Magazine December 2015

2015 Christmas services

Parish Magazine ~ December 2015

The Rev'd Dr Gordon Giles

One can always tell Christmas is coming when complete strangers talk to Vicars on trains. Last week I was travelling on a very busy tube train during the rush hour, and the lady against whom I was being crushed turned to me and said ‘It must be your busy time now’. ‘Yes’ I said, ‘but I wouldn’t have it any other way’. We talked a little and she said she was from Forest Hill in South London. Given that we were heading north on the Victoria Line towards Finsbury Park I said ‘I think you’re going in the wrong direction’. She got off at the next stop. I shall never know whether she didn’t realize she was on the wrong train, or was planning to get off anyway. But it did make me wonder whether it is the clergyman’s lot to tell people they are going in the wrong direction as we approach Christmas! For as Advent begins, we are trying not to focus on ‘the run up the Christmas’, the First Coming of our Lord, but rather on ‘the Second Coming of the Lord, the Four Last Things, the end of Time, the End of the World’, however you want to put it: the ‘parousia’ as the Greek New Testament calls it, the study of which is very grandly called ‘eschatology’ - and it has nothing to do with escaping from chained up underwater cages with a few sharks knowing through a fuse which will blow the whole thing up in 25 seconds’ time (that’s escapology!).

So hectic-ness is the flavour of the month. For it is like ‘Ready, Steady… Christmas !!!’ It sounds like a race, and for some of us, it is! Like a car waiting at a set of traffic lights ready to zoom off into the distance - that’s December! And those three colours carry, as any driver will know, a set of meaningful instructions. Ignore them at your peril. Yet it’s no bad thing to slow down at this time of year to plan and pace oneself for the time to come. Those same three colours are quite significant at Christmas and can be viewed in a very different way. You will see them a lot: the combination of the three adorning many a Christmas tree and the basic colours of many decorations. These are the traditional colours of the season;

Red for the blood of Jesus who died on the cross to save us from our sins,
Amber for Jesus the light of the world, our guide, hope and power, and
Green, a reminder that through Jesus we have (evergreen) hope of resurrection to eternal life.

Enjoy the first multicolored magazine, and pace yourself for a bumper ride to Christmas, via the end of time! And have a blessed Christmas and a peaceful New Year.


From the Parish Registers

Interment of ashes in the Memorial Garden
1 November 2015
Herbert Norman Gillibrand

If anyone is celebrating a birthday or anniversary and wishes to take up the elements please inform the churchwardens.

Thinking Of Joining The Church Choir For The Carol Service On December 20th?

If so, great news! You will be welcome. There are no auditions. There are exciting plans to have a small, mostly professional, orchestra this year to accompany, along with the organ.

There is no choir-only music that is particularly complicated to sing, but we do expect that if you intend to join, you must attend at least two of the Thursday rehearsals in December, (3rd, 10th and 17th all at 7:30 pm) plus the one on the day itself at 3:45 pm. Regrettably it will not be possible for you to sing in the Christmas choir this year if you come only to the rehearsal on that day.

If you would like to receive scanned copies of the music by e mail please email Keith and he will forward them to you.

There is still plenty of time to slide these dates into your diary so that everyone involved can sing confidently and gain the greatest enjoyment from what looks like being an outstanding celebration of the coming birth of Christ.

Keith and Jonathan


The Christmas catalogue is now available for ordering cards, gifts and goodies.

I have samples of all the Christmas cards and will have them available each Sunday during coffee after the 10:0’clock service.

Don’t forget to ask if you need to stock up on any of your regular Traidcraft supplies. If I have them in stock you do not need to wait for the stall to be set up.

Alison Reeve

Lunchtime Recitals

Sandra Sinclair, an accomplished viola player, together with Caroline Soresby, played for us at the November recital. They very well entertained us with music from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. Sandra has played for us several times over the years and shows just how beautiful the viola, originally called the ‘tenor violin’ can sound.

Unfortunately, earlier this year Brian Duke, who has often played the piano for us, died. His teacher Marina Erson and friend Inez Cordiero have volunteered to play in his memory. Do come along and hear them at 12:30 pm on Wednesday 9 December.

Eleanor Pritchard

12:30 pm - 1:00 pm
Retiring Collection
Ploughman’s Lunch £3.00, if required, in the Choir Vestry afterwards

Concert Programme For 2015

9th December
Marina Erson and friend Inez Cordiero


I will be holding a coffee morning on:
Tuesday 15th December at 10:30 a.m. at
3, Anabelle Court, Slades Hill
for Saint Mary’s Organ Fund.

You will be welcomed with a glass of sherry together with traditional Christmas cakes, mince pies coffee etc. together with perhaps one or two guessing games. Eleanor (on keyboard) and Gordon (on flute) will provide the music for us to sing Christmas Carols so start practising now! If you are unable to come a small donation would be most welcome - remember this is for your church.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Judy Smith for taking over the rota for the Imagine coffee mornings this year which as you know has been a difficult one for me - at the same time I would like to thank every single one of you who have supported me in this venture for the past 12 years and raised so many thousands of pounds to help those less fortunate than ourselves.

Looking forward to seeing lots of you on the 15th December.

Rita Barker

Comings and Goings

My new book of daily readings for Advent is now out, and will soon be at the back of church for discounted purchase.

There is a course that runs with it, which we shall follow on in the Vicarage on Mondays at 8:15pm on Nov 30, Dec 7, Dec 14 and Jan 11.

This book of readings for Advent and Christmas invites us to make a journey through time, from the end to the very beginning of all things. The daily reflections work backwards from the traditional Advent focus of the ‘Four Last Things’ - Death, Judgement, Heaven and Hell - via Jesus’ life, death and resurrection, to come at last to the Incarnation and the events commemorated at Christmas itself. In the following days, the focus turns to Christ as the Word of God, present at the dawn of creation. Along the way, we ‘visit’ some of the actual Holy Land sites associated with gospel events, drawing new insights from the familiar stories.

Gordon Giles

The Rambling Group

The Rambling Group is at the moment on its winter break. We hope to resume walking in the Spring when we shall seek to explore local places of note and learn about developments of walking facilities in the area. All that remains is to wish all who have walked with me every blessing for Christmas and a Happy, Healthy New Year.

Michael Dixon

Fellowship Programme

December 16th.
Christmas Meal, in church hall.


Imagine what we can do together

I’m sure most of you will have heard by now that the Imagine Charity, which we have loved and supported for so long, is finally coming to an end this month. Lorraine has been back to Mozambique recently to tie up all the loose ends and ensure the children in the family homes are to be properly cared for. She came home with the wonderful news that Imelda has been offered a permanent position as manager of the homes and, for the first time ever, will be paid a proper wage. We can therefore rest assured that all will be well!

When Ray and Rita and Michael and I, each in our turn, came back from Mozambique for the first time you took us at our word and took Imagine to your hearts. Over the years we have together raised over £60,000 and, believe me, that has done amazing work in Mozambique. From the bottom of my heart I would like to thank you all for your tremendous generosity, trust and hard work. You have been amazing. And hopefully, some time in the New Year, Lorraine will be here to thank you too and to tell you all the latest news.

In the meantime we need to look forward to a new chapter in our fund-raising and charitable giving. I doubt we will ever find a charity quite like Imagine, but we will keep looking. However, we do have big projects of our own and you will be hearing much more about them from Michael and the Stewardship Committee very soon. Let me just say that, wearing my new hats as Social Planning Coordinator and Charities Champion, I will be working closely with them and our social calendar will reflect this.

So we shall continue with our coffee mornings, which Rita will be organizing again this year, and following a similar format we are going to try two wine and cheese evenings later in the year to try and include those of you who work and cannot make mornings.

In September we are planning a sponsored London Bridges Walk, which we hope many of you will participate in and seek sponsorship from your family and friends. Add to that the usual quizzes, meals, concerts, Christmas and Spring Fayres and a repeat of the surprisingly successful Barn Dance and we have a full, varied and hopefully fun-packed year of activities, the proceeds from which will this year all go to the organ fund.

We will continue to support Christian Aid, the Food Bank and make one-off collections as needed and all the money we collect this Christmas will go to the Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice in Barnet.

I know you will enter into all these initiatives and activities with your usual enthusiasm and generosity and I look forward to seeing you at as many events as you can manage. If you feel there is something you can do to help, then I would love to hear from you.

Much love

Judy Smith

Launde Abbey 2016

We are planning to go back to Launde Abbey next year and have provisionally booked 8-11 August 2016. This is the same week that we went in 2013 and allows for children and young people to come during the school holidays.

When we were there last time there was general agreement that we should book for an extra day this time so that there was more time for rest and relaxation and the opportunity for people to do more of their own things and not feel constrained by the group dynamic. This does, of course, increase the cost and for next year the price is £81 a day, full board (£243 for the whole period). That includes a room with en suite facilities and 3 meals a day as well as mid morning coffee with biscuits and afternoon tea with cake. As those who have been before will know, you do not go hungry - Launde ministers to the stomach as well as the soul!

If you would like to come, or would like more information if you have not been before, then please speak to Judy or myself. If there are sufficient numbers we will run a separate children’s programme. And as always, children go free!

Michael Smith

Let the People Sing!

The Enfield Community Singers, under their slogan, “Let The People Sing!” are bringing their Super Christmas Concert to St Mary Magdalene Church on Friday 18th December at 7:30 pm.

Entry and refreshments are free, as usual, but a generous donation to The North London Hospice would be gratefully appreciated.

Now in their fourth successful year, with concerts across the borough, culminating in sell-out performances at The Dugdale Centre in 2014 and ‘15, the spirit of community pervades every performance, raising funds and awareness of the most worthy of charities including Cancer Care and Alzheimer's.

Their huge repertoire will include favourites such as Amazing Grace and Pie Jesu, with new exciting selections from Les Miserables, The Pajama Game, and West Side Story, a terrific Dixie medley and memories of the 60’s, where we want to hear everybody joining in.

For further details regarding the choirs, please contact Simon at or telephone on 020-8360-7386. You can also find more information on

Festive Fair