Weekly Email – The Fourth Sunday of Easter | All Saints Margaret Street All Saints Margaret Street | Weekly Email – The Fourth Sunday of Easter

Weekly Email – The Fourth Sunday of Easter

Friday 28 April 2023 at 13:45


Dear friends,

We hear Jesus tell us in this Sunday’s Gospel reading, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” What does it mean to have life abundantly?

I remember being struck a few years ago by a talk given at a rather depressing Diocese of London clergy training day I once had to go to. The point being made by the speaker rather forcefully, and with an uncomplicated confidence, was that going to church was just like going to the gym.

Both are places, he argued, that claim to form and change people; both place expectations of a certain discipline of life on those who are members; both Church and the gym claim to alter people’s lives for the better, and prepare them for demanding situations in life which will require perseverance, dedication and determination to succeed.

I must confess to feeling some misgivings about this comparison. Yes, there might be some surface similarities, but there are surely quite a few differences too. It was as if the ghost of Pelagius was speaking to us from beyond the grave!

What was it that made me uneasy with the speaker’s comparison?  I think it had something to do with how we understand what it means to have life abundantly.  For all too often, people both within and without the Church see abundance of life as something that revolves around us and our efforts – that just like getting in shape at the gym, it revolves around the amount of hard work we put into achieving our aims and the effort we are prepared to expend.

Yet, in today’s gospel, we hear a very different description of what life in all its abundance might be. For we see very clearly that it is not something we achieve solely by our own strength or perseverance.

Jesus tells us that he himself is a sheep gate.  He is the one through whom we need to pass in order to enter the sheep fold.  If we enter through him not only will we be saved, but we will find pasture.  Jesus teaches us here that abundance of life is not so much something that we can control, do, or create.  Rather it is something that stems from where we find ourselves.  Abundance of life comes from being in the sheep fold, with the other sheep, and having entered through Christ.

But what does that actually look like?  How do we find Jesus as that sheep gate, and enter into his abundant life?

I can think of few better descriptions than those we have been hearing over the past few weeks in the first reading at all our Masses in Eastertide form the Acts of the Apostles. In those readings, Luke tells us about the life of the earliest church after the resurrection of Jesus. He tells us the followers of Jesus, “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.” Those earliest disciples found Christ’s sheep fold in their life together; it was through their common life of service, prayer and sacrament that they were able to stay close to Jesus, the gate through whom they had entered into eternal life in baptism.

So having life in all its abundance is actually a very simple thing – it is about receiving a gift from Christ, the gift of life in him for ever. It’s about learning to give up our thirst for control and individual autonomy, the delusion that we might earn God’s favour, and instead trust that our entry into the sheep fold is something Christ gives as a loving gift, in whom we find all the pasture we could ever need.

Fr Peter


Many congratulations indeed to Aiden Hargreaves-Smith, who was installed as a Guardian of the Holy House of Our Lady of Walsingham this week. We assure Aiden of our prayers for him as he takes up this significant role and for all the Guardians. We are so pleased for Aiden and proud of this deepening of our parish’s links with Our Lady’s shrine.



The coronation of Their Majesties the King and Queen takes place next week. In order to celebrate this extraordinary event in the life of our church and nation, a number of festivities will take place over the coronation weekend in celebration.

The High Mass on Sunday (7th May) will be offered in thanksgiving for the Coronation, praying particularly for the King and Queen. We will have the National Anthem and state prayers at the end of the Mass, and the Offertory anthem will be Parry’s I was glad.

The High Mass will be followed by a special celebratory parish lunch en fête in our courtyard. If you wish to join in, please bring something ready-to-eat which can be shared with others.  Please speak to Kate Hodgetts, Chris Self or Janet Drake or contact via the parish office, and let us know what type of food you will be bringing. Drinks will be available to buy. The showstopper will be a ‘Coronation Trifle!’ We also need volunteers to help set up tables and chairs,  serve food and drinks, and clear away afterwards.

In the evening, a Te Deum will be offered at Evensong and Benediction in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament in thanksgiving. The anthem at the office will be Zadok the Priest by Handel.

Please note that on the day of the Coronation itself, Saturday 6th May, there will be no 12 noon Mass at All Saints’, so as not to clash with people’s watching of the coronation on live television. There will, nonetheless, still be a 6.30 pm Mass in the evening.


Fr Alan and Fr Peter spent time last week on a clergy conference organised by the Bishop of Fulham at Villa Palazzola, near Rome. The retreat house belongs to the Venerable English College and is set in beautiful countryside, looking out over lake Albano. It was a wonderful opportunity for learning, reflection, retreat and worship. Fr Peter and Fr Alan made sure to pray for our parish in many of the holy places in Rome.


St George’s Anglican Church, Paris

I was very pleased to be invited to preach last Sunday in Paris at St George’s Anglican Chaplaincy for their feast of title. I have just been made Chair of the charitable trust that owns their church building and which also exercises patronage over the appointment of a new chaplain when the chaplaincy is in interregnum. It was good to be able to meet key parish officers and to discuss financial and building matters.

St George’s was founded in the late 19th Century. However, by the 1970s, the church needed extensive repair. The old building was pulled down and a new block of flats built, with a crypt church in the basement. It is a fascinating architectural and liturgical experiment. The church itself is not far from the Arc de Triomphe, on the rue Auguste Vacquierie.

I am pleased to announce that the Friends of St George’s Paris will be having their annual London Mass and lunch at All Saints’, Margaret Street, on Monday 26th June. It is so good that we are able to offer St George’s this hospitality, and hope links of mutual support and encouragement might grow between our two congregations.


Fr Peter preaches last Sunday for the feast of St George at St George’s Anglican Church, Paris. You can watch his sermon on their YouTube channel here.


Friends Sunday – Sunday 28th May

Please note that Sunday 28th May will see this year’s celebration of our “Friends Sunday.” This is the occasion each year when we particularly encourage the members of the Friends of All Saints’ to join us for the High Mass. It is an opportunity to thank them for their support for our parish and to celebrate our family of friends throughout the world.

There will be a parish lunch held in our courtyard after the High Mass, and you are encouraged to bring a ready-to-eat dish that can be shared with others. Please be in touch with Chris Self, Kate Hodgetts, or Janet Drake to let them know what food you intend to bring.

We are particularly pleased that Fr Steve Rice, the Rector of St Timothy’s Winston Salem, North Carolina, will be our preacher. It will be especially good to have present with us a representative of our American Friends.


During the Bishop of Fulham’s recent clergy conference in Rome, members of Bishop Jonathan’s group of clergy were honoured to be presented to the Holy Father at the weekly General Audience in St Peter’s Square.


Zoom Theology

Our next online Zoom Theology seminar will take place on Tuesday 9th May 2023 at 7.00 pm. It will be entitled, “Mary, Founder of Christianity – who is the biblical Mary?”

This seminar will be led by Fr Peter Anthony and will explore two recent works focussed on the biblical account’s assertions concerning the significance and role Mary the Mother of Jesus.

We will look at Chris Maunder’s new book, entitled, “Mary Founder of Christianity,” which seeks to reappraise the significance of Our Lady’s role in the life of the followers of Jesus.

We will compare Maunder’s ideas with Brant Pitre’s work, “Jesus and the Jewish Roots of Mary: Unveiling the Mother of the Messiah.” He also seeks to place modern catholic assertions about the role of Mary in the context of the New Testament narratives.

Readers are encouraged to read at least one (and ideally both) of these books in preparation for the seminar. The Zoom link for the seminar can be found here.


On Sunday, Fr Julian preached at the High Mass about having a heart burning for God. The phrase is used in the gospel describing Christ’s appearance not he road to Emmaus. Easter can be a new beginning for us as we meet afresh the Risen Lord, and we say with those who met him on that road, “Stay with us.” The Resurrection is not a single event, but a forward movement that draws into the mystery of Pentecost, when we are given further joy and life in the power of the Spirit. Watch Fr Julian’s sermon again here.


Walsingham National Pilgrimage

The National Pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham will soon be upon us and will take place on Monday 29th May 2023.

As usual, we will be organising a coach for the day to take pilgrims to Walsingham and back. It will depart from Margaret Street at 7.30 am, and return to London, setting off around tea time, and arriving back in London by the late evening.

The cost is £20 per head. In order to book a place on the coach, please contact the parish office and make a payment to our office administrator, Jonathan.



Corpus Christi 2023

Please put Corpus Christi 2032, Thursday 8th June, in your diaries. High Mass, Procession down Oxford Street, finishing with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament will take place at 6.30 pm. The preacher will be the Revd Philip Warner, Rector, St Magnus the Martyr, London Bridge.

This is a wonderful opportunity to proclaim our faith in the Risen Lord, present with us under sacramental signs, and to let people know of his love for them. Do join us!


Join us for our celebration of the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ at 6.30 pm on Thursday 8th June 2023.


Attendance last week


Don’t forget to join us for refreshment and fellowship after the High Mass in our parish courtyard each week. It is a wonderful opportunity to catch up with friends, meet newcomers, and welcome old acquaintances, as we deepen our common life in Christ together.


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 Purcell’s Evening Service in G minor and Gibbons’s We praise Thee, O Father.


Prayer list

The sick

Fr. Harry Hodgetts, Amanda Barrett, Greg Loveday, Don McWhinney, Martin Berka, Pete Turner, James Rodger, Andrew Rodger, David Craig, Charles Thompson, Elizabeth Lyon, Ray Oram, Carol Lyman-Pryce, Keith Bevan, Marion Duggan

The faithful departed

Michael Catterick

Anniversaries of death

May 1st – Douglas Robertson, Jane Mather
2nd – John Beard, Trevor Stevens Pr.
3rd – Mary Forsyth, Dolly Powell
4th – Cecil Meyer, Phyllis Matthews, Catherine Towers, Douglas Brough, Margaret Spencer
5th – Alfred Adams, Paul Curno
6th – Kathleen Wolfenden, Melinda Powell, John Norman, Jack Symes

The Friends of All Saints’

April 30th – The Sisters of All Saints’ Margaret Street
May 1st – Mark Allan, Martin Amherst-Lock, Mary and Stephen Attenborough, Richard Ayling, James Babington Smith, Ruth Baker
2nd – Stephen Barber, Dr. William Benefield, Fr. Adrian Berry, Charlotte Black, Graeme Bloom, David Blunden
3rd – Colin Bodkin, Fr. Michael Bowie, Eric Broglé, Fr. Julian Browning, Graham Burns, Mrs. Margaret Burgess
4th – Maureen Cambrey, Adrian Carlton-Oatley, Kate Charles, Stuart Chillingworth, Robert Chote, Sandy Christian
5th – Roger Clark, Catharine Clarke, David and Mavis Cleggett, Graham Colville, Alan Cook, Patrick Cook
6th – Eliza Coomber, Karolyn Cooper, William Cooper Bailey, Peter Coulson, Steven Cox


Service times this week

Saturday 29th April – St. Catharine
12.00 pm Mass
6.30 pm Mass

Sunday 30th April – The Fourth Sunday of Easter
11.00 am High Mass
5.15 pm Mass
6.00 pm Evensong and Benediction

Monday 1st May – Ss. Philip and James
12.00 pm Mass

Tuesday 2nd May – St. Athanasius
12.00 pm Mass
6.30 pm Mass

Wednesday 3rd May – Feria
12.00 pm Mass
6.30 pm Mass

Thursday 4th May – The English Martyrs
12.00 pm Mass
6.30 pm Mass

Friday 5th May – Feria
12.00 pm Mass
6.30 pm Mass

Saturday 6th May – Feria
6.30 pm Vigil Mass of Sunday

Sunday 7th May – The Fifth Sunday of Easter
11.00 am High Mass with thanksgiving for the Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III
5.15 pm Mass
6.00 pm Evensong and Benediction with thanksgiving for the Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III