St Maryâ€™s Woodford Parish Magazine Volume 7 Issue 3
Welcome Over the last few months our Sunday morning services have included readings from the book of Acts, and sermons relating the developments and adventures of the early Church to the challenges of discipleship, mission and ministry today. Three broad themes have become clear. The disciples had a clear message the share with the peoples of the Roman Empire: that God in his great love for us wants to draw us close to him - and all our selfishness, sin and pride can be washed away because of the death of Jesus on the cross. His resurrection from the dead promises eternal life to those who trust in him. There was a growing community of Christians which soon came to be called the church. The Greek word is ecclesia, which originally meant a group of people called out from the general population for a purpose: a team or a taskforce or a town council. This community was more important than any racial, religious or social groupings that they had belonged to previously. Through all kinds of ups and downs, the disciples had a relationship of trust in God, whose Son had walked among them, and whose Holy Spirit guided and strengthened them. Almost two thousand years later, we have the same message of God’s grace; we are still members of God’s community, and we continue to trust in God through uncertain times.
Revd Canon Ian Tarrant, email: firstname.lastname@example.org The cover: a pyramid constructed at this summer’s holiday club. 2
<baptism photo to come here!>
Parish Register Funeral
14th August Joyce Church
23rd July Henry & Oliver Williams 21st August Dexter Machin
Loss & Bereavement Café _______________________________________________________________
Free drop-in Café for all experiencing loss Monthly on third Tuesday 10.45am - 12noon
at Christ Church, Wanstead Place E11 2SW entrance behind church near hall limited parking available
Our aim is to provide: a supportive meeting space with a hot drink and a friendly welcome for those coming to terms with loss and bereavement an opportunity to meet and share with others going through similar experiences information about additional resources, if required. 3
Life at St Maryâ€™s
We celebrated the Queenâ€™s 90th birthday in style, with a parish lunch, and then a joint evening service, followed by cake made by Wendy and decorated by Anthea.
An open day to mark the end of the Heritage Project at the Hall included a concert, a Punch and Judy show, and a variety of Edwardian entertainments.
Three Faiths Forum The hospitality of Abraham The September meeting of the East London Three Faiths Forum was held at the South West Essex and Settlement Reform Synagogue (SWESRS for short!) in Newbury Park. The theme was the Old Testament story about Abraham receiving three guests, who might be human - or are they angels? (Or are they the Holy Trinity, as some have speculated?) The meeting used the approach known as ‘Scriptural Reasoning’, in which small groups study in turn a scriptural text from each of the faiths, and members of each faith explain what the text means to them. In this case the Jewish text was the story as found in Genesis, the Muslim text was the same event as recounted in the Quran, and the Christian text was a
few verses from Hebrews which seem to refer back to the event. The advantage of this approach is that the participants engage with one another at a personal level, sharing what different aspects of their faith mean to them. Ian Tarrant www.eastlondon3faiths.org www.scripturalreasoning.org
The book of memories from the Memorial Hall, compiled by Deborah Aloba (see pages xx) is now on sale from the Hall office and the church office, for £4.50. Alongside the memories you can also read the story of John and Thomas Roberts, and an architectural appreciation of the building. There are colour illustrations throughout its 68 pages. An excellent Christmas gift for anyone with a connection to Woodford. 5
Life at St Mary’s
July parish outing Here in Woodford we are fortunate to live near some of the most attractive countryside in South East England, where large numbers of historic buildings can be seen. Rural Essex is quite unknown to many, especially those who have only recently moved to the neighbourhood or started worshipping at St Mary’s, so it was a real pleasure for me to lead our July tour of country churches near Ongar. Setting out in four cars, our first stop was at the ancient wooden church of St Andrew’s Greensted, the oldest wooden building in the country which unlike many rural churches is usually open. Following a coffee break in Ongar we arrived at our main destination, the Norman church of St Peter and St Paul, Stondon Masssey, where the churchyard is believed to contain the unmarked grave of William Byrd (died 1623), one of England’s greatest composers. His works are still performed by cathedral and parish choirs, including St Mary’s, and it was a moving experience to hear members of our choir sing Byrd’s Ave Verus beside the memorial to the composer following which Anita Datta played his Voluntary for My Lady Nevell on the organ. Our thanks go to the churchwarden Jan Mackintosh who opened the church for our visit. 6
Our next stop was at Willingale where the churchyard contains the two medieval churches of St Christopher and St Andrew, originally built to serve the adjoining parishes of Willingale Doe and Willingale Spain. The former remains in use for regular worship while the latter – although still consecrated – is cared for by the Churches Conservation Trust. Our tour concluded with lunch at the 16th century Nag’s Head pub in the picturesque village of Moreton. Rural parishes face many challenges, so it was good to see from posters, leaflets and other evidence that the churches we visited are alive and are more than just ancient monuments. Maybe we at St Mary’s can learn something from the way many country churches are still at the heart of the local community. Whatever the case, we enjoyed our day out which gave us the chance to get to know each other better. Stephen Wiggs
A new rector at Wanstead The Collation and Induction of the Revd Dr Nicholas Dunn as Rector of the Parish of Wanstead St Mary with Christ Church It was a treat to attend this service at St Mary’s, Wanstead, on Wednesday, 7th September 2016. The service was conducted by Bishop Peter according to the historic formularies of the Church of England in an inspiring and worshipful setting. We sang the hymns ‘Angel-voices ever singing round thy throne of light’ by Francis Pott (1832 1909), ‘Jerusalem the golden, with milk and honey blest’ by St Bernard of Cluny (1818–1866) and ‘How shall I sing that Majesty which angels do admire?’ by John Mason (c1645-1694). Afterwards refreshments were served in a convivial atmosphere in Wanstead Cricket Club, which is almost opposite the church, and there were plenty of opportunities for conversations with ‘Father Jack’, as almost everybody calls Dr. Dunn, and with members of local churches including members of Father Jack’s previous congregation at St Andrew’s Leytonstone.
The Parish of Wanstead, with its two churches, is one of the four parishes in our Mission and Ministry Unit, with which we will be developing closer links over the coming years. The former Rector, Liz Horwell, took early retirement in January, following an extended period of ill health. Cheryl Corney
Life at St Mary’s people and to help them with what can be a challenging move to Year 7. Ollie, Will, Phoebe, Alice, Katie and I went along to Solid Youth It has been a jam-packed term and I Festival in July and we had a great time can’t believe it has been a year since I together. The day began and ended started as youth worker for the parishes with worship led by YFC’s band of Woodford, Wanstead and ‘Sense’ and a chance to unpack a bit Aldersbrook. more of the bible and our Ollie and Will completed a 9-month understanding of God. For the rest of programme of Leadership and the time we raised our adrenaline levels Evangelism Training in April with by getting across the high ropes, n:flame Youth Trust. We hosted the abseiling, hanging on to a banana boat, Barking Youth Worker network battling in lazar quest and exploring a ‘Kairos’ with Bishop Peter and the range of inflatable challenges. Youth Team were invited to take part Young people from all three in a 4-week training course run by churches were involved in helping Barking Area Youth Advisor Hannah support the two holiday clubs on offer Robinson. in July for primary age children. It was St Mary’s hosted a homework club amazing to see various young people throughout the exam season to support step up to the fore and take key roles of young people and help relieve some responsibility for the children in our pressure from the local library. We also community. From leading sessions, began a brand-new Youth Club at St Gabriel’s for young people to meet together, play games and challenge each other at table tennis. Just before school’s broke-up for the summer Ian and I met with Year 6 students from Churchfield’s Primary School to discuss their transition into secondary school. This proved a valuable chance to build up relationships with young
building pyramids, acting out a Bible story, chaperoning a group and helping with the craft activities, the young people were being positive role models throughout the week. WWA Youth had a fantastic time being treated like VIP’s at St Paul’s Cathedral in London. The Redbridge Deanery Youth Team event in July was offered free of charge and offered a led tour, a Q&A with the Dean and seats in the Quire during the Evensong Service. The event aimed to offer young people a chance to experience the worship and learn more about God. Groups continued to flourish over the year with Signpost Youth Group, Small group, quest, youth music group and junior choir and there were many hours spent playing football, games and socialising at all the food, fun and fete’s during the summer months. Our youth small group has now merged into a brand new 14+ Youth Club that has just started based at St Mary’s. The group offers games, table tennis, game consoles, craft and cooking for the first half and then an opportunity to go deeper in faith with discussion, worship and bible study in fellowship together. Thank you so much to everyone who has supported young people and the WWA Youth Ministry this year. We have seen Young People encounter God and have so much fun in so many ways. God is always pursuing us and wants us to know the freedom and love of His truth, you are helping raise up a
generation of believers that are going to champion Christ and live in His light. Thank you for all your prayers, support, work and time that you have given to serve. We are excited and expectant to see what this next year holds both for our churches and our wider community. Thank you. Becca Kemal Email: email@example.com or phone: 07490459850 WWA Youth this autumn 11-14s Signpost Youth Club Friday 8-9.30pm at Christ Church Wanstead 14+ Youth Club Thursday 7.309.15pm at St Mary’s Woodford 11-17 Youth Club Friday 4-6pm at St Gabriel’s Aldersbrook Confirmation preparation available this term for 4pm service on 27th November at Holy Trinity Pray ministry network monthly emails Special dates next year: Youth weekend away 14+ Youth on 17th-19th March 2017 at St Marks College Youth weekend away 11-14 Youth 31st-2nd April 2017 at St Marks College Solid Youth Festival 7-17 Youth 8th July 2017 at Stubbers Youth Volunteer Celebration on Sunday 23rd July 2017 Leiston Venture Holiday 11-14 Youth 22nd-29th July 2017 9
Woodford Street Pastors’ report Sally, Graham and myself were patrolling South Woodford on a lovely warm night (22nd July), in shirtsleeves. We have built up quite a good rapport with local shopkeepers and night staff so it is almost like greeting friends. Last night we encountered a dozen or so Pokémon hunters for the first time and it was nice to see people getting out although I have reservations on some of the places they are sent to. We stopped at the South Woodford Mosque as it was closing and spoke to a number of Muslims as they left to reassure them as they often seem suspicious and defensive. Retracing our steps, Sallly spoke to a lady returning from a revival meeting and she took our card. We received a free portion of chips as we spoke to a regular, J, who was drunk as usual, bemoaning being refused entry to pubs! Patrolled behind shops using torch before meeting M in Queen Mary's Gate and further Pokémon players at the security office. After a break patrolled down beside the cinema chatting to three youths with motorbikes, one an AJS – nice! A couple in Sainsbury's car park 10
interested in what we do and then we re -joined George Lane. A quite hyped up regular beggar asking for (or even demanding) money to get home. We checked on a distressed girl outside the Red Mantra and 2 girls outside the railway station waiting for an Uber cab. Returning up George Lane night staff at Red Mantra reported another distressed woman leaving, but no sign of her in the direction she had taken. Outside Slug & Lettuce customers now leaving and checked on several ladies, whilst some going off on Pokémon hunt; thanked by an off duty Ilford Police Inspector. Finally spoke to C & C on bridge who were bemoaning the youth of today – sad when you get old! Closed with debrief and prayer. We spoke to about 60 plus people, were visible to several hundred more and picked up a dozen or so glasses and bottles and you never know where little acts of kindness will lead. Thanks for all your prayers. Bob surname-needed
Quiz Who or what are we? We are all part 8 William Blake wondered whether of the Christian story and we all this holy city might have been begin with “J”? builded here in England’s green and pleasant land. 1 I am the second person of the Trinity.
9 I was a beautiful Cistercian monastery in the Yorkshire Dales. I am in ruins but I and the nearby tearoom are well worth a visit.
2 This Bible is much treasured. The translation of it began in 1604 and 10 In rural and not so rural areas was completed in 1611. It is the there are many ______ services. King _______ Bible. 11 I am a canticle which is often said or sung at Morning Prayer.
12 I am the anglicised version of the Hebrew word for “God”. 13 The characters in this book of the Bible are _____, his wife, his three friends, a man named Elihu, God, Satan and the sons of God. 3 I am the son of Hilkiah.
14 I am the father of King David.
4 I am the second book of the Apocrypha.
I am the month in which Epiphany is celebrated.
5 I am the treasurer at St. Mary’s. 6 I am one of the fruits of the spirit. 7 I am “the disciple whom Jesus loved”. People say my name is _____. Answers on page 25 11
From first to twenty-first... from Acts to actions
No other name? This is the third in a series of articles based on the earliest church as described in the book of Acts. You may want to use them for personal reflection - or as material for discussion in your home group.
Acts 4:5-14 In this passage the apostles are being questioned about the healing of a man at the Beautiful Gate of the Jerusalem temple. Peter uses the opportunity to talk about Jesus, his death and resurrection. He makes a bold claim: Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved. Acts 4:12 NIV
Paul’s speech in Athens is now carved in stone, where it was given. Photo from neelywang.com, used with permission. 12
You may want to compare other translations of this verse, and ponder what it means. His hearers would have been astounded: as Jews they would have been used to thinking of God as the one who could ‘save’ them from various kinds of trouble. As a people conquered by Rome, they would have heard the claim that the Emperor was the one who saved the world, bringing peace and prosperity. How could such an exclusive claim be made about Jesus?
Acts 17:16-34 Paul is in Athens, where many different gods were worshipped. He too, is questioned about his faith, and takes the opportunity to share about Jesus. He engages with their own idolatry by referring to a shrine to an unknown god - and tells them of the Creator and a judge he has appointed, Jesus who rose from the dead. Paul meets his listeners where they are, starting with the openness implied by a shrine to a god they do not know, and also quoting their own poets. Christianity and other faiths These two stories are only two examples of the early church relating to people of faith who do not yet know Jesus. Since that time the story of inter-faith relations has been very mixed, with examples we would want to follow and examples to be avoided. As Christians we can be confident in our own faith, as summarised in the
creeds that we say together. But the very existence of other faiths in our world, even on our doorstep, provokes challenging questions. Who can be saved? If the name of Jesus is the only name by which we can be saved, is there any other way to be saved? The Christian church is divided on this. Although we are confident in the promise that faith in Jesus is the way to eternal life, there are at least four positions on the fate of those who do not put their trust in him. 1) That only Christians can be saved. 2) That Christians and faithful Jews are saved [see for example Luke 16:19 -31, Luke 20:27-38, Hebrews 11]. 3) That salvation is given also to those who respond to God whom they do not know by doing good deeds [Matt 25:31-46, Romans 2:6-16]. 4) That all will be saved [1 Tim 2:1-6] Which of these four reflects your own understanding? How do you understand the uniqueness of Jesus Christ, as expressed in Acts 4:12 opposite? How should we converse? It is clear that Paul took the time to
study the life and the thinking of the people of Athens. We are surrounded by people of other faiths, many of whom would be only too pleased to engage in dialogue with us. What could we, or should we, learn from other faiths? What do we want to share with their adherents? How can we live? God have given us a planet which we share with people with different world -views from our own. How best can we love our neighbours? For example, what do you think about... Schools segregated by faith? The public display of religious symbols and images? Wearing religious clothing in public - eg turban and hijab? How many members of other faiths do you know well? Have you visited one another’s homes? What do you find difficult about the diversity of fatihs around us? What is your prayer for inter-faith relations in the Borough of Redbridge? ▄
Faiths forums Many members of St Mary’s have attended meetings of the East London
Three Faiths Forum, which brings together Jews, Muslims and Christians in the Borough of Redbridge and and neighbouring boroughs. See www.eastlondon3faiths.org. Our Rector serves on its Executive Committee. There is also a Redbridge Faith Forum which promotes contact between people of all faiths in our Borough: see www.redbridgefaithforum.org 13
Cedd in stone Bishop of the East Saxons Long before the Norman Conquest, in the mid 7th century, Cedd was the eldest of four brothers from an AngloSaxon family educated at Lindisfarne by St Aidan. They learnt to read and write in Latin, and the Psalms and the Gospels by heart, equipping them to preach and become missionaries. Cedd’s youngest brother was Chad. In 653 Cedd was sent down to the East Saxons at the request of their local king, to convert the people to Christianity. He landed at Bradwell, on the coast of what is now Essex, where he founded a community and used the remains of an abandoned Roman fort to build a chapel, which still stands today, and is called St Peter’s Chapel. Cedd’s success meant he was formally appointed as Bishop to the East Saxons. Such early Christian communities provided more than worship and teaching, and were centres which provided hospital care to the sick, a library, a school, possibly an arts-centre, and accommodation for travellers and had a farm attached. From Bradwell he established further centres at Mersea, Tilbury, Prittlewell and Upminster. Later, in 659, Cedd was asked to establish a community further north, 14
and founded Lastingham in the Kingdom of Northumbria, in a wild and lonely place. In 664 Cedd attended the international church conference known as the Synod of Whitby, where he acted as interpreter - because he spoke both Latin and Irish fluently, and people trusted him. He must have had great skills of tact and diplomacy, and been a charismatic figure. The conference resolved to follow the Roman rather than the Celtic/Irish tradition in how to calculate the date of Easter, and style of tonsure (haircut) for monks. Soon after Cedd died of plague at Lastingham, with companions from his Bradwell community. His brother Chad replaced him as Abbot before becoming Bishop of Mercia at Lichfield. This carving of St. Cedd pays tribute to his leadership and spiritual vision, his charisma and great achievements. From the top on the left can be seen symbols for: the island of Lindisfarne; the little boat that brought Cedd down to Bradwell; the chapel there made from Roman stones; and the Synod of Whitby - with its date of 664. Cedd's hair turns into the waves of the sea on the left and into fire for the Holy Ghost on the right. On the right side of his face, in his hair you see the keys of St Peter - to symbolise the decision he helped the church make to follow the Roman calendar instead of the Celtic/ Irish one. I have deliberately depicted him a little like the prow of a boat to
honour his bravery in making such a long journey by sea, and to show him as a leader at the forefront of action, and an inspiration in spiritual rather than military matters. Clorinda Goodman Clorinda’s sculpture was on show in a recent Commission4Mission exhibition at St Stephen’s, Walbrook, alongside pieces by other members of St Mary’s, Peter Webb, Mark Lewis and Janet Roberts. For the next few months ‘Cedd’ will be on loan to Chelmsford Cathedral. Sadly we will be seeing less of Clorinda in Woodford, as she has moved to St Alban’s this summer. 15
Peace Praying for peace in our country and in our world On the day we heard the result of the Referendum Martin and I were driving an old Morris Minor convertible back to the ferry at Dunkirk following a trip to Ghent. The day before we had stayed in Ypres and had attended the 8pm Memorial service at the Menin Gate that takes place there each evening. Buglers played the Last Post and people of all nationalities lined up to lay wreaths at the Memorial to all those 54,896 British and Commonwealth officers and men, missing on the Ypres salient, whose names are carved in stone. Another 34,957 without a known grave are remembered on the carved panels at Tyne Cot on the slopes below Passchendale. British school children mingled with Belgians, Australians and Canadians; at the setting of the sun it was moving to join in with young and old singing Abide With Me. We also witnessed a wreath laying from young people on pilgrimage visiting significant sites at the Battle of the Somme, led by both archbishops of Armagh. Archbishop Eamon Martin said, ‘The Battle of the Somme has left us with a haunting image we are all familiar with – the thousands of pale, white gravestones dotting the ground which symbolise the lives of the many who were lost. We go 16
there, one hundred years after one of the bloodiest battles in human history, on a pilgrimage of prayer and remembrance. I hope our shared pilgrimage will offer us time and space to reflect with young people on the importance of peace in our country and in our world’. Archbishop Richard Clark said, ‘Coming as we do from very different contexts, and also carrying very different understandings of our history, we have much to share with one another and much to learn, as we travel and pray our way through places that carry such symbolic importance for us all.’ A week later I attended an early morning vigil at Westminster Abbey to commemorate the Centenary of the Battle of the Somme. It was very moving to hear a bombardment fired in Parliament Square, a shrill whistle, issued in 1915, blown in recognition of Zero Hour and a solitary piper from the Irish Guards playing a lament: ‘Flowers of the Forest’ by the Grave of the Unknown Warrior. Whatever happens in the uncertain future we must continue to remember the Fallen on all sides and strive for continued Peace in Europe at all costs. Penny Freeston
Flowers of Commemoration ‘Save poppies and cornflowers I cannot remember any flowers here in those terrifying days when, steel helmet on head, I threaded my way expeditiously along the uneven ‘Tommy tracks’ and over heaps of rubble’, an Anglo-Canadian officer wrote in his memoirs. Moreover, the wildflowers in the middle of all the death and destruction on the frontline attracted the attention of many soldiers and they soon began picking them for souvenirs or depicting them. The powerful image of the poppies that flourished between the burial crosses inspired the Canadian officer John McCrae to write his famous poem In Flanders Fields. It was published anonymously in December 1915 in the magazine Punch. At the end of the war the American ‘poppy lady’ Moira Michael suggested using the poppy as an official flower of remembrance. The war veterans of the British Empire adapted the symbol shortly after the Americans. In its first year of existence the poppy was manufactured by women and children in the devastated regions of France, but later it was produced solely by disabled veterans. That was also the case in France, where cornflower buttonholes were produced as early as 1916 and were recognised as a national symbol in 1920. Belgium had the daisy. Nowadays it is mainly the poppy that is used as a symbol of remembrance, but also increasingly commercialised. Text from Flanders Fields Museum, Ypres, Belgium.
We are collecting non-perishable food for the Redbridge Foodbank. The collection box is now in the church foyer every Sunday.
Faith Hear Mark and Send a Cow Send a Cow is hosting a dramatic retelling of St Mark's Gospel at St Michael's Church, Chester Square, London, on Thursday 29th September. Doors open at 6.30. Tickets cost £10 including refreshments and can be purchased at: www.sendacow.org/stmarks or by calling 01225 874 222. This is a rare opportunity to hear the Gospel in its entirety in one evening. The performance is a fast-paced, thrilling story and an exciting listen for people of any religious viewpoint or none. Gerald Osborne honorary canon of Salisbury Cathedral, who will be performing this recital, says, ' the Gospel is a record of what Peter told St Mark , so what we have is more or less an eyewitness account of the life and death if Jesus.' All proceeds from this event will go to the work of Send a Cow which provides support and training to farmers in Africa. Through training in farming skills, gender equality and livestock and money management, families are given the confidence , knowledge and skills to lift themselves from poverty. To find out more visit: www.sendacow.org.
A view of religions “Any religion worth its salt exists to offer its believers a comprehensive view of life, a vision of transcendent reality combined with a pathway of transformation for the human condition.”
Alan Race, Chairman, World Congress of Faiths. Do you agree? If so is there anything else you look for in your religion? If you do not agree, why not? What do you look for in your religion? Rowena Rudkin.
In France Joan of Arc’s house A few weeks ago my friends and I visited Joan of Arc’s house in the village of Domrémy la Pucelle in the Vosges department in Lorraine in northeastern France. It is a delightful little village with a population of about 160 people. Joan was born on the feast of the Epiphany in 1412. Joan is considered to be a heroine of France for her part in the Hundred Years’ War and was canonized in 1920 in Rome by Pope Benedict XV. It took a very long time for the church to decide that she was a saint. Joan said she received visions of the Archangel Michael, Saint Margaret and Saint Catherine of Alexandria instructing her to recover France from English domination. Joan was sent to Orléans where she paved the way for the French victory. She was finally handed over to the English and burnt at the stake in 1431, dying at about nineteen years of age. Over the years much has been written about Joan. Some of it is scholarship and much of it is fiction. When visiting the village and attending a service in the church there which Joan had attended very frequently I began to feel something of the atmosphere of the village and of Joan’s life and her story. I wanted some light reading about Joan and chose the book ‘Sparrow, the story of Joan of Arc’. This book is written by Michael Morpurgo and is a jolly good read, suitable for all but our youngest readers. I have also enjoyed ‘L’alouette’ (The Lark) by Jean Anouilh and ‘Saint Joan’ by George Bernard Shaw. I am well aware that all these are works of fiction and that we will never know the full truth of Joan’s story. Cheryl Corney 19
The Memorial Hall Honouring the Hallâ€™s heritage In 2014 just before I was about to give a singing lesson I had a conversation with Rector Ian Tarrant. It was an incredibly brief conversation where he mentioned the possibility of the church employing a Heritage Engagement Officer and I stated that a job similar to the one we were discussing would be my ideal. He said that he would keep that information in mind and contact me if and when the job became a fact. I totally forgot the conversation. Many people say many things, but people rarely do what they say. I did not know Ian enough at that time to know that he was a man of his word and having worked as the Heritage Engagement Officer I have come to conclusion that he may also have an almost eidetic memory. Suffice to say, Ian did remember to send me an application form for the job and having been interviewed I eventually became the Heritage Engagement Officer of Woodford Memorial Hall and ended up with the best job ever, I just wish it could have been for longer. I hit the ground running and at times felt a bit like Usain Bolt must feel when he is leading from behind. Though I had undertaken a considerable amount of research in the 4 weeks prior to my commencing in post, my first task which was to put on 20
an exhibition in two weeks was a bit of a stretch and as I have a personal hate of tat I wanted it to be good. Tamsen the Hall Manager was very gracious as her lovely neat office began to look as if a bomb had hit it as I used up ink cartridges printing out information on J R Roberts, Churchill, Sylvia Pankhurst, William Morris and James Hilton and then began cutting and laminating. There were papers everywhere. Anyone who has seen her office will know that it is not exactly the largest room. I am not the smallest of people and there was a lot of information to work my way through. By nature I am an enthusiastic, the discovery therefore of the Trustees Minutes going back to 1899 made me very excited and noisy and on thinking about it Ian and Tamsen did look a little startled by decibel level of my reaction. Tamsen must in fact have thought that the Tasmanian devil had turned up at her office. Somehow through sheer dint of will and assistance from many others the Exhibition proceeded with a reasonable amount of information. The Heritage Lottery Fund had set out a series of targets that were expected to be reached and I was determined to reach them. Though that initial two week period was very intense, there was absolutely no let up and letters were sent out to schools which resulted in a lovely relationship developing between Churchfields' School, Woodbridge
High School and Oakhill School, and visits to the Hall by the children where , gas mask boxes and, identity cards were created and air raids were re -enacted. Two local history projects commenced across years 3,4, 5 and 6 at Churchfields and Year 7 at Woodbridge. Living histories were arranged at Woodbridge with Keith Brames, Heather Harston and Ian Monk giving talks. I received 600 written interviews from children who interviewed their parents, grandparents and neighbours for me and art work and became known by the children at Churchfields as "the mad woman" as I jumped around at talks at their school whilst I informed them of the history of Woodford during various periods. Though I was a little startled to find in one of the children's essays based on the information that I had provided that apparently the mini-skirt had come into being in the 1910s! The Newspaper Archives and Ancestry.com were virtually imprinted on my forehead and I was determined to find out the stories of J R Roberts
and his brother Thomas, luckily the team were very patient as I shared the latest discovery with them prior to uploading it onto facebook and the website. Then of course there was the hall itself, what was it's 114 year old history? The Minutes of course played an enormous role in answering some of those questions but without Barbara Slaney and Phillip Swallow the latter 50 years of the hall's history would have been far more difficult to put together. Phillip as the Honorary Secretary for over 50 years kept meticulous records and without those records, I would not have known that there had been a coup at the Hall in the 1950s, or, had written confirmation that the Hall had been used amongst other things as a Court and Employment Bureau. His records also provided documents giving a breakdown of the property that had been owned by the Hall and unfortunately sold off to ensure that the hall itself remained standing. Without Barbara I would not have 21
discovered the metal box with the original plan plates, correspondence going back to 1902 regarding many aspects of the maintenance and fabric of the building and even the original receipt of the Piano in the Hall which though at present needs some tender loving care, is and was one of the best of its day. Then of course there was Barry informing me that the Hall had been a venue for bands and that the house band was ‘the Saracens’. Finding Ivy Bunyan, widow of George Bunyan, who had been a caretaker at the Hall for 30 years between the 1950s to 1980s, was one of the highlights; and a trip to Stevenage ensued to find that at 95 she still remembered the Hall. I quickly realised that the best way to get the information that I was obtaining out there was to try and engage the community via social media and I linked into two other Woodford Historical sites and mums' facebook pages. I loved sharing each new piece of information I unearthed via facebook and there was a lot to share, yes The Who did play at the Hall, at one time it was going to be a cinema, it was a shelter for refugees in both WW1 and WW2. Churchill and his wife Clementine visited the hall on many occasions. In WW1 John Heath the Honorary Secretary of the day joined up. It acted as a British Restaurant in the WW2. It was like peeling an onion, there were so many layers of information. 22
I was initially saddened that despite really trying I just could not get enough volunteers on board to assist with the oral histories. I was even more saddened that not as many people as I would have liked from the community provided their oral or written histories. Again it was that thing about being saying one thing and doing another, but I was not undaunted and pressed on and eventually got some amazing histories. (You can still provide your written histories to go on the website). The piece de resistance was six weeks ago when Thomas Reynolds Roberts' great, great, great, great granddaughter Sally contacted me. She had been doing some research and had come across the work that I had been doing in respect of J R and T R Roberts. This resulted in her visiting the Hall, which was a great experience and very moving when she asked if the Hall was the building where her great, great, great grandfather would have presented the flowers to the Lord Mayor of London at the opening ceremony of the hall in 1902 when he was 3 years old and I could confirm that indeed it was. We exchanged a lot of information including John Roberts's Will which mentions the Hall. Sally is a musician and a very fine pianist and I am a singer and at her suggestion next year we are putting on a concert in aid of raising funds for the hall! So there will be a ‘Roberts’ at the hall once again 115 years after it was opened.
Two loose ends from the last edition of the magazine
The Hall is a wonderful example of Arts and Craft architecture and is a little gem of a building and thankfully it is loved, and it is because of the affection that the Hall is held in by some members of the community that she is still standing, especially as it is clear from the records that there were people who just wanted the Hall to be pulled down. I too am now one of those who hold the hall in deep affection. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to be the Heritage Engagement Officer at the hall, to have met some amazing people, to have had a job which every day I woke up and was joyful and excited about doing. I am hopeful it will lead to similar work, who knows, but regardless for a whole year I had a job that I absolutely loved in an area that was fascinating, with colleagues who were fun to work with and hopefully some of the work I have done will assist in ensuring that the Hall is here in another 114 years time. Deborah Aloba
Audrey Barclay and Louey Parkes Lest there be any misunderstanding, Audrey Barclay and Louie Parkes have NOT moved into Churchfields Nursing Home. They were photographed there in the last issue of our magazine because they have been the most consistent (although not the only) supporters of the services I lead in the home. Their presence is much appreciated by the residents, the staff and, not least, myself Drawing Together As said in our last issue, the Monophysite churches, including the Armenian, were condemned by the Council of Chalcedon in AD 451. Nevertheless, when Pope Francis visited Armenia in May of this year, he declared the Armenian saint, Gregory of Narek (A.D. 951-1003),to be a Doctor of the Universal Church. Rowena Rudkin
Music They were admirably brought to life by sweet voiced Amelia Berridge and Bryony Watson. The arrival of Mercury, Jove’s messenger, to tell Aeneas to leave Carthage that same night can seem A harpsichord came to St Mary’s on underwhelming but not in this August 20th for an occasion sprinkled with enchanting delight. The focus for performance from the assured and authoritative Mark Williams. Aeneas this delight was a performance of doesn’t put up much resistance to this Purcell’s opera Dido and Aeneas, expertly directed from the harpsichord order – in fact initially any at all. If Aeneas seems a bit of a worthless by Anita Datta. wimp, unworthy of Dido, then that’s Dido’s lament is justly celebrated and Stephanie Wake-Edwards sang this the point. Purcell was commissioned to write the opera for a girls’ school in movingly as she did the part of Dido Chelsea and the purpose of the opera in throughout. Despite the tragic nature this context is as a cautionary story for of the story Purcell provides much contrast with dancing rhythms, quirkily young ladies to be wary of men. Nevertheless, with customary expressive harmony and a light but economy, Purcell’s music brings heart masterful touch. Dido’s confidantes Belinda and her second lady in waiting felt regret to Aeneas who, having rather quickly and feebly agreed to Jove’s try to cheer up Dido for much of the order, then reflects on the opera and in doing so provide a consequences for Dido and this was welcome foil to Dido’s melancholy. movingly conveyed by Robin Datta. In a stroke of genius Purcell follows and contrasts Aeneas’ regret with a cynically cheerful chorus of ‘jolly sailors’ who led by twinkly soloist Peter Smith, ‘take a boozy farewell to their nymphs on the shore with vows of returning but never intending to visit
A harpsichord at St Mary’s
them more’. Amongst the chorus were regulars from the choir. Casting them a look whilst swishing away on the violin, I imagined them all in sailors’ hats. That transformation from their normal role was as nothing compared to Maggie Ronson and Gemma Low who, implausible as it might seem, were convincing witches (in a good way.) The final enchantment from this occasion was the good humour and fellowship amongst all concerned. It was a joyous occasion, notwithstanding the tragedy of the plot. What a delightful paradox!
A second concert in this series to replenish the church music fund was held on 17th September: ‘The Art of Song’, with thanks to Robin Datta, Anita Datta, and Matthew Blaiden.
Quiz Answers: 1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Jesus James Jeremiah Judith Jane joy John Jerusalem Jervaulx Abbey
10 11 12 13 14
joint Jubilate Deo Jehovah Job Jesse 25
focus In June, the Seekers collected coins for the orphanage at Makutano. They used the coins to make a map of Africa, and other pictures.
In July, junior chorister Charlotte qualified to wear a surplice!
Holiday Club: Exile in Egypt We sang: Joseph had eleven brothers and a coat of many colours. He was sent to work in Egypt, but God makes bad things good!
Do you love singing? Would you or your children like to learn to sing or improve your voice? Did you know that releasing the voice and singing helps to relieve stress and tension? Are you thinking of recording a song for a loved one and need some help perfecting your vocal technique? With 18 years experience as a Singer, Teacher and Director of Vision Opera, I believe in providing a safe and supportive environment for you to develop your singing voice to its fullest potential, whether you want to work individually or in a small group. If you would like to try something new, exciting and want to discover your potential as a singer, why don't you give me a ring for a 15 minute, free consultation?
Ring Deborah Aloba on 07940 384785
A big thank you to everyone submitting contributions and photographs to this edition Please keep them coming, as without them we wouldnâ€™t have a parish magazine. Articles, prayers, book reviews, favourite music, recipes, gardening tips etc. We would love some childrenâ€™s drawings as well: the choice is yours! Email directly using a subject heading to: firstname.lastname@example.org or pass to Penny Freeston who will type up your handwritten copy. Our next copy date is 14th November 2016. Magazine team: Penny Freeston, Beverley Fuentes, Cheryl Corney, 28