All Saints Margaret Street

Parish Email 20 March

Saturday 21st March 2020

Dear Friends


Having already contacted you once this week this communication will differ slightly from the usual weekly email. 


Below are some brief thoughts about Sunday's Gospel, but before I offer them there are a couple of updates to communicate about what we are doing at All Saints during this period of enforced Retreat.


The daily noon Mass has attracted a few local visitors, as did Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament yesterday. Today, thanks to the ingenuity, skill and generosity of Huw Pryce, we live-streamed audio of the Mass. Even though we had not advertised that, eleven people listened and some have already been in touch to express gratitude.


Sunday's Mass will also take place at 12 noon and will include a brief homily.

By Sunday Huw will have set up a video option as well; I will probably email again to confirm how you can best access that and it should soon be available via the website. 

Meanwhile the following YouTube link will take you to audio of today's Mass. 

It will also work for livestreaming of subsequent Masses, including Sunday's: 


Today, being a Friday in Lent, I will be making the Stations of the Cross after the church has been closed, and will offer prayers for all of you while I do so. 

By next Friday there will be a version of Stations together with photos of the images in church available online as well.


You may like to pray the Stations yourself today, or more often in these weeks. If you don't have a booklet to use the following link will take you to a suitable resource:



Lent 4 reflection

(Sunday's readings are printed below this message)


When people tell you that life was better in the 1950's, ask them about life for people with any kind of disability: technology, legislation and social attitudes have all progressed enormously in that half-century to include those who live with disability in the ordinary experiences of every day life which most people take for granted. 2000 years ago things were far, far worse.


Sunday's Gospel is the story of a man born blind and, if you read it carefully, it's about defilement. This man, unimaginably to us, might have been thought a fit subject for the equivalent of ethnic cleansing in his time, just because he was born blind. In his time the physically and mentally disabled were considered superfluous, unnecessary and thus incapable of virtue. The man blind from birth is only regarded as the product of sin - either his own or his parents'.


It is not the absence of sight that defiles, but the absence of light, the light of the world. The real defilement is claiming to be the ones who see, the ones who are righteous, while living in the dark; or, worse, claiming that others are defiled by their worldly condition instead of seeing how they may be living in the light of Christ that makes all whole.


This Gospel is actually a comic story - consider how many surprises and cross purposes are narrated in it. But the real-world comedy of it is intended to make us think again of how we see and to recall us to doing the works of God ourselves, to living in the light of God who is always with us in Christ Jesus. 


Yours in Christ


Fr Michael Bowie

Lent 4  Collect and Readings


O Lord, we beseech thee,

absolve thy people from their offences,

that through thy bountiful goodness

we may all be delivered from the bands of those sins

which by our frailty we have committed;

grant this, O heavenly Father,

for Jesus Christ's sake, our blessed Lord and Saviour,

who liveth and reigneth with thee,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.


FIRST READING:  1 Samuel 16.1-13


The Lord said to Samuel, 'How long will you grieve over Saul? I have rejected him from being king over Israel. Fill your horn with oil and set out; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided for myself a king among his sons.' Samuel said, 'How can I go? If Saul hears of it, he will kill me.' And the Lord said, 'Take a heifer with you, and say, "I have come to sacrifice to the Lord." Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do; and you shall anoint for me the one whom I name to you.' Samuel did what the Lord commanded, and came to Bethlehem. The elders of the city came to meet him trembling, and said, 'Do you come peaceably?' He said, 'Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord; sanctify yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice.' And he sanctified Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.  

When they came, he looked on Eliab and thought, 'Surely the Lord's anointed is now before the Lord.' But the Lord said to Samuel, 'Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for the Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.' Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. He said, 'Neither has the Lord chosen this one.' Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, 'Neither has the Lord chosen this one.' Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel, and Samuel said to Jesse, 'The Lord has not chosen any of these.' Samuel said to Jesse, 'Are all your sons here?' And he said, 'There remains yet the youngest, but he is keeping the sheep.' And Samuel said to Jesse, 'Send and bring him; for we will not sit down until he comes here.' He sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and had beautiful eyes, and was handsome. The Lord said, 'Rise and anoint him; for this is the one.' Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the presence of his brothers; and the spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward. Samuel then set out and went to Ramah. 




THE Lord is my shepherd : therefore can I lack nothing.

He shall feed me in a green pasture : and lead me forth beside the waters of comfort.

He shall convert my soul : and bring me forth in the paths of righteousness, for his Name's sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil : for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff comfort me.

Thou shalt prepare a table before me against them that trouble me : thou hast anointed my head with oil, and my cup shall be full.

Surely thy loving-kindness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life : and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.


SECOND READING:  Ephesians 5.8-14


Once you were darkness, but now in the Lord you are light. Live as children of light- for the fruit of the light is found in all that is good and right and true. Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what such people do secretly; but everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for everything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, 

'Sleeper, awake!  Rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.'  


GOSPEL:   John 9.1-41 


As Jesus walked along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, 'Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?' Jesus answered, 'Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God's works might be revealed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.' When he had said this, he spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva and spread the mud on the man's eyes, saying to him, 'Go, wash in the pool of Siloam' (which means Sent). Then he went and washed and came back able to see. The neighbours and those who had seen him before as a beggar began to ask, 'Is this not the man who used to sit and beg?' Some were saying, 'It is he.' Others were saying, 'No, but it is someone like him.' He kept saying, 'I am the man.' But they kept asking him, 'Then how were your eyes opened?' He answered, 'The man called Jesus made mud, spread it on my eyes, and said to me, "Go to Siloam and wash." Then I went and washed and received my sight.' They said to him, 'Where is he?' He said, 'I do not know.' 

They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind. Now it was a sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes. Then the Pharisees also began to ask him how he had received his sight. He said to them, 'He put mud on my eyes. Then I washed, and now I see.' Some of the Pharisees said, 'This man is not from God, for he does not observe the sabbath.' But others said, 'How can a man who is a sinner perform such signs?' And they were divided. So they said again to the blind man, 'What do you say about him? It was your eyes he opened.' He said, 'He is a prophet.'  

The Jews did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight until they called the parents of the man who had received his sight and asked them, 'Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?' His parents answered, 'We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; but we do not know how it is that now he sees, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him; he is of age. He will speak for himself.' His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews; for the Jews had already agreed that anyone who confessed Jesus* to be the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue. Therefore his parents said, 'He is of age; ask him.'  

So for the second time they called the man who had been blind, and they said to him, 'Give glory to God! We know that this man is a sinner.' He answered, 'I do not know whether he is a sinner. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.' They said to him, 'What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?' He answered them, 'I have told you already, and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become his disciples?' Then they reviled him, saying, 'You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from.' The man answered, 'Here is an astonishing thing! You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes. We know that God does not listen to sinners, but he does listen to one who worships him and obeys his will. Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a person born blind. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.' They answered him, 'You were born entirely in sins, and are you trying to teach us?' And they drove him out. 

Jesus heard that they had driven him out, and when he found him, he said, 'Do you believe in the Son of Man?' He answered, 'And who is he, sir? Tell me, so that I may believe in him.' Jesus said to him, 'You have seen him, and the one speaking with you is he.' He said, 'Lord, I believe.' And he worshipped him. Jesus said, 'I came into this world for judgement so that those who do not see may see, and those who do see may become blind.' Some of the Pharisees near him heard this and said to him, 'Surely we are not blind, are we?' Jesus said to them, 'If you were blind, you would not have sin. But now that you say, "We see", your sin remains.  







Those who are sick or distressed and have asked for prayers: 

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, Kylie Moore-Gilbert, Mayshee Eyob,

Victor Sharp, David Fettke, Joan Cooper, Jenni Black,

Elizabeth Dennis, Helen Mannion, Vallery Tchukov, Hilary Anne,

Sara Vice, Lenore Kimbrough, Fr Ron Swan, Darryl d'Souza,

Katherine Lee, Chris Gudgeon, Fr Kevin Hunt, Nicky Yeo,

Lorna Smith, James Shrimpton, Tim Knight, Beth Klausing 


Those known to us recently departed: 

Robert Lane, Joan Ward, David Payne, Sian Evans, Margaret Clark


Anniversaries of death this week:   





Charlotte Read, Olive Evans, Geoffrey Constable, Constance Kirk,

Belle McCarthy, Beryl Williams, Ralph Ballard, Mary Montgomery, John Davies, Amy Burnett-Brown, Maya Dean, John Hosier, Diane Suzans




Lent Appeal 

Please give generously to the three causes we are supporting this year: the Bishop's Lent appeal (addressing climate change emergencies in Angola and Mozambique), the Soup Kitchen at the American Church (helping homeless people)& the Helen Bamber Foundation (helping asylum seekers, refugees and survivors of extreme violence).




For the foreseeable future the Parish Office will not always be staffed. James Sherwood will usually be in the office on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

From Tuesday to Saturday, Peter Little will also be in and around the church working as sacristan / verger.

The best way to get in touch with the parish is by email:

E:         (T: 020 7636 1788)





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If you have NOT already responded to an email from us 
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If you know of others 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 - www.allsaintsmargaretstreet.or... and click on the 'Sign up here' link to give us their consent.  

If you would like pastoral assistance, please contact:

The Parish Church of All Saints Margaret Street, 
London W1W 8JG 

T: 020 7636 1788.  E:

Assistant Priest: Fr Michael Bowie 

T: 07581 180963  E: 

(Day off: Wednesday) 

Safeguarding Officers: Please raise any concerns you have with:
Chris Self (Vulnerable Adults) and Janet Drake (Children) 

If you would like prayers offered, amendments to the prayer list or to obtain an Electoral Roll form please contact the office:   



A priest is available for confessions by appointment. 


The ministry of All Saints costs £1,070/day. 

Visitors, tourists & photographers are invited to contribute, reviewing the experience on All Saints' Trip Advisor entry. 

THANK YOU for all donations supporting the Church's work and worship, choir & music and care of its heritage buildings.  

The Government reports an £600m annual shortfall in take-up of Gift Aid tax relief for UK charities - so All Saints doesn't lose the extra 25%, please always GIFT AID! 

PARISH GIVING leaflets - about how to set up regular giving to All Saints - can be found on the church table. 

Donations for general Church purposes: 

To give by BACS please use the following details, 

advising the Administrator to collect Gift Aid:  

PCC All Saints (Charity # 1132895)
Sort Code 60-09-15. A/C # 04559452 

Parish Legacy Policy 

We are always delighted to hear from anyone who wants to support us with a donation. Our PCC Legacy Policy though is to encourage people to leave bequests specifically to one of our two related charities to be used for purposes of lasting value (rather than day to day costs): 

All Saints Choir & Music Trust (Charity # 802994) or 

The All Saints Foundation (Charity # 273390). 

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