Weekly Email – The Third Sunday of Easter
Now we have come to the end of Lent and the stewardship campaign which our PCC organised in that holy season, I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who responded in any way to our invitation to think about how we give of our time and money to All Saints’.
I have been bowled over by the generosity of so many parishioners of All Saints’ and struck by the way in which people have given sacrificially of their resources and volunteered in new ways to support the life of our parish.
You may remember that the issue we were facing was a projected overspend this year of £33,000 in our parish budget. As a result both of a programme of cost cutting, savings and a review of our employment costs, along with the increase in giving we have seen as a result of our stewardship campaign, I can confirm that we have more than succeeded in eliminating that projected overspend and can look to a balanced budget next year.
I am very grateful indeed to all those PCC members and church officers who have organised our stewardship campaign, and to all who participated in the complicated and lengthy process of reducing PCC costs.
The results of our stewardship campaign are as follows. So far, we estimate that we have 15 new members of the the Parish Giving Scheme. In addition to that, 4 people who were already members of the Parish Giving Scheme have increased their regular donation, and 3 people who give by standing order have increased their contribution. This new regular giving represents an extra £1087.50 per month, or £13,050 per year. This is a remarkable achievement and represents immense generosity on the part of those who have kindly agreed to give in this way. We are hugely grateful.
In addition to the Parish Giving Scheme, we have seen 22 people register as new Friends of All Saints’ since the beginning of Lent. Of those 22, 4 are in the category “Patron” and give at least £1000 a year, 10 are in the category of “Benefactor” and give £120 a year, and 8 are “Friends” and give £25 a year. This equates to an extra annual income of £5,400 from the Friends of All Saints’. I want to thank from the bottom of my heart all those who have recently joined the Friends – especially those who are part of our online congregation – and say how much we value and cherish your presence as a part of our parish family.
In addition to new planned giving, we also received a number of very generous one-off gifts from 6 individuals which amounted to £18,900. These one-off gifts will make an immense difference and we want to thank those who have contributed in this way so generously.
In essence, our stewardship campaign has resulted in an extra £18,450 of regular annual income, and an extra one-off injection of £18,900 this year. This is really excellent news for the life of our parish, and puts us on much firmer and more reliable financial foundations as we plan the years ahead. I want to thank you all for your generosity and support.
Over the next few weeks we will also start responding to the many people who signalled they would be happy to volunteer time in the service of our parish. There are a number of key areas where we need extra volunteer hours and we hope it will be possible now to fill these gaps as a result of people’s kind offer of time in the service of the church.
At the beginning of Lent, I preached about why it is that Christians seek to be generous in the way they live and support the life of the Church. We do this in order to be like God himself, whose very essence is generous love. That divine love is clearly alive and at work in the hearts of many parishioners of All Saints’, and I give thanks for this generous response to our campaign, and for the sacrificial giving of time and resources on the part of our parishioners that lies behind so much of the ministries All Saints’ offers to the world.
With thanks and gratitude,
Lent Appeal Results
Many thanks indeed to everyone who contributed to our Lent Appeal 2023. We are pleased to reveal that the total collected so far is £3,035. This is a splendid achievement and will make a significant difference to the work out three chosen charities are able to do.
The money will be split between: the DEC Turkey-Syria Earthquake Appeal through Christian Aid; the American Church Soup Kitchen on Tottenham Court Road; and the Bishop of London’s Lent Appeal to help survivors of trauma in Mozambique.
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. 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 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.
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.
28th May 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.
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.
My journey of faith
We begin a series of short articles from those who were baptized and/or confirmed at the Easter Vigil, in which they share their journey of faith. We begin this week with Tom Miles:
My journey to faith began in childhood. I grew up in a devout evangelical Christian family which emphasised the importance of attempting to live in accordance with truth and goodness as defined in biblical terms. Whilst I have meandered intellectually since then – and in many respects continue to do so – the basic desire to orient my life towards a transcendental horizon has always remained.
Through rather convoluted means (feel free to ask!) I came to study theology at university. This was a profoundly impactful experience, even if somewhat destabilising. Many of my childish certitudes about life and faith were called into question. Through this process I began to realise that, however much I may wish it to be otherwise, God always breaks free of my concepts and mental control, and yet continues to invite me to grow into trustfulness, peace, and hope.
Since then, I have come to believe that God not only invites us to grow in these ways, but also provides us with the nourishment for this growth. This sustenance is no less than the life of Christ, God’s very own life, which is given to us through the Church – her sacraments, community, disciplines, and liturgy. With this in mind, I am excited to have been confirmed into the Church, and am looking forward to participating more fully in the life of All Saints’ Margaret Street.
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.
Why I volunteer
We continue with our series of articles from parishioners sharing how and why they volunteer at All Saints’. This week we hear from Daniel Fielden:
When I first started coming to All Saints’ about 15 years ago, I was asked if I wanted to join the serving team. I said yes, despite not really knowing what it involved but am pleased to say that I definitely made the correct decision.
I feel hugely privileged to assist at the altar and contribute to our worship as a server. It is a fulfilling way to participate in the life of the church and has also helped deepen and sustain my faith by enabling me to learn more about our liturgy and rich heritage.
On a typical Sunday, I arrive 30-60 minutes before Mass to help set up and prepare the Sanctuary. My actual serving duties vary week-on-week – one Sunday I may be a thurifer, and the next a torchbearer. Regardless of my assigned role, I always do my best to make our worship reverent and beautiful. After Mass, I help to clear up and prepare the church for Evensong.
For the past three years I have also volunteered behind the bar. I have always valued the opportunity that the bar provides for building friendships with other people who share my faith. I believe this is especially important in a church like ours where people travel large distances to attend.
When on duty, I go down to the bar immediately after the service to set up for the first customers and then serve drinks for about an hour – it is amazing how quickly you get to learn everyone’s drink of choice! I know it can be a bit intimidating to come down to the bar for the first time, so part of my role is to keep a lookout for newcomers and visitors and to make them feel welcome. After ringing the bell for last orders, I start clearing things away and washing up the dirty glasses.
I currently do bar duty about once a month, either after Mass or Evensong. There aren’t a large number of bar volunteers, so it would definitely be good to have a few more people on the rota.
Thursday 18th May 2023 – Ascension Day
High Mass 6.30 pm
The Revd Steven Brookes, Chaplain, The Royal Hospital Chelsea, and Deputy Priest in Ordinary to His Majesty the King.
Thursday 8th June – Corpus Christi
High Mass, Procession and Benediction 6.30 pm
The Revd Philip Warner,
Rector, St Magnus the Martyr, London Bridge.
Links for Sunday
Flowers this week
The flowers this week are given and arranged by Genevieve Gomi, in thanksgiving for her British citizenship.
If you would like to make a donation for flowers or the courtyard garden, please contact Shawn via the office.
Service times this week