All Saints Margaret Street

All Saints Parish Newsletter 29th December 2017

Wednesday 27th December 2017

Dear Friends,

Yesterday was the Feast of the Holy Innocents, the children slaughtered by King Herod, in Matthew's account of the Christmas story, who have traditionally been honoured as martyrs. It seems a jarring counterpoint to the Christmas story. Indeed the last time this feast fell on a Sunday I was collared by an indignant former Scottish Presbyterian in my congregation and roundly told off for 'celebrating' such an event. 

Our terminology can sometimes seem more than odd to those who are unfamiliar with it, but I would defend keeping this feast with more, rather than less, emphasis in our time, an age when the slaughter of innocents in increasingly technological warfare has become scandalously normative. These children recall for us all the innocent casualties of history, and especially of religion: both of religious persecution and of the sad failings of institutional abuse which have dominated the media in recent years. There is good religion and bad religion, because there is human goodness and human sin. We must repent and turn to God. 

The killing of the male babies has to be understood in the context of the challenge Jesus holds for Herod. In telling the story, Matthew invokes the pain of Jeremiah at the time of the people's deportation to Babylon, when he remembers tragic moments of the past:

Thus says the Lord:
A voice is heard in Ramah, lamentation and bitter weeping.
Rachel is weeping for her children; she refuses to be comforted for her children,
because they are no more.   Jeremiah 31.15

The birth of Jesus, when not encased in sentimentality and romance, represents a powerful challenge. The opposition does not sit idly by and take the news of his arrival casually. It understands that the stakes are high, and thus the response is violent and destructive. The story reminds the reader that God’s acts of peace and justice often evoke a hostile response.

Herod foreshadows the enmities that crop up throughout Jesus’ ministry, culminating in his violent death. But none of them is able to deter God’s plan in Jesus, not Herod nor any other threatened authority. The simple words “Herod died”, at the end of the story, convey the end of such powers, the end of their plotting and scheming, the end of their pretence and brutality. Sadly, even the 'thousand-year Reich' was not the last such tyrannous fantasy in our recent history, but the Christmas story also reminds us, in the words of the hymn we sang before the Gospel on Christmas morning:

And idol forms shall perish,

and error shall decay,

and Christ shall wield his sceptre,

Our Lord and God for ay,

repeat the hymn again!

'To God on high be glory

And peace on earth to men!'

That is our faith: may the prayers of the Holy Innocents strengthen our determination, in this holy season, to repent of what we have got wrong and to turn to God in thanksgiving for the gifts of his grace. 

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, Nazanin Zhaghari-Ratcliffe, Michael Adam, Harry Bramma, John Reddington, Maggie Durran, Eileen Prior, Juliet Lavender, 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, Katie Marko, Beverley Ward, Catherine Paciullo and Sîan Evans. 

Those known to us recently departed: Stanley Kaire, Andrew Evans, Jonathan Lopez, Edgars Lasmanovics, Julian Berry, Nancy Gardner and Evie Weir. 

Those whose year’s mind occurs this week: Ethel Mary de Rougement, Treor Burnett-Brown, Nicholas Luff, Hugh Glaisyer Pr, Berdmore Compton Pr and second Vicar of All Saints, Henry Howell, John Wylde Pr, Joan Banyard, John Auton, Ernest Waggett, Timothy Shaw, Emily Finnis, Tom Ryder Pr, Mary Park, Constance Tweed, Robert Routledge, Winifred Nash and Lilian Yorke.                                   


Saturday 30 December (Church opens at 11am)
12 noon Low Mass
6pm Evening Prayer   6.30pm First Mass of Sunday

Sunday 31 December – Christmas 1
8am Low Mass
    10.20am Morning Prayer 

Preacher: Fr Michael Bowie

Fauré - Messe Basse
Lemmens – Gloria (from Messe en Fa pour voix des soprani)
Hadley – I sing of a maiden 

There is no Evensong & Benediction on New Year’s Eve.

We wish all our readers a blessed New Year in 2018 and look forward to seeing you at All Saints Margaret Street whenever you are in London. 

Bank Holiday
Monday 1 January 2018 - 12 noon Mass only.

Tuesday 2 – Friday 5 January
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 6 January (Church opens at 11am)
Procession & High Mass, 12 noon 

Preacher: The Venerable John Perumbalath, Archdeacon of Barking
Mozart Missa Brevis in F, K 192    
Cornelius, arr Atkins – The Three Kings 

6pm Evening Prayer   6.30pm First Mass of Sunday
Sunday 7 January
High Mass, 11am
Preacher: The Vicar, Fr Alan Moses
Walton Missa Brevis   
Hassler Verbum caro factum est

Lessons, hymns, anthems and organ music 
(Bach & Messiaen) to mark Epiphany. 

Monday 8 – Friday 12 January
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 13 January (Church opens at 11am)
11.30am Rosary and Walsingham Devotions
12 noon Low Mass 
6pm Evening Prayer   6.30pm First Mass of Sunday

All Sunday services and weekday High Masses sung by the Choir of All Saints - full details at


ALL SAINTS CLUB MEMBERSHIP – 2018 Membership Cards On Sale from 31/12/2017 - £5 New All Saints’ Club annual subscriptions fall due from 31/12/2017 and the Annual Meeting agreed to an increase to £5. Buy your new annual membership from New Year’s Eve. 

ORGAN RECITAL – Sunday 28 January at 7.15pm (after Benediction)
will play all five movements – Allegro, Adagio, Intermezzo, Cantabile and Final – of Widor’s 6me Symphonie op 42 no 2. This was the first piece which inspired Jeremiah to want to learn the organ. 


LAURENCE LONG (former All Saints’ John Birch Organ Scholar) would be pleased to have your support for his ORGAN RECITAL - Friday 5 January 2018, 12.30pm (45 mins) at St Michael and All Angels, Bedford Park (Bath Rd, Chiswick, London W4 1TT)

Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland BWV 661 - J. S. Bach (1685-1750)

Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland BWV 659 - J. S. Bach (1685-1750)

Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland BWV 599 - J. S. Bach (1685-1750)

In dulci jubilo BWV 729 - J. S. Bach (1685-1750)

Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern - Flor Peeters (1903-1986)

In dulci jubilo BuxWV 199 - Dietrich Buxtehude (c.1637/39-1707)

Good King Wenceslas - William Lloyd Webber (1914-1982)

Good King Wenceslas - Richard Elliott (b. 1957)

Noel X - Louis-Claude Daquin (1694-1772)

Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme BWV 645 - J. S. Bach (1685-1750)

In dir ist Freude BWV 615 - J. S. Bach (1685-1750)

Prelude sur l'Introit de l'Epiphanie - Maurice Duruflé (1902-1986)

Es ist ein Ros' entsprungen - Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)

Exite Fideles - Paul Ayres 

Resources may be found at: 

Friday, 19 January, 6:30pm Mount Street Jesuit Centre, 114 Mount Street, London W1K 3AY after the 6pm Mass in the adjacent Jesuit Church of Our Lady Immaculate, Farm Street W1 - FILM SCREENING: 'May they all be one' by the Society of St John Chrysostom. For the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, Alexia Veriter of KTOTV (French Catholic TV) has made a documentary about the Benedictine monastery of Chevetogne in Belgium, founded to promote Christian Unity, by mutual encounter, understanding, dialogue, prayer and worship. The Chevetogne community continues to be closely involved internationally in Catholic-Orthodox, Catholic-Anglican and Catholic-Reformed dialogue and friendship. Newly subtitled in English, the 52 minute film hears from the monks and their friends about their work in the monastery, their study and ecumenical engagement, and their spirituality and worship of the community in its two churches - Latin rite and Byzantine rite.
There will be a reception, a showing of the film, a well-known speaker to introduce the work of the Chevetogne Community, and a chance to ask questions, meet some of those featured in the documentary and purchase a copy. Admission is free but a donation is requested.
More details here:

Monday, 22 January, 6.30pm 'Creation Care' — Churches Together in Westminster AGM Salvation Army Regent Hall, 275, Oxford Street, W1C 2DJ
This year's Annual General Meeting of Churches Together in Westminster will include speakers and displays on the theme of 'Creation Care'. These displays and talks will be led by organisations involved with conservation and environmental awareness, including Eco Church, Shrinking the Footprint, ASWA and Green Christian. Refreshments will be provided. All are very welcome. 

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 


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 during the cold weather – those contributions of shirts, trousers, warm sweaters and blankets continue to be 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)


More news items »