Weekly Email – All Saints' Festival, 2022 | All Saints Margaret Street All Saints Margaret Street | Weekly Email – All Saints' Festival, 2022

Weekly Email – All Saints' Festival, 2022

Friday 28 October 2022 at 17:53


Dear friends,

Have you ever noticed that there is no word in the New Testament for “happy”? There are lots of words that come close to meaning something like it, but nothing you can actually translate as meaning exactly what we do in our modern world when we say someone is “happy”.

The gospel reading we will hear on All Saints’ Day is often referred to as the “Beatitudes” and contains a really important word that comes close to it.  In that portion of scripture, Jesus tells us how we can be “blessed.”

So what’s the difference between being “blessed” and being “happy?”

Being happy is a description of our emotions. It’s about how we are feeling, and experiencing the world.  Happiness can be with us one moment, and gone the next.

Being blessed is slightly different. Being blessed is about being close to God. If that’s true, then it might involve things that briefly make us emotionally sad, but which nonetheless draw us closer to him and give us a sense of deep contentment and joy that goes beyond mere emotions and feelings.

For as important as being happy is, and I wouldn’t want for a moment to say it’s not, being happy is something that only appertains to this life. Being blessed, however, is something that lasts through this life, and into eternity. Blessedness is that living close to God that we claim is our fundamental aim in this life and in the next.

The reason the Beatitudes is set as the Gospel for our parish’s feast of title is that being a saint is about being blessed.  It’s about living in such a way that you’re close to God.

That’s the thing that links the lives of all the saints.  In different places and times, and in different ways, they lived close to God: by being great teachers or by helping the poor; by witnessing to Christ in their death or by consecrating their lives to prayer; by taking the gospel to places it was not known, or by arguing for the truth; by leading the church, or by renewing it with zeal.

Whatever it was God called each saint to do, it was the way he had chosen for them to live close to him.  And in living close to God they found true blessedness, true fulfilment, true joy, true peace, even though the way may have been difficult and may have involved sacrificing earthly happiness.

So how can we find true blessedness? The important thing to remember is that we receive all the graces we need to be a saint in baptism.  It is in baptism that we receive the virtues of Faith, Hope, and Love. Baptism puts us into right relationship with God, and takes our sins away.

All the way through life, it is our task and challenge as Christians to live in such a way that those graces can come to fruit within us.  Through repentance, sacrifice, and loving our neighbour, we learn to be blessed as God lives more and more in us. There will be moments when that feels like something we might describe as happiness.  But more and more, it will go beyond a mere feeling, to a deep sense of fulfilment, and joy, the sense we are in the right place for the right reason, serving the right master.

There will be times of great darkness and pain and sorrow, but somehow that won’t make that sense of being blessed evaporate in quite the same way that happiness does.

And as our life comes to its end, if we have learned to seek blessedness, we will discover it more and more starts to point beyond this life and this existence to a place where being blessed is even more easy, and even more natural – the place where true peace is to be found in God’s presence in heaven.

I pray you all have a blessed feast of All Saints, and look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at the many liturgies over that period,

Fr Peter




I apologise for the fact that I have been out of action for nearly a fortnight now because of ill health. What started as a bout of flu turned into a chest infection, and eventually resulted in me losing my voice. I have been put on antibiotics which seem to be making a big difference and I am gradually feeling better. I certainly hope to be well by the Festival.

I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has helped keep the show on the road during my time of illness – especially our churchwardens, Kate and Huw, Fr Julian, and Jonathan our parish office administrator. I am very grateful to you all.

Fr Peter


We look forward to hearing several guest preachers as part of our All Saints’ Festival Week: Bishop Jonathan, who will preach at the High Mass on All Saints’ Day; Fr Andreas Wenzel, Vice-Principal of St Stephen’s House, Oxford, who will preach on All Souls’ Day; and Fr Nigel Palmer, Assistant Priest at St Michael’s Croydon, who will preach next weekend, on our Festival Sunday at the 11.00 am High Mass.


Book Launch

All parishioners of All Saints’ are invited to the book launch of Fr Peter’s recently published academic monograph on the Transfiguration entitled, “Patristic Perspectives on the Transfiguration: Interpreting Vision.”

The launch will take place on Monday 31st October at 7.30 pm at All Saints’ Church. It will follow First Evensong and Benediction of All Saints’ Day, which will take place at 6.30 pm and will include a drinks party.

The monograph is essentially the fruit of Fr Peter’s doctoral thesis. He explored how visionary elements in Luke’s Gospel had a particular influence on early interpretation of the Transfiguration, by examining the rich hermeneutical traditions that emerged – particularly in the Latin West – as the Transfiguration was first depicted visually in art.


Festival Flowers

We are looking for donations to cover the cost of flowers to decorate the church over the All Saints’ Festival week. If you would like to make a donation, please be in touch with Shawn Welby-Cooke, or email our parish office. Many thanks indeed!


David Robin, RIP

The funeral for David Robin will take place at 10.00am on Tuesday November 8th at All Saints’ Church, Rosendale Road, West Dulwich SE21 8JY. We continue to hold David and his family in prayer at this time.


Visit by His All-Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch to London

A series of remarkable ecumenical events have taken place over the past week. His All-Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople has visited London in order to celebrate the anniversary of the foundation of the Orthodox Diocese of Thyateira and Great Britain. However, as part of those celebrations, and as an ecumenical first, he attended a service of Evensong at St James’, Sussex Gardens.

St James’ is the Church of England Parish within which the Greek Cathedral in Bayswater is to be found. The Vicar, Fr Paul Thomas, has always nurtured good relations with the clergy of the Cathedral, and extended a warm invitation to the Patriarch Bartholomew to see something of the Anglican choral tradition.

The Bishop of Fulham has recently been made Chair of the Council for Christian Unity, the General Synod’s principal ecumenical organ. He is also responsible for the Church of England’s dialogue and relationship with the Orthodox world. Bishop Jonathan was very pleased indeed to be able to welcome Patriarch Bartholomew to the liturgy.

The next day, the Patriarch graciously invited a wide range of ecumenical friends and representatives to a breakfast at his hotel, and later in the week, he was warmly received by His Majesty the King in an audience at Buckingham Palace.


Bishop of Fulham’s Lay Congress

A day of teaching and formation for lay people is being organised by the Bishop of Fulham on Saturday 19th November at St Andrew’s, Holborn, from 10.30 am until 3.00 pm.

The theme for this year’s congress is ‘Anointed: living as prophets, priests and monarchs’, and will follow the established pattern of a key note address, opportunities for discussion and fellowship, and encouragement in practical ways of living out our baptismal vocation in our parishes.

We’re delighted that our key note speaker will be His Eminence Archbishop Angaelos, Coptic Orthodox Archbishop of London. Archbishop Angaelos is widely recognised for his ecumenical work, and as an advocate for religious freedom. We are fortunate indeed that he will be able to be with us.

Participants are asked to bring a packed lunch, and hot drinks will be provided.


Links for Sunday and All Saints’ Festival

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

Evensong and Benediction is at 6pm on Sunday. Music this week includes Purcell’s Evening Service in G minor and Schutz’s Selig sind die toten.

Links to livestreams and service sheets for All Saints’ Festival 2022 services can be found on our YouTube channel.


We were pleased to welcome our Area Dean, Revd Clare Dowding, on Sunday as our guest preacher at the 11 am High Mass. In her homily, she explored how easy it is to be judgemental of the pharisee mentioned in our gospel reading in such a way that we end up acting like him. The reading holds out the possibility of hope and forgiveness for all, no matter how close to God we feel, or how worthy we judge ourselves to be. Watch again here.


Prayer list

The sick

Fr. Harry Hodgetts, Elizabeth Lyon, James Shrimpton, Gloria Fleming, David Craig, Martin Berka, James Rodger, Amanda Barrett, Keith Postance

The faithful departed

Julie Wilcox, Sara Catalina Valvanera Azua Farias, Beth Hoskinson Rose (2018)

Anniversaries of death

October 30th – Tharu Tharakan, John Todd
31stMarian Ross, Frank Leeman, Dilys Thomas
November 1st – Bernard Dawson, Jane Pollard, Cecil Mead, Carol Searles, Janet Reid
2nd – Harold Wilson Pr.
3rd – Gilbert Pickering
4th – Jack Fallon, Rosemary Crawley
5th – Helen St Aubyn, Curtis Berk, Daphne Gordon, Terence Duggan, Glyn Thomas, Rosemary Crome
6th – Philip Gould

The Friends of All Saints’

November 1st – Mark Allan, Martin Amherst-Lock, Bryan Anderson, Mary Attenborough, Richard Ayling, James Babington Smith
2nd – Ruth Baker, Stephen Barber, Fr. Roger Beck, Dr. William Benefield, Charlotte Black, Joy Blacklock
3rd – David Blunden, Colin Bodkin, Fr. Michael Bowie, Eric Broglé, Fr. Julian Browning, Mrs. Margaret Burgess
4th – Kate Burling, Graham Burns, Maureen Cambrey, Adrian Carlton-Oatley, Kate Charles
5th – Stuart Chillingworth, Sandy Christian, Laurence Clark, Roger Clark, Catharine Clarke, Sr. Jane Cledwyn-Davies
6th – David and Mavis Cleggett, Graham Colville, Alan Cook, Patrick Cook, Karolyn Cooper


Service times this week

Saturday 29th October – Feria
12.00 noon Mass
6.30 pm Vigil Mass of Sunday

Sunday 30th October – Fourth Sunday before Advent
11.00 am High Mass
5.15 pm Low Mass
6.00 pm Evensong and Benediction

Monday 31st October – Feria
12.00 noon Mass
6.30 pm First Evensong of All Saints’ Day and Benediction

Tuesday 1st November – All Saints’ Day
12.00 noon Mass
6.30 pm High Mass

Wednesday 2nd November – All Souls’ Day
12.00 noon Low Mass of Requiem
6.30 pm High Mass of Requiem

Thursday 3rd November – St. Martin de Porres
12.00 noon Mass
6.30 pm Mass

Friday 4th November – St. Charles Borromeo
12.00 noon Mass
6.30 pm Mass

Saturday 5th November – Feria
12.00 noon Mass
6.30 pm Vigil Mass of Sunday

Sunday 6th November – All Saints’ Festival Sunday
11.00 am High Mass
5.15 pm Low Mass
6.00 pm Evensong, Te Deum and Benediction