Parish Magazine ~ January 2020
I hope you had a good Christmas and a happy new year. Thank you for all the cards we received. It was a good Christmas in Church too, attendances at the Christmas services were up, as was the generosity from congregations, and indeed so too was the amount of money we raised for external charities, mostly Crisis at Christmas. We raised and gave away more this Christmas than we took in. This is what we hope to do, so thank you for that. Further details of what we raised are elsewhere in the magazine.
Raising money for charity at Christmas is something of a tradition, personally and corporately. Not only do individuals get generous, but so too to organisations and companies: sometimes there is a ‘Christmas bonus’ for employees, or, perhaps also, a gift to local or national charities. As we enter a new year with a new government, perhaps they too will be generous and charitable too! It all reminds me of a verse of Phillips Brooks’ famous carol, ‘O Little Town of Bethlehem’ which we never sing:
Where children pure and happy
Pray to the blessed Child,
Where misery cries out to Thee,
Son of the Mother mild;
Where Charity stands watching
And Faith holds wide the door,
The dark night wakes, the glory breaks,
And Christmas comes once more.
It has been expunged from most hymn books and carol sheets because it is a bit close to the bone, it is actually the one that speaks most directly to us, and probably did so when it was written, too. For Christmas has not changed much since 1843 when Charles Dickens gave us Scrooge and Marley’s ghost, and while the details change, the big picture does not. The world of poverty and winter snow amid which he set A Christmas Carol is not so different to ours today. In 1840, three years before London first wept for Tiny Tim and cursed Scrooge, the population of England and Wales was almost 16 million. The Vaccination Act made free vaccination available, and a report of the Select Committee on the Health of the Towns exposed squalid living conditions in many industrial areas and recommended the creation of district boards of health. The Chimney Sweeps Act came into force, prohibiting any child under the age of 16 years being apprenticed, and any person under 21 being compelled or knowingly allowed to ascend or descend a chimney or flue for sweeping, cleaning or coring. A Grammar Schools Act allowed endowment funds to be spent on modern and commercial subjects. Some of the underlying issues are barely different today: education, health, employment rights, apprenticeships, living conditions, housing. It’s not the mills, factories and chimneys that concern us now, but there is still slavery, people trafficking, homelessness, waiting lists for healthcare and unjust and exploitative forms of employment at home and abroad. A few weeks ago a six-year-old girl found a Christmas Card in packet sold in Tescos that had been written on by someone who had been forced to pack the cards in a prison in China.
Crisis at Christmas and various other initiatives around the UK are but a drop in the frozen lake of poverty, but nevertheless there is a lot of charity out there. Meanwhile 80% of Londoners have no savings and a third of UK families can’t lay their hands on £300 in an emergency. The housing charity Shelter found that as many as three million working families could be just one pay cheque away from losing their homes. 130,000 children are homeless in the UK at Christmas, one in every 103 under-18s is officially homeless and more and more people are using food banks. So Christmas is still Dickensian, both socially and sociologically, in the best and worst senses.
In one of the most challenging passages in the New Testament (Mark 14:3-9), Jesus says that the poor will be always with us. Many people agree, and the evidence is that poverty has been a constant human phenomenon since well before the time of Jesus. Jesus’ comment therefore need not be taken as a prophetic, prescriptive or promissory, but rather simply as a statement of fact, as true now as it ever was. There are many individuals and organisations who have striven to erase world debt and global poverty, particularly in the last century, but not only has no-one succeeded, no-one is surprised that no-one has succeeded. Nor have we given up, and nor will we ever.
From the Parish Registers
Interment of Ashes in the Memorial Garden
17 November 2019
Mary Elizabeth Sampford
29 November 2019
John Edwin Reeve
19 December 2019
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|
Christmas Carol Singing
We raised the following amounts for CRISIS in December. Thank you to all who sang and all who gave.
Merryhills School Concert - £257.66
Enfield Chase Carol Singing - £115
‘Christmas Stars’ Concert - £900
Drama Group Carol Singing donation - £200
And we took our card reader to London Bridge to take donations for the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity with the Worshipful Company of Cordwainers. We collected by card - £175.32, which represents about 10% of the total raised.
Total raised by St Mary Magdalene this Christmas: £1647.98
This year finished with a fantastic morning at my flat when we had 31 people attend – we had all the usual goodies to eat, lovely raffle, sang carols beautifully accompanied by Eleanor and had a lovely morning. We raised the staggering figure of £439 so thank you to all and especially to lots of people who gave donations even though they could not attend (a lovely idea to help our church) This year our total raised is £3,031 so I would like to say a huge thank you to all the people who have hosted these mornings and to all our loyal supporters. Let’s keep up the good work as all money goes towards the new kitchen planned for the Vestry.
New Date for your Diary
The first coffee morning in 2020 will be hosted by Pam and Vic at 32 Brendon Way, Bush Hill Park and they will be delighted, of course, for your support - this will be on Tuesday 21st January 10.45a.m.
I would like to take this opportunity to wish all at St Mary’s a very Happy New Year.
News from the Planning Committee
This year we have decided to try something new. We are offering a Sunday Brunch on 19th January at 12.30pm, so no need to go home after coffee and no Sunday lunch to cook. What could be better? The menu will reflect both breakfast and lunch (as the name suggests) and will include a glass of fizz - all for just £10. Any profit will go to Mary’s Meals. We will have to limit numbers because of oven capacity but, fear not, if the event proves a success, then we will repeat it later in the year. However, do speak to me soon if you would like to come to this one as I already have quite a few names.
Those of you hoping for a Parish Feast at the golf club in January – don’t worry - it has just been postponed until April.
Upcoming Events for the Diary
18 January –
Art Evening with Philip Spence
9 February –
Choral Evensong sung by Chingford Parish Choir
16 February –
Interment of Ann Allan’s ashes
22 February –
Bingo evening with Fish and Chips
26 February –
Ash Wednesday Service
14 March –
Bible Reading Afternoon
15 March –
22 March –
March 31-April 4 –
Southgate Youth Opera Production in Church:
The Boy Who Grew Too Fast by Menotti and Gianni Schicchi by Puccini
5 April –
9 April –
10 April –
11 April –
Vigil Service at St Peter’s, Grange Park
12 April –
North Enfield Food Bank
We make regular contributions to the Food Bank and their needs change from time to time. Up to date information can be found on their web site: northenfield.foodbank.org.uk.
At the moment they urgently need: long life milk, Fruit juice/squash, Tinned fruit, Tinned vegetables, Tinned meat, Coffee, Rice pudding/ custard, Instant mash, Noodles, Hot chocolate, Savoury snacks – crisps / popcorn / crackers, Chocolate / snack bars, Jam, Tinned puddings, Shampoo / conditioner, Deodorant. Nappies size 5 and 6, Washing powder.
They have plenty of: Beans, Pasta, Tea, Soup, Biscuits, Cereal.
Coffee and a Concert
The December concert was given by Susannah Knight, an excellent oboist, Michael Lovejoy, a retired professional violinist and our friend Roddy Elmer playing the piano. It was excellent and enjoyed by a large audience.
The programme of concerts for 2020 is complete and can be picked up at the back of the church. Coffee/tea and cake continues to be popular and will continue to be available from 11.30 am with the concerts beginning at 12.30 am. On 8 January Matthew Geer will play the organ, so come along and enjoy the music.
11.30pm – 1pm
Coffee, tea and cake available in the Choir Vestry from 11.30 am
Concert programme for 2020
January 8 – Matthew Geer: Organ
February 12 – Gordon Giles: Flute; Roddy Elmer: Piano
March 11 –Enfield Grammar School Band
April 8 – Keith Beniston: Organ
May 13 – Serafini Chamber Group
June 10 – Margaret Green: Vocal
July 8 – Marina Ersog: Piano
August – No Concert
September 9 – Catherine Leonard: Piano
October 14 – Marion and Michael Smith: Piano and Organ
November 11 – Jonathan Newby: Piano
December 12 – Lunch Time Carol Concert
Sunday Morning Coffee
We all enjoy our cup of coffee after the Parish Communion on Sunday mornings. This is prepared for us week by week by a dedicated team of Volunteers under the direction of Anneliese Fenwick. She needs more people to help her and if you feel able to join the ‘Team’ please speak to Anneliese.
January 15th Jeremy Meyer speaking about the Graham Tour when Franklin Graham (Billy’s son) will be in Westminster during October this year.
19th February Dave Cockle: The London Bus goes forward.
18th March Frank Bayford on Chase Farm Hospital.
Our War Memorial Window (part two)
This is the third strand of the story behind our war memorial window, a story which I was prompted to find out more about following the visit to our church of the artist’s great-great niece, Mary Hagedorn, and her husband, Scott.
The Window Around the World
In March, 1920, there is a follow-up to the story of the window in the Parish Magazine:
“…our War Memorial Window, apart from the inscribed tablets, cost £75. It will interest our readers to know that a similar window – that is, the same subject- is to be put into a church in Essex, consisting of two panels, but, if anything, smaller than ours, which will cost £140.This shows how rapidly prices are advancing.”
It does indeed illustrate the inflation which followed the end of the Great War, but it also piqued my interest. Where was this church in Essex and were there more representations of The Great Sacrifice used in war memorials?
An internet search revealed the following information, taken from the churches’ own websites.
St. Mary’s, Shudy Camps, Cambridgeshire
I couldn’t find a church in Essex with The Great Sacrifice as a window but there is one in the church of St. Mary’s, Shudy Camps in Cambridgeshire, which is a village on the Essex border. (Perhaps before the great county boundary changes of 1975, it had been in Essex.) The church’s East window above the altar is dedicated to the memory of two of the sons of the Vicar of the church, who lost their lives in the Great War. The central light of the window shows Clark’s The Great Sacrifice and it is very similar to ours except that the soldier is wearing some kind of scarf and has a bag slung around him. The light to the right shows the ruins of the Cloth Hall at Ypres, the area where Archibald Clement Thornton was killed. The light to the left shows the Diala river in Iraq where Frederick Edward Thornton died leading his men against the Ottoman army.
In a tragic footnote to their story, their mother was laying flowers in the church in memory of her two sons on 1st November, 1918, when she suffered a stroke and died the following day.
St, Margaret’s, Mountain Ash, Wales.
Here a stained-glass window depicting Clark’s The Great Sacrifice is also a memorial to a beloved son lost in the Great War. This time it is in memory of Captain the Honourable Henry Lyndhurst Bruce of the Royal Scots, who was killed leading an attack against the enemy in Flanders on 14th December, 1914. (Ironically, this is also the date of the issue of The Graphic which contained the print of The Great Sacrifice.) Captain Bruce was the son of the 2nd Baron Aberdare and the window is known locally as The Aberdare Window. Again, it is very similar to ours but the image is spread over three lights rather than two and the face of the soldier is slightly different, older and with a slight moustache.
St. Mary the Virgin, Slaley, Northumberland
In this church it is the West window which is a depiction of The Great Sacrifice and again, it is a memorial to a much-loved son, Wilkinson Rowell, who died fighting in France in October, 1916.
St Cuthbert’s Church, Gateshead, Tyne and Wear
Sadly, this is a redundant church, closed in 1996, and no-one seems to know what happened to the stained-glass window, which, like ours, was the parish war memorial and depicted The Great Sacrifice.
James Clark’s painting was very popular not just in Britain but also in many British Empire countries and I found pictures and descriptions of the image in stained-glass war memorials in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, in Malvern, Victoria, Australia and in Oakmere, North Island, New Zealand. In these windows, again the image of the soldier has been tweaked, to more accurately show the recognisable uniform of each country’s forces. For example, in the Australian window, there is an Australian slouch hat where our window shows a cap. And in the Canadian version, Christ is not shown on the cross but standing, clothed in white, his palms turned outwards to show the stigmata. This is one of the variations in the image which I mentioned earlier.
If anyone ever comes across a depiction of The Great Sacrifice on their travels, I should be very grateful if you could make a note of its location and perhaps take a photo, too. We, at St. Mary Magdalene’s, are very fortunate to have one of the earliest depictions in Our War Memorial Window and made by the artist himself, James Clark.
Address given at the funeral of Audrey Jenkins
I’ve been Vicar here for nearly 17 years now and Audrey and John were here when I arrived. Audrey was a mere 70 then, and with John was in the habit of enjoying bowls, holidays and helping with the Talking Newspaper. All those three dimensions of her life are well-represented here today, and we have heard about them and more from Alison, Chris and Hilary in their eulogy earlier. Some of those holidays I went on too – organised even. The first one was when we sailed around Turkey in the Steps – or rather wake - of St Paul, back in 2004. We had two little boats: the Orpheus and the Olympus, Turkish gulets, they were, and our group as divided in half. I was on the Orpheus, as is right for a musician I suppose, and John and Audrey, with Ian and Sylvia Hennen, Colin and Linda Couch, and John Puddicombe, and my mother Glenice, were on the Olympus. We all had a great time, but it seemed to me, looking over the bow as it were that the gang on the Olympus had the best of times, playing cards and generally getting on like the proverbial house on fire. It was a memorable trip, and indeed a rare one.
Two years later we went to Egypt, cruising down the Nile, again with my mother assisting. More happy memories, more laughs, more pre-prandial – and post-prandial drinkies and much repartee among those, like Audrey and John who were teachers, and who therefore spoke their own language and understood one another so well. And then, in 2012 we went to Jordan, a big group, which as well as Audrey and John included Bob and Alison and Hilary. Again we had a wonderful trip, seeing Petra, Amman, and venturing into the desert where we even bumped into Lawrence of Arabia’s stem train, parked up, as it were. And of course also the trip to Oberammergau, to see the famous Passion Play. Happy days. And some funny memories too, Audrey and John too, mounted on some beast of burden, beit Jordanian donkey or Egyptian camel, shall we say, not quite in control!
All those journeys: We are all on a journey, from cradle to grave. And now, alas, after a long life, Audrey’s journey has come to an end. As St Paul – in whose wake we sailed in 2004 - as he put it, the time for departing has come. Audrey has run the race, fought the good fight, sailed the boat even, and now her reward - the crown of righteousness is prepared for her. Here in church – in this nave, we are in a boat – the ark in which we navigate our Christian journeys, through the storms and calms of life. We gather here for baptisms, weddings, funerals, Sunday services, Easter and Christmas. And as another Christmas approaches – this one unique among many as it will come so close on saying farewell to Audrey, whose empty seat will be keenly felt - this Christmas we remember our family and the greater family of which we are a part.
Life is one big boat journey, made with family and friends, strangers even, who become travelling companions. Audrey has been our companion through life: we have sailed with her, we have eaten bread with her, we have shared the eucharist with her. This means we are not only fellow companions we are fellow pilgrims.
Bishop Brent wrote a fairly famous passage about the final boat journey of life. Entitled ‘What is dying?’ it goes like this:
I am standing on the seashore, a ship sails in the morning breeze and starts for the ocean. She is an object of beauty and I stand watching her till at last she fades on the horizon and someone at my side says: “She is gone.”
Gone! Where? Gone from my sight that is all. She is just as large in the masts, hull and spars as she was when I saw her, and just as able to bear her load of living freight to its destination. The diminished size and total loss of sight is in me, not in her, and just at the moment when someone at my side says, "She is gone" there are others who are watching her coming, and other voices take up a glad shout: “There she comes!” and that is dying.
As well as travelling with Audrey there are other things too. Audrey’s commitment to the talking newspaper is legendary, and some of you here have been on that journey with her too, for many years. In this Advent season we think of light in darkness, and may be reminded of that passage which was only read last Sunday, where Jesus sends a message to John the Baptist that he can tell the Messiah is near because the lame are walking and the blind see. Those of you who read for the Enfield Talking Newspaper are ministers of light in darkness, enabling the blind, if not to see exactly, but to hear the light of the word in print made audible. It is a true gift to those in the darkness of blindness.
More significant still is the years of service, commitment and love that Audrey has given to the teaching profession. Teachers are special people, that rare breed of people who use their hearts and minds and bodies to serve the future. We all know that the teaching profession has had its challenges, politically, socially, financially and emotionally these last few years, but teachers stick with it, driven by their love of learning and desire to see future generations blessed and equipped for the life ahead. It is a true vocation and there is no greater gift to impart than education. We all have had a mother and we all have had teachers, and some of us have been blessed by a person, like Audrey, who is both.
So now it is almost Christmas, and we are here to remember and give thanks for Audrey’s life, for all the things she did, for all that she believed, for all that she was, to each of us and to everyone else. As a teacher, a woman of faith, a mother, a wife, whose commitment to family and to young people was superlative, John and the family felt that the cradle song, ‘Away in a Manger’ would be appropriate. Appropriate particularly for its last verse, in which, in a sense, is much of what I have been saying, as we combine a gratitude for Audrey’s life and work; the upcoming celebration of Christmas, and the hope of heaven in which we and Audrey place our trust.
Be near me, Lord Jesus; I ask thee to stay
Close by me for ever, and love me, I pray.
Bless all the dear children in thy tender care,
And fit us for heaven, to live with thee there.
We shall sing it in a moment. But let me also take you back to the beginning: we began our service with the hymn, ‘Here I am Lord’, which Audrey wanted to be brought into church with.
Here I am, Lord.
Is it I, Lord?
I have heard you calling in the night.
I will go, Lord, if you lead me.
I will hold your people in my heart.
Words almost from Audrey’s own mouth, about her service to education and faith in Christ. And now she is going, going on the last part of that journey to her eternal home – crossing to the other side, fit for heaven, led by Jesus, holding us all in her heart, for ever. So as we bid farewell, we anticipate the day when we too will make that journey, to rise in glory with Audrey and all the saints. Amen.
The Rev’d Dr Gordon Giles, St Mary Magdalene, Enfield,
Thursday 19th December 2019
Coffee Mornings 2020
Here are the dates for coffee mornings for 2020 so please make a note in your brand new diaries / calendars as we are collecting for a new kitchen in the vestry and relying on your wonderful, ongoing support
January 21: Pam & Vic
February 18: Janet & Keith
March 17: Eleanor
April 21: Alison Reeve
May 19: Rita Barker
June 16: Carol & Peter
July 21: June Carr
August 18: Gill & David Bird
September 15: Jackie Fish
October 20: Kate & Bob
November 17: Lilian & Colin
December 15: Rita Barker
Items for the February edition to the editor by Sunday 12 January.
Please use the magazine section of the pigeon-holes or email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Documents should be in Microsoft Word or plain text. If you know of anyone 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
(10 am Saturday morning in the Church or earlier as arranged)
25 January 2020
Ken Cope and Gill Bird
If you know of any lady or gentleman who would be able to help with stapling, or if you are unable to keep any of the above dates, please contact either Michael or Janet Dixon or Janet Whelpdale.