Weekly Reflections (archive)

Thursday 28 October 2021

Dear Brothers & Sisters,

In our Gospel on Sunday, Jesus will be asked ‘which is the greatest commandment?’ His reply is clear. He says, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, but he goes on to say ‘the second is like it: You shall love your neighbour as yourself” But is it all that simple? Well, the answer is both “Yes” and “No.” It’s simple in the sense that God’s will is not difficult to comprehend. Love is explained clearly in the Gospels and we are called to live a radical life of true love and charity.

However, it can be considered difficult in that we are not only called to love, we are called to love with all our being. We must give of ourselves completely and without reserve. This is radical and requires that we hold nothing back.

Perhaps we could reflect upon the simple call to love God and your neighbour with all that you are. Reflect, especially, upon that word “all.” As we do, no doubt we will most certainly become aware of ways in which we fail to give everything. This provides us with an opportunity to recommit ourselves in hope to the glorious path of making a total gift of ourselves to God and to others, just as we are commanded.

May God’s grace and peace be with you all.

Fr Ian, Fr Engin, Fr Tom, Fr Winfield.

Prayer for the Week

Love the Lord, your God with all your heart
with all your soul and with all your mind.
And love your neighbour as yourself.”
Lord, let this be. Show us how.

Let your love be the lens that lets us see,
the search that takes us where we go,
the power that enlivens our lives,
the light that shows us the way,
and the very grace that saves us. Amen

This Week in Our Parish

Sunday Services:

8:30am – Said Mass at St Michael’s Wood Green
10:30am – Parish Mass at St Michael’s Wood Green
11:00am – Eucharist at St Michael at Bowes
5:00pm – Youth Gathering and Service at St Michael’s Wood Green (1st Sunday each month: next is 7th November )

Tuesday:

11:00am – Eucharist at St Michael at Bowes
12:00noon – The Gospel of John Bible Study & Reflection at St Michael at Bowes
6:00pm – Evening Prayer via Zoom

Wednesday:

12:00noon – Mass at St Michael Wood Green
6:00pm – Evening Prayer via Zoom

Thursday:

11:00am – Mass from 23rd September at St Andrew’s Alexander Park 
7:00pm – Holy Hour will resume from Thursday 28th October

Friday:

5:30pm – Weekday Mass at St Michael’s Wood Green

Saturday:

12:00noon – Mass at St Michael’s Wood Green

 

Notices

Don’t forget!!! – Clocks go back this Sunday giving an extra hours rest. If you forget, we will know.

Covid Memorial Service: at St Michael at Bowes Church on Saturday, October 30th 2021 at 14:00.

All Saints Day – On Monday 1st November we celebrate the feast of All Saints, when we give special thanks to God for the lives of all men, women and children we honour as saints. Parish Mass will be at St Michael at Bowes at 7.30pm.

All Souls Day – On Tuesday 2nd November there will be Mass at 7.30pm when the departed will be remembered and their names read in prayer. Please do add the names of your departed love ones to the sheets at the back of church to be remembered during this service.

The Youth Service – We require a number of adult volunteers 18+, who could offer one hour each month to support the Youth provision in our church. This is integral to the ongoing Youth Worship and gathering which began at the beginning of October. Please do speak to Fr Tom if you would like to help or for more information. The next Youth gathering and service will be on Sunday 7th November at 5pm.

Remembrance Sunday – As has been our tradition we shall mark Remembrance Sunday on 14th November with the people of Wood Green. This means our Parish Mass that day will begin at 9:30am to enable us to gather at the memorial in time for the community act of worship and remembrance. Please make a note of this now. We will remember them.

Fr Tom, Dayna & family – will move into the Curate’s House on 16th November and we wish them God’s blessing as they settle in to life in the parish.

1st Communions – It was good to meet with those seeking first communion. A date has been set for Sunday 28th November, Advent Sunday. If you would like to know more, please speak to Fr Ian or Fr Tom.

St Andrew’s Day – On Tuesday 30th November we have been invited to join with the people of St Andrew’s Alexander Park to celebrate their Patronal Festival. The Mass will begin at 7.30pm.

Confirmation Service – Sunday 30th January 2022

Friday 22 October 2021

Dear Friends in Christ,

I am very pleased to see some of you during the weekday Eucharists, which I have presided at both at Bowes and Wood Green during Fr Ian’s absence. Despite the rising cases of covid, as a clergy team, we are grateful that we can keep our services in person and create a safe space for you all. We hope this enables you to encounter with Living God despite of all difficulties and restrictions.

We have been journeying with Jesus through Mark’s account, this week we hear Jesus asks “what do you want me to do for you?” to Bartimaeus, the blind man as he just asked the very same question in the previous story to his disciples, John and James. At that time, the disciples said: “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask.” Jesus then asked them saying, “what do you want me to do for you?” Whilst Jesus asked the same question to Bartimaeus, Mark depicts the contrast between John and James on the one hand and Bartimaeus on the other. The disciples had been walking with Jesus for three years; they have seen Jesus healing the sick, casting out demons, walking on the water, calming the storm and multiplying the bread and fish. The blind man on the other hand, at best might have heard Jesus’ words and deeds from others. Nonetheless, it seems Bartimaeus has greater insight about who Jesus is. When he heard it is Jesus who is passing through, he jumps up and shouts with a loud voice crying out “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me.” We might wonder what is it that Bartimaeus had seen in Jesus that his disciples particularly John and James hadn’t seen? Bartimaeus recognises who Jesus is as he calls him Son of David, a Messianic title. What is more, he cries out for mercy, rather than the best seats in the kingdom to rule over other people. Clearly, he acknowledges his deep need for mercy and forgiveness.

As we hear this gospel, Jesus asks the same question to us today. What do you want me to do for you? I believe the answer we provide would tell a lot about us. What would be your answer today? What do you see your deepest need? Where do you see God is working in your life today?

Fr Engin YILDIRIM

Prayer for the Week

Dear Lord,

Open our eyes to see your glory in the same way Bartimaeus saw that we can recognise you in our lives,
and that by recognising who you are we can also see our need of mercy, healing, and forgiveness.
We ask this in Jesus Christ.

Amen

This Week in Our Parish

Sunday Services:

8:30am – Said Mass at St Michael’s Wood Green
10:30am – Parish Mass at St Michael’s Wood Green
11:00am – Eucharist at St Michael at Bowes
5:00pm – Youth Gathering and Service at St Michael’s Wood Green (1st Sunday each month: next is 7th November )

Tuesday:

11:00am – Funeral of Harriet Joyce Kiwanuka at St Michael’s Wood Green
11:00am – Eucharist at St Michael at Bowes
12:00noon – The Gospel of John Bible Study & Reflection at St Michael at Bowes
6:00pm – Evening Prayer via Zoom

Wednesday:

12:00noon – Mass at St Michael Wood Green
6:00pm – Evening Prayer via Zoom

Thursday:

11:00am – Mass from 23rd September at St Andrew’s Alexander Park 
7:00pm – Holy Hour will resume from Thursday 28th October

Friday:

5:30pm – Weekday Mass at St Michael’s Wood Green

Saturday:

12:00noon – Mass at St Michael’s Wood Green

 

Notices

Covid Memorial Service: at St Michael at Bowes Church on Saturday, October 30th 2021 at 14:00

All Souls Day – On Tuesday 2nd November there will be Mass at 7.30pm when the departed will be remembered and their names read in prayer. Please do add the names of your departed love ones to the sheets at the back of church to be remembered during this service.

The Youth Service –We require a number of adult volunteers 18+, who could offer one hour each month to support the Youth provision in our church. This is integral to the ongoing Youth Worship and gathering which began at the beginning of October. Please do speak to Fr Tom if you would like to help or for more information. The next Youth gathering and service will be on Sunday 7th November at 5pm.

Remembrance Sunday – As has been our tradition we shall mark Remembrance Sunday on 14th November with the people of Wood Green. This means our Parish Mass that day will begin at 9:30am to enable us to gather at the memorial in time for the community act of worship and remembrance. Please make a note of this now. We will remember them.

Small Group Facilitation Training: The clergy will soon be offering training on Saturdays for small group leaders and how to lead the intercessions on Sundays and other holy days. If you would like to be involved in these please speak to one of the clergy.

1st Communions – It was good to meet with those seeking first communion. A date has been set for Sunday 28th November, Advent Sunday. If you would like to know more, please speak to Fr Ian or Fr Tom.

St Andrew’s Day – On Tuesday 30th November we have been invited to join with the people of St Andrew’s Alexander Park to celebrate their Patronal Festival. The Mass will begin at 7.30pm.

Confirmation Service – Sunday 30th January 2022

Friday 15 October 2021

Dear Sisters and brothers,

It was good to have Fr John Wainwright with us last Sunday to preside over Mass and to open God’s word for us. We welcome Fr John again this Sunday and once more look forward to his warmth and encouraging words. Fr Ian will return from leave for Sunday 24th October

In our Gospel reading this Sunday we hear Jesus offer what it means to follow him. The principle element of this discipleship is to serve others. The language of ‘servanthood’ can be difficult and challenging if not framed correctly or offered without thought. Our service is to Christ for the furtherance of God’s kingdom and the flourishing of our coomunity. Here in Wood Green amidst our challenging social issues, our serving is made manifest to those who face growing challenges in life; all who use the Bounds Green Food bank – more donations required; all who are Homeless, including those who sleep within the grounds of our church and hall – human recognition goes a long way; all who are struggling with the rising cost of living – mutual assistance and neighbourly love builds community.

This nature of serving is our response to Jesus as we journey with him; is the building of God’s kingdom; and is the flourishing of community.

With love and prayers,

Fr Ian, Fr Engin, Fr Tom, Fr Winfield

Prayer for the Week

God our light and our salvation:
illuminate our lives, that we may see your goodness in the land of the living, and looking on your beauty made be changed into the likeness of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen

This Week in Our Parish

Sunday Services:

8:30am – Said Mass at St Michael’s Wood Green
10:30am – Parish Mass at St Michael’s Wood Green
11:00am – Eucharist at St Michael at Bowes
6:00pm – Youth Service and gathering at St Michael’s Wood Green (1st Sunday each month)

Tuesday:

11:00am – Eucharist at St Michael at Bowes
12:00noon – The Gospel of John Bible Study & Reflection at St Michael at Bowes
6:00pm – Evening Prayer via Zoom

Wednesday:

12:00noon – Mass at St Michael Wood Green
6:00pm – Evening Prayer via Zoom

Thursday:

11:00am – Mass from 23rd September at St Andrew’s Alexander Park 
7:00pm – Holy Hour will resume from Thursday 28th October

Friday:

5:30pm – Weekday Mass at St Michael’s Wood Green

Saturday:

12:00noon – Mass at St Michael’s Wood Green

 

Notices

Food Bank Donations – Many thanks to the children and staff at St Michael’s School for their Harvest gifts donated as part of their Harvest Festival on Friday in Church. These will be delivered to the Food Bank. The Bounds Green Food Bank is experiencing increasing demands now that universal credit for many people has been withdrawn. Donations are also declining so all help and support given is gratefully received. Thank you.

The Youth Service – We require a number of adult volunteers 18+, who could offer one hour each month to support the Youth provision in our church. This is integral to the ongoing Youth Worship which began at the beginning of October. Please do speak to Fr Tom if you would like to help or for more information. The next Youth Service will be on Sunday 7th November at 6pm.

Haiti Appeal: Thank you to those who responded to the Haiti disaster appeal. Your kind donations have been collected and now on the way to those who continue to suffer from the effects of the devastating earthquake. Jesus reminds us that what we do for others, we really do for him. Thank you all so much.

Small Group Facilitation Training: The clergy will soon be offering training on Saturdays for small group leaders and how to lead the intercessions on Sundays and other holy days. If you would like to be involved in these please speak to one of us soon as we hope to start in October.

Covid Memorial Service: at St Michael at Bowes Church on Saturday, October 30th 2021 at 14:00

All Souls Day – On Tuesday 2nd November there will be Mass at 7.30pm when the departed will be remembered and their names read in prayer. Please do add the names of your departed love ones to the sheets at the back of church to be remembered during this service.

Remembrance Sunday – As has been our tradition we shall mark Remembrance Sunday on 14th November with the people of Wood Green. This means our Parish Mass that day will begin at 9:30am to enable us to gather at the memorial in time for the community act of worship and remembrance. Please make a note of this now. We will remember them.

1st Communions – It was good to meet with those seeking first communion. A date has been set for Sunday 28th November, Advent Sunday. If you would like to know more, please speak to Fr Ian or Fr Tom.

St Andrew’s Day – On Tuesday 30th November we have been invited to join with the people of St Andrew’s Alexander Park to celebrate their Patronal Festival. The Mass will begin at 7.30pm.

Confirmation Service – Sunday 30th January 2022

Thursday 7 October 2021

Dear Brothers & Sisters,

This Sunday we hear the Lord at his most challenging as he encounters a wealthy man who is genuinely seeking the truth about eternal life and seeking real insight into Jesus and the kingdom. With a look of love Jesus shows him how to be free. The challenge Jesus presents is to drop the false image he hides behind and to step away from the easy certainties that come with status and privilege; to move from the mere practice of religion into a new and vibrant faith where God can make all things possible. Sadly the rich man walks away from the gaze of Jesus returning to a life that in fact imprisons him and holds him back. That leaves us to ponder our response to the challenges the Lord presents to us – it is difficult for us to give up what holds us back, but that is what we are called to do in the vision Jesus gives of his Father’s kingdom; called from fear and isolation into community, where our reliance on God’s word and on each other, help to build that kingdom proclaimed by Jesus.

With love and prayers,

Fr Ian, Fr Engin, Fr Tom, Fr Winfield

Prayer for the Week

O God, our Heavenly Father,
give us a vision of our world as Your love would make it:
a world where the weak are protected
and none go hungry or poor;
a world where the benefits of civilized life are shared,
and everyone can enjoy them;
a world where different races, nations and cultures
live in tolerance and mutual respect,
a world where peace is built with justice,
and justice is guided by love;
and give us the inspiration and courage to build it,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

This Week in Our Parish

Sunday Services:

8:30am – Said Mass at St Michael’s Wood Green
10:30am – Parish Mass at St Michael’s Wood Green
11:00am – Eucharist at St Michael at Bowes
6:00pm – Youth Service and gathering at St Michael’s Wood Green (1st Sunday each month)

Tuesday:

11:00am – Eucharist at St Michael at Bowes
12:00noon – The Gospel of John Bible Study & Reflection at St Michael at Bowes
6:00pm – Evening Prayer via Zoom

Wednesday:

12:00noon – Mass at St Michael Wood Green
6:00pm – Evening Prayer via Zoom

Thursday:

11:00am – Mass from 23rd September at St Andrew’s Alexander Park 
7:00pm – Holy Hour will resume from Thursday 28th October

Friday:

5:30pm – Weekday Mass at St Michael’s Wood Green

Saturday:

12:00noon – Mass at St Michael’s Wood Green

 

Notices

Food Bank Donations – Huge thanks to you all for last week’s Harvest gifts that have been delivered to the Food Bank. The Food Bank is experiencing increasing demands now that universal credit for many people has been withdrawn. Donations are also declining so all help and support given is gratefully received. Thank you.

The Youth Service – Last week’s Youth Service was a wonderful success, we are blessed to have so many children and young people at St Michael’s. Fr Tom and a band of musicians provided a thought provoking service and the pizzas went down well too. The next Youth Service will be on Sunday 7th November at 6pm.

Haiti Appeal: Thank you to those who have responded to the Haiti disaster appeal. On Thursday a van load of your kind donations was collected and is now on its way to those who continue to suffer from the effects of the devastating earthquake. Jesus reminds us that what we do for others, we really do for him. Thank you all so much.

Small Group Facilitation Training: The clergy will soon be offering training on Saturdays for small group leaders and how to lead the intercessions on Sundays and other holy days. If you would like to be involved in these please speak to one of us soon as we hope to start in October.

Covid Memorial Service: at St Michael at Bowes Church on Saturday, October 30th 2021 at 14.00

Remembrance Sunday – As has been our tradition we shall mark Remembrance Sunday on 14th November with the people of Wood Green. This means our Parish Mass that day will begin at 9.30am to enable us to gather at the memorial in time for the community act of worship and remembrance. Please make a note of this now. We will remember them.

1st Communions – It was good to meet with those seeking first communion. A date has been set for Sunday 28th November, Advent Sunday. If you would like to know more, please speak to Fr Ian or Fr Tom.

St Andrew’s Day – On Tuesday 30th November we have been invited to join with the people of St Andrew’s Alexander Park to celebrate their Patronal Festival. The Mass will begin at 7.30pm.

Confirmation Service – Sunday 30th January 2022

Thursday 30 September 2021

Dear Sisters and brothers,

This Sunday at Mass we come together as a church family to celebrate our Harvest Festival, giving thanks to God for the goodness of creation and all that we are provided with from God. Traditionally, this is through praising God for our food, for the crops of the field and all that is made available to us. In more recent years, this thanksgiving has drawn closer to the whole goodness of creation especially focusing on the part we play as stewards in its care and continuation. This time of thanksgiving is often referred to in the wider church as the Season of Creation or Creationtide. This focus becomes more revelant as each year passes especially with the climate emergency and the increasing devastastion we witness across our world. In our Gospel reading this Sunday Jesus reminds us that our focus is to be on God’s kingdom from which we are called into our stewardship of creation for all God’s children rather than just ourselves. Our choices and our actions in this world contribute towards the flourishing of God’s creation or its destruction; towards the furtherance of God’s kingdom or its reduction; towards life or extinction. God calls us to act and give thanks for the beauty and continuation of the goodness of creation, for us and for all life today, and for our children and for all life tomorrow.

Our focus on God’s creation continues on Sunday evening at 6pm when we have our first Youth Service and gathering, including live music, pizza and fellowship. All young people between the ages of 11 and 16 are especially invited to attend this new service!

With love and prayers,

Fr Tom and the Wood Green Team

Prayer for the Week

Creator God,
You mad the goodness of the land,
the riches of the sea
and the rhythm of the seasons;
as we thank you for the harvest,
may we cherish and respect
this planet and its peoples,
through Jesus Christ our Lord,

Amen.

This Week in Our Parish

Sunday Services:

8:30am – Said Mass at St Michael’s Wood Green
10:30am – Parish Mass at St Michael’s Wood Green
11:00am – Eucharist at St Michael at Bowes
6:00pm – Youth Service and gathering at St Michael’s Wood Green (1st Sunday each month)

Tuesday:

11:00am – Eucharist at St Michael at Bowes
12:00noon – The Gospel of John Bible Study & Reflection at St Michael at Bowes
6:00pm – Evening Prayer via Zoom

Wednesday:

12:00noon – Mass at St Michael Wood Green
6:00pm – Evening Prayer via Zoom

Thursday:

11:00am – Mass from 23rd September at St Andrew’s Alexander Park 
7:00pm – Holy Hour at St Michael’s Wood Green

Friday:

5:30pm – Weekday Mass at St Michael’s Wood Green

Saturday:

12:00noon – Mass at St Michael’s Wood Green

 

Notices

Food donations: Please do bring along your non-perishable food donations as part of our Harvest Festival, to be blessed and offered to the Bounds Green Food Bank for the benefit of those in need at this time.

Youth Service at 6pm on Sunday 3rd October: Our first Youth Service is to take place at 6pm on Sunday 3rd October. Following on from our Harvest Celebration we shall be thinking about creation and the environment. There will be a time of prayer and praise, and food and music which we hope will be live. So if you have an instrument please let us know and bring it along.

Haiti Appeal: Thank you to those who have responded to the Haiti disaster appeal so far. Posters are displayed around the church giving information about the support being sought. Goods, money, clothing, and various utensils will really benefit those who have lost so much. St Michael’s is a designated collection point, and a container will collect our donations around the 3rd October. As and when we know more, we will inform you.

Small Group Facilitation Training: The clergy will soon be offering training on Saturdays for small group leaders and how to lead the intercessions on Sundays and other holy days. If you would like to be involved in these please speak to one of us soon as we hope to start in October.

Covid Memorial Service: at St Michael at Bowes Church on Saturday, October 30th 2021 at 14.00

1st Communions – Fr Ian has spoken with many of you about children receiving communion for the first time. If this is something you wish your children to participate in then there will be a brief meeting after Church on Sunday 3rd October to sign up and hear more

Confirmation Service – Sunday 30th January 2022

Thursday 23 September 2021

Dear Brother & sisters,

What a joy it has been to see, week by week, many of you returning to Church after such a time of disruption caused by the pandemic. One thing you will notice as you enter Church is a collection of bin bags, boxes and suitcases all given in response to the earthquake and tropical storms that has devastated Haiti.  We are such a beautifully diverse and global Church family that wherever disaster strikes in the world people within our worshipping community are caught up in the catastrophe as they await news and contact from their loved ones.  Haiti is just one example among many. We may never fully understand when we bring along our humble donations to such appeals, the relief, hope and joy they will bring to those whose needs are so great. Jesus reminds us in the Gospel this Sunday that ‘a cup of cold water, given in kindness to another, is a sign and symbol of the love and presence of God. So look again at the ever growing collection of donations as you enter Church and see them as a source of blessing, and be reminded that every good deed, even the smallest, will be remembered and rewarded by the generous love of God.

With our love and daily prayers

Fr Ian,  Fr Engin,  Fr Tom,  Fr Winfield

Prayer for the Week

May we into the world,
inspired by the extravagant love of God.
Live generously, with open hands,
loving one another as if your lives depended on it.
Be good stewards of the gifts you have received,
so that God may be glorified in all that you say and do.

And may the abundant love of God surround you,
may the extravagant grace of Jesus Christ sustain you,
and may the constant presence of the Holy Spirit
inspire and encourage you in every good deed and word. 

Amen.

This Week in Our Parish

Sunday Services:

8:30am – Said Mass at St Michael’s Wood Green
10:30am – Parish Mass at St Michael’s Wood Green
11:00am – Eucharist at St Michael at Bowes

Tuesday:

11:00am – Eucharist at St Michael at Bowes
12:00noon – The Gospel of John Bible Study & Reflection at St Michael at Bowes
6:00pm – Evening Prayer via Zoom

Wednesday:

12:00noon – Mass at St Michael Wood Green
6:00pm – Evening Prayer via Zoom

Thursday:

11:00am – Mass from 23rd September at St Andrew’s Alexander Park 
7:00pm – Holy Hour at St Michael’s Wood Green

Friday:

5:30pm – Weekday Mass at St Michael’s Wood Green

Saturday:

12:00noon – Mass at St Michael’s Wood Green

 

Notices

This Sunday at Bowes Harvest Sunday & Back to Church Picnic at 12:30. All are welcome.

St Michael and All Angels on Wednesday 29th September:  We celebrate St Michael’s Day; our special celebration Mass will take place at 7.30pm and our Archdeacon Fr John Hawkins will be our guest preacher. The evening will be followed with our traditional cake and bubbly, not to be missed. We shall be joined by other churches from the Wood Green Team so please join us as we welcome them.

Youth Service at 6pm on Sunday 3rd October: Fr Tom is seeking support as we plan and prepare for our first Youth Service at 6pm on Sunday 3rd October.  Following on from our Harvest Celebration we shall be thinking about creation and the environment.  There will be a time of prayer and praise, and food and music which we hope will be live. So if you have an instrument please let us know and bring it along.

Haiti Appeal: Thank you to those who have responded to the Haiti disaster appeal so far.  Posters are displayed around the church giving information about the support being sought. Goods, money, clothing, and various utensils will really benefit those who have lost so much.  St Michael’s is a designated collection point, and a container will collect our donations around the 3rd October. As and when we know more, we will inform you. 

Small Group Facilitation Training: The clergy will soon be offering training on Saturdays for small group leaders and how to lead the intercessions on Sundays and other holy days. If you would like to be involved in these please speak to one of us soon as we hope to start in October.

Covid Memorial Service: at St Michael at Bowes Church on Saturday, October 30th 2021 at 14.00

1st Communions – Fr Ian has spoken with many of you about children receiving communion for the first time. If this is something you wish your children to participate in then there will be a brief meeting after Church on Sunday 3rd October to sign up and hear more

Confirmation Service – Sunday 30th January 2022

Thursday 16 September 2021

Dear Friends in Christ,

Last week, we heard one of the marks of Christian discipleship in the words of our Lord “if any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” Today’s gospel reminds us of another mark of Christian discipleship that is, servanthood. “Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.” Like in the case of suffering, we are to follow Jesus’ example of being a servant of all by offering our love, our time, and resources for the good of others. But let’s face it. It is not easy, nor is it natural to be a servant to others. I grew up in a home of three boys. I remember that there was a lot of quarrelling among us. God bless her soul, my mother always found herself in the middle of our arguments. It was not easy even amongst brothers to be a servant to one another let alone in the church. Richard Foster distinguishes service and servanthood. He says, serving others is a decision we make. We decide who to serve, when to serve and how to serve. On the other hand, being a servant is a heart attitude. In that, we are not any more in control of our service. We serve whenever it is required to serve.

It is precisely for this reason that being a servant to others is counter cultural and we can only learn by imitating Christ and his example. Jesus said, “Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Of course, the Lord has shown this in his life and ministry by giving up his life. At his last evening, he washed his disciples’ feet and set an example for us. Foster highlights the great value of small, everyday acts of service which require constant sacrifice, and which flow from our place of being a servant – rather than the great virtues of (often) one-off public acts of service. Service is not a list of things to do to be kind to others, though in it we discover things to do. It is not a code of ethics, but a way of living.

One thing we need to understand is that being a servant of others is a favour to others, rather it is in that place of servanthood, we find ourselves. It is an opportunity for us to discover ourselves and indeed God in a different way. I believe St Francis of Assisi’s prayer echoes this discovery in his words “for it is in giving that we received.” It is my prayer that as we ponder upon our call to be a servant that we could imitate our Lord and discover ourselves in him.

Fr Engin Yildirim

A Prayer for Service

We lift our hearts up to you. We pray that we would be humble as Christ is humble.
Help us to put others first and to love and serve them joyfully. 
Transform our hearts into the likeness of Christ, so that in our service we could participate in him. 
Grant us your heavenly grace and strength to serve others from a place of being a servant.

Amen.

This Week in Our Parish

Sunday Services:

8:30am – Said Mass at St Michael’s Wood Green
10:30am – Parish Mass at St Michael’s Wood Green
11:00am – Eucharist at St Michael at Bowes

Tuesday:

11:00am – Eucharist at St Michael at Bowes
12:00noon – The Gospel of John Bible Study & Reflection at St Michael at Bowes
6:00pm – Evening Prayer via Zoom

Wednesday:

12:00noon – Mass at St Michael Wood Green
6:00pm – Evening Prayer via Zoom

Thursday:

11:00am – Mass from 23rd September at St Andrew’s Alexander Park 
7:00pm – Holy Hour at St Michael’s Wood Green

Friday:

5:30pm – Weekday Mass at St Michael’s Wood Green

Saturday:

12:00noon – Mass at St Michael’s Wood Green

 

Notices

Harvest Sunday & Back to Church Picnic: at St Michael at Bowes on 26 September 2021, Sunday at 12:30. All are welcome.

St Michael and All Angels on Wednesday 29th September:  We celebrate St Michael’s Day; our special celebration Mass will take place at 7:30pm and our Archdeacon Fr John Hawkins will be our guest preacher. The evening will be followed with our traditional cake and bubbly, not to be missed. We shall be joined by other churches from the Wood Green Team so please join us as we welcome them.

Youth Service at 6pm on Sunday 3rd October: Fr Tom is seeking support as we plan and prepare for our first Youth Service at 6pm on Sunday 3rd October.  Following on from our Harvest Celebration we shall be thinking about creation and the environment.  There will be a time of prayer and praise, and food and music which we hope will be live. So if you have an instrument please let us know and bring it along.

Haiti Appeal: Thank you to those who have responded to the Haiti disaster appeal so far.  Posters are displayed around the church giving information about the support being sought. Goods, money, clothing, and various utensils will really benefit those who have lost so much.  St Michael’s is a designated collection point, and a container will collect our donations around the 3rd October. As and when we know more, we will inform you. 

Small Group Facilitation Training: The clergy will soon be offering training on Saturdays for small group leaders and how to lead the intercessions on Sundays and other holy days. If you would like to be involved in these please speak to one of us soon as we hope to start in October.

Covid Memorial Service: at St Michael at Bowes Church on Saturday, October 30th 2021 at 14.00

1st Communions – Fr Ian has spoken with many of you about children receiving communion for the first time. If this is something you wish your children to participate in then there will be a brief meeting after Church on Sunday 3rd October to sign up and hear more.

Thursday 9 September 2021

Dear Brothers & Sisters,

We begin with an apology, as a technical issue meant that last week’s parish email did not reach a majority of people, we are so sorry, especially as it contained lots of information about the activities and celebrations we are preparing for over the coming months. What a joy it has been to see numbers slowly but surely increasing at both our Sunday and our midweek worship. It is our hope that the careful measures that remain in place give you the confidence needed to return to Church as we learn to live with the pandemic.

This Sunday 12th September, we shall be making a huge effort to encourage and invite people to return to Church on our ‘Back to Church’ celebration. The invitations kindly designed by the Followers have gone out and we hope you feel able either to return yourself, or challenge someone else to join us for the occasion. Please join us for a BBQ and picnic in the church grounds after Mass and an opportunity to catch up with each other after such a long period of absence.

Haiti Appeal. Thank you to those who have responded to the Haiti disaster appeal so far. Posters are displayed around the church giving information about the support being sought. Goods, money, clothing and various utensils will really benefit those who have lost so much. St Michael’s is a designated collection point and a container will collect our donations around the 3rd October. As and when we know more we will inform you.

Wednesday 29th September – We celebrate St Michael’s Day; our special celebration Mass will take place at 7:30pm and our Archdeacon Fr John Hawkins will be our guest preacher. The evening will be followed with our traditional cake and bubbly, not to be missed. We shall be joined by other churches from the Wood Green Team so please join us as we welcome them.

Sunday 3rd October Harvest Festival – All good things around us are sent from heaven above, the hymn reminds us and we shall give thanks to God for all his love. All donations will go towards the work of the Food Bank that continues its work from St Michael’s Hall.

Fr Tom is seeking support as we plan and prepare for our first Youth Service at 6pm on Sunday 3rd October. Following on from our Harvest Celebration we shall be thinking about creation and the environment. There will be a time of prayer and praise, and food and music which we hope will be live. So if you have an instrument please let us know and bring it along.

From next Sunday 19th September we shall restore our daily pattern of worship which will see worship offered across the Wood Green Team. This will include the following: –

Sunday
Said Mass – 8:30am (St Michael’s Wood Green)
Parish Mass – 10:30am (St Michael’s Wood Green)
Parish Mass – 11am (St Michael at Bowes)

Tuesday
Weekday Mass – 11am (St Michael at Bowes)
Bible Study on St John’s Gospel 12noon (St Michael at Bowes)

Wednesday
Weekday Mass – 12noon (St Michael’s Wood Green)

Thursday
Weekday Mass – 11am (from 23rd September – St Andrew’s Alexander Park)
Holy Hour 7pm – 8pm (St Michael’s Wood Green)

Friday
Weekday Mass – 5:30pm (St Michael’s Wood Green)

Saturday
Weekday Mass – 12noon (St Michael’s Wood Green)

In addition to the above acts of worship, the clergy will soon be offering training on Saturdays for small group leaders and how to lead the intercessions on Sundays and other holy days. If you would like to be involved in these please speak to one of us soon as we hope to start in October.

Please keep all the above in your prayers, it is good to see the work and mission of the Church returning after such a period of disruption, and as you can see the world and our community are calling out for us to be the Church, that is God’s faithful servants bringing in His love, care and compassion. May our lives daily proclaim ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God’.

We look forward to seeing you on Sunday and until then send our love and prayers

Fr Ian, Fr Engin, Fr Tom, Fr Winfield

Prayer for the week
 

‘Who do you say I am?’

Lord Jesus,
You are a Lord who walks beside your people.
So we pray for people who walk for justice.

You are a Lord who raises up those who are bent low.
So we pray for those held down by the grindings of life
and the indifference of the world.

You are a Lord who feeds the hungry
So we pray for all who long for bread
And the means to provide it.

You are a Lord who celebrates the small and the insignificant.
So we pray for the children
And for those who are never noticed.

You are a Lord who says ‘Follow me’.
So we pray for courage and faith in our hearts
That we may take up the cross and find it leads to life.
Amen

Thursday 26 August 2021

This parish letter comes with the prayers and good wishes of Fr Ian and the clergy team. 

As mentioned in previous letters we, together with your Church Council, are now planning a number of events and new initiatives to welcome people back to Church over the coming weeks after a prolonged period of absence forced on us by the pandemic. In addition to returning to a full pattern of daily worship across the Wood Green Team we are also planning the following: –

Sunday 12 September – Back to Church Sunday followed by a BBQ and picnic in the Church grounds.  This will begin with Mass at 10.30am (11am at Bowes) and then afterwards in the grounds of St Michael’s Wood Green for an opportunity to relax and enjoy our fellowship together. If you have not yet ventured back to Church this will provide the perfect opportunity.  Please join us.

Wednesday 29 September – We celebrate St Michael’s Day; our special celebration Mass will take place at 7.30pm and our Archdeacon Fr John Hawkins will be our guest preacher. The evening will be followed with our traditional cake and bubbly, not to be missed.

Sunday 3 October – This will be the first of our new monthly Youth services aimed at engaging the young people we are privileged to have at St Michael’s. Fr Tom will be taking the lead on this and the evening will include prayer and praise as well as food and discussion and music.  We are also hoping to develop a small music group to help with this, so if you (or anyone you know) plays an instrument of any kind we would love to hear from you. More on this very soon…

For the above to be effective we need to embed it in prayer and that is something we can all help with. If God is to be glorified through any of the above, our hearts have to be in it.  Anything less and we would be guilty of playing lip-service and the Lord has much to say about that in this Sunday’s Gospel.

Urgent News just in…  Haiti disaster appeal…

Can you help by supplying goods, money or clothing to support those caught up in the earthquake and storm in Haiti?  St Michael’s will become a collection point for a container heading to Haiti in mid-September. Some of our own Church family have relatives and friends living in Haiti and we know they would appreciate our help and support. We hope to have further information by next week.

We commend this parish letter to your prayers and hope you can join us in welcoming people back to Church and offering help to those whose needs are so much greater than ours.

With our love & continued prayers

Fr Ian,   Fr Engin,   Fr Tom,   Fr Winfield

Prayer for the week
 
Lord, let our hearts not be far from you.
Help us reach out to our neighbour,
even when we are busy or tired.
Let us tear down walls when we’d rather hide behind.
Stretch us Lord, please.
Whether we are visiting a prisoner, offering a smile,
feeding the hungry, or offering care and support
be within us so that whatever we do,
we do with your love and for your glory. Amen.

Thursday 19 August 2021

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

May God’s peace be with you. 

It has been a difficult week for the watching world. Seeing events unfold in Afghanistan and watching people desperately trying to escape the threat of war, violence or the disappearance of a way of life they were promised has been agonising.  We can only imagine the desperation that drives people to leave their homes and livelihoods in a bid to escape real danger, so much so that many were prepared to cling to the outside of a moving aircraft hoping for help and freedom. The scenes leave us sad and shocked, but through our prayers we place them into God’s hands.

Equally, we see the people of Haiti devastated by a further earthquake, leaving thousands dead or unaccounted for and those who survived having to face fierce tropical storms, the scenes are almost beyond our understanding even though they are beamed into our homes for all to see. Again we keep that beautiful country and its people in our prayers.

We live in a global city, and the things that happen in other countries ripple through our community too as our town and our church family include people from the countries where such devastation is taking place. Please know we are praying for you and those you love.

Keeping faith amidst times of great suffering can be really tough as it makes us question and even doubt. It is not until we have travelled through the periods of difficulty that we realise God was indeed with us, the problem was we had turned away from Him.

In today’s Gospel, the disciples face a stark choice. Do they leave Jesus or continue walking with him, even when his ways are challenging and difficult to understand? Of course we know many walked away, but Peter and the twelve stay with him, not because they fully understand, but because they are certain of three things: there is no one else to go to; that he has the message of eternal life and he is the Holy one of God. The core elements of our belief lie in these words. So let us this week make Peter’s profession of faith our own by declaring we believe, we know you are the Holy One of God.

Dates ahead: –
Sunday 12th September – Back to Church Sunday followed by a BBQ and Picnic in the Church grounds

Sunday 19th September – Return of 8.30am Said Mass

Wednesday 29th September – St Michael’s Day Parish Mass 7.30pm

This is our patronal festival and Archdeacon John will be our guest preacher.

It is good to see a few more people returning to Church and the Church family coming together.  There is now plenty of space and sufficient safety measures in place to welcome back many others, it will be good to see you.

With our continued love and prayers

Fr Ian,  Fr Tom,  Fr Engin

Prayer for the week
 
Father, God of love
If it was easy to follow Jesus,
we would not need to ask for forgiveness.
But it is tough —
tough to say ‘yes,’
tough to be graceful,
tough to be faithful,
tough to be loving.
Yet whatever we do,
You love us enough to forgive us
and to feed us with the Bread of Life.
Accept our praise and thanksgiving Father,
for we believe, we know,
you are the Holy one.

Amen

Thursday 12 August 2021

Dear Brothers & Sisters,

This Sunday in union with the Church of God throughout the world we celebrate a feast in honour of our blessed Lady Mary. Mary was with Jesus from the very beginning and stayed with him right to the end. She was beside him in all the joyful and sorrowful moments of his life. She brought him into the world in a stable; when he was but a new born baby she took him into Egypt to protect him. She brought him back to Nazareth and took care of him as he grew up. She sought him when he was lost in the temple. During his public ministry Mary feared for his safety – and she accompanied him all the way to the cross, staying with him till the last breath.  Mary was there, with Jesus from the cradle to the cross and beyond the empty tomb – therefore surely it is right and fitting that she should share his risen glory? That is what we are celebrating on this feast of the Assumption – a mother sharing in the triumph of her son.  Mary responded to the call of God; God calls us all in many different ways; our prayer this day especially should be that like Mary and with her prayerful assistance, we may respond to that call in faith, obedience and love.

In other news…

The coming months will present us with a number of opportunities to respond to God’s call to discipleship. Your PCC have been meeting regularly and looking at ways in which we as a church can reach out to the community reminding them that the Church is open and ready to welcome everyone back. Among the plans being discussed are the following: –

Back to Church Sunday followed by a BBQ and Picnic (12th September)

  • A new monthly parish magazine called ‘St Michael’s Messenger’
  • A revised pattern of worship throughout the week
  • Opening of the Wednesday Drop-In
  • St Michael’s Day celebration (29th September)
  • A new monthly Sunday evening service aimed at the youth of the parish
  • Monthly services of remembrance for those taken during the pandemic
  • Bible studies and training opportunities 


There is so much planning going on which needs rooting in prayer and above all else people to come forward and offer their services to help breathe new life into God’s Church. How about you? 

We owe a debt of thanks to the few people who have taken on the bulk of the work, but now, more than ever before in the history of St Michael’s Church we need everyone to play a part in not just recovering after the pandemic but in rebuilding the church, responding to God’s call to go out to the whole world and make his name known.

Pray with us and for us and we remember you daily. May God’s blessing be upon you.

Fr Ian, Fr Engin, Fr Tom, Fr Winfield

Prayer for the week
 
In the tradition of Mary,
and all who have said “yes” to God,
we stand before you Lord,
to add our assent to theirs.
 
Like Mary, we feel overwhelmed;
we wonder if we are worthy,
or capable of following your calling.
Like Mary, we have our questions
and we will not be afraid to ask them.
Like Mary, we will hear and ponder
the assurance that God will empower us.
Like Mary we will strive to say –
“Let it be with us according to your will.”
 
To whatever God is inviting of us
at this time in our lives,
and relying on His grace alone,
Lord, give us the courage to say “yes.”
Amen

Thursday 5 August 2021

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

As I complete my first month as deacon, serving as assistant curate here at St Michael’s and in the wider team ministry, I am pleased to say that your welcome towards Dayna and I, has been one of overwhelming joy and love. I feel truly blessed to be part of this community and can only imagine that this will be enhanced further as we move into the parish and look forward to getting to know you all the more, and remembering your names! St Michael’s Church feels very alive with the work of our Lord as people return to worship, and I’m sure this will continue as a familiar pattern re-emerges, with some new elements too! 

In our readings set for this Sunday (8th August), and for the third week running, bread is on the menu. Jesus identifies himself as the living bread, as the bread that came down from heaven and that which gives and sustains life. This eternal goodness that Jesus offers is that which lies ahead, but also that which is with us today. In feeding on Jesus as the living bread, we are invited into the eternity that Jesus offers today! We also hear how Elijah’s life was rejuvenated by an angel in a dream, providing food and drink that strengthened him to carry on walking to the mountain of God. Like Elijah, our lives are lifted when we feed on our Lord and saviour who is the living bread. This spiritual sustenance is evident in our church as more people are returning to worship to feed on Jesus, bringing fulfilment to their lives, and life to our church.

I will be taking a break with Dayna and the family from the 7 August, but will be back week commencing 22 August. If you would like to meet up to chat over tea or coffee at anytime (except Mondays), do be in touch, and we can make arrangements on my return.

With love and prayer for you all,  Fr Tom

Dates for your diary: –
Sunday 12th September.  The Parish Mass will be followed by a parish BBQ and picnic in the Church grounds. It is hoped we shall reach out to those yet to return and encourage and welcome newcomers and visitors. Please remember this in your prayers and put the date on your calendar or in diaries as it will mark the beginning of a new chapter in our life together.

St Michael’s Day – Wednesday 29th September.  Our Patronal Festival Mass will be at 7.30pm with a guest preacher, again please note the day.

We shall remember – over the coming months we shall be offering a number of services of remembrance for those who wish to remember those who died over the period of the lockdown. On particular days our churches will be open, clergy available, candles and other ways to reflect, remember and give thanks as a sign that no one is forgotten. More details soon.

If you are going away on holiday, have a wonderful time and come back relaxed, refreshed and ready live your faith in ways that will comfort you and inspire others.

With our love and continued prayers

Fr Ian,  Fr Tom,  Fr Engin and Fr Winfield

Prayer for the week
 
Lord, the feast is yours, not ours
It is your table to which we come, to be your guests.
It is your presence we seek,
your body and blood of which we partake.
Help us to draw near with expectant hearts and a living faith,
to receive as from your hands the bread of life,
and so find refreshment, strength and peace;
for your love’s sake.  Amen

Thursday 29 July 2021

Dear Brothers & Sisters,

Last Sunday we saw how Jesus gave bread to the people in the wilderness, and in our first reading at Mass we see something similar happening again.  God feeds His people in the desert with manna from heaven, like last week we see a miraculous example of God’s love and care for people. Jesus too fed people who were hungry, but the Gospels make it quite clear that the Son of Man did not come merely to satisfy physical hunger.  The manna in the first reading was a foreshadowing of spiritual food which was now being offered by Jesus to his followers. The manna (and indeed the feeding of the 5,000 last week) nourished people physically and sustained life temporarily; the new bread, Jesus himself, will nourish people spiritually and sustain life for eternity.
 
After such a long period of absence from Communion, many of us will know, understand and have experienced spiritual hunger. The connectivity we have strived to keep via various online services are a poor substitute for actually receiving the precious Body and Blood of Christ.  Like the people in the wilderness we long to be satisfied and share their plea ‘Lord, give us that bread always.’ We now have that opportunity as we begin to emerge from lockdown and live life amidst the pandemic. Our Churches are open and as safe as they can possibly be with measures for all our safety remaining in place.  Jesus, the Bread of life, is powerfully present and through the gift of Communion promises to be with us – strengthening, sustaining and spiritually nourishing us for all eternity.  
 
Dates for your diary: –
The PCC will be hosting a ‘back to Church Sunday event’ on Sunday 12th September.  The Parish Mass will be followed by a parish BBQ and picnic in the Church grounds. It is hoped we shall reach out to those yet to return and encourage and welcome newcomers and visitors. Please remember this in your prayers and put the date on your calendar or in diaries as it will mark the beginning of a new chapter in our life together.
 
We shall remember – over the coming months we shall be offering a number of services of remembrance for those who wish to remember those who died over the period of the lockdown. On particular days our churches will be open, clergy available, candles and other ways to reflect, remember and give thanks as a sign that no one is forgotten. More details soon.
 
St Michael’s Day – Wednesday 29th September.  Our Patronal Festival Mass will be at 7.30pm with a guest preacher, again please note the day.
 
As you can see, we are changing gear in the Wood Green Team with the emphasis very much on new beginnings. Please pray for all of the above and please be ready to play a part.  You remain in our daily prayers and should you ever wish to talk, please feel free to call or see us after any service.
 
With love & prayers
 
Fr Ian,  Fr Engin,  Fr Tom,  Fr Winfield.
Prayer for the week
 
When the journey is long
and we hunger and thirst,
Bread of Life, you sustain us.
When the road is hard
and our bodies weak
Bread of Life, you heal us.
When our spirits are low
and we can’t carry on
Bread of Life, you revive us.
When we offer our hand
in love and in service
Bread of life, you bless us.
When the challenge is great
and the workers are few
Bread of Life, you empower us.
When the victory is won
and we see your face
Bread of Life, you will rejoice with us!
Amen

Thursday 22 July 2021

Dear Brothers & Sisters,

The readings in Church this Sunday (25th July) have a clear and beautiful connection. The miracle described in the first reading shows God’s concern for his people during a time of famine. The bread in question was the bread of the first-fruits, which was meant to be offered to God. Instead of offering it to God, Elisha, the prophet of the old covenant, gave it to the people. The left-overs are seen as an indication of God’s generosity. Like Elisha, Jesus, the prophet of the new covenant, feeds the hungry and does so even more astonishingly. What we see in these readings are clear eucharistic overtones in the way the miracle is related. Jesus ‘took the loaves, gave thanks, blessed and distributed them to the people. Such language is meant to remind us of what Jesus did at the Last Supper, and of what happens every time we celebrate the Eucharist.

The feeding of the 5,000 is a real invitation from Jesus to return to the Eucharist and to renew our faith, trust and love in Him. Now the guidelines regarding the pandemic are more relaxed, with many of us now double jabbed, we need to renew those habits which enable Jesus to feed us. For the Christian an essential part of our discipleship is to attend Mass Sunday by Sunday. We understand that for some people the need to be cautious is understandable, but if that genuinely does not include us, then we need to begin returning to Sunday Mass, making it an absolute priority, for in that way the Lord can feed, nourish and strengthen us.

This Sunday we resume the full sung Mass whilst keeping in place the safety measures we reminded you of in last week’s parish mailing. Facemasks must still be worn inside, sanitizing on entry and temperatures taken. We really hope and pray you can join us.

You may also notice that our Churches are open a lot more as we go into summer for private prayers and devotions and there are quieter midweek services on Tuesday at 11am at Bowes and on Wednesday at 12noon at St Michael’s Wood Green. We look forward to seeing you.

Your clergy remain available to see you after any service or are just a phone call away. We are called by God to serve you, so feel free to talk with us about anything.

You remain in our love and prayers

Fr Ian; Fr Engin; Fr Tom; Fr Winfield

Prayer for the week
 
Lord,
the eyes of all look to You in hope;
and You give them what they need.
You open Your hand
and satisfy the hunger and thirst of every living thing.
 
We, too, turn to You again, longing to be filled—
to eat of the Bread of Life,
to drink from Your life-giving streams,
to taste Your goodness and live.
 
May the time we spend together in Your presence
nourish our hearts and minds;
may it strengthen our relationship with You,
and renew our commitment to live in this world as Your faithful disciples.
 
For You alone are God,
the Source and Sustainer of life.

Amen

Thursday 15 July 2021

Dear Brothers & Sisters,

In Sunday’s Gospel, we will hear the Lord say to his Apostles, ‘You must come away to some lonely place all by yourselves and rest for a while.’ This clearly demonstrates the care Jesus has for his followers and particularly for their well-being. We are reminded that Jesus is the good shepherd, leading and guiding his people with God’s watchful love.

The well-being of our church family was very much at the heart of the Church Council meeting last week and I pay tribute to those you elected to serve the parish in this way for the thought, care and sensitivity that was demonstrated at our meeting.

You will be aware of the confusing mixed messaging from the government about how we approach the relaxing of lockdown measures, especially regarding the wearing of facemasks etc. As a Church, the PCC felt we needed to be clear where we stand on this and we appeal for your continued patience and understanding in the decisions being made on your behalf.

From next Sunday we shall re-introduce the singing of hymns at our services but it was felt that this can only happen if we continue the use of facemasks when we are gathered together inside our churches. So please make sure you have your facemask on once in Church for the well-being of everyone. (We always have a box of masks for anyone who forgets or hasn’t got one so please don’t worry). We hope this will boost people’s confidence in returning to church after such a long absence. On entry to Church please continue to use the hand sanitizer provided and expect to have your temperature taken.

The seating has been returned and the church looks so much better for it; but we ask that you leave at least one seat distance from others unless you are in a family group. To receive Communion we shall operate a one way system and a sides-person will guide you forward as before.

These are all positive and encouraging signs and whilst we rightly remain cautious with the above guidance for the benefit of others, we are now beginning the process of welcoming many of you back to Church, a cause for great joy, celebration and thanksgiving to God.

We look forward to seeing you and assure you of our continued prayers.

God bless

Fr Ian, Fr Engin, Fr Tom

Prayer for the week
 
Jesus, Good Shepherd,
Through light and shadow I am led, I follow,
through the ins and outs, the ups and downs of these days,
when my heart is failing, when my spirit rejoices,
when I can barely put one foot in front of the other
still you beckon me on…
when I stumble you support me,
when I can go no further you carry me,
through light and shadow, in death’s dark vale,
and on the mountain peaks you lead me,
through tangled webs, on rocky ground, on smoother paths,
through light and shadow you lead me,
I follow, for with you I never walk alone. Amen

Thursday 8 July 2021

Dear Brothers & Sisters,

What a week!!! Last Sunday we welcomed Fr Tom, our new Curate, and his family, on Tuesday the Wood Green Team was extended as Fr Andy was licensed as the associate Priest of St Andrew’s Church. We received news that the lockdown is set to be lifted from next week onwards and England even managed to reach a cup final!!!   All exciting moments which inspire and challenge us and give us a broader vision of what is possible if we give something of ourselves to such moments.
 
Whether worshipping in Church or at home, we come to the Lord at His invitation, to receive from Him. We are also called to give something of ourselves as we are sent out to share with others the gifts we have received from the Lord. The Lord forgives our sins, speaks His word to us, and nourishes us with the precious gifts of communion. By bringing us together He makes it possible for us to support one another and by sending us out we are called to offer His love and care to those around us. The Apostles in today’s Gospel are sent out and their mission was to be an extension of the Lord’s mission – we have been caught up in that calling and in turn the Lord’s mission to the world continues – through us.
 
In other news: –  
From next Sunday we shall include hymns as part of the service for the first time in 16 months, however we may have to sing through facemasks. The red chairs will also make a welcome return although we shall still exercise some caution regarding seating. Safety measures will still be in place with sanitizing and the taking of temperatures at the door.  For the time being we shall continue to receive Communion in one kind and therefore not share the chalice. All the evidence seems to suggest that those who have received both vaccinations are now well protected so I hope that gives you confidence to return to Church. We also hope to restore a full pattern of worship very soon.  If you would like to talk about this please feel free to speak with Fr Ian or Fr Tom.  There is no right or wrong and there is no judgement as it is important that you feel safe when here – we shall do all we can to keep the church as covid secure as we have done, which I hope is the encouragement you need to return to the house of God.
 
Your clergy met this week to begin planning some joint events across the Churches.  For now please make a note of two patronal festivals. St Michael’s Day on Wednesday 29th September and St Andrew’s Day on Tuesday 30th November.  These will be days of great celebration across the whole team and hopefully will provide an opportunity to worship together and socialize together afterwards. Please keep the dates.
 
The coming weeks will feel a little strange for all of us as we begin to return to life post-lockdown, we shall need to exercise some caution, some patience but also faith in the living God who as St Paul reminds us pours upon us the richness of His grace. You will all be in our prayers as you make decisions in the coming days and we look forward to seeing you very soon.
 
With love & prayers
 
Fr Ian,  Fr Engin,  Fr Tom,  Fr Winfield.
Prayer for the week
 
God of gods and King of kings;
you called and anointed David,
you called and blessed Paul,
and through your Son Jesus, you called the twelve to follow.
 
In our time you have called us.
Enable us to trust you above all voices,
beyond all of our prejudices and fears.
Give us courage to follow and serve you
among all of our neighbours
and with one another in the body of Christ.
God of the Kingdom, hear our prayer. Amen.

Friday 2 July 2021

Dear Brothers & Sisters,

On Saturday (3rd July) our new Curate Fr Tom Smith will be Ordained as a Deacon and we look forward to welcoming him and his family to the Wood Green Team. It is with us that Fr Tom will continue his training on into Priesthood next year and then in 3 years time off to his own parish.  It is both a privilege and an honour for us as a parish to be involved with the training of Priests for the wider world. At the Ordination the following words, which explain the role of the Deacon, were proclaimed: –

Deacons are called to work with the Bishop and the priests with whom they serve as heralds of Christ’s kingdom. They are to proclaim the gospel in word and deed, as agents of God’s purposes of love. They are to serve the community in which they are set, bringing to the Church the needs and hopes of all the people. They are to work with their fellow members in searching out the poor and weak, the sick and lonely and those who are oppressed and powerless, reaching into the forgotten corners of the world, that the love of God may be made visible.

It is an awesome job description and one which imitates the life and mission of Jesus to the world.  We shall also hear in the Gospel that despite all our best efforts sometimes the message of Christ in all its richness is rejected. Sometimes as people of God we have to stand amidst the rejection as a reminder that although some may turn away from God, He will not turn away or forsake them. We therefore hold Fr Tom in our prayers as his Deaconal year begins but also renew our own commitment to God’s service, that through our ministries the love of God may be made visible.  

In other news…

Fr Andy will be licensed on Tuesday 6th July as associate Priest of St Andrew’s Alexandra Park. Due to current restrictions only a limited number of people can attend and Fr Andy will email about that separately. Please keep him, Nikki and the family in your prayers.  The service will be broadcast live and you can join us on www.facebook.com/alexparkparish 

Your Church Council had a very full and frank meeting last week focusing on how we communicate to people that the Church is up and running and worship is being offered.  We shall be meeting as a council for the first time in person on Tuesday 13th July and we would value any feedback you feel able to offer. For the last 17 months the clergy have tried to keep the connection going via this parish email and phone calls but of course we have no idea if this is helpful.  To that end can you simply acknowledge the receipt of this parish email by sending a short message in reply, that would be really appreciated. 

We are about to enter a new phase of life as the pandemic guidelines look set to be relaxed, we shall keep you as informed as possible on all the changes.

Equally exciting is the new challenges we face as a church family. Your prayers more now than ever would really be appreciated as we respond to God’s call to make his love visible.

With love & prayers

Fr Ian,  Fr Engin,  Fr Tom,   Fr Winfield 

Prayer for the week
 
Open our eyes and our ears O Lord,

that wherever we go, 
we may hear your voice calling us by name; 
calling us to praise,
calling us to serve, 
calling us to share, 
so that we never give up on the promise of your kingdom, 
where the world is transformed, and all can enjoy life in all its fullness. 
Amen.

Thursday 24 June 2021

Dear Brothers & Sisters,

We are living in strange times as we, hopefully, head towards the opening up of the country. At the moment I struggle to understand how 60,000 people can attend a football match without masks and social distancing, allowed to cheer and sing whilst at the same time I can only allow 40 people at a wedding or funeral with all the safety measures we have in place.

For just over 16 months now we have been in a desperate state of limbo, not knowing what we can safely do, where we can go and what voices to listen to amidst all the mixed messages we receive on a daily basis. Now compare that to the woman in Sunday’s Gospel who for twelve years had suffered from an illness that not only caused great pain but saw her isolated from society as she would have been considered unclean. She had exhausted all human possibilities of healing. Then in faith she turned to the Lord and as we will hear that encounter changed her life forever.

Over recent months we have seen a steady trickle of people returning to Church and it has been a joy to see. I understand the caution many still feel about venturing out but I feel I need to encourage you if you have not yet been back to Church to think seriously about doing so.  I would be delighted to receive your feedback as to what more we could do to facilitate your return. If you feel Sunday’s Mass is too crowded (about 75 last week) then we have other options for you.  On Tuesday at 11am there is a shorter service at St Michael at Bowes and on Wednesdays at midday Mass is celebrated with about 25 in attendance. We hope to add the Saturday midday Mass very soon and once guidelines allow we shall restore the 8.30am Mass on Sundays. I hope you can see that in offering these live services, in addition to our online worship, there is plenty of opportunity for you to return to your church.

If you are anxious about that then let us return to the Gospel, where we witness Jesus healing the sick in a number of ways. He touched the people with his words, with his hands, with his look and above all with his love. It is in and through the Eucharist that Jesus comes very close to us and where we receive his healing touch in our lives. We look forward to seeing you.

In other news…

Thank you to everyone who contributed to last week’s farewell to Fr Andy and his family, it was a joyful occasion and now we look forward to our future working together in the Wood Green Team which begins with Fr Andy’s licensing at St Andrew’s Alexandra Park on Tuesday 6th July. Further details to follow.

Fr Tom & Dayna – it was wonderful to be able to welcome Fr Tom & Dayna last week and to send them off on retreat in readiness for Tom’s ordination next Saturday.  Fr Tom will Deacon Mass for the first time on Sunday 4th July and preach for the first time on Sunday 11th July. Although, for this year only, we cannot attend Tom’s ordination in person we can follow it online by clicking on the following link: – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MvzIgwnquI 

Your Church Council will meet on Tuesday (29th June) and if you have any feedback you would like us to discuss please email Fr Ian.

As we look forward to resuming life after lockdown we shall be seeking volunteers to create working parties for the deep cleaning of our Church, our halls and our grounds. It would be great to hear from any of you able to offer a couple of hours on a Saturday morning and it would be a real encouragement to those who regularly give of their time and talents to maintain St Michael’s.

Forgive this longer than normal parish mailing, but as you can see there is much happening in the Wood Green Team and we hope and pray that you will join us in the mission God presents to those who follow Him.

As always if you would like to talk with your clergy, we are here for you.

With love & prayers

Fr Ian,  Fr Engin,  Fr Winfield

Prayer for the week (Inspired by Mark 5:21-43)
 
Loving God,
we are yours.
We come as we are,
with our cares and concerns.
We long to touch you
and find healing in your embrace.
Strengthen our faith
and heal our brokenness,
that we may worship you with joy. Amen.

Friday 18 June 2021

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Our Gospel today is in stark contrast to last weeks. No gentle sowing and patiently waiting for seeds to grow.  This Gospel is fast and furious but the lesson is equally as important  and just as relevant for us today as we stand on the threshold of great change in the Wood Green team. Just to know that Christ is with us amid the changes and turbulence of life is a great cause for celebration and thanksgiving, in fact with the Lord such disruption can become the beginnings of a new creation.
 
In other news…
Today we say farewell to Fr Andy our Curate as he becomes the associate Priest of St Andrew’s Alexandra Park. It is fitting that we mark the end of his training today, whilst giving thanks that he will remain part of the Wood Green Team for a few more years.  Following the Parish Mass we shall make a presentation to Fr Andy, Nikki, Simeon, Sebastian and baby Everly before sending them on their way.  For the last three years Fr Andy has contributed so much to the life of the parish and although we shall still see him on various occasions he will be much missed. We hope you can join us on Sunday either in person or online (Facebook) where much more will be said. Please hold them all in your prayers.
 
As part of the next chapter of the Wood Green team we look forward to welcoming Fr Tom and Dayna, Emily and Will following the service of Ordination at St Paul’s Cathedral on Saturday 3rd July. Due to the pandemic we shall be unable to attend the Ordination but can follow it online by clicking on the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MvzIgwnquI.
We then look forward to Fr Tom’s first Sunday with us on 4th July.  More about this next week.
 
Thanks to the generosity of the Archdeacon and the Diocese we have a part-time Administrator to help with the running of the parish. Her name is Sunny (all the way from Austria) and she will be assisting Fr Ian as Area Dean’s PA and also as parish administrator. She has got off to a great start and it is a pleasure to welcome Sunny to St Michael’s.  Sunny is based in the office in St Raphael’s Hall adjacent to the Church and on Tuesday she celebrates her birthday. Sunny would like to invite people of the parish to pop in for a cuppa and a piece of cake anytime between 12.30pm and 2.30pm just to say hi.
 
The Church Council will be meeting again on Tuesday 29th June with a view to restoring our weekly pattern of worship. The four week delay to the full opening up of the lockdown may mean some service times have to differ to allow adequate time for cleaning etc but hopefully we are heading towards the time when normal services can be resumed.
 
We pray that God’s blessing will be upon you and those you love and we ask your prayers as this new chapter for us all begins.
 
With our love and prayers
 
Fr Ian,  Fr Egin,  Fr Andy,  Fr Winfield
Prayer for the week (inspired by Mark 4:35-41)
 
Mighty God, who speaks a word of peace to calm our troubled sea;
Caring God, who nudges us away from fear and toward faith;
Ever-present God, who fills us with awe
but also raises many questions without easy answers;
Open our eyes to see you in our boat—today,
Strengthen our hearts for the challenges that lie ahead,
Open our ears this hour to hear the word you speak.
This we pray, In Jesus’ name.
Amen

Thursday 10 June 2021

Dear Brothers & Sisters,

On Sunday our Gospel consists of two parables relating to seeds.  It was something that everyone at that time in and around Galilee would have understood.  Jesus takes an everyday example of something familiar and uses it to explain the great truths about God’s kingdom. In His teaching through the parable of the seeds, Jesus is seeking to help us understand that there is an almighty power working for and within us.  The parables in today’s Gospel were meant to encourage the early Church which was worried about the slow growth of the kingdom. It is though Jesus was saying be patient, have faith and trust, do not expect instant results, for through the power of God, from small and insignificant beginnings the kingdom will grow into something great.  How much do we need to hear that message today? We can’t plant an acorn today and expect to sit in the shade of an oak tree tomorrow. The same holds true for spiritual matters; we have to make the effort, but then we must be patient and trust that God’s grace will take over.

In other news…
Next week we mark the occasion when Fr Andy’s curacy with us comes to an end. As a church we have all been involved in his training and preparation for the next stage of his ministry in the wider church.  The great news is that as Fr Andy takes up his post as associate Priest of St Andrew’s Alexandra Park he will remain as part of the Wood Green Team. Fr Andy will take up the post on Tuesday 6th July and will have the responsibility of helping to rebuild the life and worship of the next door parish who have asked for support. We shall also commission a few people from St Michael’s who help him in that work.  As the months unfold there will be a number of events that unite the Wood Green Team in worship (and socially) all with the aim of building up the people of God and making Christ known.  The seeds have been planted…

In addition to the above we are delighted that Fr Tom will be joining the Wood Green Team following his Ordination on Saturday 3rd July. Unfortunately due to pandemic restrictions we shall be unable to attend the service in the Cathedral but we can watch the service online by clicking on the following link: – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MvzIgwnquI

Fr Tom will supply a number of prayer cards soon and we pray for him, his wife Dayna and his children Emily and Will.

On 14th June there should be further guidance on the easing of restrictions which will enable us to plan ahead and restore a full pattern of worship, including the 8.30am Sunday Mass.

As you can see there is a lot going on in and around the parish all of which requires the foundation of prayer. Please pray with and for us amidst the changes and excitement, that all we do will bring glory to God.

With our love and prayers

Fr Ian,  Fr Andy,  Fr Engin,  Fr Winfield

Prayer for the week
 

Opening Prayer (inspired by Mark 4:26-34)

God of small seeds and mighty plants,
you take our meagre lives and with your love cause them to produce acts of loving kindness for you in this world.

You hear our cries and find us when we are lost and wandering in fear.
You bring us home with you so that we may be made whole,
rejoicing in your goodness.

Help us to joyfully serve you all our days,
knowing that you are always watching over us.
Prepare our hearts to receive your word
and our spirits to respond in eagerness to serve you.
In Jesus’ name, we pray.
Amen

Saturday 5 June 2021

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

We have come through some wonderful celebrations in recent weeks and despite the disruption caused by the pandemic we have experienced the joy of Easter, the feast of Ascension, Pentecost Sunday, Trinity Sunday and on Thursday the most moving feast of Corpus Christi where we gave thanks to God for the precious gift of the Eucharist, made even more poignant by the fact that for many months now we have been unable to receive communion in the way we would like. Now we enter what the Church calls ‘ordinary time’ and it is the time when we live out in our lives the challenges of the Gospel life.
 
Among the many challenges we face as a world and a Church is that of disunity, much of which arises through the ill-treatment of those around us. We have witnessed this so much in recent times – be it from the unfair distribution of the various vaccines available that have ensured the rich and powerful are fully covered before those in the greatest need receive theirs; to various groups claiming superiority over others resulting in the most horrendous and shameful treatment of those considered beneath them. 
 
It is into this world full of division and injustice that the Mass today and the words of our Lord remind us that we are all equal before God and in attempting to follow Him in our daily lives leaves no room for division for we are all brothers and sisters in the Lord. The challenge this week therefore is how do we live out the equality that God looks for in those who truly believe and trust in Him. 
 
In other news…
Thank you to those who attended the APCM. We are grateful to Linda and Norma for agreeing to be our Churchwardens for another year and we welcome Tendy and Jeanette onto the PCC.
 
 In two weeks time on Sunday 20th June we say our farewell to Fr Andy and the family as his Curacy comes to an end. However, we shall still see them as Fr Andy takes up the post of Associate Priest at St Andrew’s Alexandra Park. The good news is that St Andrew’s will become part of the Wood Green Team and we shall work together in a similar way to how we work with Fr Engin and our sister Church at Bowes. Please keep this in your prayers.
 
 On Sunday 4th July, we shall welcome Fr Tom Smith and his family to Wood Green as Fr Tom becomes our Curate for the next three years. Fr Tom will be Ordained Deacon on Saturday 3rd July, sadly due to covid restrictions we shall be unable to attend but the service will be live streamed. We look forward to welcoming Fr Tom and Dayna very soon, please pray for them.
 
We are keeping a close eye on all the restrictions and guidelines as we head towards 21st June and the potential releasing of the lockdown. We have been informed of the need to wait until 14th June when further guidelines will be available.
 
Please be assured of our continued prayers for you and those you love, as your clergy we are called by God to serve you and will always make time should you wish to talk with us.
 
With love and prayers
 
Fr Ian,  Fr Engin,  Fr Andy and Fr Winfield.
Prayer for the week
 
Faithful God,
we come into Your presence with thanksgiving,
deeply grateful for the unfailing love and faithfulness
You have shown toward us, Your people.
When we call out to You, You answer.
When we are exhausted, You give us the strength to go on.
When we find ourselves in trouble,
You are there, standing beside us.
 
And so we come before You with gratitude and praise,
offering You the worship of our hearts and lives.
Open our eyes to see and know You here among us;
open our ears to recognize Your voice.
And then send us out,
to live and work in the world as Your faithful disciples.
In the name of Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord.
Amen.

Wednesday 2 June 2021

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Just a quick reminder that this Thursday (3rd June) is the feast of Corpus Christi and as is the tradition of St Michael’s there will be a Parish Mass at 7.30pm at which we give thanks to God for the gift of the Eucharist.. So many of us have been deprived of Communion over the last 16 months, so why not make this day of special thanksgiving the one when you return to receive the gifts that unite us so closely with our Lord. 
 
Also, as was announced on Sunday, Fr Andy’s final service with us as our Curate will be on Sunday 20th June.  This day will mark the end of his training and his move to become the associate Priest of the parish of St Andrew’s Alexandra Park. The good news is that the parish of St Andrew’s will become part of the Wood Green Team and therefore we shall remain working together for a further period of time.
 
That said, it would be appropriate for us to make a presentation to Fr Andy and the family to mark this occasion and if you would like to make a donation towards this, please pass it on to Fr Ian, Linda or Norma.
 
I look forward to seeing you on Thursday.
 
With prayers and good wishes,
 
Fr Ian

Thursday 27 May 2021

Dear Brothers & Sisters,

On Sunday we celebrate the glorious feast of the Holy Trinity, giving thanks for the revelation that God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Holy Trinity plays an important role in the life and worship of the Christian.  We make the sign of the cross in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. We are baptised in the name of the Trinity; we are forgiven in the name of the Trinity; we are confirmed, married and ordained in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Every Sunday we profess our faith in the Holy Trinity in the creed:  we believe in one God, the Father almighty…and in one Lord Jesus Christ…and in the Holy Spirit.  Although many find the doctrine of the Holy Trinity hard to explain, it is one of the basic teachings of the Church because above all else it tells us so much about God, about how Christians have experienced His presence in the past and about how we may experience the fullness of His presence today. 
 
In other news…
After the Parish Mass this Sunday we shall be holding our APCM at which we elect our Churchwardens and PCC and where we give an account of ourselves and look to the future.
 
On Thursday 3rd June we celebrate the feast of Corpus Christi at which we give thanks for the gift of the Eucharist. If nothing else the pandemic has given us a greater appreciation for Communion especially as we have been deprived of it for many months.  This would be a good opportunity if you have not yet ventured back to Church to do so. As always the Church is covid compliant and most people have now received at least one vaccination. Do think about joining us at 7.30pm on Thursday.
 
Saturday 3rd July – Our new Curate Fr Tom’s ordination (further details to follow)
 
As we enter June we shall soon restore the pattern of worship across the Wood Green Team, full details will be available next week.
 
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all evermore. Amen
 
With our continued love and prayers
 
Fr Ian,  Fr Andy,  Fr Engin,  Fr Winfield
Prayer for the week
 
O God, the Three in One,
you draw us into your community of love
with people across the ages and around the world.
By the same Spirit that binds us together
speak to us that what we read and ponder
may enliven us and stretch us to trust and follow you;
through Christ our Saviour. Amen.
 
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit
As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be
World without end. Amen

Thursday 20 May 2021

Dear brothers and sisters,

‘When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place’.
 
These are words we will hear from the book of Acts this Sunday as we celebrate the great feast of Pentecost, fifty days after Easter. We recall and celebrate the gift of God’s presence by his Spirit, just as it was bestowed upon the disciples in Jerusalem. 
 
The Book of Acts, chapter 2, tells us that it is when the disciples were ‘all together in one place’ that the gift of the Spirit is given to them with its transforming and creative power. There is a marked contrast here with the pervious chapter which tells us that Judas had ‘turned aside to go to his own place’.
 
Being ‘together in one place’ has of course not been straightforward during this pandemic, but those of you who have been able to return to worship in our church buildings will know that we have gone to great lengths to make everything as safe as possible. Perhaps in this time we have learnt a little more about why it is we need to gather together for worship. From Acts we see that one mark of the Holy Spirit’s gifting is that it empowers us to connect to and with others. Because the power of God has nothing to do with self-preservation or just looking out for our own interests, and everything to do with restoring unity and communion. It enables Peter and the disciples to turn outwards, to make connections and build bridges with others, sharing the love of God they have discovered in Christ. The gift of the Spirit binds us to God and to one another. 
 
In other news…
 
This Sunday Followers returns!
Sunday 30th May – APCM after Mass
Saturday 3rd July – Our new Curate Fr Tom’s ordination (further details to follow)
 
With the assurance of our prayers,
 
Fr Ian, Fr Engin, Fr Winfield and Fr Andy
Prayer for the week
 
Almighty God, who poured out your Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost and has promised that he shall abide with your Church for ever;
Let that same Spirit, we pray, guide us into all truth, defend us from all evil, and enrich us with all grace; that we may serve you with pure hearts, to the honour of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Thursday 13 May 2021

Dear Brothers & Sisters,

We stand between two great feasts in the Church, Ascension and Pentecost. At the Ascension Jesus commands the Apostles to stay in the city, in other words stay where you are and wait on God, until you receive power from on high. Now together once again in the upper room, the Apostles are joined by Mary and other women and they wait in continuous prayer, fear is replaced by anticipation and an expectant hope.

The Church invites us to enter into a deeper time of prayer between Ascension and Pentecost as we prepare for a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit. This is an opportunity for us have a good look at our spiritual life and disciplines and ask God to give us fresh understanding that our relationship with Him will grow and develop in ways that will improve our discipleship.  One of the many difficulties caused by the pandemic is that we have been forced into ways of worshipping that can so easily slip. Now as the lockdown eases we need to emerge from our isolation and renew our faith and confidence in the Lord who prayed for us when he said, ‘Holy Father, keep those you have given me true to your name’.  The coming ten days provide us with the opportunity to prayerfully consider how we will respond to the Lord’s prayer for us.

In other news…

We are pleased to see Fr Andy back with us and to hear of Nikki’s slow but sure improvement. They continue in our prayers.

On Tuesday our PCC will be meeting with a view to looking at ways we can open up our churches and restore patterns of worship although we are still awaiting guidance on singing in Church and being able to offer the peace. We shall also be joined by our new Curate Fr Tom and his wife Dayna as their preparations to join us will begin in June although they will not be moving into the parish until a bit later.

Next Sunday we shall welcome back the Followers as Sunday School resumes, please pray for Carol and those who have offered their help in this vital work. There will be some differences in how we operate for a while, but we are pleased that our children will once again join us.

On Sunday 30th May we shall be holding our Annual Parochial Church Meeting (APCM), this has come around very quickly but last year’s meeting had to be held in October due to lockdown.  The meeting will follow the 10.30am Mass and we are all welcome to attend as long as social distancing and face coverings are in place.

Fittingly there is now a sense of anticipation and hope that the coming weeks will see us returning to life which better reflects who we are and how we worship and interact together. Although there remains the need to be cautious, we are in a much better place than we were a year ago and we look forward to seeing you as the weeks unfold.  As always please feel free to call and chat about anything, you and those you love are in our daily prayers.

With our love and prayers

Fr Ian,  Fr Andy,  Fr Engin,  Fr Winfield

Prayer for the week

Risen, Ascended Lord,
I come before you
asking nothing save the happiness
of praising the triumph of your love.
Transform my gratitude into a hymn of adoration.
May I always be filled with the wonder of your being.
May I worship you,
with the skill of my hands,
with the thoughts of my mind,
with the words of my mouth,
with the days of my life.
May your love live in me
to the glory of your name.

Amen. 

Tuesday 11 May 2021

Dear Brothers & Sisters,

I hope and pray you and those you love are well.
This Thursday we celebrate the feast of the Ascension of our Lord, a major feast day in the life of the Church and in the life of every Christian.  It is the day that marks the end of Jesus’ earthly ministry as he returns to the Father; it is also the day he commissions his disciples and followers to carry on his work to the ends of the earth.
 
To mark this occasion we shall have a Parish Mass at 7.30pm which will also be broadcast on our FaceBook page.  I hope and pray that those who feel able will attend as we mark this major Christian festival.
 
With love and continued prayers
 
Fr Ian

Thursday 6 May 2021

Dear friends,
 
No matter what happens in my life,
Sorrow or joy, rain or shine,
Whatever befalls me, it’s all right
Because in Jesus I abide.

With His presence, He shelters me
From many dangers all too real.
Like a lamb, He carries me
Over steep hill and stormy sea.
 
In the midst of pain and hurt,
When I feel confused and stirred,
To Jesus I can always turn
And find solace in His Word.
 
His is the only voice I hear,
So familiar and so dear.
I know that I can trust in Him,
So to Him alone I cling.
 
Jesus keeps me from going astray;
I’ll always follow in His way.
Forever loved, secure and safe,
I stand in His amazing grace.
 
Many years ago, a friend of mine visited England for a business trip. When he returned, we asked him about his observations about England. I will not forget one of the things he said: he said that English people would be content to live in smaller homes if they have a piece of garden to look after.
 
Living in a city, where most people live in apartment complexes, this was difficult or me to comprehend at that time. Of course, when I made my first visit years later, I too have observed the same thing. Well, I think Jesus’ image of vineyard might more make sense for those who understanding gardening.
 
In this Sunday’s gospel, Jesus continues to prepare his disciples for his departure from them. He has already told them that he is the true vine and they are the branches. As part of Jesus’ last discourse, he gives them the main principles of the “life in the vine.”
 
In other words, Jesus tells the secrets of fruit-bearing life. The image of the vine and branches clearly shows that life in the vine is organic and relational. It requires mutual dwelling; we dwell in him and He dwells in us. It requires us to know our place in this relationship. He is the vine, and we are the branches. The life and nurturing come from the vine and the branches bear the fruit of the vine. They only bear fruit if they remain in him. Therefore, life in the vine requires a wilful submission and trust in the vine. We should have enough faith and trust that we will be nurtured by the vine if we remain in him.
 
There is also a process of pruning from time to time. I remember many years ago, I had a weekend retreat to place where there were vineyards. It was winter and I was unable to recognise the vineyards. They looked so naked and lonely. There were nearly no branches left on them and they were barren. The pruning in life is not a pleasant experience and yet when Summer comes, we see those branches are shooting off and bearing much fruit. The joy comes through that pruning and lonely experience we all go through.
 
I think the timing of this teaching is noteworthy. Jesus speaks of this image as part of his last discourse just before he was handed over to the authorities where he himself was left alone and became naked and endured shame and suffering for us. Of course, he has endured this for the love and submission to his Father and indeed to his loved ones; to us.
 
Therefore, the greatest fruit of the life in the vine is love. This is the kind of love that gives one’s life for his friends. This is at the centre of our faith and our Lord and Saviour has demonstrated it for us, so that we could remain in him. When we remain in him, we will produce the fruit of the vine; the sacrificial life that gives life for others.
 
Imagine of a church that captures this vision and lives out in this world. What kind of testimony or fruit that she could bear? What kind of prophetic voice that she could play? What kind of light the church could bring?
 
I believe we can only bear this fruit if we continually remain in the vine. I also believe that this love that is described and lived out in the life of our Lord is beyond simple being nice to others. It is beyond being non judgmental and polite to others. It is the kind of love that requires us to get our hands dirty when it is needed. It is a kind of love that requires walking the extra mile with the one who needs us.
 
Going back to the gardens in England. Many of them are very pretty, because they are looked after. Anyone who knows about gardening would know that if you do not create an environment for plants to grow and bear fruit, they will not naturally do it. Likewise, we as people of God, as ones part of the true vine are to remain in the vine. And the joy comes in being in the right place with God. Amen.
 
With the assurance of our prayers,
 
Fr Engin, Fr Ian, Fr Winfield and Fr Andy

Thursday 29 April 2021

Dear Brothers & Sisters,
 
In our Gospel last week, we heard one of the most beautiful descriptions of Jesus as he described himself as the Good Shepherd, guiding, leading and nourishing his sheep and even giving his life for them.  Today we hear an equally beautiful description of the church, as Jesus declares that he is ‘the true vine’ and we are ‘the branches.’ The symbolism could not be clearer, if our belief in Christ is made visible in our actions, then in and through Him, we become like fruit-bearing branches of the vine that is Christ himself.
 
In other news…
This Sunday we welcome our Archdeacon Fr John as our guest celebrant and preacher. We look forward to welcoming him back to St Michael’s and thank him for the care he provides.
 
Please continue to keep Nikki, Fr Andy and the children in your prayers. Nikki has been in and out of hospital all week and although she is beginning to show signs of improvement she is still suffering. We send them all our love and prayers. 
 
Our Church Council (PCC) have been meeting regularly throughout the pandemic ensuring the wellbeing of our Church family and the maintenance of the building. Our sincere thanks to our PCC for their commitment and dedication. On Sunday 30th May following the 10.30am Parish Mass we shall be holding our Annual Parochial Church Meeting (APCM). Please put this date in your diary and join us if you can. 
 
We are pleased that a few people have offered to assist Carol and preparations are now being made for the return of ‘Followers’ our Sunday School on Pentecost Sunday.  The format may have to be different as we journey through the pandemic including age restrictions and social distancing, but we are now hopeful that our vital work with children can resume. Please keep this in your prayers.
 
We are so grateful to those who offer us encouragement and support, we have all experienced so much over the last 18 months and as we dare to look forward to a time when we can meet and sing God’s praises we are confident that we shall come through such experiences richer, stronger and with a deeper gratitude for all God’s grace and blessings.
 
With our love and prayers to you and those you love
 
Fr Ian,  Fr Andy,  Fr. Engin,  Fr Winfield

Prayer for the week (based on John 15)

God of love,
plant us in the soil of your grace.
Nurture us with the strength of Christ,
the vine of everlasting life.
Enlighten us with the wisdom of your Spirit,
which flows through us today and all days.
Abide in us,
that we may abide in you
and live in your love.
In your holy name, we pray. Amen.

Thursday 22 April 2021

Dear Brothers & Sisters,
 
Of all the images we have of Jesus, one of the most beautiful is that of the Good Shepherd. All four Gospel writers use this image of Jesus as the shepherd and the Lord himself would have been well aware of the importance of shepherds in the lives of his hearers. Jesus emphasises that true shepherding is about caring for those who are weak, lost and in need in addition to being present and offering support within a loving relationship.  As followers of the Lord, we are called to imitate the model of the Good Shepherd and in so doing lead others to the love and mercy of God.
 
In other news…
It has been an historical week for the nation and for the world.  Last week we watched and mourned with Her Majesty the Queen as her husband of 73 years, the Duke of Edinburgh, was buried at Windsor Castle and on Wednesday we remembered the Queen in our prayers as she celebrated her 95th birthday.  On Tuesday the world seemed to stand still as the George Floyd case reached a conclusion and with his family and friends we pray that his brutual murder may bring about much needed change, not just in America but across the world. We pray that organisations, institutions and especially our Churches will rid themselves of anything that builds or leaves unchallenged barriers that prevent all people feeling safe, welcome or able to achieve their full potential.  We also have a good look at ourselves resolving to make peace with anything we harbour which causes hatred or discrimination towards others; failure to do so is the equivilant of placing a knee on someones neck and we have all sadly witnessed where that leads.  You can speak to anyone of your clergy about these issues, we are here to serve you and perhaps it might help you to know that anything you speak to us about, it is completely confidential and not shared with anyone else.
 
Thank you to the few people who have offered to help with the reopening of Followers in May. Our hope is we can establish a rota of people to assist Carol with this vital work. Government guidelines state that we can begin with children 5 years old and up, so we may also need a creche to operate separately that will assist with toddlers.  Good Shepherds required!  
 
On Sunday 2nd May we welcome our Archdeacon Fr John Hawkins as our guest celebrant and preacher. Fr John is a good friend to us at St Michael’s and is a great support to the clergy and the PCC, we look forward to seeing him.
 
Below are the links you need if you have not yet in a position to return to church. The majority of those who attend have had their first vaccination and over half of those have now had both jabs. We remain careful about sanitising, temperature taking and distancing which keeps us as covid compliant as possible.  If you are thinking of returning why not try Wednesday midday Mass first and see how you feel. Again please feel free to pick up the phone and speak with one of us as you may find it helpful.
 
We wish you and those you love every blessing. If there is anyone or anything you would like us to pray for you only have to ask. You remain in our daily prayers and we ask you to pray for us. We look forward to seeing you or speaking with you in the weeks ahead.
 
With love & prayers
 
Fr Ian,  Fr Engin,  Fr. Andy, Fr Winfield
Prayer for the week
 
Gentle…yet powerful.
Lowly…yet almighty.
Shepherd…yet King.
 
In Your gentleness, guide us.
In Your power, strengthen us.
In Your lowliness, strip from us our selfish pride which only destroys us.
In Your greatness, lift us up that we might aspire to greater things.
As a shepherd, call us to be Your servants.
As a King, call us to be Your royal priesthood.

Thursday 15 April 2021

Dear Brothers & Sisters,

Alleluia Christ is risen – He is risen indeed alleluia!!!
 
The Gospel this week reminds us ‘ the disciples told their story of what had happened and how they had recognised Jesus at the breaking of bread.’ The faith of the apostles is revitalised by the risen Christ so that they may be his witnesses, proclaiming the message of the Resurrection to all people. As we here the Gospel today, let us be reminded  that the Christian community now is called to witness to the Resurrection; by demonstrating faith, bringing hope and living love.
 
In other news…
We continue to rejoice in the safe arrival of Everly Coates and remember Fr Andy, Nikki and the boys in our prayers. They are so grateful for the cards, gifts and good wishes they have received and look forward to being able to introduce Everly to us all.
 
Fr Winfield is well but still having to shield at this time and sends his love and prayers to everyone. 
 
Our Church Council met last week to address matters of Church business on our behalf and to begin preparations for the further opening up of the Church in line with Government guidelines. There will be more updates in May and you will be notified via our parish letters. 
 
We owe a debt of thanks to Wendy, Margaret, Kathy, Linda, James, John and Pam Howett for the work they have been doing in tidying up the Church garden, they have worked so hard and the difference is incredible – our sincere thanks to them.
 
Fr Ian has been working hard with the formulation of the new Haringey Deanery which is now up and running and will see the Church playing a major role in the life of the borough. All we hope to do must be inspired by prayer, so please remember this work in your prayers. 
 
It has been so good seeing people feeling confident enough to return to Church since Easter. We would like to remind you that in addition to Sunday Mass at both Wood Green and Bowes there are Masses on Tuesday at 11am (Bowes) and Wednesday at 12noon (Wood Green) and the Churches are open at least half an hour before that for your private prayers. It really helps us to plan properly if you could let us know you intend to come on a Sunday, please email or call anytime over the weekend, thank you.
 
Zoom Coffee and Chat – we no longer meet on Zoom after Sunday Mass but many people have said they would value the opportunity to meet up in that way occasionally. We shall therefore put together some dates for that to happen very soon and provide the link for you to join us for 45 minutes for a simple catch up and a coffee.
 
As always we are available to talk in person or on the phone should you ever want to, we are called by God to serve you, so please be in touch.
 
With our love & prayers
 
Fr Ian,  Fr Andy,  Fr Engin
Prayer for the week based on today’s Gospel
 
Miraculous God,
come to us now,
even as your Son came
to those first disciples
on the shores of Galilee.
Speak your peace to our hearts.
Touch us with your Holy Spirit.
Reveal your word,
that we may hear your message this day,
and live as your disciples
in the days and years to come.
In Christ’s name, we pray. Amen.

Thursday 8 April 2021

Dear Brothers & Sisters

Alleluia Alleluia Christ is Risen – He is Risen indeed Alleluia Alleluia!!!
 
What a joy it was to celebrate Holy Week & Easter in Church this year, although still not our usual pattern of worship, many of you have expressed how moved and touched you were by the services that were offered and for that we are very grateful.  We are equally grateful to Bishop Rob who joined us on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.  Our collective joy of the resurrection found expression in the Church grounds with our joyful singing of ‘Thine be the glory, risen conquering Son.’ This was not just an Easter hymn but a profound statement of our faith which bubbled over into the streets of Wood Green and it is a momentum we need to keep going as we journey from the empty tomb to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.
 
In our familiar Gospel on Sunday we see how the power of the risen Lord extends even to those who cannot see him and we pray over the next 50 days for a deepening faith in the Lord, so that his love may transform our lives.  
 
In other news…
Your PCC having been meeting regularly over the last year keeping on top of the day to day running of the Church and visiting the various risk assessments and policies that are associated with the opening of the Church and the safety of all those in our care. We owe the Church Council huge thanks for their dedication and commitment.
 
It has been decided that we should keep the pattern of worship during the week as it is at the moment but to keep revisiting the situation in accordance with government and diocesan guidelines.  Having said that, we feel confident that we can now slightly increase the capacity at our Churches for the Sunday Parish Mass.  At Wood Green we can comfortably welcome 60 people and at Bowes capacity has been raised to 30.  These are all steps in the right direction and we hope if you have not yet felt able to join us in person you will soon feel comfortable to do so.  In addition to Sunday worship, we meet on Tuesday mornings at Bowes for an 11am Mass and Wednesday mornings at Wood Green for Mass at 12noon. Both Churches will be open 30 minutes before the services begin for private prayer.
 
We shall continue to put our services online for those still unable to attend services and all the links you need are listed below, we hope you still find this helpful.
 
Please keep Fr Andy, Nikki and the boys in your prayers as they await the arrival of their baby due any day now. 
 
We keep you all in our prayers daily and are only ever a phone call away should you ever want to talk. May the glory of the resurrection give you joy, peace and hope and may the Lord bless and protect you and those you love.
 
With love & prayers
 
Fr Ian,  Fr Andy,  Fr Engin
Prayer for the week (inspired by John 20:19-31)
 
Creator God,
we confess that at times we are skeptics.
At times we doubt that You exist
because of the evil we have seen in the world.
Oppression, marginalization, and plain hate still plague our world,
and it is hard to see Your love and light.
Sometimes, even those who bear Your name
do not walk in Your ways.
 
Help us to see Your goodness in this world.
Help us to know Your love.
Fill us with Your love and goodness,
so that we might love one another,
and lift up one another in faith. Amen.

Wednesday 31 March 2021

Dear Brothers & Sisters,

The fulfilment of our Lenten observance is now upon us and we prepare for the great celebrations of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Day. Although we may not be able to sing we shall proclaim Alleluia from the depths of our hearts as we remember God’s love for us and the price Jesus paid for our salvation.

This shorter than usual communication is just to remind you of our celebrations and the need to book your places if you intend to join us. On Holy Saturday our Easter Vigil service of light will be celebrated at St Michael at Bowes Church beginning at 7:30pm, all other  services will be at St Michael’s Wood Green. Due to Government guidelines we can only offer limited spaces but all our services will be online for you to join us if you are remaining at home. Below you will find a reminder of our service times and the links you will need to join us from home: –

Maundy Thursday

Mass of the Last Supper: 7pm – 8pm (Please book if poss)

Vigil of prayer: 8pm – 9pm

Facebook 

Good Friday

Stations of the Cross & Good Friday Liturgy 12noon – 2pm

(Please book if poss)

Facebook 

Holy Saturday

Easter Vigil and first Mass of Easter: 7.30pm at Bowes (Please book)

Facebook 

Easter Sunday

Parish Mass 10.30am Wood Green (Please book)

Parish Mass  11:00am Bowes

Facebook or YouTube

 
Whether you are joining us in person or from home, we pray that God’s blessing will be upon you and those you love as we walk with Christ to the Cross and beyond to His mighty Resurrection. Alleluia Alleluia.
 
Please know that as your clergy we shall be praying for you during the remembrance of the events that not only changed our lives but changed the world.
 
With our love & prayers
 
Fr Ian,  Fr Andy, Fr. Engin,  Fr Winfield  

Tuesday 23 March 2021

Dear Brothers & Sisters,

We usually conclude our email to you with a prayer, today as we pass the first anniversary of lockdown we want to begin with a prayer that was offered on the national day of reflection: –

Loving God, 
You hold all our times in your hands, our past, our present, our future. Be close to us now as we remember all the difficulties and disappointments of the past year. Be especially close to all of us who are thinking of someone we loved and knew, but see no longer, whether family, friend, colleague or neighbour. Help us to trust that they are at peace with you, and comfort us with your presence. For the sake of Him who died and rose again for our salvation Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

To remember is such an important gift. It connects us with people and events which are no longer present to us. Over the last year we have encountered loss on an unimaginable scale – from the loss of our freedom being separated from family and friends to the deaths of so many, in fact we no doubt all know someone whose life was cut short over the past year during the pandemic. Because each life is precious, because each life matters, we pause and we remember. In the coming months we pray that as our Churches open up fully they will become places of active remembrance offering comfort and hope to all who need it. Across the Wood Green Team we shall hold a number of events where time and space is given to pause and reflect, to pray for and remember all those affected by the events of the last year.

Holy Week begins this week on Palm Sunday and throughout the course of the week we shall be remembering the greatest act of love the world has ever known. We will not only remember but we shall be invited to enter into the passion, death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Of course, this year’s keeping of Holy Week will be very different, but whether we are able to attend Church or participate in our homes, the drama of Holy Week will be captured in our liturgies and we shall remember the price Jesus paid for our salvation with great thanksgiving.

Our Holy Week services are as follows: –

Palm Sunday


Monday
 of Holy Week

  • Devotion through art 3:30pm – 5pm on Zoom (call Fr Engin for details)
  • Night Prayer on Facebook 8pm


Tuesday
 of Holy Week

  • Mass with Stations of the Cross 11am at Bowes
  • Bible Study on Zoom  1:30pm
  • Evening Prayer on Zoom 6pm


Wednesday
 in Holy Week

  • Mass with homily 12noon
  • Evening Prayer on Zoom 6pm 


Maundy Thursday

  • Mass of the Last Supper: 7pm – 8pm (Please book if possible)
  • Vigil of prayer: 8pm – 9pm
    Facebook 


Good Friday

  • Stations of the Cross & Good Friday Liturgy 12noon – 2pm (Please book if possible)
    Facebook 


Holy Saturday

  • Easter Vigil and first Mass of Easter: 7:30pm at Bowes (Please book)
    Facebook 


Easter Sunday

  • Parish Mass 10.30am Wood Green (Please book)
  • Parish Mass  11:00am Bowes
    Facebook or YouTube

We look forward to seeing you over Holy Week, you will be in our prayers especially as we watch and wait in silent remembrance.  If you are unable to join us in person our services will be online using the links above. Please remember to send in any prayer requests you have and we will offer them on your behalf.

May God give you grace to deny yourselves, to grow in holiness, take up your cross and follow him.

With our love & prayers

Fr Ian,  Fr Andy,   Fr Engin

Ps – DON’T FORGET CLOCKS GO FORWARD THIS WEEKEND!!!

Prayer for use in Holy Week

By the prayers of Jesus,
Lord, teach us how to pray.
By the gifts of Jesus,
Lord, teach us how to give.
By the toils of Jesus,
Lord, teach us how to work.
By the love of Jesus,
Lord, teach us how to love.
By the cross of Jesus,
Lord, teach us how to live.

Thursday 18 March 2021

Dear Brothers & Sisters,

In our Gospel on Sunday, Jesus tells us that if a seed does not fall to the ground and die, it is still only one single small seed. However, if

it falls to the ground and dies, something miraculous happens. Over time the seed ceases to be a seed. In the dark earth it becomes something altogether different. As it gives up its life, something powerful and previously unseen comes to light and to birth.

Though the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, this is what happens for us. Jesus goes into the earth. There through the power of God he is changed and transformed, He emerges from the earth with new and everlasting life. This is the mystery of the cross and fruit of the resurrection. Jesus freely gives himself to us. He offers himself to each of us as the seed that falls to the ground and dies only to be resurrected.

These are the very events we have been journeying towards in our unusual keeping of Lent this year. Maybe we have all felt something of the weight of suffering this year especially, but as Jesus will show us through the great events and drama of Holy Week, if we unite our sufferings with the Lord, remaining faithful and following him, then we shall experience the full joy of the resurrection as the Father fills us with new and everlasting life.

Holy Week – We are pleased to be able to offer the following service for Holy Week. Please remember that it is important to book a place as we have to limit seating at both of our churches. We shall stream our services online live via our Facebook page for those unable to join us.  The services are as follows:-

Palm Sunday

Parish Mass 10.30am at Wood Green

Parish Mass  11:00am at Bowes

Monday of Holy Week

Art & Devotions 3.30pm – 5pm on Zoom

Night Prayer on Facebook 8pm

Tuesday of Holy Week

Mass with Stations of the Cross  11am at Bowes

Bible Study on Zoom  1.30pm

Evening Prayer on Zoom 6pm

Wednesday in Holy Week

Mass with homily 12noon

Evening Prayer on Zoom 6pm

Maundy Thursday

Mass of the Last Supper: 7pm – 8pm

Vigil of prayer: 8pm – 9pm

Good Friday

Stations of the Cross & Good Friday Liturgy 12noon – 2pm

Holy Saturday

Easter Vigil and first Mass of Easter: 7.30pm at Bowes

Easter Sunday

Parish Mass 10.30am Wood Green

Parish Mass  11:00am Bowes

Welcome –Following the announcement last week we look forward to welcoming the parish of St Andrew’s Alexandra Palace into the Wood Green Team as together we make Christ known in our communities.  Thank you to those who have expressed their congratulations to Fr Andy as he is promoted to associate Vicar of St Andrew’s, your thoughts and prayers as we go forward will be much appreciated. As we said last week, as details and timings become clear we will inform you.

More Good news –After Mass today we shall be formally announcing the arrival of our new Curate Fr Tom, who will begin his training with us following his Ordination in July. A message from Fr Tom will be read at the 10.30am Parish Mass.

We wish you and those you love every blessing as we turn towards the greatest week the world has ever known. May the passion of Christ strengthen you as you walk with Him to the cross and beyond.

With love & prayers

Fr Ian,  Fr Andy,  Fr Engin

Prayer for the week
Thanks be to you, our Lord Jesus Christ,
for all the benefits which you have given us,
for all the pains and insults which you have borne for us.
Most merciful Redeemer, Friend and Brother,
may we know you more clearly,
love you more dearly,
and follow you more nearly,
day by day.
Amen.           
(St Richard of Chichester)

Sunday 14 March 2021

Dear Brothers & Sisters,

This morning the following announcement from the Bishop of Edmonton was made in Church. It concerns an exciting venture which sees Fr Andy becoming the Associate Vicar of the next door parish of St Andrew’s Alexandra Park with whom we share a parish boundary.  Fr Ian will continue to have oversight of the Wood Green Team which will soon include the parish of St Andrew’s Alexandra park. This of course means that although Fr Andy will move to become the Associate Vicar of St Andrew’s he will still be part of the Wood Green Team and we shall be working together to support the building up of God’s Kingdom in this area.  I will remain the Rector of St Michael’s and along with Fr Engin, Fr Tom, Fr Winfield and now Fr Andy we shall work closely together across the whole team for the spreading of the Gospel.

There are still many details to finalise, but this has the full support of the wardens and PCC’s of both parishes. As soon as times and dates become clear we shall share them with you. For now we ask your prayers that God may bless all we strive to do in His holy name.

With my love, gratitude and prayers

Fr Ian 

Thursday 11 March 2021

Dear Brothers & Sisters,

Today marks a year since we were able to worship together in the way we long to. It was Mothering Sunday 2020 that the pandemic caused the closing down of so much of the life we loved but took for granted.  Now a year on, life remains disrupted but now there is real hope that the coming months may see a gradual return to the life we knew. Mothering Sunday is a poignant day to reflect on all that is dear to us and it is a day where traditionally we give thanks for Mother Mary, Mother Church and our own mothers. Also on this day we would usually present flowers to the ladies of the Church as a small sign of our gratitude for their love and care, although we shall be unable to do that this year in line with guidance that we have followed so carefully. Nevertheless we shall be giving thanks at this midway moment in Lent for the lives of our mothers and lighting candles as tokens of our love for all those who have shown us their love, care and support.

In our Gospel today we see the full cost of motherhood as Mary quietly stands at the foot of the Cross watching and praying as her beloved Son pays the price of our redemption. From the cradle to the cross Mary is rarely far from her Son and though her recorded words in scripture are few, she is simply there; loving, supporting and caring. It is no wonder then that Mary is a role model for the Church in both her obedience and her service; never judging just simply pointing to her Son and calling to all who follow him to ‘do whatever he tells you’.

In other news…

It was good to welcome 50 people back to Church last week and although only a quarter of those who would usually attend it was wonderful being able to celebrate together. A reminder that if you intend to join us at either Church in person can you please call one of the clergy beforehand so you can be added to the list, that way we can ensure we don’t go over the allotted seats we are able to offer. All services for the foreseeable future will continue to be streamed online for those unable to attend in person.

Holy Week – Your clergy are working together to ensure Holy Week is kept in the best way the current situation allows. More details about this will soon be given but remember Holy Week begins on Palm Sunday 28th March.

Don’t miss this – This morning following the Sunday Mass we shall be making an exciting announcement. We hope you can join us either at Church or online to hear this news, and to ensure everyone gets to hear it we shall post a statement later on Sunday afternoon to the parish via email.

We look forward to seeing many of you this week and will keep you all in our thoughts & prayers.

With love & prayers

Fr Ian,  Fr Andy,  Fr Engin

Prayer for the week
(from a litany for Biblical mothers)      

Eve, mother of our humanity,
teach us true wisdom, that all life is precious in God’s sight.

Sarah, Hannah and Elizabeth, yearning for a child,
comfort and strengthen all who know the pain of infertility.

Hagar, condemned to the harshness of exile,
sustain those who struggle to feed their sons and daughters.
Rebecca, bride from a far off land,
welcome women who must bring up their families among strangers.

Rachel, weeping for your children,
weep with all mothers whose children have disappeared.

Jochebed, mother of Moses and Miriam,
lend your ingenuity to women who seek protection for their children.

Naomi and Ruth, bound together by a love greater than blood,
show us how bitter disappointment can become the sweetness of hope.

Mary, daughter of Israel, mother of Jesus,
share with us God’s secrets you have pondered deep within your heart.

Thursday 4 March 2021

Dear friends,

‘Seeing ourselves honestly; seeing the world differently’.

This was an answer I read recently in response to the question ‘Where does faith begin?’ – seeing ourselves honestly; seeing the world differently. It’s an answer that struck me as we journey through this season of Lent in this time of pandemic. Lent is, after all, a season of self-examination and a season of repentance. A time to take stock in preparation for Easter. A time to try and pinpoint those things we’ve become too dependent upon. What habits have we fallen into that have prevented us from seeking God? As with Jesus’ time in the wilderness in Mark’s gospel, what ‘wild beasts’ have been taunting us? How can we reset and re-establish the balance? ‘Seeing ourselves honestly’ in Lent is about stripping away our illusions of self-dependency and instead holding always in our minds the Passion of Jesus.

‘Seeing the world differently’; our world has been turned upside down over this last year. What have we learnt about our shared dependence upon one another? What have we learnt about who is most vulnerable? What have we learnt about our inability to control everything? Again in Mark’s gospel, Jesus is ministered to by angels in his time of temptation in the wilderness. How have angels ministered to us in this difficult time? How have we learnt to see differently? What have we learnt to appreciate more?

A prayer for the week ahead as we journey through Lent together and contemplate these questions:

My Lord and my God, remove far from me whatever keeps me from you.
My Lord and my God, bestow upon me whatever enables me to reach you.
My Lord and my God, free me from self and make me wholly yours. Amen.

This Sunday, public worship returns across our churches which is a great joy. Public worship will also take place on Tuesdays with Mass at Bowes (11am) and on Wednesdays at Wood Green (midday). Please note below the slightly later time for Zoom Coffee on Sunday (12:45pm).

We must continue to be vigilant and adhere to all the restrictions that we had in place before this lockdown with signing in, temperature checks, face coverings, hand washing, distancing, not gathering inside after Mass etc.

Please call or email a member of the clergy to book a space. We have capacity for 45 people at Wood Green. If you are continuing to shield at this time then, of course, this is entirely understood and we will continue to stream our services online as we have been doing. For now, the Tuesday Stations of the Cross with Bible Study, Thursday’s Be Still and Know and Friday Prayers before the Cross will all take place online only. All the information required is set out below.

We look forward to worshipping together again this weekend with those of you able to join us.

With the assurance of our prayers,

Fr Andy, Fr Ian and Fr Engin

Thursday 25 February 2021

Dear Brothers & Sisters,

We hope and pray that you are finding time to keep a good Lent even in these strange times.  It has been good to see a few extra people joining us for some of the online services that are now available and many of us felt lifted and encouraged by last Sunday’s Zoom coffee and chat. If you have not yet joined us online we invite you to try, the connection with others although not the same as being together physically, lifts the soul and reminds us that we are not alone.

Sunday’s Gospel is the wonderful telling of the transfiguration of Jesus. Prior to this revelation of who Jesus is, the Lord has been explaining to his disciples that he was destined to suffer and be put to death before being raised on the third day. We can easily imagine the fear and confusion this revelation placed in the hearts of his followers. Jesus, aware of their fears, demonstrates his love by inviting Peter, James and John up the mountain to witness the moment of transfiguration. Now they understand who Jesus really is and can draw strength from this vision when they witness his brutal passion and death. We pray that the glimpses of God that we have been blessed to receive at various times in our lives, may also strengthen us amidst our fears and anxieties, helping us to remain faithful whatever we have to face.

In other news…

Following the recent announcement by the Government in which guidelines were given for the slow release of the lockdown, we are pleased to announce the following changes to our worshipping life within the Wood Green Team.

From Sunday 7th March we shall be offering public worship at the times stated below: –

Sunday
St Michael’s Wood Green 10:30am Parish Mass
St Michael at Bowes 11am Parish Mass

Tuesday
St Michael at Bowes 11am Said Mass

Wednesday
St Michael’s Wood Green 12noon said Mass

These services will be available under the strict guidelines we adopted before which means numbers will be restricted to 45 people plus the following: –

  1. Calling one of the clergy to book your place.
  2. Ensuring that you have no symptoms associated with flu or covid-19.
  3. Temperatures to be taken on entry to Church and hands sanitised.
  4. Details will be required for track and trace.
  5. Masks to be worn at all times.
  6. 2m distancing to be followed unless you are from the same household.
  7. Please do not mingle inside the Church and leave promptly when Mass is over.


The above steps will ensure that we can once again worship together. A review will be taken towards the end of March and if all goes well we shall then decide exactly how we keep Holy Week.  These are small steps, but they are steps in the right direction.  

It is clear from local statistics that the infection rate in our area is reducing and the effectiveness of the vaccine is proving to be better than expected for which we give thanks to God. However, we still need to exercise caution and patience over the coming weeks if we are to return to our usual pattern of worship by the summer. We have all come so far so please let’s do all we can to ensure each other’s safety in the weeks ahead.

As we dare to think about the end of lockdown, we want to assure you that plans will be made to keep acts of remembrance for all those who died over the period of the pandemic. We hope that our Churches will provide the space for people to reflect, mourn and remember those we love but see no longer and a number of services will be offered with that in mind. We will remember them.

We look forward to seeing you soon and we shall keep you in our prayers as we continue our Lenten journey together. 

With our love & prayers

Fr Ian,  Fr Andy,  Fr Engin

Prayer for the week:
 
Draw us to the rhythm of Lent as it unfolds in our midst;
a sacred invitation to explore the corners of our soul.
Open us to your light that we might see ourselves clearly,
with all our fears and faults and faith,
with all our desires and dreams and duties.
Help us to see our journey as a place of your appearing –
that like Peter, James, and John
we may come down from the mountain
and set one foot in front of the other
in your name and for your sake. Amen.

Friday 19 February 2021

Dear Brothers & Sisters,
 
On Ash Wednesday our Lenten journey began. Sadly we were unable to mark the day in our traditional way and I know you along with your clergy feel the pain of not being able to worship together as we have done all our lives.  In case you missed it Lent began with the following invitation: – 
 
Since early days Christians have observed with great devotion the time of our Lord’s passion and resurrection. It became the custom of the Church to prepare for this by a season of penitence and fasting. At first this season of Lent was observed by those who were preparing for Baptism at Easter and by those who were to be restored to the Church’s fellowship from which they had been separated through sin. In course of time the Church came to recognize that, by a careful keeping of these days, all Christians might take to heart the call to repentance and the assurance of forgiveness proclaimed in the gospel, and so grow in faith and in devotion to our Lord.
I invite you, therefore, in the name of the Church, to the observance of a holy Lent, by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s holy word.
 
I hope and pray that within that invitation you can find a way of keeping this Lent, yes differently, but hopefully just as faithfully.  As you will see from the links below, there are a number of services spread over different days and different times for you to connect with God and His Church. These services are designed to assist you as we journey together through Lent and the attached booklet for Sunday has prayers for you to use at home including a mealtime grace. 
 
In the Gospel on Sunday Jesus proclaims, ‘the time has come and the kingdom of God is close at hand, repent and believe the Good News.’  Let us turn back to the Lord this Lent, welcoming Him into our homes as we worship there, that we may grow in faith and devotion to the Lord whose love for us was revealed by His passion, death and resurrection.
 
In other news…
On Monday new government guidelines will be released which should give a clearer picture of how we can once again open up our churches for public worship. Your clergy will keep you fully informed of all developments and how they affect us. 
 
It is clear that a combination of the lockdown and the vaccine is now having a significant effect on the virus which is wonderful and welcome news. However we must remain vigilant and careful in the coming weeks and exercise the virtue of patience for a little longer in the hope that we can dare to look forward to a better keeping of Holy Week and Easter. 
 
Your clergy continue to pray for you in Church and please remember if you have anyone you wished to be remembered in prayer then send their names to us so as candles can be lit and prayers offered on your behalf.
 
May the God of love fill your minds and hearts with his peace, may you be renewed this Lent and find new strength in God’s mercy and compassion.
 
With our love & prayers
 
Fr Ian,   Fr Andy,   Fr Engin
Prayer for the week:
 
By the prayers of Jesus,
Lord, teach us how to pray.
By the gifts of Jesus,
Lord, teach us how to give.
By the toils of Jesus,
Lord, teach us how to work.
By the love of Jesus,
Lord, teach us how to love.
By the cross of Jesus,

Lord, teach us how to live.

Thursday 11 February 2021

Dear Brothers & Sisters,
 
Fittingly on this St Valentine’s day this parish email comes with the love and daily prayers of your clergy, in the hope that you and those you love are well 💟.
 
In our desire to live an authentic Christian life, St Paul has some sound advice in today’s second reading. He reminds us that ‘whatever we do at all, do it for the glory of God.’ A simple sentence, in fact just 12 words, but if followed they are words that will not only change our lives but could also change the world! Imagine applying those words before we speak, before we text a message, send a tweet or before we act; if we just pause for a moment before we do anything at all and ask ourselves, how will what I say or do bring glory to God? Now that is a huge challenge!
 
This coming week we enter into Lent, which begins on Ash Wednesday, 17th February. It is clear that this Lent, Holy Week and Easter is going to be very different as was last year. However unlike last year there is now real hope for the future and hopefully in the coming weeks, largely thanks to the vaccine, we will be able to begin the process of gently coming out of lockdown, which will feel like a moment of resurrection. Once the guidelines change and allow for that to happen, we will inform you immediately. Mass for Ash Wednesday will be live on our Facebook page, if you are able please join us so as we begin Lent together, united in prayer.
 
For the time being, your clergy have been meeting and have put together a continued pattern of worship all of which will reflect the themes of Lent and hopefully enable you to keep Lent well. The following services and devotions will begin from Ash Wednesday.
 
Sunday:
  • 10.30am Parish Mass live on Facebook and on YouTube later
  • 12noon After Mass Zoom coffee and chat 
 
Tuesday:
  • 1.30pm Fr Engin to lead on Bible Study using some lamentation psalms
  • 6pm  Evening Prayer on Zoom
 
Wednesday:
  • 12noon Mass with homily at St Michaels W G live on Facebook
  • 6pm Evening Prayer
 
Thursday:
 
Friday:
 
In addition to the above we shall record some Stations of the Cross, a tradition and devotion that touches so many of us during Lent. Once recorded we will send them out for you to use as you wish.
 
You will also find attached to this email our usual Sunday booklet containing the readings for Mass and a booklet called ‘No Longer My Own.’ This is a small book of meditations for everyday of Lent which may help you in your Lenten journey.
 
Please try and join us online at some of the services above, they are prepared and offered in the hope that they will keep you spiritually connected with the Lord and your Church family. As always we are available should you ever wish to talk.  We wish you, your families and those you love every blessing, you remain in our daily prayers. 
 
 
Fr Ian,  Fr Andy,  Fr Engin
 
Prayer for the beginning of Lent:
 
Lord, You were a man of suffering
acquainted with grief,
loved and despised in equal measure.
You understand humanity,
know our failings,
love us despite the people that we are.
When we, like Peter, deny you
by word or action,
forgive us.
When we, like Judas, are tempted
to follow a different path,
forgive us.
When we, like those in the crowd
allow you to be crucified,
forgive us.
Bring us to the foot of the Cross
to stand next to the one who,
looking into your eyes declared
‘Surely this is the Son of God’
Amen

Thursday 4 February 2021

Dear Brothers & Sisters,

You are very much in our thoughts and prayers and are daily remembered. 
This Sunday, the scripture readings really speak of our times. Job suffers sickness and can find no joy in life, he has suffered the loss of his family and all he possessed and feels it is all too much to bear. Yet despite all his hardships Job remains faithful to God and can even see His hand in his sufferings. That faithfulness is eventually rewarded and Job’s condition is restored to better than it was before his sufferings began.  The power of suffering and evil may be mysterious but it cannot be denied; today more than ever we know that to be true. However the Gospel teaches that the power of God is always greater than any other force, whether it be sin, evil or sickness. That explains why throughout the Gospel the powers of evil always recognise Jesus and are fearful of Him, for good always overcomes and conquers evil in all its disguises.  We hope and pray that this truth gives encouragement to you as we journey through these extraordinarily difficult days. God is good, let us remain faithful to Him and supportive of one another until that time when we can worship together as we long to do.
 
In other news… 
Our dear brother France Ng Yu Tin continues to make good progress as his recovery at home continues. France’s story has been seen and read by hundreds of people and the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) will be using his story on their various media platforms as an encouragement to others to make use of the vaccine when offered.  Fr Engin is also hosting meetings among the Turkish community with a view to helping people understand the importance of being vaccinated.  As you would expect we hope and pray that you too would take up the opportunity to receive the jab when it is offered. 
 
It is with sadness that we learnt of the death of Joyce Chinhori and Clydie Noel recently, both regular worshippers at St Michael’s. We shall miss them very much and we pray for their loved ones as they prepare for their funerals in March. They both loved and served the Lord and will now share in the glory He won for them.
 
This coming Tuesday the Bishop will be joining our Church Council online for an important committee meeting, please remember the Church council in your prayers and we thank them for all the behind the scenes work they do on our behalf.  
 
We are hoping that sometime between the 15th and 22nd February there will be new government guidelines which will lead to discussions regarding the gentle opening up of our churches again.  Once we receive this information we will make it known to you. In the meantime our thanks are due to Kathy and Kevina for continuing to clean the church each week in readiness for our return.
 
Please do join us at one of our online services and come and say hello at 12noon on Sunday for our coffee and chat. As ever the links you need are below and we are available for you should you wish to chat about anything at all. 
 
May God’s blessing continue to guide and protect you and those you love now and always.
 
Fr Ian,  Fr Andy,  Fr Engin

Prayer for the week

God of compassion,
be close to those who are ill, afraid or in isolation.
In their loneliness, be their consolation;
in their anxiety, be their hope;
in their darkness, be their light;
through him who suffered alone on the cross,
but reigns with you in glory,
Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Thursday 28 January 2021

Dear Brothers & Sisters,

‘I would like to see you free from all worry’ says St Paul in our reading at Mass this Sunday, a sentiment I echo as we continue to struggle through this time of pandemic, hitting milestones that we never imagined and losing so many loved ones.  I was so grateful to see our Archbishop on various television and media platforms this week speaking to us of the hope we have in the Lord even amidst the darkness. It is a hope we at times lose sight of, yet our God walks with us in our pain and sorrow as He does in our joys and hopes. 
 
In place of our usual parish email/letter I have attached a letter from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, please read it as it is a call to prayer and it is a letter that reminds us of the hope of the risen Christ. 
 
In other news…
It has been wonderful to see so many of you joining us for online worship, as we look out over an empty church we know it is not the same but the knowledge that you are participating in prayer and spiritual communion is a real encouragement.  It would be good to see more of you on Zoom Coffee, we only meet for 40 minutes and we usually laugh all the way through it too, so feel free to join us.  All our services are listed below and the links are there for you to click on and join us.
 
Please keep your PCC in your prayers, we meet fortnightly to ensure all continues to operate as smoothly as we are able and this week we have been addressing our financial situation. Thank you to all those who continue to contribute to the church financially we are truly grateful.
 
We continue to ring round the parish just to see how you are doing and it is wonderful to hear how many of you have had the vaccine. Who would have thought that face masks and vaccinations would become a way of demonstrating our love for one another. 
 
As always your clergy are here for you, we are never too busy to speak with you or pray for you and your concerns. May God’s blessing and protection be with you and those you love now and always.
 
With love and prayers
 
Fr Ian,  Fr Andy,   Fr Engin
Prayer for the week
(inspired by Mark 1:21-28)
 
Speak with authority
in our lives, O Christ.

Speak to us,
and to what is in us,
so that we might be whole.

Speak to us,
with love,
with hope,
and with strength,
so that we might hear you,
and know, deep inside,
that we are your people,
and that you are our God.
Let it be so.
Amen.

Friday 22 January 2021

Dear Brothers & Sisters,

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you and those who share your lives. We hope and pray you remain well as lockdown continues.
 
Jesus began his preaching with a call to repentance. We begin each Mass, in fact most acts of worship, with a similar call. Repentance is one of the main themes of the readings this week. In that very familiar story of Jonah we are taught that if the people of Nineveh can respond so fully to the preaching of Jonah, how much more wholeheartedly should we respond to the preaching and teaching of Jesus. Maybe we could find some time this week to pause, reflect and listen to the voice of the Lord who longs to guide, comfort and support us in our faith. There is a moving reflection in the back of the attached service booklet for today which may help us in our thinking and praying.  As always, your clergy are available to talk with you and our online worship offers opportunities throughout the week and at various times to be still and know God’s presence. You will find all the links at the end of this parish email.
 
In other news…
Fr Ian and the clergy have had a number of virtual meetings in the past week with Haringey council, the hospitals and with the primary care trust focusing on the importance of the vaccine. As we mentioned last week there have been a number of people who have been frightened by recent false scare stories circulated on social media. Haringey are responding brilliantly to issues raised by the virus and the following statement from the primary care trust may encourage you.
 
Are you 70 years or over and/or clinically extremely vulnerable?
The NHS will soon invite you to take the COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccines have gone  through stringent safety, quality, and effectiveness testing, so when you get your letter,   please make sure you accept and attend your appointment. It will help protect you, and your  loved ones from COVID-19. Thousands of over 80s, care home residents and NHS and  social care staff across Haringey have already received their first dose at one of the three   centres in the borough offering the COVID-19 vaccine. Remember, two doses are needed for maximum protection, and as it is not yet known whether the virus is still transmittable  after vaccination, you must continue to follow government guidelines – wear a mask, social  distance and wash your hands. Together, we will slowly be able to return to the normal life we miss so much. (Primary Care Haringey)
 
We are so grateful to France Ng Yu Tin and his family for sharing his story and also we are pleased to report that Denise Blake’s daughter Naomi is now home and recovering well. These are signs of real hope and welcomed good news.  The clergy have spoken to many of you over recent days and it is good to hear your experiences of the vaccine. 

Please remember that your clergy continue to offer prayers on your behalf in Church, so if you have any prayer requests or would like a candle lit for you or anyone you know in need of prayer, please just let us know.

With our love and prayers

Fr Ian,  Fr Andy,  Fr Engin

Prayer for the week
(based on Mark 1: 14-20)
 

Gracious Christ,
you came to the fishermen
when the prophet John was taken away.
Come to us now,
as we fear losses of our own.
Grant us courage to cast aside
the nets that bind us,
to follow you into true freedom
and newness of life.
Help us to be faithful disciples,
that we might inspire others
to follow in your ways. Amen.

Sunday 17 January 2021

Dear Brothers & Sisters,

As promised, here is France’s story about his incredible fight with covid 19 and his hope that we all will take advantage of the vaccine when we get the opportunity. It is sent with the family’s permission and with their love and prayers.  I am hugely grateful to France and the family for sharing this story and hope that it will inspire you as it has me. 

With love & prayers

Fr Ian

Covid – A Mauritian man’s fight

Our wonderful dad France Ng Yu Tin, a happy attendee of St Michaels Church. Born on the sunny paradise island of Mauritius to an Indian mother and a Chinese father.  Just before Christmas he felt unwell and was tested positive for Covid19. He then started his isolation period in the hope he would recover quickly, however he took to bed with fatigue within days. After spending four days in bed trying to maintain energy, his breathing became more laboured, until it was clear he needed immediate attention. On arriving at the hospital he was immediately placed onto a C-Pap oxygen mask to aid his lack of oxygen. We were informed that due to the severity of the virus and his existing health conditions they would not resuscitate in the event of heart failure. This meant France needed the C-Pap mask to work … sadly it didn’t and the doctors instructed its removal as the aggressive pressure to force oxygen into his body was ‘inhumane’. At this stage France was placed in the care of the palliative team at the hospital. As daughters we were afforded the luxury of a short visit of quality time for the last time.

France was left in the care of the NHS palliative care team and both France and the family were informed clearly about the expected outcome and so family, friends and the church prayed for him. France was unable to eat, but he was able to pick up a text or call every once in a while. We would call the hospital and the doctors would report kindly, with measured gentle voices that dad was still stable but to obviously expect deterioration and when it comes they will manage any pain with morphine. We continued to pray.

The days passed and then we received the unexpected news that dad had actually improved slightly. This type of report continued until dad had managed to allow a respectable amount of oxygen into his body, this lead to him eventually breathing alone. Dad had a fight in him that we knew existed but that astounding us and the medical team. Dad was discharged probably sooner than he should have been as his bed was needed to care for others at this desperate time. The NHS provided an outstanding level of care not only to our dad but to the immediate family.

As 2020 drew to a close, dad as an avid watcher of the news had seen much footage of the Covid virus unfold, taking many innocent lives. To then be the recipient of the virus knowing the possible outcome, made this almost paralysing for him and the family.

France would really like to encourage anyone and everyone especially those of black and ethnic minority backgrounds to take the Covid anti-virus vaccine at the earliest possible opportunity. Dad is not a stranger to spending time in hospital but as he recovers today he recalls that the Covid experience is something quite unimaginable and he would not wish anyone or their families to have to go through that experience. There is much false information being circulated. The BME community is an especially vulnerable group and as a BME family we are urging everyone to gain the ‘real’ facts from the ‘real’ experts and please get vaccinated.

We would also like to take the opportunity to thank Father Ian and the congregation for all their prayer, love and support. God with skin on and we will never forget it!

France Ng-Yu-Tin

Thursday 14 January 2021

Dear Brother & Sisters,

We hope and pray that all remains well with you and those you love and care for. Amidst all the anxieties that surround us, we hope you are finding time to stop and place yourselves into God’s hands just for a few moments each day enabling the Lord to share your concerns and receive your prayers. 
 

The main  theme of the worship today is that of call and response. In our first reading we hear the call of Samuel, who played a huge part of God’s plan in the building up of Israel. His call marked the beginning of a new era for the people of Israel. This paves the way for the Gospel story in which the first disciples are called and their response also marks the beginning of a new era this time for the whole world.

 
God’s call can be easy to ignore, even for many years, but it is quietly insistent and never goes away fully. And it’s not only heard in the form of a voice but can come to us in other ways, too – through friends, through circumstances, through moments of beauty and of crisis. And, like Samuel, we will always be able to find someone able to help us to make sense of it all. Where might this call have been sounding in your own life? As you listen or read the scriptures of today, try and hear and get some sense of that call of God for you and then decide how you will respond.
 
In other news…
It was good to see a few more people joining us online last week. We have a good number joining us for Evening Prayer on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and the Bible Study also welcomed a few extra people. The offering of Night prayer on Thursdays at 8pm and the Midday Prayers on Friday are quieter services of prayer and reflection and a good time to pause and reflect. It would be good to see a few more of you joining us for Zoom coffee at 12noon on Sunday.  All the links you need are below.  Please remember that your clergy are still going into Church to pray for you daily and if you have any prayer requests just let us know.
 
There have been small signs of encouragement from our hospitals with admission rates beginning to ease slightly. Please pray for all NHS and frontline workers, many of whom make up our church family, they are working tirelessly and at great cost to themselves and their families to keep us safe. May God bless and strengthen them. 
 
One way we can help in that situation is to accept the vaccine when it is offered to you. There have been a few people spreading fear about the vaccine which is both unfounded and untrue, resulting in a number of people now hesitant to accept it. Sadly this is largely affecting some of the most vulnerable groups, which is unnecessary and unfair.  It may help to know that all frontline members of our local hospitals have all received the vaccine and are continuing to work as normal. I know many of you have received it too, which I hope will give confidence to anyone who may be unsure. Please, if you are offered the vaccine do take it as it will benefit you and those you love. If you remain unsure speak to one of us as we regularly receive updates from those in the medical profession. 
 
We look forward with hope to the day when we can worship together as we long to, in the meantime let us pray for each other and remain faithful to the God who calls us by name and to whom be all glory and praise.
 
With our love and continued prayers
Fr Ian,  Fr Engin,  Fr Andy
Prayer for the week
Prayer (inspired by 1 Samuel 3:1-10)
 
Heavenly Father,
creator of a universe full of wonder
and many still-hidden mysteries.
Help us in our modern, sometimes confusing
and fast changing world
to pause and reflect on your glory and unending grace
and in the stillness to listen, like Samuel,
for your voice speaking to us alone.
Amen

Thursday 7 January 2021

Dear Brothers & Sisters,

Once again we find ourselves in a time of lockdown.  We had hoped that we would avoid this situation, but the virus has once again taken hold and left us with little choice. This means for us we return to watching our services online and participating in Spiritual Communion. Our prayer is that many of you will engage with us from your homes, it would be so good to see more viewers and comments on our FaceBook or YouTube page and a real encouragement if you could join us for some of the services we have listed below.  
 
Today we celebrate the feast of the Baptism of the Lord, and we hear the account written in St Mark’s Gospel. Mark’s overriding concern is with Jesus’ identity. The heavenly voice,  ‘You are my Son, the beloved,’ echoes the words of Psalm 2:7, a psalm used for the coronation of the kings from the house of David, and thus points to Jesus as the Messiah. 
 
Today’s feast is also a reminder of our own Baptism, and at this challenging time a good opportunity to renew our vows and receive God’s grace afresh so that we can proclaim, despite all we are facing, that we believe and trust in Him!
 
In other news…
This week our PCC met and have agreed to do so fortnightly to keep under review the current situation and how we can safely implement the Government guidelines. You will have received an email this week already from Fr Ian and the Church Council explaining the reasons why we have had to resort to online worship and we are grateful for the support many of you have expressed. Your clergy have also met and have put together a number of online services and will increase the phone calls made to check on your well being.  
 
The Bible Study offered by Fr Engin is a really good course on the Lord’s prayer, if you have not joined before, why not give it a try over this lockdown period.  Night prayer is also an addition and a perfect way to close the day entrusting everything back into God’s hands. This is particularly good if you have had a stressful or busy day, an opportunity to be still and know the presence of the Lord.  Friday midday prayer is short service before the crib till the 2nd February and before the cross after that. This will be a 20 minute service where your prayers and intercessions are offered in the Church.  All the links you need for these and all our services are below.
 
From this Sunday forward the pattern of worship will be as follows simply click on the links to join us and take part: –
 
Sunday 
Parish Mass 10.30am live on FaceBook and uploaded to YouTube for later viewing
 
Zoom Coffee & catch up 12noon (Grab a cuppa and catch up with your Church family) 
 
Tuesday
Bible Study with Fr Engin on Zoom 1.30pm
 
Evening Prayer on Zoom 6pm
 
Wednesday
Mass at Midday on Facebook live
 
Evening Prayer on Zoom 6pm 
 
Thursday
Night Prayer live on Facebook and Twitter 8pm
Friday
Midday Prayers live on FaceBook
 
We hope there is something here that you will be able to share with us. As always please send in your prayer requests for us to use at the above services, or send them privately and candles will be lit for you. The clergy will be going into Church just as regularly to pray on your behalf. 
 
With our love & prayers
 
Fr Ian,   Fr Andy,   Fr Engin,
Prayer for the week:
 
Almighty God,
Your Spirit swept over the waters of creation;
You are sweeping over us now, creating something new.
 
Call us away from the distractions of the world
to experience what You are doing now, in us,
and through us, and in our world.
 
Open us to a new awakening, a new beginning,
where we look through the lens of the goodness of Your creation,
experiencing all possibilities in You.
 
Turn us away from all that is harmful,
and lead us to the light.
In the name of Jesus, who leads us into life, Amen.
 
We look forward to seeing you online or speaking with you in the coming weeks and as always please feel free to call anyone of us should you want or need to talk. May the God of peace and love, bless preserve and protect you and those you love now and always.

Tuesday 5 January 2021

Lockdown 3

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Tonight your Church Council met to discuss how we should proceed as a Church in the light of the recent Government lockdown.  I am especially grateful to the members of the council for their time, advice and wisdom. At both our Churches there have now been cases of Covid-19 among the worshipping congregation and it was felt that now is the right time to make some difficult decisions.
 
Therefore tonight the PCC voted unanimously for the following motion.
 
St Michael’s Wood Green Team have decided to close our Church buildings until Sunday 14th February and move all worship to online only.  The PCC will meet regularly during this period and keep the situation under review with the intention of opening the Church buildings again as soon as it is deemed safe to do so. 
 
This was not an easy decision to make but we have to do all within our power to protect you, those you love and the surrounding community.  This means that public worship at both our Churches will not be available from now. Additional prayers for use at home and online services will be advertised in the parish email which we will send to you on Friday.  Your clergy will increase the phone calls they make and will be available should you ever want to call and talk.  If you know of anyone who is unwell or is in need of prayer please let the clergy know as they will continue to worship in Church and offer prayers and candles on our behalf
 
Please keep this in your prayers and if you could call others to inform them of this situation it would be a great help.
 
There is much to look forward to, and there is real hope now the vaccines are being administered, for which we give thanks to God.  However in the next few weeks we must readjust once more to this further lockdown and do all we can to love and support one another.
 
Please offer the following prayer each night of lockdown : –
 
God of compassion
be close to those who are ill, afraid or in isolation.
In their loneliness, be their consolation;
in their anxiety, be their hope;
in their darkness, be their light;
through him who suffered alone on the cross
but reigns with you in glory,
Jesus Christ our Lord Amen.
 
With my love and continued prayers
 
Fr Ian
 
On behalf of the clergy and PCC of St Michael’s Wood Green Team

Thursday 31 December 2020

Dear Brothers and sisters,

We wish you every blessing for 2021 praying that the New Year will bring you and those you love peace, joy and hope.  We have all faced many challenges over the last year and the Lord has walked with us in our joys and sorrows, now we rededicate ourselves to His service as we look forward in faith to all the New Year has to offer.
 
One of the traditions on the Sunday when we celebrate the feast of the Epiphany is the blessing of chalks and the marking and blessing of our homes.  The attached booklet below contains the prayers needed for this moving ceremony at the beginning of a New Year. This provides a witness to all who pass by that we are a people of God, a people of faith – now more than ever before is such a witness needed.
 
You will be aware that the government has issues further guidelines relating to the pandemic, as we remain in Tier 4 we are reminded to stay at home and only go out for essential purposes only. We are able at this moment to offer communal worship, but many Churches have made the decision to return to online services only.  Your clergy and wardens have met again to discuss the best way forward for us as a parish. The role of a shepherd is challenging, sometimes we lead from the front, or encourage and guide from behind; at times we must protect the flock from danger. It is a call we take seriously and we review our actions and decisions regularly.
 
With this in mind we feel that we must take action to do everything we possibly can to safeguard you and those you love. Therefore we ask those who can to participate in the services online at least for the month of January as this promises to be a particular testing month for everyone. Our pattern of worship for January will therefore change and the following services will be available: –
 
Sunday 11am Mass at Both Wood Green and Bowes 
(Booking is essential as numbers limited to 40)
There will be no 9am service in January because there will be no time for essential cleaning or adequate airing between services.
 
Tuesday 11am Mass at St Michael at Bowes
 
Wednesday 12noon Mass at St Michael’s Wood Green (Church open for prayer at 11.15am)
 
This will be the pattern for the whole of January unless you hear otherwise. We hope you will understand our need for caution but also recognise that our Churches will still be available for worship at the above times. We understand the sacrifice this involves and encourage you to consider one of the midweek services as an alternative to Sunday. 
 
To ensure our churches remain open the following must happen: –
 
1) Face Masks covering nose and mouth to be worn at all times inside and outside.
2) Distancing is essential please – even when wearing a face mask please keep 2m’s apart.
3) Sanitize hands on entrance and exit of the Church
4) Please do not gather at all. Once Mass is ended please vacate Church safely and promptly and avoid the temptation to mingle with others inside – it is painful to enforce this but we feel this must happen as all the science suggests covid loves a crowd.
5) To aid necessary ventilation we shall be keeping the front doors of the Church open, so please dress accordingly!!
 
The hopeful signs offered by the vaccination program means that the time is coming when the above rules can be relaxed, but now is not the time.  Please join us in doing all we can to keep our Church and those who worship with us as safe as possible.
 
Always remember your clergy are available for you and we are happy to arrange telephone and/or video calls with you to discuss any issues you may wish to discuss. Again we wish you every blessing for the year ahead and please pray for us as we do for you.
 
With love & prayers
 
Fr Ian,  Fr Engin,  Fr Andy
Prayer for the New Year
 
We give thanks, our heavenly Father, 
for the goodness and mercy which have followed us all the days of our life, 
and especially through the year that is now past.
We pray that in the year ahead your wisdom may direct us,
your power defend us,
and your love enfold us;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Saturday 26 December 2020

Dear Brothers & Sisters,

Fr Ian, Fr Andy and Fr Engin wish you a blessed and holy Christmastide, with the hope that you are managing to enjoy the festivities in whatever way you can.  
 
This simple parish mailing is to remind you that there will be no 9am parish Mass for this Sunday only at St Michael’s Wood green but the 11am at Wood Green and Bowes will go ahead as mentioned in previous mailings.
 
Again as we have said before and in the light of Tier 4 regulations please only join us if you feel safe to do so. Should you be displaying any flu or cold like symptoms the advice is to stay home and stay safe and join us online at one of the links below.
 
We know Christmas, like Easter before, was not how we would have wanted it, but the simplicity of the celebrations have touched our hearts and you were all remembered in our prayers at the altar and before the crib.  Our prayer is that despite the fears of the pandemic, 2021 will see a change in response to the virus and the vaccine will bring about new hope as we look to the future.
 
Please find attached the booklet for the feast of the Holy Family which contains prayers for Spiritual Communion if you are remaining at home.
 
The clergy wish to express their deepest thanks for all the cards, gifts and good wishes we have received and pray that the New Year will bring many blessings to you and those you love.
 
With love & prayers
 
Fr Ian,  Fr Andy,  Fr Engin
Prayer for the week
 
God our Father,
 
in the Holy Family of Nazareth you embraced our world with great tenderness and love, and renewed family life in the pure and noble dignity you intended from the beginning.
 
To Mary and Joseph who walked the path of faith with courage and fidelity, you entrusted Jesus, your Son, to grow in stature and wisdom and in favour with all. Enfolded in the love and warmth of that family the beginnings of our redemption took hold.
 
Lead us to grow in the warmth and gentleness of the Holy Family, that ‘gentle image of the Trinity’, poor in the eyes of the world, rich in the treasures of heaven, hidden and unknown on the earth, contemplated by the angels.
 
Like Jesus, Mary and Joseph who contemplated your will, Father, as it unfolded, may we, too, hold your Word, ponder it in our hearts, and respond with courage and generosity as Jesus makes his home in us.

Deepen our love for one another and enable us to live in peace, Father, united with you and with each other.

Inspired by the way of life of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, lead us to treasure what is most deeply human. Teach us the sanctity of human love and show us the value of family life that we may share in your love and life forever.

Amen.

Tuesday 22 December 2020

Dear Brothers & Sisters,

Having thought and prayed about our keeping of Christmas in the light of the Tier 4 guidelines, the Clergy and wardens have decided that we can safely offer the following celebrations with numbers limited to 40 only. We are encouraging anyone who can to join us online via YouTube or Facebook live. This is not how we expected it to be and many churches have made the decision to do all services online. Once numbers are reached the doors will have to close for everyone’s health and safety. To be completely Covid compliant it is essential that face masks are worn at all times, that sanitisers are used on entry to church, that temperatures are taken and all details for track and trace are given. Once inside church please take your seat and remain there for the duration of the service. 
 
If anyone has been told to isolate please do not attend and if you are displaying any symptoms again please stay safe and remain at home.
 
Christmas Eve
St Michael at Bowes – 8pm first Mass of Christmas
St Michael’s Wood Green – 11pm Midnight Mass
 
Christmas Day
Parish Mass of the nativity – 10.30am at both Churches.
 
There are services at both Churches in the Wood Green Team meaning that if one reaches capacity you can always attend the other.  It would be helpful if some people were willing to attend St Michael at Bowes 8pm service to ease capacity at the 11am, if that appeals to you please call Fr Engin.
 
Can you help? We will need a couple of people to be at the door to check temperatures and sign people in at both Midnight Mass and Christmas Day. If you are willing to assist please let one of the clergy know as soon as possible.
 
On Sunday 27th December we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family. Masses on that day will be celebrated with the exception of a 9am at St Michael’s Wood Green for this week only.  There will be an 11am at St Michael’s Wood Green and at St Michael at Bowes. As before please phone or email in advance to book a place.
 
As you can see from this email a lot of thought and consideration has gone into how we can best celebrate the birth of our Saviour whilst ensuring your wellbeing.  Please keep all this in your prayers and in whatever way you choose to celebrate Christmas may the Christ child smile upon you and surround you and those you love with His protection and peace.
 
In summary services over Christmas are as follows: –
 
Christmas Eve
8pm – St Michael at Bowes (limited spaces so please call and book with clergy)
11pm – St Michael’s Wood Green (limited spaces so please call and book with clergy) 
 
Christmas Day
10.30am – St Michael’s Wood Green (limited spaces so please call and book with clergy)
10.30am – St Michael at Bowes   (limited spaces so please call and book with clergy)
 
Sunday 27th December – Feast of the Holy Family
 
**** No 9am Mass this Sunday only *****
 
11am – St Michael Wood Green (limited spaces so please call and book with clergy)
11am – St Michael at Bowes  (limited spaces so please call and book with clergy)
 
With our love & prayers
 
Fr Ian – 020 83513125
Fr Andy – 020 88898548
Fr Engin – 07980335400

Saturday 19 December 2020

Dear Brothers & Sisters,

You will no doubt have seen the reports from the Government about London now being placed into Tier 4. Full information can be found on the Government website. 
 
As it stands at the moment, people can still attend ‘communal worship’ but the college of London Bishops have asked us to make it clear that anyone who is vulnerable, shielding or displaying any kind of symptoms should remain at home.
 
As your clergy we have had an in depth discussion tonight and have sought advice as to the best plan of action for the parish. Our morning services at 9am and 11am will go ahead. These will be recorded and streamed live as we have been doing since the first lockdown and our hope is that many will join us on either our YouTube channel or our FaceBook page the details are contained in my previous email.
 
If you have booked to join us tomorrow and are still content to do so the doors will be open. We stress the importance of hands, face and space and ask that we really respect the advice not to gather inside or outside the building. The vestry will only be available for the clergy, wardens, Festus and Kathy. 
 
The planned 6.30pm service at Bowes has been postponed and there will be further guidance on our Christmas services once we receive guidance from the Bishops. 
 
We understand that for so many this will be a difficult time and many of you will feel the pain of separation from your loved ones and your Church. Yet we remember that through the birth of Christ, the light shines in the darkness and the darkness shall never overcome it.
 
We will contact you again with further guidance and ask that you pray for us as we daily pray for you.
 
With love & prayers
 
Fr Ian,  Fr Andy,  Fr Engin

Friday 18 December 2020

Dear Brothers & Sisters,

As we plan for a Christmas like no other we have ever known, the following reflection from the point of view of the first shepherd really spoke to me and I offer it to you in the hope that it will remind us of the true meaning of Christmas:-

SHEPHERD
Until tonight I could not fit the size of God into my head.
I thought he was a God for prophets and kings, men of words and wisdom.
But tonight, I am looking at God made small, small enough for me,
small enough to pick up and hold like a lamb.
I could not talk to a God in the clouds;
but tonight, when I look and smile and talk nonsense to this tiny thing,
I know that I am talking to God.
And it is God who smiles back at me
and waves his perfect hands in delight.
And tonight, in your smallness, God,
you seem bigger and more powerful to me than you ever did before.
I can hold you now, hold you in my head and hold you in my arms,
and know that you are holding me in yours.

(Lisa Debney, Hay and Stardust, 2005)

The reflection simply reminds us that so often when thinking about God, we think big – the almighty, King of Kings and Lord of Lords and rightly so for that He is.  But sometimes we need to think small too, and there are few things more tiny and vulnerable than a new born baby. And yet, that is how Christ was revealed to us. The cry of a baby piercing the silence, was the sign that God had entered our world.

Because of that first Christmas, because our great God emptied himself and was revealed to us in human form, we are invited to place ourselves into his hands, whilst understanding that he is holding us in his. 

In other news… In light of the increase of the virus in the borough we have decided to cancel the Outdoor Carol Service planned for Christmas Eve. We haven’t made this decision lightly but we have to do all we can to ensure your and our safety. That said, all other services will go ahead as planned and are as follows: –

Sunday 20th December Advent 4 
9am & 11am Mass at St Michael’s Wood Green
11am Mass at St Michael at Bowes
6.30pm Joint celebration of Light at St Michael at Bowes
 
Christmas Eve at St Michael’s Wood Green
 
11pm Midnight Mass 
An almost Traditional first Mass of Christmas, although without singing, Carols will be played as we welcome the Christ Child. Numbers limited to 60 sadly so please book if you intend to join us. The service will be streamed online for those at home.
 
10.30am Christmas Day
‘O come all ye faithful’ We shall celebrate the birth of our Saviour with a parish Mass. Again if you intend to come along please book in with the clergy. There will be a service at both Wood Green and Bowes.
           
Sunday 27th December – The Holy Family
9 & 11 St Michael’s Wood Green
11am St Michael at Bowes
 
Please join us on Sunday evening at our sister Church of St Michael at Bowes at 6.30pm for a moving service to lead us from Advent to Christmas. The service will include readings, reflections and music all by candlelight. We look forward to seeing you and again if you can let one of the clergy know you will be coming along that would be really appreciated. 

If you are going away over the Christmas celebrations we wish you every blessing and pray that you and those you love enjoy a happy, healthy and holy Christmas.

May the joy of the angels, the eagerness of the shepherds, the perseverance of the wise men, the obedience of Joseph and Mary, and the peace of the Christ child be yours this Christmas.

With our love and prayers

Fr Ian,  Fr Andy,  Fr Engin

Prayer for the week:

Living Lord,
teach me not only today but equally every day
to make time for you,
and to find space in my life
to reflect on everything you do, have done and shall do.
So may I understand more fully the magnitude of your love
and the greatness of everything you offer us in Christ,
in whose name I pray. Amen.

Friday 11 December 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice, indeed the Lord is near!
The first words of the Mass on this third Sunday of Advent set the tone of our worship this day. Even the third candle on our Advent wreath signifies a change in our preparations. The pink candle is a mixture of both the purple of recent weeks (a symbol of penitence) and the white of Christmas hope, for so near is the coming of Christ. Therefore we have every cause for rejoicing and leaving behind anxiety about the future and worry about the past for the overflowing love of the Lord is poured upon us and for that we give thanks and praise to God.
 
How we hope to celebrate the joy of Christmas in the Wood Green Team will be a little different this year.  Your clergy have been praying and discussing how we can best celebrate Christmas given the current situation and the details are as follows: –
 
Sunday 20th December Advent 4 
9am & 11am Mass at St Michael’s Wood Green
11am Mass at St Michael at Bowes
6.30pm Joint celebration of Light at St Michael at Bowes
 
Christmas Eve at St Michael’s Wood Green 4pm Carols around the tree
As we cannot sing in Church this is an opportunity to gather outside Church to sing our favourite carols as we prepare to welcome in Christmas. Wear your Christmas jumpers and wrap up warm and join us with your family and friends. Masks and social distancing will be observed but we can sing with all our hearts.
 
11pm Midnight Mass 
An almost Traditional first Mass of Christmas, although without singing, Carols will be played as we welcome the Christ Child. Numbers limited to 60 sadly so please book if you intend to join us. The service will be streamed online for those at home.
 
10.30am Christmas Day
‘O come all ye faithful’ We shall celebrate the birth of our Saviour with a joint celebration with our sister church. Again if you intend to come along please book in with the clergy.
 
Sunday 27th December – The Holy Family
9 & 11 St Michael’s Wood Green
11am St Michael at Bowes
 
We look forward to seeing you over these last days of Advent and over Christmas and we pray that God’s blessing will be upon you and those you love. So many will be unable to celebrate Christmas with family and friends and we understand the sorrow that will cause, but please know we are praying for you and hoping that you will experience the comfort and joy that our Saviour brings.  
 
On a personal note I would like to thank everyone for your love and prayers over recent weeks which have carried me through such a difficult time. I am truly grateful for your support and the support of Fr Andy and Fr Engin who have worked so hard to ensure I can rest. Thank you all from the depth of my heart.
 
May the love of God surround you, bless, preserve and protect you and those you love.
 
Fr Ian,  Fr Andy,  Fr Engin
Prayer for the week:
 
Holy Jesus,
to deliver us from the power of darkness
you humbled yourself to be born among us and laid in a manger.
Let the light of your love always shine in our hearts, and bring us at last
to the joyful vision of your beauty.
Blessed be God for ever
Amen & Amen!

Thursday 3 December 2020

Dear brothers and sisters,

Some words from one spiritual writer on this season: 

‘Advent should teach us that our attitude towards Him should always be one of humble eager expectancy. Every time a channel is made for Him, He comes; every time our hearts are open to Him, He enters, bringing a fresh gift of His very life, and on that life we depend’.

Amidst all the present difficulties about our daily lives, Advent challenges us to open our hearts, to prepare channels, so that we are ready to celebrate Christ coming to us. He comes to us in our celebration of Christmas. We await our Lord’s coming at the end of time. And we wait knowing that by God’s grace, His love and his light can be revealed to us each day if we are expectant and eager to seek it. 

Here in the northern hemisphere, Advent works with the natural time of year as we descend into December’s darkness. We look for the light of Christ, trusting that it shines in the darkness, and that the darkness can never overcome it.

It’s a great gift that we can return to both our churches for public worship this Sunday 6th December during this holy season (please see pattern of worship outlined below). 

This Sunday there will also be a special Advent service of music and readings by candlelight at 6:30pm at St Michael’s Wood Green.

We will resume in the same way as before with all the necessary precautions in place (mandatory face coverings, checking temperatures, social distancing, signing in, not gathering inside the building after worship has concluded etc). Please give one of the clergy a call if you intend to come to any of our Sunday services so we can best plan ahead.

 

A reminder of our pattern of worship from this Sunday:

At St Michael’s Wood Green:

Sunday: Mass 9am & 11am  (please call to book a place)
Wednesday: Church open from 10am -12noon and Mass at noon
Thursday: 7pm Holy Hour concluding with Advent Night prayer
Friday: 10am – 12noon Church open for pray 
Saturday: 12noon Mass

At St Michael at Bowes:

Sunday: Mass 11am
Monday: 10am-12noon Church open for prayer
Tuesday: 11am Mass (Church open from 10am for prayer)

ADVENT BIBLE SUNDAY ON ZOOM on Tuesdays from 1.30pm
EVENING PRAYER ON ZOOM at 6pm on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

A Prayer For The Week: May the Lord when he comes find us watching and waiting. Amen.

With the assurance of our prayers,

Fr Andy, Fr Ian and Fr Engin

Thursday 26 November 2020

Dear Brothers & Sisters,

This Sunday marks the beginning of the holy season of Advent.  During the four weeks of Advent, we prepare for the celebration of Christ’s birth through prayer and reflection. We contemplate the First Coming of Jesus as Savior, and anticipate his promised Second Coming. And amid the flurry of Christmas preparations, we look for practical ways to observe the holiness of the season in our everyday lives.  Attached to this email is ‘a resource for Advent’ which contains a short reading and reflection for everyday, we hope it helps you amidst all the busyness to set a time a few moments of each day to hear God’s small still voice as we journey towards Christmas.
 
We were of course hoping to begin Advent together in Church, sadly the pandemic has robbed us of yet another major celebration but the good news is that from next week we can once again meet together for worship as we were before, but we shall continue to stream our services online for those unable to join us. So fom Sunday 6th December our weekly pattern of worship will be as follows: –
 
At St Michael’s Wood Green
Sunday Mass 9am  and 11am  (please call the clergy over the weekend to book a place)
Wednesday Church open from 10am -12noon Mass

Thursday 7pm Holy Hour concluding with Advent Night prayer

Friday 10am – 12noon Church open for pray 
Saturday 12noon Mass
 
St Michael at Bowes
Sunday Mass 11am
Monday 10am-12noon Church open for prayer
Tuesday 11am Mass (Church open from 10am for prayer)
 
The Clergy will be leading Advent Bible studies on Tuesday’s from 1.30pm on Zoom based on an Advent theme and there will be two joint services marking the beginning and the end of this holy season: –
 
Sunday 6th December 6.30pm at St Michael’s Wood Green
Advent service of light by candlelight
A service of readings, reflections and music on the themes of Advent
 
Sunday 20th December 6.30pm at St Michael at Bowes 
Advent service of hope
A service of hope and joy as we look forward to Christmas
 
We hope you will see from the above that we are doing all we are able to in the current pandemic to make our Churches open and available for both public and private worship. To enable this to happen we shall remain as covid compliant as we were before the second lockdown with sanitizing, face coverings, social distancing, temperature taking and signing in all remaining an essential part of the care we show to you and to one another.  We hope and pray that this Advent may bring you closer to God, who revealed his great love for us in the birth of Jesus our saviour.
 
May God grant you His peace and His joy, His light and His love 
 
Fr Ian,  Fr Andy  Fr Engin
Prayer for the week:
 
Lord Jesus Christ, we await your coming,
We wait filled with hope,
Knowing your light will shine in the darkness.
We wait anticipating your peace,
Believing that one day it will fill our world.
We wait embracing your love,
May we reach out to share it with our neighbours.
We wait with joy,
Exciting us in expectation of your birth.
Lord we wait,
Come soon and fill us with your life.  
Amen

Thursday 19 November 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
 
This Sunday of Christ the King marks the end of the Churches year, and what a year it has been.  The first two months got off to an amazing start and the beginning of Lent was wonderful. Then the pandemic struck and lockdown began meaning that we had to celebrate Holy Week and Easter in ways we never could have imagined. Our relationships with God and one another took on a whole new meaning as we learnt to worship from home and express our love for those dearest to us over the internet. One of the blessings of lockdown is that it encourages us to evaluate our lives and priorities and I am sure many of you, as I have, have vowed never to take anything for granted again.  
 
As this Sunday marks the end of the Churches year, it means that next Sunday is Advent Sunday, the beginning of a new liturgical year. As we enter it, we do so with a degree of hope especially now as vaccinations look as though they may make an impact on the devastation caused by the virus and although there is still some way to go there is light at the end of the tunnel.  Hope and light are key themes of Advent and they will be reflected in the online services we shall offer during December. More about that in next week’s parish email. For this Sunday of Christ the King our Archdeacon Fr John has provided the sermon and he will be conducting an online parish visitation with the Clergy, the wardens and the PCC, please keep this in your prayers.
 
During the latest lockdown we are now able to offer an almost daily opportunity for you to come to one of the Churches in the parish for private prayer. If you are still shielding or just being understandably careful then there are several online services for you to attend. The service of night prayer which the Clergy offer in Church is particularly beautiful and several people have said how peaceful they found it. The details of all our services are as follows:
 
Sunday Mass live on Facebook 9:30am or later on our YouTube Channel. https://www.facebook.com/StMichaelsWoodGreen/ or 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0N6wZDORWQ2rX89tnwLSIg 

Church open Sunday morning from 10.30am till midday for private prayer

Monday 10am -12noon St Michael at Bowes open for private prayer

Tuesday St Michael’s Wood Green Church open from 10am – 12noon for private prayer
Zoom Bible Study 1.30pm
Zoom Evening prayer at 6pm

Wednesday 10am-12noon St Michael at Bowes open for private prayer 
Zoom Evening Prayer at 6.00pm 

Thursday Night Prayer on Facebook 8pm
https://www.facebook.com/StMichaelsWoodGreen/    

Friday St Michael’s Wood Green Church open from 10am – 12noon


I appreciate there is a lot of information here, but we hope you are also encouraged that we are as open and available as we possibly can be in this lockdown.  It would be good to see a few more people using the Church if only to pop in and light a candle especially as all safety measures are in place as before. 

Prayer for the week based on Sunday’s Gospel
God, Father of the poor,
your Son Jesus was born among us
poor, humble and dependent.
Open our eyes and our hearts and our hands
to honor him now as our Lord and King
by welcoming him in those who are hungry and thirsty,
in all who are abandoned and lonely,
in refugees, in the poor and the sick.
Let our love become free and spontaneous,
like the tenderness you have shown us in your Son.
Welcome us in the everlasting Kingdom
prepared for us through Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen. 
 
May Christ our King bless and protect you and those you love this day and always.
 
With our love & prayers
 
Fr Ian,  Fr Andy,  Fr Engin

Thursday 12 November 2020

Dear Brothers & Sisters,
 
I am sure you have all been encouraged by the revelation that a new vaccine has been developed that will hopefully assist us in our struggle with coronavirus. This new development has already brought about a change in how scientists and medics see the future and we continue to pray for them as their vital work unfolds. 
 
In the meantime we continue in lockdown but perhaps with a ray of hope that sometime in the new year we will be worshipping together once again and singing God’s praises at the top of our voices. Hopefully that knowledge will enable us to make full use of the remaining weeks of lockdown either by visiting Church for private prayer if we can or by praying and reading the scriptures in our own homes. To help us in our prayers at home there is the pray-as-you-go.org website or you can join us at various times during the week at the links below. We have made a slight change to our weekly pattern of worship at St Michael’s; on Sundays the Church is now open from 10.30am till Midday for your private prayers. Our other times are listed below, but please do try and join your prayers with ours during the week.
 
Our Archbishops of Canterbury and York remind us of the following in a letter to the Church: –
Bearing in mind our primary vocation as the Church of Jesus Christ to pray and to serve we call upon the Church of England to make this month of lockdown a month of prayer. More than anything else, whatever the nation thinks, we know that we are in the faithful hands of the risen Christ who knows our weaknesses, tiredness and struggles and whose steadfast love endures for ever.  
 
The following prayer is one Fr Ian used at the war memorial last week on Remembrance Sunday. We offer it now for you to use as your prayer for the week 
 
As one family Lord, 
we reflect today on the horrors of the past that continue
to haunt humanity and darken our world.
Lord, where pain still overwhelms, bring healing.
Where hearts are still breaking, bring comfort.
Where peoples are still oppressed, bring liberation.
Where communities are still victimised, bring justice.
Where children are still brutalised, bring compassion.
Where lives are still crushed, bring hope.
Where evil is perpetrated, bring repentance.
Where war still devastates, bring peace.
But most of all,
wherever a single voice cries out in the darkness,
bring us to one another,
in the name of the love you bear in your heart for all people,
all nations and all creation.
Amen
 
May God’s light and peace dwell in your hearts, and may the Lord’s presence guide and protect you.
 
With love & prayers
 
Fr Ian,  Fr Andy,  Fr Engin

Thursday 5 November 2020

Dear Brothers & Sisters,

Once again we enter a time of lockdown, which although doesn’t seem as harsh as the first, it does mean we are no longer able to offer public acts of worship for the next four weeks.  It has been good in recent weeks to see so many of you attending worship and we pray that this lockdown will have the desired effect of reducing the virus in order that we can resume worship in time for Christmas.

This time around our Archbishops and the Bishops of London have made good representation to the government on behalf of the Church which at the very least means we can open our Churches for private prayer and I hope that is something you will take advantage of over the next four weeks especially.

Our Archbishops together with the Roman Catholic Bishops are encouraging us to use the lockdown as an opportunity to unite in prayer for our nation. They have suggested that every day at 6pm we pause to offer the Angelus together as a reminder that, whether we are isolating or not, we are never on our own in prayer. This ancient prayer is offered daily at St Michael’s at 9am, 12noon at 6pm and you will often hear the bell ringing as an outward sign that the prayer is being offered. I hope you can join your prayers to ours in this month of prayer.

Your Parochial Church Council met this evening to discuss the latest guidelines and how we as a Church can better support the parish. Below we have detailed the times our Churches will be open and a program of worship which will be available online across different platforms for you to join in.  Our weekly pattern is as follows: –

Sunday Mass live on Facebook 9.30am or later on our YouTube Channel. https://www.facebook.com/StMichaelsWoodGreen/ or 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0N6wZDORWQ2rX89tnwLSIg 

Church open Sunday afternoon from 2pm- 4pm for private prayer

Tuesday Church open from 10am – 12noon for private prayer

Zoom Bible Study 1.30pm 

Zoom Evening prayer at 6pm 

Wednesday Zoom Evening Prayer at 4.45pm 

Thursday Night Prayer on Facebook 8pm

https://www.facebook.com/StMichaelsWoodGreen/    

Friday Church open from 10am – 12noon

We shall review the pattern of worship regularly and update you as and when there are any changes, but do please join us at some time during the week to keep the prayer going. The liturgy for Thursday Night Prayer is attached as is the booklet for Sunday morning containing the readings and the prayers for spiritual Communion. 

Apologies that there is so much information contained in this mailing, but we hope this will clearly demonstrate that the Church although closed for public worship is still open for you and offering a variety of services that unite us in prayer and worship to the praise and glory of God the Father.

May God bless and protect you and those you love

With our love and prayers

Fr Ian,  Fr Andy,  Fr Engin

Thursday 29 October 2020

Dear Brothers & Sisters,
 
At this time in the Church we celebrate All Saints Day and we rejoice and give thanks for people from every nation, race and culture whose lives have enriched the family of the Church throughout the ages. Traditionally the Gospel for this day is the Beatitudes where Jesus sets out a blueprint for God’s kingdom, a vision of how life can be when we live in accordance with God’s law of love.  In these testing and challenging times we need the inspiration and encouragement of the saints who despite the difficulties they faced remained faithful to God’s call; ordinary people like us yet extraordinary in the love, compassion and care they demonstrated in their lives. All holy men and women pray for us.
 
On Monday we shall keep All Souls Day and there will be a 7pm Parish Mass where we shall pray for those we love but see no longer. If you would like your departed loved ones remembered there are lists available in Church for you to sign or alternatively you can email their names to the clergy so as they can be offered in prayer at the Mass.
 
In other news…
Thank you to those who attended the APCM last week, although not our usual meeting it was good to see how we as a parish community are striving to meet the needs of both the Church and the surrounding community. We were pleased to appoint Linda Bennet and Norma Walkes as our Churchwardens for the year ahead and we were also able to announce that from June 2021 Tom Smith will join us as our next Curate. This of course means that Fr Andy now begins the process of seeking his next appointment as his training with us is almost complete. Please keep this in your prayers. 
 
A reminder that next Sunday the Parish Mass will begin at 11.30am (not 11am) and we shall begin with a simple act of remembrance. Printed poppies for your window are now available in Church with the opportunity to make a donation to the work of the Royal British Legion.
 
Your clergy are meeting next week to discuss our keeping of Advent and Christmas – clearly things this year are going to have to be very different but we shall do all we can to ensure that the seasons are kept and marked in ways that have meaning. Whether you join us in Church or from home online, there will be something for everyone.  
 
Finally please remember that we your clergy are called by God to serve you and our community. We are always available should you want to talk with us or pray for you. All our details for getting in touch are in the attached booklet.
 
All Saints Day Prayer
(inspired by Matthew 5:1-12)
 
Blessed are you, O God,
for you are holy, gracious, and good,
the hope of all the faithful.
Empower the meek
and encourage the poor.
Comfort those who mourn
and fill humble hearts with gladness.
Give food to the hungry,
drink to the thirsty,
peace to the peacemakers,
mercy to the merciful,
and honour to the despised.
Sustain your saints in ministry,
until at last they see their reward:
the joy of eternal life with you;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. 
 

With our love & prayers

Fr Ian,  Fr Andy,  Fr Engin

Thursday 22 October 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Following the 11am Mass on Sunday we shall be holding our Annual Parochial Church Meeting (APCM).  Usually this is a big occasion for the parish as we reflect on the past year and look forward to the year ahead as a community of faith. For understandable reasons this year’s APCM will be very different, We shall have a brief overview of our life together, we shall appoint our Churchwardens and Church Council in addition to looking at our financial position and what the future holds for us. Even if you are unable to join us please keep all this in your prayers. Above all else today’s Gospel sets before us a vision of the Kingdom where our love for God must be reflected in our love for each other and especially those who are in great need. That is something we need to keep before our eyes as we think about the ministry, mission and witness of our parish.
 
The coming weeks would usually hold a number of additional services and celebrations. These include All Saints Day; All Souls Day; Remembrance Sunday and Remembrance Day and of course Advent and Christmas.  We shall celebrate them all but given the circumstances they will have to be kept simply under the guidelines we are currently living by.
All Saints Day 1st November – This celebration falls on a Sunday this year so we shall be keeping it at both our 9am and 11am 
All Souls Day 2nd November –  We shall remember our departed loved ones especially on this day with an additional Mass on Monday at 7pm. 
Remembrance Sunday –  8th November. On this day our 11am Mass will be moved to 11.30am.  There will be no public gathering at the cenotaph as we usually do but the Mayor of Haringey and Catherine West MP with a few dignitaries will on behalf of our borough keep an act of Remembrance in St Michael’s at 10.55am after which they will proceed to the memorial and lay wreaths. We shall begin our Mass at 11.30am that Sunday only and begin with our own act of remembrance.  Please note the time change and join us at 11.30am.
Advent Sunday- Advent begins on Sunday 29th November and in response to the parish Survey the Clergy will be offering a series of devotions for use at home as we prepare for Christmas.
Christmas 2020 – This will clearly be very different from anything else we have usually done. Over the coming weeks as guidelines are updated the clergy will be looking at ways we can celebrate Christmas meaningfully which may include an outdoor nativity on the Church grounds.
 
As you can see there is much to do and given the circumstances we shall need to be inventive and flexible in our keeping of all the celebrations that form an essential part of our faith.
 
Whether you are worshipping at home, online or with us in Church you are remembered daily in our prayers. We are all experiencing testing times and it will be affecting us all in different ways, but in the words of the psalm today (17) The Lord is our strength, our rock, our fortress and our saviour. The Lord is worthy of all our praise!  May God keep you faithful and surround you and those you love with his protection and peace.

Prayer for the week (based on today’s Gospel Matt 22:34-40):
Love the Lord, your God
with all your heart
with all your soul
and with all your mind.
 
And love your neighbour
as yourself.
 
Lord, let this be.
Show us how.
 
Let your love be
the lens that lets us see,
the search that takes us where we go,
the power that enlivens our lives,
the light that points to the path,
and the very grace
that saves us.
 
O God,
kindly fill us with your love.
Amen
 
With our love & prayers

Fr Ian,  Fr Andy,  Fr Engin

Ps Don’t forget to put your clocks back an hour on Saturday night.

Thursday 15 October 2020

Dear Brothers & Sisters

During the week we celebrated the feast day of St Teresa of Avila – born in 1515. Her life was one of hardship and discovery. Her mother died when Teresa was just 12 and her father was very strict. When she was 16, her father decided she was out of control and sent her to a convent. At first she hated it but eventually she began to enjoy it — partly because of her growing love for God and the rhythm of prayer and partly because the convent was a lot less strict than her father.  Teresa’s love of God and devotion grew from those difficult beginnings and with the help of heavenly visions she discovered a great love of God which moved her to found several convents. In later life she faced opposition, temptations and crippling illness yet through it all she remained faithful.  Teresa wrote many spiritual writings and prayers several of which speak to us now in our own time, such as the following: –
 
“Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you,
All things are passing away:
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things.
Whoever has God lacks nothing;
God alone suffices.”  
 
As we continue through this uncertain period of the pandemic, we would do well to make Teresa’s prayer our own, placing our hope and trust in the living God and remaining faithful to our prayers and worship. Across the parish we now have an established pattern of worship and we hope you may now feel able to join us at any of our midweek services even if you feel the time is not yet right to return to Sunday worship. Numbers remain limited to 50 on a Sunday at either our 9am or 11am and we encourage you to phone and let us know if you intend to join us. We are pleased to remind you that our Churches are at this time unaffected by the Government’s three tier system and the Churches are as covid compliant as we can make them. We look forward to seeing you.  If you are unable to join us our Sunday Masses are recorded on YouTube and streamed live on Facebook, the links are below.  
 
We are hoping to hold our Annual Parochial Church Meeting (APCM) next week on Sunday 25th October.  This is the meeting where we give account of ourselves as a parish and elect our Wardens, members of the Church Council and welcome new members onto the electoral roll. There are forms at the entrance to Church for you to complete if required. The meeting will have to be in the form of a Zoom conference and an invitation will be sent to you separately if you wish to be in attendance.  It is a good day for us to remember that we are called by God to love and serve the Church and the world in his holy name.
 
We began this parish email with a prayer from St Teresa of Avila and so we conclude this week with another of her beautiful prayers, reminding us that we are called to represent Christ in the world and  in our daily lives: –
 
“Christ has no body now but yours. 
No hands, no feet on earth but yours. 
Yours are the eyes through which he looks compassion on this world. 
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good. 
Yours are the hands through which he blesses all the world. 
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are his body. 
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.”
 Teresa of Avila  
 
With our love, prayers and in your service
 
Fr Ian,  Fr Andy,  Fr Engin

Thursday 8 October 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Prayer for this week:

Almighty God,
you have made us for yourself, 
and our hearts are restless till they find their rest in you:

pour your love into our hearts and draw us to yourself,
and so bring us at last to your heavenly city
where we shall see you face to face;

through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.

The prayer is taken from words of St Augustine of Hippo, one of the great Church Fathers of the 4th century, in his work Confessions.

‘Our hearts are restless till they find their rest in you’

Perhaps you have experienced this feeling of restlessness in recent months from not being able to get on with life as we normally would given all the restrictions and not being able to plan ahead in quite the same way. A huge amount of tiredness has been the result.

What St Augustine’s prayer pinpoints for us is that – the current circumstances to one side – this restlessness is a feature of our human condition. We can get stuck in the same patterns of behaviour, we feel as if a task just cannot be completed without another problem presenting itself, our hungers aren’t satisfied, feelings are confused, decision making difficult, desires run ahead of reasoning.

St Augustine teaches us that this restlessness of our hearts can, in the end, only find its fulfilment in God, and in God’s desire that we be drawn to him through our prayer and worship. Once we’ve acknowledged this about ourselves, we are able to see that it is only in relation to our generous and loving God, made known to us in Jesus Christ, that we find ourselves truly at home. When we love things in and of themselves our hearts can’t find rest, but when we love things for the sake of God who gave them to us, we are led further towards him.

So we look forward to worshipping with those of you able to join us this coming Sunday, in person or online, when we shall hear of the great wedding banquet God has prepared for those who love him.

Please do remember to wear your face coverings and adhere to all the guidance we have in place when you arrive. It would also be very helpful if you could ring Fr Andy to let us know if you are coming so that we can ensure appropriate arrangements are in place. 

With the assurance of our continued prayers for you all,

Fr Andy, Fr Ian and Fr Engin

Thursday 1 October 2020

Dear Brothers & Sisters,
 
This parish letter comes with love and prayers from your clergy in the hope that you are keeping safe and well in these increased times of uncertainty. Now more than ever we need to listen to St Paul who, in our reading this Sunday, says to the early Christian community in Philippi the following: – 
There is no need to worry; but if there is anything you need, pray for it, asking God for it with prayer and thanksgiving, and that peace of God, which is so much greater than we can understand, will guard your hearts and thoughts, in Christ Jesus. 
These words gave the early Church in Philippi real encouragement in a time of hardship and danger and the strange thing is that Paul wrote this from a prison cell, so he knew all about danger, fear and uncertainty- but he also knew that remaining faithful to God whatever we are facing will bring both protection and inner peace.  This is a reading that certainly speaks into our situation today, and now more than ever I pray that we too will place all our cares on the Lord in trust and hope with thanksgiving, praying for the grace to remain faithful so that we may know God’s peace in our lives.
 
In other news…
There is little change at the moment regarding government guidelines for Churches apart from we are asked not to have any gatherings inside once worship has concluded. Your clergy will happily meet with you in the Churchyard to talk and catch up and please continue to wear full face coverings when in Church.
 
Our hope to begin Sunday School has once again been put on hold as we will be affected by the rule of 6. Carol will provide Gospel based worksheets etc as she has been doing throughout lockdown but please remember to take them away with you.
 
We have been asked to pass on sincere thanks from the Foodbank for the gifts received from last week’s Harvest offerings, they were really appreciated. If you wish to continue supporting the Foodbank there is a wish list of items in the attached booklet.
 
If you pass the Church you will notice how tidy the surrounding garden is. Our thanks to James, Linda, Kathy, Kevina, Pam and John for their hard work on the grass, borders and hedges. 
 
Many of you have found the ‘Pray As You Go’ website really helpful. This is just one area of response to the parish survey for those who asked about additional prayers for use at home. Your clergy will be meeting to formulate further responses in the weeks ahead especially as we approach All Saints, All Souls, Remembrance Sunday and Advent and Christmas. These are significant events in the life of the Church and ones we hope to mark in some way.
 
Today is also the feast of St Francis of Assisi and so it is fitting that our prayer for the week is the very prayer he wrote: –
 
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace
Where there is hatred, let me sow love
Where there is injury, pardon
Where there is doubt, faith
Where there is despair, hope
Where there is darkness, light
And where there is sadness, joy
O Divine Master, grant that I may
Not so much seek to be consoled as to console
To be understood, as to understand
To be loved, as to love
For it is in giving that we receive
And it’s in pardoning that we are pardoned
And it’s in dying that we are born to Eternal Life
Amen
 
May the peace of God which passes all understanding be with you and those you love and serve,
 
With our continued prayers
 
Fr Ian,  Fr Andy,  Fr Engin

Thursday 24 September 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Today we celebrate St Michael’s Day and although we cannot mark the occasion how we had hoped and planned, nevertheless it is a day of great rejoicing and hope for us.  We also keep this day as our Harvest festival too and, if you are able, we encourage you to bring along an item or two in thanksgiving for God’s blessings to us.  We pray that the gifts we bring may be a source of blessing to those who receive them.  All goods received we go directly to the Food Bank that operates from St Michael’s Hall. We would usually sing with full voice that ‘all good gifts around us are sent from heaven above, then thank the Lord O thank the Lord for all His love.’ The gifts that we bring and offer on Sunday are a token of our thanks to God for His abounding generosity and an expression of our desire to share God’s love with those whose needs are so much greater than ours. 
 
Thank you to those who have been able to return our parish survey the findings of which are proving to be encouraging. Your Clergy will be meeting during the week to look through your feedback and seeking ways to implement and incorporate some of the findings into our pattern of life and worship both in Church and in our homes.  It is clear already that one of the common themes is assistance with prayer at home amidst these somewhat confused and busy times. There is a useful resource called ‘Pray as you go’ which you can find here https://pray-as-you-go.org/   Prayer is offered everyday lasting just over 10 minutes. It combines music, scripture and reflections with the aim of becoming more aware of God’s presence in our lives, reflecting on the holy word of God  and growing in our relationship with Him.  It works well with the Church calendar we use at St Michael’s and often uses the readings we use at the daily Mass. You may find it helpful especially if you are unable to get to Church in the current climate.
 
Regarding the recent Covid-19 guidelines the position for Church worship remains unchanged but we are being called upon to be particularly vigilant regarding the following: –
Face Coverings – these are an absolute requirement the moment we enter into Church. Our nose and mouth must be covered at all times only to be removed briefly to receive Communion. 
Social distancing – This is essential, we must keep a safe distance from those not of our household. It is also important that we do not gather at the doors and any conversations following Mass should take place outside in the Church grounds.
Hand washing/sanitizing – Again this is a must the minute you enter and exit the Church. 
For Churches to remain open these guidelines have to be adhered to and Clergy are tasked to ensure the guidance is kept.  So please assist us with the above as we reinforce the guidelines, it isn’t nice but it is essential if we truly desire to serve one another.  Should the guidelines change dramatically either way we will let you know immediately. As always if you have any concerns or wish to talk with your clergy please call us.
 
Prayer for the week
 God be in my head, and in my understanding;
 God be in my eyes, and in my looking;
 God be in my mouth, and in my speaking;
 God be in my heart, and in my thinking;
 God be at my end, and at my departing.
 Amen
 
May the Holy Angels of God watch over and protect you, may Mary the holy mother of God, St Michael our patron and all the saints surround you with their prayers and may almighty God Bless you and those you love, this day and always.
 
Yours in Christ
 
Fr Ian,  Fr Andy,  Fr Engin

Wednesday 16 September 2020

Dear Brothers & Sisters,

Today in our worship we are reminded of the great generosity of God. Jesus uses the wonderful teaching method of a parable, (Sunday’s parable is the workers in the vineyard Matt 20:1-6) to explain to all that ‘God’s ways are above our ways.’ (see first reading Is 55: 6-9)).  As the parable unfolds we learn that God’s generosity rises far above our human standards, and thankfully that God does not operate on any kind of merit system. Which of us would be happy for God to treat us according to strict justice? The truth we discover is that we are all eleventh-hour workers and therefore all stand in need of God’s overwhelming generosity. Love, generosity, compassion – these are marks of God’s kingdom and should be visible in those who follow Jesus.
 
At St Michael’s we see those virtues in abundance and as your clergy we witness so many occasions when you respond to various needs with both compassion and generosity both of which are born of a love for God.  A recent example is the FoodBank that now operates from our hall. I know many of you have been contributing to the Foodbank for many years but to take the courageous decision to house the FoodBank speaks loud and clear about a community of love.  In just this first week we have welcomed almost 200 households, so clearly the need is great. We offer our thanks to the volunteers and organisers and to all of you for enabling this vital work to continue.
 
As mentioned before, we shall be unable to celebrate St Michael’s Day in the way we had hoped but rather than simply postponing it, we have decided to keep St Michael’s Day on Sunday 27th September at our 9am and 11am parish Masses.  We will also keep this day as our Harvest Sunday and again although we will not be able to mark the occasion with our usual festivities, if you are intending to join us and wish to bring produce of any kind, we will then donate it to the work of the FoodBank.  St Michael’s Day and Harvest Sunday 27th September 2020.
 
A reminder that we continue to worship at the following times: –
Sunday Parish Mass 9am  &  11am  St Michael’s Wood Green 
Sunday Mass  11am St Michael at Bowes Palmerston Road
Tuesday Mass 11am St Michael at Bowes
Wednesday Mass 12 noon St Michael’s Wood Green
Thursday Holy Hour & Benediction  7pm St Michael’s Wood Green
Saturday Mass 12noon St Michael’s Wood Green
 
Please, if you are intending to join us on Sunday remember to phone one of the clergy over the weekend to ensure your seat.  Last week we hit full capacity at the 11am but there is still room at the 9am. For those unable to return to Church at this time,  Sunday worship will be recorded on YouTube  and FaceBook live on the links below. 
 
Thank you to those who have so far responded to our simple parish survey, please if you haven’t yet been able to do so yet, we would appreciate your feedback.
 
Prayer for the week based on Sunday’s Gospel
 
Father, you call us to work in your vineyard—
to reach out to others in your name
and bring your  healing word, your gentle touch, your embracing love to them.
Help us to be good workers—
ones that seek the lost in the market places and town centres;
ones who are unafraid to see in a stranger the image of Christ. 
Empower us as individuals and as a church to be the kind of ambassadors
who know and do your will, 
so that in meeting us people meet you.
We ask this in Jesus name. Amen
 
May God’s generous compassion fill you with love and grant you and those you love His peace.
 
With love & prayers
 
Fr Ian,  Fr Andy,  Fr Engin

Thursday 10 September 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

We hope and pray all remains well with you and those you love and care for. 
Your Clergy met this week for a planning day focusing on how we can further open up the Church in addition to the services already on offer. We have been encouraged by the attendances at all our services and we were keen to  build on that by offering Bible studies and study groups designed to enrich and encourage us in our discipleship in an ever changing world.
 
The news we received on Tuesday from the Government was a cause for concern for us as it was initially unclear where it left us in regard to our Church services. I know many of you shared that concern and we have received calls from you seeking clarification about Church attendance.  I am pleased to say that Churches and places of worship remain unchanged. The Archbishop of Canterbury sent out the following message: –
 
After contact with the Government we hear that there is no change to guidance on places of worship.

Worship is the work of God – not a social gathering – and gives us the strength to love and serve.  

 
We are grateful for our Archbishop’s clear message and we hope you will continue to worship with us both in Church or at home if you are not yet ready to venture out. As always you will find all links to follow our services below.
 
In the light of the new guidelines we have been thinking of offering some additional online resources for you to use at home. These will include Bible studies, thoughts for the day, Saint of the week and acts of devotion such as night prayer. The work and mission of the Church must go on, as Fr Engin reminded us at Mass on Tuesday – Church is not an option!
 
For this to happen we first need your help. Each week we send out 150 emails and we place all our information and notices on our Facebook page.  Our hope is that you see them but we just don’t know.  So with that in mind we are putting together a simple survey which we will send out early next week. All we ask is that you complete it and return it to us as quickly as you are able to. The survey will take just 5 minutes to complete and will enable us to see how many are being reached and how we can best serve you. We would really appreciate your help with this especially as it now seems the pandemic will go beyond Christmas and into the New Year. With a little help from you we can plan ahead and continue to provide a place where our worship of God can continue both in Church and at home.
 
We look forward to hearing from you and seeing many of you over the weekend. A reminder that in addition to Our Sunday and weekly pattern of worship, the Saturday midday Mass returns this weekend.
 
May God bless, preserve and protect you and those you love and grant you His peace.
 
With love & prayers
 
Fr Ian,  Fr Engin,  Fr Andy
 

PRAYER FOR THE WEEK based on Sunday’s Gospel:-

Lord, grant me the wisdom to resolve conflict and ill-feeling without holding onto hurt, to forgive and to resolve, and to always remember the great cost by which you have forgiven me. Amen

Welcoming Bounds Green Food Bank to our Hall

From Monday Bounds Green Food Bank will be operating from St Michael’s Hall. It’s open to anyone who needs to use the food bank. So you do not need a referral, voucher or any paperwork. Everyone’s assured of a friendly welcome. 

Opening Times:
Monday Evening 6pm – 8pm
Tuesday  2pm – 4pm
Thursday  2pm – 4pm

*VOLUNTEERING*
The members of the food bank would like to meet you and for you to experience how food is shared with guests. 
To volunteer on one of the shift or to help with fundraising, driving, IT, communications please open the joining form.
Once you’ve completed the form you’ll be given the link to the volunteers’ Whatsapp group and the volunteers’ rota. 

If you have any questions about the form or need help with joining please email: boundsgreenmutualaid@gmail.com

Thursday 3 September 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

September has always been a month of new beginnings. Perhaps that is something to do with a new School year or a new season. Whatever the reason it is a good month to take stock, take heart and to begin afresh.
 
It has been so good to see people returning to Church and the services we offer at this time are increasing in number.  That said there is still room at all our services for others to join us.  If you are still unsure about Sunday’s the Wednesday midday Mass may be a better option for you. From Saturday 12th September we shall resume the Midday Mass which again may be a good option for those not yet able to attend on Sunday mornings. 
 
From Sunday our sister Church of St Michael at Bowes will be moving their Sunday Eucharist back to 11am in the hope that this helps those who regularly attend. The Tuesday Eucharist remains at 11am and Zoom Bible study continues at 1,30pm do log on and join in with the fellowship and reflection on the Sunday Gospel. The link you need is available below.
 
A reminder that when we enter the Church face coverings must be worn, it is only by adhering to this government guideline that we can continue to worship and our churches can remain open. Thank you to everyone for your cooperation on this and thanks especially to those who continue to ensure our Church is as clean and covid compliant as is humanly possible. It also helps us immensely if you can call any of the clergy to let us know which Sunday service you wish to attend. Our numbers are as follows: –
 
Fr Ian 020 83513125 
Fr Andy 020 88898548
Fr Engin 07980 335400
 
Feel free to use these numbers to call us if you would like to talk about anything or have any prayer requests.
 
In other news…
Final preparations have now been made for the Bounds Green Foodbank to operate from our Church Hall and we welcome the community in from 14th September on Monday evenings, Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. Information about the Foodbank is available on flyers and feel free to pass one on to anyone you feel may benefit from a little extra help in these tough times.
 
Please remember to pray for our Schools of St Michael’s Wood Green and St Michaels at Bowes as the new term begins. The staff have been working hard over the Summer to provide a place of safety, security and enjoyment that will benefit the children in their care as their learning continues in very challenging circumstances.  
 
We have made the tough and sad decision to postpone our Patronal Festival that was being planned for Tuesday 29th September – St Michael’s Day. The Archdeacon was planning to preach for us and a parish party was being prepared to celebrate the day. In the light of the continuing guidance we shall move the occasion to a time when we can celebrate the festival in a fitting manner, so please watch this space. We will keep St Michael’s Day on Sunday 27th September 2020 but in a similar way to our Sunday celebrations at the moment.
 
PRAYER FOR THE WEEK 
God of compassion, whose Son Jesus Christ, the child of Mary, 
shared the life of a home in Nazareth, and on the cross drew the whole human family to himself: 
strengthen us in our daily living that in joy and in sorrow we may know the power of your presence to bind together and to heal;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.  
 
We look forward to seeing you over the coming week and be assured of our daily prayers, as your clergy we feel called by God to serve you and the community that surrounds us, please keep us in your prayers as we do you, that together we may build the Kingdom of God in our homes and in our town.
 
With love & prayers
 
Fr Ian,  Fr Engin,  Fr Andy

Thursday 27 August 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
 
I begin this week with an apology. Over the last few weeks we have struggled to get our 11am service onto our YouTube channel. I am aware that many of you view the service in this format and I apologise that you have been unable to do so. My hope is that this week we will be able to resume our online services as we have previously done which will enable those who worship at home to join us in spirit, reminding us of our unity as the people of God wherever we may be.  We will continue to livestream the 11am service via facebook and the links below will direct you there.  Thank you to those who pointed out the technical problems we have experienced, it really helps us as we are determined to ensure that those who still feel unable to attend church can join us as they worship from their homes.
 
In other news…  
As part of our commitment to serving the community your Church Council have made the decision to support the vital work being done by the Bounds Green Foodbank. The premises being used by the Foodbank will no longer be available from 10th September which would have been devastating for the 70 families who, in these difficult times, rely on the support given. To that end, the PCC have agreed to the Foodbank using our hall on Tuesdays and Thursdays and we are pleased to be working in partnership with the Bounds Green Community which directly assists those in our parish. Please remember this in your prayers and all those struggling at this present time to make ends meet.
 
Followers Sunday School – Carol has been looking into all the guidelines surrounding the opening up of Followers especially as a number of children have been attending the 11am service.  At this moment in time the guidelines will allow for restricted numbers of children between 5 – 11 years of age to attend provided social distancing remains in place. This would mean that we could only cater for 12 children and we have over 30 on our books. That said, we are hoping to open Followers in this limited form from Sunday 13th September but we will update you nearer the time.  Children who attend Church are still provided with Gospel based activities which they take home with them. This week children will be returning to School, we know this is a cause of anxiety for some and we keep you all in our prayers. 
 
Thank you to all those who send encouraging comments and emails as we try to adapt to an ever changing situation in both our church and the community. As always we will keep you fully informed of all that is happening and should you wish to call for a chat or just ask for prayer requests please use the numbers contained in the attached booklet below.  A reminder that our pattern of worship is as followers: –
 
Sundays at St Michael’s Wood Green 9am & 11am Parish Mass (45 spaces available at each please call and book if possible)
Sundays at St Michaels at Bowes Parish Mass 10 am in August, 11am from September 6th (25 spaces available) 
Tuesday at St Michael’s Eucharist 11am  –  Zoom Bible Study 1.30pm (link below)
Wednesday at St Michael’s Wood Green 12noon Mass
Thursdays at St Michael’s Wood Green 7pm Holy Hour & Benediction
 
A prayer to offer every day this week based on Sunday’s Gospel: –
 
Prayer (based on Matthew 16: 21-28)
 
Loving God,
You call us to turn away from our own selfish interests,
to take up our cross,
and to follow after You—
to find our lives by giving them up to Your greater purpose.
 
So we come before You this day with open hearts and open hands,
eager to hear Your Word, and eager to know Your will.Through the power of
Your Holy Spirit,
move within us and among us as we worship.
Open our eyes to Your presence;
open our ears to Your call,
open our hearts to one another.
And then send us into the world,
to live and work as Your faithful disciples.
In the name of Jesus Christ, our Redeemer and Lord,
Amen.
 
 
May God’s blessing be with you and those you love and please be assured of our daily prayers.
Yours, in God’s name
 
Fr Ian  Fr Engin  Fr Andy

Thursday 20 August 2020

Dear Brothers & Sisters,

I am pleased to announce that we have been able to increase the number of seats in Church to 45 at each service.  This is a sure sign that we are doing all we can to make the Church environment as safe as we possibly can for all who attend.  Yes we have to wear face coverings, yes we have to fill in track and trace information, yes we have to wash and sanitize our hands, yes we have to socially distance, but equally we can gather in our churches, we can pray, we can worship and we can receive the life-giving gift of Communion. For many of us this is a cause of great rejoicing, but of course we understand and recognise that for others it is still too soon to venture or mix with people other than those of our own household, rest assured you remain in our thoughts and prayers and we look forward to the day when we can join together as one, but until then we pray on.
 
I know there are those now pondering on whether the time is right to at least attend worship. If that rings true with you then be encouraged and speak to the clergy about your hopes and fears, let us in the name of the Lord both support and encourage you. As yet we are still unable to visit people in their homes, but we can talk on the phone and our numbers are available in the attached booklet for Sunday. Regarding our pattern of worship the Sunday 9am is quieter than the 11am so that may be a good place to start, also our Wednesday 12noon Mass is a shorter celebration than Sunday so again maybe a good place to begin if you are at all unsure.  Remember there are no right or wrongs regarding attendance or not, we will offer you all our love and support whatever you decide.
 
It seems all our decisions at the moment are tough ones and the decisions we make, especially at the moment, have additional circumstances to bear in mind. We see a point of decision making in the Gospel this Sunday. The Apostles are put on the spot by Jesus when he asks them ‘who do you say I am?’ It is an awkward moment and the silence of decision making is painful. It is Peter of course who blurts out that great statement of faith – ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’  It was on that honesty, openness and act of faith made by Peter that our Church was founded. It is possible that Peter did not fully understand what he was saying and what his act of faith might cost him in the future, but the faith was there and that was enough for Jesus.  Perhaps we could ponder that same question this week, who do we say Jesus is, for us? And in answering that question after a period of thought, where will it lead? Maybe it will lead us to consider ways in which we can continue to build up God’s kingdom now, in our Churches, our homes and our community.
 
In other news…
You may have noticed we are having a few issues with uploading services onto our YouTube channel, we will however continue live streaming the 11am service on FaceBook. To join us there you do not need an account just click the link on the bottom of this email and it should take you straight there.
 
This week our guest preacher, thanks to the wonders of technology, is the Bishop of Edmonton, Bishop Rob and we look forward to hearing what he has to say.
 
The attached booklet has all the readings and prayers for this week including making a spiritual communion for those unable to attend Church.
 
It has been good to see and hear a number of children returning to Church.  We are looking into the guidelines surrounding the opening of Followers Sunday School and all being well will do so on Sunday 6th September.
 
We have been praying all this week for those receiving their exam results especially those of our community here at St Michael’s. This year it has been particularly traumatic for students but with God’s grace and our prayerful support a way forward may become clear for them.
 
Fr Engin would like to express his gratitude to all those who have sent him and the family messages of condolence following the death of his father. Thank you all.
 
May God’s blessing be upon you and those you love as together we strive to live out our faith, trusting always in God’s goodness, mercy and love.
 
Fr Ian,  Fr Engin,  Fr Andy

Thursday 13 August 2020

Dear Brothers & Sisters

May God’s love and blessing be with you all.

we begin this email with a message from Fr Engin: –

I trust this finds you well. You may remember that my father has been diagnosed with cancer in early June. I am very sad to let you know that he passed away on Monday. Though my heart is broken and I am not sure what I feel, I am grateful that I was able to visit him in June and July. I am also grateful for your prayers and support as my church family here. My prayer is that God of all comfort would fill the family and friends with his comfort and peace. Every blessing, Fr Engin

As a community we offer our love and continued prayers to Fr Engin and his family, that they may know the love of God with whom there is mercy, and fullness of redemption.

It was a joy last Sunday to welcome back Fr Winfield and seeing him once again behind the altar after such a long period of absence gave us all a real sense of joy and encouragement.  Our sermon this Sunday will, if the technology works, be given by Archdeacon John Hawkins. You may have noticed that we are experiencing a few issues with the YouTube channel at the moment, but our worship will be streamed live via Facebook the link for which you will find at the end of this email. The booklet containing all the service, the readings and notices is also attached. 

We have reached a time in these days of pandemic when we have to really draw on our faith and God’s faithfulness. Many of us who now attend Church on a Sunday, can testify that the way we worship is, for the time being, very different. It is not what we are used to and there is much about our usual way of worshipping that we miss.  For those worshipping at home there can be a danger that other ‘things’ get in the way and interrupt our regular pattern of worship leaving us feeling spiritually poorer. So whether at Church or at home remaining faithful can be a real struggle.

Let us then be encouraged by Sunday’s Gospel (Matthew 15:21-28). It is an encounter of total faith that even moves the heart of Jesus. The woman has determined persistence – and could not be discouraged. It is suggested that some people pray, not really expecting anything to happen. The mother knew that Jesus was her and her sick daughter’s only hope. Her prayer was a passionate outpouring of her soul – she had no choice. It was in the light of her faith despite Jesus’ initial reluctance, that her prayer was answered.

Let us then like the mother in the Gospel, renew our faith and may our prayers reflect our hope in the Lord. It was St Augustine in the 4th Century who said

“Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe.”

“Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything  depended on you.”

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you and those you love today and always.

Fr Ian,  Fr Andy,  Fr Engin

A Reminder: –

Don’t forget to book a place if you intend to join us at any of the Sunday services by calling the clergy over the weekend.  Please also remember your face covering. Thank you

Thursday 6 August 2020

Dear Brothers & Sisters,

The Lord be with you.
In the Gospel this Sunday, for our encouragement we hear one of the many episodes featuring St Peter and his all too human journey of faith.  In typical style he wants to be all in, desperate to demonstrate that his faith is true.  Yet time and time again Peter falls short as his faith in the Divine comes into conflict with his humanity.  Every time Peter tries to show his faith, he fails – the Gospel recalls how he denies the Lord, how he runs away when needed most and in this Sunday’s Gospel how he sinks in the lake as he takes his eyes of Jesus who calls him forward.  Yet at the point of each failure Jesus is there to raise him up which in turn brings him closer to Lord. 
 
It seems that the Gospel is saying to us that no matter how difficult life might be, and for so many life is as difficult as it has ever been, if we look to the Lord and call on Him, Jesus will reach out to us and steady us with His presence, but we need to keep our eyes fixed on him. Even when like Peter we fail and our faith is tested. Strangely, it was the failures of Peter that drew him ever closer to the Lord and he came to know in the depth of his heart that, true to his word, the Lord will be with us always.
 
In other news…
Again it is good to see the Church opening more and seeing many of you at the Eucharists on Sunday and Wednesday.  Slowly and cautiously we are restoring worship to a more familiar pattern and I am pleased to announce that our sister Church at St Michael at Bowes has also opened for public worship.  The pattern of worship across the parish is now as follows: –
 
Sunday Mass 9am – St Michael’s Wood Green
Sunday Eucharist 10am – St Michael’s at Bowes
Sunday Mass 11am – St Michael’s Wood Green
 
Tuesday Eucharist 11am – St Michael’s at Bowes
Tuesday Zoom Bible Study 1.30pm
 
Wednesday Mass 12noon – St Michael’s Wood Green
 
Thursday Holy Hour 7pm – St Michael’s Wood Green
 
A reminder that face coverings are now mandatory in Church, so please remember yours if you are attending any worship and if you can phone the clergy to let them know you intend to be at any of the services that would be really helpful. 
 
If you have not yet felt confident to return to Church but would like to talk about it with the Clergy please feel free to call us. At this moment in time due to Government guidelines we are still unable to visit you at home, but we can talk, so please feel free to call. You will find our numbers on the attached booklet below, which also contains ways you can make your offering to the Church, which we receive with thanks.
 
Prayer for the week: – (based on Matthew 14:22-33)
 
Gracious God,
You call us to let go of the things we cling to
and step out in faith,
trusting in Your love and provision.
 
Give us courage to step out boldly,
and sufficient faith to follow without fear.
 
Take our lives and our gifts.
Use them to accomplish more than we could possibly imagine,
so that, through us, Your kingdom might come
and Your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.  Amen.
 
May the Lord bless, protect and guide you and those you love
 
Fr Ian,  Fr Andy,  Fr Engin

Thursday 30 July 2020

Dear Brothers & Sisters,

Once again it is a joy to have seen a slight increase in those returning to Church for our Sunday Masses at 9am and 11am and also to see a few more of you at Wednesday Mass and Thursday Holy Hour. This is a sure sign of confidence gently growing and a recognition that we are doing all we can to ensure the Church is as covid compliant as it can be. 
 
We are pleased to welcome home Fr Engin and from this Sunday there will be a Eucharist at Bowes beginning at 10am.  This means there will be services available for the whole parish every Sunday at 9am, 10am or 11am.  If it is your intention to join us on Sunday please remember to call one of the clergy anytime after 9am on Friday. We of course recognise that the virus still presents a real risk to people especially to those with underlying health issues which is why we encourage anyone in that situation to stay home, stay safe and join us online for our 11am service. Please know you are not forgotten and we pray for you daily.
 
We owe a debt of thanks to so many at our Churches, particularly to Kathy and Kevina for their work in thoroughly cleaning the church on Saturday in readiness for Sunday and similarly to Norma and Yvonne at Bowes. Our wardens and deputy wardens are all engaged in supporting our Sunday worship and we are grateful to Linda, Norma, David and Adrian.  Ruben is helping us with our online presence which is a lifeline to so many of our congregation, our thanks to him for that ministry. Although we cannot sing as yet in Church, Festus provides beautiful background music at certain times which enriches the worship we offer our thanks to him. Carol continues to put together the attached booklet for you to follow as well as sending updates to the children of Followers.  Wendy, Margaret and Derrick have been working hard in maintaining our halls which will soon welcome back the community we serve. 
 
Our finance team has met several times and are keeping a close eye on the ongoing costs of the church.  Envelopes are now available in Church on the table near the entrance, please take yours if you are able. Also please see below for details offering you a way of making your contribution to the Church.
 
On Sunday the New Testament reading from St Paul to the Roman’s (Chapter 8: 35-39) is one of his sermons that really speaks to us in this time of uncertainty and fear. I commend that reading to you, for you to think and pray over as we, either at home or in Church, continue our journey of faith with the Lord from whom we can never be separated .

May the Lord bless, protect, guide and keep you and those you love

Fr Ian,  Fr Engin,  Fr Andy

Thursday 23 July 2020

Dear Brothers & Sisters,

It has been so good to see some of you back at Church as public worship resumes in the parish. Our Sunday services at 9am and 11am were profound occasions last week after such a long time without Communion and I know those who attended were deeply moved. We received some beautiful feedback which was both kind and helpful such as the following: –
 
“Just to say – very well organised this morning at 9am. Congratulations to all for the thoughtful organisation. I much appreciated the quiet dignity, almost monastic in character (possibly to do with the Taize chant). Thank you to all involved.”
 
“I enjoyed the service in its new format and it was very nice being in the company of the church community once again.”
 
“Such a joy to receive Holy Communion once again in the presence of the church family in our beautiful church I have missed it more than I realised”
 
The numbers who attended were less than the 35 spaces that were available so if you are thinking of coming along there should be room. To guarantee a place you are reminded to call either Fr Ian (020 83513125) or Fr Andy (020 88898548) on Friday between 9am and 12noon. All other information about attending the Church is attached to this email.
 
We are pleased to welcome Fr Engin home from Turkey and there will be a 11am Eucharist at Bowes Church this coming Sunday.  From Sunday 2nd August the time of worship at Bowes will change to the slightly earlier time of 10am.  This means there will be a Eucharist in the parish from 2nd August at 9am, 10am and 11am although numbers will still be limited to 35 for each service it does mean that across the parish we can welcome back just over 100 people should you wish to attend. In addition to Sunday we offer a 12noon Mass every Wednesday and Bowes will soon resume the Tuesday 11am Mass.
 
The only update on the official guidelines is that face coverings should be worn whilst in Church, as you would on transport or in the shop, which is something we have recommended already.  As mentioned before many people are still either shielding or being understably cautious about venturing out and gathering in groups. We want you to know that is completely fine and we hope that you are able to take some comfort and support from the services we offer online. The links in blue below will open up those services for you and if you are watching online please let us know how you find it. We are hoping to improve sound quality from this week which I know has been a slight issue. We are grateful to Ruben and David for their assistance in offering our online ministry.
 
As always your clergy are available should you wish to talk anything through and although as yet we cannot visit in person at this time you are always welcome to call and chat or simply let us know your prayer requests.
 
We look forward to seeing you over the coming days and weeks, please pray for us as we will for you and always remember whether at home worshipping or in church, ‘though we are many we are one body’.
 
May the Lord bless, protect and guide you and those you love.
 
Fr Ian,   Fr Andy,   Fr Engin

Saturday 18 July 2020

Dear Brothers & Sisters,

This Sunday our Church opens for public worship for the first time in over 4 months. It is a day for great rejoicing as the praise of God will resound in Churches once more throughout the world.  However every Church has had to apply significant regulations meaning numbers will have to be hugely reduced and we will have to start from small beginnings. 

The Gospel tomorrow could not be more perfect for our situation. The central theme is the kingdom of God. Through the three parables we hear in the Gospel, Jesus tells us something very significant about this kingdom. It is not something that God forces upon us, rather it is like a tender plant that gently grows from within. Like the mustard seed, its beginnings are small and insignificant yet in time it becomes something substantial. Similarly the small grains of yeast make the dough ferment, producing enough bubbles to make the bread light and airy.  The yeast spores and the mustard seed have the capacity to change things that are out of all proportion to their size. In the same way, the reign of God will come from tiny beginnings but through the power of the Holy Spirit will change the world.    

Please find below a reminder of the guidelines we have to follow if our Churches are to open safely. We owe a debt of thanks to our Church Council, sides people and others for preparing the Church for worship and if you are willing to help please speak to one of the clergy.

Places on Sunday at each Mass are limited to 35 at each service to comply with social distancing requirements. There will be a Mass on Sundays at 9am and 11am with the Church cleaned in between.

If you would like to come to either of these services, please phone Fr Ian or Fr Andy on the Friday before the Sunday between 9am and midday (not before) to ‘book’ a place. You are of course welcome to turn up on the day but we can’t guarantee that there will be a space available. If there are still spaces available, these will be allocated on a first come first served basis. If there is significant demand which exceeds capacity we will consider the option of holding a mass at 6pm.

All of these measures will, of course, be kept under review as the weeks go on and as we adjust to these new circumstances. We are working hard to ensure that we follow all the Government guidelines for public worship. To this end, please read the instructions below.

  • Many of our congregation are currently shielding. For those shielding, whilst we’d like to remind you of the Government’s advice, it is entirely your decision whether you come.
  • Numbers attending public worship, at both 9am and 11am, are limited to 35 at each service because of social distancing requirements. For those who would prefer to stay at home we will continue to stream the Sunday Mass online.
  • On entering Church, and on exiting, please wash your hands with the sanitiser provided. We have an infrared temperature sensor to take your temperature on arrival.
  • There will be no Servers to assist with the Mass, to minimise the number of people in the Sanctuary, but there will be assistance provided to help with the filming.
  • If you have any of the symptoms of COVID-19, we ask you please not to come to Church but do let the clergy know by phone so we can keep in touch with you and be praying for you.
  • Please follow social distancing measures, keeping a distance of 2 meters from others when inside Church. Those from the same household can sit closer together.
  • Please try to keep touching of objects/furniture/door handles to a minimum.
  • On entering Church, you will also be asked to provide your name and telephone number to assist with ‘track and trace’ if required.
  • The bell tower exit will be available to use on leaving the Church after the service to prevent any bottleneck through the main doors.
  • There will be no service booklet but the words will be provided on the screen.
  • The doors of the Church will remain open to improve ventilation.
  • The Church will be cleaned in between our morning services.
  • The wearing of face coverings is recommended and will be worn by the clergy when it comes to distributing Communion.
  • Current guidelines mean we are unable to sing in Church because of the increased risk of infection. We will not be sharing the Peace with one another physically.
  • Communion will be offered in one kind, distributed in silence and brought to you by a member of the clergy so please remain in your place at this point.
  • We are not able to offer refreshments after the service. The guidance dictates that people should leave the building promptly after the service.
  • You are welcome to light candles but please only touch the one you wish to light and light it from the existing one in the stand.
  • Please leave any offerings for the collection in the plate on entry or on leaving.
  • Mass will be said, not sung, with a period of silent prayer for the intercessions and a shorter sermon than normal.
  • The toilets will be available but we would ask that only one person go into the toilet area at any one time. Disinfectant spray, gloves and paper towels will be available for you to spray the toilet, sink and door handles after use. Please use hand sanitiser on entry and exit.
  • Following guidance, the children’s area will be closed. There will be no Followers until further notice.
  • If you have any questions or concerns do speak to a member of the clergy.
 
As it stands at the moment 10 people have booked a place at the 9am Sunday Mass and 18 people have booked places for the 11am.  The services will still be recorded and live streamed for those unable to attend at this time, and I rejoice that whether at home or in Church we shall be praying together.
 
All the links you need are included below, and the Sunday booklet is attached. Please join us if you can and let’s keep praying for one another as the weeks unfold.
 
With our love, prayers and gratitude
 
Fr Ian,  Fr Andy  &  Fr Engin

Saturday 11 July 2020

Dear Brothers & Sisters,

I have longed for this day when I inform you that the Church will be open for public worship from next Sunday 19th July.  Of course, for a while, things will have to be very different from anything we have been used to and the rest of this email contains much of the information you will need if you anticipate joining us next week. 

Places on Sunday at each Mass are limited to 35 at each service to comply with social distancing requirements. There will be a Mass on Sundays at 9am and 11am with the Church cleaned in between.

If you would like to come to either of these services, please phone Fr Ian or Fr Andy on Friday 17th July between 9am and midday (not before) to ‘book’ a place. You will need to book each Sunday on the Friday before until further notice. You are of course welcome to turn up on the day but we’re afraid we can’t guarantee that there will be a space available. Our numbers are as follows:

Fr Ian Booth – 020 83513125          

Fr Andy Coates – 020 88898548               

If there are still spaces available on the day, these will be allocated on a first come first served basis. If there is significant demand which exceeds seating capacity we will consider the option of holding a mass in the evening at 6pm.

All of these measures will, of course, be kept under review as the weeks go on and as we adjust to these new circumstances.

We are working hard to ensure that we follow all the Government guidelines for public worship. To this end, please read the instructions below before coming into Church.

  • Many of our congregation are currently shielding. For those shielding, whilst we’d like to remind you of the Government’s advice, it is entirely your decision whether you come or not.
  • Numbers attending public worship, at both 9am and 11am, are limited to 35 at each service because of social distancing requirements. Unless we are full, nobody will be turned away at the door. For those who would prefer to stay at home we will continue to stream the Mass online.
  • On entering Church, and on exiting, please wash your hands with the sanitiser provided. We have an infrared temperature sensor to take your temperature on arrival.
  • There will be no Servers to assist with the Mass, to minimise the number of people in the Sanctuary, but there will be assistance provided to help with the filming for those who are watching from home.
  • If you have any of the symptoms of COVID-19, we ask you please not to come to Church but do let the clergy know by phone so we can keep in touch with you and be praying for you.
  • Please follow social distancing measures, keeping a distance of 2 meters from others when inside Church. Those from the same household can sit  together.
  • Please try to keep touching of objects/furniture/door handles to a minimum.
  • On entering Church, you will also be asked to provide your name and telephone number to assist with ‘track and trace’ if required.
  • The bell tower exit will be available to use on leaving the Church after the service to prevent any bottleneck through the main doors and sanitiser is provided by the old font for your use.
  • There will be no service booklet but the words will be provided on the screen.
  • The doors of the Church will remain open to improve ventilation.
  • The Church will be cleaned in between our morning services.
  • The wearing of face coverings is optional.
  • Current guidelines mean we are unable to sing in Church because of the increased risk of infection. We will not be sharing the Peace with one another physically.
  • Communion will be offered in one kind, distributed in silence and brought to you by a member of the clergy so please remain in your place at this point.
  • We are not able to offer refreshments after the service. The guidance dictates that people should leave the building promptly after the service. The clergy will greet you outside keeping social distance.
  • You are welcome to light candles but please only touch the one you wish to light and light it from the existing one in the stand.
  • Please leave any offerings for the collection on the plate at the back of Church on entry or on leaving.
  • Mass will be said, not sung, with a period of silent prayer for the intercessions and a shorter sermon than normal.
  • The toilets will be available but we would ask that only one person go into the toilet area at any one time. Disinfectant spray, gloves and paper towels will be available for you to spray the toilet, sink and door handles after use. Please use hand sanitiser on entry and exit.
  • Following guidance, the children’s area will be closed. There will be no Followers Sunday School until further notice.
  • If you have any questions or concerns please speak to a member of the clergy.

 

We apologise that there are so many rules and regulations but we hope you appreciate that our priority is your safety and well-being. Your Church Council are meeting on Tuesday to discuss final procedures and preparations before we open publicly and if you have any concerns or thoughts please feel free to let us know. Please keep all this in your prayers. We were so hoping to have a huge celebration as we returned to Church and although that day will come, for now, we gently welcome you back with the clear understanding that not everyone will feel confident to return. Our hope is that we shall be able to celebrate St Michael’s Day on Tuesday 29th September which would be a fitting day for a real parish party but of course all subject to Church and Government guidelines.

The Gospel for this Sunday is that familiar parable of the sower spreading the seed of God’s word and waiting patiently for the seed to bear fruit. Waiting patiently is something we have all experienced over the last four months, but hopefully our waiting has been enriched by our prayers at home and nourished by our knowledge that the Lord is with us.  

Today’s sermon is given by Fr Engin from his home in Istanbul see the link below. St Michael’s Faithful life in lockdown is given by Ruben, see the link below.

We look forward to seeing you over the coming weeks and as always we are available should you ever want to talk or are in need of prayers.

May God bless, protect and keep you and those you love.

Fr Ian,  Fr Engin, Fr Andy

Saturday 4 July 2020

Dear Brothers & Sisters,

After what seems a lifetime, our Churches are now opening up for public prayer and this is a cause of great rejoicing. 
Over the last week St Michael’s has been open for private prayer and many have taken the opportunity to come and sit in the Lord’s presence in thankful praise. If you haven’t been able to come along yet the times for the next two weeks remain as follows: – 
 
Sunday 4pm – 6pm
Tuesday 10am – 12noon
Thursday 7pm – 8pm  
 
To enable us to properly prepare and clean the Church we will keep the above pattern for a further two weeks whilst monitoring all that is happening regarding the virus in this area.  The good news is that the virus is not showing any signs of spiking in any of the London boroughs and the guidance from both Church and Government reflect that fact in recent guidelines.
 
Taking all that into consideration the clergy are now pleased to inform you that we intend to publicly celebrate the Eucharist on Sunday 19th July. There will be two services one at 9am followed by another at 11am allowing for an hour in-between to clean all surfaces and chairs. The service will be simplified and very different from our usual celebration but we are invited to receive Communion in one kind if we so desire. We also have to have limited numbers to abide by the current guidelines. There will be clear instructions for doing so which we will send to you in the coming weeks and we shall call and contact everyone with this good news. On Wednesday 22nd July we shall also resume our Midday Mass.
 
We of course appreciate that not everyone will feel confident enough to venture out and those shielding or with underlying health issues will be encouraged not to attend and that is perfectly fine. Until we are all safely back together (which I appreciate may be some time still) we shall continue to record and stream the services online for those who pray from home.  Everything you will need to know about attending Church on Sunday 19th July we be contained in next weeks mailing.
 
In other news… Our video series continues today with Rachel Ogufere’s reflection on how she is coping with lockdown. Please tune in to our YouTube channel and be inspired, you will find the link below.
 
This week Fr Ian was commissioned as the first Area Dean of Haringey. The deaneries of East and West Haringey have now been combined and now better reflects the borough boundary, but this should not involve too much extra work as Fr Ian will have two sub-deans to assist with the responsibility. 
 
Our clergy all celebrated their Ordination anniversaries last week and pledged themselves afresh to love and serve those God has entrusted to their care. As ever please feel free to call any one of us should you want to talk about anything, we have been called by God to serve you and we are never too busy to talk with you. Please keep us and your PCC in your prayers as prepare for the weeks ahead.  Fr Engin remains in Turkey at this time caring for his father, he is very moved and grateful for the prayers that have been offered.
 
The finance team have asked me to include our account details again should you wish to pay your collection directly through the bank.  We are so grateful to those who have already done this or made donations in other ways. Thank you all
 

St Michael Wood Green Business Premium Account
Sort code 20-98-21 Account number 00790869

Using as reference: Gift and/or you name, if you can

Or for a one off donation
 
And finally… With so much going on right now including huge amounts of information and guidance plus our own concerns and anxieties, it is understandable that we could become overburdened with it all. When we find ourselves overwhelmed with problems and worries there is a danger that we turn in on ourselves and try and cope and survive by our own efforts. In today’s Gospel Jesus looks straight into our souls and invites us to unload those concerns on him – “come to me” he says to us, “you who labour and are overburdened and I will give you rest”.  If we allow Christ to share our deepest needs and fears he promises to bring comfort, peace and strength.  Let us be bold enough to accept the Lord’s invitation and place all our hopes in Him.
 
May God bless, protect and strengthen you and those you love.
 
With our love & prayers
 
Fr Ian, Fr Andy & Fr Engin

Saturday 27 June 2020

Dear Brothers & Sisters,

May the grace and peace of God be with you.
What a wonderful week we have had at St Michael’s.  For the first time in 15 weeks the Church doors were opened wide and people have been to offer their private prayers. It has been so moving to see the faithful who felt able enough to filter into their beloved Church to pause for a moment, light a candle and offer their prayers. Many have been filled with an overwhelming sense of gratitude to God echoing the opening this Sunday’s Mass ‘All nations, clap your hands. Shout with a voice of joy to God.’
 
Just to remind you the Church will be open for private prayer on the following days: –
 
Sunday 4pm – 6pm
Tuesday 10am – 12noon
Thursday 7pm – 8pm
 
On entrance you will find sanitizers and your temperature will be taken with a hands free device. There are 20 seats safely spaced apart and a one way system operating, we come in the main door and let ourselves out of the bell tower door where again sanitizers are available. Everything has been done to make the Church as safe as is humanly possible but it is important to remember that if we are shielding or showing any signs of illness then the best option is to continue our prayers at home but please let us know so as we can call you and pray for you. It is so important that as the slow process of releasing the lockdown unfolds we never overlook or forget those who at this time feel unable or simply not confident enough to venture out. Our care for you will continue as this is just one of the ways of, as the Lord puts it in today’s Gospel, ‘offering a cup of cold water’ to those who need it.
 
In other news…
Our little series of videos entitled ‘St Michael’s faithful’ is being received very well by those who have tuned in.  We have had a variety of our Church family talking about their experiences in lockdown and each one is different and very moving. This week one of our lead servers Samuel is talking about his experiences so do tune in to our YouTube channel to find out more. We are looking for people to make further offerings so if you would like to put together a simple 3 minute video and email it to us that would be great. To help you we have a small set of questions to respond to and we would love to hear from you.
 
Fr Engin remains in Turkey at this time and we pray for him and his family as they visit his father who is very unwell. A reminder that there will be no Bible studies for the next 3 weeks on a Tuesday but they will return after that short break.
 
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A new addition to the Church family – yes we are proud to introduce you to Finn. Thanks to a very kind donation from someone who wishes to remain anonymous, a guide dog puppy has been sponsored in the name of St Michael’s Followers and he is growing fast. We will keep you updated as Finn’s training begins and when he eventually settles with a new owner.
 
We look forward to seeing you over the coming weeks and once we have firm guidelines about the Church restoring public worship we will be in touch immediately with all the information you will need.  In the meantime we pray on together, asking God to strengthen the faith He has placed in our hearts, that we as Jesus commands may take up our cross and follow in His footsteps.
 
May God’s blessing of peace and protection remain with you and those you love
 
With our continued prayers
 
Fr Ian,  Fr Engin and Fr Andy

Saturday 20 June 2020

Dear Brothers & Sisters,

I bring you news of great joy!!!
Yes for the first time in 15 weeks our beloved Church can once again open its doors, although it will be limited and for private prayer only it marks a significant step in the right direction. As you would expect there will be guidelines to follow in keeping with Government policy and a one way system will be operating. The toilets will only be available for absolute emergency use and sanitizers will be available everywhere.  Social distancing demands that up to 20 people at a time may be in the building and you may be asked to wait for a few minutes before entering, but our Church will be open and for that we give thanks to God!!

Opening times are as follows from Tuesday 23rd June…
Sunday afternoons: 4pm – 6pm
Tuesday mornings: 10am – 12noon
Thursday nights: 7pm – 8pm
 
As yet there is no news regarding the resumption of public worship so it may be some time yet before we return to our usual patterns of worship but your clergy will continue to offer services online (please see the links below) in the hope that spiritual communion will sustain you until that time when we can all worship together. In the meantime we hope the times above will offer you an opportunity whatever your situation to attend St Michael’s and offer your prayers.
 
In other news…
You will have received an email during the week regarding making donations to Church. The finance team has been working very hard over recent weeks to balance the books which is now proving very difficult. Understandably the Church has suffered a huge financial hit and I know many of you have expressed concern that you have been unable to offer your collection, so I hope the email from the financial team has helped. In case you missed it you may find the following information helpful and if you are able to assist the Church with regular giving at this time we thank you.
 

You can make a donation or arrange a regular payment directly into our Bank account.
This is an efficient way to support the church.

Our Bank details are:
St Michael Wood Green Business Premium Account
Sort code 20-98-21
Account number 00790869

Using as reference: Gift and/or you name, if you can.

You can also make a donation via Pingit using a Debit or Credit Card. You do not need a Pingit
account or the App to do this. Pingit makes no charge to the church for these donations:

https://www.pingit.me/giving/the parish woodgreen

We understand that this week’s email contains a lot of practical information about the running and opening up of our beloved Church and it comes at a time when the restrictions of lockdown are gently being relaxed. We understand that in itself is a cause of joy for some and equally a cause of anxiety for others. We remember especially in our prayers those who are shielding and the senior members of our Church family who may feel that it is still too early to venture out. I pray that the Gospel reading for Sunday will be an encouragement to us all.  Jesus is preparing his disciples to proclaim his message of love, he understands how they are feeling, he knows the fears that lurk in their minds and so Jesus says ‘do not be afraid’ and tries to convince them of their worth in the eyes of God. We too are precious in the sight of God, in fact we are worth more than we could ever know. So let us look forward with confidence that all we do will have God’s mark upon it and that we like the disciples can proclaim the love of the Father to a broken and fearful world.
 
May God’s blessing of peace, grace and protection be with you and those you love
 
With our continued prayers
 
Fr Ian,  Fr Engin,  Fr Andy

Saturday 13 June 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
 
In today’s Eucharist we hear how Jesus sent out his disciples with authority to proclaim the good news. He continues to send disciples to make his word known. We all share this mission wherever we are and whatever our circumstance. Let us open our hearts afresh that we may hear his word and be willing to live it and share it.      
The sermon for this Sunday is offered by Fr Engin and you can find it on our YouTube channel.
 
Remembering Grenfell – This Sunday at 6pm we will mark the 3rd anniversary of the Grenfell Tower Fire and St Michael’s will be joining with Churches across London to ring the bell 72 times at 6pm, once for every victim, then at 6.03pm we invite you to keep a two minute silence. This will be followed by three more rings one for each year since the fire. That tragedy has touched members of our community and we pray with them at this time of remembrance.  
 
St Michael’s faithful – Our series of videos from parishioners continues with a reflection on lockdown by our Church Warden Linda – see the link below.
 
News just in…You will be aware by now that the lockdown we have endured for so many weeks is very slowly being relaxed as the pandemic begins to subside.  We, of course, know that there is still a long way to go before we shall be able to gather in ways we once did, but there is now real hope that our journey to unite together as members of the Body of Christ has begun and for that we joyfully give thanks and praise to God.
 
You will also have heard on the news that permission has been granted to open up our churches once again for private prayer. This too is good news but it carries with it certain guidelines and responsibilities that will ensure the safety of the community we love and serve. Over the coming week your clergy together with the church wardens will be working out how we can best open the church safely to enable you to enter to offer your prayers. Our aim is to begin opening on Tuesday mornings, Thursday afternoons and Sunday evenings for a set period of time, details of which will be given to you in next week’s parish email. 
 
At this moment in time the guidelines prevent us from offering any form of public worship and we must adhere to strict social distancing.  Certain areas of the church will be cordoned off to assist with safety and regular cleaning. Opening times will be advertised and supervision will be required to safeguard everyone who enters our church. Almost all seating has been removed and we shall only be able to have 20 people at a time in the building so we may have to ask people to wait before entering. We shall also use a different entrance into the Church which will lead to a one way system and a seperate exit.  Hand cleansing facilities will be provided for all who enter and leave and it is essential that we use them. We will also be required to give our contact details as part of the track and trace requirements. 
 
As you can see this involves a huge amount of work and it can all sound a bit frightening but it does mark the beginnings of us being able to return to our cherished church after such a long absence. We are also conscious of those who continue to shield and who will be unable to make use of this new opportunity. Your clergy will continue to put services online for the foreseeable future and the regular round of phone calls will continue as your well being matters to us. 
 
Please keep us, your wardens and our church council in your prayers, we are hopeful for the future and excited that our churches can be prayed in again, but we are also aware of the awesome responsibility that comes with that.  We look forward to seeing you and pray that together we may be that Good News as we continue the work and mission of Jesus our Lord and our God.
 
With our love and continued prayers
 
Fr Ian,  Fr Engin,  Fr Andy

Saturday 30th May 2020

Dear Brothers & Sisters,

Alleluia Christ is risen, He is risen indeed Alleluia!!!!
 
Today we rejoice in the gift of the Holy Spirit who came so powerfully upon the Apostles transforming them from a frightened group of individuals locked down in hiding, to the newly formed Church that was to continue the Lord’s mission in the world.  That same Holy Spirit is given to each of us at our Baptism, Confirmation, Ordination indeed through any of the Sacraments that we long to receive at this moment in our history.  
 
Pentecost Sunday at St Michael’s is always a joyful experience which never fails to capture the excitement and joy of receiving God’s free gift of the Holy Spirit. Seeing the children run around the Church as tongues of fire is something I will certainly miss this year. However let us not put our enthusiasm on hold, let us call upon the power of the Holy Spirit to transform us afresh in our current situation so that all we do at home, school or at work has God’s hand upon it.
 
In the attached booklet towards the end you will find the Commission.  Had we been together in our beloved Church we would have made this commitment together both loudly and boldly. I therefore invite you from your homes to set a time aside to make that commission on this day of Pentecost.  Although we may have been robbed of our Easter season, today’s feast which marks the end of Easter symbolised by the extinguishing of the Paschal Candle, marks a new beginning for us just as it did for those first Apostles – for now God’s work continues in and through His Church – and we have the privilege to be that Church in this community. 
 
May the Holy Spirit of God set your hearts on fire with His great love, and may God’s blessing of peace and protection be with you and those you love.
 
Fr Ian, Fr Engin, Fr Andy

Wednesday 20th May 2020

Dear Brothers and sisters

Alleluia Christ is risen!!!

Our Easter celebrations now move forward to the great feast of the Ascension of the Lord. It is a feast of such great importance that it is mentioned every time we celebrate the Eucharist. After the proclamation of faith we pray:-

And so, father calling to mind his death on the cross, his perfect sacrifice made once for  the sins of all, rejoicing at his mighty Resurrection and glorious ascension we celebrate the memorial of our redemption. 

The feast of the Ascension is therefore one of those major feast days which Christians of all denominations celebrate as it reveals the destiny to which we are all called. Our true home is in heaven; united by faith and love with our exalted Lord, we look forward to our final homecoming, to be with Christ in glory. The Eucharistic prayer for today’s feast puts it beautifully 

Christ has past beyond our sight, not to abandon us, but to be our hope… for where he has gone, we hope to follow.

Although we cannot celebrate today’s feast in our usual way, I hope the attached booklet will help you and your families mark this special day in the Christian calendar. On your behalf the Mass will be celebrated in Church and you can now follow this on our new YouTube channel. The Eucharist will be available for you to watch and pray at 7pm and to do so simply click on the following link: Our YouTube channel

We are so grateful to Fr Andy, Chanelle Clarke and David Ogufere for their assistance in launching our YouTube page which we hope will become a useful tool in the days and weeks ahead. So if you can please subscribe to the page then we shall know that it is reaching you. Our Face Book page will also continue to be a source of information and services can also be viewed from there.

It seems that we are still many weeks away from being able to gather back at Church and as always the health and safety of everyone especially our most vulnerable remains our top priority.  Having spoken with many of you over recent weeks, your clergy understand and share the pain and frustration you feel and like you we long to be together again. Until then let us stay faithful and stay in touch, doing all we can to keep safe and well. 

The feast of the Ascension is a celebration of great hope – let us hold on to that hope in Christ who today promises ‘to be with us always; yes, to the end of time’. Alleluia Alleluia!!!

With our love and daily prayers

Fr Ian, Fr Engin, Fr Andy

Sunday 10th May 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters

Alleluia Christ is risen, He is risen indeed Alleluia!!!

Today had we been at Church, 12 members of our Church family would have received the holy Sacrament of Confirmation. It would have been a joyful celebration as we witnessed the candidates receiving  Holy Communion for the very first time. The fact that we are still having to read and listen to services at home is a frustrating reminder of the disruption the pandemic has caused to so many people. Of course, the time will come when our candidates will receive their Confirmation and we will rejoice with them.  

Bishop Rob who would have been with us has very kindly offered our sermon today and you will find it by clicking here

We owe a debt of thanks to Bishop Rob, a good friend to us here at St Michael’s and a good shepherd too in this part of the diocese.

Fittingly Jesus speaks loudly to us to in the Gospel (readings also attached read by Fr Andy) when he says, ‘Do not let your hearts be troubled, trust in God still, and trust in me.’  In the coming days we will be bombarded with information all related to the gentle lifting of the lock-down. There will be a lot of confusion and many mixed messages all of which build fear and anxiety. But as Bishop Rob reminds us if we seek God’s face then there is no need to be troubled, now more than ever we need to lean on our faith and trust in God still and in our saviour Jesus Christ who is the way, the truth and the life.

Once the Clergy team have any information regarding the opening up of the Church and the relaxing of any guidelines we we inform you immediately but for the time being the Church remains closed for public worship. That said, we are hoping to stream some services online soon and again we will inform you how and when that will happen.

You remain in our daily prayers and our phone calls will continue, until then we send our love and good wishes.

Yours In Christ

Fr Ian, Fr Engin and Fr Andy.

Readings for 5th Sunday of Easter:

Sunday 26th April 2020

A reflection from Fr Andy:

Luke 24:13-35
Now on that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them, but their eyes were kept from recognizing him. And he said to them, “What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?” They stood still, looking sad. Then one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have taken place there in these days?” He asked them, “What things?” They replied, “The things about Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to be condemned to death and crucified him. But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things took place. Moreover, some women of our group astounded us. They were at the tomb early this morning, and when they did not find his body there, they came back and told us that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who said that he was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but they did not see him.” Then he said to them, “Oh, how foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared! Was it not necessary that the Messiah[e] should suffer these things and then enter into his glory?” Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures.

As they came near the village to which they were going, he walked ahead as if he were going on. But they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over.” So he went in to stay with them. When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight. They said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?” That same hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven and their companions gathered together. They were saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and he has appeared to Simon!” Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread.

Saturday 18th April 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Alleluia Christ is risen – He is risen indeed Alleluia!!!

Our journey through Easter continues and although we remain deprived of so many things Christ is risen and in the Lord is both our joy and our hope.

This week Fr Engin offers us a reflection on Sunday’s Gospel reading where Jesus joins the Apostles in their isolation and breaks into their lock-down situation and frees them from their anxiety and fear. It is a message that speaks so clearly to us today in our current situation. You will find Fr Engin’s reflection attached to this email.

It has been wonderful to speak to so many of you over recent weeks and your clergy will continue their calls for the duration of this pandemic. That said, we also hope and pray that you will feel able to call us should you need to either to pray for you or just to chat if you are feeling anxious and in need of spiritual encouragement. As we say week by week in the Sunday booklet (also attached and available on the website) we are called by God to serve you and are never too busy to talk with you.

Many of you have expressed concerns about your stewardship giving and to this end we have included the church bank account details but also encourage you to use the envelopes you have left or to set aside week by week whatever you have decided to give to the Lord in thanksgiving. The Church account details are as follows: – 

Sort Code – 209821
Account No – 00790869

Festus requests that if you are happy to donate to the Church by standing order or direct debit then donors should use their names as the reference. Of course we perfectly understand if you are experiencing financial pressures at this time then please feel under no obligation.

Finally, please make sure you have a good look at our parish website (sincere thanks to Chanelle for her work on this)  where you will find additional prayers and devotions to be used and links to other resources ( including children’s work) and also our Face Book page  where pictures, videos and articles about the church are available. 

We look forward and long for the day when we shall be re-united in our beautiful building and assure you that we are praying for you daily in our worship at home.

May God bless you and keep you and those you love.

Yours in the risen Christ

Fr Ian, Fr Engin and Fr Andy 

John 20:19-32 Homily by Fr Engin:

[19] On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” [20] After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.

[21] Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” [22] And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. [23] If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

[24] Now Thomas (also known as Didymus[a]), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. [25] So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”

But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

[26] A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” [27] Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

[28] Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

[29] Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

[30] Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. [31] But these are written that you may believe[b] that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

“On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!’  After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.

I have been reflecting on this scene early this week. Risen Lord comes to meet with his friends on the evening of the first Easter; he comes to offer peace by saying “peace be with you!” This is not a mere acknowledgment of greetings such as saying “hi” or “how are you doing?” It is much more than a simple greeting and I think it is something that we are desperately in need of having at this time. So, I would like to share my thoughts and reflections with you, hoping that perhaps they would be an encouragement and a blessing to you.

As you may recall, we left at Mary Magdalene’s great confession saying, “I have seen the Lord!” last week. The gospel reading of this Sunday follows the last week’s reading and there are a couple of episodes taking place this week. First, Christ comes on the evening of the same day, where he meets his disciples behind the locked doors where they were hiding from Jewish leaders. When Jesus comes he offers them peace and they were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus breathes on them the Holy Spirit to strengthen and empower them to follow him. Sadly, Thomas misses the party, for some reason he was not there. When he was told that they have seen the Lord, he says, “unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my hands into his side, I will not believe.” To his word, Christ comes to meet with them again on the following Sunday, and this time he specifically ministers to Thomas by responding to his request. Then Jesus offers a universal blessing to those who believe without seeing, “blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” This includes you and me. At the end of the chapter, John the Apostle gives us the reason why he wrote this gospel in the first place.

He says, “… these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”

It is important for us to understand that Jesus in each encounter offers peace to his friends. This is indeed something he promised even before he embraced the cross. He said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27). So, if the “peace” is more than greetings and warm wishes, how should we understand it in these troubling times? As I am finalising this reflection, I have just heard that one of our faithful members at Bowes passed away early this morning, and we have two members passed away over the Easter weekend as well. At the end of each day, we all watch the news and hear the number of deaths in our country and around the world. I personally struggle to remain in the peace Christ promised when I hear such news. It feels as though we all live under the shadow of death and fear. What does it mean to have peace then?

The Hebrew understanding of peace (shalom) is beyond happiness and joy. The gospel presents an interesting contrast as we look at it carefully. Jesus says, “peace be with you” as he shows his hands and side, his broken body. In other words, his broken body, his pain and sufferings are the marks of the peace he promised to us. The peace therefore is not the absence of pain or suffering. But it is a state of mind and heart that despite of pain and suffering there is an immense safety and security which encompasses all of our being.   In fact, the Hebrew word for peace, which is the word our Lord must have used at this occasion is “shalom”. Shalom is one of those worlds which have multi-layer meanings. Along with greetings, it means well-being, health, prosperity, security, friendship and salvation. It means wholeness and being in a state of completion. When Jesus promised his peace, he distinguishes this with the peace that we might get from the world. He says, “… my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives…” There is something substantially different than what we might find as “peace” in this world. It is not circumstantial, nor is it depending on what we have. Instead, it is relational; it comes out of a relationship with the triune God as we accept his invitation for fellowship. When Jesus offered the peace to his friends, he invited them to be in the fellowship with him. Remember, they were afraid and confused. Yet, Christ comes to meet them on their turf, in the midst of their anxiety, confusion and fear. He comes to bring healing and he breathes on them the Holy Spirit to strengthen and empower them for the mission he has in mind for them. Likewise, I believe in the midst of our troubles, fear and confusion and insecurity, Christ comes to meet with us today. He comes to show his hands and side to remind us that he has conquered the world and that the pain, suffering even death has no power over him. He shows his hands and side to remind us that this peace he established comes with a cost, a cost he paid on our behalf. He comes to offer us peace and breathe on us his Spirit to empower us to stand firm, not to be afraid and troubled. It is my prayer friends, that God would give us grace to hold onto his peace in these difficult times and that we would experience his presence in every area of our lives.

Every blessing,

Fr Engin YILDIRIM

Easter Sunday 11th April 2020

A reflection for Easter Sunday from Fr Ian:

Dear Brothers and Sisters

Alleluia Christ is risen!!!  He is risen indeed Alleluia!!!

How I have longed to shout these words and how I have longed to hear your joyful and enthusiastic response.  Yet due to the challenges we continue to face with the pandemic we proclaim the Lord’s resurrection in our homes and places of isolation.  To a degree having our lives disrupted throughout Lent seemed almost appropriate, we felt the pain of isolation, the pain of being cut-off from those we love and those we worship with, in a sense we felt the agony and the weight of the cross.

But what now?  The Lord has risen and we are called to witness to the power of the Lord in our daily lives. Now is the time for Christ to Easter in us!  This I feel is going to be the greatest challenge for us, how do we respond to the joy of Easter amidst the fear and anxiety that still surrounds us. 

Maybe we can take courage from those first witnesses to the resurrection. Following the crucifixion they remained in lock-down hiding in fear not knowing what to do or think. Even when brave Mary Magdalene ventured out and saw the empty tomb the Apostles were not convinced they remained behind closed doors.  They entered a period of trying to work out what everything meant. They had heard the way Jesus spoke about rising from the dead, they had witnessed his many miracles and watched the number of those following his teaching increase greatly. But they had also witnessed the brutal reality of the cross and were now living with the consequences of their lack of faith.

That period of working out what it all means only made sense when the risen Christ stood among them. Into the chaos that filled their hearts and minds Jesus uttered the words ‘peace be with you.’  Peace, something they had not experienced now for months was the first gift Jesus gave them following his glorious resurrection. Having received that peace of God which passes all understanding, now the work of the resurrection can begin in and through the church.

Maybe we can see ourselves now in that period of working out what it all means. For decades we have worshipped in the same way and lived our Christian lives almost on autopilot. The disruption we have experienced has almost forced us to rethink and re-evaluate just what living the Gospel life actually means. So as we journey into the Easter season keep the prayers at home going, call on the Lord who bursts into the chaos we are experiencing and receive his gift of  peace. Also the great 40 days that follow Easter are an ideal time to reflect on all the Lord has revealed to us during this time, it will be different for each one of us but equally valuable and will hopefully reshape how we as individuals and as a community live out Christian witness. 

As always your clergy are available to talk to, you all remain in our daily prayers and please contact us with any prayer requests you may have for yourself or for others.

We are planning our return to St Michael’s and although we do not know exactly when that will be as yet, rest assured in will be a full day of celebration.

May the risen Christ bless you and those you love and as we journey into Easter may you know his peace.

Alleluia Christ is risen!!!  He is risen indeed Alleluia!!!

Fr Ian, Fr Engin and Fr Andy

Good Friday 10th April 2020

Interview with Fr Andy on TalkRADIO about the meaning of Good Friday and Easter in light of Covid-19:

Listen now.

Tuesday 7th April 2020

Released today: a free information book explaining the coronavirus to children, illustrated by Gruffalo illustrator Axel Scheffler

https://nosycrow.com/blog/released-today-free-information-book-explaining-coronavirus-children-illustrated-gruffalo-illustrator-axel-scheffler/

Saturday 4th April 2020

A reflection for Palm Sunday from Fr Engin:

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ!

I remember our Ash Wednesday joint service vividly; all of us were eager to embrace the season of Lent with anticipation, new learnings, which would draw us closer to God. We, as clergy spent some time in thinking and preparing meaningful events and space for you, so that this would be a fruitful season – a season that would prepare us for the joy of resurrection, Easter. Of course, what was in our mind was very different to what we all have been going through for the last several weeks as a country and the rest of the world really.

One of the buzz words is that we keep hearing is that this is “unprecedented” that this has never been experienced before at least in our lifetime. Indeed, it is true that most of us never experienced such a thing before, and this is very unique in many ways. It is also true that it effects every aspect of life and community. In light of our changing world, I have been reflecting on what we could learn about ourselves, one another, our world and indeed about God through this unexpected and unwanted experience. Particularly, as we enter the Holy Week through Palm Sunday, what hope could we draw from the life of our Lord?

I have a copy of a famous Trinity icon of Adrei Rublev. I keep it in my study and use in my prayers and devotions. I find this icon particularly useful; it is almost like an invitation to the Triune God, an invitation for communion and fellowship. Of course, one of the aspects of this icon is to see the Triune God and unity. It is such a level of unity that while we acknowledge the diversity, God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, we still speak of one God. It is also a unity that we, too, are invited to be part of.

Nonetheless, the story of the Holy Week, and indeed Good Friday is a moment in history that this unity was, albeit momentarily, broken. It was at the cross when Jesus cried out “Eli Eli Lama Sabachthani?”, “My God, my God why have you forsaken me?”. It is at the cross we see there has been a certain “social distancing” between God the Father and God the Son, because at that moment of history Jesus willingly accepted to be the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. It is only at that time that this unbreakable communion and unity between the Father and his Beloved Son is broken, it is at that moment only that Jesus did not feel the closeness of his Father and felt total abandonment. 

If we reverse the story a little earlier, to Palm Sunday, there is another story to talk about. We see the triumphant entry into the holy city – crowds shouting and singing hosanna and waving palm branches to embrace this humble King who comes to save His people. Clearly, what was in their mind was very different than what takes place thereafter. Most people who knew about the promised Messiah, never interpreted the prophecies that the Messiah would also be the “suffering servant” which what our Old Testament reading (Isaiah 50: 4 – 9) clearly indicates. For them, the concept that God would embrace the pain and agony would not be acceptable since their image of God was beyond human suffering. To their surprise and perhaps ours, God who so loved the world came to redeem this world by taking “the form of a slave” so that at the right time God the Father would “exalt him and gave him the name that is above every name.”

So, Palm Sunday tells us two very different stories, one is the story that we wanted it to be. It is a story of a strong and powerful king who would give us security and confidence. The other story is about the real King who comes to embrace our humanity to the point of death. By so doing, he brings forgiveness, healing and restoration to this broken world. He reconciles us with the Father and one another. He conquers the power of sin and death, and he does all this by taking upon himself all that we would endure. As the author of Hebrews says, “therefore since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have on who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” 

Finally, my brothers and sisters, what we are experiencing is an unforgettable experience of Lent. I would like to encourage you today to remember that our Lord Jesus Christ who conquered the power of sin and death at the cross is ascended into heaven and intercedes for this broken world. Let us join in the intercession and prayer for this world – may the God of mercy continually reveal Himself in human suffering by providing hope, healing and reconciliation. Let us also pray for one another at this time, so that through this experience we would learn the true meaning of being the body of Christ.

May God fill you with his peace and protect your hearts and minds in Christ name.

Amen.

Fr Engin YILDIRIM

Sunday 29th March 2020

A reflection for Passion Sunday from Fr Ian:

Dear brothers and sisters
We are now entering the second week of lockdown the likes of which none of us have ever witnessed in our life time. The situation we all face has caused the Church and the practice of our faith to explore new and varied ways of communicating, all of which is now possible thanks to modern technology.

Amidst this whirlwind of technology, seeking an online connectedness that we are being physically deprived of, still leaves many people isolated and overlooked. In all the efforts being explored to reach a wide range of people in one go I still fear for those who have no understanding or desire to engage online.

That is why the Wood Green clergy have taken to using the telephone to contact you. My hope is that one of us should have been in touch with you in recent days (if not please call or send me your number and email address if you have one).  The one to one calls we have been making are proving to be enriching and very moving. Hearing your stories, checking on your well-being or simply just chatting is something we rarely get to do in the busyness of life and we are grateful for your concern for us that many of you have voiced.

A phrase I have heard a lot is ‘all we can do is pray.’ Although true and very well meaning, it is often said in a way that reduces prayer  to something we do when all else is lost. Prayer is the one thing that unites us to God and to one another wherever we are. In our Lent group two years ago Archbishop Rowan Williams reminded us that ‘prayer is God’s work in us;’ and ‘prayer is your promise and pledge to be there for the God who is there for you.’  Viewed in this way our prayer should be seen as a vital work rather than a security blanket into which we snuggle because everything is too much. 

I hope you have all had sight of our booklet ‘praying at home.’ In it you will find prayers for various times during the day and prayers to use as a family. The prayers are a beautiful reminder that we are the Church as much in our homes as we are sat next to one another in St Michael’s. I therefore encourage you to pray perhaps in ways you never have before because prayer is ‘God’s work in us.’

Over recent days I have been pondering on Jesus’ way of the cross, those final steps of his earthly life before being subjected to the horrors of the cross.  The tenth station of the cross sees Jesus stripped of his garments. Our Lord has everything taken away from him even his last shred of dignity. He stands before those he created naked and vulnerable. Everything gone!

To a lesser degree we have had everything we rely on taken from us; our church, our families, our friends and relationships, even our ability to walk about freely and it is a frightening and vulnerable place to be. Our ancestors in the faith knew a similar fear – from exile to wilderness, to the upper room, to the cross.  But, it was in those very moments of vulnerability that people discovered what true faith in God looked like. Those experiences although not fully understood at the time lead people to a deeper understanding of God’s love and faithfulness.

Lent is the time for entering into the wilderness with all those past and present who have had to rediscover what living in God’s time really means. We may be in lockdown – but we are not locked out of our relationship with God the Father, for nothing as St Paul reminds us can separate us from God’s love.

Although in that tenth station of the cross we see Jesus in his nakedness, stripped of everything, he still remains faithful to his calling. Even though God seems distant, which Jesus voices in his cry, reciting psalm 22, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me’, Jesus’ faithfulness and trust in God gives him the strength and courage to persevere to end.

In our wildernesses be they separation from the Church building, the Church community, our own families – the call to faithfulness is something we can all achieve, even if we have to admit ‘Lord I do not understand what is happening – but I trust in you.’

I encourage you my brothers and sisters to keep the prayer going. I find great strength in the knowledge that we are praying together, yes physically divided but spiritually united, I hope that also offers you hope and encouragement.

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation,
by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving,
present your requests to God. 
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, 
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:4-7)

Be assured you are in my prayers daily.

With love
Fr Ian

Saturday 28th March 2020

Homily of Pope Francis on Mark 4:35 – 41, Jesus Stills a Storm:
https://catholicherald.co.uk/in-full-pope-franciss-homily-at-the-extraordinary-urbi-et-orbi/

Friday 27th March 2020

Rowan Williams Interview
Many of you will remember that last year we read together Bishop Rowan Williams’ book ‘Being Christian’ during Lent. On the link below, the former Archbishop of Canterbury reflects on the current crisis and what it might teach us about who we are and what we value, about faith and suffering and about the questions it poses to our economic system:

The Big Silence
Those who were attending our Lent course this year may want to catch up on the end of the last episode of The Big Silence during which we had some technical problems! You can watch it on the link below. Fast forward 19 minutes in to get to where we were: 

Gloria TV

A message from the Bishop of Kensington:

Sunday 22nd March 2020

A reflection for Mothering Sunday from Fr Andy:
Today is of course a day when many of us will be experiencing the sadness of separation from our own mothers, either through their passing from this earthly life or because of self-isolation or social distancing. I cannot pretend to be anything other than sad myself on stepping into a locked, empty and darkened church building on a Sunday when I would normally expect to see probably well over 150 of you spilling out of Church after Mass into this glorious sunshine, filled with God’s spirit and clutching daffodils, going home to be with loved ones.

These are very strange times to which we are all having to adjust. Our world is seemingly descending into darkness and yet we, as Christian people, are called to be ‘Children of Light’ as Saint Paul writes to the Ephesians in today’s epistle (Ephesians 5:8-14); ‘for the effects of the light are seen in complete goodness and right living and truth’. What does that look like in our current climate? 

Be kind to one another, help others where you can and stay in touch by all the new forms of technology we have, be disciplined in taking every precaution for the sake of those who are most vulnerable, pray for the sick and those in our hospitals working tirelessly to care for them, accept help when you are offered it if you’re in need. Know that by so doing you are holding up a light to the darkness, the very light of Christ. When we pray, when we serve others, when we love our neighbour, that’s when we reveal to others the works of God making manifest that which, unlike this wretched virus, does NOT pass; the unending grace and mercy of God.

Prayers for today:
Look upon those who call to you, O Lord,
And sustain the weak;
give life by your unfailing light to those who walk in the shadow of death,
and bring those rescued by your mercy from every evil to reach the highest good.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Come, O Spirit of God,
and make within us a dwelling place and home.
May our darkness be dispelled by your light,
and our trouble calmed by your peace;
may all evil be redeemed by your love,
all pain transformed through the suffering of Christ,
and all dying glorified in his risen life. Amen.

Links:
The Archbishop led a service of prayer, music and reflection on Mothering Sunday from Lambeth Palace which can be heard on the following link: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m000gm8f.