Weekly Email – Trinity 4 | All Saints Margaret Street All Saints Margaret Street | Weekly Email – Trinity 4

Weekly Email – Trinity 4

Friday 8 July 2022 at 13:45


Dear friends,

Last Friday, a group of All Saints’ parishioners spent the evening at the National Gallery, visiting the new exhibition on the work of Raphael. It was a splendid night and finished with a lovely dinner at Le Beaujolais restaurant.

If you have not had the opportunity to visit the exhibition and live in or near London, I urge you to do so. It really is a blockbuster, with works by Raphael collected together from the great collections of Europe and America.

The aim of the National Gallery’s efforts is to create a portrait of Raphael’s whole life and work, rather than just focussing on one aspect. It seeks to do justice to his work as an architect, print maker, archeologist, tapestry maker, and sculptor just as much as to his better known work as a painter.

We are so lucky to have world class cultural institutions such as the National Gallery on our doorstep. It is wonderful to be able to visit exhibitions as a way of reflecting on our faith and on what it means to be human in the light of the gospel and human artistic creativity.

One thing which struck me afresh was quite simply the centrality of the incarnation to our faith – and by extension to Western artistic patrimony more broadly.

Raphael produced a huge range of images of the Virgin and Child, and of the Holy Family, for example. In fact, the exhibition has a whole room devoted solely to Madonnas! Each one teases out a new facet of the human relationship between mother and child – a relationship between Mary and her infant son, whom we know to be nothing less than the Word Incarnate. In this intimate relationship we see an image not just of human affection but of divine love between the creator and the created.

We are presented time and time again in this exhibition with the paradox at the heart of the incarnation that the impassable God who exists above time and space became incarnate in a particular human being who grew and developed and experienced the emotions of human attachment like we do.

The Bridgewater Madonna (below), on loan from Scotland, for example, reveals a relationship of complete connection between mother and child, with eyes meeting strongly, as the boy Jesus wriggles on his mother’s lap. By contrast, the Tempi Madonna (below), on loan from Munich, shows the Christ child happy to be held by his mother, yet he breaks her gaze and looks away into the world, as if haunted by the growing intimation that his adult life cannot be solely devoted to her.

I was also fascinated by the way in which so many of Raphael’s paintings explore the relationship between Jesus and John the Baptist. In the Alba Madonna, (below) on loan from Washington, and in the Garvagh Madonna, (below) John and Jesus interract in an ambiguous way.

On one level they look like two innocent toddlers playing, and yet the symbolism of the gift handed from one to the other hints darkly at the passion of each: in the Garvagh Madonna, it is the Chirst child handing John a carnation (symbol of blood, suffering and passion); whilst in the Alba Madonna, the gift comes the other way in the form of a cross from John to Jesus. Both boys will share a similar future of suffering.

A real achievement of the exhibition is also to reveal the breadth and extent of other works undertaken by Raphael and his workshop by the end of his career in the realm of architecture, sculpture and design. Several rooms revealed just how much the cultural heritage of cities such as Rome owe to Raphael outside the well known canon of postcard paintings.

I was surprised to learn of Raphael’s contribution to the new science of archeology. He played a leading role in developing interest in a more sympathetic attitude to the ancient remains of Rome than simply seeing them as a useful place to plunder old stone. Many letters reveal his horror at the way in which the city’s ancient cultural and artistic treasures were so badly treated and so ill valued.

As I read these letters, I thought we could benefit from a similar rediscovery of the value of the artistic and built heritage bequeathed to us by previous generations. We live in a church where ecclesiastical authorities frequently lavish enormous amounts of money on ugly artistic caprices and barbarous “reorderings” which ruin our ancient places of worship and wreck the beauty of our architectural heritage.

As I went around the exhibition, my mind was drawn back time and time again to the first image on display in the first room. It is an incomplete scrap of a self portrait Raphael undertook at the age of 15, with his features emerging ghostlike from the page. Enough is revealed to grasp the outline of his nose and face, but so much remains a mystery that the rest of his enigmatic face recedes from our view.

The whole exhibition was a bit like that – a tantalising presentation that tells us so much about the capacities, imagination and creativity of this artistic genius; yet one in which the historical record leaves just as much of his life unexplained in fascinating mystery and unresolved riddle.

Fr Peter


The group of All Saints’ parishioners and friends who visited the Raphael exhibition at the National Gallery last Friday.


Congratulations to Fr Michael Bowie!

We offer our heartfelt congratulations and prayers to Fr Michael on his induction as the new vicar of St Peter’s, Eastern Hill, Melbourne. The induction took place on Tuesday and can be watched on St Peter’s Facebook page here. All Masses at All Saints’ on Tuesday were offered for Fr Michael and for St Peter’s.

As part of the liturgy, the vicar of Christ Church St Laurence, Sydney, spoke the following words on behalf of our parish to present the candidate to the bishop:

“All Saints’, Margaret Street, London, joins in praying for Fr Michael as his new ministry at St Peter’s begins. We have benefited from his many gifts over the past few years and now commend him to you as a loving pastor, a gifted preacher, a wise confessor, a diligent steward of the Lord’s mysteries, and a skilled administrator. We pray for a fresh outpouring of God’s Holy Spirit on all at St Peter’s as Fr Michael begins this new cure, confident that he will find a warm and welcoming new parish family there.”

Congratulations, Fr Michael!


Congratulations to Fr Michael Bowie, the newly inducted vicar of St Peter’s, Eastern Hill, Melbourne!


Assumption of Our Lady 2022

Our celebrations of the Assumption will take place this year on Sunday 14th August. There will be a High Mass at 11.00 am, and Evensong, Procession down Oxford Street, and Benediction at 6.00 pm. The preacher in the evening will be Fr Graeme Rowlands.

We have produced a video to advertise our keeping of the Assumption. It is available on our Facebook page here, and has been tweeted here. If you are on social media, please “like,” “share” and/or “retweet” the video as a way of inviting people to join in our celebrations.


Congratulations to Kate Hodgetts and Huw Pryce, our new churchwardens, who were sworn in by Bishop Jonathan last Sunday. We wish them well, and assure them of our prayers as they begin to exercise this important office in the life of our parish.


First edition of our new Parish Paper

The first edition of our new look Parish Paper will soon be posted out the Friends of All Saints’ and we can now reveal an image of the front cover!

It has taken a little longer than we first imagined to create the first edition. We were originally hoping for an Eastertide publication date, but it has now gone to the printer and should be posted out soon.

Under our newly established Friends scheme approved by our PCC, the way to receive a copy of the Parish Paper is to subscribe as a member of the Friends of All Saints’.

Do consider joining the Friends of All Saints’, Margaret Street, especially if you do not live in London and want a way of keeping in touch with All Saints’ and supporting our life and ministry.

It costs £25 a year for basic membership and £120 a year for those who wish to subscribe as “benefactors” of All Saints’, Margaret Street. More information about membership, its benefits, and how to join can be found here.


Saturday Evening Vigil Mass at 6.15 pm

Do not forget that the Saturday evening 6.15 pm Vigil Mass of Sunday has been restored to our weekly liturgical life. If you are unable to come to Mass on a Sunday, you can still make your communion on Saturday night and fulfil your obligation to be at a Mass of the Sunday.

Since this Mass was re-established at Easter, attendance has been good and sustainable to the degree that it seems right to confirm this a permanent part of our weekly Mass schedule.


A convivial supper was enjoyed by all who came last Friday on our visit to the National Gallery at Le Beaujolais restaurant.


Online Zoom Theology

Once every two months, we organise a theology seminar by Zoom to discuss a particular idea, theme or text. We aim to make discussion as approachable as possible, and to give people the space they need to express their thoughts and questions.

Our next online Zoom Theology session will take place on Tuesday 12th July 2022 at 7.00 pm. We will look at the recently published novel, Cathedral, by Ben Hopkins

This theology session will be led by Fr Peter Anthony and will explore novels about the building of cathedrals. We will compare Hopkins’ Cathedral with other similar works such as Golding’s The Spire, Huysmans’ La Cathédrale, and Ken Follet’s The Pillars of the Earth.

What is it about great buildings that seem to speak beyond themselves about the divine and the power of human creativity? How do churches operate as sacraments of God’s presence and why do they feel so necessary for the offering of Christian worship?

It is suggested that participants read at least part of Hopkins’ Cathedral before the seminar.

Zoom link here.


Bishop Jonathan preached last Sunday on the feast of St Thomas about the way in which the writer of St John’s Gospel seems to be particularly fascinated with Thomas as a figure. Each interaction and conversation recounted involving him draws us into a deeper understanding of the person and ministry of Jesus. Watch again here.


Church Union Anglo-Catholic Theology Lecture 2022

Fr Peter will give the annual Church Union Anglo-Catholic Theology Lecture on Thursday 14th July 2022  at Holy Redeemer, Clerkenwell. Evensong and Benediction take place at 6.30 pm and the lecture follows Evensong. The lecture will be entitled, “Real Presence: on online worship from the Catholic Tradition.”

If you cannot make it in person, it will be possible to watch the lecture online via the Church Union’s Facebook page.


We are very grateful indeed to Jean Castledine, whose generous gift made the commissioning of our new set of green High Mass vestments possible. We are also grateful for the legacy left by Margaret and Patrick Spencer, which also contributed to the total cost, and in whose memory they are also dedicated. These beautiful vestments were blessed last Sunday by Bishop Jonathan and will be used for the first time this Sunday.


Walsingham Cell

Our Society of Our Lady of Walsingham cell meets this Saturday 9th July for its usual monthly devotion of recitation of the rosary before the 12 noon Mass.


Links for Sunday

The links for the livestream and service sheet for Trinity 4 are at the end of this email.

Evensong and Benediction is at 6pm on Sunday. The music includes Philip Moore’s Third Service and Wood’s Expectans Expectavi.



We are looking for volunteers to help with the flowers in church. If you have a particular talent for flower arranging and would like to help from time to time or on a regular basis, please contact Shawn on 07988 287 663 or shawnwilbe@outlook.com.

If you would like to make a donation for flowers, please contact Shawn or speak to Chris Self.


Prayer list

The sick

Fr Harry Hodgetts, Elizabeth Lyon, James Shrimpton, David Robin, Gloria Fleming, Jim Strickland, Amanda Barrett, Tim Marland, Sebastian Taite-Ellie, Michael Lamprill, David Craig, Martin Berka

The faithful departed

Margaret Graham Whidden, Frank Williams, Nada Gopperth,
Violet Mary Sanders, Mai Gaughan, Annie Padden

Anniversaries of death

July 9th – Doreen Davis, Grace Harrison, Pat Hunt
10th – Gordon Arthur, Aileen Buxton, David Botsford
11th – Mabel Pearce, Laurence Olivier
12th – Wilfred Stansfield, Cyril Ward
13th – Mary Gaskell, Mina Robertson
14th – Sheila Duggan, James Wheen
15th – Richard Young, Gladys Gibbs, George Smith, Kathleen Rodger


Service times this week

Saturday 9th July – of BVM (Walsingham Devotion)
11.30 am Rosary
12.00 noon Mass
6.15 pm Vigil Mass of Sunday

Sunday 10th July – Trinity 4
11.00 am High Mass
5.15 pm Mass
6.00 pm Evensong and Benediction

Monday 11th July – St. Benedict
12.00 noon Mass
6.15 pm Mass

Tuesday 12th July – Feria
12.00 noon Mass
6.15 pm Mass

Wednesday 13th July – Feria
12.00 noon Mass
6.15 pm Mass

Thursday 14th July – Feria
12.00 noon Mass
6.15 pm Mass

Friday 15th July – St. Bonaventure
12.00 noon Mass
6.15 pm Mass

Saturday 16th July – Our Lady of Mount Carmel
12.00 noon Requiem Mass
6.15 pm Vigil Mass of Sunday

Sunday 17th July – Trinity 5
11.00 am High Mass
5.15 pm Mass
6.00 pm Evensong and Benediction