Weekly Email – Easter 3 | All Saints Margaret Street All Saints Margaret Street | Weekly Email – Easter 3

Weekly Email – Easter 3

Friday 12 April 2024 at 11:45


Dear friends,

Earlier on this week I spent a fascinating morning at Westminster Abbey experiencing the new exhibition being presented there on the history of the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris. I cannot begin to say how impressed I was. This exhibition will form part of our forthcoming parish outing to Westminster Abbey on Saturday 11th May.

The exhibition describes itself as an “immersive and interactive journey.” It uses “enhanced” technology to enable the visitor to experience key periods of the Cathedral’s life through extraordinarily convincing computer reality. The presentation has been created in France and will be in London until early June. You are given a small iPad-like device when you enter. As you make your way around the display, it connects to a different period or incident in the life of Notre Dame and explores it through a range of computer animated presentations.

The intriguing irony at the heart of this exhibition is that it contains not one single historical artefact – but this is not the point. The intention is to give you an immersive sense of what it will have been like to be associated with the cathedral’s construction and life through the ages.

The lives of key individuals are explored: the army of workers and engineers who built this masterpiece of a building; the instincts, outlook, and wealth of those who initiated its construction; important figures who were crowned or married there; the people involved in later centuries of Revolution, change, restoration, and rebuilding.

Several moments in this historical journey involve impressive 3D presentations of important scenes in Parisian history. As you move your device around, your view of the scene swings around as if you were present in it, and you can zoom in closer or look at parts of the building you wouldn’t be able to see normally.

The exhibition succeeds in its main purpose which is uncomplicatedly to exalt the remarkable historical and architectural achievement which Notre Dame represents. This surely, it must be admitted, forms part of a political agenda which prompts the French government’s renewed focus on the building as part of its perennial assertion of the value of French culture.

The Cathedral’s recent catastrophic destruction and the story of its reconstruction conveniently chime with the French cyclical political narrative of catastrophe and revolution followed by national rebirth. This architectural resurrection at the heart of the French capital has unquestionably allowed political leaders to recruit Notre Dame once again as a symbol of national hope and unity at a time of significant cultural uncertainty, geo-political confusion, and economic gloom.

Nonetheless, the exhibition also draws deep and convincing parallels between the genius of those who first built the cathedral and those who are painstakingly reconstructing it now. Their medieval counterparts are seen to be just as skilled, educated, and ingenious (if not more so!) as the architects and engineers presently working on the Cathedral.

The blinkered and ill-informed view bequeathed to us by the Reformation and so-called “Enlightenment” of the Middle Ages as a backward period of oppression, unsophistication and violence is swept aside. In its place, we see the artistic prowess, architectural bravura, and deep complexity of theological and philosophical reflection which undergirded and informed that gilded age.

It is impossible not to see connections between the building the exhibition seeks to teach us about and the location of its presentation in Westminister Abbey. A delightful intellectual irony is to be found in the fact that so many of Notre Dame’s historic roles in national and political life have been swept away by the laïcité of ever succeeding French Republics  – only to be preserved, enlivened and inhabited much more meaningfully and more deeply by the English at Westminister Abbey.

We see two radically different ways of relating to the monuments of national history and theological change in these sister churches; and this exhibition is a wonderful opportunity to ponder those outlooks and marvel at the people who bequeathed these two buildings to our common European patrimony.

To book your place on our parish trip on Saturday 11th May, simply email our parish office (office@asms.uk) to reserve your place. Each ticket is free, but we are limited to 15 people. We begin at 1.30 pm with entry to the Abbey and experience of the exhibition. This is followed by a tour of the ancient Abbey Library, tea in their cafe, and then Evensong at 5.30 pm.

Fr Peter


All our recent Holy Week liturgies can be watched on our parish YouTube channel here.



Fr Graeme Rowlands will be available to hear confessions at the following times over the coming weeks: Monday 15th April at 5.30 pm; Wednesday 1st April at 5.30 pm; Wednesday 8th April at 5.30 pm; Wednesday 22nd May at 5.30 pm.

One of our parish clergy is also regularly available in one of the confessionals in church on Saturday evenings each week at 6.00 pm to hear confessions.


“We worship you O Christ and we bless you. For by your Cross you have redeemed the world.” Good Friday Liturgy of the Passion 2024.


Zoom Theology

Our next Zoom Theology Seminar will take place on Tuesday, May 14th, 2024. It will be entitled, “The Scapegoat: James Alison, René Girard and Scapegoating.”

Thomas Miles will lead us in a study of Fr James Alison, a Catholic priest and theologian influenced by the ideas of René Girard (1923-2015). Details will follow nearer the time, but we’ll be thinking about how Jesus’ death calls into judgement the human tendency to create social cohesion through scapegoating, and how, conversely, the resurrection invites Christians to courageously seek truth in unity.

More details of our Zoom Theology programme can be found here.


You can watch the liturgies from Low Sunday on our YouTube channel: High Mass here; and Evensong and Benediction here.


Confirmation 2024

Please note that Bishop Jonathan will be with us for the Feast of Pentecost on  Sunday 19th May to baptize and confirm. There will be a parish lunch after the High Mass to celebrate with those who have been confirmed and received into the Church of England. Do put this occasion in your diaries and pray for those preparing to receive the sacraments of initiation.


Members of our confirmation class at Fr Alan’s home last week for their confirmation class. We wish them all well and promise to keep them in our prayers.


SOM May Devotion

The Society of Mary May Devotion will take place at S. Silas’, Kentish Town, on Saturday 4th May at 12 noon. The principal celebrant at the Mass will be the Bishop of Fulham, and the preacher at the afternoon devotion will be the Bishop of Oswestry.


National Pilgrimage

There are still places spare for our day pilgrimage to Walsingham for the National Pilgrimage. Please email our parish office to book a place, which cost £20 each. We set off at 7.30 am and return in the late evening.


Attendance last Sunday


Prayer List

The Friends of All Saints’ Margaret Street:

April 14th – Karolyn Cooper, William Cooper Bailey, Peter Coulson, Steven Cox, Dr Yvonne Craig, Juliet Cridland
15th – Kirill Dashkovskiy, Christopher Davies, Robert Davies, Peter Dennis, Laura Denton, Joshua Dolphin, Suzanna Eaton
16th – Linda Edwards, Pamela Edwards, John Eldridge, Terrence Ellsworth, Sue Enoch, Carolyn Farrar, Martin Faulkner
17th – Sue Feakin, Adrian Felaar, Daniel Fielden, Janice Fielden, Julia Fielden, Nigel Fisher, Mark Fleming
18th – Stuart Fletcher, Christopher Forman, Anthony Fox, Dr Ralph Donald Fram, Dr Jason Frost, Charlotte Gauthier, Dr Rebecca Gibbs, Margaret Goddard, Paul Golding, John Goldsmith
19th – Genevieve Gomi, The Ven Thomas M. Greene, Jack de Gruiter, Canon Michael Gudgeon, Sheelagh Gudgeon, Ginger and Del Hall, Monica Joan Hall
20th – Roger Hancock, Canon Richard Hanford, Paul Hannah, Jillian Hargreaves, Christopher Harrison, Patrick Hartley, The Rev’d Canon Jeremy Haselock

The sick:

Javier Barbetta, Martin Berka, David Craig, Roger Dilks, Fr. Harry Hodgetts, Lesley Lee, Wendy Leech, Elizabeth Lyon, Frank Ottwell, James Roger, Bruce Ross-Smith

The faithful departed:

James Forde

Those whose anniversaries of death fall at this time:

April 14th – David Evans, Stephen Woolley, Friederica Swinburne
15th – Rose Lethbridge, Christopher Dean, Julian Tan
16th – Evelyn Cowie, Mary Gotts, Geoffrey Heald Pr, Marilyn Goggin, Ian Miller
17th – Basil Harris, Margarita Clark
18th – Judith Barrett, Sadie Campbell, Tim Hewlett
19th – Hugh Whittow, Rex Halliwell, Irene Vile, Kathleen Bates, Hilary Waters
20th – Henry Mackay Pr (fifth vicar of All Saints), Margaret Forsyth, Constance Cavan, Alicia Bolton, Priscilla Black
21st – Constance Briscoe, David Mason Pr


Service times this week

Saturday 13th April – Our Lady of Walsingham
11.30 Rosary
12.00 noon Mass
6.30 pm Vigil Mass

Sunday 14th April – EASTER III
11.00 am High Mass
5.15 pm Low Mass
6.00 pm Evensong and Benediction

Monday 15th April – Feria
12.00 noon Mass
5.30 pm Confessions: Fr Graeme Rowlands
6.30 pm Mass

Tuesday 16th April – Feria
12.00 noon Mass
6.30 pm Mass

Wednesday 17th April – Feria
12.00 noon Mass
6.30 pm Mass

Thursday 18th April – Feria
12.00 noon Mass
6.30 pm Mass

Friday 19th April – S. Alphege, B and M
12.00 noon Mass
6.30 pm Mass

Saturday 20th April – Feria
12.00 noon Mass
6.00 pm Confessions
6.30 pm Vigil Mass

Sunday 14th April – EASTER IV
11.00 am High Mass
5.15 pm Low Mass
6.00 pm Evensong and Benediction