Magazine May 2018

Parish Magazine ~ May 2018

The Rev'd Dr Gordon Giles

APCM Vicar’s report – 29/4/18

Dear Friends,

This time last year I had left for the United States on my study leave, and I managed to be a very long way away from the APCM! You managed admirably without me, and indeed, assisted by Jackie and Mo, the whole three months of my absence was looked after very well indeed. So I begin with a huge thank you to them and to Alison and Catherine, who held the fort and steered the ship so well.

The Annual report which appears in the Accounts and which is circulated at the APCM reveals the nuts and bolts of the year, the attendances, concerts, dramatic productions, money raised and spent and the general wellbeing of the ‘business’ of the parish and its activities and property. It is the legal requirement of APCM to rehearse all that, and rightly so.

But in what I say I want to keep us always mindful of the human dimension. For the parish is its people - us. We are the church, not the building, and it is we who make St Mary Magdalene’s what it is, with God’s help and grace, and we who come in to worship and go out into the world, whose comings and goings are always guarded and guided by our Lord.

My job, mostly, this evening, is to offer thanks. We have offered thanks and praise in the words and music of evensong, and now it’s my turn to offer thanks to those, without whom, at best we would be the poorer, at worst, we would be up the proverbial creek without a stick in the water. Money is important - it is the currency of life, and without it we would grind to a halt, so I begin with thanks that gets bigger and bigger each year, for Vic Smith, our trusty and beloved Treasurer, whose steadfastness, energy and commitment, as well as sheer skill, never ceases to amaze. He has been assisted by Vic Harrington and Michael Dixon and others and we thank them too for their trips to the bank and so forth.

We have, as always, wonderful churchwardens in this parish, and Catherine and Alison have formed a new partnership and sally forth into another year. Talking of Sally, she too is someone who has, certainly for me, just simply always been there, and hopefully will continue to be for a very long time! She is a wonderful backstop and administrative rudder in both parish and hall activities. Meanwhile Maureen Rew has added another year to her incredibly long service history of help in the parish office. Ken Cope has joined in this - as he now generates the parish bulletin for us to tweak and print, a valuable task for which we are extremely grateful. Ken has also revamped our website again recently, making it modern and top notch up to date, and keeps us all on our toes with communications. And those beautiful posters and flyers are also not to be forgotten!

Pam Hagan remains a stalwart, faithful and committed sacrist, who, with Vic’s help and Chris, and Jackie, Elizabeth, Janet, Elise, Michael, Dawn and others keep our worship wonderfully well-oiled. Others assist with the chalice and clean the church. Gill Bird manages the flowers, aided by Dot and Connie and Sue and Catherine, to name but four and our flowers continue to look beautiful at festival and wedding time.

As always, mention must be made of those various teams who enhance our corporate lives and grow in fellowship and skill simultaneously. The Care and Prayer Group and the Homegroup exercise vital ministries. The bellringers - out of sight perhaps but not earshot, they continue to call our community to prayer.  Coffee makers serve a vital purpose and our faithful sidesmen and women provide a vital ministry of welcome.

Judy Smith has continued as Charities Champion and Events Co-ordinator while Alison and Paul Reeve look after Christian Aid week. Paul has continued to look after the electoral roll. The Sunday School is small and beautiful – and thrives under the leadership of Mo, and represents quality rather than quantity. 

Rita Barker has handed over her staggeringly long role as Secretary of the Memorial Garden. After 37 years and still very much on top of her game, she has handed the mantle to Susan Rix, who has risen to the task with evident skill and gentle aplomb such that the Memorial Garden Committee can continue in careful management of that serene place where so many of our dear brothers and sisters in Christ find their resting place. Our thanks to and praise of Rita for this quiet task she has carried out for so long is incalculable. The way in which the handover has happened is also, in itself, and paradigm of succession planning: wonderful people both stepping aside and stepping in, such that service remains uninterrupted. We cannot thank them enough.

Stewardship remains a top priority and while there was no campaign as such in 2017, we are currently engaged in an extremely encouraging one. We can never lose sight of this fundamental dimension of our mission and ministry. We are not a rich parish, but we are blessed by your generosity, which together we rely on and are grateful for. 

You will have heard about Fabric from the Churchwardens, and our fabric team have managed it very well, Michael Dixon, David Bird, James Horlick among them. We also owe great thanks to Phil Bird and his henchmen who have responded so generously and swiftly to emergencies from time to time, not leastly when we are the victims of crime, as we were in November. On a happier note, it’s worth mentioning that our next trip to Oberammergau in 2020 is hoving into view, and this evening I am officially opening the bookings! Do take a brochure!

Our designated charity for last year was Shelter, for which we raised healthy sums. As usual Carol Singing raised a lot of money although a concert for Dementia UK had to be cancelled because of bad snow before Christmas. The orchestral Carol Service was attended by the Mayor, and was a true showpiece of what our choir and friends can do. We also had a splendid orchestral ‘Come and Sing’ performance of John Rutter’s Sing with the Sprit. Such events are sponsored anonymously, so cost us nothing and raise money for charity. Thanks are very much due to Keith Beniston and Jonathan Marten for their great work with us, for their ambitions, creativity, enthusiasm and ability. Meanwhile the organ project continues at a slow but steady pace. Thousands have been raised, thanks to coffee mornings and other initiatives.

From music, to drama, and the delight of having T.S. Eliot’s Murder in the Cathedral performed, was a highlight of the year for me. It also raised significant sums for the organ! Chris Moon did a wonderful, professional job and a polished production was enjoyed not only here but in Northaw and Clay Hill too. Meanwhile the Drama Group provide a thespian backbone to the Palm Sunday Service, and Christmas Crib services, the biggest events we do, and their contribution is vital and vibrant, as again, hundreds saw their slick presentation of the nativity story. 

Other events are worth a mention too: the Golf Club annual dinner, a quiz, a cheese and wine evening, bingo, and the wonderfully named ‘Parish Event’ which raised thousands for the organ; as well as Spring and Christmas Fairs and all the activities of the Fellowship add to the rich social pattern, through which we grow together in fellowship and friendship to make the family that we are. 

But like all families, we do lose people as they go to glory. Notably we lost our dear friend and priest Barry Oakley in 2017. While we remember the wonderful funeral we gave him here, and his burial in the Garden by Bishop Rob, our prayers remain with Margaret especially, and indeed for the families and friends of Kath Bower, Elinor Knight, Ivy Lyle, Wilf Jones and Stanley Graham, all of whose funerals and or interments we conducted in 2017. May they, with all the Saints, and all whom we remember at All Soulstide, rest in peace, and rise and glory. They have reached the end of their earthly pilgrimage, while we soldier on, under the banner of Christ, united in Christian fellowship and faith. It continues to be a huge privilege to walk that road with you in the service of Christ. For we are pilgrims on a journey, bearing the Christ light for one another, supporting and praying for those in need at home and abroad; and striving always to help others become fellow disciples, by the grace of the Holy Spirit. So as Acensiontide approaches: onward and upward!

Your friend and Vicar,


From the Parish Registers

Service of Prayer and Dedication
7 April 2018
Melanie and Roderick

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


Let the People Sing!

Now in their seventh year, The Enfield Community Singers are returning to St Mary Magdalen Church to give a special spring concert, entitled, “Spring Awakening” on Saturday 5th May at 7.30 pm. Entry will be free with Refreshments by donation towards the restoration of the church organ The programme will include a London Musicals medley, a Judy Garland selection, some lovely songs centring round Spring, a Beatles selection and much more.

The choir have had many sell-out performances in the borough including The Dugdale Centre and Forty Hall. Further information from or tel 020-8360-7386.

Revised date for the BBQ

The Parish BBQ will now take place on 14th July, following on from the sponsored walk.

Details of the walk arrangements are still being finalised.

Date for your diary

The next Organ fundraising coffee morning will take place on the Tuesday 15th May at June Carr's - 17 Cedar Grange, 36 Village Road - 377 bus stops almost outside June’s.

June looks forward to seeing lots of you.

Christian Aid Logo

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,

Alison Reeve

Coffee Morning dates

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.

Rita Barker

Cakes and Plants etc. Saturday 19 May 10:00-12:00 Noon

If you have plants to donate they can be delivered early on the day or dropped off the day before. Hopefully there will be food and flower plants available. Let me know if you need help.

The cake stall will also be grateful for donations. Please come along on 19 May and by cakes and plants and enjoy the company of others. Also leave room in your tummy for our home-made cakes and your garden for our plants.

Eleanor Pritchard

Lunchtime Recitals

Unfortunately, I missed the April concert but I am told that the Anern Trio, plus Gordon our vicar in one work, presented a very good recital. We are very fortunate to have such professional performers to play for us.

At 12.30 on Wednesday, 9 May, there will be another opportunity to hear Gordon play the flute, but this time with our friend Roddy who will play the piano. Do come along and there will be ploughman’s lunch available afterward when you can have a chat with your friends.

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 2018

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

Jazz Evening at St Mary Magdalene

Upcoming Events not to be missed!

I’m sure you will be pleased to know that, following the success of the bingo evening on 20th April and especially if you enjoyed the unexpected addition of some jazz, we have lots more in the diary for you to look forward to. On Saturday 19th May we are holding our traditional Spring Fair. Unfortunately I shall be away for that but if you can offer to help or just want to know more details then please see Alison Reeve. Then on Saturday 9th June the jazz band, Old School Assembly, return for a whole evening of music. It will be an altogether more sophisticated evening this time with wine and canapés served at the table. Definitely not to be missed. Details very soon. The following month we are holding this year’s sponsored event and the parish BBQ, both on the same day, Saturday 14th July. The idea is that there will be a sponsored walk in aid of the organ fund, which will finish at Paul and Alison Reeve’s house for the BBQ. So you could just do the walk, or you could just come along for the barbie, or preferably you will want to do both as they fit so neatly together. There will be a lot more information soon about times, routes and sponsor forms. Keep your eyes peeled! Thank you for your continued support. The planning committee look forward to seeing you soon.

Judy Smith

Fellowship News and programme for 2018

June 20th Jackie Fish will be with us.

July 18th A bring and Share Picnic lunch in the Church Garden.

We don't meet in August.

September 19th Still TBA (hopefully Catherine).

October 17th Songs of Praise.

November 21st TBA.

December 19th We will be celebrating with our usual Christmas Lunch at a venue to be confirmed.

North Enfield Food Bank

Week by week we make regular donations to the North Enfield Food Bank and obviously their needs and requirement change with the passage of time. Below please find details of their latest requirements:

Urgently needed food items:
Tinned tomatoes, tinned meat, tinned fruit, tinned vegetables, tinned meat soup, tinned spaghetti/spaghetti hoops, instant mash, instant noodles/noodles, savoury snacks – crisps/popcorn/crackers, chocolate/snack bars, biscuits, tinned puddings, rice pudding, custard, shampoo/conditioner, shower gel, toilet roll, washing powder.

We've got plenty of:
Beans, pasta, cereal, beans/pulses (kidney, black-eyed peas and lentils) tea and sugar.

Michael Dixon


Items for the June 2018 edition to the editor by Sunday 13 May, 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

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)

News from the Home Group

Ken DoddIsn’t it a beautiful day, a beautiful day to help somebody. A beautiful day to help somebody in need of compassion and insight, to share one’s accumulated wisdom with. Recently, I seized upon an opportunity when a dear friend asked me for some advice. His son had been getting into trouble, moving in some rough circles. So, I helpfully suggested that he tried moving in some smooth squares instead!  My, Ken Doddesque, technique is still in it’s infancy. Nonetheless, his rapid fire, incessant, surreal and nonsense humour was such a tonic. A favourite joke for me, from 2002’s “Another Audience With Ken Dodd”, climaxed in a physicalised punchline where he pulled a grotesque and contorted funny face, not difficult for him. Each time I revisit the recording, although I know what’s coming, tears of laughter stream down my face. I’m in good company too, on March 12th it was lovely to see the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby’s tweet:  “Will miss Ken Dodd - he attended Liverpool Cathedral faithfully while I was Dean there. Always friendly, always wise, always funny. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.” 

Appearing on “Songs of Praise” in November 2007, singing one of my favourite poems, “Footprints”, he’s better known for his show closing song; “Happiness, Happiness”. Such insightful lyrics, echoing biblical themes on the healthy heart, mind and spirit; “Happiness to me is an ocean tide, or a sunset fading on a mountain side... Happiness is a field of grain, lifting its face to the falling rain...A wise old man told me one time, that happiness is nothing but a frame of mind...”  On that note, singing in itself also helps you feel happy. Numerous studies have found the deep breathing draws more oxygen into the blood, causing better circulation, allowing more oxygen into the brain and improving mental alertness. It's also an aerobic activity, relieving anxiety and stress levels. Music making is relaxing, releasing stored muscle tension.  In 1965 when The Beatles were in the UK charts with their single “Help”, unfortunately they didn’t get any. Sir Ken Dodd raced past them up the charts, a laugh in itself, taking pole position and holding the number one spot with, “Tears”, for five weeks! Ooh, his eyes must have been sore. 

After picking up the Aardman Slapstick Award in January 2016, Ken at age 88, joked about his memory, losing some of his lines and using a script when performing: “But as a comic you can get out of it with a line like; I have had amnesia ever since I can remember, or, I have just bought this book on how to develop a super memory but I can't remember where I put it.”  Continuing to fill theatres across the country at the age of 90, he’d taken bookings for this year! When asked about touring in an interview in January for the Liverpool Echo he said: “Yes I’m still touring, audiences they are different, I make notes about how the show goes, I’ve got a giggle map. I’ve got a giggle map of Great Britain, I can tell you what they laugh at in Yorkshire, I can tell you what they laugh at in Devon, I can tell you what they laugh at in Essex but I can’t tell you what they laugh at in London.”  Not only is it fun to share a good laugh, if you can find one, but it’s strong medicine, triggering healthy physical and emotional changes in the body. Strengthening the immune system, boosting mood, diminishing pain, protecting from damaging effects of stress and improving emotional health. Laughter can lighten your burdens, inspire hope, connect you to others, keep you grounded, focused and alert. Helping to release anger, promote forgiveness, and even add years to your life.  Also, from the aforementioned interview, Sir Ken Dodd expressed his thoughts on turning 90; “Well there’s nothing you can do about it. It’s compulsory and it’s no good living in the past, it’s cheaper, but you can’t live in the past”.

On laughter; “I think laughter is the most beautiful sound in the world. Music is beautiful, but laughter is absolutely fantastic, marvellous, wonderful. A wonderful, wonderful sound, the sound of an audience laughing.” 

Sir Kenneth Arthur Dodd OBE. 8.11.1927-11.03.2018

God bless, Love

Laura, Ken and Dawn Cope