Weekly Email – First of Advent | All Saints Margaret Street All Saints Margaret Street | Weekly Email – First of Advent

Weekly Email – First of Advent

Friday 1 December 2023 at 13:45


Dear friends,

I am very pleased to announce a number of exciting new parish events that will take place over the coming months in the New Year.

Visit to the British Library: “Fantasy – Realms of Imagination”
Tuesday 23rd January 2024
The first of these events is a parish trip to see an impressive new exhibition at the British Library entitled, “Fantasy – Realms of Imagination.” One of the curators of this exhibition is our own parishioner Rachel Foss.

I am so pleased and grateful to Rachel that she has offered to give us a personal introduction and tour of the exhibit. The show itself explores the role that fantasy and fable play in our corporate fictive imagination. It delves into the realm of fairy tales and folk story, epics and quest narratives, portals to other worlds, and use of the weird, startling and uncanny in literature.

A significant portion of the exhibition revolves around the Christian underpinning of much of the fantasy literature created in the 20th Century, such as that written by J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. Amongst other things, the exhibition reveals the often underestimated way in which the imagination itself forms a crucial part of Christian philosophical discourse, the contemplation of ethical dilemmas and questions of soteriology, and the use of myth to make theological sense of the human condition.

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).

Shrove Tuesday Crêpes Suzette party
Tuesday 13th February 2024 – 7.30 pm
To celebrate Shrove Tuesday, we will be hosting a special Crêpes Suzette dinner at Le Beaujolais restaurant on Litchfield Street in Soho. 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. Places are limited. Book soon!

Lent Theatre Trip – Dead Poets Live: Gerard Manley Hopkins
Wednesday 6th March 2024
There will be a parish trip to the theatre for Lent to see a fascinating show presenting the poetry and life story of Gerard Manley Hopkins. Tickets are £26 each and the play begins at 7.30 pm.

The play will take place at Wilton’s Music Hall in Whitechapel. The Dead Poets Live project, which has produced the play, combines live recitation of poetry, drama, and story-telling to bring the work, experience, and reception of leading poets to life for audiences.

The blurb for this performance says the following: “Dead Poets Live return to Wilton’s for three nights to tell the story of Hopkins’s relationship with poetry, and poetry’s relationship with Hopkins: how his extraordinary spiritual life led him to write – and then not to write – as he did, how his poems were destroyed, how they survived, how they were misunderstood, and how, ultimately, their influence triumphed. It is the story of a radical and passionate style and the radical, passionate spirit that it continues to communicate.”

To book a place on any of these parish events, please email our parish office (office@asms.uk). Thomas, our parish administrator will then send you a link for payment.

I look forward to sharing these events with you and hope they will be a series of happy and interesting opportunities for us all to grow in faith, fellowship with one another, and knowledge of the Gospel.


Fr Peter


“Fantasy – Realms of Imagination” runs until 25th February 2024 at The British Library. Our parish trip offer you the exciting opportunity to see the exhibition in the company of one of its curators, parishioner Rachel Foss.


Advent Carol Service – this Sunday

Our annual Advent Carol Service, including Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, will take place this Sunday 3rd December at 6.00 pm.

Music will include: Matin Responsory – Palestrina; A tender shoot – Goldschmidt; Laetentur caeli – Byrd; O thou, the central Orb – Gibbons; There is a flower – Vann; Im Advent – Mendelssohn.

The service will be live-streamed via our parish YouTube Channel here.


Do join us for our beautiful candlelit Advent liturgy on Sunday night. It is a wonderful way of preparing for Christmas and the coming of the Christ Child.


Texts for this week’s Zoom Theology Seminar

Fr Nathan Mulcock has sent us a short series of texts for those who wish to prepare for his Zoom Theology Seminar.  It will be helpful to have read them before the seminar, but please don’t feel that you shouldn’t attend if you have not! The texts, from Maximus’ work, On the Ecclesiastical Mystagogy are appended at the end of this email and can also be downloaded here: Maximus the Confessor texts.

This next Zoom Theology Seminar takes place next Tuesday (5th Dec) at 7.00 pm. It will be entitled, “A small world in a great one: Eco-Theology and St Maximus the Confessor.”

Fr Nathan is Chaplain of Mansfield College, Oxford, and is pursuing a doctorate in in the realm of Eco-Theology, with particular reference to the Patristic theologian St Maximus the Confessor.

He will introduce us to the parameters of this modern discipline and also give us an opportunity for the closer reading of some of the ancient texts that inform them. The Zoom link and further information can be found here.


Right: Fr Nathan Mulcock, Chaplain of Mansfield College, Oxford. Left: the subject of his Zoom seminar, St Maximus the Confessor.


Various Masses cancelled this week

Please note with care a number of changes to our liturgical schedule this week. These are all laid out below in the “Services this Week” section of this email.

The 6.30 pm Mass is cancelled on Tuesday 5th December and Wednesday 6th December to make way for carol services organised by Rugby School and Bishop’s Diocesan College, Cape Town. Please note that the 12 noon Mass on those days will take place as usual.

Rosary and the 12 noon Mass are also cancelled on Saturday 9th December to allow parishioners of All Saints’ to attend the High Mass of Requiem at St Magnus the Martyr, London Bridge, which will be celebrated at 12 noon on that day for the repose of the soul of Ray Oram.



Confessions this Monday

Fr Graeme Rowlands will be available to hear confessions at All Saints’ this Monday 5th December at 5.30 pm.

This marks the beginning of a new project which will involve Fr Graeme being available at All Saints’ to hear confessions on a regular basis. He will then be available at the following times over the next month in the run up to Christmas: 11.00 am, Wednesday 13th December; 5.30 pm, Monday 18th December; and 5.30 pm, Wednesday 20th December.


Young Adults Group Advent Party

There will also be an Advent party at Fr Alan’s home on St Ambrose’s Day, this Thursday December 7th, 7-9pm. Fr Alan warmly invites our younger people to No. 6 for seasonal drinks. Let him know if you plan to join us.


Do be in touch with Fr Alan if you would like to attend his Advent party on 7th December, and if you would like to be kept abreast of future events for our Young Adults Group.


Carol Service volunteers needed

We need volunteers to help organise welcome and serve refreshments at the many carol services we host in the weeks before Christmas. If you are able to help with this important task, please be in touch with Kate Hodgetts.

Carol services will be held on the following evenings and we need several volunteers for each one: 5th December (Rugby School); 6th December (Bishop’s Diocesan College, Cape Town); 12th December (Magdalen College, Oxford); 13th December (Keble College, Oxford); 14th December (Freud Communications); 17th December (our own parish carol service).


You can watch last Sunday’s High Mass here. The music included Mozart’s Missa Brevis in Bb and Baistow’s Let all Mortal Flesh.


Christmas Eve services

We are going to experiment with a slight change to the services we offer on Christmas Eve this year in order to allow as many people as possible to attend the liturgy in that holy night.

In addition to the usual 11.00 pm Midnight High Mass, there will also be a First High Mass of Christmas celebrated at 6.00 pm (as Christmas Eve this year is a Sunday, this will be in place of Evensong and the 5.15 pm Low Mass). This liturgy is intended for those who have voiced a concern that it can be difficult to get to All Saints’ and back home again on Christmas Eve once the Tube has stopped running early.

There will also be a Said Mass on Christmas Day at 9.00 am for anyone who wishes to be make their communion early and get back home to stuffing a turkey in time for lunch!

We hope these new arrangements will offer an opportunity for worship for as many people as possible – both to those who want to preserve the ancient tradition of celebrating a Midnight Mass in the night, and also for those who would find it easier to come into central London earlier in the evening.


In the sermon at last Sunday’s High Mass, Fr Julian reminded us that it is not possible to ponder Christ’s Kingdom in the future without considering the suffering our contemporary world is experiencing in the present. Our citizenship of Christ’s Kingdom means we cannot separate ourselves from those who suffer, but rather enter into solidarity and fellowship with them, acknowledging the authority of Christ. You can see his sermon again here.


Attendance last Sunday


If you are unable to attend in person, you can participate in our Advent Carol Service this Sunday via our YouTube Channel here.


Prayer List

The Friends of All Saints’ Margaret Street:

December 3rd – Carlos Remotti-Breton, Dr Steve Rice, John Rick, Fr. Peter Roberts, Hilary Rodger, Mr Mossman Roueche
4th – Greg Round, Fr Jim Rosenthal, Jamie Rundle, Mary Sherred, James Shrimpton, William Shufflebotham
5th – Gabriel Simerson, Brad Singer, Ingrid Slaughter, Naomi Slippe, Vaughan Snook, Harvey Solomon-Brady
6th – Gwynedd Sooke, Richard and Louise Stallwood, Iain Stewart, Jason Stewart, Ian and Veronica Summers, Colin Symes, Ann Tacchi
7th – Sebastian Taite-Ellis, Michael Taylor, Kitty Thompson, Charles Thomson, Dr James Thomson, Jeremy Thorp, Dr Christine Vaughn Lillie
8th – Sam Walsh, Christopher Walsh, Christopher Waterhouse, Philip Wayne, Fr Benjamin Weitzmann, Mats Wendt, Michael Westcott, Dr Roger White
9th – Matthew Whittaker, Tim Widdowfield, David Wilcox, Quentin Williams, T. Bradford Willis, Ian A. Wilson, Juliet Windham

The sick:

Martin Berka, Jason Dunlop, Frances Gayler, Gary and Gill Hargreaves, Fr. Harry Hodgetts, Michael Lamprell, Elizabeth Lyon, Frances O’Neil, James Roger, Bruce Ross-Smith

The faithful departed:

Keith Bevan, Roy Breare, Betty Draper, Fr John O’Brien, Mary Rowe, Pat Castle Stewart

Those whose anniversaries of death fall at this time:

December 3rd – Margaret Rodger, Douglas Lawson, Kenneth Armstrong
4th – Pamela Freer, Robert Fletcher
5th – Mary Skelton, Mary Burton, Florence Duggan
6th – William Gelson, Thomas Vaughan, Rita Mather
7th – Morgan Griffiths Pr, John Slater, Frances Lloyd, Zena Monk
8th – Maude Bull, Christine Bramma, Ines Baxter
10th – Marian Borton, Hamish Gray, Natalie Dyrnes, Daniel Thomas


Service times this week

Saturday 2nd December – Feria
12.00 pm Mass
6.30 pm Vigil Mass of Sunday

Sunday 3rd December – First of Advent
11.00 am High Mass
5.15 pm Mass
6.00 pm Advent Carol Service and Benediction

Monday 4th December – Advent Feria
12.00 pm Mass
6.30 pm Mass

Tuesday 5th December – Advent Feria
12.00 pm Mass
6.30 pm Rugby School Carol Service
(N.B. Evening Mass cancelled tonight.)

Wednesday 6th December – St Nicholas
12.00 pm Mass
6.00 pm Old Diocesans School Carol Service
(N.B. Evening Mass cancelled tonight.)

Thursday 7th December – St Ambrose
12.00 pm Mass
6.30 pm Mass

Friday 8th December – Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
12.00 pm Mass
6.30 pm Pontifical High Mass

Saturday 9th December – Our Lady of Walsingham
N.B. Rosary and 12 noon Mass cancelled for Ray Oram’s Mass of Requiem at St Magnus the Martyr, London Bridge. 
6.30 pm Vigil Mass of Sunday

Sunday 10th December – Second of Advent
11.00 am High Mass
5.15 pm Mass
6.00 pm Evensong and Benediction