All Saints Margaret Street | All Saints Parish Newsletter 3rd June 2016

All Saints Parish Newsletter 3rd June 2016

Dear Friend,

The first funeral I ever took was of a severely disabled child, a girl of 12. My training incumbent had scheduled me to take the third funeral service in the parish after my deaconing (twenty-five years ago this month). He took the first two, at which I read and led the intercessions; he then left the third to me, presumably not having noticed how challenging it would be. It is, naturally, imprinted on my memory.

I have a strong mental image of the spotless and brightly-decorated house, the grieving parents and the elder sister of the dead girl, a very self-consciously made-up and dressed-up teenager: a carefully composed group. It felt as though everything had to be perfectly contained, including the death of this beloved child who had been so different from her peers, physically and mentally. I can’t remember the crematorium service: it was the first of hundreds (one of the oddities of priestly life at All Saints is how few funerals we take). But I retain a crystal-clear mental image of deep and dignified grief, but also of this unusually well-presented family and house: in all the pain and difficult expenditure of emotional energy, love and suffering which the life and death of this girl had meant for this small family unit there was, it seemed to me, a powerful determination that they were going to be in control and OK. I didn’t know them. All I could do was seek to offer them the dignified and appropriate way of marking their grief and honouring their dead child/sister which they obviously wanted.

On Sunday we hear about Jesus actually interrupting the funeral procession of an even smaller family unit: a widow, who has now lost her only son. Unlike the Old Testament episode of Elijah’s raising of the widow of Zarephath’s son which we hear first, in the gospel account there is no impassioned request from the mother to Jesus, no point of obvious connection to him at all; it appears to be a chance meeting. Yet, we hear, ‘he had compassion for her’, approached her, telling her not to weep (so we gather that there was at least the visible expression of grief), and then returned the young man to life. He breaks a significant Jewish taboo by touching the bier on which the body is being carried and presumably also the young man himself (‘he gave him to his mother’).

I will talk on Sunday a little more about how this event works within its Gospel (and larger biblical) context, illustrating for us God’s enlarged relationship with us in the person of Jesus. But I don’t want to lose sight of that sense of shattered order and vanquished hope being restored and put right by Jesus out of pure, selfless, compassion and love. Nor do I want to forget that however much strength we can draw by carefully ordering our own lives to deal with grief, pain and disappointment, Jesus does not require that of us. He meets us, takes us by surprise, and loves us, ready or not. I can’t imagine I conveyed this adequately to that family in my first funeral, but it is a core gospel teaching which I have observed and learned countless times in the twenty-five years since.

Yours in Christ,

Fr Michael Bowie

Assistant Priest


Fr Alan’s first report from the Camino follows:

After waving off the coach for the National Pilgrimage to Walsingham, I headed for Gatwick and a flight to Seville to begin my rather longer pilgrimage to Santiago.

In Seville, I met up with Fr. Sean Mullen with whom I am walking. On Tuesday morning, we attended Mass for the feast of the Visitation in the Cathedral and had our Pilgrim Credenciales stamped for the first time.

After a brief photo-opportunity at the Cathedral door, we set off, heading out of the city for our first overnight stop.

10 km brought us to Santiponce and time for a coffee break. The town’s Roman name was Italica and it was the birthplace of Hadrian (of wall fame).

After another 13km, we came to Guillena where we stayed the night in a pilgrim Albérgue run by a friendly lady called Pilar. The other pilgrims in residence were German and Polish.

The destination for the next day was Castilblanco de Los Arroyos. After a dreary bit of industrial estate, we walked steadily uphill through olive Groves and wheat fields – quite biblical – although fields of sunflowers and rows of orange trees had a more modern look.

Places to find food and water are few and far between in this part of Spain. The only one on this stretch was a hand pump which produced deliciously cold water. We called it Jacob’s Well, although no Samaritan woman was in evidence; only a couple of Spanish pilgrims.

The Albérgue in Castilblanco is run by volunteers from the local church. We were greeted by a group of young children people with Downs Syndrome who enterprising sold us pilgrim souvenirs they had made. Emilio, the person in charge, spotted that we were priests when we went to find somewhere quiet to say Evening Prayer. He was all for getting us to celebrate Mass in the parish church which has no priest at the moment. We persuaded him that the Archbishop of Seville might take a dim view of this; but it was nice to be asked!

We ate supper, from the “Menu de Peregrinos” sitting outside at a restaurant watching children play in the town centre while the older generation chatted and played cards.

The next day was to be a challenge. We stocked up with extra water as guide books warned us there would be none for 29 km. After 16 km we came to the Sierra North National Park and escaped from traffic into woodland; mostly Cork Oak. We discovered a source of water at the Park Rangers’ station and drank as much as we could before refilling our bottles. The heat means we have to drink far more than usual.

One of the guidebooks cheerfully describes it as the “stage from hell.” This is because it ends with a very steep ascent, even worse for the hot, heavy-laden and tired, to the Cerro de Calvario (the Hill of Calvary). The cross which must have been the focus of a very penitential exercise is sadly no longer there, but the spot affords a splendid view of the route just traversed and a sense of relief at having made it to the top.

I was reminded of the Collect:

Almighty God, whose blessed Son went not up to joy before he suffered pain, and entered not into glory before he was crucified; mercifully grant that we, walking in than the way of life and peace.

A precipitous descent – as scary as the ascent was tiring – brought us into Almaden de la Plata, whose name reflects is place in the history of the pilgrimage route.We went to the first pilgrim hostel we saw and found ourselves the only guests. The man in charge gave us a cold beer after taking our details. We must have looked in need of it. That and a hot shower revived us sufficiently to go in search of supper. This we found in a restaurant just by the church. While eating we watched the storks and shallows who have made the church roof and tower their home.

Tomorrow’s walk is, thankfully, the both gentler and shorter.


Fr. Alan


Please pray for those who have asked for our prayers: John Adams, Asia Bibi, John Bailey, Alixe Bainbridge-Spring, Vivien Caplowe, James Cary-Elwes, Bishop Michael Colclough, Dennis Davis, Mark Dougly, Kate Down, David Fettke, Ghislain Hamelin, Nicholas Harington, Lewis Harvey, Valerie Hawkins, Julia Holland and family, Maria Keen, Julie Knight, Andrew Laird, Tom Leader, Miriam Nelson, Fr. Robert Norwood, Oliver Orr, David Pearce, Agnes Poitevin-Navarre, Canon John Rees, Alma Sheard, Stella and Helen Skinner, Margaret Spencer, Rose Stephens, Madeleine Storer, Christine van Dyck, Lynn Van Keulen, Robert Walmsley and Joy Wright.   

For the recently departed: 
James Coutts (Priest), Yvonne Harland (whose Funeral Mass will take place at All Saints later this month on a date to be confirmed), Anna Braganza and Sister Mary Kathleen SLG.

Remember past priests, benefactors, friends, and all whose year’s mind occurs this week including: Ada Tomlinson, Robert Terwilliger (Priest), Vyvian Hall, Gwen Rice, Joan Arnold,Cyril Tomkinson (7th Vicar of All Saints), Margaret White-Cooper, Doris Daw, James Binnie, Denise Gerard, Kenneth Needham Ross (8th Vicar of All Saints), Andrew Blackband, Russell Miller, Mark Seymour-Taylor, Hilda Sheppard, Reginald Rawll, Olwen Hajdu, Daphne Marsh, Norah Sweeney, Wilfrid Jennings (Priest), Percy Rees, Philip Sparrow, Alison Hack, Naomi Shaw and Michael Keelan. 

For full service information:



Preacher: Fr Michael Bowie
Missa Brevis – Kodaly
How lovely are the messengers (from St Paul) – Mendelssohn 


Frances O’Neil is the chef for Sunday lunch and tickets will be on sale £5 from the Parish Shop.


Preacher: Fr Barry Orford

Harwood in A flat
I saw the Lord – Stainer


Music for both services on Sunday 12 June has been specially chosen to mark HM The Queen’s Official 90th Birthday.  


Preacher: Fr Michael Bowie
Missa Brevis – Walton
I was glad – Parry

Crown Imperial – Walton

Come and celebrate the QUEEN’S 90th BIRTHDAY at All Saints
Following the St Paul’s Service of Thanksgiving on 10 June and paralleling The Patron’s Lunch for 10,000 people in the Mall on 12 June, All Saints is contributing in a modest way to the national celebrations for the Queen with its customary music and hospitality on this auspicious occasion.  


The Events Committee anticipates a glorious day’s weather for a mass picnic with suitable food and drink in a bunting bedecked church courtyard – well suited to a Parish cold collation/All Saints’ style street party. All are welcome to join in the festivities starting immediately after Mass. Please bring a straw hat to protect from the promised sunshine!

Preacher: Fr Julian Browning

Second Service – Byrd
Oh Lord make thy servant Elizabeth – Byrd


Please note: The Parish Administrator is on annual leave until 9th June and so the Parish Office will be closed.  Emails and phone messages will be checked from time to time.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.


You are invited to a POETRY TEA PARTY on Saturday 4 June at 3pm, at Pamela’s.  All welcome.  Please bring Poetry and Prose relating to the subject of ‘Europe’.  To accept, or to ask for Pamela’s address, please speak to Pamela or Sandra in the courtyard or ring Sandra on 020 7637 8456 leaving your name and phone number.  Cost £6 towards the All Saints Restoration Appeal.

FITZFEST 2016: 8-11 JUNE
8-11 June 2016 sees the inaugural FitzFest celebrating London’s Fitzrovia with its musical heritage from past generations together with the contemporary diversity that thrives today.

With a programme of music made entirely by musicians who have lived or worked in Fitzrovia over the centuries – and often played on historical instruments made in Fitzrovia – the festival is grounded in the local community. It offers a vast array of community concerts, workshops, social and fitness events to draw the local people into the festival and to celebrate the current community alongside the historical culture of the area. Venues during the festival include unconventional spaces such as shops, bars, pubs, art galleries and community spaces. And All Saints Margaret Street…

Friday 10 June 4pm-4.45pm – All Saints Margaret Street

Wind players from the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment play Wind Quintets on Fitzrovian Instruments. Programme includes works by Danzi and Weber.

Friday 10 June 8pm-9.45pm
Simultaneously at All Saints Margaret Street and Fitzrovia Chapel


Half of the concert at All Saints Margaret Street:
Boismortier Flute Music, played by the flautists of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment on Fitzrovian Instruments.

At the interval the audiences will swap venues, led through the streets by tour guides, where they will listen to the other half of the concert.

Half of the concert at the Fitzrovia Chapel:
Wind players from the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and pianist Olga Jegunova play Mozart Quintet for Piano and Winds on Fitzrovian Instruments.
Played on historical instruments made in Fitzrovia.

For ticket booking, see: where you can buy guaranteed tickets or register for free events. Half of the total paid-for tickets will be available to buy online at full price shown. The other half will be available on the door on a first come, first served basis.  Any remaining free/donation tickets will also be available on the door.



As you can read above Fr Alan is making good progress on his 1000km walking Pilgrimage from Seville to Santiago de Compostella which began on 31 May. If you would like to sponsor him in support of the Diocese of London’s projects for persecuted Christians and for refugees from the conflicts in Iraq and Syria, sponsorship forms will be available in church and the parish office. There is a sponsorship form to sign up in church. You can also donate directly online through Give.Net where the specific fundraising page is:


ALL SAINTS’ STEWARDSHIP 2016 & your Regular Giving – Campaign Update
We would like to warmly thank all who have already responded to the Stewardship Campaign, whether generously to increase their giving (as many have), to confirm their existing commitment (which is helpful as it allows the Church to budget more effectively) or to confirm that they have switched from envelope giving to standing order (which is more cost-effective and efficient for the Church).  Confirmation of Gift Aid payment is also very important as it increases the value of donations by UK tax payers by 25p for every £1 given (at no cost to yourselves). Please make sure we have your up-to-date address in order to be able to claim Gift Aid on your contributions.


The PCC on 24 May received a positive report on the encouraging response to the Campaign so far – achieving an approximately £10,000 uplift in stewardship donations per annum from a 20% response rate, which we are advised is good. However, if you have still to respond (even simply to confirm your existing commitment will be maintained) please do so by 20 June when the Standing Committee meets and will receive an updated report. 

If you are on the All Saints Electoral Roll, we hope you will have received the recent mailshot. Please contact the Parish Office on 020 7636 1788 or if you have not yet had a Stewardship pack and would like one. Also available on the table in Church.



Churches Together in Westminster “Meet the Neighbours”
Westminster is blessed with a large number of churches of all shapes and sizes, but each church is unique. One of the aims of “Meet the Neighbours” visits is to give everyone the opportunity to both respect and be open to experiencing and learning a little more about the worship traditions and ministries of the host churches.

St Cyprian’s, Clarence Gate, Saturday 4 June 2016 at 3pm – CHORAL EVENING PRAYER & BENEDICTION – Responses Tomkins, Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis Brewer in D, Anthem Vaughan Williams ‘Valiant for Truth’. Celebrant: Fr Gerald Beauchamp and Director of Music: Julian Collings

The last lecture in the series will be held at Hinde St Methodist Church at 7.30pm.  Admission is free & all are welcome!

Living as Christians in Multi-faith Britain and
the Importance of Religious Literacy

14 June – Michael Wakelin, Religion & Media Consultant


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, providing luncheon vouchers for the West London Day Centre for rough sleepers who apply to the office (and just recently in 2016 donating £1,000 towards the Soup Kitchen at the American International Church in Tottenham Court Road) and allowing a few 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, 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 – – 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 Assistant Priest Fr Michael Bowie:

(the Vicar is away)


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

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: