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

Weekly Email – Epiphany

Friday 5 January 2024 at 11:45


Dear friends,

One of the most significant blessings that accompanied our parish’s Advent journey to Christmas was the significantly increased number of people who sought out the sacrament of confession as part of their preparation for the feast. I have never witnessed so many confessions being made in the run-up to Christmas in any of the places I have ministered, and I give thanks to God for this beautiful development.

In total, 31 confessions were heard at All Saints’ between Advent Sunday and Christmas Day. I suspect a significant part of this is attributable to the presence of Fr Graeme Rowlands. He has been with us on several occasions in the weeks of Advent as part of a new project in which he acts as a visiting confessor for our parish. I am very grateful indeed to him for the time he has given us so generously in this way. We are so lucky to be able to profit from his extensive wisdom, experience and insight in this important ministry of forgiveness, counsel, and spiritual direction.

It has been noticeable how his presence amongst us has prompted many to seek God’s forgiveness through this sacramental rite, often for the first time. I hope Fr Rowlands has been of use to All Saints’ parishioners who prefer to make their confession to someone other than the clergy on the staff here at All Saints’, as well as to visitors. Many have commented to me about how much they have appreciated being able to speak with Fr Graeme about a wide range of matters.

We are going to continue this project over the coming months and Fr Graeme has kindly offered to be available at All Saints’ to hear confessions at the following times over the next few weeks: Wed 10th Jan – 11.00 am; Wed 17th Jan – 5.30 pm; Mon 22nd Jan – 5.30 pm; Tues 30th Jan – 5.30 pm; Tues 13th Feb – 5.30 pm.

He will be available in church at those times either for sacramental confession, or to discuss making your confession if you have never done it before, or for spiritual counsel and advice if you have a matter you would like to discuss with a priest.

It remains the case outside those times that Fr Alan and Fr Peter are available to hear confessions or give spiritual counsel before and after any Mass, or by appointment.

Regular self-examination as part of our life of prayer is a crucial element of what it means to be a Christian. Confessing our sins to a priest, however, is a way of giving our personal, private penitence a sacramental character. In it we are not left worrying about our sins on our own, afflicted by doubt and internal scruple, but are able to discuss the questions and problems of the spiritual life with another, and are assured of God’s forgiveness through there words of the priest’s absolution.

All Saints’ has, since its foundation, offered this wonderful sacrament as a way of enabling people to know God’s forgiveness. In it we confess our sins to God by telling them to a priest, who then gives us advice and absolution in Jesus’ name. You can be assured that anything revealed to a priest in the confessional at All Saints’ will never be repeated to anyone again under any circumstance whatsoever by the priest.

Through this sacramental encounter, God’s grace is given to us to help us amend our lives in all those areas where we are most beset with sin, and which we have brought to God through the words of our confession.

Sacramental confession to a priest can be part of a regular discipline (for example before the Church’s great feast days of Christmas, Easter and Pentecost), or as often as a penitent’s conscience dictates its need. Coming to God in penitence and confessing our sins, however we choose to do that, is one of the most important ways we show the centre of our lives is not ourself, but God. It is one of the most potent ways of inviting Christ afresh into our lives as Lord and Saviour, experiencing his healing and peace, and rooting our existence in the one who, through his Cross and Resurrection, is the font of all love, reconciliation, and forgiveness.

Fr Peter



Creeds, Controversies and Councils: a refresher on the Early Church

Zoom Theology: Tuesday, January 16th 2024, 7.00 pm.

Many of us will know the Creeds by heart, but the intellectual and historical complexities behind the Christian faith we profess through those texts can prove more elusive to our understanding. Responding to calls from our parish community for some more Patristic study, we thought a narrative introduction to the period between St Paul and the Council of Chalcedon would be useful context. In this session we will be led by the Rev’d Dr Robin Ward, Principal of St Stephen’s House in Oxford.

The online Zoom link can be found here.


You can watch last Sunday’s High Mass for the feast of the Holy Family here. In the homily, Fr Peter explored what exactly we mean by describing Jesus’ family as “holy” – not that it is without complexity or problems, but that it has God’s presence at its heart.


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.



Epiphany Traditions

Two beautiful liturgical traditions will be observed this Sunday which usually accompany the feast of the Epiphany.

The first is the blessing of chalk. This will take place at the Vigil Mass on Saturday night at 6.30 pm. It has long been the tradition of Christians to take the blessed chalk home and inscribe their door lintels with the names of the Wise Men, evoking the Magi’s prayers in order to bring God’s blessing on the household through the coming year. Chalk blessed at the Vigil Mass will be available at the back of church at the High Mass on Sunday morning for those who wish to take some home with them.

The second is the announcing of the year’s moveable feasts. This is a solemn proclamation sung after the Gospel on the feast of the Epiphany each year, telling the people of God the dates on which certain important feast days and holy seasons will be kept. It roots our experience of the coming year in liturgical time, and reminds us of the ways in which we will celebrate the Paschal Mystery through the church’s calendar over the coming months.

In addition to these Epiphany-tide traditions, we will also bless our parish’s newly restored set of green High Mass vestments on Sunday. These vestments have been restored in memory of Christine Ellis, and we are grateful to the individual whose generosity has made this possible. It is Christine’s anniversary of death on 8th January, and the vestments will be worn for the first time at the High Mass next Sunday.


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.


We very much enjoyed welcoming former and current students from Pusey House, Oxford, to their alumni day at All Saints’ in 2021, and look forward to welcoming them again in a few weeks’ time!


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.


Our bus full of happy pilgrims heading home from the National Pilgrimage to Walsingham last May.


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 last parish dinner at Le Beaujolais restaurant: a wonderful oasis of French culinary charm in the West End. We look forward to our Crêpes Suzette on Shrove Tuesday!


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.


Attendance last Sunday


Puseyites at their last alumni day celebration at All Saints’. We look forward to hearing Fr Edward Dowler, the Archdeacon of Hastings, as preacher at the next Pusey House High Mass on Saturday 27th January 2024.


Prayer List

The Friends of All Saints’ Margaret Street:

January 7th – Matthew Whittaker, Tim Widdowfield, David Wilcox, T. Bradford Willis, Ian A. Wilson, Juliet Windham
8th – Dr Philip Wood, Martin Woods, The Rev’d John Wylam, William Yale, Catherine Young, Michael Young
9th – Mark Allan, Martin Amherst-Lock, Mary Attenborough, Robert Austen, Richard Ayling, James Babington Smith, Ruth Baker
10th – Stephen Baldwin, Stephen Barber, Dr William Benefield, Fr Adrian Berry, Charlotte Black, Graeme Bloom, Colin Bodkin
11th – William Bonnell, John Bristow, Eric Broglé, Paul Brough, David Blunden, Fr. Michael Bowie, Dr Graham Burns
12th – Derek Bussey, Maureen Cambrey, Adrian Carlton-Oatley, Timothy Cassady, Kate Charles, Stuart Chillingworth, Robert Chote, Sandy Christian
13th – Roger Clark, Catharine Clarke, David and Mavis Cleggett, Graham Colville, Alan Cook, Dr Patrick Cook, Eliza Coomber

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 7th – Fay Ireland, Jill Horley, Anthony Bullock
8th – Kay Leahy, Christine Ellis
9th – Sylvia Scott
10th – Vera Freeth, Hermia Mills, Ann Ind, Jack Finnie, Katherine Humphries, Michael Fleming, Anthea Candlin,  Richard Candlin, Frank Hawkins Pr
11th – Eric Bailey Pr, Sophia Wickenden, Beryl Peryer
12th – Charles Backus
13th – Dorothea Graham, Vivian Curson, George Currie
14th – Alfred Stephens, Ethel Hewelson, Hugh Shepheard, Lyn Jones, Mavis Mercer


Service times this week

Saturday 6th January – Feria
12.00 pm Mass
6.30 pm Vigil Mass of Sunday

Sunday 7th January – Epiphany of the Lord
11.00 am High Mass
5.15 pm Low Mass
6.00 pm Epiphany Carol Service & Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament

Monday 8th January – Baptism of the Lord
12.00 pm Mass
6.30 pm Mass

Tuesday 9th January – Feria
12.00 pm Mass
6.30 pm Mass

Wednesday 10th January – Feria
12.00 pm Mass
6.30 pm Mass

Thursday 11th January – Feria
12.00 pm Mass
6.30 pm Mass

Friday 12th January – Feria
12.00 pm Mass
6.30 pm Mass

Saturday 13th January – Our Lady on Saturday
12 noon 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