All Saints Parish Newsletter 27th January 2017
The latest statistics confirm what those of us who live in London know from the evidence of our eyes: that the number be of people sleeping on our streets has increased and is increasing. Our regular readers will be aware that here at All Saints we have found ourselves becoming a “day shelter.”
Churches which are open all day have always been places where those with nowhere to lay their head could find shelter. When I was first ordained and working in Edinburgh’s Old Town, many of them were Irish or ex-servicemen; often they had drink and mental health problems. The closure of the large mental hospitals in favour of “Care in the Community” brought another influx. This remains a significant problem which our good friend Fr. Neil Bunker, in his role as Mental Health Liaison Priest for Westminster, has been helping churches and other faith communities to address. Then there were young people who had run away from home or been in care, and then found themselves on streets which were not paved with gold. Now we seem to be dealing mainly, but not exclusively, with people from Eastern Europe. How long this group will be with us in the light of the forthcoming Brexit negotiations, is something only time will tell.
In the meantime, however, we have to manage the presence of a number of people whose presence can sometimes be disturbing to those who come to the church to worship and pray: literally when snoring or, as on a recent Sunday when a group of men sat talking in the baptistery during High Mass.
We had a discussion about this at the recent meeting of the PCC and this produced, as you might expect, a variety of opinions and ideas. Fr. Michael and I, who encounter this problem two or three times a day, recognize its challenges. Between us we have a good many years’ experience of working in city centre parishes and dealing with the variety of difficult characters they attract. Most of those who volunteer as church-watchers and sides-people don’t and we can understand that they can feel uneasy and unsure of what to do; and sometimes even frustrated and angry, because we sometimes feel that way too. The business of getting people to be quiet before and even during services can be tiresome and make maintaining the right devotional frame of mind harder work than usual. Things are not made easier by language difficulties and sometimes mental health problems. The fluid nature of the population we are dealing with means that, no sooner do we get one lot of people made aware of the do’s and don’ts, than they move on and we have to start again with new faces.
Should we simply close the church for several months, outside service times? While that would not inconvenience Sunday worshippers, it would affect a significant number of people who pop in throughout the week to pray and others who come simply to see an iconic building. After more than a century and a half of open doors, it would signal a turning in on ourselves. Should we not employ a verger or vergers, as some other central London churches, who could “police” this problem? In an ideal world, this might well be a solution, but we have to recognize that it would have major financial implications. As a congregation, we would have to give a lot more money than we do at the moment, or cut expenditure on things we regard as core to our activities.
One discussion at a PCC meeting is not likely to come up with a policy which solves all the problems. Plans, as military historians tell us, rarely survive encounter with reality.
However, we are going to take some concrete steps. On Sundays, those who are sleeping in the church will be asked to leave before Morning Prayer and again before the Evening Mass. On weekdays, we have been waking people up before the Lunchtime Mass and asking them to either go out or sit up. Some people – as preachers know – can even snore sitting up! In the evening, we ask people to leave before Evening Prayer. This has been our policy for some time and we need to be consistent in enforcing it. We will be providing information about acceptable and unacceptable behaviour in a selection of languages. We will convene a meeting of sides-people and church-watchers to provide guidance.
I have found myself writing about “management”. What about “leadership?” Here, I think we need not just policy but theology. Anglo-Catholic churches have often had a good reputation in addressing poverty and some still do. Although even in the great days of the Anglo-Catholic Congresses, the great missionary Bishop of Zanzibar Frank Weston would not have had to urge his hearers to get out from before their tabernacles and “look for Jesus in the ragged, in the naked, in the oppressed and sweated, in those who have lost hope, in those who are struggling to make good. Look for Jesus. And when you see him, gird yourselves with his towel and try to wash their feet,” if they had all been doing it already.
I am reminded of that description of All Saints from the pen of an anonymous Victorian cleric:
In a church that is furnished with mullion and gable,
with altar and reredos, with gargoyle and groin,
the penitents’ dresses are seal skin and sable.
The odour of sanctity’s Eau de Cologne.
But if only could Lucifer flying from Hades
Gaze down on this crowd with its panniers and paints,
He could say, as he looked at the lords and the ladies,
“Oh! Where is ‘All Sinners’, if this is All Saints.
Concern for the homeless has long been something we have seen as part of our calling. It is expressed in our long-term support of the work of the Church Army’s Marylebone Project with homeless women, the West London Day Centre, and more recently, of the soup kitchen run by the American Church in Tottenham Court Road. However, this can all be a bit detached from working with people face-to-face.
We have just been celebrating the birth of Christ. The Crib which stands in church until Candlemas reminds us that there was no room for him and his Blessed Mother in the inn. The congregation of All Saints is no longer as socially grand as the one that sharp-penned cleric had fun at the expense of, but none of us have to sleep on the streets or even on the floor of a church.
Among the saints represented above our Lady Altar is St. Vincent de Paul. At the heart of his hugely influential ministry in 17th century France was care of the poor. In a letter to members of his Congregation of the Mission he stressed that ministry to those in need and poverty was an imitation of the Christ who “chose to be born in poverty….became himself the servant of the poor and sh shared their condition that whatever good or harm done to the poor, he said he would consider done to himself. Since God loves the poor, he also loves the lovers of the poor… So we too hope that God will love us on account of the poor…we must strive to be deeply involved in the cares and sorrows of our neighbour and pray to God to inspire us with compassion and pity, filling our hearts and keeping them full.” That is a prayer which I need to make my own when standing at the Lady Altar for the 8am mass, so that what all too easily is seen only as a problem might be seen as an opportunity.
Fr. Michael, our Parish Administrator Dee, and I have been trying to get to know some of our “guests,” as we do other visitors to the church. It is easy to see them simply as a problem and not as people who are our “neighbours,” with all that word means for Christians. It is easy to jump to conclusions about people while knowing little if anything about them and the circumstances which brought them to our doors. We are enlisting some of the regular faces in helping with maintaining the balance between place of shelter and house of prayer. For the last couple of weeks, Dee and I have been going into church before the evening confession time, waking the sleepers, and getting them to help in putting things straight. Last night, we found most had gone, and that chairs and kneelers had been put in order before we got there.
When the great Fr. Stanton of St. Alban’s, Holborn died, he left money in his will for the “Undeserving Poor,” to express his abhorrence of that judgemental Victorian term. He was echoed in this by Dorothy Day, one of the founders of the Catholic Worker Movement in the United States, who wrote: “The Gospel takes away our right forever, to discriminate between the deserving and the undeserving poor.”
Fr. Stanton often preached here at All Saintstide when he would deliver what was known as the “Perseverance Sermon.” We might pray, too, for the gift of perseverance as we deal creatively and charitably with this issue.
Yours in Christ,
Fr. Alan Moses
Prebendary Alan Moses
Vicar of All Saints Margaret Street
Area Dean of Westminster – St Marylebone
Please pray for those who have asked for our prayers: Asia Bibi, Paul Curno, Myrtle Hughes, Bishop Michael Perham, Anthony O’Connor , Melanie Stimmler, Bill Rodger and Alix Bainbridge-Spring
For the recently departed: Jill Harrison, Eric Greer, Howard Levett, Jill Saward, Udho Forward, Michael Ovey (Priest), David Galilee (Priest), Jean Sheppard, Yap Kim Kee, Joan Cooper, Stephen Lawrence, Brenda Wheeler and Hans Ashbourne.
Remember past priests, benefactors, friends, and all whose year’s mind occurs this week including: George Flack, Norah Lawrence, Doris Foster, Judith Pulteney, Violet Akers, Leonard Forsyth, Reginald Oxley, Jean Phillips, Sarah Hutchinson, John Rose, John Pollard, Florence White, Pamela Powis, Alfred Buhagiar, William Barradell, Cecilia Gamble, Agnes Theobald, Vera Aspinall and Marjorie Hague.
For full service information: www.allsaintsmargaretstreet.org.uk.
WORSHIP THIS WEEK:
SUNDAY 29 JANUARY – THE PRESENTATION OF CHRIST IN THE TEMPLE (Candlemas) CANDLE PROCESSION & HIGH MASS, 11am
Preacher: The Vicar, Prebendary Alan Moses
Missa Brevis in F, K 192 – Mozart
When to the temple Mary went – Eccard
Sunday Lunch is served – tickets £5 on sale from the All Saints Shop in the Parish Room before and again after Mass (subject to availability). The chefs are Geoffrey Woodcock and Philip Payne who will be cooking Roast lamb, roast potatoes, carrots and cabbage, followed by home-made Tiramisu for dessert and coffee.
EVENSONG & BENEDICTION, 6pm
Preacher: Fr Barry Orford
Magnificat Quarti Toni – Guerrero
Hodie beata virgo – Byrd
SUNDAY EVENING ORGAN RECITAL – TIMOTHY BYRAM-WIGFIELD
Sunday 29 January, 7.15pm (after Benediction)
Toccata, Adagio and Fugue, BWV 564 – J.S.Bach
Ave Maria, Op. 12 – Johannes Brahms
From ‘La Nativité du Seigneur’ (1935): La Vièrge et L’Enfant – Olivier Messiaen
‘Jesus bids us shine’from ‘Six Fantasies on Hymn Tunes’, Op. 72, No. 4 – Kenneth Leighton
Final, from Symphonie No 6, Op. 59 – Louis Vierne
Entry is free, but we invite you to make a retiring donation (recommended £5) to support the Choir and Music at All Saints. The All Saints Licensed Club/Bar below the Church will be open after
the recital (new 2017 membership subscription now payable: £3).
WORSHIP NEXT WEEK
SUNDAY 5 FEBRUARY – Fourth Sunday before Lent
HIGH MASS, 11am
Preacher: Fr Barry Orford
Mass in G – Poulenc
Salve Regina – Poulenc
Sunday Lunch is served – tickets £5 on sale from the All Saints Shop in the Parish Room before and again after Mass (subject to availability). The chef is Daniel Fielden.
EVENSONG & BENEDICTION, 6pm
Preacher: The Vicar, Prebendary Alan Moses
Collegium Magdalenae Oxoniense – Leighton
Cantate Domino canticum novum à 5 – Hassler
PARISH NOTICES & NEWS
Two events this Saturday generating funds for All Saints are:
Taking place at ALL SAINTS in the Parish Room, Saturday 28 January
OPEN UNIVERSITY GEOLOGICAL SOCIETY
London Branch AGM – 3pm
Before the meeting from 2pm, OUGA members are free to view the stones used to make the Church, the AGM starts at 3pm and is followed after a break by a talk from 4.30pm-5.30pm. The OUGS will hold monthly talks in the Parish Room throughout 2017 and have kindly offered to make those open to members of the congregation free of charge. Further information will be provided in future newsletters as it becomes available.
Taking place in Church, Saturday 28 January, 2-3.30pm – Nikon School (63, Margaret Street) Photography Class WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY. Ticketed class booked via the Nikon School.
Music in Bloomsbury and Organists Online
ORGAN DAY 2017 at Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church, Saturday 28 January 1-5pm
235 Shaftesbury Ave, LONDON WC2H 8EP
1-5pm An afternoon of Recitals, Presentations and Masterclass – free of charge before 6pm (then £5). Free Programme for Everyone. Ongoing displays and music/
CD’s sale. Dame Gillian Weir Paul Hale William Whitehead Alexander Binns RCO Academy. Come and go as you please.
5-6pm The Bloomsbury Buffet (£5)
6pm Celebrity Recital (£5) – Paul Hale
Thursday 2 February – 10am-4pm – SAMPLE HANDBAG SALE in the Parish Room, All Saints
A local Fitzrovia company, clearing space for new season products, will hold a sample handbag sale in the Parish Room for one day only to clear stocks. High Street Designer Branded Bags from £5 – £15 and Purses £3. Cash only. Sold as seen – no returns. Free entry – all welcome. Room hire fee to Church General Funds.
SMALL CHOIRS FESTIVAL at ALL SAINTS – Saturday 4 February 2017, Afternoon Rehearsal 2-4.30pm with 5pm Festival Service
The organist will be Gary Sieling (once Assistant Organist of Peterborough cathedral and now 50% organist and 50% HGV driver) with Fr. John Burniston (St James’, Islington) presiding.
Small Choirs International now has over 360 affiliated choirs from all continents except Antarctica, with 780 pieces of music available for free download with the permission of the copyright owners. The editors, arrangers and composers come from across the UK, USA, Europe, and the Antipodes.
The 2017 Festival repertoire consists of two familiar pieces arranged for SA Men, and some new pieces with flexible requirements. ALL singers who support the ideals of Small Choirs are invited to be part of the festival, whether they belong to a small choir or not and any All Saints’ congregation members who feel that they would like to be supportive are encouraged to sing. Even if you aren’t available to sing, do support the concluding Festival Service from 5-6pm. All welcome.
Further information is available at www.small-choirs.org.uk/feb2017 [with the repertoire to be sung] or from Philip Norman (07939 064 247) email@example.com. The Small Choirs website: small-choirs.org.uk.
HUGH PRICE LECTURES – “Speaking of God in Public”
All lectures at Hinde St Methodist Church, London W1. Admission free. All welcome.
Tuesday 14 February, 7.30pm – A Mills and Boon Deity for the 21st Century
Revd Dr Peter Phillips
Tuesday 14 March, 7.30pm – God, Public Life and Privacy
POETRY TEA, Sunday 26 February 3pm at Pamela’s home. Please bring “Your Favourite Poetry and Prose”. If you would like to come to this event please speak to Pamela or Sandra in the courtyard, or ring Sandra on 020 7637 8456 leaving your name and phone number. Charge £6 in aid of the All Saints’ Restoration Fund.
CONFESSIONS AT THE BEGINNING OF LENT and ASH WEDNESDAY SERVICES
Monday 27 February 12 – 1pm and 5 – 6pm
ASH WEDNESDAY, 1 MARCH
Low Mass with Ashing at 8am
Confessions 12 – 1pm
Low Mass with Ashing at 1.10pm
Confessions 5 – 5.45pm
HIGH MASS &
IMPOSITION OF ASHES 6.30pm
Preacher: The Vicar, Prebendary Alan Moses
Mass in Five Parts – Byrd
Salvator mundi I – Tallis
LENT READING GROUP FRIDAY MORNINGS AND TUESDAY EVENINGS
Following the positive response at our occasional Friday morning reading group to Bishop Rowan Williams short books on Paul and Mark, we are going to use as our Lent book this year his Being Disciples. While not specifically designed as a Lent Book, it has a conveniently Lenten six chapters. They are entitled:
- Being Disciples
- Faith, Hope and Love
- Faith in Society
- Life in the Spirit.
The reading group will meet in the Parish Room on Friday mornings, beginning on the 24 February at 11am. If there is sufficient interest from those who work during the day, there will also be a group on Tuesday evenings after Mass – on 28 February (with pancakes), 7 March, 14 March, 21 March, 28 March and 4 April. Please sign the list in church or contact the Parish Office to indicate your interest in either Friday mornings/Tuesday evenings. Sunday evening sermons in Lent will also be related to these themes.
THE WAY OF THE CROSS
The devotion of Stations of the Cross will take place after the Evening Mass at 7pm on Fridays during Lent starting on Friday 3 March.
** 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!’
We have recently received an email of thanks from Miranda Suit, Director of the Soup Kitchen:
Dear Friends, Thank you for your wonderful support throughout 2016. Once again our Christmas Luncheon on 10 December was a very fitting way to round off the year – do have a look at some of the photos on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Soup-Kitchen-at-the-American-International-Church/298663436940986
However it was bittersweet for me, as I will be leaving my job here in the next few months, partly to help look after my new grandson. I have been here for over 10 years and made so many dear friends, so it will be a wrench, but I know the right replacement will be found. With such committed staff and volunteers, a great Board and supporters like you, the vision of the SK is secure and set to grow. We will let you know when the actual date of my departure has been decided. Warm wishes to all of you, Miranda
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 www.amchurch.co.uk/soup-kitchen/
ALL SAINTS REGULAR MISSION PROJECTS:-
Marylebone Project – emergency refuge and rehoming project for homeless women.
USPG –work with those experiencing Aids and HIV in Zimbabwe.
ONGOING SUPPORT for HOMELESS PEOPLE through:
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.
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 prayers offered at All Saints, please email the Parish Administrator Mrs Dee Prior at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Or make use of the prayer request facility on the website at: www.allsaintsmargaretstreet.org.uk/prayer.
* If you would like any pastoral assistance, please do not hesitate to contact:
The Vicar, Prebendary Alan Moses: email@example.com.
Or Assistant Priest Fr Michael Bowie: firstname.lastname@example.org.
DAILY SERVICES AT ALL SAINTS
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
EVENSONG, SERMON and BENEDICTION, 6pm.
MONDAY – FRIDAY
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.)
www.allsaintsmargaretstreet.org.uk and e-mail: email@example.com