All Saints Margaret Street | All Saints Parish Newsletter 23rd December 2016

All Saints Parish Newsletter 23rd December 2016

Dear Friends,

Isaiah says to us on Christmas morning:

How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger who announces peace.

Peace is as topical a gift to pray for this Christmas as any other. When I preached on these texts in Sydney in 1998 I was talking about Iraq, remembering what it felt like to live in England when the first Gulf War erupted in 1991: at that moment I was attending ethics lectures on the Christian theology of the ‘just war’ as British troops were deployed and missiles fired. 

I remember feeling the proximity of what was happening with a certain emotional force and wondering, as one always does since Hiroshima, whether some apocalyptic outcome might render the sitting of final exams in theology unnecessary. There is nothing like contemplating the end of the world as we know it to relativize a problem.  

In the early 90’s one still read journalistic commentary on the ‘just war’ theory, but I notice that has been little mentioned since the subsequent excursion into Iraq in 2003, perhaps wisely, since government spin and the theological niceties of Thomas Aquinas don’t mix very well. In the case of Syria we have avoided comparable involvement: now the question is whether that has been an adequate response. And we shall still gather, at the end of another year, to welcome the birth of the Prince of Peace.

In addition to the conflict in Syria, 2016 has been a year of celebrity deaths and change in the political landscape of Europe and the USA. The suffering of anonymous thousands in Syria is much harder for us to grasp than those events, but it is also a greater scandal than the passing of prosperous popular figures or the realignment of political tribes. Yet, understandably, we find it easier to engage with those tribal and even parochial things: we know more about them; they are nearer at hand.

Anyone who has suffered bereavement (which must be all of us) knows that weighing up relative loss is ultimately not consoling. But as we celebrate the coming among us of God in the Christ child and recall Isaiah’s prophecy, rejoicing in the bringing of peace, we probably feel powerless in the face of such suffering and destruction. A natural reaction to that sense of helplessness is to blank it out and concentrate on the turkey. However little we can do, let us at least be well-informed in our prayers and our giving; let us not forget to celebrate Christmas with our Syrian brothers and sisters as a silent presence at the altar and the dinner table. And let us pray for that cessation of war and terror which is a precondition of the ‘peace which passes all understanding’.  

Yours in Christ,

Fr Michael Bowie 
Assistant Priest,
All Saints Margaret Street

Please pray for Peter and Satomi, who are getting married at All Saints on Wednesday 28 December at 3pm. We send our congratulations to the couple and wish them a very Happy New Year 2017 as husband and wife.

Please pray for those who have asked for our prayers:  Fr Bunme Fagemi, Asia Bibi, Bishop Michael Perham, Anthony O’Connor, Iris Podmore, Paul Curno, Rosemary Harris, Udho Forward, Steven Lawrence, Hans Ashbourne, Fr Jonathan Boardman, Carmen Emmanuel and Melanie Stimmler.  

For the recently departed:   Eric Christiansen, Stuart Pascall, Valerie Reddington, Horace Gibson, Cecil Everton, Sarah Eynstone (Priest), Melissa Bruce-Jones, Adrian Gill, Lascelles McPherson, Barbara (Bobby) Wilson, Sarah Bayon, Oswald Clark, and Alexander Chamberlain.  

Remember past priests, benefactors, friends, and all whose year’s mind occurs this week including: Hugh Warren (Priest), Lennox Berkeley, Evangeline de Fonseka, Desmond Berk, Kenneth Bond, Percy Fleming, Richard Williams, Paul Drake, Ernest Gaskell, Gordon Symes, Katherine Mundy (Deacon), Brian Lee, Elsie Boyton, Mona Crompton, John Freebairn-Smith, Malcolm Neville (Priest).                          

For full service information: 


CHRISTMAS SERVICES WITH THE ALL SAINTS CHOIR – a feast of beautiful and uplifting choral music, exquisite liturgy, and a chance to sing favourite Christmas carols, as we re-discover the story of a baby born two thousand years ago in a stable, marking the dawn of new light and new hope in our troubled world.

CHRISTMAS EVE Midnight Mass &
Blessing of the Crib      
Preacher: The Vicar, Prebendary Alan Moses
Missa Sancti Nicolai – Haydn
Tomorrow shall be my dancing day  

Preacher: Fr Michael Bowie 
Missa Brevis, K194 – Mozart
In dulci jubilo – trad German, arr Pearsall

There is no EVENSONG & BENEDICTION on Christmas Day.   


On Bank Holidays Monday 26 December and Tuesday 27 December there will be 12 noon Masses only at All Saints with no morning or evening Masses. 

Wednesday 28 December to Friday 30 December as usual with 7.30am Morning Prayer
Masses at 8am, 1.10pm and 6.30pm
Evening Prayer at 6pm.
Confessions at 12.30 and 5.30pm.

SUNDAY 1 JANUARY 2017 – The Naming and Circumcision of Jesus

Preacher: The Vicar, Prebendary Alan Moses
Mass in G Minor – Rheinberger
Ave Maria, Op. 12 – Brahms

There is no EVENSONG & BENEDICTION on 1 January.


SPG – the organisation that joined UMCA in 1965 to create USPG – has a starring role in a special Christmas edition of the BBC’s Call the Midwife. The show follows the fortunes of the midwives and nuns at Nonnatus House, in East London, in 1961. In the Christmas special, the Revd Tom Hereward and a number of the Sisters and midwives are sent by SPG to help a struggling clinic in South Africa.

USPG played a significant role in helping the BBC to research the episode, including input from USPG General Adviser Canon Edgar Ruddock, who was a mission companion in South Africa in the 1980s. Edgar explained: ‘I had a lengthy phone conversation with the key researcher who tapped into my knowledge of the 1980s when many church-founded hospitals were still operating across rural southern Africa. I was also able to point them to various older colleagues who had worked there as doctors or nurses during the 1960s.’
The 2016 Christmas special will air on Christmas Day at 8pm on BBC1. It will be followed shortly afterwards by series six, consisting of eight hour-long episodes in January and February 2017.  

AGM, Talk and Displays on Homelessness in the City of Westminster
Time & Date: 6.30 for 7pm – 9pm, Monday, 16 January 2017
Venue: Crown Court Church of Scotland, Russell Street, London WC2B 5EZ
Following the CTiW AGM, which is expected to be fairly brief, there will be a talk entitled Homelessness & Encounter on the subject of homelessness generally in the City of Westminster, and especially amongst young people. The speaker will be Colin Glover from The Connection St Martin-in-the-Field.

Refreshments will follow with the opportunity to browse displays by a number of leading organisations helping the homeless, including West London Mission and Westminster Churches Night Shelter (Methodist), Depaul Trust, The Passage and Home for Good (resettlement support) Scheme (RC), Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church (Baptist), and Borderline (supporting homeless Scots in London). Displays will also be open prior to the AGM, and there will be the opportunity to speak with representatives from the organisations.  All are welcome. Entrance is Free.

** MISSION NEWS** 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!

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 are also beginning to need men’s outerwear of all varieties and we always need rucksacks and duffle-bags to help our guests carry their belongings!’

Miranda Suit, Director of the Soup Kitchen (part-time, usually in the office on Tuesdays and Thursdays) says: 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


Marylebone Project – emergency refuge and rehoming project for homeless women. 
work with those experiencing Aids and HIV in Zimbabwe.  

MARYLEBONE PROJECT run by the CHURCH ARMY – A Day Centre, Residential and Transitional accommodation provider, re-settlement project and Educational and Training Unit for women. The Emergency Bed Unit – for which we have for some years helped to provide the funds for one of the 4 beds – offers a safe haven and refuge for women escaping domestic violence, financial crisis, sexual exploitation and mental health issues. 

Year Round Support
 – we also support the Marylebone Resettlement Project with non-perishable food and toiletries or household necessities like cutlery or bed linen/blankets. Thank you to everyone who contributes food and household essentials via the basket in Church or handed in to the Parish Office. Please continue to donate these so we can help more people in need.

Day-to-day Support – we respond to the needs of homeless people who visit the church allowing them to sleep there in the daytime and signposting them to other agencies who can offer help and donating £1,000 in 2016 towards the Soup Kitchen at the American International Church in Tottenham Court Road this year. We also allow individuals, who need a place to shelter or sleep during the day, to rest in the back of the church. We have created an information resource for Church Watchers, giving useful advice to homeless and vulnerable people seeking particular support or services. In the face of a rising tide of homelessness in London and as the cold weather starts to bite, please help us fund and support people in need through our Mission activities.

Want to help someone sleeping rough but don’t know how? 
Call Streetlink on 0300 500 0914 and they will get a visit from the local Street Team who can put them in contact with the services they may need. 

* 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 prayers offered at All Saints, please email the Parish Administrator Mrs Dee Prior at: Or make use of the prayer request facility on the website at: 

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

The Vicar, Prebendary Alan Moses:

Or Assistant Priest Fr Michael Bowie:


On major weekday feasts, High Mass is sung at 6.30pm 

SUNDAYS in Church 
Low Mass 6.30pm (Saturday), 8am and 5.15pm. Morning Prayer 10.20am
HIGH MASS and SERMON, 11am and   


Morning Prayer 7.30am
Low Mass – 8am, 1.10pm and 6.30pm
Evening Prayer 6pm
(Except Bank Holidays – 12 noon Mass only)

Morning Prayer 7.30am
Low Mass – 12 noon and 6.30pm (First Mass of Sunday) 
Evening Prayer 6pm


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.) and e-mail: