Kensington Parish News St Mary Abbots | Christ Church | St Philipâ€™s www.stmaryabbotschurch.org.uk
Spring 2013 | Free
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Contents S p ri n g 2 0 1 3
Vicar’s Voice - Fr David Walsh
Sad Farewells and New Beginnings - Eloise Twisk
Real Lives at Christ Church - Rob Perkins
Children at St Philips - Lesley Raymond
School Transformation - Fr Gillean Craig
From the Archive - Jane MacAllan
Paradisi Portas - Mark Uglow
Kids’ Parish News - Max Croft
A Children’s Guide to Holy Week - Barbara Want
Would readers wishing to submit articles for our next issue Summer 2013 or would like to advertise in the KPN (all proceeds to the church) please email email@example.com
Editors: Fiona Braddock and Olga Pantyukhova. Printed by Print Express. Distributed free through our three parish churches. Copyright remains the property of the respective authors. Heartfelt thanks, as always, to all our contributors.
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FROM THE CLERGY
Vicar’s voice by Fr David Walsh
s we approach the end of Lent, there is still time for it to make a difference in our lives. I’d like to encourage you to ask a question I’ve been asking myself over the past few weeks: how do I make space in my life for God? This question has taken me by surprise. Because it’s been important to me for many years now to remember that God occupies no space in my life, indeed occupies no space in the world. God takes up no space because His presence in the world does not displace or replace the world or any part of it. As some Christian thinkers have put it: ‘God does not compete for space with his creation’. God’s presence and activity in the world are pictured in the Bible as fire and wind, the two chief symbols of the
Holy Spirit. Neither wind nor fire take up any space at all. Wind is the movement of air. Fire is a chemical process.This makes a difference to how we imagine God’s activity in the world. It suggests that when we’re looking for signs of God at work in the world, we should stop looking for the gaps, the spaces where nothing else is happening, the places where there’s no other possible explanation for what is happening. And this also makes a difference to how we imagine God’s activity in our own lives. It means it’s not necessary to become less of a person, to suppress our own needs and desires, in order for God to be at work in our lives. And yet. The reality is that it’s impossible for us to imagine God, to think about Him, without His 7
FROM THE CLERGY
= Regular Worship ST MARY ABBOTS Sundays 8.00 am 9.30 am
taking up some space in our thoughts. It can be reassuring to remember that God does not seek to crowd us out of our own lives. But I’ve discovered it can lead me to make no room for God in my life. Although God takes up no space, I do. And for God to be part of my life, I need to make room for him. I need to find time and space to focus on God.
11.15 am 12.30 pm 6.30 pm
Mondays 8.30 am 1.05 pm 5.30 pm Tuesdays 8.30 am 9.15 am 11.30 am 5.30
Holy Eucharist SUNG EUCHARIST (with Creche & Sunday School) Choral Matins & Sermon Holy Eucharist Evensong with Sermon & Holy Eucharist (1st Sunday of month: Taize Prayer & Holy Eucharist) Morning Prayer Sunday on Monday service Evening Prayer Morning Prayer Informal Holy Eucharist Holy Eucharist (Book of Common Prayer) Evening Prayer
It’s relevant that our main image for God is that of a human being, Jesus of Nazareth, who did take up space. And so the God who created time and space and cannot be contained by either, this God, who takes up no space, nevertheless chooses to be become flesh, to become part of His world, to have boundaries and edges.
God chooses for a moment to compete for space with his own creation.
Fridays 7.10 am 7.30 am 5.30 pm
Morning Prayer Holy Communion Evening Prayer
When he does so, we discover there is no room for him in the inn. We recognise that:
Saturdays 9.40 am 10.00 am 5.30 pm
Morning Prayer Holy Eucharist Evening Prayer
‘In life, no house, no home My Lord on earth might have; In death no friendly tomb But what a stranger gave.’ What is our response to this? The best response, I suggest, is in another hymn:
‘O come to my heart, Lord Jesus, There is room in my heart for Thee.’
7.10 am 7.30 am 2.00 pm 5.30 pm
Morning Prayer Holy Eucharist 3rd Weds in the month: Holy Eucharist with Laying-on of Hands & Anointing Evening Prayer
Thursdays 7.10 am Morning Prayer 9.30 am St Mary Abbots School Eucharist (in term time - all welcome) 5.30 pm Evening Prayer
On MAJOR FEASTDAYS additional Services also offered: see the Bulletin & Noticeboard. CHRIST CHURCH Sundays 8.30 am 11.00 am 11.00 am
Holy Communion (on 1st and 3rd Sundays in the month & on major Feasts): BCP Holy Communion (on 2nd & 4th Sundays in the month): BCP morning prayer
ST PHILIP’S Sundays 8.30 am 10.30 am 9.00 pm
Holy Communion SUNG EUCHARIST (with Sunday School) 1st Sundays: all- age service with Eucharist Night Prayer
Monday to Friday 9.10 am Morning Prayer
Clergy, wardens, vestry and office
Vicar of the Parish The Rev'd Gillean Craig Parochial Church Wardens David Banks Adrian Weale Children’s Advocate: Alex Dijkhuis Electoral Roll Officer: Sally Bessada Parish Administrator: Susan Russell
020 7937 6032 07732 743 228 020 7937 0765 07500 607 433 07733 316 063 020 7937 2419
ST MARY ABBOTS Honorary Priests
The Rev’d Mark Letters The Rev’d Peter Stubbs Deputy Churchwardens for St Mary Abbots Church: Carole-Anne Phillips Thomas Williams Vestry/Virger George MacAllan St Mary Abbots Centre Adam Norton (Manager) Director of Music Mark Uglow Stewardship Secretary James Egert Children on Sunday Valerie Eikelberg Friends of St Mary Abbots David Banks (Chairman) Bellringers Rachel Titmuss (Secretary) Kensington Parish News Fiona Braddock (Editor) Friday Playgroup Cosi Middleton-Roy
email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
07896 646 878 email@example.com 020 8868 8296 firstname.lastname@example.org 020 7937 3448 07768 166 422 email@example.com 020 7937 5136 firstname.lastname@example.org 020 7937 8885 email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org 07920 591 553 email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org 07732 743 228 email@example.com -firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com 07954 559 905 firstname.lastname@example.org
Associate Vicar with Special Responsibility for Christ Church The Rev’d Mark O’Donoghue 020 7937 2966 Adrian Weale 020 7937 0765 020 7937 5184 Philip Witheridge Administrator Adele Pye 020 7937 2966 Director of Music Rupert Perkins Deputy Wardens:
email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Associate Vicar with Special Responsibility for St Philip The Rev’d David Walsh Non-Stipendiary Ministers The Rev’d Lesley Perry The Rev’d Ijeoma Ajibade Deputy Wardens: Anne Steele Callum Stewart Licensed Reader Rupert Steele Administrator Liz Christie Membership Secretary Chris Luxton Director of Music Rebecca Taylor
020 7603 4420 email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org 07860 579 838 email@example.com 020 8747 1556 firstname.lastname@example.org 020 7938 1367 email@example.com 020 7937 4159 firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
ST MARY ABBOTS
Sad Farewells and New Beginnings As Father Gareth takes up his new position at All Saints, Hampton Eloise Twisk reports from his final and first services
here was a sad ending and an exciting beginning for Fr Gareth Wardell in January. After more than four years as Associate Vicar of St Mary Abbots Church, he moved on to become Vicar of All Saints, Hampton. His final service on January 6th was one of the best attended and most warmly supported services anyone could remember. It was the feast of Epiphany and almost every pew was full with members of the congregation young and old there to say a final thank you and goodbye to someone who has made a tremendous impact during his time in the parish. Fr Gareth had joined St Mary Abbots in October 2008 after a remarkable and unusual career – one which ranged from negotiating with the Taliban in Afghanistan to running school and hospital projects in Nepal. So to some it may have seemed an unlikely twist to settle in Kensington. He very honestly confessed in his Vicar’s Voice column in the last edition of the KPN, that coming here wasn’t really part of the plan. He’d narrowly missed out on the chance to replace Justin Welby (the new Archbishop of Canterbury) as Canon Director
for Reconciliation Ministry at Coventry Cathedral and when he decided to accept the post at St Mary Abbots everyone in his previous curacy in Selby was aghast. Isn’t that a bit posh and stand-offish, they asked? He admitted to a certain amount of prejudice about what life in W8 might be like, but left describing the parish as ‘warm, welcoming, witty, generous-hearted’ and with a real ‘village community’. He wrote, ‘As I look back on my own life, I’m immensely grateful that God himself meets with us where we are and not where we feel we ought to be, and then gently nudges us forward to new and surprising places; places not necessarily of our choosing, but precisely the places of His choosing for us’. And so at the turn of 2013, Fr Gareth found himself nudged towards a new adventure in Hampton, in South West London. He did not travel alone. Following him, for his induction and installation service at least, were coach and car-loads of loyal St Mary Abbots parishioners. The service, on a chilly Thursday evening at the end of January, was standing room
ST MARY ABBOTS
Presentation of gifts including an inlaid wooden box, a Gilbert Scott print and a silver bottle coaster
ST MARY ABBOTS
only, with dozens of familiar Kensington faces greeting each other enthusiastically, to the bemusement of Fr Gareth’s new congregation. It was a second, incredibly moving service. Local school leaders and councillors offered him warm and personal welcomes. If Fr Gareth was worried about the lack of A List politicians in the parish, Dr Vince Cable, MP for Twickenham, Secretary of State for Business and key member of the Coalition cabinet was there. He welcomed Fr Gareth and spoke touchingly about his wife’s death - admitting it was ‘only a priest who was able to make sense of it all, either to her or to me’. And a representative of the local children’s hospice also spoke of the role she hoped Fr Gareth could play in helping children and their families deal with death and dying. The Bishop of Kensington, Paul Williams, carried out the formal induction with the installation performed by the Archdeacon of Middlesex. Bishop Paul paid the perfect tribute to Fr Gareth as: someone who ‘models the grace of Christ in his daily life’. Perhaps the most abiding memory was Fr Gareth belting out the hymns with all his heart especially ‘Crown Him’. The congregation surely can’t go far wrong with such heartfelt faith and enthusiasm. Afterwards the congregations of the two churches mingled happily with drinks and an incredible feast - a match even for one of Alison Steel’s famous banquets. The spread was, said one member of the SMA congregation, ‘A Very Good Sign’. Fr Gareth made a short speech in which he said he was sorry to be leaving what he now realised was
From above: there was a huge turnout at Fr Gareth’s leaving service and party; On the right: a lavish spread courtesy of Alison Steel and helpers; Further right: Lesley Billinda and Bracken look on. Fr Gareth with the Gilbert Scott print
the ‘second best parish’ in Kensington, to join the Best!
Afterwards Fr Gareth said, “Leaving Kensington, and the loving, supportive family of St Mary Abbots has been really tough, so it was a particular joy at my induction service to look out and see so many familiar, smiling SMA faces in the congregation. However, all the signs are that this too is an immensely caring, supportive community and I am excited to be starting my new ministry here.”
ST MARY ABBOTS
Rob Perkins tells us about the second talk in the successful Real Lives series at Christ Church with the Honourable Mr Justice Jeremy Cooke
hrist Church welcomed many from the local community for the second of their Real Lives series. In November, Brigadier Rob Thomson DSO CBE spoke candidly of his experience as a Christian in the armed forces and on the battlefield. On this occasion, we welcomed the Honourable Mr Justice Jeremy Cooke, the Judge in charge of the Commercial Court, who gave a fascinating insight into life at the heart of our nation’s judiciary.
During an interview with Rev’d Mark O’Donoghue, Sir Jeremy reminisced about highlights of his rugby playing days for Oxford and Harlequins, including when his University team defeated a touring South African national side, winning a Springbok head (currently residing in Vincent’s Club in Oxford) and how, despite Christ Church welcomed many from the local community for the second of their Real Lives series. In his love for rugby, he chose law as a career.
Sir Jeremy explained, in true lawyer style, how it was “very compelling” evidence of the gospel accounts that persuaded him to become a Christian as a teenager. He spoke of notable cases in which he has been involved, including the Pakistan cricket match-fixing case, and his overwhelming feeling of “sadness” as the truth came to light. He also explained the challenge faced by those involved in the law-making process in this country, given that it is “very difficult to see a clear premise for lawmaking”. Increasingly, the European Convention on Human Rights is becoming the new basis for legislation, with an inevitable, but worrying trend that we think almost exclusively about our rights, to the detriment of an appreciation of our responsibilities. Following the interview, Sir Jeremy then spoke for a few minutes on the topic of ‘Rough Justice’. He observed a curious contradiction in society, namely that judges are often criticised today for being “soft on crime”, with people demanding longer sentences for criminals and yet, in contrast, people seem to dislike the idea of a God who judges at all – “we baulk at the very idea of God’s justice”. Nevertheless, he argued, we so often find ourselves crying out to God to help or to intervene when we encounter the pain, suffering and injustice of our world. We seem to want God to eliminate evil, but what evil? All evil? Or perhaps just the evil we see in others, whilst hoping God might overlook our “peccadilloes”. Sir Jeremy said that the remarkable solution offered by the Christian
‘we think about our rights, to the detriment of an appreciation of our responsibilities’ message is both uncomfortable and yet ultimately comforting. Uncomfortable because it forces us to recognise that we are part of the problem that we so quickly recognise in others. Ultimately comforting because, as we remember and celebrate on Good Friday, God is able to act in perfect justice and loving mercy through the cross of Christ, where the innocent Lord suffers so that the guilty can walk free. The evening closed with a time for questions, many of which focused on the relationship between punishment, mercy and forgiveness, and how he seeks to apply these in his work as a judge. Sir Jeremy noted that forgiveness is something that only the wronged person can offer, and so it is not for him to forgive. The great challenge in sentencing, he said, is to seek that which is best for society and for the individual in question. “Is punishment a good thing?”, someone asked at the close. Unequivocal, Sir Jeremy said “Yes”: it respects the human dignity of the offender, acknowledging their moral responsibility for their actions; it communicates the clear limits of what is acceptable and what is unacceptable; and it deters others from offending. As people headed home, they spoke of a “renewed confidence in our nation’s judiciary”, grateful that such awesome responsibility is in the hands of people like the “wise and compassionate” and Honourable Mr Justice Jeremy Cooke. 15
Children at St Philip’s The appointment of Erica Roane as Children’s Ministry Leader at St Philip’s has enabled the church to look again at how best to engage the youngest members of its congregation Lesley Raymond reports
t Philip’s church has long had a thriving Sunday School, helped in part by its close association with the nearby Primary School of St Barnabas and St Philips.
However, David Walsh soon realised when he took up his post as Associate Vicar that each Sunday morning the church was effectively split in two, with the children and their parents
ST PHILIP’S disappearing upstairs and having little contact with the rest of the congregation. One of David’s first actions was to introduce a monthly all-age service at which the children take a leading part. This new role for our children has helped them feel they are equal members of the church and has given them a voice. The children have also made their presence felt by taking the lead in coming up with new and creative ways to decorate the church for major festivals under the guidance of Zoe Schieppati-Emery. During the rest of the time the children continue to attend Sunday School in the hall upstairs. Anne Steele was previously the leader of children’s worship, a role which she took over in 2004. “The first 18 months were a challenge, since I’m not a teacher by training,” she says. “It was quite complicated to work out how to put stories across to the children in a way that they would understand and could relate to, while also keeping them entertained and engaged. At St Philip’s we have a very wide range of ages who attend our Sunday School, and the challenge is to find material and activities that will be suitable for all ages.”
After many years of supporting and then leading the Sunday School, Anne stepped down in Easter 2012 to become Deputy Church Warden. With no obvious successor
to take her place, David Walsh stepped in and admits that the past year has presented some challenges: “Although the last year has been fairly demanding for someone who finds it easier to prepare a sermon than plan a Sunday School session, it has been a great learning experience for me. Saturday evenings spent cutting out cardboard shapes has helped me understand far better what is involved in leading children’s work.” Anne worked hard to involve parents in leading activities, reading stories and supporting other people’s children as well as their own. This is an aspect that Erica will encourage in her new role. “We’re keen to take this work forward in a way that involves volunteers,” explains David. “We want to encourage and equip the ministry of 17
others in the church, believing that ideally we need a team to run our children’s work. Erica’s job is to build and lead that team.” Erica is an American who came to London four and a half years ago. She was previously a secondary school teacher in New Jersey and Illinois but, with young children aged one and three years old, has not worked since she arrived here. “We started to attend St Philip’s last Fall and immediately felt at home,” she says. “When I heard that the appointment for someone to lead the Sunday School had fallen through, I approached Lesley Perry and said I would love to help. I wasn’t looking to take on the role, but it fits perfectly with my life.” Erica sees the role at St Philips as a great opportunity. “I could see there was a need for someone to organise the Sunday School,” she says. “To use my faith in a setting with children is very exciting. The best part is getting to know the kids and their families, and finding out how best to support them.” 18
In the short term, Erica will be leading the Sunday School each week, but longer term she wants to build confidence in those parents who are interested in getting involved. “I’m thinking of creating a survey to see what parents want and how they could contribute,” she says. “We could follow this with a training session and I would be on hand to support and encourage them.” One area that the church will look at is whether there needs to be a creche for some of the younger members. “It’s very hard to teach and also hold onto a one-year-old,” Erica concedes. But she has been impressed with the children: “They are so eager to participate and very polite. It’s important that they feel included and involved. If they enjoy their experience of Sunday School and feel comfortable, they will want to keep coming.” On Sunday 3 March the Sunday School will be joined by the Bishop of Kensington. After a difficult twelve months, the future for St Philip’s
children looks very promising indeed.
PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE Fr Gilean Craig takes us through the next phase of the transformation of St Mary Abbots School
he next phase of realising the Masterplan to transform our much-loved school buildings to provide the best possible environment for our children’s education and development is finally under way! Since the summer St Mary Abbots congregation has enjoyed its coffee, refreshments and fellowship between the 9.30am & 11.15am Sunday morning services not – as from time immemorial – in the former school dining room, but instead (thanks to the generous hard work of Alison Steel and her hospitality team) in the main School Assembly Hall. Even more significant has been the effect on our ‘Children on Sundays’ operation: we’ve had to join together the Caterpillars and Chrysalis (the two youngest, pre-school, groups) and jam them into the shiny New Dining Room in the basement. This disruption is caused by the decanting of the school Reception Class (the youngest children, 4+ years old) into the old Dining Room in anticipation of the creation of their new, greatly–improved new classroom. Alas, problems with planning permission and funding significantly held up the project:
instead of starting at the beginning of the 2012 summer holidays, builders only arrived on site in the February half term! But this delay has not been entirely negative. As so often, constraints on what we wanted to do forced us to look again and again at the proposals, and we think that our architect has worked with them to produce something far better. We’re very lucky in our school architect, Andre Wong, for his tireless imperturbability in the face of difficulty and his willingness to find another route. Our school head teacher and staff also show flexibility and understanding – as do our own Children On Sunday team. The work will involve the replacement of an increasingly-problematical infants’ (Key Stage One [KS1] in contemporary educational parlance) toilets and cloakroom block, which has for years suffered from structural fracture and blocked drains. It will create a splendid new reception Classroom, almost twice the size of the cramped previous one. This will enable far better zoned teaching and play activities, with different areas specialising in different activities. Crucially, it will now be open to the Infants Playground (immediate access 19
Please let me kno
ST MARY ABBOTS CENTRE TWO EXCELLENT SPACES FOR HIRE Central Kensington location in quiet cul-de-sac 5 minutes walk from Kensington High Street tube station and 8 minutes from Notting Hill Tube, in Vicarage Gate. A venue for film and stage rehearsals, business meetings & seminars presentations or meetings, family receptions (not weddings), children’s parties Facilities include two kitchens, pay telephone, ample space for cloaks, disabled toilet, central heating, car parking (limited) with theatre hiring
MAIN HALL(21 X 12 METRES) Holds 250 people LONG ROOM(14 X 4.5 METRES) Holds 80 people From £160.00/4 hours sessions Charity rate from £80.00 £60.00 surcharge for evening & weekends Information from: Adam Norton - SMA Centre Manager St Mary Abbots Centre, Vicarage Gate, London W8 4HN Telephone: 020 7937 8885 Mobile: 07812 428 010 Facsimilie: 020 7938 4317 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
to an outdoor space is considered essential to best educational practise for these youngest children) by a series of three French windows. Far more salubrious toilets will serve all the KS1 children. The staircase to the floor above will be greatly improved, paving the way to the subsequent enhancement of this far-from ideal room. The work will take four months to complete, and it makes sense to transfer the class back into its new premises (a complex task) in the summer holiday – so we have quite a while yet to live with the current temporary arrangements. Still, in the perspective of the 300 year school
history, and the 1,000 year St Mary Abbots story, perhaps that isn’t too long to wait. This project is the result of many different partnerships: school governors, teachers, the church – and the great support of the Diocesan Board for Schools, which even in these financially straightened times has managed to put together the funding to make it possible. Even so, there are several crucial enhancements of the basic fitting-out that we’d dearly love to achieve as part of the building campaign – so if anyone wants to make a donation to enable us to complete the job properly, please speak to the Vicar! 21
FROM THE ARCHIVE
A Time to Rejoice Archivist Jane MacAllan looks through past issues of our parish news to see how St Mary Abbots kept Fourth Sunday in Lent in days gone by
In March 1942, the question of ‘how many Churches keep the Fourth Sunday in Lent as the unofficial feast of motherhood’ was raised. In a slightly sardonic tone it suggested that: ‘the day was made happy (or unhappy) by the foregathering of the family. Mother, violets, and simnel cake made up for the relatives.’ Mothers were considered to have an important and influential role, especially in Victorian society. They were the guardians of morality for the family and society at large. The May 1887 magazine announced the inauguration of the Mothers’ Union, (a parochial initiative prior to the 22
formation of the Central Council of Mothers’ Union in 1896 ), due to the need to teach ‘through, and by means of, the influence of home, and a mother’s example and advice’. St Mary Abbots stained glass window by Alfred Fisher
oday the Fourth Sunday in Lent is firmly associated in our minds and commercial calendars with Mothering Sunday. It is an occasion when motherhood is celebrated and children give flowers, gifts and cards to their mothers in a gesture of appreciation and love for them. Yet in the St Mary Abbots Parish Magazines, which began in 1876, there is scant mention of Mothering Sunday.
FROM THE ARCHIVE It was March 1916 before the first exposition on the special qualities of motherhood appeared in an extract reproduced from The Scottish Mothers’ Magazine. Mary L. Forbes addressed a letter to ‘Mothers’ and started with the text: ‘As one whom his mother comforteth so will I comfort you, saith the Lord’ (Isaiah 66:13). Her letter explores the theme of comfort, particularly fitting for the time, as it was 18 months into World War I. Forbes described mothers as not only the principal ‘comfort-givers’ in the family specially entrusted to this role by God, but also as women who need comfort as ‘they get so little and give so much out.’ She continued: ‘who so brave as our mothers who, in the time of war, bid their sons go forth and fight for their nation’s honour, and would not hold them back though their hearts were breaking, keeping the home going and writing cheery letters to their husbands or sons at the front.’ Forbes also reflected on the special relationship between women and Jesus asserting that ‘many of His most beautiful sayings and parables are founded on the every day life of women in their homes.’ Moreover, ‘it was three women at the Cross who were privileged to give Him the only vision of comfort He had during those long hours of agony.’ In turn, Forbes maintained that women can find comfort in supporting each other, in prayer and the Bible, as it is the Word of God. The Vicar, Arthur E. Smith, in his letter to the congregation of March 1943, reflected on the different names for the Fourth Sunday in Lent. It is also known as ‘Refreshment Sunday’, which was borrowed from the gospel story of the feeding of the five thousand
in the wilderness, to remind ‘us of the value of the voluntary offerings ... in bringing refreshment’. It is also known as ‘Laetare Sunday’, from the Latin words of the Opening Prayer of this Sunday’s Mass: ‘Laetare Jerusalem!’, ‘Rejoice, Jerusalem!’. The Vicar exhorted that ‘we look forward to the great Easter celebration, and in our parish church, our parochial Jerusalem, “city of peace”, in the midst of a time and of a world full of war we shall show our faith and gratitude’. The Vicar also referred to the tradition of families separated for whatever reason, uniting in common worship ‘in the dear familiar mother church’ on ‘Mothering Sunday’. Thus the Mother Church, the spiritual home of all Christians, was honoured whilst tribute was also paid to mothers. The Vicar decided to set aside that ‘mid-Lent’ Sunday as ‘a day of Thanksgiving for the great mercies vouchsafed to us during these last three and a half years, and for the almost entire preservation from damage of our great and beautiful church’. To some extent, these various images of motherhood are reflected in the stained glass window by Alfred Fisher of Whitefriars that overlooks the font. The left hand light depicts the Blessed Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus, surrounded by children and carrying a model of St Mary Abbots church, ‘our parochial Jerusalem’. The window was gifted in memory of Frank and Phyllis Pitt-Lewis by their children. The overriding message is that this Fourth Sunday of Lent is an opportunity to look forward with hope to Easter, rejoice and give thanksgiving for our Church and the women in our lives. 23
Paradisi portas St Mary Abbots Director of Music, Mark Uglow shares his plans for music at the church from Passiontide to Easter Day
aradisi portas aperuit nobis jejuni tempus...ut in die resurrectionis cum Domino gloriemur – the gates of paradise are opened to us through the time of fasting...that on the day of resurrection we may rejoice with the Lord.” This text, an antiphon from the Roman Breviary for the 1st Sunday in Lent, summarises the aspect of preparation for the Resurrection through the denial of the Lenten season and forms the text of the motet at Matins with Eucharist on Passion Sunday, 17th March. The music is by Manuel Cardoso (1566-1650), perhaps Portugal’s most important composer. The mass setting is by the same composer and has the same title – Missa paradisi portas – but, intriguingly, is not a parody of the motet, as would be usual in this period. It appears in a volume of masses (1636) dedicated to John, Duke of Braganza, who was to become King John IV of Portugal upon the restoration of the Portuguese throne in 1640. The choice of the title Gates of Paradise may be a topical allusion to the impending overthrow of the Spanish hegemony. The musical centre of the preparation for Easter is the annual performance, on Palm Sunday evening, 24th March, of JS Bach’s St 24
John Passion. In the C18 Lutheran tradition, the musical performance of one of the passion narratives from the gospels in semi-dramatic presentation, formed the main service on Good Friday and this had been established in Leipzig only shortly before Bach’s arrival in 1723. Thus on Good Friday, 1724 the citizens of the free city of Leipzig heard the premiere of what has become one of the major artworks of the European cultural canon. Performed at least three times more during Bach’s lifetime, it presents a slight conundrum to performers in that there are three versions, with significant differences between them. As in previous years, the St Mary Abbots’ performance will be based on that of 1724/1749, whilst borrowing from the 1725 version. On Maundy Thursday, at 7pm, we commemorate our Lord’s institution of the Eucharist on the day before he was crucified. Musically, there is a serenity and richness to the occasion. There are motets by Edward Elgar, the French C20 composers Maurice Duruflé and Marcel Dupré and the C17 English recusant Peter Philips. The ordinary is sung to a setting by Palestrina. Only at the end, after the procession to the Gethsemane garden, does the atmosphere change. The solemnity and starkness of the
Crucifixion 1, Craigie Aitchison, 1991, oil on canvas © Private Collection / Bridgeman Art Library
Bach St John Passion Palm Sunday 24 March 2013 6.30pm
A special Baroque Easter concert by candlelight
The Purcell Orchestra St Mary Abbots Choir & Singers Conductor Prof. Mark Uglow Baroque instruments recreate the atmosphere of J.S. Bach’s original 1724 performance
Tickets Book online at: www.stmaryabbotschurch.org In person from the Vestry Mon–Sat 8am–1pm 020 7937 5136 £15 (£7.50 under 16)
St Mary Abbots Church On the corner of Kensington High Street and Kensington Church Street London W8 4LA
ST MARY ABBOTS CHURCH, KENSINGTON25
Good Friday Liturgy, at 2pm, is emphasised by some of the most moving liturgical music of the year. The Gospel is sung semi-dramatically to plainchant by soloists with the choir taking the part of the crowd, for which the music is by Victoria. During the Veneration of the Cross, the choir sings perhaps the single most bitter and dark work of the whole of Passiontide, The Reproaches (‘O my people, what have I done to you, how have I offended you, answer me’) in a setting by John Sanders (19332003), sometime organist of Gloucester Cathedral. This is followed by settings of O vos omnes by Richard Dering, another C17 English recusant, and Crux fidelis by the C17 Italian composer, Felice Anerio. On Easter Day, as well as celebrating the Resurrection, we are also marking an anniversary and listening to two first performances. 2013 is the centenary of the birth of Benjamin Britten (1913-76) and at Matins, at 11.15am, the choir will sing his setting of the Te Deum written in 1934. Nick O’Neill, our Associate Director of Music, has
written a new version of the Easter carol This joyful Eastertide which will be heard for the first time as the Introit at Matins and repeated at Evensong at 5pm. Also, after Evensong, for the first time in the UK, Nick will perform his organ piece Festive Voluntary, which was awarded the Marilyn Mason Prize for Organ Composition by the American Guild of Organists in 2012. Spread across all three of our main daytime services, there will also be Easter motets by SS Wesley and William Byrd and canticles by George Dyson. Perhaps the most unusual aspect of the music for Easter Day, 2013 will be a performance of Joseph Haydn’s String Quartet, The Seven Last Words of our Saviour on the Cross (Op51). Commissioned by Cadiz Cathedral, Spain in 1786, this is an extraordinary and unique work in Haydn’s output which, over its seven movements, meditates on our Lord’s agony on the Cross. This concert, which is free, is given by the acclaimed Finch Quartet, beginning at 3.30pm and finishing shortly before Choral Evensong at 5pm.
CALLING ALL KIDS Max Croft tells us about exciting new plans for a kid’s editorial team at the KPN
Which made us think at the KPN that maybe the kids would like to take over - well, for a page or two! So, we are recruiting a special KPN - Kids’ Parish News - team to contribute to each issue. We want anyone aged nine and over who attends St Mary Abbots, Christ Church or St Philip’s to become our newest reporters. Is there someone completely amazing you want to interview at your church? Would you like to report on what your friends are giving up for Lent? Got any great puzzles or quizzes based on the Bible? Want to submit a cartoon? If you would like to be part of the Kids’ Parish News team, send an email to Max Croft at benato@ btopenworld.com with your best ideas. This issue, we can introduce you to a few of our starter members. Meet Kitty Croft, Katy Pilling, Ava Braddock and Ruby Slinn of St Mary Abbots Seniors and part of the Kids’ Parish News team 28
that will be interviewing, writing and coming up with ideas for future editions. Then try your hand at Kitty’s riotous riddles! Kitty Croft
Answers : (Riddle 1: Adam. Riddle 2: Haman)
he Parish of St Mary Abbots is extremely lucky to be so well-blessed with the number of children who attend church. The children’s groups on Sunday mornings at St Mary Abbots Church were recently expanded to accommodate the growing numbers with the Caterpillars, Chrysalis, Butterflies, Juniors and Seniors all thriving.
Kitty Croft, aged 10 What three words would you use to describe yourself? Crazy, impatient and interested What is your earliest memory? When I fell out of my pushchair
What’s the nicest thing anyone’s ever done for you? Given me love If you could give a present to every child in the world, what would it be? Water What’s your favourite bible story? Daniel and the lions What’s your favourite hymn? Go Tell Everyone Why would you like to be involved int he KPN? Because I love writing
Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about yourself? I really like music and I play the piano and the ‘cello Why would you like to be involved int he KPN? Because I love writing
Ava Braddock, aged 10 What three words would you use to describe yourself? Weird, clever, giggly!
Katy Pilling, aged 9 What three words would you use to describe yourself? Enthusiastic, bubbly, friendly What’s the nicest thing anyone’s ever done for you? Grandma knitted me an elephant If you could give a present to every child in the world, what would it be? Love What’s your favourite bible story? When Jesus makes blind people see What’s your favourite hymn? I the Lord of Sea and Sky Why would you like to be involved in the KPN? Because I like writing 29
What is your earliest memory? My dad lifting me up to put an angel on the top of the Christmas tree Do you have a pet? Yes, our white labrador called Holly and my leopard gecko, Marble What’s the nicest thing anyone’s ever done for you? My parents buying me my gecko after months of asking If you could give a present to every child in the world, what would it be? Their human rights
What’s your favourite bible story? Jonah and the Whale What’s your favourite hymn? In Our Worship Why would you like to be involved in the KPN? Because I think it might be fun Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about yourself? I don’t like being interviewed!
Ruby Slinn, aged 9 What three words would you use to describe yourself? Bubbly, cheeky, games-player Do you have a pet? No, but I desperately want a rabbit! What’s the nicest thing anyone’s ever done for you? I have loads of nice things people have done for me, I could never pick one
If you could give a present to every child in the world, what would it be? I would give a pet to every child in the world because even
if you’re lonely a pet can be your friend What’s your favourite bible story? The feeding of the 5,000 What’s your favourite hymn? You Shall Go Out With Joy Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about yourself? I love to dance and I swim a lot
Riddles by Kitty: Riddle 1 My first is in Noah but not in honey. My second is in God but not in Moses. My third is in Amen but not in Jesus. My fourth is in lamb but not in bible. Who am I?
Riddle 2 I am in the Book of Esther. I am in Chapters 1-7. I work for the king. I don’t like Jews, especially Mordecai and Esther. I am allowed to choose who died and who didn’t.
I am a bad man. Who am I? Answers on page 28 31
A CHILDREN’S GUIDE TO HOLY WEEK An essential cut-out-and-keep guide to the last week of Lent for children and parents alike by Barbara Want Some people keep these crosses in their homes all year as a symbol of their faith. They can be returned to their church the following year to be burned and used as the ashes for Ash Wednesday (the first day of Lent).
Maundy Thursday or Holy Thursday - 28th March 2013
Palm Sunday 24th March 2013
n this day we remember Jesus’s arrival in Jerusalem on a donkey.
The next day the great crowds that had come for the feast heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting ‘Hosanna. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Blessed is the King of Israel’. John 12:12-13 We use small crosses made of palm leaf to remember the palm leaves which the people of Jerusalem waved when Jesus arrived and the palm branches they lay on the ground ahead of him. They also help us to remember the cross on which he died. 32
This is the day on which Christians remember when Jesus ate the Passover meal with his disciples, a meal that became known as the Last Supper. (A Passover meal is one which Jewish people share to celebrate when the Children of Israel were freed from slavery and led out of Egypt by Moses). At the Last Supper Jesus broke bread and drank wine and we remember this when we share bread and wine at Communion. At this meal Jesus told his disciples that they should love and serve one another and to demonstrate this he washed their feet, something which a servant would normally do. The word ‘maundy’ comes from the Latin ‘mandatum’ meaning a command, the one he gave telling the disciples to love one another. In the Middle Ages the King or Queen would wash the feet of the poor on Maundy Thursday in Westminster Abbey. Today the Queen has
FEATURE Easter Sunday - 31st March 2013 On this day Jesus rose from dead. Lent ends, and we eat easter eggs…
the slightly nicer job of giving Maundy Money to a group of pensioners in a British cathedral. The number of Maundy coins as they’re known and the number of people receiving them is the same as the Monarch’s age. The night of Maundy Thursday is the night on which Jesus was betrayed by Judas in the Garden of Gethsemane.
Good Friday - 29th March 2013 This day commemorates the execution of Jesus, by crucifixion, after he was tried in a mock trial. This is a day of mourning as we remember Jesus’ suffering and death on the cross. So why is it called ‘Good’? It may come from ‘God’s’ Friday. Or it may be that Good in this sense means Holy. It is a very sombre day in the church. Some churches will have no flowers. Many people eat hot cross buns on this day. The cross stands as a symbol of the Cricifixion.
What is a passion play ? This is a play about the Jesus’s trial, suffering and death. There is a very famous Passion Play in the German village of Oberammergau which is performed every ten years. But Passion Plays also happen around the world, particularly in Catholic areas. Why is Easter on different dates each year? Easter Sunday can fall on any date between 22nd March and 25TH April. It is the first Sunday after (or on) the first full moon after the (Northern) Spring Equinox – the so-called Paschal Full Moon. The Paschal full moon is an Ecclesiastical full moon, and it harmonises the date across different time zones around the world. It sets the official date of the equinox as March 21st which does not equate to the astronomical calendar. But you probably knew all that anyway…
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