Weekly Email – The Second Sunday of Easter
Christ is risen! He is risen indeed, Alleluia!
As you look back on our keeping of Holy Week I am sure it is, like me, with a sense of joy and gratitude. It was a wonderful time of spiritual renewal in which the Lord made himself known to us through sacramental sign and symbol in the liturgy. We proclaimed the Lord’s death until he coming again, and rejoiced in the Resurrection life we share in him through our baptism.
A word of heart-felt thanks should go to Bishop Jonathan for his preaching. His sermons were a really fascinating exploration of the mysteries of Holy Week in the company of John Donne. It was a huge homiletic marathon and we are grateful to him for all the time he put into preparing for each sermon. We are also grateful for the privilege of having our bishop celebrate each of the liturgies with us, especially the sacraments of initiation at the Easter Vigil. It added a dynamic and a solemnity which I found very moving. You can see a précis of his homilies below with links to our parish Youtube channel where you can listen to any of Bishop Jonathan’s sermons again.
At the heart of Holy Week lies the liturgy, and I must express my profound thanks to our servers and choir for the way in which they all prepared so assiduously for a huge array of services. We are all grateful for the difference their professionalism, care and love made to each of the liturgies we have celebrated together.
The quality of the music last week was outstanding. I am very grateful indeed to Stevie Farr our Director of Music, to Jeremiah Stephenson our Assistant Director of Music, to our whole choir and to Hamish Wagstaff, our organ scholar. A number of people have been in touch with me already to say how moved they were by the music – messages from those present with us in person, but also from all over the globe from friends who participated online.
Our servers have put in sterling work over the past week, preparing with sacristy work, organising rehearsals, apportioning liturgical roles, and serving with prayerfulness and devotion. I was particularly impressed by the way in which they took in their stride the liturgical complexities of having Bishop Jonathan with us, and the additional rubrical detail and preparation his presence required. I am particularly grateful to Cedric Stephens, our Head Server, for his leadership of our servers.
Our Easter flowers this year are simply stunning! May I thank Shawn Welby-Cooke on your behalf, along with Charlotte Black and Celia Lamprell, for all the time, effort and amazing creativity they have put into adorning and decorating our church. The altar of repose this year was, once again, breathtaking and when all the arrangements returned on Easter Day, the church was a riot of scent and verdant colour. Thank you, Shawn, for all you do that helps contribute to the beauty and splendour of our beloved church, especially on feast days.
The online take up of our liturgies has been very impressive indeed and I want to thank Huw Pryce for all he has done to enable our online congregation to participate our liturgies. You will see from the attendance statistics listed below in this email that a very large number of people have interacted with our online material and connected with our liturgy in a range of different ways over Holy Week. A particularly complicated logistical challenge was broadcasting our Palm Sunday procession, and I am also grateful to Richard Everton for his help on that day.
A special thank you should also go to Mark Fleming for his excellent photography, which was widely shared on social media. His shots are particularly superb, and really capture the spirit of each moment. I am glad his hard work has meant many more people have been able to see what our liturgical tradition is like and feel connected through his photography with our parish.
We all owe a huge debt of thanks to those who laboured so hard and long over Holy Week to provide refreshments, receptions and welcome of various sorts over the seven days. I am particularly grateful to Kate Hodgetts, Chris Self and Janet Drake and to all who have helped on their various welcome rotas to provide refreshment and fellowship, both in the courtyard and the parish bar. The drinks party in the courtyard on Easter Day in lovely weather was particularly splendid. Thank you all so much!
I also want to express a special thank you to Jonathan our parish administrator. Holy Week is one of the most complicated and stressful periods of the year in terms of how much work there is to do in our parish office. We are grateful to Jonathan for the hours he has put into preparing pew sheets, organising advertising on our Twitter account, and liaising with our Music Department, whilst also fielding the usual run of parish enquiries and bureaucracy.
Last, but my no means least, I would like to thank on your behalf our parish clergy, Fr Alan and Fr Julian. They have been such wonderful colleagues over the past week and I am personally very grateful indeed for their support, wisdom and assistance. We particularly salute Fr Alan’s heroic coping with the complexities of our liturgical traditions in his first Holy Week with us! His singing of the gospel on Easter Day was beautiful, as was his presiding at Evensong on that day. Our parish is so lucky to have both Fr Julian and Fr Alan on our clergy staff and we are grateful for the loving priestly ministry they provide to us all.
Please don’t forget that Eastertide is fifty days long and that it is our Christian duty to celebrate every one of those with appropriate paschal joy and solemnity! I wish you all a very happy Easter!
Changes in Mass times next week
Please note that Fr Alan and Fr Peter will both be away from Monday to Friday of next week on a theological clergy conference organised by the Bishop of Fulham.
As it has been difficult to find clergy to cover Masses in that period (because most of them are either on the conference or already covering for those who are!), we have decided to cancel the evening Mass for one week.
There will, therefore, only be one celebration of the Mass each day at 12 noon from Monday 17th – Friday 21st April.
The coronation of Their Majesties the King and Queen is only a few weeks away now. 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.
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 make an effort to be present at as many of these liturgies as you can, especially the morning’s High Mass and parish lunch. It is important that we pray together for our King and country at this important time in our nation’s life, and commend to God the common good of all our new Sovereign’s subjects.
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.
It is also the feast of Pentecost, and so will be a joyful opportunity to thank God for the gift of his Holy Spirit, who joins our whole parish family together in bonds of love and communion no matter how far away from each other we live.
There will also be a special parish lunch organised after the High Mass in honour of our Friends, to which all are invited.
I am 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.
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.
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.
Holy Week preaching
In his preaching over Holy Week, Bishop Jonathan has reflected on the mysteries of the Sacred Triduum in the company of the poet John Donne. The booklet containing the poetry he referred to is enclosed at the end of this email.
On Maundy Thursday, he explored the three commands of the Lord: to love one another; to celebrate the Eucharist; and to wash each other’s feet. The poem by Donne Bishop Jonathan chose to explore from Holy Sonnets – Divine Meditations no 2, is about healing. The poet’s desire for that repentance which leads to healing is implanted in us by Christ and comes about as a result of being washed in Christ’s blood. You can watch this Maundy Thursday sermon here.
On Good Friday, Bishop Jonathan pondered Pilate’s question, “What is truth?”…and the evangelist’s answer that the “what” in that question is actually a “who.” Donne’s poem from La Corona: 5 – Crucifying lays out the dichotomous responses and conflict Christ prompts in those who hear him. The poet finds some resolution to these opposites and conflicts in the Cross when he asserts, “Now thou art lifted up, drawn me to Thee.” The mystery at the heart of Good Friday is to make that line our own prayer. You can watch our Good Friday sermon here.
At the Easter Vigil, Bishop Jonathan spoke about that night’s liturgy as a celebration of nothing less that the recreation of all things in Christ. It is Christ who is typologically present in the readings from the Hebrew Sciptures, and sacramentally present in the celebration of the sacraments of initiation, and in the offering of the Eucharist. It is in the baptisms and confirmation that took place that night that this Easter theology is actualised and made real in the lives of those who come to Christ. You can hear his Easter Vigil sermon again here.
On Easter Day, Bishop Jonathan began with Donne who looks death straight in the eye and says in his poem, Divine Meditations no 6, “Death be not proud.” For the Christian, death is not removed from our experience. It remains something we will all have to experience physically. Yet, in Christ, “we live with that orientation which is towards God’s future,” when we shall share in the fullness of eternal life. You can listen to this Easter Day sermon again here.
Parish lunches: May 7th & 28th
We will be celebrating the Coronation of Their Majesties the King and Queen by holding a ‘bring and share’ lunch on Sunday 7th May. 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.
A similar parish lunch will take place on Pentecost, Sunday May 28th, to celebrate the Friends of All Saints, and to which all are invited. Please support these social events if you can, and pray for good weather!
Why I volunteer
We continue with our series of articles from parishioners of All Saints’, describing why and how they volunteer for our parish. This week, we feature Colin Podmore who writes about his experience of as a trustee and administrator of the All Saints’ Foundation:
On Palm Sunday I donned a “hi vis” jacket to help steward the procession. Not all volunteering is so highly visible or so undemanding.
Retiring after three decades of church administration, committee secretaryship and (latterly) running a church charity, I promised myself I’d never write minutes again. But then I was asked to become Administrator of the All Saints Foundation. It felt like a vocation I should accept, and I also became one of the nine Trustees.
The Foundation receives legacies from which it funds enhancement of our worship, building restoration, and mission projects – leaving current worshippers “just” funding normal current expenditure. Recently, we refurbished the Vicarage and the Assistant Priest’s accommodation.
We offer the church gifts in memory our benefactors. It was lovely to see the processional lanterns that we gave in memory of Jean Harmsworth in use on Palm Sunday. Please remember the All Saints Foundation in your will.
Running the Foundation involves much more than minute-writing: it has been quite time-consuming. Having got its affairs into good order (for example, introducing electronic banking), and having accepted an even more time-consuming vocation as President of the Society for the Maintenance of the Faith (appointing priests to Anglo-Catholic parishes), at Easter I handed this responsibility on – with some relief, but with gratitude for the opportunity to make a ‘low vis’ contribution.
Attendance last week
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 Gibbons’s Second Service and Byrd’s Haec dies.
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, Ray Oram
The faithful departed
Anniversaries of death
April 15th – Rose Lethbridge, Christopher Dean, Julian Tan
16th – Evelyn Cowie, Mary Gotts, Geoffrey Heald Pr., Marilyn Goggin, Ian Miller
17th – Basil Harris, Margarita Clark
18th – Judith Barrett, Sadie Campbell, Tim Hewlett
19th – Hugh Whittow, Rex Halliwell, Irene Vile, Kathleen Bates, Hilary Waters
20th – Henry Mackay Pr. (fifth vicar of All Saints),Margaret Forsyth, Constance Cavan, Alicia Bolton, Priscilla Black
21st – Constance Briscoe, David Mason Pr.
22nd – Charles Messenger, Elenor Stanton, Arthur Sandeman Pr.
The Friends of All Saints’
April 16th – Cornelius Logue, Nigel Lynn, Henry Macey, Bp. Michael Marshall, Robert Mason, Judith Mather
17th – Fr. Stephen McClatchie, Fr. Peter McGeary, Nigel McNeill, John McWhinney, Colin Menzies, Anne Merritt, Thomas Moller
18th – Barry Moore, John Morrell, Fr. Stephen Morris, Inger Mosbery, Carol Mundell, Christopher Naylor
19th – Brian Newman, Graham Norman, Elaine Norman, Richard North, Fr. Paul Ockford, Anna and Fr. Peter Oesterby-Joergensen
20th – Fr. Barry Orford, Malcolm Parr, Bhaven Patel, Alma Pearson, Pat Phillips, Pamela Phillips
21st – Colin Podmore, Nick and Cecilia Powell, Simon Pusey, Simon Rainey, Gordon Reid, Carlos Remotti-Breton
22nd – Steve Rice, John Rick, Fr. Peter Roberts, Hilary Rodger, Fr. Jim Rosenthal, Mossman Roueche
Service times this week
Saturday 15th April – in Easter Week
12.00 pm Mass
6.30 pm Mass
Sunday 16th April – The Second Sunday of Easter
11.00 am High Mass
5.15 pm Mass
6.00 pm Evensong and Benediction
Monday 17th April – Feria
12.00 pm Mass
Tuesday 18th April – Feria
12.00 pm Mass
Wednesday 19th April – St. Alphege
12.00 pm Mass
Thursday 20th April – Feria
12.00 pm Mass
Friday 21st April – St. Anselm
12.00 pm Mass
Saturday 22nd April – Feria
12.00 pm Requiem Mass
6.30 pm Mass
Sunday 23rd April – The Third Sunday of Easter
11.00 am High Mass
5.15 pm Mass
6.00 pm Evensong and Benediction