30th April 2020

Dear Friends

I do hope you are all safe and well? These are stressful and strange times, so it’s good that there has been an explosion of on-line activity, from school, work, through even to us as a Church. We are, or at least most of us are, living on-line at the moment.  Many people have found this a comfort and a support at a very lonely time. Whilst all this activity is good, there it is no substitute for our gathering together physically. There has been much talk that by our connection on-line we are somehow behaving like the very early church, liberated from church buildings and to some extent hierarchy. It is true that our on-line activity can build up a community or sorts, but I would argue that our situation today is very different from the early church. First, they didn’t have the internet! Second, however small their communities were, they met together physically, their encounter was concrete and not as we find at present virtual. Their encounter was always to read the scripture, pray and dine together. They ‘gathered at table’ with bread and wine, a physical representation of their community and closeness. Pope Francis said recently –

“The Church, the sacraments and the people of God are concrete. The faithful’s relationship with God must also stay concrete, as the apostles lived it, as a community and with the people of God”. Viral he says is OK as a means ‘to get out of the tunnel’ but it is no substitute for the concrete reality of our encounter as the people of God.

I pray that very soon we will all be able to meet again in church to hear his Word and break bread together.

One of the ways we can feel part of the family of St Nicholas is if we pray together. Please feel free to email me with you prayer requests at vicar@stnicholaschiswick.org. If you are happy for one of the clergy to pray your request at our On Line services on Thursday or Sunday please do indicate. If your prayer request is of a more personal private nature then please let me know. The three clergy meet every weekday morning at 9am privately to pray together. Alternatively I say many private prayers every day as well.

Also – I know we haven’t met met physically for some weeks and it looks like church may be closed for public worship for many more weeks. I’m hoping to get together a few people who are willing to make some telephone calls just to touch base ans to make sure everything is OK.

If you would like to volunteer for this ministry please email me.
If you do not wish to receive a call from a clergy member, or parishioner please email me.

Simon

A huge ‘Thank You’ to all those who have contributed towards the Chiswick School Food Project, so far the people of St Nicholas have donated £1265 towards feeding the most vulnerable. 
I have mentioned Mario our local cafe owner before to thank him for his generosity towards St Nicholas. I met with him early this week to tell him about the School, and also to do some shopping, as a result he is selling some medium sized bottles of, what I’m led to believe is excellent rum. Each bottle is £12 and all money raised will be donated to the Chiswick School Food Project so, go and tell your friends! 

Simon


Dear Friends

Last Sunday I preached on the story of the road to Emmaus and how the disciples recognised Jesus at the breaking of the bread. Christabel reminded me of the wonderful painting of the supper by Caravaggio in the National Gallery. As we can’t go to see it, here is a photo of the original.

Caravaggio had a rather unreligious life but painted lots of religious scenes to make money. You can find them all over the place. Two others I like very much are of Doubting Thomas and the Conversion of St Paul, which are in Potsdam and Rome. Enjoy pictures of these as well.

Fr Alan