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Weekly Email – Passion Sunday

Friday 24 March 2023 at 13:45


Dear friends,

What a wonderful evening we had last night at All Saints’ for our Lent Lecture, given by the Revd Dr Ayla Lepine. It was entitled, “Fruits of the Spirit: art from the heart.”

We were able to live-stream the lecture, so if you were unable to be with us, you can watch it here on our parish YouTube channel. I do urge you to have a look. It was a superb evening. You can visit the exhibition here, and also read a review of the exhibition which I wrote a few months ago in this parish email here to refresh your memory.

The lecture was focussed on a remarkable online project which Ayla has curated for the National Gallery. She described in her lecture how they have created a virtual exhibition space in which pictures which normally live hundreds of miles apart from each other are presented side by side.

Each one of the Fruits of the Spirit which St Paul describes in Galatians is exemplified by a pair of images. Sometimes the pictures are well known, sometimes less well known. Sometimes the link between the Fruit of the Spirit and the images is clear; sometimes it is more allusive and requires thought and imagination to spot links and correspondences.

For me one of the really interesting parts of the lecture was to hear about the processes that went into creating the virtual gallery in which the pictures are seen. There are benches present along with light fittings. Although one usually sees these in galleries, they are completely unnecessary on one level in a virtual context, yet they help make the experience feel as “natural” as possible.

Right at the centre of the virtual gallery is a huge oculus, open to the sky (where the weather is always good!), a little like the hole in the ceiling of the Pantheon in Rome. Although one would never see this in “real” life, it symbolises an openness to the world, and signifies the virtual space as a liminal place: neither fully inside and private, but neither fully outside and public; feeling physical yet virtual in character.

A fascinating dynamic that our speaker explored many times was the way in which faith, art and “real” life are connected. One image we are presented with that exemplifies this was under the category of “Faithfulness.” It portrays Isabella, Duchess of Manchester (c.1706–1786) who created the Foundling Hospital in London in the face of great opposition. Her portrait presents her as a strong, fearless woman with agency and confidence, and the results of her action show the life of the Spirit within in her – an action that was to impact thousands of lives for the good over the years.

[Isabella, Duchess of Manchester, painted as Diana by Andrea Soldi, and the Hospital for abandoned children which she founded.]

A similar connection between art and faith put into action could be found in the section on Peace, which contained one of Monet’s Water Lillies paired with Winifred Knight’s Scenes from the Life of Saint Martin of Tours, from the Milner Memorial Chapel of Canterbury Cathedral.

In different ways these two images make a radical protest against the brutality of the First World War, Ayla argued. Monet’s image envelops the viewer immersively in a scene of serenity. This is in counter distinction to the carnage of Flanders that was taking place and could occasionally be heard in the garden in which Monet was painting.

Knight’s depiction of St Martin pushes the image of him as a soldier to the margins and instead highlights other parts of his hagiography, emphasising a more tender, life giving narrative in which he brings a dead baby back to life. The character of this Fruit of the Spirit is not simply to be found in the absence of war, but also in the radical choosing of peace as a protest in the face of violence.

[Winifred Knight’s “Scenes from the Life of St Martin of Tours.”]

Mother Ayla explained to us that a crucial element of the rationale undergirding this exhibition is the question of how people see themselves in the art they behold, and how they make meaningful empathetic connections with the paintings in national collections. Too often barriers exist that make people feel unrepresented, or which make it difficult for them to access the art in a way that isn’t intimidating.

This exhibition, by contrast, seeks both to include marginalised voices and perspectives, but by being virtual, also seeks to be easy to access. It also encourages the possibility of “slow looking,” and deeper contemplation. It resists the way in which the size of many museum collections, and the number of people milling around in them can prompt us to race past pictures too quickly.

I am very grateful to Ayla for speaking so powerfully and engagingly for us. She gave us much to ponder as we enter Passiontide and seek to enter ever more deeply into the mystery of the Lord’s Death and Resurrection, in the power of the life-giving Spirit.

Fr Peter


What a joy it was on Sunday to celebrate Fr Alan’s and Pat’s birthday with fizz kindly provided by Simon Rainey. We had a splendid courtyard party. We wish Pat and Fr Alan many happy returns!


Feast of the Annunciation 2023

Saturday 25th March 2023
High Mass  12 noon
Preacher: The Revd Christopher Trundle, Vicar, Our Most Holy Redeemer, Clerkenwell, and Chair of the House of Clergy, Diocese of London.
Music: Haydn, Jugendmesse; Guerrero, Ave Virgo Sanctissima.


Our group of parishioners ready to head into the Spanish Exhibition at the Royal Academy last Sunday.


Holy Week preaching

The Bishop of Fulham will be our Holy Week preacher this year. He will be taking the poetry of the great 17th Century poet-scholar and Dean of St Paul’s John Donne as a homiletic focus through the week as he leads us in our contemplation of the Lord’s Passion, Death and Resurrection.

Bishop Jonathan has prepared a small booklet containing the poems he will be referring to for those who may wish to prepare for each day by reading them. It is attached at the end of this email. We look forward to hearing Bishop Jonathan’s thoughts!


In the sermon for Laetare Sunday, Fr Alan reflected on aspects of Sunday’s gospel which we might find confusing, topsy-turvy or uncomfortable. These elements point to how the Gospel itself, and our Lenten journey to Easter rarely fit into the neat categories that our expectations create. “What today’s gospel suggests to us is that wherever we are, wherever we’ve been, God will make something of our journey if we let him.” You can watch the sermon again here


Allegri Miserere

It has long been our choir’s tradition to sing Allegri’s Miserere as the anthem at Evensong on Passion Sunday (i.e. 5th Sunday of Lent – 26th March 2023). Do come along to Evensong at 6.00 pm this Sunday to hear this stunningly beautiful piece of music.

The Miserere is a complex “falsobordone” setting of Psalm 51. Originally composed by Gregorio Allegri in the 1630s, it was intended for use in the Sistine Chapel at the office of Tenebrae in the reign of Pope Urban VIII.

It has long been a much-loved part of our parish’s Passiontide spirituality and a moving sign of our pilgrimage ever deeper into the mystery of the Lord’s Passion. We are grateful to our choir for providing the opportunity to hear this wonderful piece and for the outstanding quality of the music our whole Music Department provides for our parish.


Image from Evensong and Benediction last Week: Let us adore forever the most holy Sacrament! You can watch last Sunday’s High Mass here


Easter Confessions

It is a good practice for all Christians to examine their consciences as part of their preparation for the feast of Easter. The sacrament of confession is given to us as a gift by the Lord so that we might know his forgiveness intimately and personally in our lives. It is a wonderful way of being reconciled with the Lord, especially for those sins which nag at our conscience or which we can’t seem to get out of our minds.

When we make a confession to a priest, we tell him the things we have done wrong.  We are given advice and counsel, and the priest then pronounces absolution.  Absolution is when a priest declares we are forgiven our sins in the name of Jesus himself. Absolution lets us know for sure that that those things on our conscience are put away for ever, and that God forgives us.

It is clear from the New Testament this practice took place in apostolic times, and many find it today a freeing gift and wonderful source of strength.

Both Fr Peter and Fr Alan will be available to hear confessions on the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of Holy Week from 5.30 pm – 6.30 pm.

The clergy are always happy to talk beforehand about how to make a good confession with anyone who has never used this sacrament before and who may want to know more.


We were delighted to be able to share a delicious Simnel cake over coffee in the courtyard after the High Mass on Sunday as part of our celebration of Laetare Sunday.


Why I volunteer!

We continue our series of short articles from members of our congregation about why they volunteer at All Saints’. This week we hear from Janet Drake:

I  have been a volunteer at church for about 30 years, first helping with the courtyard refreshments served on Sunday mornings after Mass and then also as a church welcomer.

Hospitality and the way we greet and meet with others, particularly visitors, (whether they are attending a service or come to pray, or look around) is an important  part of our ministry.  It is one of the reasons I volunteered for both these roles.

Also, when new to All Saints’ I found standing around in the courtyard a bit daunting – what should I say? – was I expected to make intelligent comments about the sermon or the music to people I thought steeped in the All Saints’ tradition?  The  coffee people needed help. I have been serving coffee on a regular basis ever since, and found having a conversation is often easier with a drink in one’s hand and something tangible to offer.

The only downside to serving courtyard refreshments is the need to get to church 15 minutes before the start of the service to prepare, to leave at the beginning of the last hymn in order to get the coffee into the courtyard as people leave the church and the clearing up.  (The regular coffee/tea servers have got this down to a fine art over the years.)

Joining the Church welcoming rota came a bit later, though I’ve also been doing that for a number of years, finding it a privilege to sit for a couple of hours in church, welcoming with a smile or/and words any visitors and enjoying the prayerfulness of the church when empty.  Nearly all visitors are grateful that the church is open and they can enjoy the courtyard.

Although there is a rota for both serving refreshments after Mass and church welcoming, there are gaps, particularly around holiday times.  It would be helpful if we had one or two more volunteers, so they remain enjoyable tasks, undertaken regularly but not too frequently and do not become a burden with no relief.

Janet Drake


We are so grateful to Janet Drake (right) for all she does to volunteer for our church and to extend our ministry of welcome to visitors and friends. Thanks a million, Janet, for all you do! If you would like to volunteer for either the church welcoming or Sunday refreshments rota, please be in touch with the parish office.


All Saints’ Lent Appeal 2023

Given the recent disastrous earthquakes in Turkey and Syria and the need to continue supporting projects working with those most in need, money raised this year through the All Saints’ Lent Appeal will be divided between:

DEC Turkey-Syria Earthquake Appeal through Christian Aid
This is a Disaster Emergency Committee made up of 15 charities including Christian Aid. DEC charities and their local partners are among the first responders providing urgent help following the disastrous earthquakes.  Many thousands of men, women and children have died or are injured in the aftermath of the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria.  Christian Aid has been working with local partners across the region for decades and responding to the Syria crisis since 2012.  Even before this devastating earthquake, there were over four million people in need of aid in Northwest Syria.

The American Church Soup Kitchen
This contributes towards the costs of the Mental Health Worker who works at the American Church on the Tottenham Court Road. The 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.

The Bishop of London’s Lent Appeal
The Diocese of London is partnering with MANNA (Mozambique Angola Anglican Association) to help the traumatised. This year’s appeal aims to raise money to train leaders in Mozambique who can provide pastoral care and support for those with trauma. Since 2017, over a million people living in northern Mozambique have been displaced by a violent insurgency and 4,000 have been killed. This is a population which is now deeply traumatised. Many professionals have said that their need for trauma counselling and support is as great as their need for food, but agencies and organisations do not have funds for this.

You can make a donation to our Lent Appeal here.


Please give as generously as you can to our Lent Appeal 2023!


Stations of the Cross

Stations of the Cross take place every Friday in Lent at All Saints’ at 7.00 pm following the 6.30 pm evening Mass.


It was a joy and an honour to welcome the choir of St James’s School, Hagerstown, Maryland, USA, to All Saints’ last Saturday to sing Evensong as part of their choir tour of England. Many thanks indeed to all the staff and pupils who sang splendidly, and best wishes for the rest of your visit!


Holy Week 2023


Chrism Mass 2023

The Bishop of Fulham extends a warm invitation to all parishioners of All Saints’ to attend the Chrism Mass that he will celebrate at St Andrew’s Holborn on Tuesday 4th April at 11.00 am.

The Chrism Mass is the celebration in Holy Week at which the oil of the sick, the oil of catechumens, and the oil of Chrism which will be used in sacramental celebrations through the year at All Saints’ are blessed.

The Chrism Mass is also the occasion when priests renew their ordination vows and pledge themselves afresh to the service of the people of God in the name of their bishop and as part of his presbyteral college.

The Bishops of Southwark and London will also be present at the Chrism Mass at St Andrew’s as a sign of our shared ministry in Christ’s church.


Some fascinating restoration work is taking place in All Saints’ this week. The baptistry was painted magnolia and had an electric heater attached to the wall several decades ago. We have removed the defunct heater and stripped back the paint to find the original colour, which is now being restored to the whole area by conservationists. This will mirror the deep burgundy colour found on the rest of the West wall stencilling.


Attendance last Sunday


Links for Sunday

The links for the livestream and service sheet for this Sunday’s High Mass are at the end of this email.

Evensong and Benediction takes place at 6pm this Sunday. Music will include Farrant’s Short Evening Service and Allegri’s celebrated Miserere.


Prayer list

The sick

Fr. Harry Hodgetts, Amanda Barrett, Greg Loveday, Theresa Moses, Don McWhinney, Martin Berka, Pete Turner, James Rodger, Andrew Rodger, David Craig, Charles Thompson, Elizabeth Lyon, Keith Bevan, Pauline Hind, Carol Lyman-Pryce

The faithful departed

Antonio Abad, Richard Fadel, Stuart Lyon, Mike Chote, John Craig, Frances Martin, Ivo Sapunar, Denise Mallett

Anniversaries of death

March 26th – Mary Montgomery
27th – John Davies, Amy Burnett-Brown, Maya Dean
28th – John Hosier, Diane Suzans
29th – Georgina Carlton-Williams, Joseph Semlyon
30th – William Ingarfill, Mani Blake, Cecil Saltford-Beaman, Hilary Chadwick-Healey, John Hanvey
31st – Holbrook Gaskell, Charles Gage-Brown, John Rowe Pr., Robin Powis
April 1st – Alexander Burnett-Brown, Harold Gaunt, John Wallace

The Friends of All Saints’

March 26th – Ian & Veronica Summers, Ann Tacchi, Sebastian Taite-Ellis, Michael Taylor, Andrew Thompson, Pat Thompson
27th – Charles Thomson, James Thomson, Jeremy Thorp, Daniel Turner, Christine Vaughn Lillie, Sam Walsh
28th – Christopher Walsh, Christopher Waterhouse, Philip Wayne, Fr. Benjamin Weitzmann, Michael Westcott
29th – James White, Dr. Roger White, Matthew Whittaker, Tim Widdowfield, David Wilcox, Ian Wilson
30th – Juliet Windham, Philip Wood, Martin Woods, Martin Wooley, David Wright, Fr. John Wylam
31st – Friends in special need
April 1st – Mark Allan, Martin Amherst-Lock, Bryan Anderson, Mary and Stephen Attenborough, Richard Ayling, James Babington Smith


Service times this week

Saturday 25th March – The Annunciation of the BVM
12.00 noon High Mass
6.30 pm Vigil Mass of Sunday

Sunday 26th March – The Fifth Sunday in Lent (Passion Sunday)
11.00 am High Mass
5.15 pm Mass
6.00 Evensong and Benediction

Monday 27th March – Feria
12.00 noon Mass
6.30 pm Mass

Tuesday 28th March – Feria
12.00 noon Mass
6.30 pm Mass

Wednesday 29th March – Feria
12.00 noon Mass
6.30 pm Mass

Thursday 30th March – Feria
12.00 noon Mass
6.30 pm Mass

Friday 31st March – Feria
12.00 noon Mass
6.30 pm Mass
7.00 pm Stations of the Cross

Saturday 1st April – Feria
12.00 noon High Mass
6.30 pm Vigil Mass of Sunday

Sunday 2nd April – The Palm Sunday
11.00 am High Mass, beginning at Market Place
5.15 pm Mass
6.00 Evensong and Benediction