Weekly Email – Trinity 5 | All Saints Margaret Street All Saints Margaret Street | Weekly Email – Trinity 5

Weekly Email – Trinity 5

Friday 15 July 2022 at 13:45


Dear friends,

I have been thinking a lot this week, for a number of reasons, about the character of Christian worship.

One reason was that I was very honoured to be invited to give the annual Church Union Anglo-Catholic Theology lecture at Holy Redeemer, Clerkenwell, last night. I chose as my topic what we can say about online worship from a Catholic theological perspective.

You can watch the lecture in full here, but just to give a précis, I sought to lay out a theological rationale for our patterns of online worship and to underline the extraordinary potential for making new connections with people that online worship offers. I certainly feel our experience at All Saints’ points to this as a wonderfully potent means of proclaiming the Gospel and maintaining contact with a much larger number of people.

At the same time, it is important to realise where the limits of online interaction lie, and to explain why certain sacramental celebrations cannot take place online. The COVID crisis has prompted a need to examine afresh what we mean by a sacrament and how we understand God’s action in the world under sacramental signs.

I also sought in that lecture to personalise some of the statistics that are bandied around in discussion of online worship. When online worshippers make contact with us, it is important to listen to each and every story, and to seek to respond as personally and as meaningfully as possible.

Many of our online worshippers still feel bruised and rejected by the church’s response to COVID, and it is important to hear those voices. Once one gets to know those who worship at a distance with us through the internet and hear why they want to connect with us online, a fuller picture emerges of individuals with pastoral need, rather than just a spread sheet of computer statistics.

I am so pleased that the PCC of All Saints has committed itself time and again to serving our online congregation through investing in new broadcasting equipment, through setting up a back up internet connection for our parish, and through the energy and effort that goes each week into producing high quality video recordings of our worship and preaching.

In addition to the Anglo-Catholic Theology Lecture, something else was also a prompt to my reflection on the liturgy this week – and that was seeing the play “The Southbury Child” at the Bridge Theatre last Saturday. I went to the production because we will be having a parish trip later in August to see it.

I was very impressed indeed by the play and thought it was an absolutely terrific performance. It is a very poignant, but also very funny play. It gets the tragi-comic character of much parish life spot on!

The story itself revolves around a vicar, David Highland, who refuses to allow balloons at the funeral of a child in his parish. The vicar is himself revealed to be a very fallible and imperfect figure, with just a many weaknesses as anyone else. However, for him the matter of principle revolves around the fact that the funeral liturgy must honestly confront the reality of death, grief and mourning, rather than being in denial about its power through a saccharine display of balloons. One thing leads to another, and the whole village rises up in opposition to him.

David, the vicar, responds at one point that it would be a complete dereliction of his duty as a priest to give people what they “wanted” rather than what they “needed”. The traditional liturgies of the church associated with “rites of passage,” and the beautiful medieval building they take place in, have the capacity to speak beyond the here and now, link us with previous generations, and connect us with the divine, he asserts.

I shan’t spoil the plot for you and reveal anymore in case you want to see the play, or are coming on our parish trip, but by the end of there is some measure of quite clever reconciliation brought about.

A renewed realisation emerges, wordlessly admitted by everyone as they participate in the funeral liturgy in the final scene, that there is more to a public act of worship than the simple wishes and tastes of those participating…something to do with how God sometimes gives us through the liturgy of the church what we “need rather than what we want.”

This week has brought home to me the importance of the liturgy in our life together as a parish, and the ways in which we encounter the living God day by day through it, and are formed by him in it. The liturgy is a gift given to us. It is not something created or manufactured by our efforts, nor ultimately something that can exclusively be orientated to our whims and tastes. It is the gift of God himself, present in our midst, drawing us to himself.

We are the inheritors of a wonderful liturgical and musical tradition at All Saints’. I reflect on that with a renewed sense of gratitude and amazement at what God is able to do in our midst when we gather to worship him, whether online or in person.  The worship of God is fundamental to what it means to be human, no matter how ignored this truth is by the secular culture we live in.

Fr Peter

P.S. There are still some tickets left for our parish visit to the Bridge Theatre to see the play on Thurs 11th August. If you would like to come, please email our parish office to reserve a ticket, which cost £39.50 each.


What beautiful weather we had last Sunday to enjoy refreshment and fellowship in our sun-bathed courtyard after the High Mass.


The Assumption of Our Lady

Our celebrations of the Assumption will take place this year on Sunday 14th August. There will be a High Mass at 11.00 am, (Music: Missa Brevis in D K194 – Mozart; Assumpta est Maria – Palestrina) and Evensong, Procession down Oxford Street, and Benediction at 6.00 pm (Music: Dyson in D; Tantum Ergo – Henschel).

Our guest preacher in the evening will be Fr Graeme Rowlands, Vicar of S. Silas’, Kentish Town.

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.

Our Assumption video on Twitter and Facebook. Please share and retweet to advertise the event and invite people to join us!


Congratulations, Colin!

Our warmest congratulations go to All Saints’ parishioner, Colin Podmore, upon his installation as Under Warden of the Worshipful Company of Parish Clerks.

We assure him of our prayers and best wishes as he takes up this important role.

The Company of Parish Clerks is one of the oldest guilds in the City of London and has a fascinating history. Its earliest charter dates from 1442, but the company traces its first origins back to a Medieval Fraternity of St Nicholas mentioned as early as 1274.

It operates like a livery company, though officially is not one as the Parish Clerks declined to be awarded a livery in the sixteenth century because the surplice was seen as the proper vesture for a company of clerks and was considered more ancient than any livery.

The Company of Parish Clerks now undertakes substantial charitable work supporting the churches of the City of London, many worthwhile projects in the Diocese of London, and the wider mission of the Church of England. We are grateful to Colin for all he contributes through his extensive work on many trusts and charitable organisations.


It was a great honour for Fr Peter to give the Church Union Anglo-Catholic Theology Lecture last night at Holy Redeemer Clerkenwell: “Real Presence: reflections on online worship from the Catholic Tradition.” You can watch the whole lecture here.


The Great “Double Derby”

This weekend marks the great “Double Derby” weekend of Anglo-Catholic summer life in London: the concatenation of S. Silas’ Day at S. Silas’, Kentish Town, with Holy Redeemer Day at Holy Redeemer Clerkenwell – both taking place on the hottest weekend of the year!!!

Holy Redeemer’s celebrations of their feast of title began last night (14th July) with Evensong and the annual Church Union Anglo-Catholic Theology lecture given by Fr Peter.

Tonight at 7.00 pm (15th July), there will be a wonderful celebration of High Mass there with an enormous outdoor procession of the Blessed Sacrament with brass band, followed by a parish party. The procession makes its way down Exmouth Market, full of young people having a night out in the restaurants and bars on either side of the street. It is always a wonderful occasion and a joyful proclamation of our Catholic faith at the heart of vibrant Clerkenwell.

Kentish Town, however, will also be alive with celebration. S. Silas’ begin their celebrations on Friday (15th) night at 7.30 pm with seven cope Vespers followed by procession of the relic of S. Silas, and Pontifical Benediction (presided over by Bishop Robert Ladds). During the Pergolesi Magnificat (which lasts 12 minutes!) every single altar in the church is censed.

Vespers is followed by a splendid party in the Vicarage at which the largest trifle of the entire year is usually served, made personally by Fr Rowlands himself. The trick is to guess the flavour, which Fr Rowlands usually reveals towards the end of the evening. Last year’s was peach and Cointreau – who knows what this year’s will be!!

S. Silas’ finish their celebration the next day (Saturday 16th) with a Solemn Pontifical Mass at 3.00 pm celebrated this year by Bishop Jonathan. It is at this Mass that S. Silas’ famous eighteenth century red velvet High Mass set is worn. In their present form, the vestments are in a Spanish cut, dating to about the 1720s, or maybe earlier, but many suspect the embroidery is almost certainly older and may be late medieval opus anglicanum, perhaps preserved by a community of female religious on the continent.  The  Music includes Mozart’s Missa Brevis in G (KV140) and Michael Haydn’s Ecce Ancilla Domini. The Mass is followed by tea and then Benediction to end the afternoon. The preacher at the Mass this year will be Fr David Houlding.

It isn’t possible to attend all these splendid celebrations without the power to bilocate, but it is to be hoped that many will at least try to be present at some of them. What wonderful occasions they are, and what splendid opportunities to celebrate our faith, give thanks for God’s gifts to us, and proclaim with confidence the Catholic inheritance of the Church of England.

The Solemn Mass at S. Silas (left), and the procession of the Blessed Sacrament at Holy Redeemer, Clerkenwell (right) – all taking place this weekend.


Diocesan Service of Wholeness and Healing

A service of wholeness and healing will take place at Marylebone Parish Church on Sunday 16th October at 6.00 pm. It will consist of Choral Evening Prayer with the possibility of receiving the laying on of hands, anointing and/or the sacrament of reconciliation. Bishop Jonathan, the Diocese’s lead bishop for ministries of healing, will be the preacher and the Bishop of London will also be present.


We are so grateful to all those who help week by week with the serving of refreshments in our courtyard after the High Mass. Thank you!


Online Zoom Theology

Our next online Zoom Theology Seminar will take place on Tuesday 6th September 2022 at 7.00 pm. We will discuss a work of eucharistic and New Testament theology by Brant Pitre entitled, Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist: Unlocking the Secrets of the Last Supper.

This seminar, led by Fr Peter Anthony, will explore contemporary biblical scholarship concerning the Eucharist through Brant Pitre’s excellent recent work on the Jewish origins of the Mass.

Brant Pitre uses the Hebrew Scriptures and Jewish tradition to frame the actions of Jesus at the Last Supper, and to provide a fresh look at the Eucharist. By taking us back to the Jewish roots of our faith, the author gives us a powerful lens through which to see anew the bread of the presence, the manna, the Last Supper, and ultimately the meaning of the Eucharist.

Participants are recommended to have read Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist before participating in the seminar. The Zoom link for the evening can be found here.


A huge thank you to everyone who took part in our Zoom Theology Seminar on Tuesday evening. We discussed Ben Hopkins’ new novel, “Cathedral.” It infuriated some, and bewitched and delighted others, but it certainly gave us a lot to discuss about the role of cathedral buildings, our perceptions of the Medieval world and the capacity of historical fiction to comment theologically upon, and critique modern life and thought.


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.


In our homily last Sunday,  Fr Peter reflected on the story of the Good Samaritan. A tropological reading shows it to be a powerful reminder of our Christian duty to help and love our neighbour. At the same time, an allegorical reading shows WHY that is so – we should love our neighbour BECAUSE God has saved us in Christ and reached out to us in love first. Watch again here or read the text in full here.


Links for Sunday

The links for the livestream and service sheet for Trinity 5 are at the end of this email.

Evensong and Benediction is at 6pm on Sunday. The music includes Ravanello’s Magnificat and Schubert’s Gott ist mein Hirt.



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, Sebastian Taite-Ellis, Michael Lamprill, David Craig, Martin Berka

The faithful departed

Tim Marland, Margaret Graham Whidden, Nada Gopperth
Violet Mary Sanders, Mai Gaughan, Annie Padden

Anniversaries of death

July 17th – Doris Thrift, Kathleen Wait, Bill Scott Pr
18th – William Hewelson, Isabel Bruxner, Kathleen Gardner
19th – Mark Williams, Muriel Latter
20th – Lucy Heales
22nd – Anne Finley 


Service times this week

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

Monday 18th July – Feria
12.00 noon Mass
6.15 pm Mass

Tuesday 19th July – Ss. Gregory and Macrina
12.00 noon Mass
6.15 pm Mass

Wednesday 20th July – St. Apollinaris of Ravenna
12.00 noon Mass
6.15 pm Mass

Thursday 21st July – St. Lawrence of Brindisi
12.00 noon Mass
6.15 pm Mass

Friday 22nd July – St. Mary Magdalene
12.00 noon Mass
6.15 pm Mass

Saturday 23rd July – St. Bridget
12.00 noon Mass
6.15 pm Vigil Mass of Sunday

Sunday 24th July – Trinity 6
11.00 am High Mass
5.15 pm Mass
6.00 pm Evensong and Benediction