All Saints Margaret Street | All Saints Parish Newsletter 29th November 2019

All Saints Parish Newsletter 29th November 2019

Advent 1


If, like me, you tend to insomnia, the Advent gospel call to wakefulness is double-edged good news. As the Australian novelist Sumner Locke Elliott writes ‘everyone’s a failure at four o’clock in the morning in the dark’. Does the Lord really mean to rub it in by telling us we should be awake, when all we want is rest and refreshment? This teaching is about wakefulness, rather than just being awake. Nonetheless, wakefulness, being fully conscious all the time is problematic for most of us (hence Henry James’s phrase, ‘the pain of consciousness’ as a shorthand for the human condition). We might say that only God could bear it.


And most, maybe all, of us, have known days when we dread the approach of morning. We may have childhood memories of the apparently insurmountable problems which the powerlessness of childhood throws at us: the enforced participation in study or sports to which we are unsuited; the bully or the cruel teacher; the snail-like passage of time until holidays (or adulthood). This happens in adult life as well, though as we grow older most of us have more control of our lives and spend a lot of energy eliminating the things which diminish our enjoyment. But few of us can completely avoid the odd day when we wake up dreading something inevitable and, again, beyond our control: when we get up reluctantly and life seems burdensome and dark. So why ‘stay awake’? Surely this is a recipe for depression and despair?


If we regard our lives from the perspective of faith, and of eternity, we are challenged to meet difficulties in a particular way. If we don’t like something, and we are convinced in good conscience that we are right not to like it, we can either try to change it, or to change the way we think about it, looking for the glimpse of glory. Neither of those things may be easily done, but at least then we are actively engaging with our lives. What Harold Macmillan called ‘events’ may be beyond our control, but our conduct and our self-understanding is within our control. This isn’t Pollyanna-ish or the philosophy of Candide; it is about the perspective of faith, which is surely what we seek to learn in Christian living.


Advent is a spiritual wake-up call. But it is not a call to wake up to what my Australian grandfather would have called ‘the midnight collywobbles’. The spiritually-focused life is not about mental insomnia or physical exhaustion. On the contrary it is about being awake to what lies behind the obvious, (and it is usually the obvious things which make us feel a failure at four o’clock in the morning in the dark). Advent, as the new Christian year rolls inevitably over us, is a call to take another look at why we get up in the morning and to change whatever is necessary to make sure it is worth it.


Yours in Christ,


Michael Bowie




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

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, Mashee Eyob, Victor Sharp, David Fettke,

Elaine Faulkner, Joan Cooper, Jenni Black, Sr Elizabeth, Ondina Brash, Jane Kirton, Elizabeth Dennis, Fr Hugh Wilcox, Sian Evans, Fr Graham Francis, Peter Jewkes, Helen Mannion, Simon & Mary Edsor, Vallery Tchukov & Hilary Anne


Those known to us recently departed: Germay Green, Matthew Scott, Brian Pickett, Tim Taylor.


Anniversaries of death this week: 

Sarah Eynstone Pr, David Prior, Margaret Rodger, Douglas Lawson, Kenneth Armstrong, Pamela Freer, Robin Fletcher, Mary Skelton, Mary Burton, Florence Duggan, William Gelson, Thomas Vaughan, Morgan Griffiths Pr, John Slater, Frances Lloyd, Zena Monk



Sunday 1 December ADVENT 1 


8am Low Mass

11am LITANY and HIGH MASS  Preacher: Fr Julian Browning

Missa Euge Bone    Tye (1500-72)    Kyrie    Tallis (1505-85)

Hosanna to the Son of David    Gibbons (1583-1625)


5.15pm Low Mass



WORSHIP at ALL SAINTS this week   


Monday 2 – Friday 6 December

7.30am Morning Prayer   8am Low Mass (except Wednesdays) 

Daily: 12.30pm Confessions   1.10pm Low Mass

5.30pm Confessions   6pm Evening Prayer   6.30pm Low Mass

Saturday 7 December (Church opens at 11am) 

12 noon Low Mass 5.30pm Confessions   6pm Evening Prayer 

6.30pm First Mass of Sunday


Sunday 8 December  Second Sunday of Advent 

8am Low Mass


Celebrant and Preacher: Bishop Jonathan Baker

Missa Alma Redemptoris Mater Victoria     Tota pulchra es Bruckner

5.15pm Low Mass

6pm Evensong and Benediction (with a Marian emphasis, for the Eve of the Immaculate Conception; no sermon)  

Magnificat for double choir – Stanford

 Full service information: 




We are delighted to announce the outcome of the 2019 Festival Appeal. The sum collected to date (including applicable Gift Aid) is £12,756. 

This will be shared between the Marylebone Project, the Soup Kitchen, Tottenham Court Road and USPG’s UMOJA Project in Zimbabwe, so that each good cause will receive approximately £4,252. Thank you to everyone who gave so generously to this year’s Festival Appeal. 



The new design for 2019 is taken from the stained glass of the West Window.    £5 for a pack of six cards.  


THE PARISH SHOP is open in the Parish Room before High Mass and in the courtyard afterwards, selling lunch tickets, Fairtrade coffee & tea, CDs, books, cards  etc.



Donations of warm clothing are gratefully sought at this time of year by our neighbours the Jesus Army. Women’s clothing and men’s, particularly shoes, are appreciated. Please leave donations in the Parish Office, or the vicarage hallway.


New data protection laws mean that we need your consent to communicate with you by post/email/phone/SMS. 

If you have NOT already responded to an email from us 
in May 2018 and wish us to continue or start to send you 
weekly e-newsletters, please go to our 
website  www.allsaintsmargaretstreet.or… 
and click on the 
‘Sign up here’ link to give us your consent. 

View All Saints’ Privacy Notice at:

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:   

T: 020 7636 1788.  E:

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.)


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. The Vicar, Churchwardens and PCC 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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