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St Mary’s Woodford Parish Magazine Volume 7 Issue 1

To be remembered at the Memorial Hall...

Canon Bob Birchnall - the upper hall

Sylvia Pankhurst - the rear hall

Sir John Roberts & Thomas Roberts - the front hall

Sir Winston Churchill - the meeting room

Spring 2016

Welcome Through my letterbox came an envelope decorated with two impressive crests, which I did not immediately recognise. I opened it with curiosity, to find a letter from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, addressed to all the parish clergy of the Church of England. It was an invitation to all God's people to pray in the week leading up to Pentecost (8th-15th May) for the whole country to hear and take to heart the Good News of God's love. I will quote here the core of their letter: Our hope is - for all Christians to deepen their relationship with Jesus Christ - for all of us to have confidence to share the Gospel - for all to respond to the call of Jesus Christ to follow him as disciples, to live out the Gospel, and to seek God's kingdom from day to day. At the heart of our prayers will be the words that Jesus himself taught us: 'Thy kingdom come, thy will be done'. It is impossible to overstate the lifetransforming power of the Lord's Prayer. It is a prayer that is reassuring enough to be on the lips of the dying and yet dangerous enough to be banned in cinemas. It is famous enough to be spoken each day by billions in hundreds of languages and yet intimate enough to draw us ever closer into friendship with Jesus Christ. It is simple enough to be memorised by small Front cover: the people chosen by the public, after whom the rooms at the Memorial Hall will be named later this year. 2

children and yet profound enough to sustain a whole lifetime of prayer. When we pray it with sincerity and with joy, there is no imagining the new ways in which God can use us to his glory. The Archbishops are challenging us to pray during that particular week. Of course these should be our prayers every week, but here at St Mary's we will look for the best way to respond to this call. As Easter approaches we renew our confidence in the power of God to bring life out of death, hope out of despair, and joy out of sorrow. All of us who value our faith will find that it grows, rather than diminishes, when we share it.

Revd Canon Ian Tarrant, email:

Parish Register Funerals


16th December - Jean Marriott 22nd January - Andy Madsen 29th January - Maria Leonor Rickard

21st December - Richard Jones & Elizabeth Hoile Baptisms 6th March - Morgan & Nathaniel Bulman

Morgan and Nathaniel’s baptism 3

Life at St Mary’s

Family bingo evening on 6th February how did one table win so many prizes?

Lots to buy at the table-top sale on 27th February

February open day at the Memorial Hall - when we voted on the names of the rooms


Members of St Mary’s Choir singing at the Three Faiths Forum December party

We are collecting non-perishable food for the Redbridge Foodbank. The collection box is now in the church foyer every Sunday.

Three Faiths Forum members at the British Museum, for ‘Faith after the Pharaohs’.

An executive meeting of the Three Faiths Forum. Left to right: (standing) Dr Mohammed Fahim, our Rector, Dr Qadir Bakhsh, Fr Francis Coveney; (seated) Rabbi David Hulbert, Khola Hasan, Dr Sonia Fahim. 5

Divine love

Lady Julian of Norwich Last summer Alison Clarke preached a beacon of light to for us about Julian of Norwich - here is those who came her text, much abridged. to her for counsel; she Lady Julian lived in Norwich at a time pointed the way to the when it was a key centre of commerce, Light of the World to Christ who could its port being a vital link to Europe. We do not know this saint’s original transform the darkness and suffering name. On 8th May 1373, when she was through his saving act at Calvary. Julian wrote: about thirty years old, she was ill and thought to be close to death. Her parish So I said and understood that our faith is a light in our night, which priest came to her carrying a large crucifix which he held before her. Her light is God, our endless day. pain left her and she received a series of revelations of the love of God, which she called ‘Showings’. Two years later she became an anchoress, and took up residence in a cell attached to the church of St Julian the Hospitalier. She lived according to the Ancrene Rule which provided a daily timetable for how she should pass her time. She had a servant to shop for her and to prepare her meals, while she herself was available to many people who would come and ask for advice and prayers. She wrote down the revelations she had received in a contemporary style. Her book can be read as a whole, or we can extract sayings from it for our meditation and help. Here are four examples. 1) Our faith is a light. Julian lived in dark times of war, of plague, of poverty. Yet her faith was 6

2) You will not be overcome. Julian’s cell had a window which opened into the church so that she could listen to the services and receive communion. It also had a window on the world - the street outside the church, so that people could come to her for spiritual direction, advice and comfort. It seems that all sorts of people did come to her, not only with weighty intellectual problems, but with many small practical needs. Julian’s message was always positive. She described the way of salvation by three means in these words: By contrition we are made clean. By compassion we are made ready. By longing for God we are made worthy. She does not deny that there is a problem with our behaviour, but she says that our Lord looks on us with pity not with blame. This was indeed a revelation for her time.

3) I will protect you. In spite of living a solitary life, never leaving her cell, Julian knew all about the problems of her day. She makes very strongly the point that contemplation has to go hand in hand with compassionate action. The spiritual search can never be solely a quest for inner peace and harmony, but must be involved in the anguish of the world because it is rooted in the incarnation and passion of Christ. Julian taught that Christ shares our joy and pain and that his objective is to save us: It is his office to save us - it is his glory to do it and it is his will that we know it. For he wants us to love and trust him. He revealed this to me in these gracious words: I protect you very safely.

an extended version, which we know today as ‘The Revelations of Divine Love’. This is her theological reflection on what had been revealed to her. She speaks of experiencing the love of God through the imagery of all the loving relationships that we can understand God as our Father, our Mother, our brother, our lover. Perhaps her bestknown illustration of the love of God is by comparison with a little thing: He showed me a little thing - the size of a hazelnut in the palm of my hand. In this little thing I saw three truths: God made it. God loves it. God looks after it. Her goal was to be as closely united with him as possible: ‘enfolded in love’. It’s like being wrapped within God’s clothing: he will never let us go. One final quote: 4) Love is his meaning. And so our good Lord answered all Very soon after her illness, Julian the questions and doubts I could wrote down details of her showings. She pondered raise, saying most comfortingly: I make all things well, and I will on them for some twenty make all things well. You will see for yourself that every kind of thing years and shall be well. And in these words, then she God wishes us to be enclosed in love wrote down and rest and peace.

Our pilgrimage to Lady Julian’s shrine in Norwich will take place on Saturday 23rd April, leaving Woodford at 9am. See more details on the poster in church. 7

Life at St Mary’s Some light on a hot topic

thanks to parishioners remembering the church in their wills. We also received a grant of £10,000 from the London Over the Border fund administered by the Diocese of Chelmsford. Ian Tarrant

Have you tried evensong? The church boiler failed in the autumn, and had to be replaced. This was accomplished just in time for our Christmas services, although problems with both a pump and conflicting timeswitches resulted in unpredictable heating for a couple of weeks. The new boiler is a high-efficiency 'condensing' boiler, which reclaims heat from the steam produced by burning gas. The water from the condensed steam has to be pumped out of the basement from time to time, so do not be alarmed if you hear occasional gurgling noises from Gwinnell Room fire exit. We took the opportunity to replace the timing controls on the system, so there are now separate programmes for the church, the chapel and the Gwinnell Room. When any of these is heated, the toilets, vestries and the office are also heated. The project was largely financed by our reserves, which have been built up 8

If you have been to Evensong before you will know the tranquil, relaxed atmosphere of this form of worship. If you have never been to this service I suggest that you come along and try it. Evensong or Evening Prayer is a combination of Vespers and Compline, two of the offices kept in monasteries for many hundreds of years. The form of service used to this day was first introduced in the Book of Common Prayer in 1662. The choral version of this service is sung daily in many cathedrals and universities in England. If you should find yourself in Cambridge one afternoon it is well worthwhile going to Kings College to hear the magnificent music. At St Mary’s there is evensong most Sundays at 6.30 pm, with occasional Choral services where the choir sings the responses, Magnificat and Nunc dimittis

to different settings. There is an Old Testament and New Testament reading, a Psalm and many of your favourite hymns are sung. Unfortunately the numbers of people attending evensong have diminished over the years and on occasion the choir outnumbers the congregation. You can be assured that the choir will be there to lead the singing whatever the weather. If you get to church about 6pm you can listen to the choir rehearsing. In the past it could be difficult for people that were not used to the service to follow the order, but there are now printed orders of service. It would be a great pity if this lovely service were to be discontinued due to the lack of numbers attending. Come along and try evensong. You may find this form of worship is what you are looking for. You will be sure of great welcome. Gordon Duffus

A prayer for migrants Lord Jesus, your mother Mary carried you with tender determination on the dangerous road to Bethlehem, and beyond. May the same flame of love that drove her on, now bring courage, comfort and hope to all protecting the displaced children of the world. Amen.

Personal Prayer Ministry Every Sunday there is an opportunity for confidential personal prayer for anyone with a concern about health or other issues, after the 10am service, usually in the Chapel. Most of the people on the rota to pray took on the task with some anxiety about how it would work out - but have been agreeably surprised with the way it has turned out. Valerie Geller shares some reflections: ‘We should never underestimate the power of prayer. On the basis that Christ called ordinary people to do so prompted me to become part of the team. It is a privilege to be able to offer up to God, with a prayer partner, the concerns and thoughts of people in a private and confidential way. Life is fragile, handle with prayer!’


Life at St Mary’s From Woodford Wives to Woodford Friends & Neighbours Woodford Wives changed its name early this year to Woodford Friends and Neighbours. Woodford Wives has been a group of women enjoying the monthly meeting successfully run by Joan Ware, who is very much missed. There has been little change to the format. For instance we enjoy two meals a year, one in the summer and one at Christmas, also a charitable organization is invited to speak once a year. In April it will be the Thames RNLI which is very different to the coastal RNLI . We have had a flower arranging session, in which we each made an arrangement to take home. Also a wine and cheese evening with a cheese quiz. On another evening Mark and Nina Lewis came and gave us an Armenian evening assisted by a friend who brought cakes made with an Armenian recipe. We meet on the 2nd Wednesday of every month; the group generally starts at 8pm prompt. The membership is women only, but men are very welcome to come along if the subject interests them. Do try us we are a friendly group. If you would like any further information please give me a call. Pat Smith 10

An appreciation from Eileen Ward As I think of myself as an ‘ex pat’ of St. Marys I am always pleased to receive the quarterly copy of the magazine and am writing to award some brownie points to the committee responsible for producing it. The contents of each edition would leave no casual browser in any doubt that this was a church magazine but it is also about the people within and part of a community. There is usually a glance backward to people and events that the older members of the congregation bring to general interest and many pages given to what is happening now, both in the wider church and parish events. How pleasing it is to see how the children of the church are involved and given space within the pages. The photographs are an added bonus. To someone eager to keep in touch with a much loved Church it is very helpful to be able to put names to new faces. I consider it sets a standard in church magazines which is hard to match. So, well done all. Eileen Ward

Ninety years young Geoff Weekes reflects on ‘the peace of God that passeth all understanding’ In the (hopefully brief enough) speech of thanks I gave for the 90th birthday card and the well-chosen brilliant book as a ‘pressy’ the Rector had handed to me at the end of his notices before the final hymn on Sunday 7th February, I said how much I owed St Mary's and gestured to the Communion rail where, when I was troubled for any reason, I found ‘the peace of God that passeth all understanding’. Penny has asked me to say a little more about what I meant - and mean. It’s actually a bit difficult to put into words, but one can never ignore a request from our distinguished ‘editor’. As some of you know I have been struggling for some time with some fairly serious health problems, hence my infinitely regrettable absence from the choir. I have also been deeply concerned about difficulties in relationships one or two members of my family are undergoing, and in particular for the psychological disorder my lovely granddaughter has suffered from for some months now, necessitating regular attendance at obscenely expensive psychiatric counselling. Needless to say, these issues have been pressing on my mind. Yet, as I kneel to receive the bread and

wine from Christ’s representatives at the Eucharist, I don’t exactly forget them altogether but sink into a sort of acceptance of whatever is, and just ‘wait upon the Lord’ (one of my favourite anthems!). As I return to the choir stall or pew, in a meditative frame of mind, sometimes - but by no means always - an idea comes to me as something I should try to help or do, and it does help. I like to think it was the work of the Holy Spirit. Laus Deo. Geoff Weekes

From first to twenty-first... from Acts to actions

Witnesses - who pray & obey This is the first in a series of studies based on the earliest church as described in the book of Acts, with implications for our church today. You may want to use them for personal reflection - or as material for discussion in your home group.

Acts 1: 1-14 1) Witnesses Just before his ascension, Jesus tells the disciples that they are to be his witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. In a way this sets out the agenda for the rest of the book, which is set in Jerusalem up to the end of chapter 7, then moves to Samaria for chapter 8, and further afield in the later chapters, ends at the centre of the Empire, Rome. The word ‘witnesses’ today makes us think of speaking about something we have seen either in court or to a journalist. We sometimes use the phrase. ‘eye witness’ to emphasise that the witness has seen something with their very own eyes. Jesus was sending his disciples to share with others what they had seen with their own eyes, and heard with their own ears: his miracles, his teaching, his compassion, his death and his 12

resurrection. They had ‘good news’ to tell - unique and amazing. Good news which could change lives, as people turned away from sin, fear and death, to forgiveness, joy and life. In one of the letters attributed to Peter many years later, the readers are told: ‘Always be ready to make your defence to anyone who demands from you an account of the hope that is in you’ (1 Peter 3:15). Some questions to ponder or discuss:  Have you ever been a witness in court, or told a journalist about something you have seen? How did you feel about it?  What can you share with others about Jesus? Not just what you read in the Bible - but what you have experienced in your life, or through the life of the church?  How do you feel about sharing your faith? What would help you? 2) Obedience Jesus tells the disciples to wait in Jerusalem, until they receive the power of the Holy Spirit. He didn’t tell them how long they would have to wait, but we know that it was for ten days. As far as we know, most of them did obey this open-ended command. If Jesus is our ‘Lord’, then we should do what he tells us.

Some questions to ponder or discuss:  Do you find it easy to do what you are told? Or are you a natural rebel?  What difference does Jesus being your ‘boss’ make in your daily life?  When, for you, do the ways of Jesus conflict with the ways of the world?  When was the last time that you looked to Jesus for guidance in a difficult decision, either at work or at home?

know what form their prayers took - we imagine them using the Psalms and other traditional Jewish forms of prayer, but also following the example and teaching of Jesus. Some questions to ponder or discuss:  How do you feel about spending an extended time in prayer?  What experience do you have of quiet days, pilgrimages and retreats?  What do you find difficult about prayer?  What helps you to pray? 3) Prayer They ‘were constantly devoting  What is your prayer for St Mary’s? themselves to prayer’ (v14). We do not ▄

Background to the book of Acts  

We believe that this book was written by Luke - compare the first verses of Acts, with the first verses of Luke’s gospel, and you will see why! It was written for ‘Theophilus’ which means ‘one who loves God’. We don’t know whether there was an individual called Theophilus, or whether Luke was writing for anyone who loves God. There are a few passages in the book where the author uses the word ‘we’, implying that he was there in the midst of the action at the time; and that he was well-acquainted with the major players. The story takes place within the Roman Empire which united much of Europe and the lands around the Mediterranean at that time - people of diverse cultures and faiths, extremes of wealth and poverty, education and illiteracy. Not so different from the world we know today? The book portrays the growth of the church in its early decades with both internal tensions and external opposition. 13

Absolutely Fabulous Rowena’s Trans Siberian Railway trip part III - Lake Baikal to Vladivostok The Trans-Siberian railway is not the world’s most beautiful train journey but it does become beautiful at Lake Baikal, our first stop after Irkutsk, to which we were taken by a steam engine. It was a great thrill to ride on the shore of the lake of the footplate of that engine! Lake Baikal is the deepest lake in the world and contains many species found nowhere else, as was illustrated at the geological museum to which we went by boat, visiting on the way a reconstructed farming village inhabited by 19th century peasants from European Russia who received much land as a reward. Today many more affluent Siberians have summer homes round the lake. We were reluctant to leave such a lovely place. Ulan Ude, the capital of the Byriat Republic, so named after the local tribe, contains the largest head of Lenin in the world. Because it was a public holiday we spent little time there, but visited a remote village of Old Believers, people who had disagreed with the liturgical reforms of the 18th century Orthodox Church and migrated to preserve their traditions of worship, dress and others. They welcomed us, showed us round one of their traditional homes, gave us lunch 14

Lake Baikal

in their community hall, where they acted out a drama showing their way of arranging a marriage. We were reminded of the Amish people of north America. Our next day was spent in Mongolia, partly in Ulan Batoor, the world’s coldest capital but mostly in an immense national park where we rode the Mongolian ponies. If you want an unusual holiday you can hire a yurt there. Then came the long train journey to Vladivostok. Autumn comes early in Siberia where it is green and golden rather than red. We passed through seemingly endless landscapes, crossed wide rivers and arrived on the eastern shore of the Ussuri river, between

Tunisian Cake Russia and China, on a Saturday afternoon. The shore was crowded with bathers enjoying their dips and, as darkness fell, the barbecue fires burned and the sounds of music and laughter rose to meet us. We arrived in Vladivostok eight hours later than programmed, which meant that the planned tour of the city had to be postponed until seven the next morning for those willing to rise. I was and it was worth it; it is a surprisingly beautiful city. Founded in the mid 19th century, its first governor intended it to be a Paris in the east while it reminded the sailors, transferred from the Black Sea, of Constantinople and they named the harbour the Golden Horne. We were told that President Putin is investing greatly in this city and already a second bridge has been built. Impressive to see was the bronze monument to the sailors of the Pacific fleet who had lost their lives in the Great Patriotic War. Mass is said daily in the chapel from which we could hear the chant. Alas, we had to catch our flight to Moscow that very afternoon. A year later the group had a reunion. We agreed that the one disappointment of the fabulous trip was that we had not had more time in Vladivostok. Since our return President Putin has vetoed a proposed industrial development near Lake Baikal on environmental grounds.

Gluten-free recipe courtesy of Jane Turner from Wanstead and Woodford U3A Serves 8. 45g polenta 200g golden caster sugar 100g ground almonds 1 1/2 tsp baking powder 215ml olive oil 4 eggs 1 orange (finely grated zest) 1 lemon (finely grated zest) 2 tbsp icing sugar SYRUP 45g granulated sugar 1/2 orange, juice 1/2 lemon, juice 1/2 cinnamon stick, broken Mix the polenta, caster sugar, almonds and baking powder in a large bowl. Beat in the oil, eggs, and zests with a wooden spoon. Pour into a greased, lined 21cm cake tin and put in a cold oven. Turn it to Gas Mark 5 and bake for 35-40 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes then turn on to a wire rack. For the syrup, boil the sugar and juices with the cinnamon stick. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring to dissolve the sugar, then remove the cinnamon stick. Skewer the cake all over and pour the syrup all over while the cake is cooling. Serve with a dusting of icing sugar.

Rowena Rudkin 15

Book Reviews Fragile Mystics: Reclaiming a prayerful life By Magdalen Smith SPCK ISBN 978-0-281-07384-9 This gentle book encourages us to go deeper into a prayer life that draws on early Mystics and holy people from the past, suggesting practical ways to recover and transform our inner spaces. Each chapter focuses on a different aspect. Still: creating a still life, Gaze: the lost art of adoration and Thank: an attitude of gratitude are all examples of how Christians can adopt ways of living that display something both special and distinctive and intrigues others to discover more. Magdalen Smith invites us to undertake experiences that will change us, shape us and help us to grow. She quotes Graham Tomlin, who writes in his book, The Provocative Church: Genuine evangelism invites people to the transformed life because ‘things could and should be better than they are and because our present way of life is not the only way of life... because we have heard news that there is another king, another kingdom, under whose rule things are very different.’ There is plenty here to reflect on, to discuss and contemplate during Lent and beyond ‘as we aspire to work with God to be a part of great things.’ Penny Freeston 16

The Servant Queen and the King she serves Published by Bible Society, HOPE, and LICC ISBN 978-0-9575598-2 This attractive souvenir book, amply illustrated with colour photographs, documents the Christian faith behind Queen Elizabeth’s long years of faithful service. It includes many anecdotes from her long reign, and quotes from her Christmas messages. An excellent gift for both monarchists and Christians alike. Ian Tarrant

Quiz Who or what are we? We are all part of the Christian story and we all begin with ‘W’. 1 I am a little word used many times in the Bible to express grief and lamentation. 2 My name is Rowan W___________. I have been the Archbishop of Canterbury.

8 The w______ and w______ obey Him. 9 My name is W_____. I have visited Muchunguri. I have often looked after the church noticeboard.

10 I am the earliest English 3 I am the first day of Lent. I am Ash cathedral built in the Gothic style. W_________. 11 I am a reader at Saint Mary’s. 4 Jonas spent three days and three My name is Chris W________. nights in my belly. I am a w______. 12 Jane Austen was buried in this 5 I am the Archbishop of cathedral in 1817. Canterbury. My name is Justin 13 I am Saint Hilda. I spent a lot of W______. time in the Yorkshire town of 6 At the w__________ W______. in Cana our Lord changed 14 Jesus went into the w___________ w________ for forty days, tempted by Satan. into w_____. 7 The royal tombs of King John and Prince Arthur are in this cathedral.

15 I was in the beginning and I was with God and I was God. I am the W_____.

Answers on page 19


Youth Woodford, Wanstead and Aldersbrook youth groups get together It has been an exciting few months getting to meet so many people at various youth groups and events, being welcomed into this role and being able to witness and guide young people to question, discuss and step out in their faith. We as a team are hoping to develop some new things and are trying to listen well and be obedient to God’s will in what we are doing. We are looking for partners and collaborators as we start new groups and want to listen to your views and perspectives on what we do. Please do get in touch if you want to get involved. In October, our Redbridge Deanery


Youth Event ‘Got Treasure?!’ went really well, joining together young people from various churches and a great team of over twenty supported the event. The free pirate event challenged us to store up treasures in heaven via mime whilst trying to stay on-board a walk-the-plank motionsimulator. November amazingly saw 21 young people make a public declaration of their faith and be confirmed by the Bishop. Our pizza and games evening at St Mary’s brought everyone together over food to then attempt to find each other in a game of sardines. St Gabriel’s youth music group has been practising and performing together and did a great job over the Christmas services. Young people across the churches have been getting involved in Junior Choir; doing a great job serving in morning worship and carol services. Signpost Youth group has brought young people together for fun, games

and faith discussions, finishing the term by wrapping each other up to look like Christmas trees. A big thank you to everyone who had volunteered, got involved, prayed and offered support to the youth ministry and myself over the past few months. If you would like to get involved, please do get in touch. With love and blessings Becca Kemal 07490 459850

Quiz Answers : We all begin with “w� 1 Woe 2 Williams 3 Wednesday 4 whale 5 Welby 6 wedding, water, wine 7 Worcester Cathedral 8 winds, waves 9 Wendy 10 Wells Cathedral 11 Winward 12 Winchester Cathedral 13 Whitby 14 wilderness 15 Word 19

Caring for the planet and its people

‘Send a cow’ tops £15,000

We started supporting Send a Cow in 1996 as a good turn for the 1st Woodford Guides when in the February of that year, the Company took a table at St Mary's Table Top Sale! In 2002 we started the ‘Church Don't send a Card, send the Cash’ scheme and over the Christmas period raised £434.88. Since then we have run the scheme each Christmas time and with our contribution in 2015 the total raised has reached £15,163.45. The charity has written: ‘This is an amazing total for which we are really grateful. The number of lives that have been transformed through this is enormous. Whole communities will have changed through your church's dedication.’ We know several of you have also 20

sent individual donations to the charity and we would like to thank you for your support over the years. Long may it continue! Janet Collins and Jane Fone

African proverb If you think you are too small to make a difference you have never spent a night with a mosquito


Birding in Egypt I look back with very happy memories of days spent with St Mary’s bird-watching enthusiasts years ago. I learned so much, and the camaraderie in the group buoyed me up during the time I was a full-time carer. I had always been interested in birds, butterflies and wild flowers as I grew up close to the forest and during my childhood was frequently taught by Ken Hoy, a local naturalist and author. In recent years Martin and I have found ourselves bird-watching off the beaten track in Shetland, Nepal, Zimbabwe and, more recently, Egypt. I thought members of the former St Mary's group might like to know that on an expedition near Aswan last month we counted 49 different species in a couple of hours. Some of the more unusual ones included the Glossy Ibis, Black-winged Stilt, Purple Heron, Hoopoe, Pied Kingfisher, Purple

Purple Gallinule (Swamp Hen)

Pied kingfisher hovering

Gallinule and Senegal Thick-knee. The River Nile is one of the most famous wetlands in the world and it is home to many species. Some birds are passage migrants which fly between their breeding grounds farther north and their wintering grounds to the south; for many of these the Nile Delta and Valley are a fertile corridor where they can refuel and rest involving crossing of the Mediterranean Sea and Sahara Desert. Birds flew in and out of deserted temples, and I was reminded of the little swallow in Oscar Wilde’s story: ‘The Happy Prince’ who was ‘waited for in Egypt. My friends are flying up and down the Nile and talking to the large lotus flowers. Soon they will go to sleep in the tomb of the great King. The King himself is there in his painted coffin. He is wrapped in yellow linen, and embalmed with spices. Round his neck is a chain of pale green jade, and his hands are like withered leaves.’ Egypt’s tourism is struggling and we were asked to ‘spread the word’ to encourage more visitors. It is a beautiful, fascinating country to which I long to return. Penny Freeston 21

Book review which is of great interest. The author reminds us that By Karen Armstrong many of the epistles Published by Pan are probably earlier ISBN 0330281615 than any other writings in the New Karen Armstrong spent several years in Testament, and thus the 1960s as a nun in a Roman our earliest account Catholic convent, but became of both the infant disillusioned and left. She later moved Christian Church to a more liberal position. The book and what being a Christian is about. should probably come with a health On a number of occasions, our warning, being written about a subject attention is drawn to differences of of central importance to Christianity by tone and detail in the story of his someone who had in many ways ministry as set out by Paul himself and ceased to be a conventional Christian. as recorded a good deal later by Luke The book is based on a television in the Acts of the Apostles. Paul will series about St Paul which Karen always divide opinion, between those Armstrong made for Channel 4 in the who value his elucidation of early Christian theology and those who find him dreadfully opaque. Armstrong certainly points up differences in levels of complexity between the developed writings of Paul and the apparently simpler teaching of Jesus. Am I recommending this book? Yes and no. Yes, if you want to be reminded of matters you may have forgotten and prompted to refresh your early 1980s. This shows in the own thinking about the early Church structure of the book. Each chapter is and the development of Christian very separate, based on episodes which thinking. If you want a book which you doubtless had to be designed to appeal can take at face value and rely on as an to those who had not seen the authoritative statement on the matters programme in previous weeks. In a discussed, then, sadly, probably not. book to be read right through, one might have preferred more cohesion. Ian McBrayne Nevertheless, there is much in the book

The First Christian


Life Story Did you have the opportunity?

parents said there was no point in a girl going there, since she would get married anyway. So she never took the exam (it was optional in those days). She would have loved to go to college Many of you will remember Chris and study art. Instead she went to the Meikle who now lives in Wales where she also lived as a child. Chris Secondary Modern School and later worked in Woolworths. Then she got looks back at her formative years married. She's in her 70's now and and poses the question: How did although happily married, still has your childhood influence your regrets over what might have been. She future? Every week I walk with a group of goes to Art Class at our local U3A and ladies. We cover about 5 miles and has exhibited and sold some of her walk through the countryside or along paintings. the coastal path. We are not serious Maggie's father greeted her, on her ramblers; rather we 'walk and talk'. 15th birthday, with the words ‘I've kept Having lived in London for 25 years, I you for 15 years. It's about time you have lost touch with some people I earned your keep’. So she did factory used to know in Wales, so these ladies jobs until she was old enough to travel are 'new' friends. We talk about a wide abroad to work as an au-pair. Later she range of topics and we also share took a job as a care assistant at a life stories. psychiatric institution, which she I have one life story I can't share enjoyed. She would have loved to have with them. From the age of 10, I was trained as a paediatric nurse but never conscious of pressure in my life, for the had the opportunity. first time. The 11+ examination would I know I had opportunities in my be coming up the following year. I childhood. My father took me to the knew I had to pass. I can still hear my library twice a week. My mother was mother's voice: ‘If you don't pass the interested in art and showed me prints 11+ you'll end up working in of great paintings. She also took me to Woolworths and you don't want church and encouraged me to grow in that!’ (The Secondary Modern schools my faith. We travelled and I saw inside in our area were indeed dire and a fee- so many other churches, as well as paying school was beyond our means, museums and castles. I have tried to as well as far from our locality.) make the most of my opportunities. Maureen's older brother went to the How did your childhood influence your Grammar School. Her parents were future? very proud. When her turn came, her Chris Meikle 23


Angels of Paris I wrote this poem for a French friend, distressed by the atrocities in Paris in recent months. I was inspired by a little Statue of an angel at the Rue de Turbigo book I bought for her: Angels of Paris by Rosemary Flannery (published by The Little Book Room, New York) containing many beautiful photographs and explanations of so many angels present in that beautiful city. ‘Look up and discover the angels of Paris: they're hovering everywhere, each telling their own stories about the city…’ Angels of Paris watch over dying flowers and tricoleurs fading in the falling rain. Carved from stone, they fill the boulevards, churches, towers and slip into stained-glass windows of saints. Timeless, they gaze on the moonlit river, bouquinistes, and people slipping past: sliding into disbelief At their beautiful city in mourning.

Stained glass angel, Saint-Germain l'Auxerrois, Place du Louvre; photo by Simon Knott, used with permission 24

Angels of Paris, watch over them as the year grows old. Fill their hearts with the promise of prunier blossom and sunlit cobbles by Sacré Coeur, then wing your way north, watch over us too: shelter us in your beauty and keep us safe in the dark. Penny Freeston

Book Review Bible: The Story of the King James Version by Gordon Campbell. Published by Oxford University Press ISBN 10:0199557608 As the sub-title implies, the main focus of this book is on the King James Version of the Bible, also known as the Authorised Version, first published in 1611. But it starts with a brief account of earlier English translations, including those by Wyclif, Tyndale and Coverdale. The immediate predecessors of the King James Version were the Geneva Bible, produced by Protestant exiles in the 1550s, and the Bishops’ Bible of 1568. For King James I, who came to the throne in 1603, both those Bibles had shortcomings, the Bishops’ Bible for the quality of its scholarship and the Geneva Bible because its editors allowed their anti-royalist feelings to show in its footnotes. So he commissioned a revised translation; this royal command gave rise to the term Authorised Version. The new version was prepared by six ‘companies’ of scholars, two each at Oxford, Cambridge and Westminster, comprising between them an outstanding assembly of experts in the Scriptures and in the Hebrew and Greek tongues in which the Bible was originally written. For their English translation they chose language which in its day was already

somewhat archaic, but with an emphasis on clarity, ‘that it may be understood even of the very vulgar’. Fixing the text of the King James Version was not, of course, the end of the story for the Bible in English. On the contrary, from the 19th century to the present, there have been frequent new editions, departing from the wording of the King James Version – usually in an attempt to create something more easily understood by modern readers – to a sufficient degree that they stand on their own as new versions. Campbell gives an account of these, including the Revised Standard Version, the New English Bible and the New International Version among others. The Story of the King James Version is a solid read but not a difficult one, and repays the perseverance required. Campbell asserts (and many of us would surely agree with him), that this translation proved to be ‘the most enduring embodiment of Scripture in the English language, the Bible of the heart’. Ian McBrayne 25



Youth bake-off in February half term!


Junior choirs from Wanstead and Woodford sing together on 31st January

Planet Animal: Saving Earth's Disappearing Animals Author Barbara Taylor Publisher Carlton Books Ltd Published 02 Apr 2009 Pages 32 ISBN: 9781847323255 Planet Animal showcases some of the world's best-loved animals that are now at risk due to hunting, habitat destruction, and more recently, climate change. Featuring a host of animals, from polar bears, to elephants and albatrosses, this book uses a new, dynamic format and sumptuous photographs, to explore each animal in the context of its habitat. Quick reference fact boxes explain clearly the reasons why the animals are threatened, how many are left, and what is being done to help them.


Help Ananias find the house where Paul was staying

Katie and Alice as Paul and Ananias

In our January All-age service, we heard the story of the conversion of Saint Paul. The hero of the story was Ananias: God told him to go and pray for Paul - but he was afraid of Paul, who had been putting Christians in prison..


Book Review Sir Charles Raymond of Valentines and the East India Company by Georgina Green Published by Hainault Press ISBN 978-0-9507915-2-4 I thoroughly recommend all those interested in local history to read this meticulously researched biography of an eighteenth-century sea captain, who, on retirement, purchased Valentines House in Ilford in 1754, while continuing in business in the City of London. Sir Charles Raymond owned two ships called the Valentine; the second was wrecked when returning home up the English Channel in 1779. It is fascinating to read of items salvaged from the wreck that were retrieved in the late 1970s. Those of us who are familiar with Georgina's love of local history will not be surprised to find that she has left no stone unturned, and there is much to learn from her methodical and thorough research into this period of history and the East India Company. History comes alive: she has been patient and diligent in giving us this very readable account of life in Georgian England that deserves a wide audience, both local and further afield. Numerous references to St Mary’s, Woodford and fascinating illustrations throughout provide an added bonus! Penny Freeston



Evelyn Davis 18th August 1935 5th September 2015 This is an abridged version of the account Evelyn’s grand-daughters shared at her funeral Evelyn Lydia Smith was born on Sunday 18th August, 1935 in Dundee, Fife on the east coast of Scotland. She was very proud of being born in Scotland and felt an affinity for the country, even though she moved on quite soon, when her father was posted down south. As time passed, she became an older sister to initially a baby sister and then three lively little brothers. She showed herself to be a protective and fiercely loyal older sister. She prepared for the arrival of her siblings by making sure that the environment was safe, doing an extensive audit of the hen house as a toddler! Throughout her life, Nan loved to read. This was a joy she discovered early on, even during the war when the evening lighting was an issue. She used to creep under her bed with a candle to allow her to continue reading after blackout, until she was discovered! Her 30

first years of schooling were in the grammar school Masson House in Louth, Lincolnshire. She thoroughly enjoyed her time in this establishment, and she was never as happy at her next school, Woodford County High School for Girls. Luckily, she made good friends there, including one, who tells of her loving reading, drama and low level rebellion! On leaving school, Nan started work in Foyles bookshop on Tottenham Court Road, an excellent job for a voracious reader! During her early teens, Nan decided to start going to ballroom dancing classes in Wanstead. This is where she would meet her beloved Jack, who would become her husband. Apparently he was a pretty nifty dancer and swept her off her feet literally!

They became inseparable from that time, and married when Nan was 18, Grandad was 20. With three young boys, life must have been pretty full on for her, although she will have had some practice with her younger brothers! Nan found the time to help out at a cub pack, 6th Epping Forest South, with another dear friend, Christine Dyer, worked together as a great team providing fun and frolics at cub camps. One camp, during a hot summer, was interrupted by a huge thunderstorm and torrential rain, leaving Nan sheltering in a tent with some boys… until the water level started to rise up through the bottom of the tent and Nan called to evacuate! Her talent for story telling came to the fore during the cub years. Her sense of performance was very strong, leading to her requiring props for her party piece at one of Christine’s parties! Few who have heard Nan perform ‘We’re going on a lion hunt’ will forget the animation in her face and the exuberance of the performance! She further developed her inner drama queen through the Old Time Music Hall. Through such timeless classics as My baby ’as gorn dahn the plug ’ole and I took my harp to a party, Nan would frequently steal the show! In her later years, she developed a keen love of all things garden. Although a late starter, she was as passionate about it as she was about

everything and prided herself on being able to name all of the 15+ varieties of clematis that could be found in her little patch. Of course, the lasting memory will be of her going snail hunting in the evening, with a light on her head, special gloves and shoes and a bucket. Nan was a people person. All types of people, old, young and everything in between. She could be whatever they needed her to be – supportive, loyal, feisty, argumentative, loving, understanding or a fine cook. She is someone that will be remembered fondly and with a silver lining of humour by everyone who had the chance to know and love her. 31

A big

thank you to everyone submitting contributions and photographs to this edition Please keep them coming, as without them we wouldn’t have a parish magazine. Articles, prayers, book reviews, favourite music, recipes, gardening tips etc. We would love some children’s drawings as well: the choice is yours! Email directly using a subject heading to: or pass to Penny Freeston who will type up your handwritten copy. Our next copy date is 15th May 2016. Magazine team: Penny Freeston, Beverley Fuentes, Cheryl Corney, Ian Tarrant, Sam McCarthy, Peter Wall. 32

St Mary Magazine Spring 2016  

The latest edition of our Parish magazine

St Mary Magazine Spring 2016  

The latest edition of our Parish magazine