All Saints Margaret Street | All Saints Parish Newsletter

All Saints Parish Newsletter

Baptism of Christ

Dear Friends,
The Church’s calendar brings us to the feast of the Baptism of Christ: the second of the three "epiphanies" we celebrate in this season. (The third is the Wedding at Cana which comes on the following Sunday).  We are transported from the infancy of Christ across the largely hidden years of childhood, youth and young adulthood to the inauguration of his public ministry by the River Jordan.

In the gospel for this Sunday, St. Luke tells us that "all the people were filled with expectation and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John."

The end of the year brought the retirement of Archbishop Rowan.  We are now in that in-between period before his successor takes office. People both within the Church and outside are now questioning in their hearts concerning Justin.  On a less exalted level, there may be those in South Norwood who are doing the same about our own Fr. John as he prepares to become their parish priest. It is right that we should look forward in hope, but we should not pile onto one person, however gifted, unrealistic "messianic" expectation, and much less, leap to condemn when they are not fulfilled.

It is too early to measure adequately Archbishop Rowan’s contribution to the Church’s life and mission – in this country and beyond – but some have already pointed out that his time has been one when our country’s leading public intellectual, that is someone who thinks about difficult issues which affect our common life, has not been some strident evangelist for atheism but the archbishop. Given that he has been able to exercise this role amidst the relentless grind of ecclesiastical administration and politics, we must hope and pray that his new role will give him the opportunity to continue to think and write on such matters. Our new archbishop brings different gifts but will face the same issues. Perhaps his background will help in addressing some of the questions about how the structures of the Church of England work – or don’t!

On Luke’s account of the Baptism, we are told that "when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove." Here, at the inauguration of his ministry, as repeatedly in the gospel, Luke portrays Jesus as a man of prayer. He shows that life of prayer to be the indispensable foundation of the life and ministry of Jesus, as it must be of anyone called to share in that ministry and of all Christian life.

After his baptism, Jesus is led by the Spirit into the wilderness for that time of testing, of prayer and fasting, which we will soon be seeking to share in Lent.   Bishop Justin and Fr. John are in such a period now and we must pray for them as they prepare for the ministries for which they have been chosen.
Yours in Christ,
Alan Moses
Please pray for Christopher Ryan, Michael Harris, Linda Orme, Mary Barnet, Jackie Ferriter, Joshua Levy, Audrey Patterson, Celia Shore, Michael Sullivan, Rachel Clayton, Heather Walker, Richard Tann, Brian Sparkes, John Rogers, Mason Jacobson, Barbara Laws, Marguerite Crill, David Day, Timothy Montgomery, Timothy Harding, Andrew Tillyard, Stephen Finch, Jonathan Jennings, Caroline Chartres, Melanie, Angela Thompson, Rosie Flack The Recently Departed: Nicholas Assheton, Polly Rafter, Jacintha Saldhana, Fr. Richard Eyre, Dunbar Bryan, Geoffrey Oakeshott, Trisha Oakes, Fr. David Jowitt, Belinda Hill, Fr. Maurice Slaughter at the anniversary of their death: Dorothea Graham, Vivian Curson, George Currie,    Alfred Leslie Stephens, Ethel Hewelson, Hugh Beaumont Shepheard, Lyn Jones, John Downing Spencer, Margaret Henwood, George Haines, Dennis Black, Elizabeth Turner King, Albert Sheppard, Arnold Lawson
The Gingerbread Church – A big THANK YOU to Shawn Welby-Cooke – and his Gingerbread creation. The Gingerbread ASMS was devoured and £500 was raised toward the continuing restoration of ASMS. Thank you to all who bought a bit of ASMS…
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity: 18-25 January
Sunday 20th January – Fr. Alan is preaching at 11:30 Eucharist at St Paul’s Cathedral
PRESENTATION OF CHRIST IN THE TEMPLE – Friday 1st February 2013 at 6:30 pm – Preacher: The Venerable Malcolm Squires, former Archdeacon of Wrexham          Music: God is light, Harry Bramma; Missa Bell’amfitrit’altera, Lassas; Nunc dimittis (Service in D), Dyson.
Solemn Evensong & Benediction
Presentation of Christ in the Temple 2nd February 2013 at 3:00pm
Responses: Thomas Ebdon   –   Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis: Stanford in G
Anthem: Edward Bairstow ‘Save us O Lord’
With the St. Cyprian’s Singers Directed by: Julian Collings
February 10th – 11:00am High Mass – Fr. John Pritchard’s Last service as Assistant Priest at All Saints.
ASH WEDNESDAY 13th February 2013 – Low Masses 8:00am & 1:10pm (with Ashing)    High Mass – 6:30pm with Ashing.   Preacher: The Vicar.
The retreat this year will be at Bishop Woodford House, Ely, from Friday 15th March to Sunday 17th March. At this stage a conductor has yet to be chosen and a definite price to be fixed. Martin Woolley will happily receive expressions of interest, and enquiries, on 020 7436 2858, 07976 275 383 or at (The order of receipt will be carefully noted to enable peaceful allocation of rooms and facilities.) A fully informative letter will be issued in due course to those who put their names down.