 pm, Wednesday 20th December.


The beautiful reliquary donated to All Saints’ by the servers in memory of Craig Williams, whose anniversary of death fell yesterday. It is decorated with symbols of Christ’s Passion, our only hope of salvation.  


Evensong and Benediction live-stream

Please note that Evensong and Benediction is now live-streamed each week at 6.00 pm on Sundays via our parish YouTube channel. We are aware that there have been a few teething troubles with the quality of the sound on recent Evensong broadcasts. We think we have got to the bottom of the problem and hope to be able to live-stream without any further problems this Sunday.

The music this Sunday includes Wood’s Collegium Regale and Gabriel Jackson’s Cantate Domino. 

You can watch this Sunday’s Evensong live-stream via our parish YouTube Channel here.


We are very grateful to Fr Barry Orford for leading the last session of our mystagogy course on Evelyn Underhill last night. We are grateful to all who have attended and all who have taught over the past few weeks…and to Fr Alan for hosting the series so wonderfully! You can read more about the course and what we have been studying this autumn here.


High Mass of Requiem – Ray Oram

A High Mass of Requiem will take place for Ray Oram at 12 noon at St Magnus the Martyr, London Bridge, on Saturday 9th December. In order to allow parishioners of All Saints’ to attend, the Rosary and noon Mass here that day will be cancelled.


Next Zoom Theology Seminar

Our next Zoom Theology session will take place online on Tuesday, December 5th, 2023, at 7.00 pm. It will be entitled, “A small world in a great one: Eco-Theology and St Maximus the Confessor,” and will be led by Fr Nathan Mulcock.

Fr Nathan is Chaplain of Mansfield College, Oxford, and is pursuing a doctorate in in the realm of Eco-Theology, with particular reference to the Patristic theologian St Maximus the Confessor.

He will introduce us to the parameters of this modern discipline and also give us an opportunity for the closer reading of some of the ancient texts that inform them. The Zoom link and further information can be found here.


“Christians seek to share what is sacred with the people and the world around us…when offered with wisdom and judiciousness and humility, it comes from a genuine belief that Christ has given us something that the world genuinely needs.” You can hear more from our sermon last Sunday on the Parable of the Talents given by the Revd Kathryn Bellhouse here.


All Saints’ Festival Appeal

Don’t forget that the All Saints’ Festival Appeal runs until the end of November. The two focusses of this year’s All Saints’-tide appeal will be the American Soup Kitchen on the Tottenham Court Road, and the Mark Bushby Scholarship Fund. All funds raised will be split equally between the two causes.

The Soup Kitchen at the American International Church on the Tottenham Court Road is well known to us and is a project we have supported for many years. Our donations will go towards the costs of their mental health worker.

The Mark Bushby Scholarship Fund was set up in his memory by his friends in 2021 to fund a scholarship with Brent Music Service. Each scholarship provides a promising young musician with four years of one-on-one instrumental tuition, and is administered by the London Music Fund (Registered Charity 1141216). Scholars come from families who would not otherwise be able to afford music lessons for their children.

The appeal will run until the end of November. You can donate to the appeal online here.



Christmas Eve services

We are going to experiment with a slight change to the services we offer on Christmas Eve this year in order to allow as many people as possible to attend the liturgy in that holy night. In addition to the usual 11.00 pm Midnight High Mass, there will also be a First High Mass of Christmas celebrated at 6.00 pm (as Christmas Eve this year is a Sunday, this will be in place of Evensong and the 5.15 pm Low Mass).

Many have voiced a concern that it can be difficult to get to All Saints’ and back home again on Christmas Eve once the Tube has stopped running early. We hope this new arrangement will offer an opportunity for worship both to those who want to preserve the ancient tradition of celebrating a Midnight Mass in the night, and also for those who would find it easier to come into central London earlier in the evening.


Our servers had a special meeting this week to ponder plans for the future and organise serving over the coming months. They met in the bar and had a splendid pizza supper together once the meeting was over. What a jolly evening it was! Our whole parish is so grateful to our serving team for all they do in the service of the liturgy. 


Attendance last Sunday



The flowers are given by Ingrid Slaughter in grateful and affectionate memory of Bernard and Margaret Pawley.

If you would like to mark an occasion with flowers, please contact Shawn.


Prayer List

The Friends of All Saints’ Margaret Street:

November 26th – Alan Kimbrough, Brenda Koupis, The Very Rev’d Harry Krauss, Deirdre Laing, Graham Last, Christopher Laws
27th – Cornelius Logue, Nigel Lynn, Henry Macey, Bishop Michael Marshall, Robert Mason, Graham Mather
28th – Judith Mather, The Rev’d Dr Stephen McClatchie The Rev’d Peter McGeary, Nigel McNeill, John McWhinney, Anne Merritt
29th – Thomas Moller, Barry Moore, Dr John Morrell, Fr Stephen Morris, Inger Mosbery, Carol Mundell
30th – Christopher Naylor, Brian Newman, Elaine Norman, Graham Norman, Richard North, Fr Paul Ockford
December 1st – Fr Peter and Anna Oesterby-Joergensen, Fr Barry Orford, Samantha Parker, Malcolm Parr, Bhaven Patel, Alma Pearson
2nd – Pat Philips, Colin Podmore, Nick and Cecilia Powell, Simon Pusey, Simon Rainey, Gordon Reid

The sick:

Javier Barbetta, Gary and Gill Hargreaves, Fr. Harry Hodgetts, Michael Lamprell, Elizabeth Lyon, Ian Lyon, Frances O’Neil, James Roger, Bruce Ross-Smith, Mary Rowe

The faithful departed:

Keith Bevan, Roy Breare, Betty Draper, Fr John O’Brien, Pat Castle Stewart

Those whose anniversaries of death fall at this time:

November 26th – Philip Burrage, Thomas Tomlinson, Priscilla Sedgewick, John Clayton, Barbara Morrissey, Thomas Ellis
27th – Edith Martin, Margaret Mack, Charles Hawksley, James Crompton, Joseph Kirkham, Margaret Pickering, Valerie Oram, Ann Cook, Phyllis James, Valerie Reddington
28th – Annie Marshall, Doris Harmsworth, Lovinia Miller
29th – John Clough
30th – Walter Ward, Archibald Ward Pr, Emily West, Katherine O’Neil, Chris Gudgeon
December 1st – Sarah Eynstone Pr, James Mason
2nd – David Prior
3rd – Margaret Rodger, Douglas Lawson, Kenneth Armstrong


Service times this week

Sunday 26th November – Christ the King
10.55 am High Mass
5.15 pm Mass
6.00 pm Evensong and Benediction

Monday 27th November – Feria
12.00 pm Mass
6.30 pm Mass

Tuesday 28th November – Feria
12.00 pm Mass
6.00 pm Mass

Wednesday 29th November – Feria
12.00 pm Mass
6.30 pm Mass

Thursday 30th November – St Andrew the Apostle
12.00 pm Mass
6.30 pm Mass

Friday 1st December – Feria
12.00 pm Mass
6.30 pm Mass

Saturday 2nd December – Feria
12.00 pm Mass
6.30 pm Vigil Mass of Sunday

Sunday 3rd December – First of Advent
11.00 am High Mass
5.15 pm Mass
6.00 pm Advent Carol Service