Magazine August 2017

Parish Magazine ~ August 2017

The Rev'd Dr Gordon Giles

The weekend after Easter, I went to Hull. Not the most auspicious place to start, I hear you say, but I did get to preach in the largest parish church in England. And I got to travel on Hull Trains, fifteen pounds each way. That’s the same as the usual fare to Highbury and Islington, I think. Then almost immediately, I went to Spokane in the USA. It’s about as far as you can go in the USA, Alaska notwithstanding, but I have a hymnological friend there who kindly put me up and invited me to be a visiting lecturer at his university. I spoke on Luther and Bach, and also gave a talk on the same subject at Spokane Cathedral, where I also preached at the main Sunday service. At the end, everyone shook my hand, thanked me for my sermon and told me how much they loved my accent. Some people said they knew a few people in London, named them and asked if I knew them… The bizarre thing was, someone did name someone I do in fact know! I also gave a lecture on Purcell, and another one in which I attempted to explain the theological underpinnings of English history between the Reformation and the Civil War to a bunch of American undergraduates. That was fun… especially the bits I made up.

After the huge success of my visiting professorship, I went to Mexico City, with a stopover in Phoenix, Arizona, where there is a very nice airport hotel, but the beer is terrible. This did involve flying over the Grand Canyon in a jumbo jet though, which was rather cool as you can imagine. And free. In Mexico City, one of the world’s most dangerous cities apparently, and definitely one of the world’s highest cities, I was wonderfully looked after by a school friend, whose brother in law was Italian Prime Minister a couple of years ago – for about 3 weeks, I think. Mexico City was fascinating, and I’m afraid I saw nothing that gives it its dangerous reputation, but then part of the plan was that I wouldn’t. I climbed pyramids, ate spicy food, and had a great time seeing a bit of that vast country. Mexico City is at 2200 metres above sea level – that’s 7000 feet, so I did have a bit of a headache for the first 24 hours or so. Then I flew on to Toronto, where my cousin and other friends live, so that was a great opportunity to catch up with them. I went to Niagara Falls for the third time – the first time though when it wasn’t actually raining. So third time lucky. Then I came home just in time to take part in the Highgate Luther Festival, where my stuff on Bach and Luther came into play again.

Then in hiding at home to some extent, I was back on the school run and I started to do the writing that my study leave necessitated. So, dear friends, let me tell you, while we are all sweltering back in June, I was working on the first of the two books I was due to write… on Christmas Carols! Far from the bleak midwinter, we sweltered didn’t we, but I got the job done in a couple of weeks. It’ll be published in October.

It’s all about the Cambridge Carol Book, and is very boring, but someone had to write it, because without that Carol Book, we would not have the Nine Lessons and Carols we love so much. I was around, more or less for the General Election. But let’s not talk about that! Nor sadly about some of the other tragedies that befell our nation, in Manchester and London Bridge. Very sad indeed.

I did a day in Oxfordshire for the Royal School of Church Music, talking about hymns, and then I went off to Paris with a friend, having found ludicrously cheap Eurostar tickets. Not having been to Paris for ten years I found that everyone now speaks English and laughs at the value of the pound. Nevertheless a visit to the Royal tombs at St Denis was a real gift, and I attended Trinity Sunday Mass in Notre Dame Cathedral, where the welcome, epistle and part of the sermon were in English. So some things have changed the other side of the channel for sure! On returning I finally settled down to write the magnum opus of the study leave, a Lent Book for 2019. I have written almost all of it, so that is a good outcome, and I have until November to send the manuscript in. So that’s all good.

Finally, in the last week, after a brief trip up North, I went to Carmarthen in West Wales to the annual Conference of the Hymn Society of Great Britain and Ireland, where I gave a flute recital and, with my old friend, known to some of us here, Huw Williams, we introduced the world to the Revised English Hymnal, a new version of the English Hymnal which is not yet available, but of which we are two of the editors.

And now I’m home. And pleased to be so. We have missed each other, I know. But thank you for the opportunity to do all this, it really was a Godsend.


From the Parish Registers

Tuesday 4 July 2017
Elinor Mary Knight

Monday 17 July 2017
Joseph Clewer

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

For a PDF file of the Parish Magazine for this month please click here.

Regular Weekly Events

Sunday8:00 amHoly Communion
10:00 amEucharist (Second Sunday in month Family Service)
6:30 pmEvensong (or other ‘special’ service)
Please see the Google calendar for any further information regarding Sunday Services
Monday10:00 amMattins (BCP)
Tuesday7:45-9:00 pmBell Ringing Practice
Wednesday8:30 pmDrama Group
Thursday10:30 amHoly Communion (BCP)
7:30 pmChoir Practice

Elinor Knight RIP

Like many of us here, I knew Elinor through her membership of our church choir. Those who sang here with her will agree with me, and those who didn’t will forgive me when I say that she was truly one of the characters of the choir. Sometimes unassuming, sometimes animated, her commitment was complete and she would come on the 313 bus from Potters Bar, and join in everything she possibly could. On one famous occasion, remembered by lots of us I’m sure, she was singing in the annual Nine Lessons and Carols Service. It must have been about ten years ago. Peter – playing the organ for us today - was directing the choir, and I think Peter MacDonald, who sadly died last month – he was playing the organ. Elinor, bless her, had assumed the church would be cold on a December Sunday evening, and had, shall we say, trussed herself up like a turkey. So after about an hour of the service – and during the sermon if I remember rightly – poor old Elinor conked out and fainted. She was ultimately fine, but we didn’t know that of course, and Peter stepped forward and asked if there was a doctor in the house, and my good friend Jonathan, came forward and gave aid. All was well. But it is fitting that Peter is back among us today playing today for Elinor, and I told Jonathan who remembered the incident well, and he sends his condolences to Clive and the family.

She was fine then, of course, just getting overheated in the candlelight and with all that hot air, and she sang on for several years more. But, sadly though, just as every anthem has a final chord, and every Psalm a final Amen, we are here today to join in that concluding cadence as Elinor’s earthly music is over and she goes to find peace in the heavenly realm.

We heard about heaven in that passage from Revelation, and it seems to me that part of our hope of heaven is the inevitable implication that there is a lot of music in heaven too. Whatever heaven is, or is meant to be, it is a place of music and song and dance. Elinor is going to enjoy eternal life! We sing and make music here on earth, but there is heavenly music too – the song of the angels. Perhaps we think of Elinor joining in the music of heaven. It was the great J S Bach who is supposed to have said: “the ultimate end or final purpose of all music... is nothing other than the praise of God and the recreation of the soul”.

That happens on earth and in heaven, and it is the music that connects the two. Elinor loved being part of that, and now enjoys it still, for ever.

As we sing on earth, we approximate the heavenly music – and for sure, singing brings its own form of communion: communion not of bread and wine as such, but of sound and time. Elinor shared in the bread and wine of communion here, and she shared in the musical communion of choral singing.

When we sing a hymn, such as ‘Guide me O thou great redeemer’ or ‘Dear Lord and Father of Mankind’, we are joining with all those who have ever sung it, and indeed with those who will yet sing it, and with those, singing it still, on another shore, in eternal light. Bishop Brent’s poem talks of Elinor sailing over the horizon, drifting from our sight, but yet being welcomed by those who see her coming into view. It is a lovely image, and whether sea shanties are being sung on that boat or not, there is much music on that farther shore, for sure.

And so it is that in joining in the songs our forebears have sung, we sing with them – we don’t just remember them, but we re-member ourselves and them as a great, continuous heavenly choir, reunited in the repetition of hymnody, ancient and modern. So there is a real sense as we sing today that Elinor sings with us, and we with her, and all those whom we love but see no longer. We are united with the heavenly choir, of which our own maroon-gowned gang are but an imperfect foretaste – no offence meant of course! And we also sing with those yet unborn, who will inherit our song and carry it on. Our singing carries us, and our successors forward into that equal eternity, where there is, as the poet and priest John Donne put it, ‘no noise, nor silence, but one equal music’.

One day we shall sing again with Elinor, on another shore, and with our Lord, as we also are borne into the promised resurrection life, brought about in the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

None other than St Augustine was onto this, when over fifteen hundred years ago, he wrote these words, which seem so appropriate for a singer like Elinor walking into glory:

“How happy will be our shout of ‘Alleluia’ as we enter heaven, how carefree, how secure from any assault, where no enemy lurks and no friend dies. There praise is offered to God, and here also, but here it is offered by anxious people and there by those who will live for ever. Here praise is offered in hope, there by those who enjoy the reality; here by pilgrims in transit, there by those who have reached their homeland.

So, my friends, let us sing ‘Alleluia’, albeit not in the enjoyment of the heavenly rest, but in order to sweeten our toil in this life. Let us sing as travellers sing on a journey; but keep on walking. Lighten your toil by singing, and never be idle. Sing, but keep on walking. And what do I mean by walking? I mean press on from good to better. … Sing up - and keep on walking!”

Elinor’s walk has come to an end, and we miss her, and love her still. But in prayer and the communion of bread and wine, and of music we hear her, and join with her still, until that day when we shall all be reunited in the harmony of heaven, joining in the music of praise, for ever.

So may Elinor, rest in peace with the saints and rise in glory to sing with the angels. Amen.

The Revd Dr Gordon Giles, St Mary Magdalene, Enfield, 4/7/17

Coffee Morning

A big ‘thank you’ to the 27 troopers who braved the heat to attend our coffee morning on 20th June. A relaxed morning, raising over £200 for the organ fund.

Ages ranged from 3 to over 80 - a lovely mix.

Someone left their ‘Body Shop’ raffle prize behind, so we will take it along to the next coffee morning, unless it is claimed beforehand.

Thanks again.

Carol and Peter Lamb

Coffee Dates for your diary - 2017

Here is the rota for the monthly coffee mornings all Tuesdays except 20th November which is a Monday

August 15 ~ Laura & Ken Cope

September 19 ~ Gordon & Jessica Giles

October 17 ~ Betty Buck

November 20* ~ Janet & Keith Whelpdale

December 19 ~ Rita Barker

* Please note this is a Monday

Murder in the Cathedral

The Drama Group are presenting ‘Murder in the Cathedral’ by T S Eliot on 15, 16, 17 September in St Thomas-a-Becket church Northaw (Friday), St. Luke’s church in Browning Road (Saturday) and at St. Mary Magdalene church on Sunday evening.

Rehearsals are under way and there will be some new faces as well as familiar ones.

The ‘touring’ will be great fun and the performance will also include some choral accompaniment. If you would like to take part in the production as one of the chorus or help in any other way, or simply know more about what we are doing, please contact Chris or any member of the company.

Book the dates - it’s going to be good!

Chris Moon

North Enfield Food Bank

Week by week we make regular donations to the food bank and obviously their requirements change with the passage of time. Below please find details of their latest needs:-

Urgently Needed Items:

Tinned veg (400 g), UHT milk (1 litre), tinned meat, pot noodle, tinned tomatoes, meat soup, squash, coffee, juice, washing powder, deodorants, shampoo, toilet rolls, baby toiletries.

We’ve got plenty of:

Pasta, ceral, tea, sugar, beans/pulses (kidney, black-eyed peas and lentils).

Fellowship Programme 2017

September 20th - Gordon Giles.

October 18th - The Nightingale Hospice will give us an update on their work in Enfield and surrounding area.

November 15th - Speaker to be arranged.

December 20th - Christmas Lunch to be arranged.

Bishop Rob Livens Up St Paul’s Cathedral!

Thanks to Chris Moon who included in his intersessions on July 9th July, news of the ALMA service at St Paul’s Cathedral that evening. We went along and not only participated in an upbeat Eucharist but met friends from the parish of St Steven and St Lawrence, Maputo.

ALMA links the Anglican churches in Angola, London and Mozambique and the partnership aims to share companionship, ministry and mission. In Portuguese alma means soul and ALMA describes itself as a body of “soul friends”.

The service was jointly led by Bishop Rob of Edmonton and Bishop Carlos of Lebombo. The choirs were a children's choir from Hackney and a choir resplendent in national dress from Lebombo. The hymns were traditional but enlivened by African “accompaniment” and the enthusiastic foot stamping of Bishop Rob.

The prayers were very relevant to the political and economic situations in Angola. Mozambique and U.K. Praying for the ceasefire in Mozambique to be permanent, for peaceful elections in Angola, for ensuring the benefits of the new gas reserves in Mozambique are for all its people, for mitigation of the falling oil price on Angolans and for the Brexit negotiations here.

On a personal level it was a great pleasure to meet friends again especially Ester, the PCC Secretary and the young man whom we knew as a member of the congregation and who had become the Rector of St Stephen and St Lawrence following the sad premature death last year of Father Jose.

As the Bishop in the London Diocese with responsibility for ALMA, Bishop Rob showed great enthusiasm for the African tradition and intends to give a talk in October about his recent visit to Mozambique.

So, thanks again Chris Moon for enabling us not only to participate in a unique Eucharist with an African style, to see an inspired Bishop Rob and reunite with friends from Mozambique.

Carol and Peter Lamb

North West News

The committee met on Tuesday 4 July, unfortunately the meeting was sparsely attended as many members had other pressing commitments for that evening. It was decided that the next United Service in October would be at St Luke’s, Browning Road, as an introduction and welcome to their new Vicar, The Rev John Godden.

Michael Dixon

Magazine Stapling Rota 2017

26 August 2017
Ken & Laura Cope, Gill Bird

23 September 2017
Peter & Carol Lamb, Eleanor Pritchard

21 October 2017
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.

Lunchtime Recitals

Once again Catherine Leonard, a gifted pianist, treated us to a very enjoyable and accomplished lunchtime concert. She played Beethoven’s Moonlight sonata and two Schubert Impromptus.

There will be no concert in August.

At 12.30 pm on Wednesday 13 September, Susannah Knight (oboe), Michael Lovejoy (violin) and Roddy Elmer (piano) will play for us.

Eleanor Pritchard

12:30 pm - 1:00 pm
Retiring Collection
Ploughman’s Lunch £3.50, if required, in the Choir Vestry afterwards
Do come along if you are free. Ploughman’s lunch with hot soup will be available afterwards at the very reasonable price of £3.50.

Concert Programme For 2017

August No Concert

13th September Susannah Knight, Michael Lovejoy and Roddy Elmer
(oboe, violin and piano)

11th October Serafini Trio

8th November Olive Murray ~ voice

13th December Michael and Marion Smith ~ Organ & Piano

News from the Home Group

Spoiler alert, as a taster and to better appreciate The Drama Group’s forthcoming presentation of “Murder In The Cathedral”, particularly for those, as I was, uninitiated. This month’s Film Night on the 28th is, Austro-Hungarian filmmaker and entrepreneur George Michael Hoellering’s 1951 British drama film of the play, made in collaboration with T. S. Eliot.

Born on July 20th 1897 in Baden near Vienna, the third of four children of the musician and impresario, Georg Höllering, and his wife, Maria Magdalene. G.M.H, as his name was often abbreviated, moved to Berlin at the beginning of the 1920’s, working as a film editor and director. Fleeing the continent with his Jewish wife to escape the Nazi onslaught, he spent a period of the ensuing second World War interned on the Isle of Man. Here a friend and lecturer in German at the University of London, Karl Maurer, lent him a copy of the play. Making such a huge impression upon him, he resolved one day to film it. Also becoming acquainted with the artist Peter Strausfeld who went on to create a wonderful series of posters for the Academy Cinema, including one for the film of Murder in the Cathedral.

A victim of the war’s collateral damage, Hoellering felt indebted for the safety of England that had offered him shelter during a difficult time. Becoming the co-owner and managing director in 1944 of the Academy Cinema, an “art house” theatre on Oxford Street, until his death in 1980 in Suffolk. He and Thomas Stearns Eliot finally met, in 1945. Eliot liked him and because George had such enthusiasm and knowledge of the play, overcoming his reluctance agreed to the film being made.

As a guide to the rhythms and emphases of the verse, Eliot agreed to make a recording of the entire play. This was a great help and suggested to George the possibility of using Eliot as the voice of the Fourth Tempter, proceeding from an invisible actor.

Commissioned to compose music for the film László Lajtha, director of Music for Hungarian Radio, director of the Museum of Ethnography and of the Budapest National Conservatory. His symphonic piece, in Memoriam, was the first new work to be premiered in Budapest following concerts being given there again after the war. Spending the year 1947-48 in London, Lajtha wrote three important concert works; his Third Symphony, Orchestral Variations and Harp Quintet No.2, rather than a film score. Extracts from these were used in the film. On his return to Hungary, for having stayed too long in the West, his passport was confiscated and he was removed from his posts. Later in 1951, for his activities in folk-music research, he received the Kossuth Prize. The home in central Budapest where he lived and worked from 1923 until his death in 1963 bares a commemorative plaque.

Casting included a number of performers from the Old Vic and in a scene especially written for the film Alexander Gauge (29 July 1914-28 August 1960) as King Henry. Best known for playing Friar Tuck in “The Adventures of Robin Hood” from 1955 to 1960. A large number of non-professionals were also engaged, including the lead. Becket was played by Father John Groser (23 June 1890 – 19 March 1966). A C of E clergyman and prominent Christian Socialist, a.k.a the best known priest in the East End.

Wheeler Winston Dixon writing of Cinema and Poetry in September 2016 gave this appraisal:

In the summer of 1939, Father Groser led a non-violent strike to pressure slum landlords to clean up their buildings, and cease unlawful evictions of tenants; the strike was a success. He was also an early advocate for equal rights for all citizens, regardless of race, creed, or colour, and equally passionate in defence of the rights of women. Through the years, Groser continued to wage war against plutocrats, arguing that faith inevitably “leads to the necessity of the Christian’s identification of himself with human beings in need”. Thus, as the performative centrepiece of Murder in the Cathedral, Groser is authentic, commanding, and absolutely assured in the role, lending a veracity to his performance that a conventional actor could not possibly convey. One gets the very real sense that he is living the part, striving against injustice within the film just as he did in real life.

The film premiered at the 12th Venice International Film Festival in 1951, receiving the award for Best Production Design, given to Peter Pendrey. Theatrically released by Film Traders Ltd. in the United Kingdom in March 1952 and in the United States by Classic Pictures on 25 March 1952.

Certificated PG, with a run time of 114 mins, this 1952 black and white film should prove interesting. Hope to see you there.

God bless. Love

Laura, Ken and Dawn Cope.