Weekly Email – Lent 3
I am pleased to announce a new parish project connected with tackling the problems of homelessness. It commences this week and I heartily commend it to your prayers.
From this week onwards, the homeless charity Joining Communities Together will be working out of our parish room on Thursdays and Fridays as part of their efforts to alleviate the problem of homelessness in Westminster.
You may know that JCT has operated for the past few years out of the old convent building opposite All Saints. They have recently been asked to leave as the building has been sold for redevelopment. JCT used to undertake extensive work with homeless people, including offering meals and showers from the convent building.
They have decided, in the light of being asked to leave their present premises, to cease offering their meal, shower and day centre service. They now plan to focus on one-to-one counselling and advice work with homeless guests, with the intention of helping those struggling with no fixed abode to get back into accommodation and the work place. In many respects this kind of work can make a more substantial impact in the lives of people who live on the streets, than simply providing meals.
Our PCC was approached a few months ago about the question of whether we could offer space in which JCT could undertake this crucial one-to-one work. The PCC responded warmly to this idea and was keen to see what possibilities existed in terms of using our parish room.
I am aware that use of our church by homeless people has been a point of some contention and anxiety in the past. Since our re-opening of the church in the afternoons with church welcomers present to greet and talk to visitors, none of the problems we used to experience has re-surfaced.
I am so grateful to our church welcomers for the important work they do to make our church a safe place of peace, stillness and prayer. The shift in culture connected with how our church building feels during the day has, in no small part, been down to their hard work and commitment to staffing our church between services.
Now the church is open safely in the afternoons, we can turn our minds to contributing to homeless work in a way that is more concretely useful than simply offering those on the streets a place to sleep during the day, as used to happen. I hope we can see renting JCT our parish room to be their West End hub two days a week as a way of supporting their work and collaborating in their action.
We have undertaken extensive conversations with JCT to work through how we can make sure that the courtyard and ancillary church buildings are kept safe. Homeless clients will be met at the door of Number 8 and accompanied into the parish room. All JCT’s work with homeless people will be by appointment with individuals only. This means All Saints will not be generally advertised as a place where food or other homeless services can be obtained. We are not equipped to offer meals, and many other agencies and churches in Westminster offer that kind of service much more effectively than we ever could. I am convinced JCT’s work can be undertaken entirely safely and in an orderly way.
I hope we have managed over the past few months to solve the problems we experienced before COVID involving people not respecting our church space appropriately in a way that made people feel unsafe. However, at the same time, I hope we can now reach out to help homeless people in a way that is much more effective and likely to make a bigger difference.
I am grateful to the PCC for their enthusiastic support for this scheme, and I ask you to pray for its success over the next few months. I am pleased and proud to see All Saints making a substantial contribution to the common good in our locality by helping this important work.
I have been in touch with the staff at JCT, and asked them if they would like to come one Sunday to speak after the High Mass about their work so we can all learn more about them. Lorraine Kinnear, JCT’s Senior Manager for London, has agreed to come and give a short presentation after the High Mass on Sunday 8th May (Easter 4). I hope you will find this opportunity a useful way of finding out more about their activities and the wonderful difference they make in the lives of some of the most vulnerable and needy people in our city.
Happy Birthday, Ray
Although we have not seen him in church since the pandemic began, everyone at All Saints will remember Ray Oram with enormous affection. He recently celebrated his ninetieth birthday.
He contributed flowers to the church for the last few days before Lent to mark the occasion. The choir recorded an arrangement of Happy Birthday made by James Sherwood for him to hear. Family and friends from All Saints and elsewhere phoned, sent flowers and cards and came bearing cakes. Fr Peter visited him with Fr Charles Card-Reynolds, who now regularly takes him communion in his own home.
Ray first came to All Saints in 1948 and is unquestionably our senior parishioner. Many congratulations indeed, Ray!
Ray Oram, our longest standing parishioner, who celebrated his 90th birthday last week.
All Saints’ Lent Appeal 2022
In the light of exceptional events in Ukraine, all our fund-raising will be devoted this Lent to helping refugees fleeing from the conflict.
The outward giving committee and PCC have, therefore, agreed that all our Lent Appeal money this year should be donated to the joint USPG/Diocese in Europe appeal for the people of Ukraine. Read more about that appeal here.
Parishioners of All Saints’ can now know that every penny they donate to our Lent Appeal will now go to help those involved in the conflict in Ukraine and will support refugees fleeing from the fighting.
The appeal closes on Sunday 1st May.
How to Donate
Please give generously online via our parish website and following the link to the donation page. Or you can send a cheque to the Parish Office, made payable to: “Parochial Church All Saints (Lent Appeal)”. If you qualify for Gift Aid, please write ‘Gift Aid’ on the back of the cheque.
Lent boxes will not be issued this year.
Stations of the Cross
Please note that on Friday 25th March, there will be no Stations of the Cross as it will be the feast of the Annunciation, and there will be a High Mass at 6.00 pm instead.
Our Lent Lecture will take place on Friday 8th April at 7.00 pm at All Saints.
This in-person event will focus on the thought of St Augustine of Hippo, and will be given by the Revd Dr Dominic Keech, Vicar of St Nicholas’, Brighton.
His lecture will be entitled, “The Infinite Vision: Augustine and the formation of the Western mind.” The evening will be an introduction to the life and thought of the great fourth century North African theologian, exploring his influence on Western Christianity’s understanding of the human person in time and eternity, and probing his continuing presence in contemporary crises of self and society.
Zoom Theology Seminars
A big thank you to the 35 people who contributed to our online Zoom Theology seminar on last week on Rowan Williams’ latest book, “Looking East in Winter.” We had people tuning in from all over the country, and from locations in Denmark, USA, and South Africa. It was wonderful to connect with people from so many different places, and to share our theological perspectives on Bishop Rowan’s book.
Our next online Zoom Theology Seminar will take place on Tuesday 10th May 2022 at 7.00pm. It will consist of a talk given by Fr Michael entitled, “‘Damned by our Knowledge’: English religious anxiety in Graham Greene”. The presentation will draw particularly on material from the novels, The Power and the Glory, The Heart of the Matter and The End of the Affair.
‘The trouble is, he thought, we know the answers – we Catholics are damned by our knowledge.’ (The Heart of the Matter)
Holy Week and Easter
Do make sure you have all the times of our Holy Week liturgies in your diaries. Join us online and in person with Bishop Rowan Williams as our guest preacher. Bishop Rowan will preach at all the major liturgies of Holy Week from Palm Sunday to Easter Day.
All services and homilies will be live-streamed and available afterwards on our parish YouTube channel if you are unable to attend in person.
Please note that there will be no 12 noon Mass on Holy Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. We will meet together for just one celebration of the Eucharist in the evening at which Bishop Rowan will preach.
Palm Sunday 10th April 2022
11.00 am High Mass with sermon
N.B. Meet at 11.00 am in Oxford Market for the procession of palms.
Holy Monday 11th April 2022
6.15 pm Low Mass with homily
Holy Tuesday 12th April 2022
6.15 pm Low Mass with homily
Holy Wednesday 13th April 2022
6.15 pm Low Mass with homily
7.30 pm Tenebrae
Maundy Thursday 14th April 2022
6.00 pm High Mass with sermon followed by watch at altar of repose
Good Friday 15th April 2022
3.00 pm Solemn Liturgy with sermon
Holy Saturday 16th April 2022
9.00 pm Easter Vigil with baptisms, confirmations and sermon.
Easter Day 17th April 2022
11.00 am High Mass with sermon
5.15 pm Mass
6.00 pm Evensong and Benediction
News from our online worshippers
This week we hear from Philip Wood, who lives in Norwich, about his experience of worshipping with us online, and how he came into contact with our parish:
Like many people, I found the first weeks of lockdown unsettling. I am a server at my church in Norwich, attending most of the services on Sundays and Holy Days. I missed them very much. Early on I was able to walk to the tiny church in my village and sit in silence there. Thereafter even that was locked, and it was then that a fellow server told me about the on line services from All Saints.
I knew of All Saints Margaret Street of course, but it was some years since I had been there. From memory my first on-line service was Palm Sunday 2020; Fr Michael celebrating, I think it was at the High Altar.
Not long afterwards the use of church buildings even on line was prohibited, and ASMS services moved into the Sacristy. It did not matter: I was able to experience Holy Week and Easter morning in a very real way, for which I was very grateful.
After that Easter I thought it might be too much to ‘tune in’ every week day, but soon reached a point where I did not want to miss it. It gave structure to the days, as well as having everything necessary: a ‘complete prayer experience’ ! I liked to light the candles I have in my ‘icon corner’, and to stand and kneel at the appropriate times. I soon learnt by heart the prayers ‘for those not able to receive communion’.
Before long my church in Norwich put its own services on line, and It was good then to be able to combine those with the weekday rhythm of the ASMS Eucharist.
Daily life is now returning back to something like normal, notwithstanding new and terrible world events. On Sundays and feast days I am back in my home church. Other commitments mean I am not always at home on weekdays. When I am, at midday I light the candles, open the iPad and tune in to ASMS YouTube.
It has been a great joy to attend some services in person at All Saints, to meet Fr Michael and Fr Peter, and even to attend the Ravenna study day! I can only say a very heartfelt thank you to all at All Saints, who have made these services possible.
Links for Sunday
The link for the Propers for Lent 2 is at the end of this email. Click here for the YouTube live stream.
Evensong and Benediction at 6pm on Sunday. This week the music includes Weelkes Short Service, and Byrd Miserere Mei.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to make a donation for flowers, please contact Shawn or speak to Chris Self.
Prisoners and captives
Ismaeil Maghrebinejad, Nasrin Sotoudeh
Rohingya Christians in Pakistan, Karen Christians in Burma, Tigrayan Christians in Ethiopia
Fr Harry Hodgetts, Elizabeth Lyon, James Shrimpton, David Robin, Stuart Bell, Anne-Marie Chartier, Bernard Holmes, Thelma Spill, Simeon Sanders, Martin Berka, Gloria Fleming, Fr Robert McEwin
Those known to us recently departed
Francesca Guillotti, Paul Richardson, Hugh Wilcox Pr
Anniversaries of death
20th – Christine Tagoe
21st – Mary Steward, Hugh Wiley, Emily Pattisson, Margaret Baker
22nd – Charlotte Read, Olive Evans
23rd – Geoffrey Constable
24th – Constance Kirk
25th – Belle McCarthy, Beryl Williams, Ralph Ballard, Yvonne Burgess-Jones
26th – Mary Montgomery
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).