Weekly Email – Trinity 6 | All Saints Margaret Street All Saints Margaret Street | Weekly Email – Trinity 6

Weekly Email – Trinity 6

Thursday 21 July 2022 at 13:45


Dear friends,

It was a great encouragement last week to share an hour of excellent discussion with those who tuned into our bi-monthly Zoom Theology seminar. We discussed a novel called Cathedral by Ben Hopkins.

The novel itself is an epic tale of the construction and life of an imagined cathedral in an Alsatian city over a hundred years or so in the 13th and 14th centuries. A cast of a myriad characters is laid before us from the lowly workers and merchants of the town, to the court of the bishop, to individuals wielding power at the heart of the Holy Roman Empire. The shadow of the cathedral (real and metaphorical) binds them all together and stands as a constant presence, linking the disparate economic, theological, and political threads of their individual lives together.

The aim of the Zoom Theology Seminars is to offer an opportunity for people to gather online to discuss a theological topic once every two months. We often read a book in preparation, or take as our focus a play or film that everyone can watch beforehand.

A wide range of people tune in from different countries and in different time zones. I’ve only ever been very impressed by the quality of the conversation, the fascinating insights I have gained from participants’ comments, and the extraordinary array of places people tune in from.

Our aim is not to be brain-bustlingly academic, but rather collegial, inclusive and encouraging. You don’t have to have any background in theology to participate. We aim to create a platform in which as many people as possible can quite simply share their thoughts and questions about a given topic.

It was clear Cathedral either infuriated or bewitched people!

The historians amongst us with a close eye for detail pointed out quite a few inaccuracies and mistakes. They argued the novel tells us much more about our modern age and the presuppositions and anxieties of the author than it does about the Medieval period.

Others, however, found the masterful sweep of the narrative thrillingly well constructed. It mingles a wonderful mixture of the history of theological and historical ideas with the personal stories of the people who embodied those changes and perspectives.

Cathedral prompted much debate in a our time together on Zoom about the role and character of Christian buildings as signs and sacraments of God’s presence. We have all experienced in the past two years what it felt like to be excluded from our church buildings during the first COVID lockdown. We now value with a renewed sense of gratitude the beauty of our church buildings and their capacity to express the presence of God in every community.

We noted the need for locations dedicated to worship, reflection and prayer was understood as categorically essential to human flourishing in the Medieval period, even if, by their very nature, the life and construction of our great cathedrals and churches was entwined with politics and money.

Our modern age shares no such understanding of human existence a needing any metaphysical reference beyond itself, let alone to a God without whom our existence makes no sense. How we build and what we build tells us a lot about a society’s understanding of what it means to be human and the philosophical undergirding of how it understands our existence.

As London fills with tourists over the summer months I have been struck time and time again by the number of people who wander in off the street to look at our church building. The immediate sense of awe and amazement at what they discover inside our jewel box of a church is extraordinary. Beyond a mere sense of aesthetic delight at a beautiful or quirky building, many speak of a sense of God’s presence – and of joy and gratitude at being able to spend time here in contemplation and prayer.

I am very grateful indeed to all those who help staff our church each afternoon to welcome visitors and respond to their needs. It is a crucial part of the evangelistic mission of our parish and we owe all those who volunteer in this way a great debt of thanks. Through our volunteers’ work of patient welcoming and quiet accompaniment, many of those who visit us experience afresh the presence of the living God.

Let us rejoice in the gift that previous generations have given us in the remarkable building which is All Saints’; let us thank God for all we receive here; and let us echo Jacob’s words from the Book of Genesis every time we enter our church: “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven.”

Fr Peter


What a joy it was last Saturday to welcome a group from St Barnabas’, Bethnal Green, on a parish trip to the West End. We gave them a tour of our church, were able them about the life of our parish, and celebrate the Mass together. Thank you for visiting!


The Southbury Child: Theatre Reviews

The Southbury Child, to which our parish has a planned theatre trip on Thursday 11th August, has been picking up high praise from theatre critics of late and a range of interesting reviews have appeared over the past few weeks.

Simon Walsh offered this review in The Church Times last month:

“Each cast member, as in Greek tragedy, stands in representation. The grasp on C of E politics is sure: diocesan double speak, the “irony” of gay clergy and marriage, cultural confusion. Everything is finely balanced: a work of pure symmetry.

Nicholas Hytner’s strong, subtle direction has pace and pathos. Mark Thompson’s set, with looming church tower, is wholly believable. Yvonne Milnes’s costumes complete the picture, with Max Nerula’s crepuscular lighting. Although this is by no means an easy play, Beresford’s natural humour and humanity lead us gently and pastorally through the big themes. We all need forgiveness and redemption.”

This week’s Spectator gives the Southbury Child the following intriguing review:

“The script by Stephen Beresford is the sort of middle England yarn that might have felt dated in the West End a century ago. Which is precisely the point. The show ignores theatrical fashions and pressure groups. It doesn’t preach or grumble or make you feel guilty for not caring enough about people you don’t care about anyway. It offers a parade of charmingly flawed and recognisable characters who deliver a stream of top-quality gags in a familiar setting. Bull’s eye. This being a Nicholas Hyntern production, the visuals are superb and the performances world-class.”

Alice Saville recently wrote the following in the Evening Standard a fortnight ago:

“This play contains fascinating, and unresolved questions about the role of a church in a community whose inhabitants only darken its doors for christenings, weddings, and funerals. “Most people see the church as a building – a backdrop”, tactless local busybody Janet (Hermione Gulliford) tells Highland….

Jennings is a joy to watch, especially when he’s delivering wry Alan Bennett-esque observations on life and death: he fears that heaven will be all white clothes and dry ice, ‘like a perpetual Westlife concert.’”

We have bought 15 tickets at £39.50 each for Thurs 11th August, and there are still some left. To reserve a place, please email Jonathan, our parish administrator, via the parish office (office@ASMS.uk).

The Southbury Child starring Alex Jennings at the Bridge Theatre.  A parish trip to see it will be on Thursday 11th August at 7.30 pm. Tickets £39.50 each. To reserve a place, please email Jonathan, our parish office administrator (office@ASMS.uk).


Church Union Anglo-Catholic Theology Lecture 2022

Fr Peter gave the Anglo-Catholic Theology Lecture for 2022 at Holy Redeemer, Clerkenwell, last week. A recording of the lecture is available here on Facebook.

A number of people who can’t access Facebook have been in touch asking for a copy of the text, so it is enclosed at the bottom of this email for anyone who wishes to read it.


Our Director of Music, Stevie Farr, spotted by a parishioner at the Wigmore Hall on Wednesday night. The concert was a series of Bach Cantatas given by Ensemble Marsyas, into which Stevie stepped at the last moment because of COVID. Our source tells us he brought the house down!


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.


In last Sunday’s homily at the High Mass for Trinity 5, Fr Peter pondered whether we see in the story of Martha and Mary two different models of human community. For true human flourishing to take place, in addition to the things we need for physical survival, we need to stay close to Jesus as Mary did. You can watch the homily again here, or read the text here.


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.



Parishioners of All Saints’ may be interested to learn that the first “Stolperstein” in the UK has recently been unveiled not far from All Saints’, in Golden Square, Soho.

“Stolperstein” means “stumbling block” or “tripping stone” in German. Stolperteine are a moving tradition from Germany, where the names of Holocaust victims are  remembered on plaques in the pavement by the houses where they used to live or work. The idea is that each time you come across one, or “stumble” across it, you are reminded of the real names, faces and places that make up the tragedy of the Holocaust.

The recently unveiled Stolperstein was laid in memory of Ada van Dantzig. She was a Dutch-Jewish paintings conservator for the National Gallery who came to London in the 1930s and worked and resided in Golden Square in Soho, but later re-joined her family in the Netherlands.

In early 1943, she was arrested in France along with her mother, father, sister Jenny and brother Paul. On 11th February 1943 she was deported from the transit camp Drancy to Auschwitz. Ada, along with her parents were murdered on the 14 of February 1943.

The Stolperstein can be found set into the pavement just outside the front door at 3 Golden Square.


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.


Links for Sunday

The links for the livestream and service sheet for Trinity 6 are at the end of this email.

Evensong and Benediction is at 6pm on Sunday. The music includes Byrd’s Service in Fauxbourdons, Parsons’s Ave Maria and All Saints’ choir member Anna Semple’s setting of the Tantum ergo.



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, Amanda Barrett, Sebastian Taite-Ellis, Michael Lamprill, David Craig, Martin Berka, Joanna Moses, José María Romero García

The faithful departed

Tim Marland, Nada Gopperth

Anniversaries of death

July 23rd – Edward Jones, Elizabeth Pressland, John Holden Pr, Jeffrey Tapley
24th – Ada Rivington, Peter Champion-Jones
25th – Edith Wallis, Muriel Williams, Enid Ingle
26th – Edward Reader Pr, David Sparrow Pr (tenth vicar of All Saints), Jean Neighbour, Teresa Butler
27th – Roy Ellis
– Edward Hobson, Herbert Palmer Pr, Helen Clark, George Maynard, Patricia Self


Service times this week

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

Monday 25th July – St. James
12.00 noon Mass
6.15 pm Mass

Tuesday 26th July – Ss. Anne and Joachim
12.00 noon Mass
6.15 pm Mass

Wednesday 27th July – Feria
12.00 noon Mass
6.15 pm Mass

Thursday 28th July – Feria
12.00 noon Mass
6.15 pm Mass

Friday 29th July – Ss. Martha, Mary and Lazarus
12.00 noon Mass
6.15 pm Mass

Saturday 30th July – St. Peter Chrysologus
12.00 noon Mass
6.15 pm Vigil Mass of Sunday

Sunday 31st July – Trinity 7
11.00 am High Mass
5.15 pm Mass
6.00 pm Evensong and Benediction