All Saints Margaret Street

All Saints Parish Newsletter 3rd November 2017

Friday 3rd November 2017

Dear Friend,  

If you've read much Graham Greene, you'll know that sainthood was a topic that greatly interested him. It is the subject of one of his most powerful novels, The Power and the Glory, the story of a nameless priest (sometimes called a 'whisky priest' – a title to which I sometimes aspire), who is pursued and finally martyred in Mexico at a time when the church is outlawed.  

Greene, who had read a lot of theology and struggled conscientiously with his faith all his life, wants us to consider that saints are not inhuman people, to whom sanctity would be no challenge. Saints share all the usual human baggage of fear, indecision, uncertainty, doubt and, above all, real-world messy relationships, who are somehow grabbed by God and can't get away. And who act on others to communicate the presence of God in the world. The truth is that the church has always had a problem with saints: it wants to tame them, to pretend that they are not like us. But if that's true they aren't saints.  

In The Heart of the Matter Greene explores this from within the faith context. Set in Freetown, Liberia, during the war it is a study of the primary conflict for many Christians, between religion and faith, law and love. Greene locates this in a web of human relationships rather than the more abstract discussions of love and law to which theologians are prone.  

Scobie, the flawed saint of this novel, is a tortured believer who deliberately damns himself, at least in the terms of the religious system, for the betterment of both his wife and his mistress: we are challenged to see this as Christlike. Scobie is the supreme example in Greene of the good man who doesn't fit the rules. He is good because he loves, and because he actively attends to his conscience 

The core of the story is Scobie's unhappy marriage and his discovery of love with a young woman marooned in Freetown while his wife is away in South Africa. He is in trouble, because, as a loyal and conscientious man (a character formed by his faith), he can't give up Helen, his lover; as a Catholic he can't divorce his wife, Louise. And he faces an immediate difficulty over receiving communion, which he may only do after receiving absolution.  

Scobie goes to confession and, being the good and scrupulous man he is, can't promise to avoid the sin in future, so he is refused absolution. There is then a long and agonizing account of his attendance at Mass with his wife, culminating with his receiving communion in the certainty that he is damning himself. He goes on to stage a suicide which will look like death from natural causes, a death which will benefit Louise through a life-insurance policy.  

To those of us who share Greene's faith, whether Roman Catholic or not, this novel's observation of tortured conscience is harrowing. At the end of the novel, Scobie's conventionally pious wife tries to get a priest to condemn his suicide:

'Do you know all that I know about him?'

'Of course I don't, Mrs Scobie. You've been his wife, haven't you, for fifteen years. A priest only knows the unimportant things.'


'Oh, I mean the sins,' he said impatiently. 'A man doesn't come to us and confess his virtues.'...

'And at the end this – horror. He must have known that he was damning himself.'

'Yes, he knew that all right. He never had any trust in mercy – except for other people.'

'It's no good even praying...'

Father Rank clapped the cover of the diary to and said furiously, 'For goodness sake, Mrs Scobie, don't imagine you – or I – know a thing about God's mercy.'  

Our faith in Jesus Christ is not about aspiring to be inhumanly pious or pretending to be good. Saints are people who make choices and live according to love, modelled for us by the self-sacrificial love of Jesus. They make mistakes, get up again and are forgiven. The point of saints is that we can be saints too.  

Yours in Christ,


Fr Michael Bowie
Assistant Priest
All Saints Margaret Street 


Those who are sick or distressed and who have asked for prayers: Asia Bibi, Yvonne Craig, Fr Gerald Reddington, Thomas Vucetic, Joy Wright, Barbara Schiefer, Isabella Bunn, Gwyneth Hopkins, Fr Philip Warner, Joao Holanda Cavalcante, Ivone Dias Cavalcante, Letizia Sormani, Peter Chant, Rose Smith, Fr Graham Francis, Maria Magdalena Gedmanaite, Ken Hales, Nancy Gardner, Katie Marko, Andrew Evans, Ros Tagoe, Beverley Ward, Vivienne Dunne, Catherine Paciullo, Sîan Evans, Fr Michael McClean.  

Those known to us recently departed: Rodney Bickerstaffe, Anne, John Bubb, Lidia Dragescu, Paul Underhill, Phil Goldring, Scilla Woolley, Eileen Owen and Stavroulla Pavlou.

Those whose year’s mind occurs this week: Helen St Aubyn, Curtis Berk, Daphne Gordon, Terence Duggan, Glyn Thomas, Rosemary Crome, Philip Gould, Constance Peters, Dudley Sholté, Arnold Fryer, John Groves, Alan Bishton, Paul Leyland, Violet Vanbrugh, Malcolm McHaffie Pr and Dorothy Cavan.  


Saturday, 4 November
12 noon Low Mass  
6pm Evening Prayer 
6.30pm First Mass of Sunday  

Sunday 5 November 11am
8am Low Mass   
10.20am Morning Prayer

Preacher: Canon Simon Butler, St Mary’s Battersea
Vaughan Williams Mass in G minor 
Stanford Beati quorum via

Celebratory drinks are being served in the courtyard after Mass.

Festival Sunday Lunch is being prepared by Patrick Hartley and Rebecca Hirst.
The menu is: Roast Beef, Yorkshire puddings, roast potatoes and four other vegetables. Festival Dessert follows with coffee. Tickets £6 from the Parish Shop before and after Mass.

5.15pm Low Mass

Preacher: Revd Simon Buckley, Rector of St Anne’s Soho 
Francis Jackson Magnificat in G minor 
Harwood How glorious is the kingdom

This Week’s Services

Monday 6 to Friday, 10 November
7.30am Morning Prayer 
 8am Low Mass
12.30-1pm Confessions  
1.10pm Low Mass
5.30pm Confessions  
6pm Evening Prayer
6.30pm Low Mass  

Saturday, 11 November
11.30am Rosary
12 noon Low Mass of Our Lady of Walsingham 
6pm Evening Prayer 
6.30pm First Mass of Sunday

Sunday 12 November – 3rd before Advent

8am Low Mass  
10.20am Morning Prayer

Act of Remembrance and HIGH MASS at 10.58am
Preacher: Fr Michael Bowie
Collegium Regale – Howells
Greater love hath no man – Ireland 

Sunday Lunch is being cooked by Philip Payne and Geoffrey Woodcock. Tickets £6 from the Parish Shop before and after Mass.

5.15pm Low Mass
Preacher: The Vicar, Fr Alan Moses
Dyson in F
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace – S.S. Wesley

Full service information:


Two years ago, a resolution in support of persecuted Christians in the Middle East from St. Marylebone Deanery was adopted by the Diocesan Synod. The Bishop also accepted the Vicar's suggestion that the Bishop's Lent Appeal 2016 should be for this cause. Many of you will recall that Fr. Alan undertook a sponsored walking pilgrimage to Santiago which raised £20,000.  Synods are quite good at passing resolutions on issues and then forgetting about them. In this case, our own Cedric Stephens, who has been the driving force behind all this, has not allowed us to forget.  

One of the charities working with Christians in the Middle East which the Diocese of London supported was the Roman Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need.  

ACN organizes Red Week 19-26 November 2017 to highlight the plight of persecuted Christians. See Aid to the Church in Need website Church buildings will be illuminated in red.    

As part of this initiative, an ecumenical Walk of Witness on Oxford Street will take place on Saturday 18 November. All churches are invited to participate and a lot of interest has already been shown. Please come and play your part and show your support for his vital cause. The procession will begin at All Saints at 1245 - after the Noon Mass – and conclude at the Church of the Annunciation, Marble Arch. Details as follows: Assemble All Saints Church, Margaret Street W1W 8JG at 12.45pm. Depart 1pm to the Church of the Annunciation, Marble Arch, via Oxford Street. Arrive approx. 2.30pm. Cedric Stephens, Event Co-ordinator (020) 7637 7468 says: ‘Together we can demonstrate to the public our solidarity with our Christian brothers and sisters in the wider world who are being persecuted and murdered for their faith.’ We hope as many people as possible from All Saints and the Deanery will take part.  You can always do some Christmas shopping afterwards!  

NEW CHURCH HEATING - The new boilers, their control equipment and flue have now all been installed and the heating was switched on, after testing, on the Eve of All Saints. It will now take a couple of weeks to optimise the heat output with new boilers and old pipes needing to be ‘knit together’ effectively. Church is being gently warmed up as the outside temperatures begin to drop, but it will take the next fortnight for the new control system to be fully implemented. To help to warm the building we are running the heating 24 hours a day this week. The scaffolding has been used as planned to repair the brick work on some of the chimneys. 

Church collections during the All Saints Festival are donated to the FESTIVAL APPEAL 2017 - raising funds for THREE important causes:

1. Church Army-run, THE MARYLEBONE PROJECTempowers homeless women into independent living’. Our money supports the emergency bed unit, providing vital safe accommodation to women escaping domestic violence, financial crisis, sexual exploitation and mental health issues.

2. USPG’s UMOJA HIV PROJECT. Working in the Anglican Diocese of Manicaland Zimbabwe, this project ‘enables people living with HIV and Aids to live positive lives’ by reducing stigma and boosting HIV prevention. Engaging the local community, in partnership with local churches and HIV services, the programme raises awareness of the lack of care and support for these people and their families.  

3. DIOCESE OF THE GAMBIA. Continuing All Saints’ work befriending and training Fr Philip Sanneh - ordained to serve in the Gambia - we are appealing for money to establish a rural Gambian community bakery and poultry business. The project is designed to create employment, provide food security and improve the livelihood skills of women and young people. 

Please give generously – gift-aiding your donations wherever you can (so your generosity is increased 25%). If you can’t visit All Saints, please send cheques payable to: Parochial Church All Saints in an envelope marked FESTIVAL APPEAL to: All Saints Church, 7 Margaret Street, London W1W 8JG.
Please include your full name and address to allow us to claim the appropriate Gift Aid. 

Sunday 26 November at 7.15pm (after Benediction) - RICHARD MOORE ORGAN RECITAL
Richard trained at Oxford and the RCM, studying at the latter institution with David Graham and Sophie-Veronique Cauchefer-Choplin. During his time in London, Richard held the William and Irene Miller Organ Scholarship at St Paul's Cathedral, and was subsequently Acting Assistant at St Martin-in-the-Fields. After a brief period as Assistant Organist at Winchester Cathedral, he took up the post of Sub Organist at Guildford Cathedral. Programme includes the second performance of a new work ‘Edwylm’ (‘Surging fire’), 2017 by Solfa Carlile; Berceuse (24 Pieces en style libre) - Vierne; Prélude – Boulanger ; Stèle pour un enfant défunt (Op. 58, No 3) – Vierne and Phantasie über den Choral Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme (Op. 52, No 2) – Reger. Retiring collection to support music and choir at All Saints (suggested donation £5) – please use Gift Aid envelope wherever possible. All Saints Licensed Club/Bar open afterwards. 


6, 13, 23, 28 November - DEMOCRACY LECTURE SERIES, Westminster Abbey Institute - With deference gone, how can trust in those who govern be earned and retained? How can a voice be given to the voiceless? Politicians standing for election must seek and retain power but that can have a corrosive effect on moral character and disposition. How do people seeking election avoid joining the ‘celebritocracy’ or becoming vacillating people pleasers? Has political language coarsened beyond repair?

Westminster Abbey is hosting a series of lectures, dialogues and symposia on the state of modern democracy, with a list of speakers including journalists, academics, and politicians, including the Rt Hon Nick Clegg, the Rt Hon Harriet Harman QC MP, and the Rt Hon Sir John Major KG CH. For further information, as well as tickets, please visit:

Thursday 9 November, 11am SERVICE OF COMMEMORATION, St Martin-in-the-Fields. Every year, Housing Justice organises a service to commemorate all those who died homeless in the past year. This year's service will be taking place at St Martin-in-the-Fields at 11am. Further information can be found here. If you would like to include any names to be read out during the service, please contact 'Alex' at

Thursday 9 November, 7pm CHARITY CONCERT at St George’s Hanover Square, W1S 1FX with pieces for piano (Rev’d Roderick Leece), viola, cello and recorder by Beethoven, Lennox Berkeley, Brahms, Elgar, Mozart, Rachmaninov, Schumann and Shostakovich. Supporting three noble charities: SHELTER LONDON, ST MARY’S CABLE STREET and TARIRO UK. Tickets £15 in aid of the good causes, to include an interval drink. For tickets please visit and search for Charity Concert Mayfair London. Tickets also on sale at the door.  

Our year-round fundraising efforts go to support three charities:

The Church Army hostels and programmes in Marylebone empowering homeless women into independent living through providing a safe refuge, training and employment opportunities.
The USPG-led UMOJA, HIV Project in Zimbabwe, enabling people living with HIV and Aids to have positive lives, and
The Soup Kitchen (American International Church, Tottenham Court Road) feeding up to 80 vulnerable people daily in central London.

Men’s clothing especially is needed by the Jesus Centre in Margaret Street and also by the Soup Kitchen at the American International Church, both of whom provide a daily range of services to homeless people. If you have women’s or men’s clothes to give away, please bring to Church and leave at the Parish Office so we can continue to help support our neighbours’ efforts. The Church Army is now also collecting women’s clothes for their Homeless Hostel so all donations can be found a good new home! Thank you to those who have started recently to bring things in as the weather gets colder – those contributions of shirts, trousers, warm sweaters and blankets have been much appreciated.

The Soup Kitchen specifically calls for:
men's trousers (sizes 32-36) and men's sturdy/athletic shoes (sizes 9-12 especially) and say ‘we also need men's outerwear of all varieties and rucksacks and duffle-bags to help our guests carry their belongings!’

The Soup Kitchen team (only part-time cover) asks: ‘Please drop me a line if you are planning to drop things off here. As always, many thanks for your support.’ Soup Kitchen at the American International Church, 79a Tottenham Court Road, London W1T 4TD T: 020 7580 2791

Further Communications or Assistance from All Saints Margaret Street:- 
* If you would like to encourage others to take an interest in All Saints/keep up with what is happening here
, please forward this email on to them, or to people you would like to invite to services or tell them about our, which has a full colour 360 virtual tour for viewing the wonderfully restored interior of the Church – tour – before a visit or if unable to travel. 

If you know of others (near or far) who would like to receive this regular update on what’s happening at All Saints please encourage them to sign up for the email on the All Saints website – see the tab News & Events> Weekly Newsletter

* If you would like any pastoral assistance, please do not hesitate to contact:  

The Parish Church of All Saints Margaret Street, London W1 W 8JG
Vicar: The Revd Prebendary Alan Moses
T: 07973 878040 E: (Day off: Saturday) 
Assistant Priest: The Revd Dr Michael Bowie T: 07581 180963 E: (Day off: Wednesday)

A priest is available for confessions/counsel Monday – Friday from 12.30-1pm and at 5.30pm Monday - Saturday, or by appointment. (Special arrangements apply in Lent and for Holy Week.)

If you would like prayers offered, or amendments to the prayer list please contact: Dee Prior, Parish Administrator (020 7636 1788).  E:

Or make use of the prayer request facility on the website at: 

Safeguarding Officers: Chris Self (Vulnerable Adults) and: Janet Drake (Children)


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