All Saints Margaret Street

Parish Email 3 April

Sunday 5th April 2020

Dear Friends,

In Holy Week we accompany Jesus on his final journey. On that journey he suffered betrayal, torture, crucifixion and death. We usually hear the whole Passion Gospel on Palm Sunday but this year I'm going to leave that until Good Friday when St John's Passion will be sung as part of our noon Liturgy on Good Friday. I will proclaim the Palm Gospel this Sunday. 


We know as we hear or read the Palm Gospel that it has the seeds of the Passion in it, and the first two readings, from Isaiah 50 and Philippians 2, point us forward to the Cross and beyond it to Easter (all the readings can be found below).


We do not remember the Passion and Death of Jesus as an arbitrary, random act of violence; rather we honour his death as the supreme act of love, the love of the one who 'did not cling to his equality with God, but emptied himself'' to become as we all are. Becoming as we are, he showed that in spite of our sins and foolishness, God loves and welcomes us home.


We are celebrating the Great Week in unusual times, and there is much talk of 'isolation'. Sarah Maitland, who has lived as a hermit or 'solitary' for many years, wrote a thoughtful piece in last week's Tablet about this, and I've excerpted three paragraphs from it to share with you today:


The first thing I would suggest is very simple: change the vocabulary. We are not going to experience isolation but solitude. ... "Social isolation", even "social distancing", sounds rather bleak; talk of "supported solitude" sounds very different. Isolation feels connected to loneliness and to compulsion; solitude to spiritual growth and creativity. Jesus may have been solitary through his fast in the wilderness, but we do not think of him as "isolated". When at the end of a long hard day we lock the bathroom door against even those we love and sink into a hot bath, we enjoy our moment of peace and solitude, rather than feel isolated or lonely. In fact, we know that a certain amount of solitude is good for our mental health - and because of its connection to "solo", solitude has an ambience of courage and adventure. Actually, the idea that most of us are going to be "isolated" is simply untrue. We wake alone in the night and reach out for the light switch - and we are not isolated, we are instantly connected to a whole lot of people who are generating power to enable our solitude. When we turn the tap on, wait for the post, even put on a warmer jersey, we may be alone but we are not isolated; we are part of a huge complex social web. Most of us have telephones - 85 per cent of UK households have a landline - and many of those who do not use a mobile. Many are also connected to the internet and services such as Skype. We are not isolated as people used to be. And that is before we even begin on prayer. Solitude is very good for prayer. This presumably is why Jesus was driven by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted. We all know that solitude, and its accompanying silence, is good for prayer. How many of us begin each Lent planning to build in some solitude, to go on retreat or take a day out of our "normal" routines, and realise, come Holy Week, that for yet another year we have failed again! This Lent we are being given retreat time, for free. We can even feel rather noble and "caring for others" about it - both for medical staff and for those more vulnerable than we are - while in fact occupying some space we have failed to use before despite our good intentions and our knowledge that it works. 


As we enter the Great Week, together in prayer, let us remember that, by the grace and presence of God, even in solitude we are not alone.


Yours in Christ,


Fr Michael Bowie



Stations of the Cross was streamed last Friday evening at 7pm using meditations written by Fr Timothy Radcliffe together with photos of the images in church. The link will still take you to the recording should you wish to use it again. Fr Radcliffe's meditations do repay more than one hearing:



In Holy Week and the Triduum all our liturgies will continue to be at noon with the exception of a shortened form of the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday at 8pm. This will include the blessing of the Paschal Candle and Exsultet, and shortened set of readings and canticles concluding with the Easter Gospel. 


On Easter Day the Noon Mass will include the Renewal of Baptismal Vows.



Palm Sunday  Collect and Readings



Almighty and everlasting God,

who in your tender love towards the human race

sent your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ

to take upon him our flesh

and to suffer death upon the cross:

grant that we may follow the example of his patience and humility,

and also be made partakers of his resurrection;

through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.



FIRST READING:  Isaiah 50.4-9a 


A reading from the book of the Prophet Isaiah 


The Lord God has given me the tongue of a teacher, that I may know how to sustain 
  the weary with a word. 
 Morning by morning he wakens - wakens my ear to listen as those who are taught.  
 The Lord God has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious, I did not turn backwards.  
 I gave my back to those who struck me, and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard; 
 I did not hide my face from insult and spitting. 

The Lord God helps me; therefore I have not been disgraced; therefore I have set my face like flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame; he who vindicates me is near. Who will contend with me? Let us stand up together. Who are my adversaries? Let them confront me.  
 It is the Lord God who helps me; who will declare me guilty? All of them will wear out like a garment; the moth will eat them up.  


Psalm 22    


My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?


SECOND READING:  Philippians 2.5-11 


A reading from the letter of St Paul to the Philippians 


Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,  
 who, though he was in the form of God, 
  did not regard equality with God 
  as something to be exploited,  
 but emptied himself, 
  taking the form of a slave, 
  being born in human likeness. 
 And being found in human form,  
 he humbled himself 
  and became obedient to the point of death- 
  even death on a cross.  

 Therefore God also highly exalted him 
  and gave him the name 
  that is above every name,  
 so that at the name of Jesus 
  every knee should bend, 
  in heaven and on earth and under the earth,  
 and every tongue should confess 
that Jesus Christ is Lord, 
to the glory of God the Father.  



Praise to you, O Christ, King of eternal glory.

Christ was humbler yet, 

even to accepting death, death on a cross.

But God raised him high

and gave him the name which is above all names.

Praise to you, O Christ, King of eternal glory.



GOSPEL: Matthew 21.1-11 


When they had come near Jerusalem and had reached Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, 'Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, just say this, "The Lord needs them." And he will send them immediately.*' This took place to fulfil what had been spoken through the prophet, saying,  
'Tell the daughter of Zion, 
Look, your king is coming to you, 
humble, and mounted on a donkey, 
and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.'  
The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them; they brought the donkey and the colt, and put their cloaks on them, and he sat on them. A very large crowd* spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting, 
'Hosanna to the Son of David! 
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! 
Hosanna in the highest heaven!'  
When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil, asking, 'Who is this?' The crowds were saying, 'This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.'  





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, 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, Fr Philip Chester, Fr Roddy Leece. 


Those known to us recently departed: 

Sian Evans, Margaret Clark, Yvonne Burgess-Jones, Anne Morris, Bill, David Bell, Helen Mannion


Anniversaries of death this week: 

Christopher Ryan, Iolo Davies, Stanley Eley Bp, Peggy Monk, Margaret Leech, Leonard Neville, Muriel Vickery, Richard Davall, Minnie Webb, Olive Routledge, Evelyn Light, Cecil Higgins, Ada Spicer, Anne Garside, Cyril Golding-Bird Bp,Thomas Senior Pr, Brian Phillips, Maud Woodin, Mildred Banyard, Roy Sutherland 




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).




We have heard from Bishop Woodford House that the earliest date for reopening is 8th June. 
Sadly, this means that there will be no retreat this year.





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 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. 

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