As we keep this Sunday the feast of Christ the King, our minds turn to Advent. Two significant opportunities exist in our parish as we approach that holy season of expectation that will help us prepare our hearts and minds for the presence of the Christ Child.
Advent Study Day – Saturday 27th November, 10.00 am- 3.00 pm
The first opportunity is our Advent Study Day which will take place on Saturday 27th November. Our guest speaker will be the Revd Professor John Behr, Regius Professor of Humanity at the University of Aberdeen.
Fr Behr is an orthodox priest and distinguished patristic theologian who will explore with us what it means to read the Bible as ‘Scripture’. We are very pleased and lucky that he has agreed to speak for us at this study day, and also to preach at the High Mass on Sunday 28th November.
His series of talks at the study day will explore what it means to preach the gospel ‘in accordance with the Scriptures.’ We will explore the story of salvation that leads from Adam to Christ as the path of growth into becoming a living human being, ‘the glory of God’, as Irenaeus put it.
The first talk will begin at 10.00 am, there will be Mass at 12 noon, and then a second talk at 2.00 pm. We hope the day will be over around 3.00 pm.
Don’t miss this wonderful opportunity for study, reflection and formation!
The re-introduction of an evening Mass
A further opportunity to draw closer to Christ and ready our hearts for him is the re-introduction of a second Mass each day at 6.15 pm from Monday 22nd November onwards. This means that from Monday onwards, there will be a Mass at both 12 noon and 6.15 pm Monday-Friday.
We hope the extra evening Mass will give a wider range of people the possibility of attending the Eucharist during the week. This Mass may be particularly suited for people who work in town during the week, or who might happen to be near the West End in the afternoon or for an evening function.
The Mass is a wonderful way of making time and space in our day for the presence of Christ, to hear him speak to us through the Scriptures, to bring to him the needs of our broken world, and to feel the strength and joy that comes from receiving his Body and Blood.
Please consider whether you might be able to make attending a 6.15 pm Mass during the week part of your Advent rule of life.
I hope that these two opportunities will be occasions in which we can draw closer to Christ and make this Advent a time of holy expectation and joyful proclamation of the Lord’s coming.
John Behr is one of this country’s foremost patristic theologians. We are so pleased he has agreed to speak to us for our Advent Study Day and preach on the First Sunday of Advent.
The Parish Paper and the Friends of All Saints
I would like to share with you some changes to our parish’s life agreed by our PCC at their last meeting concerning the Parish Paper and how the Friends of All Saints’ organisation will operate in future.
These changes are the fruit of much discussion, reflection and thought, and I hope they will enable us to connect and communicate with people better in the future. I want to thank all those who have put time and effort into thinking these issues through and in making suggestions for how we might move forward.
It has been agreed that from January 2022 onwards, the Parish Paper will start to be published in a different way. It will be given a significant “facelift” in order to improve its appearance and content, but most importantly will no longer be a monthly publication. Our intention is that the new full-colour Parish Paper will be published twice a year.
These changes in how we publish the Parish Paper will also be affected by a renewal we want to undertake in the life of our Friends’ organisation. When the new Parish Paper comes out next year it will only be sent to members of our Friends of All Saints’ Organisation. In other words, if you want to continue receiving a physical copy of the Parish Paper, you will need to make sure you are registered as a Friend of All Saints’.
Our hope is that in many ways, the Parish Paper will become a journal a little like the Walsingham Review – a high quality full-colour publication which keeps committed friends in touch with life at All Saints’, but which is no longer our principal organ for the dissemination of information month by month, a role which has clearly been taken over by online communication by email, website, and social media.
I outline below in greater detail some of the thinking behind these decisions for those who wish to know more.
Many have noticed in recent years that the usefulness of the parish paper as a means of communication has been swiftly outpaced by weekly interaction with parishioners by email. This has been confirmed and turbo charged during the recent lockdowns.
Our principal means of communication and connection are now through a weekly email sent to 618 people, through extensive interaction on social media through Facebook (with 3,407 followers), Twitter (1027 followers) and Instagram (1068 followers), and through online broadcasting of worship and teaching through YouTube (1200 subscribers to our channel).
The Parish Paper’s circulation has dwindled to a mere 51 sent to readers by post. A further 15-20 copies are sold in church each month. This means we have a total readership of the Parish Paper of around 65-70. Our online communication with friends and parishioners dwarfs the circulation of the Parish Paper, and the amount of time and money that goes into producing it is significantly out of kilter with its usefulness and reach.
Our aim is to produce a new full-colour physical magazine which is of higher print quality than present, but which will appear less frequently. We aim to publish a journal that complements better our online and email interaction with parishioners, keeps in touch with those who are not online, continues to act as a record of our parish’s life, and where regulation of costs and payment is easier to manage.
The Friends of All Saints’ Margaret Street
Reflection on our Friends organisation has also revealed a need for significant renewal and re-thinking.
The total number of Friends has dwindled over the past few years. We currently have 154 Friends, but our database of contact information for them is very patchy indeed. Our records are in urgent need of revision. We don’t have email or telephone information for an extensive majority of the names on the list of Friends and haven’t heard from many of them in years.
The Friends of All Saints’, however, took on a new and important significance during COVID lockdowns as Friends were prayed for each day at the broadcast Mass. Many got in touch to say how touched they had been by this ministry, and quite a few digital newcomers have joined the Friends. It is also clear that our online congregation now extends across several continents as a result of our ministry during the lockdowns.
It has been agreed that a substantial renewal and re-organisation of the Friends should take place over the next 12 months to revitalise this organisation as a crucial part of our parish’s life. To cut a long story short, the Friends will emerge during 2022 with several new tiers of commitment and membership.
The first tier will be the “Friends” of All Saints’, Margaret Street. In exchange for a yearly membership fee of £25, they will receive the Parish Paper and there will be a number of events through the year to which they will be invited and encouraged to attend.
There will then be a second tier called the “Benefactors” of All Saints’, Margaret Street. Membership of this tier will be available to anyone who wishes to donate regularly at least £10 a month, or at least £120 a year. They will receive the Parish Paper, and will be invited to a series of separate events during the year to thank them for their generosity.
We will also explore setting up branches of the Friends for overseas supporters. These branches might eventually organise fundraising events abroad and will coordinate giving to All Saints’ in other countries in ways that are tax efficient and bureaucratically more streamlined. In the immediate term, Friends abroad will be encouraged to join the UK Friends until we have these external organisations set up.
The PCC proposes that the Parish Paper will go out for the last time in its present form next month for December 2021. From January 2022 onwards, the new version of the Parish Paper will only be sent by post twice a year to those who are registered as Friends, with the first edition of the new paper coming out in Eastertide 2022.
During 2022, there will be a thorough revision of our records of the Friends, and a campaign to get new Friends registered under the aegis of the new scheme. From January 2023 onwards, the revised list of Friends and Benefactors will only include those who have registered and paid under the new scheme.
I hope these changes will represent a significant improvement in the quality and accuracy of our interaction with parishioners, friends and newcomers, and allow us to keep in touch better with people who may not be parishioners but who wish to retain a meaningful connection with us. I will keep everyone abreast of developments as we seek to put these changes into action over the coming months, and look forward to seeing the first edition of our new Parish Paper next Easter!
It was a joy to welcome a group of our younger parishioners and newcomers to dinner at the Vicarage two weeks ago. A further series of dinners in planned in the new year.
Tomorrow our monthly Requiem Mass will be celebrated: please let Fr Michael have names of those you’d like remembered at that Mass.
Links for Sunday
The link for the Propers for Christ the King is at the end of this email.
And click here for the YouTube live stream.
Evensong and Benediction at 6pm on Sunday. This week the music includes Stanford in C, Gabriel Jackson Cantate Domino, and James Sherwood Benediction hymns.
The flowers for Christ the King are given by Stephen Miller in loving memory of his mother Lovinia.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would like to make a donation for flowers, please contact Shawn or speak to Chris Self.
Prisoners and captives
Nazanin Zhagari-Ratcliffe, Ismaeil Maghrebinejad, Nasrin Sotoudeh
Rohingya Christians in Pakistan, Karen Christians in Burma, Tigrayan Christians in Ethiopia
David Fettke, Vallery Tchukov, Sara Vice, Katherine Lee, Lorna Smith, 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, Craig Williams, Ross Dixon, Bernard Holmes, Elaine Bishop, Kathleen McMorran, Sabria Systermans, Peter Hoyle, Bishop Andrew St John, Emily Borland, Hazel Duckett, Fr Bob Nind, Jack de Gruiter, Frank Field, Fr Andrew
Those known to us recently departed
Derek Rodgers, Bob Brice, Terence Morley Pr
Anniversaries of death
21st – Emma Stephens, Jack Harrington, Kingsley Stansfield, David Voy
22nd – George Ebbs, Joyce Harvey, Winifred Brough, Mary Buchanan, Timothy Lawford
23rd – Josephine Fletcher, Robert Walker, Ailsa Critchley, Ann Swanton, Susan Beauchamp
24th – Henry West, Gladys Howard, Alyo Purdon
25th – Agnes Mackay, Mabel Egerton, Marjorie Gilley, May Beeken
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
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 GiftAid, 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
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).