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

Weekly Email – Lent 2

Friday 23 February 2024 at 11:45


Dear friends,

Our PCC is launching this week a significant new project in the life of our parish aimed at funding music making in our parish better over the next year. We are appealing for your help and support.

To cut a long story short, we are going to have to raise considerably greater funds each year if our music programme is to continue over the next decade at its present outstanding level of ambition and excellence.

We are introducing a new scheme this Lent in which parishioners and friends are invited to sponsor the cost of the music for certain key liturgies.

Perhaps the best place to begin as a way of explaining the situation is for me to describe how the funding of our music works at the present.

Our total music budget each year is in the region of £120,000. This is what it costs to employ our Director of Music and Associate Director of Music, to pay singers, to cover upkeep of our magnificent organ, and to fund our organ scholarship. The income from our parish’s Music and Choir Trust is able to pay for only about half of the amount budgeted each year for music. This means that the PCC has to find something in the region of £60,000 each year for music.

I sometimes sense there exists a parish myth that our Music Trust simply pays for all of the costs of our choir, and that it’s something we don’t need to worry about too much. We need to be realistic and acknowledge that this is quite simply no longer the case – at most, our Music Trust only covers half our annual costs.

As our PCC has reflected on its aspirations and plans for the next five years, it has come to the conclusion that we need to find a better way of funding music in our parish, in order to free PCC cash for other projects. If we don’t, we are either going to have to slash the music budget, or significantly cut expenditure in other areas and reduce the scope of our parish’s ministry and mission.

I salute the courageous way in which the PCC decided it didn’t want to go down either of those austerity routes, but instead wanted to create a new paradigm through a fundraising campaign whereby funding for our parish’s music is put on a better and more sustainable footing for the coming decades.

We hope next year (2025) to inaugurate a significant capital campaign in which we seek donations to our Music and Choir Trust. Our aim is to re-endow the Trust to such an extent that the capital is able to provide sufficiently greater income to cover the full cost of our wonderful choral tradition each year. Further details will follow over the next twelve months.

As a first step in the process of creating more sustainable sources of funding for our music department, however, the more immediate problem we need to address is an acute need for cash to balance the budget over the present year.

In the light of significantly increasing costs on nearly every front, we need to find an extra £15,000 over the present year (i.e. 2024) to break even. We hope a portion of that can be found through a number of savings. However, savings can only accomplish a small part of that sum we need to raise. We are appealing to our parishioners to see if most of that £15,000 could be raised through sponsorship of music over the next year.

The music at a High Mass or Evensong on an ordinary Sunday costs in the region of £1000 (i.e. approaching £2000 each week). We are seeking sponsorship to cover the cost of six Sundays over the next twelve months.

This could be offered in memory of a departed loved one, or with a particular thanksgiving as a public intention. You could also sponsor the cost of music at a Sunday or mid week service that is closest to a departed loved one’s anniversary or birthday. You do not, of course, have to be able to sponsor the whole of the cost of a service to be able to help us – covering the cost of a portion of the music on a Sunday would also be hugely welcome.

If you wish to sponsor our music programme in this way, please make a donation via this link to our CAF account. Making a donation this way allows us to reclaim the Gift Aid on your donation.

If you wish to make a contribution from outside the UK, the best way to do this is via our PayPal account, which can be accessed here.

Once you have made your donation, please email our parish office (office@asms.uk) to let us know if it is in memory of someone in particular, or if you would like it to be associated with a particular date or feast.

We are hugely grateful for your support and know we can count on your help in sustaining our parish’s wonderful musical tradition.

With my thanks and best wishes,

Fr Peter


We are so grateful to all our musicians and choir, and especially to our Director of Music Stevie Farr, for all they do to enrich our parish’s life through their music. We look forward to exploring new and exciting ways of supporting and funding their crucial work and creative vocation over the coming years.


Stations of the Cross

There will be a celebration of the Stations of the Cross at 7 pm each Friday in Lent. This lasts around half an hour and follows on directly after the 6.30 pm Mass.

The Stations of the Cross are an exercise in following Christ in the last few hours of his earthly life through his passion and death. As we move around the church stopping at 14 stations, our hearts and minds move with us as we contemplate the love our saviour showed for us, revealed in the incidents that characterised his journey to the Calvary and the tomb.


Don’t forget that Evensong and Benediction is live-streamed every Sunday now via our parish YouTube channel. You can watch last Sunday here. Music included: Fauxbourdons by Thomas Morley; and Versa est in luctum by Alonso Lobo.


Lent Course: Dante’s Inferno

It was good to see so many people gather for our Zoom session on Wednesday evening. Our next meeting will be in person, here at Margaret St, after the 6.30pm Mass on Tuesday 5th March. All are welcome.

We’ll be looking at Cantos 11-24 of the Inferno. Folks might find this podcast useful as preparation.

Be in touch with Fr Alan (assistantpriest@asms.uk) for more details.



Lent Appeal 2024

We will be following our usual custom of organising a Lent Appeal to provide a focus for parishioners’ charitable giving during Lent. All funds raised this year will contribute towards the costs of the Mental Health Worker who works at the American Church on the Tottenham Court Road.

Their Soup Kitchen is a resource for the homeless, elderly, lonely and vulnerable in London. They provide free meals, clothing, toiletries and a sense of belonging to nearly 150 people each day and an on-site mental health drop-in centre to help address their guests’ mental health needs. You can give to our Lent appeal here.


Fr Julian preached at Sunday’s High Mass for the First Sunday of Lent. He explored the Benedictine notion of “conversatio” – that gradual conversion of life that places God more and more at the heart of what we do, which is a turning away from sin and self-centredness. This is, in a sense, the opportunity which Lent offers us, as we prepare for Easter. You can watch the sermon again here.


Lent Theatre Trip: Gerard Manley Hopkins

There will be a parish trip to the theatre for Lent on Wednesday 6th March 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.

To book a place, please email the parish office (office@asms.uk).



Zoom Theology

Our next Zoom Theology seminar will be entitled, “Holy Murder” and will take place on Tuesday 19th March.

Fr Alan will be leading us in comparing detective novels with a religious context, teasing out the theological and ethical themes that emerge from them. We’ll focus particularly on P.D. James’ classic Death in Holy Orders, and The Rev’d Richard Coles’ Murder before Evensong. More information about our online Zoom Theology Seminars (including Zoom links) can be found here.



Sacrament of Confession

You can make your confession before or after any celebration of the Mass, or by appointment, with any of our parish clergy during Lent.

In addition, Fr Graeme Rowlands will be available to hear confessions and/or offer spiritual counsel at the following times: Wed 28th Feb – 5.30 pm; Wed 6th March – 5.30 pm; Mon 11th March – 5.30 pm; Mon 18th March – 11.00 am


We are so grateful to Fr Graeme Rowlands for acting as a visiting confessor to our parish and for all the wonderful wisdom and insight that he brings to this role.


Online Zoom Coffee Hour

Two online Zoom Coffee Hours are planned for the coming months: Sunday 17th March 2024 at 12.45; and Sunday 5th May.

These coffee hours offer an opportunity for those who worship with us online, and those who are housebound to meet online for a time of chat, conversation and fellowship. At the end of the High Mass, just make yourself a cup of coffee and join us online. Do put these dates in your diary – Zoom links will follow in the coming weeks.


Fr Haselock is enraptured at the arrival of the Crepes Suzette at our Shrove Tuesday parish dinner at Le Beaujolais restaurant in Soho last week. We are so grateful to the restaurant staff for a wonderful evening. It was a splendid way to prepare together for Lenten abstinence!


Reading rota

We need new volunteers to expand the number of people available to read from the scriptures at the High Mass and at Evensong on Sundays. Please be in touch with Fr Alan, who is reviewing and renewing our reading rota at the moment, if you would like to volunteer to read.


Help needed with sacristy ironing

We need new volunteers who can help with a number of sacristy tasks. In particular, we need new people who are able to help with the weekly task of washing and ironing the linens which are used at the Mass each day – especially purificators.

Purificators are small squares of linen about the size of a handkerchief which need carefully ironing into three. A fresh one is used at every Mass to clean and purify the chalice (i.e. we get through 16 a week).

If you would like to volunteer to help with this important work, please speak to Fr Peter.


Walsingham National Pilgrimage

Our parish coach for the National Pilgrimage to Walsingham leaves at 7.30 am on Monday 27th May. £20 a place. Email the parish office if you wish to book a place (office@asms.uk).



Attendance last week


Prayer List

The Friends of All Saints’ Margaret Street:

February 25th – Judith Mather, The Ven Fr Stephen McClatchie, The Rev’d Peter McGeary, Nigel McNeill, John McWhinney, Anne Merritt
26th – Thomas Moller, Barry Moore, Dr John Morrell, Fr. Stephen Morris, Inger Mosbery, Carol Mundell
27th – Christopher Naylor, Brian Newman, Elaine Norman, Graham Norman, Richard North, Fr. Paul Ockford
28th – Fr. Peter and Anna Oesterby-Joergensen, Fr. Barry Orford, Samantha Parker, Malcolm Parr, Bhaven Patel, Alma Pearson
29th – Pat Philips, Colin Podmore, Nick and Cecilia Powell, Simon Pusey, Simon Rainey, Gordon Reid
March 1st – Carlos Remotti-Breton, Dr Steve Rice, John Rick, Fr. Peter Roberts, Hilary Rodger, Mossman Roueche
2nd – Greg Round, Fr. Jim Rosenthal, Jamie Rundle, Mary Sherred, James Shrimpton, William Shufflebotham

The sick:

Javier Barbetta, Martin Berka, David Craig, Roger Dilks, Jason Dunlop, Clara Exton, Gill Hargreaves, Fr. Harry Hodgetts, Lesley Lee, Elizabeth Lyon, Lionel and Lynn Persey, James Roger, Bruce Ross-Smith

The faithful departed:

Anne Entwistle, Marion Duggan, Doreen Harding, Elizabeth Paver, Doris Sanders, Timothy Slater

Those whose anniversaries of death fall at this time:

February 25th – Eleanor Alaway, Derek Beavan, Diana Stonebanks, Yoskyl Brackley
26th – Ian Searle
27th – Lionel Ryan, Catherine Thomas
28th – Alexander Finnis
29th – Martin Mogridge
March 1st – Dennis Gill, William Batey, Gertrude Bennett, Charles Bewick Pr, Frances Lightfoot, Beatrice Ansah
3rd – Catherine Packer, Ernest Gittins, Walter Freeth, Bridget Wright, Marion Badger


Service times this week

Saturday 24th February – Feria
12.00 pm Mass
6.30 pm Vigil Mass of Sunday

Sunday 25th February – Lent II
11.00 am High Mass
5.15 pm Low Mass
6.00 pm Evensong and Benediction

Monday 26th February – Feria
12.00 pm Mass
6.30 pm Mass

Tuesday 27th February – Feria
12.00 pm Mass
6.30 pm Mass

Wednesday 28th February – Feria
12.00 pm Mass
6.30 pm Mass

Thursday 29th February – Feria
12.00 pm Mass
6.30 pm Mass

Friday 1st March – St David, B
12.00 pm Mass
6.30 pm Mass
7.00 pm Stations of the Cross

Saturday 2nd March – St Chad
11.30 Rosary
12 noon Mass
6.30 pm Vigil Mass of Sunday

Sunday 3rd March – Lent III
11.00 am High Mass
5.15 pm Low Mass
6.00 pm Evensong and Benediction