Weekly Email – The Third Sunday in Lent
You only need to mention the phrase, “Fork handles,” and I think most people’s minds immediately turn to that famous sketch by the Two Ronnies (if you’ve never seen it, you can watch it here): the two blokes in that shop are talking to each other, yet somehow, they’re speaking past each other. They’re on a different wave length, which is why the scene is so funny.
In a way, I can’t help thinking something a little like that is going on in this Sunday’s gospel reading. Jesus meets a Samaritan woman at a well. He and the woman he encounters are talking to each other, but seem to be speaking past each other.
In all the talk about water which the conversation involves, the woman, not surprisingly, is thinking of physical water, the stuff in the well. But Jesus is speaking about something else: water that’s not in the well; water that bubbles up within anyone who believes in him to become a spring to eternal life. Jesus is speaking about water as a metaphor – a sign for something that’s crucial to being a Christian.
Gradually, through that conversation we see the distance between what Jesus is talking about and what the Samaritan woman is thinking of becomes smaller. By the end, the Samaritan woman is beginning to get a sense of what Jesus is really going on about.
So what is this water that springs up to eternal life?
No Christian can think of water springing up to eternal life without immediately remembering their baptism. Even though our baptism might be years away, even though we may not be able to remember it, even though the gift of faith may have come alive in us many years after we were baptized, baptism marks a crucial beginning point in our relationship with God. In baptism, all our sins were washed away, and we became a new person.
As we approach Easter, it is particularly important that we remember in our prayers those who are preparing for baptism and/or confirmation at the Easter Vigil. This reality described by Jesus in our gospel this Sunday is the mystery they are preparing to experience. We have three candidates this year for the sacraments of initiation and I ask you to remember Bhaven, Tom and Joshua in your prayers as Easter approaches.
For those of us who are already baptised and confirmed, it’s good to remember that whatever we do in a season like Lent to become a “better” person, we are always looking back to that first point at which the life of faith was planted within us in baptism. When we were baptized, that spring of water was placed within us which is God’s grace, and his presence, and his forgiveness.
There may be times when we forget it’s there. There may be times when we want to drink other waters that drive us from God or which aren’t good for our flourishing. There may be times when we refuse to drink the water God gives us – or pollute that spring. But nonetheless, it remains within us, and can always be returned to.
For anyone who has been baptized, it remains a permanent fixture of who you are. You are a son or daughter of God. You are part of the body of Christ. You have been forgiven and put in right relationship with God. Rather than spending your time trying to find fulfilment outside yourself as the world does, a Christian merely has to look within themselves and find something that God put there often many years before – a spring of water welling up to eternal life.
Volunteering at All Saints’
Last Sunday Fr Peter preached about how we should give of our time and talents in the service of God’s church. Over the next few weeks, there will be a series of articles in our weekly email written by different parishioners explaining why they volunteer, and what their work involves.
We begin this week with Fr Pip Bevan on why he volunteers on our church welcoming rota:
The very first time I spent any length of time in London was 1956. I was volunteering for the summer with the Francisans at Cable Street in the East End. Cable Street was fascinating to a young lad, it was vibrant with different cultures and loud. One Sunday Fr. Edward SSF suggested that we come up to the West End for High Mass at All Saints Margaret Street. As we entered he said to us lads, “This is the House of God, and The Gate of Heaven”. I loved our Church then, and in my 82nd year still do.
I volunteer every other week to do Church Welcoming, from after the Noon Mass until 15.30. I get my sandwich and a bottle of water on the way down to Mass, and eat it afterwards as the people leave and the Church becomes quiet. Soon visitors begin to arrive, I greet each one telling them that they are very welcome, and to make themselves at home. The Benedictine Rule says that each guest is to be welcomed as if they are Christ Himself.
You can tell a lot by a person’s face. Some come in burdened with the cares of life needing to find a quiet place to think and pray. Many are drawn to the statue of Our Lady to pray and light a candle, in the East one of Our Lady’s titles is “Undoer of knots”. Some visitors are tourists and as we are on the London tourist trail they find us. A tourist last week said to me, “This Church is like a hidden jewel box.” Some people want to briefly chat, often telling you why they have come, or if friends or family have been connected with this Church over the years – it is for them a chance to touch base and remember them. There have also been whole classes of architectual students with their teachers looking at all the wonderful objects that we have in our building. Sometimes there is an organist practising, which for me lifts my heart.
As people leave I always say to them thank you for coming, and God bless you. It is a great joy to do this work, please consider volunteering yourself.
Fr Pip Bevan
We look forward to welcoming Fr Barry Orford as our preacher at the High Mass this Sunday.
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.
You may also like to know that the Bishop of Fulham has produced a wonderful online Stations of the Cross with meditations from churches and clergy all over London. Do have a look and use this resource as part of your Lenten return to the Lord if you are unable to attend Stations in person. The video is available on Youtube here.
A Laetare Sunday treat
Join us for a mid-Lent parish trip to the Royal Academy to see their latest exhibition focussed on the treasures of Spanish art from the Hispanic Society of America in New York.
The visit will take place as a mid-Lent Laetare treat next Sunday 19th March at 3.00 pm. The idea is that there should be time enough for parishioners to grab a quick bite to eat for lunch, and then make their way to the Royal Academy from Margaret Street after the High Mass, but with enough time to return for Evensong for those who wish to be back for that. Be in touch with our parish office to book a ticket (£20 each).
Zoom Theology: the Sacrament of Easter
Our next online Zoom Theology seminar will take place on Tuesday 14th March 2023 at 7.00 pm, and will be entitled, “The Sacrament of Easter: the Rites of Holy Week”
Fr Jeremy Haselock will explore with us the rich history of the rites of Holy Week: their origins; how we should celebrate them now; and their theological significance. Participants are encouraged to read the excellent work which Fr Jeremy co-authored with Roger Greenacre, “The Sacrament of Easter,” in preparation for this seminar. Zoom link can be found on our parish website here.
All Saints’ Lent Lecture:
Fruits of the Spirit – Art from the Heart
We are very pleased that the curator of the National Gallery’s virtual exhibition entitled, “Fruits of the Spirit – Art from the Heart,” the Revd Dr Ayla Lepine, will give our Lent Lecture in March on the topic of this interesting project.
You “visit” the exhibition by clicking on the link here to enter a virtual gallery in the comfort of your own home wherever you are in the world.
The lecture will take place at All Saints’ in person and online on Thursday 23rd March at 7.30 pm.
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.
Holy Week 2023
Please note that it is our custom during Holy Week to have only one celebration of the Mass each day on Holy Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, at 6.30 pm with a homily.
Palm Sunday 2nd April 2023
11.00 am High Mass with sermon by the Bishop of Fulham.
N.B. Meet at 11.00 am in Oxford Market for the procession of palms.
5.15 pm Mass
6.00 pm Evensong and Benediction
Holy Monday 3rd April 2023
5.30 pm Confessions
6.30 pm Low Mass with homily: the Bishop of Fulham
Holy Tuesday 4th April 2023
11.00 am Bishop of Fulham’s Chrism Mass at St Andrew’s, Holborn.
5.30 pm Confessions
6.30 pm Low Mass with homily: Fr Peter
Holy Wednesday 5th April 2023
5.30 pm Confessions
6.30 pm Low Mass with homily: the Bishop of Fulham
7.30 pm Tenebrae
Maundy Thursday 6th April 2023
6.30 pm High Mass with sermon by the Bishop of Fulham, followed by watch at altar of repose until midnight
Good Friday 7th April 2023
3.00 pm Solemn Liturgy with sermon by the Bishop of Fulham
7.30 pm Stations of the Cross (Maria Desolata)
Holy Saturday 8th April 2023
9.00 pm Easter Vigil with baptisms, confirmations and sermon by the Bishop of Fulham
Easter Day 9th April 2023
11.00 am High Mass with sermon by the Bishop of Fulham
5.15 pm Mass
6.00 pm Evensong, Te Deum, and Benediction
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.
Mark Bushby Scholarship Fund
John Cuthbert is making a donation to the Mark Bushby Scholarship Fund from his fee for singing in the choir at Sunday morning’s High Mass.
Mark sang at All Saints’ between 2004 and 2015, and died suddenly in 2019. For more information about the Fund, and if you would like to make your own donation, please visit asms.uk/bushby.
Theology of the Coronation
An excellent series of online seminars entitled, “Thy Chosen Servant: The Rite of Coronation” is being organised by the Prayer Book Society on the theology of the King’s Coronation which will take place later on this spring.
The first two seminars took place earlier this week and were hugely fascinating: Fr Robin Ward, the Principal of St Stephen’s House, Oxford, gave a talk entitled, “The Rite of Coronation”; and Fr Philip Corbett spoke yesterday on the Music of the Coronation Rite.
You can access all these seminars via Zoom if you wish to join live, or watch them afterwards on the Prayer Book Society’s Youtube channel here. Here are the remaining seminars over the coming weeks:
Wednesday,15 March at 7.30pm via Zoom.
Rod of Equity and Mercy: The Objects of the Coronation
The Revd Canon Dr Robin Ward, Principal of St Stephen’s House, Oxford.
Wednesday, 22 March at 7.30pm via Zoom.
Reflections on Coronations, 1661-1953
The Revd Prof Ian Bradley, Divinity Emeritus Professor, University of St Andrews.
Wednesday, 29 March at 7.30pm via Zoom.
Here is Wisdom: The Coronation and the Bible
The Revd Dr Michael Brydon, Chaplain to the Bishop of Sodor & Man and Vicar of St Matthew’s, Douglas.
Zoom details can be found here.
All Saints’ in Country Life
Readers may like to see the edition of Country Life from January 1965, which included a several page spread on All Saints’, Margaret Street. This has just been spotted and sent to us by a friend, for which we are grateful!
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 Tomkins’s Second Service and Byrd’s Ne irascaris, Domine.
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
The faithful departed
Frank Tracy Griswold; Anna Matthews.
Anniversaries of death
March 12th – William Allen Whitworth Pr. (third vicar of All Saints’), Emily Woodard, Peter Brealey, Rosemary Lloyd, Barry Blacklock
13th – Elizabeth Middlemist-Downer
14th – Annie Slater, Basil Whitworth Pr., Ann Sculley
15th – Sydney Heales, Vera Martin, Peggy Shepherd, Joan Miller James Robertson Pr.
16th – Donald Faithfull, Hester Russell
17th – Edward Aubert, Frank Coomber
18th – Jessie Thwaites, Edward Mann, Evangeline De Fonseka, Joy Wright, Stewart Lyon
The Friends of All Saints’
March 12th – Genevieve Gomi, Fr. Thomas Greene, Fr. Michael Gudgeon, Sheelagh Gudgeon, Ginger and Del Hall, Monica Joan Hall
13th – Roger Hancock, Jill Hargreaves, Christopher Harrison, Patrick Hartley, Canon Jeremy Haselock, Eoghan Healy, Fr. David Hobden
14th – Canon Graham Holcombe, James and Gwendoline Holdcroft, Fr. Andrew Hollins, Edwin Holmes, Bp. David Hope
15th – Roy Hopkins, Richard Hoskinson, Fr. David Hutt, Andrew Jervis, Arthur Johnson, Malcolm Kemp, Alan Kimbrough
16th – Roger Knight, Brenda Koupis, The Very Rev’d Harry Krauss, Deirdre Laing, Graham Last, Christopher Laws, Cornelius Logue
17th – Henry Macey, Dirk Maney, Bp. Michael Marshall, John Martell, Robert Mason, Judith Mather
18th – Fr. Stephen McClatchie, Fr. Peter McGeary, Nigel McNeill, John McWhinney, Colin Menzies
Service times this week