Weekly Email – Epiphany 4
I am very pleased to announce an important international ecumenical event which will take place at All Saints, Margaret Street, on the first Sunday of Lent.
In the evening of Sunday 6th March 2022, we will host the Bishop of Berlin-Brandenburg on his first official visit to London since being appointed bishop. The Bishops of Fulham (who will have been with us in the morning to celebrate and preach at the High Mass), London and Berlin will all be present at Evensong and Benediction at 6.00 pm that evening and will sit in choir. The liturgy will be followed by a special ecumenical reception to which all parishioners are invited in honour of the Bishop of Berlin and his delegation.
Our diocese has had a rich ecumenical partnership with the Church of Berlin-Brandenburg for over a decade now. It came into being as a result of the friendship between the then bishops of London and Berlin. It has now grown into a wide network of connections, relationships and exchanges between a wide range of individuals, parishes and institutions representing our two churches. A theological conference is organised every two years, but many official visits take place between those conferences.
The new Bishop of Berlin-Brandenburg is Dr Christian Stäblein. He was elected to that office in 2019. He will be making his first journey to London as head of the Berlin Church in order to cement the close relationship between our two communities and learn more about the Diocese of London over a visit of several days. I am thrilled that we will be able to show him something of our liturgical tradition and offer him hospitality during his stay.
The church over which he presides is officially called the “The Evangelical Church of Berlin Brandenburg, and Silesian Upper Lusatia.” It is a united protestant church which covers the city of Berlin, the state that surrounds it of Brandenburg, and a small part of Saxony. The Church of Berlin-Brandenburg is part of the Evangelical Church of Germany, which is a federation of denominations and regional churches that makes up the main body of German Protestantism.
The Church of Berlin-Brandenburg has an intriguing history, because it is made up of a mixture of different theological strands. The early Reformation in Brandenburg was a relatively moderate one and left most of the area around Berlin with a majority Lutheran population. By the seventeenth century, however, the ruling Hohenzollerns (beginning with the Elector John Sigismund) and many of the aristocratic families at court had become Calvinists.
In order to bring religious affairs in his kingdom under greater control by the Crown, and to reduce religious argument and dissent, the King of Prussia Frederick William III brought the Calvinist and Lutheran communities together in one united church in the early years of the 19th Century. It is this “Church of the Prussian Union” that forms the origins of the present Church of Berlin-Brandenburg.
The church of Berlin-Brandenburg has undergone many changes, including periods of trial and tragedy through the 20th Century. Indeed, it was divided during the period of Communist dictatorship in Eastern Germany. It has counted many famous theologians and martyrs amongst its members, the most famous of which must surely be Dietrich Bonhoeffer. The church also played a pivotal role in the peaceful revolution of 1989 that brought the two divided Germanies back together as one nation.
I find the links and exchanges I have been involved with as part of this ecumenical partnership hugely rewarding and endlessly interesting. It is humbling to witness the work of our Berlin brothers and sisters and to learn more about the admirable history of their church.
It is, perhaps, all too easy as Anglo-Catholics to be focussed in our ecumenical outlook on the churches whose traditions are closest to ours, such as the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox churches. We must remember that being committed to “ecumenism in the round,” and seeking to understand Christians in the Lutheran and Reformed traditions is just as important a part of the search for the unity of Christ’s Body.
The visit we will host will be an important opportunity for Bishop Stäblein to meet members of our parish, and learn more about the historic role that All Saints has played in transforming what it means to be an Anglican.
I am proud and excited that Bishop Stäblein will be visiting us, and urge as many of you as possible to put Evensong and Benediction at 6.00 pm on Sunday 6th March in your diaries, and to make an effort to be present to welcome our honoured guest.
Society of King Charles the Martyr
The Society of King Charles the Martyr’s annual commemoration of the death of Charles I will take place at All Saints on Saturday 29th January. The Banqueting House, where this has usually taken place in the past, is under restoration at the moment.
There will be a High Mass at 12 noon, and the preacher will be the Revd Toby Boutle, Vicar of the Parish of Swindon New Town.
If you are unable to attend, but would like to join the liturgy online, simply follow the following link here.
Online Zoom Theology:
“Looking East in Winter” by Rowan Williams
Please note that our next online Zoom Theology session will take place on Tuesday 15th March at 7.00 pm. We will be reflecting on Rowan Williams’ latest book, “Looking East in Winter: Contemporary Thought and the Eastern Christian Tradition.” This work explores and introduces a number of Eastern and Orthodox thinkers, and reflects on what can be learned from them in the increasingly secularised West.
The seminar will last for no more than an hour and you are encouraged to have read the book before attending.
Zoom details here: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86265920723?pwd=YklJYXpDWG1lcWFQUXdpMTAreVQwZz09
In the light of recent relaxation of government COVID restrictions, it will no longer be necessary to wear a facemask during public worship at All Saints from this Sunday onwards.
All our other COVID precautions, which people are used to and well aware of (communion in one kind; no physical sharing of the peace etc.), will remain in place until further notice.
Links for Sunday
The link for the Propers for the fourth Sunday of Epiphany is at the end of this email. Click here for the YouTube live stream.
Evensong and Benediction is at 6pm. The music includes Batten Fourth Service, and Tallis Videte miraculum.
The flowers in church are given by Francis Davis, in memory of his mother Barbara, who died on Candlemas in 2002.
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.
High Mass for Candlemas is at 6pm on Wednesday 2nd February. Our preacher will be the Revd Canon Jeremy Haselock. There will be an email this week with links to the Propers and the YouTube stream.
Prisoners and captives
Nazanin Zhagari-Ratcliffe, Ismaeil Maghrebinejad, Nasrin Sotoudeh
Rohingya Christians in Pakistan, Karen Christians in Burma, Tigrayan Christians in Ethiopia
Fr Harry Hodgetts, Martin Berka, Elizabeth Lyon, James Shrimpton, Anne-Marie Chartier, Bernard Holmes, Thelma Spill, Sara Vice, Ted Luscombe, Corrado Monte, Tony Rodger, David Robin, Simeon Sanders
Those known to us recently departed
Robert Jowitt, David Cox
Anniversaries of death
30th – Doris Foster, Judith Pulteney, Florence Akers
31st – Leonard Forsyth, Reginald Oxley, Jean Phillips
FEBRUARY 1st – Sarah Hutchinson, John Rose, John Pollard
2nd – Florence White, Pamela Powis, Alfred Buhagiar, Clive Wright
3rd – Sydney Barradell, Cecilia Gamble
4th – Agnes Theobald, Vera Aspinall, Marjorie Hague
5th – Dorothy Collins, Philip Morrell, George Venn, Sarah Hudson, Iris Harrison, Norman Holden, Rond Pethers
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).