Parish Magazine ~ July 2015
A couple of weeks ago we had a triumphant performance of Handel’s Messiah - one of the greatest works of music ever written, and a great joy to hear it under our roof. And then, hot on its heels came another amazing achievement directed by Rachel Moon as the Drama Group presented Macbeth - one of the greatest plays ever written. It’s probably Shakespeare's most famous and best known play, combining fact and fiction in a blend which raises questions about the supernatural, about witchcraft, about ambition, loyalty, honour, evil and betrayal. I must say I was very proud of our Drama Group that first weekend in July, and I’m sure you too were spellbound by the strong characterisations, the enthusiasm and authenticity of the acting and were filled with admiration for the energy and success of the whole venture. Derek Parr as Macbeth and Chris Moon as Banquo, Colin Guthrie as Malcolm and Michael Appleby as Macduff, were worthy of a London stage. I shall never forget his chilling portrayal of Macduff on hearing that his family had been murdered. Our resident witches, Joan Yates, Rachel Moon and Jayne Buckland were terrifyingly realistic, and Alison Reeve as Lady Macbeth was utterly convincing as were the boozy, lecherous porter, Ivan Moody and Michael Dixon’s regal Duncan and Vic Harrington’s Thane of Ross. The attack on Banquo scene was a wonderful cameo for Maria Giles as Fleance and Colin Gibbens and Joy Heywood as murderous rogues, while David Bird and Sue Gooch and Cristyn Williams had gentler roles as doctor and servants. It was a performance to celebrate, remember and look back on with a great deal of satisfaction.
Macbeth is a fascinating play. And it contains many layers of ethical and psychological insight. It is a tragedy in the proper sense, it deals with betrayal, ambition, the divine right of kings, temptation, witchcraft and so much more. It resonates with Shakespeare’s time and that of his king, James, and it speaks to us today as though it were written only yesterday.
It causes us to question our own lives and the meaning behind them. There is a book, by Rabbi Harold Kushner called ‘When all you’ve ever wanted isn’t enough’. Macbeth should have read that book. But that of course is the problem that lottery winners, leaders and our local diamond thieves alike experience, and we do sometimes, to the extent that if we want something and get it, we soon want something else. Everything is never enough. Lucky are we, perhaps, who cannot have everything, because there is room then for a little ambition, a little hope, and a purpose in life. Being ambitious needn't be wrong, it’s just overleaping ambition that demands and gets fulfilment at the expense of others, that is damaging, to individuals and society.
Macbeth is also a traitor - a betrayer. As such he stands with Judas. He betrays himself, his friends and his King. Duncan has been very good to him, and trusts him when under his roof, only to be cruelly and bloodily murdered in his sleep. Macbeth murders sleep. To kill someone when they are asleep is ultimately cowardly, for they stand no chance at all. And of course, Macbeth is a traitor to Banquo, his friend and fellow soldier. Moved to cowardly murder to protect his own line over Banquo’s (even though Macbeth has no children), Macbeth’s assassination of Banquo seems pointless as well as treacherous. So low will he stoop. It is one thing, as Jesus said, to lay down your life for a friend - quite another to lay down your friend's life for your own ambitious purposes.
There is much much more in Macbeth of course. There are resonances of Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Saul and Jonathan - the play is a rich tapestry of spiritual and moral meaning. We might consider whether we are ambitious at all, and to what extent has our ambition governed our actions, and to what effect? When you got what you wanted, how did it feel? And how does it feel now, perhaps years later?
Sometimes what you want is right, and its lovely when it happens. Give thanks for that - not everyone is blessed with simple desires, simply gained. Others are bowed down with ambition, pride and go-gettedness.
Or if you didn’t get what you wanted, did it really matter? Perhaps it did really matter - think about that. And do you have a fatal flaw? - a weakness which could yet bring you down - a flaw which can hurt and damage others, your friends, family, yourself. Look into the eyes of Macbeth - an honourable man turned evil. What do you see of yourself reflected in the mirror held in his ambitious, treacherous, frightened hands? For we are all sinners - we all fall short of the glory of God. And yet, ‘God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. Indeed, God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.’
From the Parish Registers
7 June 2015
Hugo Edison Guiseppe Lodato
Elsie Beau Jean Vinton
Lorraine Williams writes…
2014 has been a defining year for myself and Imagine. It was 25 years since Joe and I first arrived in Mozambique, 15 years since the registration of Imagine and 10 years since moving?to work in the district of Katembe. Much has been achieved during this time and my heart is full of gratitude for the many people we have met along the way on both sides of the world. The experience has been an amazing one and although sorrow has been part of the journey the blessings are what shine through. The hope of the people, the happiness of the children and communion across the miles and cultures; we are all different yet the same. So many lessons have been learnt, it’s not easy to put it into words! Some things have to be experienced, as those who have made it to Mozambique over the years can testify.
After much thought and consideration, I decided that it was the correct timing to start to wind-down Imagine’s work programmes and to make a plan for the hand-over of the Family Homes children’s centre. Discussions with the Government Ministry of the Women and Social Action throughout the year have concluded in a 1 year hand-over period, when they will take full responsibility for the future of the centre from the beginning of 2016. Imagine has been working under their wing since work commenced and Social Action have had total responsibility for all the children and families we have assisted during this time. The specialness and success of our work has been due to working in unity with the authorities and the local community leaders, reaching the families most in need and working with a clear framework which made all feel an important part of whatever was achieved. House building, water borehole installation, schools refurbishment and the construction of the family homes children's centre are some of the actions undertaken during this time.
Mozambique is moving forward and there has been so much change over the years. Katembe itself is on the brink of expansion with a bridge linking it to Maputo city under construction. Maputo city is bursting at the seams and new buildings and businesses are very evident to see. So change is here to stay and the district will also move forward, causing pain and growth for all involved. We hope and pray for a better future for all involved.
The community food distribution programme was brought to a close at the end of 2014. A very special end of year gathering was held at the Family Homes centre. Imagine will continue to provide food support for the “Elderly people’s village” for the remainder of this year. The hand-over of the Family Homes Children’s Centre will also be completed at the end of 2015. This “transition” year gives the Government time to budget for the necessary funding required for the future of both centres.
Imelda Escalona, who has worked with Imagine for the past 10 years with total dedication, is the manager in charge of the Family Homes centre during this transition year . Imelda will continue to work directly with Social Action until the hand-over. I am taking a sabbatical break back in the UK, returning at the end of the year for the final closure procedures.
My deepest thanks and gratitude to every one who has joined us on this journey. My hope is that you have also been blessed by the many amazing things that have happened as we joined together with love and hope to do “something beautiful for God” to quote Mother Teresa, who was a huge inspiration to our life’s work.
God Bless each and everyone of you.
St Mary Magdalene Parish Feast
at Enfield Golf Club
Friday 17th July
7:00 pm for 7:30 pm
For more information and how to pay please use the form on the Contact page and email Gordon.
Carriages at 11:00 pm
Choose one from each course
Warm bacon & tomato salad
Tempura prawns with sweet chilli dip
Melon fan and fruits of the forest
Grilled salmon, lobster & prawn sauce
Loin of pork with Dijon mustard sauce
Sautéed chicken chasseur
Pannacotta with fresh raspberries
Dutch Apple flan
Strawberry Mille feuille
Please advise your choices for this year's event.
If you know other folk who might like to come please let me know.
Vegetarian menu available
The next Traidcraft stall will be on Sunday July 12th in the hall after 10:00 am service.
All the usual essentials and treats will be there. Come and see if there is anything new.
It is a long time since we had a day out to Frinton - a much enjoyed event, by so many, in the past. So this year we are reviving the tradition.
Date: Tuesday 28th July
Frinton is a lovely seaside spot having a large sandy beach with room for games and competitions. We will travel their and back by coach which will be £18 per seat. (A little more than originally estimated due to numbers. We will be a group of about 30.) We will meet at the church ready for a 9.00am departure and will aim to leave Frinton at 4:00 pm
There are now just a few places left on the coach so if you are interested in booking a place please speak to Alison Reeve. For those who have already booked a place please give your payment to Alison; cheques should be made payable to St Mary Magdalene Church.
A “Mustn’t Miss” Date For Your Diary
The Annual Church BBQ
to be held at the home of Alison & Paul Reeve
Saturday 11th July
4:00 pm onwards.
Salads, bread and desserts will be provided as well as plates and cutlery.
You just bring whatever you want to cook, your favourite tipple and a garden chair if you have one.
If you don't like BBQ - bring a picnic.
There is lots of space for games and for sitting enjoying the sunshine. Something for everyone, however young.
Ask Alison or Paul for any more information.
Tales from the Blasted Heath
The Drama Group’s recent production of ‘Macbeth’ was nearly a year in the making - of planning, preparing and rehearsing. The idea for tackling a full length Shakespeare play, actually began even longer ago, than that, it was after the 2011 production of ‘The Seven Ages’ that I began to think it was possible. When I first suggested to the Drama Group that we consider ‘Macbeth’ as a project, I was delighted to be met by so much enthusiasm, for what on the surface seemed too big a challenge. Some asked if it was going to be a cut down rehearsed reading like ‘The Seven Ages’ ...to which I said ‘no - if we do it at all we do as full a version as possible’. Others called it ‘brave’ and ‘ambitious’ as both words are used to describe Macbeth, I thought these highly appropriate. At no point during the rehearsals did ever doubt that we could pull it off... my faith and belief in the group did not go unrewarded.
So now it’s over I think it only right to express huge thanks to those who helped to make it such a success. For Gordon's wholehearted support for the project from the very outset and for the Drama Group Committee’s willingness to agree to the idea I owe huge thanks. Then to everyone who took part both on and off stage in whatever capacity, each played an equal part in making it an unforgettable experience for me as the director, for the company who helped create it and to our fantastically enthusiastic audiences. This was the longest rehearsal period the group has had in its long history - we supported each other through bereavement, illness, doubts over whether all the lines would be remembered and even learning to sword fight from a 15 minute YouTube video - and as a result we were strengthened by the power of our fellowship, the language of the text, and determination that we would succeed.
Any of you who came to watch on the two June evenings, would have seen something quite special, from the totally brilliant Macbeths (Derek Parr and Alison Reeve), to the fleet footed Fleance (Maria Giles) and the totally heroic Malcolm (Colin Guthrie) who returned to the St Mary's stage after far too long an absence. Forgive me for being totally biased, but every performance was fantastic!
With 17 people in the cast and a crew of 5, I haven’t room to thank them individually, but special mention should go to James and Elise Horlick for the fantastic lights and sound, and to Sue Rix for working magic with our make-up... she did such a good job that several people commented that they needed to check the programme to work out who the witches were. We also owe a debt of gratitude to other local groups The Cuffley Players, for lending us both lights and cast members, The Potters Bar Costume Store for our costumes and The Barn and Incognito for the weapons.
I have now had a little time to reflect on what we have achieved, and in some ways it now feels like it was a dream. But we did it! We dared to walk in the footsteps of theatrical giants...and we did it! What an adventure and what fun we had on the way, I cannot begin to express my love and admiration for, and pride in those who shared the adventure with me. The memories of the blasted heath, the bloody daggers and my year of living with Macbeth will stay with me forever. To the members of cast, crew and audience alike, huge thanks for making the whole experience such an exhilarating, enjoyable and unforgettable experience.
May Coffee Morning
Apologies for being a month late with this. Thank you to all who came to support our Coffee Morning in May. It was lovely to see so many people and thank you for raising £151 for the Imagine Project. I spoke to Lorraine at Ray Barker’s funeral. She said how much the Project appreciates our efforts, it has meant so much to them. So please continue to support the Coffee Mornings and other Imagine fund raising.
Maureen and Keith Rew
Now the weather is improving we can look forward to enjoying our lovely garden. Following their success last year we would like to invite everyone to join in our Parish Picnics. These will take place on the last Sunday of the month after coffee. All you need to do is bring a picnic and relax.
See you there!
In June the choir of St Monica’s Primary School under its new director, Ms Phillips, came and entertained us at the recital. The children sang with enthusiasm and confidence, a variety of songs including assembly songs. There were also vocal solos and a cello solo. It was very enjoyable and good to see youngsters enjoying music making.
At 12.30 on Wednesday 8 July, Nigel Blomily and the Anern Trio will play for us. Gordon, our vicar, will join the players for one piece. Nigel is an excellent cellist who has played for us at Patronal Festivals and concerts over the years. Do come for a feast of music and perhaps a ploughman’s lunch.
12:30 pm - 1:00 pm
Ploughman's Lunch £3.00, if required, in the Choir Vestry afterwards.
Concert Programme for 2015
Nigel Blomily and the Anern Trio
August – No Concert
Catherine Leonard - Piano
Susannah Knight - Oboe
Sandra Sinclair - Viola
9th December TBA
Ken Cope explained the new St Mary Magdalene website. This project has taken several months to complete. This will provide information of all activities in the church, services, details of all groups from the Drama Group to the Stitchers. The chancel restoration with before and after pictures is shown in great detail. Ken organises websites for a number of other people.
This month on 15 July we shall hold our summer lunch at the Olive Tree Café in Chase Court Gardens.
A huge Thank You to everyone who collected Christian Aid Envelopes this year. We know this is not always an easy job and appreciate all your efforts. The money we have collected will make a difference to some of the poor and needy somewhere in the world.
As yet, at the time of going to print, we do not have a final total. We will let everyone know as soon as we do. But it is over £1000.
Alison and Paul Reeve
For our walk on Sunday 10 June we did in fact manage to ‘Beat the Bounds’ hopefully managing to adhere as closely as possible to the Parish Boundary in light of modern developments.
‘Beating the Bounds’ usually took place on Ascension Day and evolved during the reign of Elizabeth I. It had developed from earlier ceremonies of Rogationtide. A Priest leads those present around the Parish Boundaries offering prayers for the harvest whilst young boys would beat the boundary stones with sticks. We failed miserably in this by not having any young boys and that the boundary stones have long been lost under modern developments.
I cannot offer a walk for July as we shall be away on 12 July and look forward to August when we intend to go to Upshire on Sunday 9th lured by the prospect of tea and cakes.
Northwest Group News
The Group's United Service for Pentecost was held at St Mary Magdalene. It was a quiet, contemplative service with the atmosphere for the Taize worship set by the musicians employed for the evening. The attendance at the service was disappointing considering the effort it had taken in organising and mounting this service. It was an ‘oasis of calm amidst the hustle and bustle of modern life’ and will live long in the memory.
Gordon and Jessica Giles
Mo and Malcolm Lunn
Laura and Ken Cope
Lilian and Colin Gibbens
June and Ron Carr
Thank you to them all for volunteering. I do hope many of you will manage to join us for at least some of these dates, especially as it will be our last year of supporting our dear friends at Imagine and all the wonderful work they do.
Magazine Stapling Rota 2015/16
1 August 2015
Vic Harrington, Pam Hagan, Helen Clarke
29 August 2015
Arja Cutts, Val Hayes, Kate Bissett
26 September 2015
Ken and Laura Cope, Gill Bird
31 October 2015
Vic Harrington, Pam Hagan, Helen Clarke
28 November 2015
Peter Lamb, Carol Lamb, Eleanor Pritchard
2 January 2016
Vic Harrington, Pam Hagan, Helen Clarke
If you know of any lady or gentleman who would be able to help with stapling or if you are unable to keep the above dates please contact either Michael or Janet Dixon or Janet Whelpdale.