Weekly Email – Trinity 16
As we move into the autumn I would like to make a significant appeal for volunteers needed for two big changes to our parish’s life as we emerge from COVID: the reopening of our church building during the day to visitors; and the reintroduction of an extra daily evening Mass.
I am proposing that we aim to undertake both these projects from early November onwards, once the All Saints’ Festival week is over.
The reintroduction of an extra evening daily Mass
Ever since the beginning of the COVID epidemic All Saints has had one celebration of the Mass at 12 noon each day rather than the three low Masses which we used to have.
The past few months have actually seen a significant revival in the number of people who attend the daily Mass at All Saints. We now regularly have more people coming to the one noon celebration of the Eucharist than we had on average over all three of the Low Masses that we used to celebrate before COVID struck. This is a great blessing from God, and something we should give thanks for.
However, it must be noted that many working people may not find it possible to attend a lunchtime Mass, and others may find it preferable to come in an evening Mass before going on to other evening events in town. We intend, therefore, to re-introduce an extra evening Mass each day to offer the opportunity of attending the Eucharist to a wider range of people.
That said, we will need intentionally to create a new community of people who will worship with us in the evening. I am particularly eager that we don’t just expect the people who already attend the 12 noon Mass to come in the evening, as that would dilute the excellent numbers we are experiencing at lunchtime.
We need therefore, to find a number of new people who currently do not attend the Mass during the week to “sponsor” an evening Mass each and undertake to attend it, so that we are assured there will be people present to answer the Mass and welcome newcomers in these first few months as we build up our evening attendance. It would be good if two people could undertake to support each evening Mass, Monday to Saturday (i.e. we need at least 12 new volunteers).
The question of the time of the new evening Mass has been discussed. Some feel 6.00 pm would be good. Others feel 6.30 pm would be better. I would be very grateful if people – especially those who work in town, and those who actually intend to attend an evening Mass – could give me some sense of which time would be better, so we can make a better informed decision on what would be best.
To volunteer for this important and useful duty, please either sign up on the forms I will leave at the back of church, or email me directly.
The reopening of All Saints’ to visitors during the day
Since the beginning of the COVID pandemic, All Saints’ has been closed most days except when there is a liturgy. It used to be the case that the church was left open so people could pray and visit through the day. This was a wonderful opportunity for witness and welcome. Many people have spoken to me of being touched and moved by praying in our building after coming across it by chance one day.
However, there are a number of issues we need to be aware of as we reopen our building. We need to make sure our church is COVID secure for visitors. It is best practice to ensure that the building is staffed with volunteers whenever open so we can respond appropriately to the needs of those who visit us.
Above all, I hope it will give people a better experience of our church if we have volunteers available to welcome people, answer questions, and speak about the Gospel which our glorious church seeks to express.
I propose from November onwards to keep All Saints’ open each afternoon from the end of the noon Mass until the evening Mass. However, the building must be staffed during that time. The days of leaving the building open unattended as we used to are gone, I’m afraid, for a number of reasons.
We need people to volunteer as church welcomers for an hour or two a week so that the church is staffed through the whole of the time that it is open. There will be appropriate training offered to those who volunteer, and we will organise a rota so that the whole time is covered appropriately each week.
To volunteer for this work, please sign up on the forms at the back of church, or email me directly saying how much time you can spare and when you are available.
I suggest we have a run of six months with the church open as proposed and with the new pattern of two Masses a day. We can then reflect on whether this way of operating is sustainable, and whether the pattern of services I am proposing is the best one.
I hope these changes in our parish’s life are a sign that new opportunities are being presented to us to interact with the world and communicate the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I urge you to reflect on whether you can spare a little time each week to help with these two crucial projects. I would be hugely grateful if you are able!
Online Zoom Theology
It was good to host our first online Zoom theology seminar last week. We had a very good turn out, with people tuning in even from Chicago.
Our seminar was an opportunity to reflect on a recent film called “The Father” which stars Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Coleman. The film revolves around the issue of dementia and the related questions of how we make sense of existence through memory, remembering and forgetting.
We had a fruitful discussion around what the gospel teaches us about the dignity of human life, and the many conundrums and puzzles that memory or loss of memory throw up in an account of what it means to be human from a Christian point of view. Many thanks indeed to all who attended.
Our next online seminar will take place on Tuesday 16th November at 7.00 pm. It will be an opportunity to reflect on the Study Day we will have had about the history of the city of Ravenna, and especially to discuss Judith Herrin’s recent book on the subject in greater detail.
Tomorrow our monthly Requiem Mass will be celebrated: please let Fr Michael have names of those you’d like remembered at that Mass.
Links for Sunday
The link for the Propers for Trinity 16 is at the end of this email.
And click here for the YouTube live stream.
Evensong and Benediction at 6pm on Sunday. This week the music includes Daniel Purcell in E minor, Byrd Sing Joyfully, and Bach Benediction hymns. This service is not live-streamed.
Memorial Sevice for Dee Prior
There will be a memorial service for Dee Prior, our former Parish Administrator, at St George’s Hanover Square next Thursday, 23 September at 1130am.
Running the London Marathon for MIND
Amy Blythe, who sings alto in All Saints Choir, will be running the London Marathon on Sunday 3rd October for the mental health charity MIND. She will be in the courtyard after Mass this Sunday if you would like to sponsor her. Or you can donate to her appeal by clicking here.
If you would like to make a donation for flowers, please contact Shawn on 07988 287 663 or firstname.lastname@example.org or speak to Chris Self.
Prisoners and captives
Nazanin Zhagari-Ratcliffe, Ismaeil Maghrebinejad, Nasrin Sotoudeh
Rohingya Christians in Pakistan, Karen Christians in Burma, Tigrayan Christians in Ethiopia
David Fettke, Vallery Tchukov, Sara Vice, Katherine Lee, Lorna Smith, Beth Klausing, Hilary Porter, Bruce Ross-Smith, Benjamin Woolf, James Shrimpton, Tony Rodger, Fr Michael Gudgeon, Chris and Carole Radley, Fr Harry Hodgetts, Rosemary Orr, Martin Berka, Barbara Schiefer, Joan Anna SLG, Poppy Harris-Thompson, Sheila Wood, Jennifer Spreckley, Sue Yesnick, Elizabeth Lyon, Rosina Sargon Eskrya, Malcolm Brown, Hillary Rodger, Geoff Vardy, Fr John O’Brien, Max Fernandes, Craig Williams, Ross Dixon, Bernard Holmes, Elaine Bishop, Kathleen McMorran, Muriel Woodhead, Sabria Systermans, Peter Hoyle, Bishop Andrew St John
Those known to us recently departed
Rachel Pereira, Henrietta Osler, Colin Urquhart
Anniversaries of death
20th – Guy Fleming Pr, Greville Howard, Anthony Andrews Pr, Susan Gill
21st – James Wright, Mary Baddeley
22nd – Anthony Alsopp, Andrew Braybrooke
23rd – Jean Hobbs, David Shearer, Pamela Herbertson
25th – Eric King, Irene Bevan
Supporting All Saints
Parish Giving Scheme
You can set up a regular donation to All Saints here.
We use the Parish Giving Scheme, which allows contributions to be anonymous and deals with GiftAid, saving our office a lot of time. You can read about how the scheme works here.
Donations for general church purposes
To give by BACS please use the following details, advising the Administrator to collect Gift Aid:
PCC All Saints (Charity no. 1132895)
Sort Code 60-09-15
Parish Legacy Policy
We are always delighted to hear from anyone who wants to support us with a donation. Our PCC Legacy Policy encourages people to leave bequests specifically to one of our two related charities to be used for purposes of lasting value (rather than day to day costs):
All Saints Choir & Music Trust (Charity # 802994)
or The All Saints Foundation (Charity # 273390).