Parish Magazine ~ February 2020
How do we belong to God and with Jesus?
This year’s Lent Book is by David Walker, Bishop of Manchester, who writes:
‘Again and again, as I have sought to look into both the scriptures and my own life, I have heard in the silence the one who assures me, ever more strongly, ‘You are mine’. My hope and prayer is that you who read it will hear something of the same.’
At this time of Lent, David Walker explores different aspects of human belonging through the medium of scripture and story in order to help us recognise the different ways in which we are God’s beloved. And as we recognise ourselves and our own lives in the narrative of God’s engagement with humanity and his creation, he gently challenges us to engage for God’s sake with God’s world.
Copies will soon be available in Church (or on Kindle!), and for those interested in discussing their reading, we shall meet in the Vicarage on March Mondays, 2nd – 30th at 8.15pm, aiming to finish at 9.30pm.
Perhaps you saw the harrowing and shaming couple of programmes about Bishop Peter Ball and his high crimes and misdemeanours on television recently. They were not happy watching by any means, and it may only be small comfort to know that nowadays any appointment of any clergyman or woman is also accompanied by rigorous safeguarding checks and compliances. It is now part of all our callings, to whatever form of ministry we may be involved in, from coffee-makers to washers-up, to be vigilant, compliant and serious minded about Safeguarding. Whatever we may privately think about the merits of it all, the debate is over, the die is cast, and whether we know it or not, it is invariably the case that we know someone who has been on either side of the problem, or even both. Offences against young or vulnerable people are crimes, to be looked out for, detected, reported and punished. Risk must be identified and prevented as well as possible. Safeguarding is for everyone, and we all have a role to play, even if that is simply alerting someone else to anything that concerns us. But the story of the safeguarding scandals in the Church and elsewhere over the past few decades alert us to the fact that there cannot be a blind eye, a deaf ear or the thought that it is someone’s else problem, or that someone else will do something. If ever you have any concern, you must speak to me or David Bird. End of.
Admittedly, this all seems a long way from Galilee in 30 AD, when Jesus was gathering his ministry team (aka disciples). There was no process, paperwork or portfolio then, just the simple, ‘follow me’. It was an open-ended, unlimited, unrestricted, undefined, unprotected, unsafeguarded, unsafe even, invitation. By unsafe, I mean dangerous, and indeed it was. Most of them ended up dead within a few years. It’s another world from that of modern day recruitment, vocational discernment and training.
In the Church, that process is sometimes summed up with four C’s. That is to say that Calling can be considered in the context of three other Cs: A calling to a particular job can be all about competence, chemistry and character. Although it is quite possible that those first disciples whom Jesus called on the lake, had none of these things!
Competence is of course, about someone’s ability to actually do the job. Chemistry is all about how people get on with one another and character about how people can weather the storms of life, how resilient they are, how they handle stress, work-life balance and so forth. One of the teaching aids that some companies use for learning about conflict management involves creating a profile of someone that indicates how collaborative, forceful or controlling they are in two kinds of context, storm or calm. Some people for example, behave very differently when under stress, and it’s good to see that coming. And when we think about the character of the disciples, it is not obvious that they would have got through a selection process that examined character too closely. Add Chemistry and Competence back into the mix to determine their calling, and these chaps do not look like ideal candidates. Yet Jesus does call them, and not simply because they happened to be idling around when he passed by. Far from it – they were busy, working, literally, minding their business. Jesus knew what he was doing, even if his methodology does not conform to modern recruitment practice. He called people whose competence, chemistry and character were perhaps a little doubtful. Which is what made them ideal candidates.
For they grew into their roles, walked and talked with Jesus, followed him everywhere, even ultimately to his and their own deaths. Peter denied Jesus, but this does not mean he was a bad appointment back then. His mistakes, just like, more so even, than his successes, formed him. For being a disciple is not just about what you know, it’s about your experience. And of course, in the case of Christian discipleship it’s not just about what you know but who you know. They got to know Jesus very well indeed. And this is where we, two thousand years later can be like them, whatever our calling looks like, whatever we know or think. For the key thing is whether we know the Lord Jesus. Knowing Jesus and following him is the mark of true discipleship.
There isn’t a job description, role profile or anything to tell us what we are signing up for, where we are going and how easy or difficult the road will be. There is no wage packet, no contract, no working hours nor time off. And the call is one that is all encompassing, as we called to share our faith with others, to commit our time, our talents and our money to the great cause that leads to forgiveness of sins and eternal resurrection life. I think we sometimes forget that – for while sharing our resources with the wider church – the family of God – is not buying salvation as such, it is a key dimension of the common life which we share, and which is characterised by the hope of resurrection in our Lord Jesus Christ. It is this resurrection hope which characterises our faith. It is this hope which is the catalyst in the chemistry set of faith. And it is the mercy of God which makes all our faulting efforts to achieve anything, competent enough for salvation. So let these be the marks of our calling: Competence in that in Christ everything is possible. Character, that in Christ we are a new creation, redeemed in our very being. And Chemistry, that one day we shall all be blended as one with Christ in the sweet fragrance of the resurrection.
From the Parish Registers
Memorial Service (Funeral)
10 January 2020
Violet Rosina Hayes
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|
I thought you would like to know that before Christmas we were able to send £1,600 to Mary’s Meals as a result of our Dinner Money collections and the generosity of those who have hosted and supported the St Mary’s Meals initiative. What’s more, we are less than a month into 2020 and we have already raised a significant amount towards this year’s donation. At the Christmas Fair we made £20 wrapping toys from the tombola; Chris Dey kindly held a second St Mary’s Meal which made £180; and at the Sunday Brunch we raised £180.00. What a wonderful start! But now we must keep it going. One or two people have offered to host a meal, so as soon as we have fixed some dates, you’ll be the first to know. We will also hold another Dinner Money collection in the spring, so please keep filling your boxes. Let’s make this year a bumper one and make sure we help to feed as many children as possible.
We would like to thank everyone who gave us help and support following the mishap with our car on Remembrance Sunday. Our experience shows what a caring community we have at St Mary Magdalene which is much appreciated.
Anne and Reg Dunn
19th February Dave Cockle: The London Bus goes forward.
18th March Frank Bayford on Chase Farm Hospital.
Coffee and a Concert
Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the January concert when Matthew Geer very ably played the organ. I am told the music was good and enjoyed.
At 12.30 m on Wednesday, 12 February Gordon Giles, our vicar, and Roddy Elmer will play the flute and piano. Their concerts are usually popular so do come along and enjoy half an hour of live music. From 11.30 am you can have coffee or tea and cake and a chat with friends in the choir vestry. I hope to see you there.
11.30pm – 1pm
Coffee, tea and cake available in the Choir Vestry from 11.30 am
Concert programme for 2020
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
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
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
January Coffee Morning
The first coffee morning was attended on the 21 January by 25 people at Rita’s flat and we raised the lovely sum of £272.50. As I am sure you will all know (following our efforts for the organ) we are now raising money for a brand new kitchen in the Vestry so I hope you will continue through the year to try to come along if possible and be as generous as you can manage. Please make a note that the next morning will be held at Janet Whelpdale’s home at 6 Chase Ridings on Tuesday 18th February and Janet is looking forward to seeing as many as possible then. Thanks again for your wonderful support.
Address for Violet Rosina Hayes’ Thanksgiving and Celebration Service - Friday 10th January 2020
Known affectionately to some of us as Val and others as Vi.
Vi, was a muched loved member of the congregation here at St Mary Magdalene Church. It was a real privilege for the clergy here to minister to her, especially over the past couple of years as her health began to deteriorate. Vi always greeted you with a smile and a positive attitude to life in general, even when she was house-bound there was always a new jig-saw puzzle on the go, to keep her mind active. When she could no longer get to Church, she loved receiving Holy Communion in hospital and at home. Her Faith meant such a lot to her…
When one visited Vi, it was always about you, not her, she wanted to know how my family was, all about any news of the Church Family at St Mary’s, and then she would update me on all the current news about her own family, and believe me, from the eldest to the very youngest, she was so proud of you all! This was just one of Vi’s great gifts, it was always about you, and not her! It wasn’t a counselling session, Vi had a genuine interest in people and what they were about… As Christians, we are sometimes encouraged to see ourselves and our lives as threads in a tapestry: First, we look at the beautifully stitched tapestry from the front view, yet it isn’t until we look at the back of the tapestry we can see the joins, the threads of different colours both overlapping and interwoven e.g. when someone like Vi Hayes crosses your path and enters into your life.
We may also see a knot here and there at the back of the tapestry, where a new pattern first began, and a new image begins to take shape on the front of the tapestry of life, which creates the fuller picture!
One such huge knot at the back of my own life tapestry was sewn long, long ago, when Vi Hayes was teaching at George Spicer Infants School where our son Ian attended at that time. A letter arrived home via our son’s hand; it was from Vi the Deputy Head, asking if any children would like to have a voice-test at school with a view to joining St Andrew’s Church Choir. At 7 years of age, our son couldn’t wait to join the choir along with some of his friends from George Spicer School. Vi was always popular with all the children; and it was through her initiative the link was made with St Andrew’s Church.
This was a first! Boys from a non-church school had never been invited before. Ian together with the other boys continued in the choir until they were adults.
And this was when I first really got to know Vi, it was through her knowing Eric Pask the Choir Master, and her attending St Andrew’s Church, that my life was to change too. That very special knot; at the back of life’s tapestry had been the beginning of a new life at St Andrew’s not only for Ian, but also for my late husband Les and for myself, too.
Vi never ever forgot those early days, at St Andrew’s, and when I was Ordained many years later in 2004; with a wry smile Vi would always remind me of the journey I had made after that letter was first sent home; and how she always believed and was delighted to have taken a huge part in my life’s tapestry and the long journey on the path to Ordination…
When I was Ordained Priest in this very Church Vi was over-joyed and one of the first to welcome me, and make me feel at home here.
So, as you can imagine, it has been such a joy and privilege for me to minister to Vi at home and in hospital especially over the past months, just before I retired.
There is a stained-glass window in St Andrew’s Church of eight blue Nuns, that I often visited and reflected on in my lunch-hour, whilst waiting to train for Ordination. Just recently, (after Vi died), I have been told that Vi had sponsored a kneeler to be worked in the design of the Nuns’ window; her initials with the year 1984 are worked on the side of the kneeler, but we are not quite sure what the occasion or in whose memory it was given or whether Vi herself actually worked the kneeler. Maybe others might be able to throw some light on this later… This could be some of Vi’s handy work, but we are not sure…Either way the kneeler certainly resonates with me. After Vi left George Spicer school she was promoted to Lavender School where she became Head. I have it on good authority from teachers there at the time, Ann, Pam, and Helen that Vi was an excellent Head; she set good discipline, but was also very kind, the children’s welfare was always paramount in her mind.
When Vi first arrived at Lavender, the school had no playing field and Vi set about negotiations with the Enfield Council for a piece of land, a field that was on the periphery of Lavender School. Vi was successful in her negotiations and the field became a great asset to the school and for the children attending right to this very day.
When Vi retired she would meet up once a month at the Ridgeway Tavern for lunch, with a group of teachers, who were also retired; and they called themselves “The Lavender Ladies”. Vi loved those meetings, having fun and reminiscing with other colleagues.
Vi was also a volunteer for ecumenical projects e.g. The Enfield Family Project Centre, held at the Enfield Baptist Church, which provides a safe environment for separated parents to meet up with their children under supervision. Vi became involved from the beginning in 1994 when she joined with her friend Gwyneth Bevan. Vi was the first Co-ordinator and was the Chairman of the Management Committee until about 4 or 5 years ago when her health began to deteriorate. Helen Parker who is a Co-ordinator at ‘Family Action’ also worked with Vi when she was Head at Lavender and to quote Helen’s words,
“Vi was a fabulous person to work with!”
In latter years, here at St Mary Magdalene’s, Vi was a much valued member of our Magazine Stapling Group on Saturday mornings and also our Sewing Group. Vi joined the Sewing Group when it was first set up by Judy Smith, and Vi first contributed by sewing squares for a very large quilt that was raffled; the money raised was sent to a children’s home in Mozambique that we supported. Vi was always full of energy, a leading light in the sewing group, always coming up with fresh and new ideas for fund raising, and a great motivator. Janet Reed and Vi were also involved in knitting hundreds of jumpers and blankets for the children in the Ukraine, I understand Vi’s son Steven is to continue to collect garments from Janet and deliver to the needy children. In thanksgiving, Janet of course, is always happy to receive any wool you may wish to donate. And so Vi’s commendable charity work will continue…
One of Vi’s memorable contributions to the Christmas Fair that comes to my mind is the knitted miniature Christmas pudding covers. I was invited out for Christmas lunch this year, ooops last year, and everyone round the table had one of these quirky little novelties at their place setting.
After the meal, we all raised a glass of fizz, to toast our dear friend Vi and then we quickly consumed the Ferrero Rocher truffles, which had been neatly hidden beneath the miniature knitted pudding covers!! Such fun!!
Vi will always be remembered with great love and affection, by her family, her friends, her work colleagues, her pupils, her Church Family, and all those who knew and respected her in the Community…
Vi has touched the hearts of so many, her life has intertwined in some way with each one of us here today, like me, you will all have your own stories to tell and I hope we can share some of them back at the Royal Chase Hotel after the Service here…
Together in the beauty of this building, we give thanks to God through our Lord Jesus Christ for all our most treasured memories of Vi. (And what a wonderful tapestry that would make! And for the future, following in Vi’s footsteps, we turn to our Faith, and Jesus’ victory over death; which reminds us of the greater hope of Eternal Life. No more suffering for Vi, our dear Sister in Christ, she is now at peace… We take great comfort from the Revelation to John, that we heard read earlier, by Rachael which gives us that vision of the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, as a bride adorned for her husband, where God himself will be with us and he will wipe away every tear from our eyes. God will make all things new! God is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, the reason for whom we are born and in whose arms we die… Until we meet again…May Vi, now rest in God’s eternal peace and rise in glory. Amen.
The Rev’d Jackie Fish
Items for the March edition to the editor by Sunday 16 February.
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)
29 February 2020
Carol and Peter Lamb
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.