Weekly Email – Easter 4
Many parishioners have been speaking to the clergy of our parish recently about what a moving experience they found our keeping of Holy Week to be. Indeed, these sentiments seem to be shared by the enormous number of people who tuned into our Holy Week online and who have emailed from all over the UK and overseas saying how grateful they are for the liturgies our parish provided over the Triduum, and for the extraordinary quality of the preaching from Rowan Williams.
Huw Pryce has just got back to me with some fascinating data about how many people participated in our Holy Week liturgies online. This data makes for interesting reading. It reveals evidence of exceptionally pronounced growth in terms of the number of people connecting with us through the internet.
Admittedly, a huge pull was the calibre of our Holy Week preacher, Rowan Williams. However, I think we also see evidence of a sustained and continued growth in this area of our parish’s ministry which is the result of months of hard work by all those involved in our online broadcasting leading up to Holy Week.
Overall, our Youtube channel had 26,300 views from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday. This was made up of 11,700 unique viewers – i.e. a person in front of one computer screen, but who may have watched more than one liturgy. We can be certain then, that at least 11,700 individual people connected at some point during Holy Week with one of our liturgies online somewhere in the world. This is an amazing achievement.
Another interesting figure is the number of people who watched a liturgy all the way through rather than just tuning in for a few moments. On Palm Sunday, for example, 130 people watched our liturgy live from beginning to end, but 400 people watched it beginning to end after the event. This means, if you add those who were present in church, those who watched live, and those in other time zones who watched the footage after the event, around 700 people experienced our Palm Sunday liturgy either online or in person from beginning to end.
Bishop Rowan’s sermons were hugely popular on our Youtube channel. If you look at the videos where we single out the sermon alone, for example, Palm Sunday had 7047 total views, of which 825 people watched the sermon from beginning to end. The sermon videos for the great Triduum liturgies had a range of between between 370-420 people watching each homily from beginning to end.
The total online figures for Easter Day are also impressive. If you add together the number of people who participated online from beginning to end either live or after the event at the Vigil, High Mass of Easter Morning and at Evensong and Benediction, we get a total online “attendance” for Easter Day of 614 watching a liturgy from beginning to end (with total views at 4807).
These figures give us a lot to mull over and be thankful for, and it strikes me there are one or two broad conclusions we might tentatively begin to make.
First, I am convinced at an anecdotal level that there is a clear connection between people participating at our liturgies online and the increase in “in person” worship we are seeing at the moment. Fr Michael and I are finding huge numbers of people who visit All Saints’ physically for the first time say they originally came across us online and had already worshipped with us via our Youtube liturgies.
Second, there is a clear thirst for good teaching and preaching. The popularity of our sermon videos is becoming more and more pronounced. It seems that is an area people are finding a useful help and addition to their spiritual lives wherever they are in the world. Exploring how we can provide more material of this sort is a good question for us to contemplate in the future.
Third, many have commented on the improvement our new cameras have made in the quality of the video footage we are now able to offer. The investment we recently made and the generosity shown by so many who contributed to the cost of the new cameras has certainly paid off. One question for the future is whether we might be able to broadcast Evensong and Benediction more often now we have the capacity to do so more easily with our new equipment.
Fourth, we remain hugely indebted in all this work to a small number of individuals who work tirelessly to support, maintain and direct our online broadcasting. We are hugely grateful to Huw Pryce, Richard Everton and Paul Weston for all they do. Now we have new camera systems, we are hoping more people can be drafted in to run our broadcasts each Sunday so Huw isn’t left to bear the load quite as often as he does at the moment. Thank you, Huw, for all you have done over the past two years to transform this part of our parish’s ministry!
I hope you will join with me in giving thanks to God for what we managed in his power to achieve over Holy Week. We need to reflect on how we can constantly improve our parish’s online offering, so that more people might know the love of the Lord Jesus and come to worship here at All Saints’.
Online Zoom Theology seminar:
‘Damned by our Knowledge’: English religious anxiety in Graham Greene.
Tuesday 10th May 2022 – 7.00-8.00 pm by Zoom.
‘The trouble is, he thought, we know the answers – we Catholics are damned by our knowledge.’ (The Heart of the Matter)
Our online Zoom theology seminar meets next Tuesday with a presentation by Fr Michael Bowie on the work of Graham Greene, drawing particularly on material from the novels, The End of the Affair, The Power and the Glory, A Burnt Out Case and The Heart of the Matter.
Fr Michael hopes that you may be familiar with some or all of these novels; he is confident that if you haven’t read them before Tuesday you will rush out to buy them on Wednesday.
Zoom link here.
Parish lunches on 29th May and 5th June
In order to celebrate Fr Michael’s final Sunday (which will also be our Dedication Festival and the Friends’ Sunday) on Sunday 29th May, and also to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee a week later on Sunday 5th June, we will be organising two bring-and-share parish lunches after the High Mass.
The idea is that a free buffet lunch will be laid out in the Parish Room on both Sundays, which can then be shared by all present in the courtyard over drinks.
We need people to volunteer to bring food to share on both occasions. Chris Self and Kate Hodgetts will be in charge of organising what is needed. Please be in touch with them if you want to contribute something.
Please also be in touch with Chris Self if you would like to contribute to our farewell gift for Fr Michael: firstname.lastname@example.org
Fr Michael’s concert on Tuesday 24th May
Fr Michael will host a piano jazz concert on Tuesday 24th May in church, starting at 7.30pm.
He originally organised this as a celebration of his 30th anniversary of priesting, which occurs in June, but is delighted that it will now be part of his farewell to All Saints after just over eight years as Assistant Priest.
The pianists, with whom he became friends online during the lockdowns, are Stephanie Trick and Paolo Alderighi, a married couple from St Louis Missouri and Milan, are classically-trained virtuoso jazz performers (www.paoloandstephanie.com/biography) and Fr Michael has hired two Steinway grand pianos for the evening.
They have performed in jazz venues in London before and (like All Saints!) made the most of the lockdowns by starting a YouTube channel on which they perform monthly concerts and give monthly lectures. You can see a couple of performances here and here and access others via their website:
The repertoire ranges from Ragtime and stride piano (of which Stephanie is one of the leading performers in the world; her hero being James P Johnson) to Swing and the Great American Songbook (Paolo’s inspiration being Erroll Garner).
Fr Michael invites you to join him for the evening; there will be no charge for attending, but you are of course able to make a donation to All Saints at the door!
Saturday evening Vigil Mass
Don’t forget that since Easter Day, we have restored our 6.15 pm Saturday evening Vigil Mass of Sunday each week. If you can’t make church on Sunday morning, you can come on Saturday night and make your Sunday communion.
Vigil Mass: Every Saturday at 6.15 pm
Corpus Christi 2022
Please put our celebration of Corpus Christi on Thursday 16th June at 6.15 pm in your diaries.
It is a wonderful opportunity to proclaim our faith in Jesus Christ to the world, through our celebration of the Mass and procession down Oxford Street. Many people from other parishes join us, and I urge our whole All Saints’ family to make being here a high priority. It should be a wonderful evening!
Music: Mozart, Missa Brevis in G & Ave verum; Croce, O sacrum convivium; Henschel, Tantum Ergo.
Preacher: The Revd Max Bayliss, Chaplain of Queens’ College, Cambridge.
Links for Sunday
The link for the Propers for Easter 4 is at the end of this email. Click here for the YouTube live stream.
Evensong and Benediction is at 6pm. The music includes Watson in E, Gibbons We praise thee, O Father, and Anna Semple Benediction hymns.
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 email@example.com.
If you would like to make a donation for flowers, please contact Shawn or speak to Chris Self.
Tomorrow week our monthly Walsingham Devotion, in the form of the Rosary with intercessions, will be offered at 1130 before the noon Mass.
Annual Reports for 2021 and Annual Meetings 2022
The various reports from the PCC, All Saints Foundation, the Choir & Music Trust and All Saints Club for 2021 have now been completed and are appended at the end of this email. If you would like a paper copy, then please speak to one of the Churchwardens.
The Meeting of Parishioners and the Annual Parochial Church Meeting will take place on Sunday 22nd May 2022 in the church at about 12.15 pm immediately after the High Mass.
The statutory notices of these meetings are displayed in church. The meetings will appoint the churchwardens for the ensuing year and a third of the elected lay members of the PCC. The full agendas, minutes of last year’s meetings and the report on the Electoral Roll will be published with the weekly email on 13th May. Following the annual revision, the electoral roll is now displayed in the Church.
Prisoners and captives
Nazanin Zhagari-Ratcliffe, Ismaeil Maghrebinejad, Nasrin Sotoudeh
Rohingya Christians in Pakistan, Karen Christians in Burma, and Tigrayan Christians in Ethiopia
Fr Harry Hodgetts, Elizabeth Lyon, James Shrimpton, David Robin, Martin Berka, Gloria Fleming, Sister Benedicta SLG, Sister Adrian SLG, Amanda Barrett, Laura Bevan, Fr Victor Stock.
Those known to us recently departed
John Minnett, Joan Lyon, Colin Semper Pr, Manisha Burke, Pamela Botsford.
Anniversaries of death
8th – Florence Hope, Richard Masheder Pr, Fred Bramma, Charles Cunnington, John Mather
9th – Marygdd Snowden, Martin Cooper
10th – Gertrude Thorpe
11th – Barbara Watson, George Corbett, N.P. Williams Pr, Ellen Markey, Beverley Ward
12th – John Finnie
13th – Edith Cooke, Douglas Laing
14th – Patrick Spencer
Calendar and Intentions
The Calendar and Intentions will now be published monthly on the website. You can view March’s here.
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
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).