Magazine October 2018

2018 Harvest Festival

Parish Magazine ~ October 2018

The Rev'd Dr Gordon Giles

Here’s a little conundrum for you: The police are looking for a suspected murderer - they know his name is John, but they do not know what he looks like. But they do know where he lives. They raid the house, and find a poker game in progress, being played by a fire officer, a mechanic, a lorry driver and a carpenter. Without hesitation or word spoken, they arrest the mechanic.

How do they know they have got their right person?

The answer is simple - the mechanic is the only man! I tell this story because it is used as part of the training that is now rolled out for clergy - and PCCs sometimes - for what is called ‘unconscious bias’. In thinking about that little story many of us would have unconsciously assumed that fire officers, mechanics, carpenters and lorry drivers are men, so it makes the question difficult, as we imagine the police faced with four men playing poker, whereas obviously, when faced with three women and a man in the room, looking for a man called John, the police would immediately know of whom to take hold.

There are lots of various kinds of biases we can be influenced by, and it can affect how we treat people, and it is very important in how employers act too. Recent research in America has shown that the percentage number of senior leaders in America who are more than 6 feet tall far exceeds the average. Tall people tend to get senior jobs. But it does not mean that this this is deliberate, nor that tall people are in any sense better at or better qualified for such high positions than those of average or lower height. The bias towards them is unconscious.

Having been away this week with all the brand new shiny new curates in London Diocese - and I must say I learn far more than I teach - I joined with them in receiving this ‘Unconscious Bias’ training, which I found fascinating. I also looked after Bishop Sarah who came to celebrate communion and speak to them, and I can now personally vouch for what a great appointment hers is, and how lucky we all are, and will be to have her as our new Bishop. I was tasked with transporting her to and from Broxbourne station, which proved an adventure on Wednesday night when a road was closed and I ended up lost somewhere near Nazeing in Essex! But that’s another story...

We also gave the curates some training entitled ‘Leading from the Second Chair’. This is also fascinating stuff about how to be a number 2 - how to exercise a leadership role when you are not actually in charge. And, you may have heard of these, how to upwardly lead. You may have also heard of 360 degree leadership.

The key thing though is that Leadership is a choice you make, not a place you sit. And I’m not going to rehearse what we taught the curates about how to manage their bosses, survive their curacies, not get caught up with petty disputes and so on. The main point is that while in some sense the vicar is the boss and the curate sits in the ‘second chair’ - the fact is, the first chair is and always will be occupied by God. God is the boss.


From the Parish Registers

Holy Matrimony
9 September 2018
Philip George Hind Bird to Sara Luna Miriam Masetti

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


Church Glue

People arrive with walking sticks,
bikes, cars and prams.
Entering the unbolted heavy oak door.
When the six bells stop their clangs
and rolling incessant chant.
Members of the internet nation
leave their warm form on beds
and memories of the night before.
To stand in the cool candled air,
of the Church, at the top of the Hill.

On a Sunday morning they miss
Andrew Mars, coffee and brunch.
What is this higher calling,
Communion with Nazareth wine?
The Nativity play at Christmas,
a Parish pantomime?
Plants, cakes and bric a brac.
Lent, Easter, Advent, Accession.
Prayers and candles. Sunday
hymns and evening meditation.

A funeral takes them by surprise,
the choir's ranks swell.
The congregation get organised.
Black suits are brushed off,
tears are shed, a life story told.
After, there’s a drink and a sandwich
down a club house or to a hall.
Comfort for a family in morning,
a warm blanket of mourners,
for a family’s loss.

Weddings are fewer these days.
No confetti and pre-taped music,
film star brides and clapping,
But in serious ceremony.
joining two people, together.
The choir watch, cry and
sing hymns of another era.
Unbreakable promises,
lifelong commitment.
The sentiment could not be clearer.

Some Sundays a baptism with
hymns and blessed water
the Vicar spills over a baby's head.
Surprised parents, denounce the Devil
and a child is passed along the aisle.
A candle sparkles in the eyes
of innocence transfixed.
The start of this new connection
with this unknown group of people
handling with smiles in recollection.

Biblical and golden paintings,
stained glass window panes,
chilled with frost of a long winter.
Now burnt off by the warm glow
as energy and faith joins together
singing, 'Bread of Heaven'
before the sharing of Communion.
Wafers and wine and
whispering for a billionth time.
The Lord’s Prayer.

Is the bond between them,
this Church life minutia and ritual.
Written in a book.
Painted on the walls
and heard for 2,000 years.
The story about a man,
who sacrificed his life
to change the human mind?
Is this the Church glue that binds in
love of the most selfless kind.

Jayne Buckland 

Choral Evensong at St Mary Magdalene

We welcome our Oakhill students this year

Drew Balch

Drew Balch

Nick Ross

Nick Ross

Launde Abbey 2019

So successful and enjoyable was our visit to Launde Abbey this year that, by popular demand, we booked immediately to return next year. We have initially reserved 25 places, so to avoid disappointment please speak to me if you are interested as soon as you can (actually we can always book more places if we need them, but an early indication of numbers would be helpful).

I will confirm details and take deposits early in the New Year.

Michael Smith

Sponsored Walk

You may well be wondering why you haven’t heard any more about the results of the Sponsored Walk we did back in July. Sorry it’s taken so long to report back but I have been waiting for all the sponsor money to be handed in and indeed there is still one more outstanding. However, to date I have paid £837 into the organ fund which is a terrific amount given that only 15 of us did the walk. Well done to everyone. What’s more quite a lot of the individual donations were gift aided so the total will rise still further. Wonderful!

Judy Smith

Quiz Night with Pizza

August Coffee Morning at Betty's

We were blest with a lovely sunny day and 27 people came along to support the coffee morning in aid of the organ restoration fund. It was an amazing fun time.

We had a bumper raffle and bring and buy. Although Joan (Trollope) is no longer able to worship with us in church now she still has her finger on the pulse and send DVDs and CDs which went like hot cakes. Thank you, Joan.

Also thank you to Wendy for serving all those coffees. In fact, a big thank you to everyone for your generosity, good company, friendship and support, also, thank you to those who couldn’t make it on the day but still supported the event.

You will be pleased to know you raised a tremendous sum of £228 (of that £128 will be gift aided). Now that’s what you call tremendous!!

Love to you all,

Betty Buck

Some of our tables are missing!

A St Mary Magdalene Mystery

It would appear that 4 of our black garden tables are missing. We have searched all storage areas but cannot find them. If anyone knows of their whereabouts (maybe they have been borrowed and their return is yet to be arranged) could you please let one of the Churchwardens, David Bird, Sally Elphick or Gordon know.

Coffee Morning dates

29th October ~ Gordon Giles Please note this is a Monday and not on the usual week.

20th November ~ Maureen and Keith Rew

18th December ~ Rita Barker

Coffee mornings commence at 10:45 am.

Rita Barker

News from the Home Group

Patch the pumpkinAs long as I can remember I’ve always enjoyed dressing up, any occasion or party really floats my creative boat! Around the age of five, at a friends house, I vividly recollect excitedly exploring the expanse of a big “dress up drawer”, pulled out from the bottom of her mum’s heavy old oak wardrobe. Since then it’s been a delight to continue to discover amazing jewels of colour, gorgeous swathes of volume and shape, sensuous textures, particularly silk, lace, faux fur and velvet, not to mention sequins!

Obviously I’m certainly one who can empathise with the enjoyment and attraction of enrobing in costume. However, whatever is with children donning horror garb, out after dark knocking on doors, and calling it a celebration, of what may I ask!

As I recall, my first encounter with this unfamiliar phenomenon came through the 1982 Steven Spielberg film E.T. containing depictions of some American tradition, I figured. We’ve not encouraged our daughter to join in such antics, frankly the last thing I’d want to see is her covered in blood, like some nightmare portent of doom! Neither have we answered related knocks at the door, boycotting TV shows supporting it. For the first time in 2014 we had two neighbours, cloaking their abode in macabre decorations. More recently I was astounded to encounter a number of overtly gruesome and chillingly bedecked, Kensington (London SW) residencies - laughing, happy sounding American accents emanating from within. Vestiges of “over here and overpaid”.

Delving into and sifting through a maelstrom of data to get to the bottom of this particular drawer, here’s the gist of my findings, attempting to separate the wood from the proverbial trees.

Historically there’s been a Christian tradition, established since the 4th century AD, of remembering saints and martyrs. All Hallows’ Eve (Hallowe’en) 31 October, All Saints’Day (Allhallowmass/Hallowmass), designated to 1 November by Pope Gregory IV in 837 AD, and All Souls’ Day on 2 November. This liturgical season of Allhallowtide was considered to be of such importance that in the mid 15th century, Pope Sixtus IV expanded the triduum into a full octave! However as part of Pope Pius XII liturgical reforms, the eight day observance was eliminated in 1955. The CofE website currently advises “The Sunday between 30 October and 5 November may be kept as All Saints’ Sunday”. Do tarry a while there and read the poignant MTAG (Mission Theology Advisory Group) reflective prayers (pdf) for all three days.

When do we get to, my personal favourite, dressing up then?

In Shakespeare’s comedy The Two Gentlemen of Verona, published in 1623, there’s a reference to “Hallowmas”. Which at that time, among other things, would include the customary practice of commoners, sometimes dressed as the patron saint of their local church, disguised or masked, begging at houses of the rich. In exchange for songs and prayers they would receive “soul cakes”, topped with a cross. The distribution of soul cakes was encouraged by the church of the day, the practice continued in England until the 1930’s and it’s still found in some countries.

Over 2,000 years ago the pre-Christian Celts marked the end of summer, the beginning of winter, the first day of their new year and rituals honouring the dead, with Druid led “Samhain”. They believed it to be a time when the dead could walk among the living, and the living could visit with the dead. Fearing abduction by ghosts, fairies, evil spirits and the like, a customary precaution when venturing outside was to adopt frightful attire, to impersonate the aforementioned. Thus fooling the wandering spirits into mistaking them for one of their own, and avoiding harm. Food and drink was also offered to appease. Homes were decorated with lighted, ghoulish faced, carved turnips, beetroots or potatoes, to ward off bad spirits.

NB. Irish potato famine immigrants carried this tradition to America. The native Pumpkins were more readily available and easier to carve. Such lanterns were integrated into Halloween shenanigans, they’re popularity properly taking off in the 1920’s. The name “trick or treat” was first used in America around the late 1920’s or early 1930’s, starting in earnest in Britain in the 1980’s.

Divination games, included apple bobbing, for predicting marriages and matters of the heart. Hilltop bonfires were lit and both animal and human sacrificial rituals were undertaken in endeavours to repel evil spirits. On a lighter note, I do like the Book of Kells and the Celtic knots within its lavish decoration. For our 25th wedding anniversary our daughter gave us and herself (three, one each), silver Triquetra, Holy Trinity knot rings.

With Americans spending $6 billion (£4.5 billion) on Halloween each year, it was estimated that Britain would spend an extraordinary £320 million ($418 million) in 2017, compared with £12 million in 2001.

The trick, in my opinion, is that we’re being unwittingly seduced, by touted shopping aisle tat, into accommodating pagan religious, superstitious codswallop! The treat is for the retailers fleecing us with increased commercialisation. Nonetheless I do care that children, in ignorance, will be out on the streets and doesn’t that present an opportunity?

Among other daily devotionals, I read UCB’s (United Christian Broadcasters) Word For Today. Their “Bag of Hope” recently came to my attention, featuring “Patch” the pumpkin, it’s designed to bless just such children, containing a Bible based booklet and activity sheet. They’re free to order, just pay postage. UCB’s joined with Scripture Union who supply Light Party Packs, which go well with the bags. The CofE website also has “Share a little light” (pdf) with advice on light parties.

Finally, time to dress up then! Yay!

As I write I’m in the process of ordering the counter cultural (yes!), aforementioned, arranging a Light Party, and designing my appropriate apparel! When one puts a light on, the dark goes, so a little light on the subject then. Evangelism, now that is scary! Tee hee.

Please come to our bring and share Light Party, on October 31st from 6pm ’till 8pm.

God bless.

Love Laura, Ken and Dawn Cope

Lunchtime Recitals

I and my friends enjoyed playing with the Bush Hill Recorder Consort and the St Mary Magdalene Recorder Group at the September recital. Interest in recorders flourished in the 16th and 17th centuries and enjoyed a resurgence in the 20th century. We played music from the early years and the 20th century. The audience, though small, seemed to have enjoyed it and the ample lunch that followed.

At 12.30 pm on Wednesday 10 October the Serafini Trio will return to play for us. They have been popular in past years so come along and enjoy their music and the lunch that is available afterwards.

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

10th October Serafini Trio

14th November Michael and Marion Smith ~ organ and piano

12th December Carols from The Cambridge Carol Book

Fellowship News and Programme for 2018

October 17th Songs of Praise but with a twist.

November 21st Dot Anderson will give us a demonstration of a flower arrangement.

December 19th We will be celebrating with our usual Christmas Lunch at at the Enfield Golf Club, 12.30pm for 1pm.


Items for the November 2018 edition to the editor by Sunday 14 October, 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

27 October 2018

24 November 2018
Ju(yezi) Lan Zhen, Shivane

5 January 2019
Eleanor Pritchard, Gill Bird

26 January 2019
Peter Lamb, Carol Lamb

23 February 2019
Eleanor Pritchard, Helen Clarke

30 March 2019
Ken Cope, Gill Bird

(10.00 am Saturday Morning in the Church or earlier as arranged)

Mary’s Meals

In January last year at our Parish Feast we heard for the first time about the work of Mary’s Meals and a few weeks later I told you a little more and urged you to consider this most worthwhile charity for special support. As always you took the idea to heart and, as a result, we have already raised £1,127.90. This has been through donations, regular Dinner Money collections and two very successful St Mary’s Meals for Mary’s Meals. But we mustn’t rest on our laurels!

On Sunday 4th November we will make another collection of Dinner Money at our 10 o’clock service so please bring along your donations (not your boxes though) and any relevant gift aid forms. Let’s hope it’s a bumper collection as we haven’t made one for some time.

We had planned another St Mary’s Meal at David and Gill Bird’s but unfortunately the date clashed with the choir’s trip to Rochester Cathedral so we are looking to reschedule. Keep a lookout for the new date!

In the meantime, if anyone is interested in hosting one of these events then please do speak to me.

Thank you for your support

Judy Smith


Lost Property

A member of the congregation has lost a silver key and a leather pen case, they believe in church grounds, could you please let one of the Churchwardens, David Bird, Sally Elphick or Gordon know if you come across these items.

Advance Notice

The Parish Feast at the Golf Club with be on January 19th 2019 7 for 7.30pm. Usual goodness applies…

Armistice Events