From the Rector

Dear friends,

The school holidays have begun, so maybe we will have some rain at last!  The Rectory garden is certainly looking a lot dryer and browner than it did when many of you visited for the Garden Party on 1st July marking 25 years since my ordination.

On which note, a huge thank you to all who came and for many kindnesses including two cakes, cards and the gift of my favourite icon presented to me in the service.  This icon is known as the Virgin of Vladimir.  It is likely that the original of this icon dates back to the 12th century and came originally from Constantinople, though it is now in Moscow and legend has it that it was painted by St Luke from the original subject matter.  The idea of an icon is that it draws us into the presence of God – thus it is more of a window than a picture.  This icon depicts the intimate love of the Virgin and Son into which we are all invited and included as beloved children of God.

My ordination itself was in 1993 (as deacon) and 1994 (as priest) in Ely Cathedral.  The family presented me with a large canvas painted by Issy, my elder daughter, depicting the Lady Chapel in the cathedral, which is also where I prepared, with the then Bishop of Ely, Stephen Sykes, for the very first ordination service for women as priests in the Diocese in 1994.  The canvas carries those famous words from St John across the Lady Chapel altar: “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth.”  Both the canvas and the icon are on the wall in the Rectory study so come and have a look for yourselves.

I’m taking a slightly extended break over the coming few weeks and won’t be around at all in the month of August.  Dean, our Associate Rector, will be in charge whilst I am off.  August is a quiet month too for our parish programme.  Our 10.30am services at both churches will follow a shorter All Age format.  At St Mary’s, we shall enjoy a couple of services accompanied by piano rather than organ.  I hope you will enjoy the variety that this brings.  The Sunday 8am service at St Mary’s and the Thursday 11am service also at St Mary’s will continue as usual. 

I would like to say a massive thankyou to Joseph Marshall who has been our organist at St Mary’s for the past year, combining this with his ‘A’ level studies.  His accompanying has been just right for us and he has worked wonderfully well with our other musicians as well as developing his own skill considerably.  We will be joined in October by a new organist. Jia Hwei Koh, who is from Singapore, and is a Masters student in Organ Studies at the Royal Academy of Music as well as being an Acton resident.  We are very much looking forward to her being with us.  A big shout out too to Keith Routledge for his ongoing help in the running of our music, especially the Singing Group, to Lorna Dodd, who chooses our hymns – if you have suggestions for choices, please let her know – to Cathy Williams who organises our Congregational Choir on the final Sunday of the month – do join in if you can, rehearsals are at 10am on the day - to Alex Kirk, our pianist at All Saints who kindly also lets us use his grand piano which is kept at St Mary’s, and to Dominic Wheeler for an increased amount of fabulous cover playing and for his ongoing encouragement and advice in regard to our sung worship. 

Finally, can I ask you to keep two dates for the autumn? 

On Sunday 30th September, we will have all age Harvest Festival Eucharists at both churches, followed by drinks at St Mary’s church hall from around 12 noon to mark my 60th birthday (which is on 28th September).

On Saturday 6th October, we will be holding a Curry Night with entertainment at the church.  We haven’t had a church social evening for some time and we’re looking to raise funds for a cause close to our hearts – the Ealing Churches’ Winter Nightshelter.  So, please do come along.  More details to follow. (The Nightshelter will run again at St Mary’s for the first six Sunday nights of 2019 in collaboration with the Oaktree Anglican Fellowship.  Please think about volunteering for this as well!).

Have a great summer,



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