Weekly Email – Epiphany 4
It was fascinating earlier on this week to hear an excellent presentation delivered to our online Zoom Theology seminar on the topic of contested memorialisation from the era of slavery, given by Fr Charles Card-Reynolds.
Our online Zoom Theology sessions take place once every two months. They are an excellent opportunity to learn more about our Christian faith and discuss the questions and thoughts we might have with those participating.
Fr Charles is the vicar of St Bartholomew’s Stamford Hill, here in London. He is undertaking an MA in Theology and the Arts at the moment and shared with us the fruits of his research which has focussed on the monuments in St George’s Cathedral, St Vincent.
It was fascinating to think about what is going on when a memorial is commissioned and created: the dynamics of power and privilege; what is being projected and asserted; the ideas and people a memorial ignores or excludes just as much as those it mentions; how a memorial relates to the context in which it is placed; and the ways in which later generations read and interact with it.
Fr Charles introduced us to the history of the island of St Vincent in the colonial period and the development of St George’s Cathedral. He explored the way in which many of the memorials in St George’s Cathedral were focussed on establishing the credentials of those who formed the colonial elite in the 18th and 19th centuries. The memorials stem from a period of great flux, violence, turbulence, and injustice, yet they attempt to express the opposite of that reality – a projection of solidity, permanence and gracious beauty.
The monuments were created in England and imported from there, but they tend to contain much less explicitly theological and religious sentiment than similar examples would in England. They seem to be much more about the assertion of a sense of stability and social order in the face of massive social change, colonial development and economic exploitation.
It was intriguing to note just how the style of classicism was recruited to the colonial project of asserting the new culture of the elites who governed the island – an erastian and deist Christianity allied to the political and economic interests of those who profited from the slave trade and indentured labour. The civic classicist style in which St George’s Cathedral was built, drawing on perceived Roman architectural and artistic norms, reveals one imperial culture defining itself in terms of another found in the ancient world.
It was also interesting, however, to hear from Fr Charles about the ways in which present day Vincentians have responded to these monuments and memorials in St Georeg’s Cathedral. The Dean and chapter have eschewed a culture of “cancelling” historical figures, or removing and destroying memorials to people guilty of involvement in slavery.
Rather, the ethic they have espoused is one of letting the monuments remain, but as part of a wider acknowledgement of the complexity of what they represent. The question for them seems to be more about how our present generation can contribute to the stories asserted by these memorials and contextualise them rather than erasing them.
It was also very interesting to think about the physical character of a sculpted monument. When one looks at a picture, questions of who commissioned it and how often recede, as one gazes upon the image directly. With an inscribed stone memorial, however, the question of who made it and why is often foreground much more directly, and perhaps more honestly. Funerary monuments are increasingly being acknowledged as undervalued artworks in themselves and as underexamined historical evidence and cultural artefacts.
It was very interesting to hear many different questions from those who took part in the discussion. We had people tuning in from as far afield as Australia, Texas, and Guernsey! It was intriguing to hear their perspectives and the different ways in which these issues are being debated and handled in other countries and cultures.
Our next Zoom Theology session will take place on Tuesday 14th March 2023 from 7.00-8.00 pm. It will be led by Fr Jeremy Haselock and will focus on the rites of Holy Week. Fr Jeremy will explore with us the rich history of the rites of Holy Week: their origins; how we should celebrate them now; and their theological significance. Participants are encouraged to read Fr Jeremy’s excellent work, “The Sacrament of Easter,” in preparation for this seminar.
I am so grateful to all who contributed to our theology session this week, especially to Fr Charles. I learned a lot about a topic I felt very ill-informed about beforehand, and gained much from the perspectives and questions of those who attended.
EVENTS THIS WEEK:
Outing to the British Library – tickets still available!
There are still 6 tickets available on our parish trip to see a new exhibition focussed on Alexander the Great on Tuesday 31st January, 2023. We will meet at the British Library at 6.15 pm and the cost of the trip is £15, followed by dinner at Pizza Express at 8.00 pm for those who wish to stay on at a cost of £25. To book one of the remaining 6 tickets, please email the Parish Office.
We look forward to welcoming the Revd Dr Canon Robin Ward as our visiting preacher this Sunday. Fr Robin is the Principal of St Stephen’s House, Oxford.
An organ recital will take place this Sunday at 3.30pm at All Saints’, given by Andrew Dewar, organist of the American Cathedral in Paris and professor at the Royal College of Music.
Vorspiel und Isoldens Liebestod from Tristan and Isolde (Wagner arr. Lemare)
Grand Prelude and Fugue, op. 63 (Holbrooke)
Admission is free and a collection will be raised for the All Saints’ Choir and Music Trust.
King Charles the Martyr
The annual commemoration of the saintly death of King Charles I, which is organised each year by the Society of King Charles the Martyr, will take place at All Saints’, Margaret Street, with a High Mass on Monday 30th January 2023 at 12 noon. This is because the Banqueting House is still undergoing renovation. The liturgy will be live-streamed as usual from our parish YouTube channel for those unable to attend in person.
Thursday 2nd February 2023 – Feast of the Presentation of the Lord
Low Mass | 12 noon
High Mass with blessing of candles and procession | 6.30 pm
Preacher: The Revd Matthew Duckett, Priest-in-Charge, St Matthias’, Colindale.
Music: Victoria, Missa Simile est regnum; Eccard, Maria wallt zum Heiligtum; Byrd, Hodie beata virgo.
Feast of St Blaise
It is the custom of the church to offer the blessing of throats on 3rd February, the feast day of St Blaise, the patron saint of those suffering from throat complaints. This happens by holding two lit candles near the throat of the individual seeking blessing and asking for St Blaise’s prayers. This will be available after both Masses on 3rd Feb.
FORTHCOMING EVENTS AND NEWS:
Thank you, Peter Little
Our Sacristan, Peter Little, has announced that he is moving on to other employment at the end of next month. He will cease to work as our parish sacristan at All Saints’ on Tuesday 28th February.
I would like to thank Peter on behalf of our whole parish for all the work he has done over the past three years in the service of the liturgy, preparing our church for visitors, and maintaining the sacristies.
A church like All Saints’ has a very rich and extensive round of liturgies each week, all of which needs careful preparation. We receive a large number of visitors, parishioners and worshippers who visit our building each day, and the church needs to be ready, clean, and welcoming for them. Our sacristies require contact upkeep and our parish produces immense amounts of liturgical laundry!
We owe Peter so much for all he has contributed. His attention to detail, his care and love for the liturgical patrimony of our parish, and the prayerful way in which he has seen his work as a vocation are all exemplary.
We thank Peter for all he has given us through his care for our sacristies, his love of the liturgy, and his faithful service to our parish. We wish him well and assure him of our prayers as he explores new horizons.
Licensing of Fr Alan Rimmer
Please note that our new Assistant Priest, Fr Alan Rimmer, will be licensed to our parish at Evensong and Benediction at 6.00 pm on Sunday 12th February 2023. Please put this in your diaries and make a special effort to attend that liturgy in order to welcome Fr Alan to All Saints’.
Parish Sick list
The parish sick list has been accumulating names over the past few months so that it is now quite long and unwieldy again. Every once in a while, we clear the list and invite those who have loved ones who are currently sick to contact the Parish Office to add their names afresh. This will happen next week.
Our usual practice is that once a name has been added, it will be removed after 2 weeks unless we expressly hear from you renewing that person’s place on the sick list.
Parish Outing to the National Gallery
On Friday 26th May 2023 at 5.30 pm, there will be a parish visit to the National Gallery to see their forthcoming exhibition on the figure of St Francis.
We are thrilled that the Director of the Gallery himself, Dr Gabriele Finaldi, has agreed to speak to our parish group about the exhibition, which he has personally curated.
As usual, the visit will be followed by dinner at Le Beaujolais restaurant for those who wish to stay on for supper.
The exhibition will bring together some the earliest devotional images of St Francis with manuscripts, relics, and modern depiction of him. Extensive loans of pictures from major collections will allow us to see a wealth of art, telling the story of the way in which St Francis has been depicted, his life received, and his reputation developed and moulded throughout the ages. You can read more on the Gallery’s website here.
The exhibition is absolutely free, and we will meet at the Gallery at 6.00 pm. Please be in touch with the parish office to book a place. The cost of dinner at Le Beaujolais will be £50. The total number we can take is capped at 20, so book early!
Please be in touch with Fr Peter if you would like to be baptised and/or confirmed this Easter. Confirmation classes will begin soon for those wishing to receive the sacraments of initiation. The confirmation will take place on Saturday 8th April at 9.00 pm at the Easter Vigil, which Bishop Jonathan will celebrate.
Walsingham National Pilgrimage
The National Pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham will take place on Monday 29th May 2023. The pilgrimage consists of a large outdoor Mass in the Abbey grounds at 12 noon. This is followed by a picnic lunch, and then at 2.30 pm an afternoon devotion, sermon, procession of Our Lady and Benediction.
As usual, we will be organising a coach for the day to take pilgrims to Walsingham and back. It will depart from Margaret Street at 7.30 am, and return to London, setting off around tea time, and arriving back in London by the late evening. The cost is £20 per head.
In order to book a place on the coach, please contact the parish office and make a payment to our office administrator, Jonathan.
All Saints’ Lent Lecture:
Fruits of the Spirit – Art from the Heart
We are very pleased that the curator of the National Gallery’s virtual exhibition entitled, “Fruits of the Spirit – Art from the Heart,” the Revd Dr Ayla Lepine, will give our Lent Lecture in March on the topic of this interesting project.
The lecture will take place at All Saints’ in person and online on Thursday 23rd March at 7.30 pm.
You “visit” the exhibition by clicking on the link here to enter a virtual gallery in the comfort of your own home wherever you are in the world. You can see pictures side by side each other which in reality live hundreds of miles apart!
The treasures of Salzburg
During my post-Christmas holiday, I was able to spend a few days in Salzburg. I cannot begin to say how beautiful this lovely Alpine city is. It is a jewel of baroque architecture set against the rugged mountain landscape of the northern Alps, and the heir to an incredibly rich history of Christian artistic and theological creativity.
One of the most fascinating discoveries I made, which I had never realised before, was the degree to which the whole area around Salzburg was evangelised by monks from the British Isles, and how significant and resilient connections between Britain and Salzburg were in those early centuries of the Carolingian Renaissance.
Irish monks came to the almost ruined Roman settlement of Iuvavum in the 8th century bringing the Gospel. St Rupert, born of a royal Frankish family, re-founded the town, which became known as Salzburg, and is seen as the city’s patron, but it was his successor St Virgil, who came from Ireland.
One of the foremost treasures associated with the British Isles is the famous 8th century St Rupert’s Cross, which one can see in the Diocesan Museum. It was almost certainly made by craftsmen in Northumbria and is pretty big, at around 4 feet high. The cross is of gilt-bronze on an oak base. It is decorated with foliage scrolls with five large jewelled panels. Some have wondered whether these may evoke the five jewels on the cross in the opening vision of The Dream of the Rood.
You can also see the famous bird pyx of Salzburg in the Diocesan Museum. This is a hanging pyx (i.e. a tabernacle) for reserving the Blessed Sacrament created in the shape of a dove. It is one of a number of such enamelled items made in Limoges in the medieval period. The wings on the bird’s back open up so the sacrament can go in and out. The dove will probably have sat on a plate and hung from a bean or ceiling somehow.
St Rupert founded a monastery in Salzburg, that of St Peter, which can rightfully claim to be the oldest benedictine monastery in the whole German speaking world. He is buried there and it is very moving to venerate his tomb.
The Abbey’s library is an extensive treasure house of early documents. Indeed, it is only as a result of the collection at St Peter’s Archabbey in Salzburg that we have many of Alcuin of York’s letters and writings preserved, when they were lost or destroyed elsewhere. English church historians and students of Alcuin, therefore, owe much to the monks of Salzburg.
The monastery has a fully working mill and bakery powered by an enormous water wheel running off mountain streams tumbling down the hill. The water channel powering the wheel and bakery are first mentioned in the 12th century. I was very pleased to be able to buy a freshly baked brioche bun here, hot from the oven!
The monastery’s inn, the St Peter Stiftskeller, was mentioned by Alcuin of York in a document of 803, in which he praises the quality of its beer, making it the oldest recorded restaurant in continued existence in Europe. You can still eat an excellent meal there to this day, and the beer remains as good as Alcuin attests.
From the 14th century onwards, the city was governed by its Prince Archbishop. The Residenz, his official home and centre of power, is a masterpiece of baroque architecture. Most of the princely art collection was dispersed in the wake of the French Revolution. However, the Residenz also houses the Cathedral’s museum, full of scintillatingly beautiful artefacts, as well as the museum of St Peter’s Archabbey.
One of the most breathtaking of the artefacts in the Diocesan Museum from the baroque period is the famous Pretiosenmonstranz, a monstrance made in 1697 by Archbishop Johann Thun, using most of his family jewels along with a collection of gems acquired and accumulated over the years by his predecessors as Archbishop. It contains around 2200 precious stones, of which 1790 are diamonds, and is quite simply one of the most extraordinary pieces of liturgical gold work I have ever seen.
One of the most intriguing parts of the Residenz is the Cabinet of Curiosities. All manner of peculiar objects, curious prodigies, and strange curios are to be found there, including one of the Prince Archbishop’s stuffed armadillos.
I was also able to visit the Untersberg mountain, situated just outside Salzburg, which is the hill side where the famous first scene of the Sound of Music was filmed. Many powerful tales of medieval folklore are associated with this mountain.
It is widely held that a king sleeps in the heart of the mountain who will only awake at the End Times. One version of this tale asserts it is the Emperor Barbarossa, whilst another claims it is Charlemagne. In the Barbarossa myth, the king’s beard has to grow so long that it twists around a table three times before the end of the world can happen.
In the Charlemagne version of the story, there is supposed to be a race of dwarves who live in the mountain looking after him, called the Untersberger Mandln. Charlemagne wakes up once every hundred years but then falls back to sleep again once he sees the ravens that fly around the mountain. Sightings of his dwarves are supposed to be frequent in the marble quarry on the mountain.
Numerous stories are told of spooky disappearances, otherworldly experiences, weird time portals opening up, bilocation, and strange hauntings which people have experienced on this mountain right up to the present day. Indeed it is the mystic lore attached to it that provoked Hitler’s obsession with the place, and the building of his mountain-top retreat at Berchtesgaden, on the Bavarian side of the hill.
I am afraid I have to report I didn’t see a single dwarf and got back to the bottom of the mountain in one piece without any problems whatsoever, most disappointed!
Attendance last Sunday
Links for Sunday
The links for the livestream and service sheet for this Sunday’s High Mass are at the end of this email.
Evensong and Benediction takes place at 6pm this Sunday. Music will include Leighton’s Magdalene Service and Tallis’s Videte miraculum.
The flowers this week are given by the Wright family and Pat Phillips in loving memory of Clive Wright, who died at Candlemas in 2020. We are looking for volunteers to help with the flowers in church and the Courtyard Garden. If you have a particular talent for flower arranging or gardening, or can even help with watering or sweeping the courtyard, please contact Shawn on 07988 287 663 or email@example.com. If you would like to make a donation for flowers or the garden, please contact Shawn.
Fr. Harry Hodgetts, Elizabeth Lyon, James Shrimpton, Gloria Fleming, David Craig, Martin Berka, James Rodger, Amanda Barrett, Don McWhinney, Greg Loveday, Keith Bevan, Cathy Horan, Kevin Coughlan, Tony Hawkins, Theresa Moses, Andrew Rodger
The faithful departed
Stuart Froment, Pavel Kaidalov
Anniversaries of death
January 29th – George Flack, Norah Lawrence
30th – Doris Foster, Judith Pulteney, Florence Akers
31st – Leonard Forsyth, Reginald Oxley, Jean Phillips
February 1st – Sarah Hutchinson, John Rose, John Pollard, Richard Vann
2nd – Florence White, Pamela Powis, Alfred Buhagiar, Clive Wright
3rd – Sydney Barradell, Cecilia Gamble, Cyril William Mason
4th – Agnes Theobald, Vera Aspinall, Marjorie Hague
The Friends of All Saints’
January 29th – James White, Dr. Roger White, Matthew Whittaker, Tim Widdowfield, David Wilcox, Ian Wilson
30th – Juliet Windham, Philip Wood, Martin Woods, Martin Wooley, David Wright, Fr. John Wylam
31st – Friends in special need
February 1st – Mark Allan, Martin Amherst-Lock, Bryan Anderson, Mary Attenborough, Richard Ayling, James Babington Smith
2nd – Ruth Baker, Stephen Barber, Fr. Roger Beck, Dr. William Benefield, Charlotte Black, Joy Blacklock, Graeme Bloom
3rd – David Blunden, Colin Bodkin, Fr. Michael Bowie, Eric Broglé, Fr. Julian Browning, Mrs. Margaret Burgess
4th – Kate Burling, Graham Burns, Maureen Cambrey, Adrian Carlton-Oatley, Kate Charles
Service times this week
Saturday 28th January – St. Thomas Aquinas
12.00 noon Mass
6.30 pm Vigil Mass of Sunday
Sunday 29th January – Epiphany 4
11.00 am High Mass
5.15 pm Mass
6.00 Evensong and Benediction
Monday 30th January – King Charles the Martyr
12.00 noon High Mass
6.30 pm Mass
Tuesday 31st January – St. John Bosco
12.00 noon Mass
6.30 pm Mass
Wednesday 1st February – St. Brigid
12.00 noon Mass
6.30 pm Mass
Thursday 2nd February – The Presentation of Christ in the Temple
12.00 noon Mass
6.30 pm High Mass
Friday 3rd February – St. Blaise
12.00 noon Mass with blessing of throats
6.30 pm Mass with blessing of throats
Saturday 4th February – St. Gilbert of Sempringham
12.00 noon Mass
6.30 pm Vigil Mass of Sunday
Sunday 5th February – Third Sunday before Lent (Septuagesima)
11.00 am High Mass
5.15 pm Mass
6.00 Evensong and Benediction