All Saints Margaret Street

All Saints Parish Newsletter 8th December 2017

Friday 8th December 2017

Dear Friends,

“Comfort, O comfort my people”

Many of us will be familiar with these words and others in Sunday's reading from Isaiah from their place in Handel's “Messiah.”  They begin the second part of the book we know as the prophecy of Isaiah.  The prophet known as “Isaiah of Jerusalem,” writes in the city as it faces conquest and destruction by the Assyrians, the ruthless military super-power of the age. He sees that disaster and the subsequent exile as punishment for the nation's infidelity to God's law.   

The anonymous prophet known as “Second Isaiah” (Isaiah 40 to 55) writes a century and a half later, as that exile continues.   He writes to bring hope to people who must have despaired of the first Isaiah's prophecy of a restoration to their homeland ever coming true. His message is one of comfort and hope. God has not abandoned them and will lead them home. The nations of the earth, even great powers, wither like the grass and fade like a flower, “but the word of our God will stand for ever.”  

This message of hope is one which those who hear it are to share with others: 

Get you up to a high mountain,

   O Zion, herald of good tidings;

lift up your voice with strength,

   O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings,

lift it up, do not fear,

say to the cities of Judah,

“Here is your God!”  

They are to proclaim “good news,” the gospel of God's enduring care for his people and God's ability to save them.  

The Church in Europe, including the Church in this land, is living through a period which we might describe using the old Soviet term “internal exile.”  It feels pushed out into the wilderness, to the margins of society. Congregations decline, vocations are few. Can this decline ever be reversed?  

Well, Isaiah speaks of the wilderness as the place to “prepare the way of the Lord....a highway for our God.”  These words are taken up in Sunday's Gospel; the beginning of St. Mark and “the beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.”   

John the Baptist appears in the wilderness, crying out: 'Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight' and “proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.”   So our time of exile can be the wilderness where the way of the Lord is prepared. This is not a prescription for a period of frantic hyper-activity, but for renewed trust in God. It will involve repentance, a turning to the Lord, a conversion of life.  

In the Gospel we hear that people went out into the wilderness to hear John's message. Our temptation is to flee the wilderness; to avoid its harsh realities, to remain safely in our comfort zones. That is not the way to renewed hope.  

“Comfort” is a word whose meaning has changed over time. We associate it with consolation and that is certainly to be found in our passage: “Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,” says God in the opening words.  This is the God of whom the prophet says: 

“He will feed his flock like a shepherd;

    he will gather the lambs in his arms,

and carry them in his bosom,

   and gently lead the mother sheep.”  

But “comfort” also meant to “strengthen and encourage.”   God feeds us not to make us fat and idle, but to strengthen us for our journey; to be what Sunday's epistle (2 Peter 3.8-15a) calls the “sort of persons you ought to be in leading lives of holiness and godliness.”  

If we ask how this is to happen, we need not look far for the answer. John both preached repentance to the people who went out to him and also enacted it in baptism. This remains the pattern of God's care for us, as one of the penitential Kyries used at Mass in Advent reminds us: “You come in word and sacrament to strengthen us in holiness.”  But, like the people of Judah and Jerusalem, we do need to go out to hear and receive and use these means of grace.  

Yours in Christ,

 

Fr Alan Moses, Vicar
All Saints Margaret Street

THIS WEEK’S PRAYER DIARY

Those who are sick or distressed and who have asked for prayers: Asia Bibi, Nazanin Zhaghari-Ratcliffe, Maggie Durran, Eileen Prior, Jacob Lillie, Juliet Lavender, John Reddington, Martin Hale, Gordon Dickson, Jayne Forrester, Yvonne Craig, Thomas Vucetic, Joy Wright, Barbara Schiefer, Gwyneth Hopkins, Fr Philip Warner, Joao and Ivone Cavalcante, Rose Smith, Fr Graham Francis, Maria Magdalena Gedmanaite, Ken Hales, Nancy Gardner, Katie Marko, Beverley Ward, Catherine Paciullo and Sîan Evans.  

Those known to us recently departed: Lynette Paul, Nigel Cook, Gareth Bevan Pr and Simon Pothen Pr, Graham Robinson, Stanley Kaire and Andrew Evans.  

Those whose year’s mind occurs this week: Marion Borton, Hamish Gray, Natalie Byrnes, Daniel Thomas, Amelia Jones, Alice Trevor, Annie Jevons, Roscow Shedden Bp, Guy Pritchard, James Burling, Chris Fairbairn, Richard Eyre Pr, Ian Stevens, Mary Packer, David Vickery Pr, John Turner, Lindsey Boynton, William Lloyd Pr, Robert Kirk, James Forysth, Doris King and Leonard Beeken.                                                  

WORSHIP THIS WEEK:

Saturday, 9 December (Church opens at 11am)
11.30am Rosary and Walsingham Devotions
12 noon Low Mass of Our Lady of Walsingham

6pm Evening Prayer
6.30pm First Mass of Sunday  

Sunday 10 December –Advent 2
8am Low Mass  
10.20am Morning Prayer

HIGH MASS & Sermon, 11am
Preacher: Fr Michael Bowie
Palestrina Missa Brevis
Offertory Motet: Stainer How beautiful upon the mountains  

The Vicar is preaching at St Nicholas, Harpenden this morning but hopes to be back for his Ten-to-One Talk –about the significance of the High Altar.  Please meet in Church.  

Sunday Lunch is being cooked by Frances O’Neil. Main course, dessert and coffee. Tickets £6 from the Parish Shop before & after Mass. 

Philip Norman is giving a talk at 3.30pm in the Parish Room on MUSIC & THE REFORMATION – see further details in the general notices below.  

5.15pm Low Mass

EVENSONG & BENEDICTION with SERMON, 6pm
Preacher: The Vicar, Fr Alan Moses
Canticles: Weelkes Short Service 
Anthem: Ravenscroft Remember, O thou man

This Week’s Services

Monday 11 to Friday 15 December
7.30am Morning Prayer 
 8am Low Mass
12.30-1pm Confessions
1.10pm Low Mass (except Friday 15 December) – see below
5.30pm Confessions  
6pm Evening Prayer
6.30pm Low Mass (except Thursday 14 December) – see below.  

Thursday 14 December, 6.30pm  – Freud’s FESTIVAL OF LESSONS AND CAROLS
There will be no Evening Prayer or Mass.

Friday 15 December -
No Lunchtime Confessions or Mass as there is a

12.30pm LUNCHTIME CAROL SERVICE sung by an All Saints’ choir of eight and followed by mince pies and mulled wine. Do bring a friend to visit this beautiful Church before Christmas. Collection in aid of the Children’s Society.

Saturday 16 December (Church opens at 11am)
12 noon Low Mass
6pm Evening Prayer
6.30pm First Mass of Sunday

Sunday 17 December – Advent 3 (Gaudete)
8am Low Mass   
10.20am Morning Prayer 

HIGH MASS & Sermon, 11am 
Preacher: The Vicar, Fr Alan Moses
Mozart Missa Brevis in B flat K 275 
Offertory Motet: Britten A Hymn to the Virgin 

 

A special celebratory Gaudete Sunday Christmas Lunch is being cooked by Tom Leeman Tickets already on sale (limited to 40 places) £10 (to include a glass of wine or soft drink) from the Parish Shop before & after Mass. 

5.15pm Low Mass

EVENSONG & BENEDICTION
Preacher: Fr Michael Bowie 
Canticles:
Stanford in C 
Anthem:
Gibbons This is the record of John  

Full service information: www.allsaintsmargaretstreet.org.uk.

Please join us at one of our Christmas Services
All services sung by the Choir of All Saints - full details at allsaintsmargaretstreet.org.uk

Friday 15 December 12.30pm - Lunchtime Carol Service
Followed by mince pies & mulled wine

Monday 18 December 6pm - Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols by candlelight
Followed by mince pies & mulled wine

Sunday 24 December 11pm
CHRISTMAS EVE - Midnight Mass and Blessing of the Crib
Haydn Missa Sancti Nicolai

Monday 25 December 11am
CHRISTMAS DAY High Mass
Haydn Missa Sancti Joannis de Deo 

WEEKLY NOTICES and FUTURE EVENTS AT ALL SAINTS  

Thank you to all those volunteers who helped to make a big success of Magdalene College Cambridge’s Carol Concert (followed by mince pies and mulled wine in Church) on 1 December. The College choir attracted an appreciative audience of over 200 and many had not visited All Saints before and were delighted to be there. All Saints received a £400 donation for the use of the Church and it is hoped that the choir will return in 2018.  

The POETRY TEA at PAMELA’S last Saturday 2 December raised £125 (with Gift Aid) for the All Saints’ Restoration Fund. Many thanks to all those who took part and to Pamela for hosting the event.    

The HANDBAG SALE in the Parish Room for two days this week generated £300 for the Parish.  

THIS SUNDAY, 10 December - REFORMATION & MUSIC TALK – 3.30pm Parish Room    In the 500th anniversary year of the German Lutheran Reformation, PHILIP NORMAN - organist at St Marien mit St. Georg Lutheran Church London - gives a lecture enlivened with audio illustrations.  Luther’s Reformation radically altered (or did it?) the approach to church music. This talk is richly illustrated both aurally and graphically, and pulls out of the hat some of the strange developments which took place as musicians and composers tried to reconcile new concepts with old habits. We also find out why being “a musitian” can be a life-saving occupation. Refreshments will be offered with an opportunity for questions and discussions with the lecturer. You may like to come to High Mass, enjoy Frances O’Neil’s Sunday lunch and then stay on at All Saints for this talk ending with tea/coffee & biscuits or make it the pre-event before Evensong at 6pm.

GAUDETE CHRISTMAS LUNCH - Sunday 17 December after High Mass
Tom Leeman will, once again, be preparing a special celebratory Christmas Lunch.  The tickets for this lunch go on sale on Sunday 3 December at a price of £10, including a glass of wine or soft drink of your choice.  Numbers will be limited to 40 people so please buy early to avoid disappointment.  As the 17th is the rose pink Sunday in Advent the tickets have been printed on pink paper.  Help us make this a bumper anticipatory celebration in preparation for the big event!

NEW CHURCH BOILERS working well, the heating trenches in church were cleaned this week and the new controller fitted, the system stabilized and more heat output is being achieved, just in time for this new cold snap!  

THINKING OF KEEPING WARM – Men’s coats, jackets, scarves shirts, trousers, warm sweaters, trainers/athletic shoes needed by the Jesus Centre in Margaret Street. 42 homeless people daily shower and eat and collect fresh clothing. If you have men’s clothes to give away, please bring to the Parish Office so we can continue to help support our neighbours’ efforts. Thank you to those who have recently brought in things as the weather gets colder.  

CHRISTMAS CARDS –stocks of the 2017 card of the Virgin and Child available from the Parish Office in the week or the Shop before or after Mass on Sunday. Both versions - blank inside and with the greeting message.  Cash or cheque payable to Parochial Church All Saints please. 

CHRISTMAS GIFT APPEAL FOR the MARYLEBONE PROJECT
Many of you have already brought in items recently for our regular mission focus at the Marylebone Project – and these have been delivered this week, but they are appealing for small presents to go in their gift bags for their service users at Christmas. They suggest perfume, gloves, scarves, pyjamas, socks, notebooks, chocolates, make-up, purses and bags as great gifts. They ask that gifts be unwrapped and don’t include candles please.  

EVENTS BEYOND ALL SAINTS

COMMUNITY SPONSORSHIP FOR SYRIAN REFUGEES - Monday 11 December 
The Westminster Refugee Welcome Committee is looking for people who might be interested in volunteering to help Syrian refugees in London. They will be holding an event on 11 December to explain their work, and to outline the areas in which help can be given, including fundraising & finance, teaching English, organising access to healthcare, to schools, or to employment, organising receipt of benefits, and befriending and helping the refugees to integrate into the community. The venue for this event has yet to be decided, but contact Simon Perfect (simon.perfect39@btinternet.com) for more information.

FAITH MATTERS QUESTION TIME at Farm Street on Thursday 25 January, 6:45pm.  The latest in their series of popular panel discussions on matters of faith and life will address the topic of ‘Fake News: Faith in the Media’.    On the panel are:
Nancy Gifford (Global Media Director, Ravi Zacharias International Ministries)
Melanie McDonagh (Evening Standard)
Sarah de Nordwall (Poet, Bard School Director, and Catholic Voices)
Jo Siedlecka (Director, Independent Catholic News)
Brendan Walsh (Editor, The Tablet)  

All are welcome to an informative lively evening on how, as Christians, we might respond to the issues surrounding faith and the media.  Recommended donation: £10 on the door.  Online advance booking will be set up shortly via www.pathwaystogod.org  

CLEWER INITIATIVE VIDEO: MODERN SLAVERY AND HOMELESSNESS
The Clewer Initiative has got together with homelessness charity Housing Justice, Caritas Westminster and Capital Mass to produce a video on modern slavery and homelessness. The video is very powerful, and especially pertinent at this time of year. Well worth a watch: https://www.theclewerinitiative.org/news/2017/11/29/protecting-the-homeless-from-modern-slavery  

ALL SAINTS MISSION PROJECTS 
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    www.amchurch.co.uk/soup-kitchen/

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 websitewww.allsaintsmargaretstreet.org.uk, which has a full colour 360 virtual tour for viewing the wonderfully restored interior of the Church – seewww.allsaintsmargaretstreet.org.uk/history/virtual 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: alanmoses111@gmail.com (Day off: Saturday)

Assistant Priest: The Revd Dr Michael Bowie
T: 07581 180963 E: mnrbowie@gmail.com (Day off: Wednesday)

Confessions 
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: astsmgtst@aol.com

Or make use of the prayer request facility on the website at: www.allsaintsmargaretstreet.org.uk/prayer. 

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

allsaintsmargaretstreet.org.uk    www.facebook.com/AllSaintsMargaretStreet

 

 


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