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

Weekly Email – Epiphany 2

Friday 12 January 2024 at 11:45


Dear friends,

I am very much looking forward to next Tuesday (16th Jan – 7pm) and to our parish’s online Zoom Theology session which will be led by Fr Robin Ward, the Principal of St Stephen’s House, Oxford. It will focus on the ways in which the Christian faith came to be defined and received in the first centuries after the apostles’ teaching. It is entitled, “Creeds, Controversies and Councils: a refresher on the Early Church.”

This session is a response to those who have enjoyed and asked for more study of the patristic period in our parish’s life of catechesis and teaching. You can find the Zoom link on our parish website here.

Our Zoom Theology seminars are an opportunity for a wide range of people to meet for one hour online to discuss and learn about a chosen theological subject, often with a guest speaker. We aim to make discussion as approachable as possible, and to give people the space they need to express their thoughts and questions.

I am so grateful to Fr Robin for agreeing to speak with us. He is an exceptionally engaging speaker and teacher, and a fount of insight, knowledge and wisdom in this fascinating era of doctrinal development.

The first few hundred years of the Church’s life after the time of Jesus is widely seen as a hugely important golden period of theological creativity. It was a time in which the undivided Church expounded who it understood the God revealed in Christ to be, defined what made up Sacred Scripture, agreed how decisions were to be made for the whole Church, and came to significant agreement about how we are to understand the way in which Jesus is both God and man.

For Anglicans, these ancient decisions and definitions of the Church are particularly binding on how we understand our faith and deserve our attention and study. The Formularies of the Church of England have always pointed to these Councils of the early Church as providing a framework of authoritative norms within which to ponder the mystery of God. The Fathers of the Oxford Movement emphasised this in the ways in which they focussed our Church’s attention afresh on the authority and theological creativity of this period of unified, Catholic teaching.

The Patristic period can be studied in a number of different ways. Some take a resolutely doctrinal approach, seeing the definition of Christian belief as a development of ideas and a logical expansion of the deposit of faith given in the teaching of Jesus. Others take a more “historical” view, seeing the period as a series of political clashes, struggles for influence, internal crises and external threats, out of which the defined teaching of the Church emerges.

Much scholarship in the past has focussed in on key events such as specific Councils that respond to certain debated questions, the key individuals who influenced them, and the great cities and centres of learning from which they came. It is, of course, also the case that recent scholarship has sought to uncover the less heard voices of this period, such as those of women, the socially underprivileged, Christians at the geographic margins of the Ancient World, or those whose opinions did not win the day, and who were later condemned as “heretics.”

The question of how the Ecumenical Councils’ decisions were later received and understood is also crucial. As is so often the case with any historical document, treaty, constitution or agreement, what we think nowadays those present were saying is sometimes subtly different from what those present at the time thought they were signing up to.

The most important thing to remember when studying this fascinating period is this. However we think key decisions were come to, and whatever historical and philosophical influences were at play, the Holy Spirit was present in it all, drawing the Church ever closer to a deeper understanding of the mystery of God, the person of Jesus Christ, and the character of his Body the Church.

To study this period is therefore a “pneumatological” act – it is to study the action of the Holy Spirit in the past by the power of the same Holy Spirit in the present! It is to explore ideas, definitions, practices and events that directly form, influence and direct our own faith, and the deeply personal relationship each of us has with Christ and his Church.

I commend this study evening to you and look forward to seeing as many as possible of you online on Tuesday.

Fr Peter


It was wonderful to welcome so many people for our Epiphany Carol Service last Sunday evening. You can watch this beautiful liturgy again on our parish YouTube channel here.


Frances O’Neil

I would like to thank all those who had any hand in Frances O’Neil’s funeral last week. It was a very moving farewell to a much loved and faithful member of our parish community.

I am especially grateful to the servers who gave of their time to offer a full High Mass of Requiem, and to all those who helped with welcome of any kind, as well as to those who prepared the church and arranged flowers. The music was a rich and beautiful offering and we are so thankful to our musicians for their contribution to the liturgy.

I am particularly grateful to Fr Alan Moses for preaching at the funeral. His sermon was a very touching tribute to Frances. The text of his excellent homily is available here on our parish website and is well worth a read if you were not able to be at the funeral.

Fr Peter


Fr Alan preached at the High Mass for the Epiphany on Sunday morning. You can watch his sermon again here.


Congratulations Paul Golding, CBE!

Many congratulations indeed go to Paul Golding, who has been made a Commander of the British Empire in the New Year’s Honours list!  We are so pleased and happy for him as he receives this well earned honour bestowed in recognition of his service to “business and the UK film industry.” We are incredibly grateful to Paul for all he does to support our parish, and especially for the time and wisdom he contributes as a trustee of the All Saints’ Foundation.


Sunday night’s Epiphany Carol service – a beautiful liturgy in which we journeyed with the Magi to worship the Christ Child, the Light for revelation to the nations.


Young Adults Group – hiking trip

Weather permitting, our next Young Adults Group walk will take place on Saturday, February 3rd, in Epping Forest. This is aimed at our younger folk, but anyone who feels up to 10-12 muddy miles is very welcome to join! We’ll stop for lunch half way. Be in touch with Fr Alan if you would like to take part.


Sunday night’s Epiphany Carol Service: “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him.”


Parish Visit to the British Library:
“Fantasy – Realms of Imagination”

On Tuesday 23rd January 2024 there will be a parish trip to The British Library to see an impressive new exhibition entitled, “Fantasy – Realms of Imagination.” One of the curators of this exhibition is our own parishioner Rachel Foss, who will give us a guided tour and explanation of the exhibition.

We will meet at the British Library at 6.00 pm on Tuesday 23rd January 2024. Our visit to the exhibition will be followed by supper at the Pizza Express opposite the British Library on the Euston Road at 8.00 pm. The cost of the exhibition is £15, and supper is £30 (including drinks). Please email the parish office to book a place.


We are so grateful to Genevieve Gomi for providing several Couronnes des Rois last Sunday during coffee after the High Mass. This is a beautiful yeast-raised brioche from Provence, decorated with candied fruit and scented with orange blossom, which is usually eaten on the feast of the Epiphany in the south of France. It was delicious!


Pusey House comes to Margaret Street

The Chapter of Pusey House, Oxford, invites friends of Pusey House to a special High Mass at All Saints’, Margaret Street, at 4pm on Saturday January 27th 2024. The Ven Dr Edward Dowler, Archdeacon of Hastings will preach. All Saints’ parishioners are welcome to attend and are invited to this Mass too.


“Of the Father’s heart begotten, ere the world from chaos rose, he is Alpha, from that Fountain all that is and hath been flows; he is Omega, of all things, yet to come the mystic Close, evermore and evermore!”


Walsingham Pilgrimages 2024

Now is the time to sign up for our two main pilgrimages to Walsingham over the next year. Please be in touch with our parish office to book a place and to make payment electronically:

National Pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham
Monday 27th May 2024 – leave All Saints’ Margaret Street at 7.30 am.
This is a day pilgrimage to Walsingham which takes place on the last Bank Holiday in May each year. We travel together in a coach from Margaret Street, setting off first thing, and return late in the evening of the same day. The pilgrimage includes a large outdoor Mass in the Abbey grounds of Walsingham, with sermon and procession in the afternoon. The cost is £20 and the coach leaves All Saints’ at 7.30 am.

Annual parish weekend pilgrimage to Walsingham
Friday 19th July to Sunday 21st July 2024
A weekend pilgrimage away in Walsingham involving: Pilgrimage Mass at the Shrine Church; evening processions; sacraments of healing; sprinkling at the holy well and finishing with procession of the Blessed Sacrament and Benediction.  Cost:  £190 Friday pm to Sunday evening (including full board plus mini-coach from Kings Lynn – pilgrims need to book their own train ticket to Kings Lynn). There is an option for pilgrims who wish to stay on until the Monday and return on 22nd July – this costs £280.


The liturgical apogee of the Epiphany Carol Service last Sunday was the solemn singing of the final Gospel reading. As the lights are raised, the church emerges from candle-lit darkness and we prepare for Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.


Shrove Tuesday Crêpes Suzette dinner

To celebrate Shrove Tuesday, we will be hosting a special Crêpes Suzette dinner at Le Beaujolais restaurant on Litchfield Street in Soho on Tuesday 13th February 2024 at 7.30 pm. The cost will be £50 for three courses. Instead of the usual cheese trolley, you are welcome to choose, as a special treat for Pancake Day, the restaurant’s famous Crêpes Suzette as a way of finishing Ordinary Time and preparing for Lent. To book a place, please email the parish office.


Our Epiphany Carol Service last Sunday finished with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, using our parish’s magnificent, recently donated “Coronation Monstrance.”


Confirmation classes

Anyone interested in being baptized, and/or confirmed should be in touch with Fr Peter or Fr Alan. Confirmation classes will begin in the New Year. Our confirmation next year will take place on Pentecost Sunday, 19th May 2024, when we will be joined by the Bishop of Fulham to administer the sacraments of initiation.


The music at last Sunday’s High Mass for the Epiphany included: Missa ad Praesepe by George Malcolm (1917-1997); and Tribus miraculis by Luca Marenzio (1533-1599). The organ voluntary was Epilogue on Dix by Sir William Henry Harris (1883-1973). You can watch the liturgy again here on our parish YouTube channel.


Attendance last Sunday



We were so pleased last Sunday to bless our parish’s newly restored set of green High Mass vestments which date originally from 1912. They have been renewed in memory of Christine Ellis, whose anniversary of death fell last Monday. We are grateful to the benefactor whose generosity has made this restoration project possible. The vestments will be used for the first time at the High Mass this Sunday.


Prayer List

The Friends of All Saints’ Margaret Street:

January 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, Charlotte Gauthier, 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, Jason Dunlop, Clara Exton, Frances Gayler, Gill Hargreaves, Fr. Harry Hodgetts, Elizabeth Lyon, Lionel and Lynn Persey, James Roger, Bruce Ross-Smith, Paul Sturgul, Doreen and Melvin Warren, Jean

The faithful departed:

Brian Clifford, Gary Hargreaves, Deidre Laing, Adam Persey, G. Venkatramani, Rodney Whiteman Pr

Those whose anniversaries of death fall at this time:

January 14th – Alfred Stephens, Ethel Hewelson, Hugh Shepheard, Lyn Jones, Mavis Mercer
15th – John Spencer
16th – Margaret Henwood, George Haines, Dennis Black, Claire Browne
17th – Elizabeth King, Beatrice Ansah
18th – Albert Sheppard
19th – Arnold Lawson
20th – Kate Gorge, Josephine Whittley
21st – Harris Charlton, William Clark, Hannah Berry, John   Snoswell, Mary Bishop, Virginia Smith, Isabella Fotheringham, Frank Whitehill, Lilian Yorke, Gwyneth Hopkins


Service times this week

Saturday 13th January – Our Lady on Saturday
11:30 Rosary
12.00 pm Mass
6.30 pm Vigil Mass of Sunday

Sunday 14th January – Second Sunday of Epiphany
11.00 am High Mass
5.15 pm Low Mass
6.00 pm Evensong and Benediction

Monday 15th January – Feria
12.00 pm Mass
6.30 pm Mass

Tuesday 16th January – Feria
12.00 pm Mass
6.30 pm Mass

Wednesday 17th January – S. Antony, Ab
12.00 pm Mass
6.30 pm Mass

Thursday 18th January – Feria
12.00 pm Mass
6.30 pm Mass

Friday 19th January – Feria
12.00 pm Mass
6.30 pm Mass

Saturday 20th January – Our Lady on Saturday
12 noon Mass
6.30 pm Vigil Mass of Sunday

Sunday 21st January – Third Sunday of Epiphany
11.00 am High Mass
5.15 pm Low Mass
6.00 pm Evensong and Benediction