Parish Magazine ~ April 2018
It’s not every year that the magazine is published on Easter Day. And certainly not every year that the first Sunday of April is not only Easter Day but April 1st, All Fools’ Day! In fact that hasn’t happened since 1327*. That was the year Elizabeth de Burgh died. She was the wife - Queen - of Robert the Bruce. No relation to Chris de Burgh incidentally. And that was also the year the potato tax was introduced.** All Fools’ or April Fools’ Day goes back as far as Chaucer’s time (he died in 1400), when some say it was jokingly referred to as ‘32nd March’. The first recorded ‘April Fool’s prank’ was on April 1, 1698, when several people were tricked into going to the Tower of London to “see the lions washed”! It was unlikely that many of those people could remember the years 1646 and 1658 and 1668 when Easter Day had been on April 1st. Meanwhile, the last three occurrences of this coincidence are 1923, 1945 and 1956. So it is a while since we last this juxtaposition. The next time will be in 2029. Meanwhile in 1769 it was believed that the origin of April Fools’ Day was biblical, it being the day on which Noah, foolishly, sent out the first dove to search for land, far too soon. Unlikely as that is, we can turn to the New Testament to find more useful Biblical resonances. For as St Paul wrote in his first letter to the Corinthians:
‘Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, God decided, through the foolishness of our proclamation, to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks desire wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength’.
This all reminds us that foolishness and faith are connected, not only in the minds of the faithful but also in the faithless. For those of no faith, the idea that we believe in a human being who was also divine, who sent by God to live and teach peace and goodwill, was betrayed, and executed only to rise again on the third day to show the created world that what they see isn’t all they get, is absurd. It is foolish, they say to put hope and trust in an impossible and implausible event that took place 2000 years ago in a primitive time and volatile part of the world. And yet, those of us who do put our faith in this God-man Jesus, sent by our Father Creator to save us from the sins that damage all of us and open up new hope for the living and the departed - we accept the foolishness of such an idea.
Yes we accept it is foolish. Insane, nonsensical. Implausible and inconceivable, defying every reasonable thought and emotion. But we also realise that foolishness is a form of vulnerability. To act the clown, or tell a joke is to risk rejection. It is awful to tell a joke that no-one laughs at, or to be laughed at for the wrong reasons. And yet this is exactly what Jesus did and what happened to him. Mocked with a purple robe and crown of thorns and laughed at while bleeding on the cross, his ignominy truly is pathetic - and most of the ancient world thought so at the time and many people still do. How can God be crucified? Or rather, how can someone who is God be crucified, surely God cannot be defeated in this way! Death cannot have dominion over a humiliated, lacerated, mocked deity. It must be some kind of pathetic joke.
And yet, while attitudes barely change, we are still talking about it 2000 years later. The old joke still has life in it. Eternal life, in fact. Because the story - the shaggy God story - does not end with the ridicule of the cross, the foolish end to a story told by an idiot, signifying nothing. No, there is resolution to the divine humiliation and a punchline to what looks like a human joke.
For after humiliation comes glory. The sombre cross dawns into joyful resolution on Easter Day. Death is mocked by resurrection, the joke is in us and the last laugh is God’s. Or rather the first laugh of the New Creation, the relief and renewal of resurrection brings a joy that is not foolish but wise. For it is wise to welcome and embrace God’s unexpected ending, and join in with what he did on that Easter Day and continues to do in and with us each and every morning. April Fools’ Day comes but once a year. But Easter Day is every day. Alleluia - Christ is risen - he is risen indeed - Alleluia!
* just joking, it’s 1956 actually.
** Also not true. Potatoes hadn’t been invented then.
From the Parish Registers
7 March 2018
Interment of ashes in the Memorial Garden
18 March 2018
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
|Sunday||8:00 am||Holy Communion|
|10:00 am||Eucharist (Second Sunday in month Family Service)|
|6:30 pm||Evensong (or other ‘special’ service)|
|Please see the Google calendar for any further information regarding Sunday Services|
|Monday||10:00 am||Mattins (BCP)|
|Tuesday||7:45-9:00 pm||Bell Ringing Practice|
|Wednesday||8:30 pm||Drama Group|
|Thursday||10:30 am||Holy Communion (BCP)|
|7:30 pm||Choir Practice|
A resume of a talk given in church
I wonder whether anyone remembers Maria, the old lady from Mozambique whom I introduced to you a few years ago when we were fundraising for Imagine. Maria was struggling to bring up her family against the overwhelming odds of poverty, malaria, Aids and malnutrition. And the wonderful charity that was Imagine, run by our dear friends Joe and Lorraine Williams, was working to combat all of these problems.
When Joe died in 2009, Lorraine bravely carried on working to care for those who depended on her and on Imagine – the old people in the little community created by the charity, the families out in the bush who looked forward to Imagine’s visits and the food distributions and, of course, the children in the family homes, built and run by Imagine.
And here at St Mary’s we were proud to support this wonderful work in our own small way. It was marvellous to know exactly where our money was going and how it was being spent. Some of us were even lucky enough to go to Mozambique, see for ourselves and meet the people we were supporting. But two years ago Lorraine decided, quite rightly, that it was time to come home and so Imagine is no more.
Since then, as Charities Champion, I have been looking for a project for us to support that might provide similar links. And then I saw a photo of a lady called Emma surrounded by her six young children. Emma lived in Liberia and was dying of Aids and she immediately reminded me of Maria. Now Maria, of course, wasn’t real. I made her up to represent all of those suffering in Mozambique and to encourage you to give to Imagine. But Emma was real and suffering in a very real way, albeit in a different part of Africa. All Emma wanted was for her children to be cared for after her death. But, when asked, the oldest boy Edward said that what he wanted was not to be hungry and to go to school. Here were the same old problems still so very real and desperate.
The man who took that photo was Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow and after he met Emma and Edward, the charity that was to become Mary’s Meals was born. Magnus was already heavily committed to helping the world’s poor and hungry, having worked in Bosnia after the war there, then spreading into Romania and further afield into Liberia. But it was this meeting and Edward’s simple request that helped Magnus to realize that by providing a meal at school, not only would children be better fed, but also more children would go to school and so receive an education. And education is surely the most likely way out of poverty. And so that became his mission.
If you are interested in learning more then I would recommend that when you have a minute you Google Mary’s Meals. Their website is very good. Or you can come and talk to me – I have a couple of DVDs and some magazines.
But let me just give you a few facts and figures.
Mary’s Meals feeds over 1,230,000 children in 15 countries across Africa, Asia, South America and the Caribbean. Each project is owned and run by community volunteers and the charity has monitors who work closely with the communities.
93p in every £1 donated goes directly to the projects. And finally and amazingly it costs just £13.90 to feed a child for a year. £13.90 for a whole year!
I have to say that I think it is unlikely that we will ever again have such a close relationship with a charity as we had with Imagine, but I believe that I have found one that feels right and works in a way that we could get behind and hopefully support with enthusiasm. I would recommend it to you.
So I have relaunched our Dinner Money scheme. For those of you who don’t remember it, all you do is take a little box (which I have ready) and at your main meal each day each person puts 10p in the box. If a family of 4 did this for a year then they would feed 10 children that year. Imagine that – 10 extra children, some of the poorest and most needy children in the world, sitting around your table feeling well fed. Why would we not want to do that? We will collect the money you raise three times a year on special Sundays. The first one will be on June 10th this year.
If we were to raise approximately £4,000 over a year we could then think about supporting an entire named school and could perhaps begin to build links with that school. And we already have nearly £500 that was generously donated at the parish feast.
I am also initiating another scheme called A St Mary’s Meal for Mary’s Meals. I am preparing the first one next month and 8 people have already asked to come. The meal and drinks will be free, as you would expect at a meal with friends, and you’re not expected to bring anything, but I am suggesting a donation of £25 per person for Mary’s Meals in return. Hopefully we will be well fed and watered but we will also have fed approximately 14 children for a year in just one evening. Simple!
If it’s successful and lots of people express an interest then I’ll do another one later in the year. Or maybe you would like to host one. Just let me know.
I know how generous you all are from past experience and I am sure you will embrace this new charity and support it whole-heartedly and for that I thank you now.
Coffee Morning at 52 Waverley Road
After the bitter cold winds and the snows from the 'Beast from the East'; it was a welcome warm and sunny morning that brought 23 folk along to our March coffee morning. There was a very happy atmosphere with lots of chat over coffee and cake; and a few oohs and aahs as the raffle was drawn!! My thanks to Michael for running the raffle; Rita for hosting the kitchen; Shivani for washing up; and to everyone who attended and contributed; together we raised £230.50 (including tax) towards the St Mary Magdalene Organ Fund.
Thank you to those who attended my coffee morning in February. I believe those who came enjoyed the fellowship and a very useful sum was raised for the organ fund.
Date for your Diary
The next organ fundraising coffee morning will be held by Gill and David Bird on Tuesday 17th April from 10.45 and they look forward to welcoming you.
Following some late nights and early starts over the past few months, the new look website is now live on the internet, my thanks to everyone who has submitted material and those who will do so shortly, it would not be the same without your help.
The new site is what is termed ‘responsive’ which means whatever device you are visiting the site on – mobile, tablet, laptop, desktop or even smart TV with their widely varying screen sizes – the pages will adapt so that you get the optimum appearance for your device. The site also has an SSL certificate which means, when you visit the site, you will have a green padlock in the address bar of your browser window signifying that the connection you have between the website server and yourself is secure – no one else can piggyback the connection and steal any of your information – it’s what most online shops (don’t use the ones that aren’t!) and all online banking sites have. Both features are going to be a requirement of Google from May this year to ensure:
- a) sites are mobile friendly (more than 50% of all [global] internet searches are from mobile devices according to Google) and
- b) sites are secure. Without being an https site search engine ranking will be affected and there will be a very visible warning in Chrome from May if you connect to an insecure site (it is already a feature of Firefox).
The new look site still includes pages like the development of the Chancel restoration of 2012, the online version of the Parish Magazine and Gordon’s sermons but, amongst other things, now has a new Calendar of Events page where all the year’s events are listed, each with their own page for further information. We will also be facilitating online bookings for events like the Quiz night (no monies will be taken though). Later we may include the facility to receive online donations (the SSL certificate will be a requirement for this).
A website is organic, developing and growing over time. With this in mind, if there is anything you would like to see on the site – new or amendments to what is there – please don’t hesitate to speak to me or use the webmaster contact form on the website.
To access the site simply type stmarymagdalene.church into the address bar of your browser window and you will be taken to the new look site – enjoy!
Snow is falling as I write this, but I am looking forward to real spring weather and growing plants. If you are able please grow a few plants for the plant stall. Alison Reeve and Janet Reed would be grateful for cakes for their stall.
Revised date for the BBQ
The Parish BBQ will now take place
on 14 July,
following on from the sponsored walk.
Details of the walk arrangements are still being finalised.
Christian Aid Week 2018 – 13th-19th May
Why get involved with Christian Aid?
Christian Aid Week is the single biggest act of Christian witness in Britain and Ireland. For thousands of people throughout the country it is a way of answering Jesus’s call to help people in need and showing the community just how much good the church is doing in the world.
If you are not a collector yet, maybe this is the year to become one. Maybe you feel you could just deliver envelopes but not collect. Maybe you feel you could not cover complete roads but just a few houses near where you live. Any additional collecting to what is already done could make a big difference.
If you have any concerns or queries or want to talk about how you can help do ask me. Thank you,
Coffee Morning dates
17th April ~ Gill and David Bird
15th May ~ June Carr
19th June ~ Laura and Ken Cope
17th July ~ Kate and Bob Bissett
21st August ~ Betty Buck
18th September ~ Bernard Quinn
16th October ~ Gordon Giles
20th November ~ Maureen and Keith Rew
18th December ~ Rita Barker
all above dates are the third Tuesday in the month and commence at 10:45 am.
The Fellowship meeting in February enjoyed a talk about a wonderful charity known as MAF Flying for Life. In the remotest parts of the world, in the most devastated areas, MAF, using light aircraft, are there to transport people, medical equipment, and freight wherever it is needed. This is an inspirational organisation that began in 1950 and has partnered many other charities across the world, from Australia to The Caribbean and Mongolia to date. The light aircraft are able to take off and land where roads are impassable or larger planes simply cannot. The talk was delivered with passion by a local man who has responsibility for the whole of the South of England.
May 16th Jessica Giles will be sharing her work in the field of ‘Religious Freedom’ and how we might support her.
Kind regards to all from Mo
News from the Home Group
“A picture paints a thousand words”, now where have I heard that? A little internet exploration revealed I’d probably heard it in several places and guises. Including within the American singer-songwriter, musician, producer, frontman and co-lead singer of the group “Bread”, David Gates’s 1971 composition “If”. In March 1911, before my time, interestingly during a talk on journalism and publicity, one of the best known American newspaper editors Arthur Brisbane imparted this little gem; “Use a picture. It’s worth a thousand words.” Subsequently, and to imbue the phrase with credence, it was attributed to being a Chinese proverb! Going back even earlier to 1862, and a character in Ivan S.Turgenev’s novel “Fathers and Sons”, conveys this idea; “The drawing shows me at one glance what might be spread over ten pages in a book” - just scratching the surface of some of this saying’s numerous variants. None however predate the phrase's common use as an English language idiom! Nowadays, particularly in this digital and internet era of social media, with sites such as Instagram; pictures, images and videos are the most shared content worldwide!
Not surprisingly then, I was understandably delighted with the results of a snap Gordon took, one for the family album. Capturing the three of us together at Dawn’s Baptism and Dawn and my Confirmation service at Saint Paul’s Cathedral (04.11.2017). Not an easy feat, we’re all looking in the same direction and we’re all happy with our appearances! Then came the inspiration, wouldn’t it make a good Christmas card? The name of Jesus being written in gold on the scarves Dawn and I are wearing, as we’re holding our lit Confirmation candles, symbolising the light of Christ. After proposing this to Ken and Dawn, we were all in agreement. In the original image other newly Confirmed, with their families and friends can be seen indistinctly, milling around behind us. To make the subject more intimate, Ken blurred and darkened this background. Then Dawn and I asked for a few sparkles on the now darkened background, Ken provided a few examples to choose from. After a couple of days we had a card front and back that we’re really pleased with! So pleased that we gave one to ourselves, which I’ve put in a frame.
In Pre-Internet 1990, when Ken and I first met, we already shared a common interest in sketching, drawing and painting. The cards we made then, we drew on paper. Multiple copies were produced via black and white photo copying, any colour, we added by hand. Take for example the Easter card we gave out last year, one of my favourites of Ken’s drawings. In recent times Ken scanned it, and using the computer, traced it by hand; giving him a clean digital image, that he could rework and colour. For the very first time, taking advantage of a very good discount offer from “Vistaprint”, we saw it professionally printed! A few months ago, I was asking God for inspiration concerning this year’s Easter card. To my surprise he reminded me of something I hadn’t thought of in years, a butterfly I’d drawn in 1994, when I was pregnant with Dawn! After all this time, where would it be? Negating my concern at possibly having to look through numerous cupboards and boxes to locate it’s whereabouts. God, thankfully knew precisely where it was, and directed me straight to the place and the file where it lay. It’s been an exciting project, with Ken’s help, reworking the image and seeing it come alive in vibrant colour! Spoiler alert, Ken’s already prepared our next Christmas card, and all drawn on the computer too. Hoping to continue putting our gifts and talents into more inspired artworks, that express and reflect our Christian faith. That hopefully will be enjoyed by and inspire you and others.
We’re having a Home Group party on Monday April 30th from 18:00. All are welcome, please bring to share something to eat or drink.
Should you have enjoyed this article, then you would enjoy the Home Group. Please come, you’ll be very welcome! Monday’s 18:00-20:00.
God bless. Love
Laura, Ken and Dawn Cope.
What is a Senior Citizen?
A Senior Citizen is one who was here before the pill, TV, frozen foods, contact lenses, credit cards and before man walked on the moon.
For us “Time sharing” meant togetherness, not holiday homes, and a “chip” meant a piece of wood. “Hardware” meant nuts and bolts, and “software” wasn’t even a word.
We got married first then lived together and thought cleavage was something the butcher did. A “stud” was something that fastened a collar to a shirt and “going all the way” meant staying on the bus to the depot.
We thought that “fast food” was what you ate in lent, a “Big Mac” was an oversized raincoat and “crumpet” we had for tea.
In our day “grass” was mown, “pot” was something you cooked in, “coke” was kept in the coal house and a "joint" was cooked on Sundays!
We are today’s Senior Citizens.
A hardy bunch when you think how the world has changed!
I came across this recently, thought it would appeal to our “older” congregation and hope it has made you laugh or at least smile.
MagazineItems for the May 2018 edition to the editor by Sunday 15 April, please. Documents should be in Microsoft Word or plain text. Please use the magazine section of the pigeon-holes or you can email:
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.
Stapling Rota 2018
31 March 2018
Peter & Carol Lamb, Eleanor Pritchard
28 April 2018
Ju (Yezi) Lan Zhen, Val Hayes Shivane Woodger
26 May 2018
Vic Harrington, Pam Hagan, Helen Clarke
30 June 2018
Ju (Yezi) Len Zhen, Val Hayes, Shivane Woodger
28 July 2018
Ken & Laura Cope, Gill Bird
25 August 2018
Peter & Carol Lamb, Eleanor Pritchard
29 September 2018
Vic Harrington, Pam Hagan, Helen Clarke
27 October 2018
Ju (Yezi) Len Zhen, Val Hayes, Shivane Woodger
(10.00 am Saturday Morning in the Church or earlier as arranged)
Enfield Grammar School Tour Band together with their tutor, Simon Tate-Lovery played to us at the March recital. They produced a lively and polished performance and like other groups from their school who have visited us over the years were a credit to Enfield Grammar School. We are also grateful to Aaron Ness, the head of music, who brought them.
Due to road works, the audience arrived late and when the music began there were only 15 of them. Eventually this rose to 25. The audiences have recently been shrinking which is a pity for the performers who put such an effort in their performances. So, if you know anyone locally who is interested in music please invite them along t our lunch time concerts. The lunches available afterwards are good value at £3.50.
At 12.30 pm on Wednesday 11 April the Anern String Trio will play to us. This will be a very different sort of music. Do come along – entrance is free, just a retiring collection.
12:30 pm - 1:00 pm
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 2018
11th April The Anern String Trio
9th May Gordon Giles and Roddy Elmer ~ flute and piano
13th June Catherine Leonard ~ piano
11th July Sandra Sinclair ~ violin
August ~ no concert
12th September Bush Hill Recorder Consort
10th October Serafini Trio
14th November Michael and Marion Smith ~ organ and piano
12th December Carols from The Cambridge Carol Book