St Maryâ€™s Parish Magazine
Volume 2, Issue 4
Spring 2011 www.stmaryswoodford.org.uk
The need for multifocal vision I don't wear glasses - yet! But perhaps the time is coming, as writing in the distance is getting hard to read. I am aware that many people wear glasses which combine different lenses so that they are good for seeing things nearby and things far away. Serving as Rector of St Mary's, I find that I am constantly having to change my focus: one moment the visits or phone calls which are needed today, next choosing the hymns for the following month, next planning special events for the summer, and then pondering what our church will be like in five or ten years time? A working group of the Church Council is looking at long term strategy for St Mary's. We are aware of a gentle decline in church membership over recent decades, but we know that this has not been the experience of all parishes. We are aware that there are thousands of people living in our parish with whom we have had very little contact, and who have not yet heard the good news of God's love. How can we get alongside them, serve them, tell them, and welcome them in? In what ways do we need to develop the life of our church, so that we are as attractive to our neighbours, as Jesus was to the first disciples? The group brought some short-term proposals back to the PCC in March - and will bring more far-reaching ideas later. Please pray for this group, and the whole church, as we face the 21st century. Thank you. These are some of the books being read by the strategy working group - perhaps you would like to read one or more yourself? Church of England: Mission-shaped church (2004) This landmark General Synod report has been much praised and much criticised - but is on the reading list of every ordinand these days! Cottrell: From the abundance of the heart (2006) The new Bishop of Chelmsford's book is subtitled: 'Catholic Evangelism for all Christians'. He tells the story of how he came to faith, and commends a strategy for church growth that involves service, nurture and inspiring worship. Our cover picture is one of the many delightful spring flowers planted by the late Anne Snowdon in the front garden. You can read Alison Clarkeâ€™s tribute to Anne later in the magazine.
Dye: It's time to grow (1998) A book about using people's gifts for church growth and church planting in London. Holmes: Challenging questions for churches wanting to grow (2009) This book encourages us to review the impression we give, the welcome and care we offer, and the diversity of our worship. Jackson: Everybody welcome (2010) This recently retired archdeacon is convinced that the key to growth is the welcome we offer newcomers and has written a five-part course for churches to follow. Jenkins: Multiplying churches (2008) The author suggests that when your church stops growing, it is time to start another congregation in the same building. He did so successfully in two different parishes. Moore: Messy church (2006) Subtitled 'fresh ideas for building a Christ-centred community' - the main idea is afternoon family worship with craft activities and food. Singlehurst: Sowing reaping keeping (2006) About sharing the news of God's love in a 'people-sensitive' way in the 21st century. Ian
Parish Register Welcomed into the family of the church by baptism 28 November 2010 Briana Duncan 5 December 2010 Grace Bloom Jack Bloom 16 January 2011 Amelia Scadgell-Gould 13 March 2011 Scarlett Georghiou Toby Georghiou United before God in marriage 23 October 2010 Christopher Whitfield and Leonie Noble Funerals May they rest in peace 5th October2010 22nd October 2010 25th November 2010 7th January 2011 17th January 2011 7th February 2011
and rise in glory Aubrey Perry Jack Clowes Molly Bromwich Graham Hornsey Anne Snowdon Ken Hardwick
She knew where everything was Sandy Ball recently retired as church secretary. Chris Winward pays tribute to all her behind the scenes work. Sandy started back in 1983 at a time when few, if any, churches employed professional secretaries. She freely admitted that she had reservations about taking on the job and that it was Bob’s confidence in her capabilities that provided the early encouragement and support that she needed. In her role, Sandy became involved in the organisation of funerals, weddings, baptisms and concerts and she oversaw the church bookings diary. She produced the weekly service sheets and during Bob’s incumbency, co-ordinated his diary and Sandy on her last day at work organised the preaching and service rota. As well as all that, whilst Bob was area dean, she acted as deanery secretary too and organised clergy for churches undergoing interregnum within the deanery with great tact and efficiency. During this period, she enjoyed a close working relationship/friendship with not only Bob and his curate Derek Newton (affectionately known as Huggy Bear) but with the verger, Bill Kent. They not only worked together harmoniously; they laughed a lot too! Bill and Sandy became particularly close colleagues/friends and were a great support to one another for many years. Sandy was also a considerable source of information and support to churchwardens throughout her work as she came to know so many people; she knew who they were, she knew where everything was or where to get it and her experience was invaluable. But, apart from the conscientiousness that she applied to her work, Sandy revealed her Christian faith in the way in which she cared about people; a care to which many members of St Mary’s could attest, and that went beyond the call of duty. To many, she was the first point of contact with the church and dealt with people with sensitivity and warmth. At funerals, for example, she would leave her office to ensure that the church was prepared for the service and be ready to greet the mourners. Although it was not in her job description (if indeed she ever had one!),for 27 years Sandy brought her warmth, her sensitivity, her care for people and, yes, her sense of humour to the job and the church that she loved so much and we are utterly grateful to her for so many years of loyal service. We wish her well in her retirement and in the continuation of her Christian ministry at St John’s church in Epping.
Since Sandy's retirement, we have staffed our church office with volunteers, Monday to Friday, 10am to noon, writes Ian Tarrant Clare Chandler is there Tuesday to Thursday. Clare is used to office work but had a career break in recent years, to look after her children Elizabeth and Arthur, and because of a serious illness. She is pleased now to get out of the house and meet the challenges posed by St Mary's. Her big task each week is putting together the notice sheet - more complex than it looks! Anne Atkinson comes in on Mondays. Anne has been worshipping with us for less than a year but is pleased that she can contribute to the life of the church. Her speciality is to be completing the registers and certificates for baptisms, banns, and weddings. Brian Ray is covering Fridays. This means that most of the photocopying falls to him, but we are hoping to find somebody else Clare hard at work with to help with this. the weekly newsletter
Brian - contemplating another round with the photocopier?
Anne keeping registers up to date
The Iron Lady visits the Memorial Hall You might have noticed a film crew hanging around the Memorial Hall a little while ago. They were actually using the Hall to film scenes from a film about Margaret Thatcher, starring Meryl Streep. The Hall resembles one in Grantham apparently! So do watch the credits if you go to see the film.
Songs of Praise, at St. Paul’s, Woodford Bridge in January, was a splendid opportunity to join with members of both Saint Paul’s and Saint Barnabas to sing our favourite hymns with gusto writes Penny Freeston. Despite it being a gloomy, cold evening, the event was very well attended and we were greeted warmly with tea and cakes before the service. I left feeling very uplifted and moved by hearing such sincere testaments of faith as fellow Christians, representing the three churches, introduced their favourite hymns. These were the hymns chosen: We sing the glorious conquest Lead, kindly light Amazing Grace! Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine Just as I am The Lord’s my shepherd
Laudate Dominum I heard the voice of Jesus say Blest are the pure in heart Onward Christian soldiers! The day thou gavest, Lord, is ended And can it be that I should gain
Jean Morgans gives us an unusual reason for choosing Onward Christian Soldiers I did not choose this hymn because it was a favourite of mine, but it brought back memories of an incident that happened in the late 70s. My middle daughter Sarah trained as a Norland Nanny and at the time was a resident nanny to two little boys aged approximately two and a half years and a few months. The house was a tall terraced house in a square in Chelsea, the top floor being the nursery suite. One Saturday evening at about 10.30 p.m. Sarah had phoned me to make arrangements for the following day. Her employers being away, she was bringing the boys to Woodford for the day. Suddenly the phone went dead and she had the horrible Onward feeling that someone had broken into the house. Christian nannies (This was the time of Lord Lucan's nanny being murdered.) Not being able to go to bed, she knew she had to investigate. She put on the light, picked up a laundry basket and proceeded down the stairs singing 'Onward Christian Soldiers' in a loud voice. She went as far as the first floor, looking in all the rooms, and thought all was well. In the cold light of day however, they discovered there had been a break-in through the basement. Georgian silver, antiques and two paintings had been taken, leaving one painting on the wall. The police thought the burglars had been hiding behind the long curtains in the dining room when Sarah disturbed them. A neighbour subsequently reported that
she had seen two men acting suspiciously, but thought they were Sarah's boyfriends! Her employers sued Banham, the company who had installed the iron gates to the basement and the case went to the High Court. The incident was reported in the national press with the heading, 'Nanny scares burglars with Onward Christian Soldiers.' The two and a half year old is still very much part of the Morgans’ family, now living in Switzerland, married with two children and still calls me Granny!
More Joint Worship Cheryl Corney writes about the opportunities to worship with other Christians Over the winter, I have been delighted to attend two services in the area where people from many of our local churches in and around Woodford came together to worship along with people from further afield. In December 2010, a much loved Advent Carol Service took place at St Thomas of Canterbury Church, Woodford Wells. Many gathered to celebrate the season and share the knowledge that “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light”. Choirs from All Saints Church and from Loyola Preparatory School sang beautifully as members of the The people who walked in darkness Christian family worshipped together. People from local churches provided the readings, meditations and prayers. Afterwards we had tea and delicious, homemade, mince pies. At the end of the service there was a retiring collection in aid of SHP, the Redbridge Night Shelter. In January 2011, we marked the week of prayer for Christian Unity. Many local churches gathered for a service at St Paul’s Church, Woodford Bridge. This year the service contained special greetings from Christians in Jerusalem. We prayed and sang together and candles were lit for all the churches in Woodford. It was a very special gathering.
Many challenges and quality singing Martin Seymour left us in January after seven years. He reflects on his time here and the choir share a few memories I arrived in 2003, with only three rehearsals before the nine lessons and carols and it took a year to see the range of liturgies at St Mary’s and how music related to the seasons such as Compline during Lent the whole Holy Week and Easter experience. This breadth and quality of music adds so much to the worship of the church. Over the years, the choir has expanded and diminished over time Martin (far right) with a full as people have gradually moved strength St Mary’s choir away and new people arrived. But the choir has always been up for a challenge such as The Reproaches by Sanders and various anthems by living composers. Week by week, the quality singing through anything remains at the forefront of my mind, while the icing on the cake has been trips to Rochester and Southwark Cathedrals, and Westminster Abbey. These were amazing experiences. There have been lots of other extra events too: ‘Come and sing Messiah’, Vivaldi’s Gloria and Pergolesi’s Magnificat, choir concerts, outside groups performing and the organ recital series and the Choral Scholarship scheme, promoting the junior choir in schools. The choir CD is something I shall treasure and am proud of; it is a true representation of St Mary’s choirs singing at their best. Alex Chaplin’s accompanying and solo tracks in particular are tremendous and show the power and versatility of the organ that St Mary’s is privileged to have. One memory that will always be with me is David Wright’s funeral. David, a loyal member of the church and choir over decades was a very humble and special person. At his funeral, we had singers from all the different groups that he was connected with and Roger Sayer on the organ gave a stylish and rousing rendition of ‘O thou the central orb’ by Charles Wood - a true tribute. At the City of London Crematorium I played a small part in the final service. I arrived well before anyone else and started practicing a bit of J S Bach’s ‘St Anne Fugue’ - there was such a sense of calm sereneness and the feeling of someone looking down from above, very special.
After seven years now is the time for a new challenge. I will always have a fondness for St Mary’s and I hope to keep meeting you all. If you are ever in Marlow do come and see me - there are some great pubs too! And from the choir: Anne Jones: Martin had brought copies of Geoff Peacock’s favourite anthem to a choir social event so that those present could sing the anthem down the phone to Geoff whilst he was ill in hospital. If the choir were learning a new piece of music using his computer Martin would carefully make up a CD for each choir member with the piece of music both in full and with only their own part to assist with learning. Sue Chadwick: Martin set a poem to music for my 40th. It really made the day unique and gave me a very precious memory.
Beautiful art for the precious Torah Mark Lewis tells us about the Faith and Image visit to the Bet Kitvah Synagogue in Newbury Park Art and Judaism have never had a comfortable relationship because of the concerns over idolatry. The plastic arts were generally discouraged by the Law (Exodus 10:4) and in ancient times this ruling was applied to all images, whether or not they were intended as objects of worship. This theme was taken up enthusiastically by Rabbi David Hulbert who kindly hosted a Faith and Image event at the Bet Kitvah Synagogue at Newbury Park in January. About 9 members of St Mary’s fellowship enjoyed this fascinating evening visit. We learned that although imagery was proscribed, Jewish concepts of beauty allowed the decoration of ritual objects, which are often finely crafted and richly ornamented. We had the opportunity of seeing the parchment Torah Scrolls, kept in the “Aron Kodesh” – the Holy Ark - which is the focal point of the synagogue. It was a pleasure to observe their beautiful calligraphy and to see and handle some of the associated silver ceremonial artefacts. Even the ritual pointer, known as a “Yad”, which is used to point to the text during the Torah reading, is itself a carefully crafted object of beauty. Its use emphasises the preciousness of the Torah to the Jewish people.
By contrast, the Rabbi explained that most synagogues are simple buildings with few permanent trappings and generally designed to be unobtrusive. Given that the Jews have been a persecuted people and often on the move, their buildings were designed not to attract attention, so it is perhaps significant that the Bet Kitvah Synagogue is located in an old converted Victorian school. Our visit concluded with tea, cakes and fellowship as we had the opportunity to chat with the Rabbi and other members of the synagogue. It was a captivating visit among a warm and delightful community of people and a delightful opportunity to tangibly connect to the spiritual roots of our own Christian tradition.
Faith and Image Meetings 2010/2011 April 5th /9th Meeting: “Bentley, The Unknown Genius“….Peter Webb Visit: Guided Tour of Westminster Cathedral May 17th/20th Meeting: “The Meaning of Things“: Mark Lewis, Peter Webb, Jane Cantrell Visit; The Tate Modern June 28th Meeting: The Church of the Latter Day Saints. (To be confirmed) July 9th Visit: To visit Cookham / Stanley Spencer’s Inspiration for “Resurrection” (We hope to visit Burghclere in 2012) All meetings are at St Mary’s. If there are two dates the visit is on the second one. Ring Mark Lewis (8504 5840) or Jane Cooper (8504 1272) for full details
A Better Night’s Sleep David and Wendy Littlejohns update us on progress at the orphanage in Makutano In 2004, the Parish of St Michael and All Angels, Makutano allowed some of the street children to sleep in an old shepherd’s hut in the church grounds. The orphanage grew from that start, and now boasts a kitchen, dining hall, an area to grow crops and some luxuries: an electricity supply and piped water. But at the parish visit last August, all 14 boys were still sleeping in the same shepherd’s hut – improved, but hopelessly cramped. We found work was progressing fast on a new dormitory, using funds from the Chelmsford Lent project and a generous donor in the area. This February it was finished and Bishop Moses Nthukah will formally open the building on his return to Kenya in April. It can sleep up to 40 boys,
though the orphanage could never find the income to support so many. The main income is from the parish of St Michael and All Angels the right name for a church that is far from wealthy, and some private individuals in Kenya. Where will the orphanage go from here? They now need to build washrooms, The dormitory - much still needs to be done to be constructed at one end of the dormitory. Currently, the boys use a temporary corrugated iron shed. With proper washrooms, the orphanage would stand a chance of passing Government inspection, which would bring it a basic regular income. We also will shortly bring news of how sponsorship can be given to support the day-to-day living costs for the boys, particularly for education. Two, David and Nicholas, are now at secondary school, but in Kenya only primary education is free. Our link with Kenya was strengthened when the Rev Jenard Nyaga visited the UK for a conference last year. Jenard was the vicar at the Good Shepherd Church in Muchunguri, when we first linked with the church. Here he is visiting some of the children from Moreton School where Linda Wiskin is head teacher. Jenard and the children exchanged information about Christmas in their respective countries.
Churches United A few years ago Rev. Alison Clarke asked me a question. She wanted to know whether one could travel on a Thursday morning from Trier in Germany to York on public transport. I said that I thought one could but would like to check out the details. This I did and actually found two ways of doing this! A little while later Alison asked me whether I might also like to attend the conference in Trier. I looked into it and was very pleased to apply for a place on the conference. A delightful week in Trier followed. Hundreds of Christians gathered from many European countries and many parts of the church. We stayed in the convent, in hospitals and hotels. We met in churches and halls. We ate together. There were discussions, workshops, activities, services from our different traditions, meals eaten together and outings. There were seven main conference languages and lectures had been printed out on seven
different colours of paper in seven different languages. Participants wore badges showing which languages they spoke. There was music and much fellowship. A couple of years later I attended the I.E.F. conference in Pisac in the Czech Republic, where again there was much sharing and much fellowship. This summer’s conference is in Brighton, from 22 to 29th August. The theme is “Called to be Friends”. We will stay in the University of Sussex. There will be a pilgrimage visit to Chichester, a choice of seventeen different workshops, services in different traditions including an Anglican eucharist in Chichester Cathedral and on the Sunday a Roman Catholic Mass, an orthodox service, a healing service and a Methodist communion service. Alison and I hope to attend the conference this summer. If you would like to find out more about I.E.F. please do speak to either of us or look at the website at www.ief-oecumenica.org Cheryl Corney
Churches disunited? Ian Tarrant reflects on recent happenings within the Church of England There have always been Christians freely moving from the Roman Catholic Church to the Church of England and vice versa. In 2010 Pope Benedict set in motion plans to give ex-Anglicans a special grouping in the Church of Rome, called an Ordinariate, so that they could retain some of their Anglican traditions. This year from the 166 churches of the Barking Episcopal Area, only three priests, with some members of their congregations, are taking advantage of this new arrangement. Our Bishop, David Hawkins, has been fully in touch with their plans, and recently issued a statement, of which we reproduce part here: "It is with a heavy heart that I prepare to bid farewell to the priests and some of the members of three Church of England parish churches.... The breadth of the Church of England has always been important to me as we attempt to be the Church of England and to provide churches that will appeal to the wide diversity of our society made up of so many nationalities, especially here in East London. It is my personal regret that a mutually acceptable way of staying in the Church of England has not been found and that some of our most faithful clergy and people feel unable to remain within the Church of England. "I respect their conscience on this matter and applaud them in their courage to step out in faith into an uncertain future.... “Sad as this moment will be in our church history, I do believe that the creation of the Ordinariate means that we can continue our fellowship and friendships now as ecumenical colleagues. Many of the ambiguities, stresses and strains will now be removed from our relationships... I hope and pray that our Church of England /Roman Catholic relations nationally and locally will be deepened and enhanced through this chapter in our lives - rather than confused or diminished."
Our own Philip Swallow sees these events in a different light: I write this brief note now to remind everone that the Pope has now undermined the whole Church of England and Archbishop Rowan Williams personally by stating that Anglicans who do not accept women priests and bishops and who do not accept gay clergy will be welcomed by the Roman Catholic Church and indeed may retain their wives (the clergy, that is) and the Anglican liturgy. Even worse: this entirely political move undermines and indeed negates the years and years of patient ecumenical work on the part of many thousands (in the Roman Church as in the Anglican) and simply reaffirms the totally inflexible point of view of this Pope that right is always on his side and no one else’s. When, oh when, shall we all grow up and accept people as they are and not as others want them to be? British secular society has now largely arrived at this position. There is every good reason, in theology as in natural justice, for the church as a whole to embrace the ministry of women and of homosexuals. Anglicanism and indeed Roman Catholicism will be the richer for it.
Welcoming Churches Annie McTighe on not welcoming people Brussels style Early in January Simeon and I travelled to Brussels and Ypres. We went for two reasons the first; to visit the war graves of two of my relatives, learning more about the 1st world war. The second; to have a break, travel to a new country, enjoy the cuisine, meet new people and to try out the wine, beer and chocolate – all of which we both LOVE doing. Unfortunately the first 24 hours did not go as planned. We arrived on a busy Eurostar platform to be pushed and shoved by the crowds until we eventually found the Belgium Metro ticket booth. The people in the queue with us were not helpful and in fact they were quite rude... they ‘tutted’ as we tried in pigeon-French to buy tickets and passed rude remarks as we struggled with Who welcomed the Magi? the money. It left us both confused and upset. Simeon and I finally arrived at our hotel exhausted and decidedly put off Belgium! Whilst reading my bible in the hotel I was reminded of the Magi and how they must have felt as they travelled to worship the new born king. Even though they were on a God-inspired mission their journey must have been a challenge; they would not have known the language, there were no travelguides, the locals were probably hostile and unwelcoming, and they
certainly would have been as ignorant as Simeon and myself about local customs, routines and mannerisms – they probably would have felt as we did confused, alone and friendless. An unpleasant place to be in! I wonder if this is what many visitors to church can feel like- especially if they have not been in a church for a long time, or even if they have never been before. They do not understand the language we use, they do not know our customs or traditions and because of our business or shyness we do not speak to them and consequently they do not feel loved or welcomed. Stephen Cottrell, Bishop of Chelmsford says that the welcome we give new comers is the most important thing we can do for them. We need to open our arms to them welcoming them both into our church but our hearts as well. We need to allow them to experience the reality of the Christian community before they can accept the reality of Christ’s presence. * At the start of our celebration of new life at Easter, let us as a community remember the difficulties that new people in the church can face and when we see a new face or one we don’t recognise – let us reach out to them. Help them to understand our language, customs and traditions so they can fully participate in our worship. And open your arms in love and acceptance in the way Christ showed us love and acceptance. Because it is the hospitality of God and his people that is the proper expression of our evangelism. * Taken from the book "From the abundance of the heart" by Stephen Cottrell
Renewing the Vision Clare Wilson tells us about 100 years of girl guides Guiding’s centenary year started on 5 September 2009 as members all over the UK were invited to attend a Launch Party. Guides in Wanstead and Woodford were treated to funfair rides, live music, dance classes, circus skills and fantastic fireworks at Woodbridge High School. September 5th commemorates the event 100 years earlier at the first ever Boy Scout Rally in 1909 when Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of the Boy Scout movement, was asked for “something for the girls”. A small group of brave young women had been inspired by the activities their brothers were taking part in, and had tagged along secretly to watch the spectacle. The name Guides came from the north-west frontier in India, where men who, when they were not leading dangerous expeditions continued training their minds and bodies to always be at their physical and mental best. Baden Powell decided Girl Guides would be a suitable name for the
pioneering young women's movement he wished to establish. One hundred years later, Girlguiding has over 10 million members all over the world, and over half a million girls and women celebrated the end of the centenary year, at 8:10pm on 20 October 2010, (20:10 20/10 2010) by sharing a vision for the next 100 years of Guiding. The District chose St Mary’s as the venue for its Centenary finale, because the church supports and encourages the Girl guiding movement in Woodford South district. Our girls took part in a range of crafts, activities and challenges at the church with the theme “Beyond The Centenary – Beyond The Promise”. Each activity was individually designed to represent an aspect of our shared vision for the future; • Creating new memories to share – a “photo booth” with centenary themed coloured accessories. • Preparing for the future – a chance for the girls to be really creative and design and make a uniform for the future. • Marching to our own beat – a bongo drumming activity with alternating leaders and followers, the noise up the stairwell provided an energetic accompaniment to the activities! • Understanding other cultures – we gave each girl a “pet rock” to customise and a birth certificate to fill in with details about his or her culture. • Valuing real beauty – a chance for the girls to sign Girlguiding UK’s anti-airbrushing campaign, for images of thin, flawless models that had been digitally altered to be labelled. • Making new friends – the challenge was to give a fake tattoo to a person they don’t normally speak to, a nice icebreaker. • Continuing to be groundbreaking – we made a timeline of the most groundbreaking moments 1909 and then everyone worked together to predict the future of Guiding by writing their hopes and dreams for future activities, events and even badges. And at 20:10 20/10/ 2010 we all renewed our promise in a magical candle lit ceremony on the steps of St Mary’s. Guiding has come a long way since 1910. Our tagline is “Girls in the lead” and we aim to continue empowering girls and young women to achieve their full potential for the next 100 years and beyond… Overleaf - modern Brownies renew their promises and vision at St Mary’s.
Woodford Brownies at the Centenary celebrations at St Maryâ€™s on 20 October 2010
Winner of the Reg Fowkes Photographic Competition Peoples Choice: “Cleeve Hill, Cotswolds” by Katie Howe
Soaked in Prayer Penny Freeston remembers places of stillness and silence, including our own chapel I’ve always been fond of sitting quietly in chapels where few people enter, evoking T.S. Eliot’s line from his fourth Quartet, Little Gidding, about light failing on a winter’s afternoon. Two favourite chapels, soaked in prayer for centuries, date from the medieval period: one is in Canterbury, the other in London. The main chapel of the Eastbridge hospital, located in Canterbury’s busy High Street, was developed in the fourteenth century from the 12th century building used to accommodate pilgrims travelling to the shrine of Saint Thomas Becket, murdered in 1170. The undercroft provided straw bedding hospitality to poor pilgrims and the infirm. A modern copy of a thirteenth century mural of Christ, uncovered in the refectory, is now placed above the simple altar below the exposed roof beams. The Eastbridge Hospital stands directly over the River Stour; it is forty years since we first went inside, shortly before I started college nearby, and love going back. The chapel of Saint Faith (known as Sainte Foye or Santa Fe in French and Spanish) in Westminster Abbey, reserved for prayer and meditation, is also a special place for me. As a volunteer at the Abbey I always make time to sit there for a short while and have attended some memorable services there over the years. On the Annual Day of Prayer I stay longer; the rope barriers are moved aside and I can sit close to the medieval wall painting of St. Faith, martyred on a grid iron in Aquitaine in the third century. I gaze up at the arched Gothic ceiling, then down on ageing floor tiles below; tourists mill around outside, but inside, with the heavy oak door firmly closed, all is still and silent. Although re-built after the 1969 fire, our chapel at St. Mary’s stands on holy ground, from when the manor of Woodforda was granted to the Abbey of Waltham. Its walls are imbued with generations of prayer, illustrated by a fine memorial, recording incumbents over the centuries. I look back on morning and evening worship there, recalling those now departed with great fondness and am grateful to our clergy and all those in the Contemplative Prayer group for continuing to make it such a prayerful place. If you have a favourite place of worship we would love to hear about it.
Worth getting excited for Jack Tuominen, a member of Quest tells us about his visit to the play War Horse. War Horse is a book, and now a play, by Michael Morpurgo about a farm horse called Joey who was sold to the army during the First World War. My grandma and grandpa, who were visiting from Queensland, Australia, wanted to take me to the New London Theatre so my mum bought tickets. I was so excited because the show had been rated as a blockbuster and was meant to be really good. I liked the book a lot when I read it about six months ago. It was a runner-up for the Whitbread Award. When we got to our seats and sat down I was relieved to discover that no one very tall was sitting in front of me. The curtains opened and my head spun round. I stared at the stage as an individual violinist slowly made his way to the front, ready for the play to begin. I was fascinated by the appearance of the life-size puppets. The horses were made from wooden beams with brown or black fabric stretched over them. They had wooden legs, each individually controlled while another person controlled the head and sounds. A swan was controlled by only one person who pulled strings to lift its wings and a stick to move it around. The birds were just small wooden birds on sticks. Other novels I have enjoyed by Michael Morpurgo include My Friend Walter, The Wreck of the Zanzibar and Kensuke’s Kingdom. Jack is 10 years old and enjoys history. His ambition is to become a pilot. His family on his father’s side came from Finland and now live in Australia. Jack attends St Mary’s with his parents, Liz and Rick and his sister Lara, aged 6, a member of Seekers and Rainbows.
Test Match Special While we were slipping around Woodford in some of the lowest temperatures on record, Viveca Dutt was in sunny Australia enjoying the historic Test series. ‘We did think of you in the snow!’ she says. Viveca has always had an interest in cricket. Her brother was a very good schoolboy cricketer – he held the school record (John Lyon on Harrow) for bowling for a while and might have made it to at least 1st class County level had he not decided to concentrate on becoming a doctor. Being brought up in Pinner, she naturally became a Middlesex supporter and remembers going to matches at Lord’s the Middlesex home ground - as a child. She was at the Oval on the last day of the 2005 Ashes series when England regained From the Barmy Army the Ashes after many years, and two years later was also there the day the Pakistan team were accused of ball tampering and refused to play after the tea interval. She says the oddest thing about that was having to listen to the radio to find out what was happening. And of course she was there on the first day of the Melbourne Test this winter when England bowled Australia out for 98 and were 157/0 by the close of play. Viveca recalls sitting just above the Barmy Army; the atmosphere was just tremendous. They might as well have been in England given the noise they made and encouraged everyone else to make. Outside the cricket, Viveca recalls an outdoor Nativity in Perth City centre, complete with live sheep, wise men on camels and a rooster! During the day a choir had been singing Christmas songs in the main shopping street but with an Australian twist – so Jingle bells became dashing through the bush with a ute! After a five hour flight to Melbourne on Christmas Eve she went to an early morning service at the Cathedral on Christmas Day followed by Christmas To the majesty of a wild eagle lunch in a country house attached to a vinery in a lovely valley underneath blue sky and warm sunshine. Other highlights of the trip included seeing a majestic wild eagle and a whale on a sea trip near Perth. And coming across a singing bridge in Melbourne! Viveca’s advice for anyone considering a similar trip: Go for it!
More ‘Blokes and Planes’ A trip to the RAF museum at Hendon revived some particular memories for both wartime and peacetime National Servicemen, and other fascinating wartime memories, writes Richard Walker Most intimate was the Sunderland ‘flying boat’ that visitors can walk through. Amazingly this was one of the planes that John Lealman actually worked on and flew in as part of the maintenance crew. There’s even a mannequin positioned on the drop down platform out from the wing as if working on the Nos.2 engine, exactly as John would have done. Seemingly huge from the outside it was surprisingly compact inside, with Chris Whitfield with his ambulance a distinctly naval feel to the internal structure and thoroughfare. John Green had another close encounter with a fondly remembered Avro Lancaster in which he flew as a flight engineer, as well as the Stearman biplane and the Harvard he learnt to fly in solo when sent to America to learn. Then happily we also found information about the US flying training bases including his in Oklahoma, manned by civilians teaching British pilots to fly; a reminder of happy memories away from the conflict. Interesting to see were the first in the evolution of jet fighters, and we learnt how the course of the war could have been quite different if Hitler had pressed home their advantage. Geoff Jones was pleased to find a 2 seater Meteor that he’d been flown in at breakneck speed, upside down, and probably with stomach inside out. Even Doc Chris found something to remember fondly, an ‘Ice Cold in Alex’ ambulance, one of which he’d driven over 200,000 miles in during his time in Mountain Rescue. But no Old Farts outing would be complete without another classic memory from Ginger, aka Sgt Joe Hollingsworth, this time involving the luxury car that slipped through his grasp. After the end of the War he managed to commandeer a German staff car, a Daimler, a 4 wheel drive, 4 wheel steer classy motor. The driver’s seat was a single seat in the middle of the vehicle, so driving in Germany was a bit of a side-saddle experience, but it was well worth shipping it back home. He persuaded a dock manager to load it on the deck of a ship, but before he knew it his senior officer Bill Deeds (yes, Bill Deeds) pulled rank and simply nicked it off him! Another brilliant day out; thanks chaps.
Look around you if you want to remember Anne Snowdon - says Alison Clarke The photograph, chosen by her sons, David and Paul, for the cover of her memorial service, is a perfect reminder of all that Anne meant to us. She and her husband, Jim, were together for nearly 45 years; their marriage and their family were her priority. We see her clutching her camera which recorded not only family events in her 40–year long Family Chronicle, but also a number of scrap-books of events in the life of St Mary’s, an archive which we enjoyed thumbing through during the tea-party which we shared after her funeral. When her beloved Jim died in July 2009, Anne shared with me their great enthusiasm for the work of the Countryside Restoration Trust, and its vision for woodland burial sites. She and Jim had reserved a plot in Barton Glebe in Ely Diocese and we buried Jim there on a beautiful summer’s day. Afterwards she wrote: “I know I shall always remember the great East Anglian sky, the bird song and the wild rose blooming near the grave.” She joined him there in a service conducted by Ian and Annie on the 11th January this year. Later the same day, family and friends gathered at St Mary’s to give thanks for her life and for all that she meant to us here. Her son Paul and her sister Mary added to our many memories. People arriving at the church, walked up the drive and passed under the canopy of the great beech tree. Contrary to all expectations, Anne had coaxed a variety of small plants to grow in its shade. In January, there was a carpet of snowdrops and aconites. Like Sir Christopher Wren, if you seek Anne’s memorial, look around you. Paul spoke movingly about his mother and their family life. How Anne, born teacher that she was, shared with them her values and her passion for history. To her it was a subject of the utmost importance, crucial in understanding current events but also in understanding yourself. In retirement she had much enjoyed her time as an Eye-opener guide in the Roman Antiquities section of the British Museum.
We were also reminded of Anne the campaigner. She had very strong views on how things should be. When the local Post Office was threatened with closure, she joined the battle line. The local paper carried pictures of Anne, and Jim in his buggy, fighting the good fight. That determination to put things right led Anne to confront the hierarchy of the local hospital because she was unhappy about some aspects of Jim’s care during his last illness. This resulted in her being invited to be on a panel reviewing complaints and trying to improve conditions. Anne was a friend to many and will be sadly missed by her family and friends. Not least, we shall miss the faithful gardener with her trowel and fork under the beech tree.
Some Domestic Tips Cookery: Adela Kay says that Orange and lemon short bread is perfect for an Easter biscuit, great wrapped as an alternative to chocolate eggs. “I have enjoyed making these with my 2 year old, she liked cutting out all sorts of shapes and eating the results!” 4oz (110g) butter/margarine 2oz (50g) Caster sugar (extra for dusting) 7oz (200g) Plain flour 1 orange (grate the peel, and juice) 1 lemon (grate the peel, and juice) 15mins prep (+30mins chilling time) 30mins cooking Preheat the oven to gas mark 2 (150c) • Lightly grease a baking sheet. • Cream the butter/margarine and the sugar. • Then mix in the sifted flour. • Then add the grated peel and the juice of the orange and lemon. (use your judgement here if the fruit is very juicy reduce the amount so that the mixture doesn’t become too sticky. If it does add a little more flour) • Bring together into a dough (chill at this point for 30mins). • Roll out on a floured surface to around 3mm (1/8”) thick. • Cut into shapes - whatever you want. • Place on baking sheet and bake on a high shelf for around 30minutes • Cool on a wire rack and dust with caster sugar. (if you want to be fancy make some lemon/orange sherbet the evening before and dust with that)
Lemon/orange sherbet Take 100g caster sugar and mix in the juice of an orange and a lemon. Spread the sugar out on a plate or baking tray and leave over night to dry out. If you want to speed the process up turn the oven on very low ½ gas mark/100c and leave in oven for 1hour. Check after 30mins to ensure it doesn’t burn. Gardening: Chris Whitfield has a short and effective answer to a question asked of him about dealing with slugs and snails: “Make life difficult for them. Keep the area clean and free of hiding places. If you have to use pellets cover the area with a net to prevent birds eating the poisoned slugs and snails and the pellets.”
Get Reading We have a range of book reviews for you this time for the rest of Lent and Easter Penny Freeston on some Lent reading As I generally have several novels ‘on the go’ at the same time it’s not unusual for me to be dipping into several spiritual books during Lent. These are the ones I have stashed away this year to help me learn more over the next few weeks. I don’t give enough time to Bible study so Lent for Everyone: Matthew by Tom Wright (published by SPCK) will keep me going long after Lent. ‘It gently takes the reader through the designated Lectionary readings for every day of Lent and Easter.’ Written reflections and prayers follow each daily reading. When I was confirmed many years ago I would have liked to have learned more about the Eucharist so Take, Eat: Reflections on the Eucharist by Kenneth Stevenson (Canterbury Press) will be very helpful: ‘a biblical and practical guide to the central act of Christian worship’. Finally, I have found the perfect book for helping me learn more about St. Paul. Sister Wendy contemplates… Saint Paul in Art (St. Paul’s, UK) contains forty paintings and insightful commentaries and, unlike most art books, is small enough to take on the tube or a train journey.
Philip Petchey takes us to the US for two contrasting and thought provoking books: I noticed in the Church Times last Lent that Wilf Wilkinson had died. Not many perhaps remember him but in the early 70s he was a regular contributor to Thought for the Day in a Friday slot entitled What the Bible Says. The best of his talks were published in 1972 under the title To Me Personally. I took the book from my shelf the other day. It is a
test of such writing to see how it bears up after the passage of many years. These pages are still worth reading, and there are just over forty talks – one for each day of Lent! Food for thought but of a rather different kind is found in Lincoln: A very short introduction by Allen C Guelzo. The civil war raises all sorts of issues relevant for today and suggests some answers. If you didn’t know before, having read this book you will appreciate that Lincoln was a great man. He came to believe that the enormous suffering that America experienced in the war was divine retribution on both North and South for the sin of slavery. Whatever one makes of this, it had become clear as Guelzo writes that the ‘rationality that had given birth to both the Enlightenment and to liberalism had not been enough…to save democracy in its hour of need.’ Wilf Wilkinson’s book is long out of print, but is available for 1p (+postage!) on the internet. Lincoln is published by OUP and costs just over £5.
Ian Tarrant introduces us to some Easter reading Stephen Cottrell: The things he said - the story of the first Easter day (2009) This slim volume by the new Bishop of Chelmsford is an imaginative meditation on the words of the risen Jesus. Ten short chapters, best read and savoured on different days. John Wenham: Easter Enigma: are the resurrection accounts in conflict? (1984) This is the work of a biblical scholar, with personal knowledge of Jerusalem, who tried to harmonise the different resurrection stories in the New Testament. In the manner of a detective story, the identities of the principal witnesses, and their movements are carefully worked out. Josh McDowell: The resurrection factor (1993) Written by a non-Christian sceptic who tried to disprove the resurrection, and ended up convincing himself that Jesus really did rise from the dead. Well researched, yet still easy to read.
And finally, Cheryl Corney recommends a book about the deeper meaning of the Narnia books. I wonder how many of us have enjoyed C.S. Lewis's Narnia books? I have fond memories of reading "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" as a child, and indeed of watching a television adaptation of it. The witch seemed so attractive! This Christmas a friend gave me a very interesting book. It is "The Narnia Code" by Michael Ward, who is coeditor of "The Cambridge Companion to C.S. Lewis. In the book he shows how the books are structured and what this shows about C.S. Lewis's understanding of Christianity.
Thank you for contributing to many fund raising efforts over the last few months:
And for giving almost a £1000 at the Christmas collections to be shared between the Makutano Orphanage and the Church Army Your munching away at the Big Breakfast raised nearly £400 for church funds, and the Race Night and coffee morning made over £1,000. By saving your pennies in the Children’s Society boxes you raised just over £1,000 during 2010. And we are a brainy lot: At the Bible Society annual inter church quiz in February, St Mary’s came second out of ten churches, pipped only by St James Buckhurst Hill. Well done: Bridget and Peter Webb, Gwen and Stephen Wiggs, Sally Barton, Jean Russell, Audrey Kaminski and Jean Morgans. While the quiz on 12 March raised £550 for Christian Aid work for schools in Southern Sudan. Congratulations to the winning table: Jean Russell, Robert and Patrick Flynn, Pat and Ted Smith, Audrey Kaminski, Wendy Littlejohns and Chris Meikle.
Transformation in Baptism Mark Lewis summarises his sermon earlier this year on the transforming power of baptism What do you remember from your own confirmation? Do you remember your first communion? Did you feel transformed? I recall my own experiences of adult baptism and confirmation as somewhat disappointing. I felt a kind of spiritual emptiness for some time afterwards, but it was not something I felt I could easily acknowledge to others. It seems that such experiences are not uncommon among the faithful. But what should such a moment of transformation feel like? Confirmation is supposed to be a strengthening, so why did it not palpably feel like that for me? What was I expecting - a kind of electric shock perhaps? Well it did not happen. It was sometime later that I realised I was expecting to feel the wrong things and looking in the wrong places. Baptism – adult baptism especially - is not like receiving a shot of adrenalin that gives you an immediate hit. In the Middle Ages, Baptism and Confirmation were primarily thought of as essential magical rites that would offer protection against evil influences and guarantee the longevity of the child. Some vestiges of these crude understandings of baptism as an end in itself still remain today. But baptism is the beginning of a process. Whether an infant or an adult, it is certainly an initiation into the fellowship of the Church but, perhaps more importantly and more profoundly, it is an initiation into a particular way of being. The later rite of Confirmation shows that a person has awareness because that person has shown a willingness to make a commitment; a public ministry then truly begins. It is not about an inner warm glow and some kind of sensory change. Something begins inside us and we have to work at making it grow and develop. It’s down to God working in us but only if we let it happen. Baptism is only the beginning, but its real purpose, strengthened by confirmation, is to connect people deeply and profoundly with the processes of the Christian life. It is then a process of becoming. For Jesus, his baptism was the point of departure – a transformative experience that set in motion a ministry of teaching and healing that would change the world. For us, through baptism comes the revelation of a new awareness, a new comprehension of the world and the whole created order. We start to realize that we too have the inner power to be life-changing - the power to do our bit to change tomorrow – to change reality from what it is to what it could or should be. That is the essence of the baptismal life. (Isa 42:1-9, Acts10:34-43, Matt 3:13-end) You can read many of our sermons at www.stmaryswoodford.org,uk
Of a crèche and a wedding Chris Whitfield muses on the use of church space and describes a happy day in St Mary’s life last autumn. The crèche: A very long time ago when some of St Mary's dinosaurs were' young and green and in their salad days' there was a great fire which gutted the church. Some of us were subsequently called on to serve on the Rebuilding Committee. This large body met long and often in our sitting room over the surgery in Glebelands Avenue. The room was warm and comfortable and there were excellent refreshments provided by Kathleen. Being a mere woman she was not allowed to contribute to the discussion. During discussion a novel idea was introduced, a creche which would take the form of a double glazed soundproof box. In those days there was no doubt - children should be seen but not heard. A very neat solution, we could see the children and their minders, they could see us and hear the service relayed through a loudspeaker, but no sounds escaped the box. After many years the children were allowed out into the south west corner, a point most distant from the pews at the east end of the church. Pews at the back of church are always popular and seats here were much sought after. More recently the children have moved into centre south. I hope this process continues logically, the children can have centre stage while us dinosaurs could be accommodated in a quiet area with suitable toys, comfortable seats and a refreshment trolley. The wedding Oct 23 2010 - Lee and Chris were married at St Mary's. Having made the decision to marry, our very first PRIORITY, go and see Barbara and book the Memorial Hall, times do change. Between us we have been around St Mary's for 80 years so we very quickly realised that an invitation list was out of the question. "All welcome" was what we wanted, an old fashioned parish party. We had no idea how many we were to cater for - lots. A great crowd appeared at the service and sang joyfully, most stayed for tea and cake. The Memorial Hall looked full, some well known tea ladies were extremely busy. We had organised two large cakes and a lot of biscuits. A lively ceilidh followed that evening. We would like to thank everyone for making it a very special day for us and for all the support and encouragement we have received.
He merely plumped up my pillow Geoff Weekes explains why Christmas cards from him were in short supply last year and dedicates this poem to those who were there at the right time: On 30 November last year, I suffered a virulent attack of food poisoning and then, having completely fasted for 10 days, Penny literally saved my life by engaging the services of a manager of a caring agency and a carer who was there when I had a total collapse. He called the ambulance that rushed me to Whipps Cross where I stayed until Christmas Eve. Had that carer not been there I’m sure I would not be here! To Penny He merely plumped up my pillow. That could be neither here nor there, But both there and here meant Miles, many miles’ motoring Through the peaceful English countryside To land here, to lavish so much thoughtful Tlc on me. He merely plumped up my pillow. Meanwhile, mundane phone calls Were being made my lovely, glorious daughter That literally saved my life. He merely plumped up my pillow. And these, and all the cards and messages Were done it seems, it must be so, For love of me. Grâce à dieu, Grâce à dieu, Grâce à dieu…. Amen
Diary Dates Sunday 10th April
St Mary’s Annual Meeting
Friday 29th April
Royal Wedding Party in Memorial Hall
Parish Retreat Pleshey
Saturday 21st May
Food and Fun Day
Saturday June 11th
Service of Thanksgiving for the King James Bible
Mission Weekend with Ruth Huesler
News from Tanzania Ruth Huesler is our CMS link partner in Tabora, Tanzania. In her last newsletter to us in Christmas 2010, Ruth told us about the miraculous recoveries of new born babies and the faithful prayer by parents and medical staff which brought the Christmas story to life in the middle of Africa. Ruth is coming to St Maryâ€™s over the weekend of 25/26 June when we are planning a parish barbeque to welcome her details soon. If you would like your own copy of Ruthâ€™s newsletters have a word with Wendy Littlejohns.
Well done for reaching this far! As you know, this is the first magazine since last autumn and a new team has been putting it together. Please let us have any comments on the content and do feel free to contribute articles for future editions, though we will reserve the right to edit them! Copy date for the next edition is May 31st. Please send letters, articles and photographs to: email@example.com
The magazine team left to right: Penny Freeston, Cheryl Corney, Beverley Fuentes, Jackie Peacock, Viveca Dutt, Ian Tarrant
Chelmsford Art Trail The Chelmsford Diocese have published an art trail for churches in the Barking area. Our own Mark Lewis played a major part in its production. There are copies in the church foyer. St Mary’s is one of the featured churches, with our stained glass window, the memorial plaque in the chapel and the wall hangings behind the chapel, which were designed by Ethel Shule. There is a picture of the hangings on the back page of the magazine. The following is a description of what the symbols on the hangings represent as we look at them from left to right: “Winter” starts from the bottom and depicts the anchor, an age old Christian symbol. St Paul speaks of the hope set before us as an anchor of the soul and the thanksgiving prayer for the Eucharist in its first draft used to read ‘anchor us in this hope you have set before us’. So we see the sea and the fish and the anchor firmly grounded in God’s love to keep our frail craft steady and safe. Moving up the panel we come to the fields which, because it is winter, are barren and bare. There are periods in our lives when we feel our lives are old and dead and we are fruitless. Over the fields and the trees broods the Spirit of God as it did over Creation. The crosses remind us that we must die to self to be reborn into a richer, fuller life, the life seen in Christ, who conquered death. “Spring” starts at the top; we see the dove returning to Noah with the twig of the hope of a new beginning. The trees are beginning to grow their leaves, figs and pomegranates, the corn is sprouting in the ploughed fields, God and man are co-operating to produce the fruits of the earth. The anchor reminds us to keep looking for signs of hope. “Autumn” The fields stand thick with corn, the grapes, figs and pomegranates are showing their fruit. The dove has disappeared from this picture, he has become the Holy Dove – the Holy Spirit – the Spirit of Christ now dwelling within us so that we may grow and develop and show the fruits of the spirit, love, joy, peace, gentleness, goodness and truth. And finally: a prayer for House Groups who have been battling through Ephesians, with particular mind to Ch. 4 v.17 - 32 and for all who lead busy lives: (thanks to Chris Meikle) Dear God So far today I've done alright: I haven't gossiped; I haven't lost my temper; I haven't criticised or moaned; I haven't been snappy, grumpy, nasty, selfish or over-indulgent.
I am very thankful for that. But in a few minutes, Lord, I'm going to get out of bed . . . and from then on I'm probably going to need a lot more help.
The wall hangings in the chapel. See inside the back cover for an explanation of the symbols. Go to http://www.chelmsford.anglican.org/barking-art-trail.html for more information or to download the Arts Trail leaflet.
Holy Week and Easter Services Celebrate the resurrection of Christ Palm Sunday 17 April Monday 18 â€“ Wednesday 20th April Maundy Thursday 21 April Good Friday 22 April Saturday 23 April Easter Sunday 24 April
Communion Services: 8.00am and10.00am Evening service 6.30pm Holy Week Drama followed by Compline 8.00pm Service at 8.00pm followed by the stripping of the altar and vigil to midnight Services at 10.00am and 2.00pm Childrenâ€™s service 11.45am Easter Eve Eucharist 8.00pm Communion Services: 8.00am and10.00am Evensong 6.30pm