2nd September 2021
We are fast approaching Sunday 5 September, I have called it Back to Church Sunday, I might well have named it Reset Sunday. I hope from the 5 September we can begin to re-chart a way forward for our church, ourselves as members of the Body of Christ and our relationship with the community. It will be good to see Children’s Church back and meeting again in September. So much has changed, we might have very different priorities as individuals and as families, I hope as a church community, we can adapt and if necessary change. Bear with us and if possible give us you advice and ideas. If there are new people in church this Sunday do please make them feel welcome. I hope you will try and make this Sunday a priority, it will be good to see the church full again.
Our Sunday worship will return to something like its pre-pandemic self and the church will become a little less austere and I hope feel a little more welcoming, leaflets, information notes and flyers will again grace our tables. Even the pew runners will return to the pews so I hope seating will become a little more comfortable. For the present we will continue the practice of offering communion in one kind only, but we will do so at the High Altar rail
The virus is still with us and sadly once again growing. Obviously, with the benefit of vaccination, hospitalisations and deaths are thankfully much reduced, yet this virus still packs a nasty punch and we need to remain vigilant. Social distancing is important, I hope you understand, face masks however are a matter for your own decision, I know how difficult it is to sing wearing them. I found this prayer to be prayed when putting on a face mask, it comes from the Episcopal Church in the US I hope you find it useful.
“We bless you and we praise you, Lord Christ, for commanding us to love one another. Let this mask be a sign of your love, and let my behaviour be filled with love for my neighbour. Amen”
I am looking forward to greeting you on Sunday at either the 8.00am and 10.30am Parish mass and our 6.00pm songs of praise.
No doubt many of you will have been following the news from Afghanistan and wondering how any of us might be able to support the refugees. Many national charities have been making special appeals for funds and you might well have contributed to them already. In the borough of Hounslow there is a local organisation, the Afghan and Central Asian Association, based in Feltham, which has been offering practical support to refugees coming to this borough. In Chiswick there have already been collections of specific items requested by this organisation and the next one will be this Sunday at the First Anniversary of the Chiswick Flower Market. Further down in this bulletin there is a list of specific items requested and I encourage you to support them. If anyone attending the 10.30 Mass on Sunday morning would like to donate any items for the refugees, but can’t make it to the Flower Market collection point, please do bring them along and give them to me after Mass and I will ensure they are taken along.
Events in Afghanistan have tended to deflect attention from the dreadful earthquake in Haiti, where so many have also lost homes and livelihoods. I suggest our prayers should include them, together with those from many other countries still trying to rebuild their lives following floods, drought and forest fires.
With every blessing
19th August 2021
I do hope that you are all managing to get some rest and relaxation this August, whether it is at home, in the UK, or abroad. It is good that restrictions have been relaxed to allow this and indeed to allow more socialisation, but we must not become complacent, today’s infection rate stands at 33,904 up 4,292 from last week, the virus is still alive and active. So the message is still the same, be careful and stay safe.
I’m sure like me, many of you reacted with alarm and horror at the takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban. My fear is that 20 years of development, especially in the field of women’s education, empowerment and employment will be dashed on the rocks of religious fundamentalism. I cannot begin to imagine the fear that so many ordinary people must feel at the prospect of Taliban rule. Where does the West go from here…?
As citizens (subjects!) of this country we enjoy extraordinary freedom. We must remember that these freedoms were bought by others paying a heavy price, we must never become complacent. I believe, and I hope other people see in me an open, inclusive and liberal individual. I refuse to bow to bitterness and isolationism, I know I am very lucky , I live in an amazing, beautiful and relatively safe place. I earn enough to live and enjoy the freedom to be generous. Others are not so lucky. However, I do not believe that we will further the development and security of our people and planet by becoming isolationist, resentful of others and greedy for our own gain.
Why do I believe this? Because my faith is based on a God who took flesh, and who ultimately gave his life for the liberation of humanity. We will sing this hymn on Sunday 29 August, I think it says it all…
There’s a wideness in God’s mercy,
like the wideness of the sea;
there’s a kindness in his justice
which is more than liberty.
There is no place where earth’s sorrows
are more keenly felt than heaven:
there is no place where earth’s failings
have such gracious judgement given.
For the love of God is broader
Than the measure of man’s mind;
And the heart of the Eternal
Is most wonderfully kind/
But we make his love too narrow
By false limits of our own;
And we magnify his strictness
with a zeal he will not own.
For the love of God is broader
than the measure of our mind;
and the heart of the eternal
is most wonderfully kind.
If our love were but more simple,
we should take him at his word;
and our lives would be all gladness,
in the joy of Christ our Lord.
As many of you will be aware, the Chiswick Book Festival takes place in September. There are leaflets at the back of church giving details of all the events, or you can find full details on their website www.chiswickbookfestival.net
This year our former churchwarden Suzette Llewellyn will be taking part in a couple of events to discuss her newly published book Still Breathing: 100 Black Voices on Racism. She is one of many local authors with a brief presentation slot at the Local Authors Party on Tuesday 7th September, and on Saturday 11th September at 11.30 she has a full length discussion of her book with her co-author and two contributors. If you are interested in attending either of these events I suggest you book a place as soon as possible as tickets are selling fast. They can either be booked online via the website or you can pick up an advance booking form at St Michael & All Angels Church. Books are available to purchase from Waterstones in Chiswick High Road or after each event, and most authors will stay after their talk to sign them.
With every blessing
29th July 2021
It is with great sadness that I have to announce the death of Lady Grania Munro. Grania was a devoted member of our 8am congregation. She served and administered the chalice at our early service. Grania was for many years a committed member of a prayer group begun by Gwyneth Cole. What you might not know was Grania’s love for creating icons. An icon is a window onto another world, they are created, yes, by paint, but principally through prayer. To create an icon is a deeply spiritual exercise, where the creator’s hand is literally guided by God. I will miss Grania’s depth of theological enquiry and prayerful nature,her unshakable faith and commitment to others. Our prayers go out to Sir Alan and the family at this very sad time. Rest eternal grant unto her O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her. + May her soul and the souls of all the faithful departed rest in peace and rise in glory. Grania’s funeral takes place in church on Thursday 5 August at 2pm.
On a happier theme. Don’t forget that our 10.30am Mass this Sunday is a family mass and everybody is welcome.
Sunday 5th September is our Back to Church Sunday, please keep the date in your diary. At 6pm we are holding a service to celebrate our faith and our favourite hymns, bible readings and poems. If you have a favourite hymn, passage of scripture, or poem, please let me know and I will choose the most popular. So far there has been something of a silence to my plea – so it would be good to hear from a few of you! You can email me at
How wonderful it was to be singing again in church last Sunday, even though we had to do so wearing masks! There were more people in the congregation at 10.30 than I’ve seen for a long time, including a few new people. One such person was a delightful lady who was married at St Nick’s 60 years ago and had returned to celebrate her anniversary, although her husband has sadly died. She told me that it was her grandmother who donated the lovely wooden statue of Our Lady in our church many years ago. Her grandmother couldn’t afford to go on pilgrimage to Oberammergau with the church group but she gave them a donation and asked them to bring back a gift for St Nick’s. They returned with the statue. It was lovely to hear her story and I look forward to her joining us again for worship.
On the subject of Oberammergau, I am taking part in a pilgrimage there in September next year to watch the Passion Play and I think we have a few spaces – do let me know if you might be interested in joining us.
With every blessing