Weekly Email – Second before Advent | All Saints Margaret Street All Saints Margaret Street | Weekly Email – Second before Advent

Weekly Email – Second before Advent

Friday 17 November 2023 at 13:45


Dear friends,

I am pleased to announce an exciting and important new initiative aimed at reinvigorating and strengthening the ministry of reconciliation at All Saints’, Margaret Street.

From December onwards, Fr Graeme Rowlands will be regularly joining our parish community in the capacity of a Visiting Confessor.

This new project will involve Fr Rowlands being present on a number of occasions each month to hear confessions and give spiritual counsel. I am very grateful indeed to him for offering this ministry to us.

In the run-up to Christmas, Fr Graeme will be available in the confessional at All Saints’ on the following occasions: 5.30 pm, Monday 4th Dec; 11.00 am, Wednesday 13th December; 5.30 pm, Monday 18th December; and 5.30 pm, Wednesday 20th December.

All Saints’ has, since its foundation, been a place where the Sacrament of Reconciliation has always been available, and which many people have sought out over the years as a haven and safe space to make their confession, speak with a priest in confidence, or receive spiritual direction.

It has to be admitted that the number of confessions heard at All Saints’ has significantly declined over the past twenty years or so. The frequency with which this precious ministry is celebrated in our parish is nowhere near what many people imagine it is, or remember it being a generation ago. The reasons for this are many and complex, but I am eager that our parish should restore this sacrament to its place of importance in our corporate life of faith, and as a service to the wider church.

I want us to do all we can to increase the visibility of this rite, make it as easy as possible for people to access it, and for All Saints’ to become, once again, a place people seek out to receive sacramental forgiveness and spiritual direction.

At the moment, any priest celebrating the Mass each day is happy to hear confessions either before or after the Mass. There are also times set aside in Holy Week and the week before Christmas for people to come to make their confession before those great feasts. It is always, of course, possible to make an appointment with any of our parish clergy to celebrate this sacrament at any time outside those periods. To this will now be added a series of regular slots (which will be advertised), probably about twice a month, when Fr Rowlands will be with us and available to hear confessions.

Fr Rowlands has just retired as Parish Priest of S. Silas’, Kentish Town. He is known to many parishioners of All Saints’, and preached at our celebration of the Assumption last year. He is a superb spiritual director and confessor with extensive experience and wisdom. I hope that those who already use him as a confessor will be able to continue with that ministry at All Saints’, and that parishioners who might prefer to make their confession to a priest other than those on our staff may now feel able to approach Fr Rowlands when he is here.

I commend this important ministry to you. The sacrament of penance is a wonderful way of encountering Jesus, and knowing his forgiveness and loving mercy. It is especially important to examine our lives before the great feasts of the church, such as Easter and Christmas. I pray this new arrangement will be of use to many this Advent as we all seek to be signs of reconciliation in the world, and to live out the forgiveness we have received in Christ.

Fr Peter


Fr Graeme Rowlands, preaching at our celebration of the Assumption last year – soon to become a Visiting Confessor at All Saints’.


Guest preacher – Sunday 19th November

We welcome this Sunday the Revd Kathryn Bellhouse as our preacher at the High Mass. She is Fr Michael Bowie’s curate at St Peter’s Eastern Hill, Melbourne, Australia, and has been spending some time in England this month. We look forward to hearing her preach for us.


Kathryn Bellhouse and Michael Bowie at St Peter’s Eastern Hill, Melbourne, Australia. 


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).


What a splendid hiking trip out to Winchelsea and Icklesham our young adults group had last Saturday: fresh air, ruddy cheeks, and warm beer! Many thanks to Fr Alan for organising the day. Here they are enjoying a well earned lunch stop at the Queen’s Head Pub in Icklesham. Be in touch with Fr Alan if you want to attend events organised for our young adults group in future.


Virtual Coffee Hour – this Sunday

Our next virtual coffee hour after the High Mass will take place this Sunday (19th Nov) and will be hosted by Fr Alan. The Zoom link is here.

The idea behind this is simple: if you are an online worshipper, grab a cup of coffee and join Fr Alan online via Zoom for a chat and catch-up directly after the end of the High Mass.


A pit stop of peace – our young adults group stopped at the beautiful medieval church of St Thomas Becket, Winchelsea, on their hiking trip last Saturday.


Advent Carol Service

Our annual Advent Carol Service will take place on Sunday 3rd December at 6.00 pm. Do join us for this beautiful liturgy which is a wonderful way of preparing for Christmas and the coming of the Christ Child. The service will be live-streamed via our parish YouTube Channel here.


You can watch last Sunday’s High Mass for Remembrance Sunday here. Music included: Darke’s Communion Service in E; and William Henry Harris’ Bring us, O Lord. In the sermon, Fr Peter explored what we mean by Christian remembrance. In giving thanks for the sacrifice of previous generations, we see the power of love and discover that it is God who remembers us come what may. It is our task to use today’s remembrance to shape and form how we relate to the world and treat our neighbour. You can watch the homily here.


High Mass of Requiem – Ray Oram

A High Mass of Requiem will take place for Ray Oram at 12 noon at St Magnus the Martyr, London Bridge, on Saturday 9th December. In order to allow parishioners of All Saints’ to attend, the Rosary and noon Mass here that day will be cancelled.



Next Zoom Theology Seminar

Our next Zoom Theology session will take place online on Tuesday, December 5th, 2023, at 7.00 pm. It will be entitled, “A small world in a great one: Eco-Theology and St Maximus the Confessor,” and will be led by Fr Nathan Mulcock.

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.


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


All Saints’ Festival Appeal

Don’t forget that the All Saints’ Festival Appeal runs until the end of November. The two focusses of this year’s All Saints’-tide appeal will be the American Soup Kitchen on the Tottenham Court Road, and the Mark Bushby Scholarship Fund. All funds raised will be split equally between the two causes.

The Soup Kitchen at the American International Church on the Tottenham Court Road is well known to us and is a project we have supported for many years. Our donations will go towards the costs of their mental health worker.

The Mark Bushby Scholarship Fund was set up in his memory by his friends in 2021 to fund a scholarship with Brent Music Service. Each scholarship provides a promising young musician with four years of one-on-one instrumental tuition, and is administered by the London Music Fund (Registered Charity 1141216). Scholars come from families who would not otherwise be able to afford music lessons for their children.

The appeal will run until the end of November. You can donate to the appeal online here.


We are grateful to all our All Saints’ Festival guest preachers for the wonderful homiletic feast they provided through the days of our patronal celebrations. You can watch Fr Barry Orford’s sermon here and Fr Richard Bastable’s sermon here.


Evensong and Benediction live-stream

Please note that Evensong and Benediction is now live-streamed each week at 6.00 pm on Sundays via our parish YouTube channel. The music this Sunday includes Adrian Batten’s Fourth Evening Service and Orlando Gibbons’ The Secret Sins. You can watch this Sunday’s Evensong live-stream here.


You can watch last Sunday’s Evensong and Benediction here. The music included Byrd’s Fauxbordon canticles, and Schütz’s Selig Sind die Toten


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).

Many 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. We hope this new arrangement will offer an opportunity for worship 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.


Renewed thanks to all those who contributed to our splendid parish lunch two weeks ago. It was a wonderful spread and a fitting way to finish our week of celebration in honour of all God’s saints.


Attendance last Sunday


Best foot forward!! The next event organised for our Young Adults Group will be an Advent party at Fr Alan’s home on St Ambrose’s Day, Thursday December 7th, 7-9pm. Fr Alan warmly invites our younger people to No. 6 Margaret Street for seasonal drinks. Let him know if you would like to join us.



The flowers are given this week by Shawn Welby-Cooke, in memory of Craig Williams, whose anniversary falls on Thursday.

If you would like to mark an occasion with flowers, please contact Shawn.


Prayer List

The Friends of All Saints’ Margaret Street:

November 19th – Linda Edwards, Pamela Edwards, John Eldridge, Terrence Ellsworth, Sue Enoch, Carolyn Farrar, Martin Faulkner
20th –  Sue Feakin, Adrian Felaar, Daniel Fielden, Janice Fielden, Julia Fielden, Nigel Fisher, Mark Fleming
21st – Stuart Fletcher, Christopher Forman, Anthony Fox, Charlotte Gauthier, Margaret Goddard, Paul Golding, John Goldsmith
22nd – Genevieve Gomi, The Ven Thomas M. Greene, Jack de Gruiter, Canon Michael Gudgeon, Sheelagh Gudgeon, Ginger and Del Hall, Monica Joan Hall
23rd – Roger Hancock, Canon Richard Hanford, Paul Hannah, Jillian Hargreaves, Christopher Harrison, Patrick Hartley, The Rev’d Canon Jeremy Haselock
24th – Eoghan Healy, Rebecca Hirst, Fr David Hobden, James and Gwendoline Holdcroft, Edwin Holmes, The Rev’d Canon Graham Holcombe, Bishop David Hope
25th – Richard Hoskinson, David Hutt, David James, Andrew Jervis, Arthur Johnson, Stephen Jury, Malcolm Kemp

The sick:

Javier Barbetta, Martin Berka, Roy Breare, Roger Dilks, Fr. Harry Hodgetts, Michael Lamprell, Elizabeth Lyon, Ian Lyon, Frances O’Neil, James Roger, Bruce Ross-Smith, Mary Rowe

The faithful departed:

Keith Bevan, John Chapman, Betty Draper, Fr John O’Brien, Ray Oram, Alan Osbourne

Those whose anniversaries of death fall at this time:

November 19th – Clifford Doyle Pr, Joan Roberts, Donald Page
20th – Florence Searle, Helen Clayton, Douglas Cudmore, Gwendoline Minnett
21st – Emma Stephens, Jack Harrington, Kingsley Stansfield, David Voy
22nd – George Ebbs, Joyce Harvey, Winifred Brough, Mary Buchanan, Timothy Lawford
23rd – Josephine Fletcher, Robert Walker, Ailsa Critchley, Ann Swanton, Susan Beauchamp, Craig Williams
24th – Henry West, Gladys Howard, Alyo Purdon
25th – Agnes Mackay, Mabel Egerton, Marjorie Gilley, May Beeken
26th – Philip Burrage, Thomas Tomlinson, Priscilla Sedgewick, John Clayton, Barbara Morrissey, Thomas Ellis


Service times this week

Sunday 19th November – Second before Advent
10.55 am High Mass
5.15 pm Mass
6.00 pm Evensong and Benediction

Monday 20th November – St Edmund, King and Martyr
12.00 pm Mass
6.30 pm Mass

Tuesday 21st November – The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
12.00 pm Mass
6.00 pm Mass

Wednesday 22nd November – St Cecilia
12.00 pm Mass
6.30 pm Mass

Thursday 23rd November – Feria
12.00 pm Mass
6.30 pm Mass

Friday 24th November – St Andrew Dung Lac and Companions
12.00 pm Mass
6.30 pm Mass

Saturday 25th November – St Catherine of Alexandria
12.00 pm Mass
6.30 pm Vigil Mass of Sunday

Sunday 26th November – Christ the King
11.00 am High Mass
5.15 pm Mass
6.00 pm Evensong and Benediction