21st October 2021
There is a lot going on at the moment, which you will see when you scroll to the bottom of this e-bulletin. First, some congratulations are in order. First to Janet who ran such a successful MacMillian coffee morning which raised over £1,200. Second to Heather who on Sunday afternoon arranged the first in a series of Sunday afternoon concerts. It was a huge success, the music was sublime and it was so good to see so many people in church. Please watch this space for our next concert in the series next month.
On Sunday 31st October at 6pm we will be holding our annual All Souls Requiem where we have the opportunity to pray for the souls of those we love but see no longer. If you would like to have a loved one prayed for at this mass please print their name on the sheet at the back of church, alternatively can you email the name to Hayley email@example.com
In November we will resume our popular Sunday evening ‘In Conversation’. The first in this new series will be on Sunday 7 November at 6pm. I will be in conversation with our very own Suzette Llewellyn talking about her life and her new book ‘Still Breathing: 100 Black Voices on Racism – 100 ways to Change the Narrative’ . I do hope you will be able to join me. Next year’s themes will include modern day slavery, debt and sexuality.
Lots of dates to book in your diary! See you at St Nicks
P.S. As the COVID infection rates are rising we would recommend the wearing of face masks in church.
7th October 2021
I had to drive to Shropshire on Sunday evening in readiness to welcome a heating engineer on Monday morning at 9.00 am who was due to service our CH boiler. There is no gas in the village so we are stuck with oil. It was interesting to discuss with him possible greener alternatives. Electricity based solutions are still, I’m afraid quite expensive, so we’re stuck with oil for the moment. It is a dilemma when you want to make a positive contribution. Still, we do have solar panels on the roof.
As I was driving along close to our house on Sunday I was really conscious of the harvest. The fields have all been cut, the ploughs are out in force and some fields have already been sown with next years crops. These are not scenes we associate with West London. However, we do still celebrate harvest, which we will do this Sunday at 10.30am. I have invited John Tasker from ALMA to talk to us about the Nutrition project and Namacunde. Recently harvests in Southern Angola have been very poor, because the rains have been poor. Many argue this is the result of our changing climate.
Environment and harvest might sometimes seem remote, they are not, we are all interconnected.
I do hope you will join us on Sunday, we will be having a special second collection to support the nutrition project in our link parish of Namacunde.
30th September 2021
You can tell that Autumn is upon us when we have already got to the second round of the Great British Bake Off and it’s only the 30th of September. I’m sure you all have your own favourites, my money is on Jurgen and Giuseppe. Thinking of baking, congratulations are due to Janet Lucy and her team who have raised over £1,200 at their MacMillian Coffee Morning in church last week. That is quite an amazing result – well done!
I’m sure you cannot have missed the scaffolding which now surrounds the North elevation of the church and also covers the South porch. The work to conserve the stonework will last approximately 20 weeks. We have installed lights at the entrance to the church, but do be careful and you enter and leave church. Thankfully the interior of the church is untouched and so our activities will continue as normal.
This Sunday we welcome Mother Sarah Lenton as she preaches and presides at our 10.30am Family Mass. Mother Sarah will be talking about God’s holy angels, I do hope you will join us, it was wonderful to see so many children at church last Sunday. My thanks to all those who lead and teach at Children’s Church.
I’m now off to try and get some fuel for my car – pray for me!
I have just returned from an 8-day silent retreat at St Beuno’s Jesuit Spirituality Centre, located in the glorious countryside of North Wales. The priest poet Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-89) lived here from 1874 to 1877. During this time he wrote at least two poems praising God and His creation, although they were not published until some years after his death. One of these poems, ‘Pied Beauty’ was read at our Back to Church Songs of Praise service earlier this month. Another, possibly less well known, is entitled ‘God’s Grandeur’ and I have reproduced it below. Hopkins uses such wonderfully rich language and images and they are a delight to read out loud.
The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
And wears man’s smudge and shares man’s smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.
And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs–
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.
With every blessing