Magazine July 2020

Church open slider

Parish Magazine ~ July 2020

Due to the Coronavirus ‘Lockdown’ of March 2020 onwards, the Parish magazine is published mainly online and only a few copies printed for archival purposes.

Our clergy have been writing by email to members of the congregation, and the content appears here.

The Rev'd Dr Gordon GilesTrinity Sunday

Dear friends,

Time rolls onward as an inevitable stream, and even though it has been a bit slower and a bumpier ride than one would have hoped, we now have our moving dates. Neil Lyall and his London Total Removals will do the job, during the latter half of June, beginning on 18th. It’s lovely to have our own ‘parish’ removers! Neil moved us in on January 8th 2003 when we came from St Paul’s Cathedral. It snowed that day…. Hopefully it won’t this time - but the way this year is going I don’t think anyone wants to make any kind of predictions!

My formal installation was due to be on June 13th (next Saturday). That cannot be, but I will be licensed by zoom by Bishop James of Rochester. I will still physically be in Enfield! Perhaps spare us a thought at 3.15pm. I daresay it won’t take long, but that is when I shall cease to be Vicar of St Mary Magdalene’s and you will formally enter an Interregnum. Churchwardens Anneliese and Catherine will formerly be in charge, assisted I know by many others, including David Bird and Alison Reeve. Mo Lunn will be available pastorally, and of course Jackie Fish is still very much in the parish. You have all been looking after one anther wonderfully during this strange time, I know that will continue, and indeed, we will keep in touch. If the ‘zoom’ licensing is recorded it may be possible to see it, I’ll send a link as and when and if.

Strange and painful as these times are for the sick and dying, they do confer a benefit to us, which is that this is not ‘good-bye’. As the infamous Terminator character (Arnold Schwarzenegger) says, ‘I’ll be back’!!! Loaded with love, of course. We just don’t know when. And of course we shall welcome visitors to Rochester as soon as we can. It is very acceptable to come and see us - I am not going to another parish where that might be inappropriate or awkward, Cathedrals do not work like that - everyone is always welcome. It will be a delight to see any of you at any time. And of course there will be a ‘do’ at some point around here. Judy et al will no doubt keep everyone informed, probably through this mailing, which will continue, thanks to Mo and Ken.

Ken Cope will also manage this email address from next weekend, so if you would like to email me personally, use any other email address you may have for me, or

Ken is also looking after the Church Diary. Hall Enquiries should be directed to Sally Elphick. Any matter concerning the fabric of the church, to David Bird. Financial matters to Ken or Michael Smith. Pastoral and Wedding/Baptism/Funeral questions, to Mo Lunn.

‘Finally, brothers and sisters, farewell. Put things in order, listen to my appeal, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the saints greet you. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.’

(2 Cor 13:11-13)


Trinity 1

Dear friends,

I hope the past week has been good for you and that you remain safe and well. Apart from pounding the pavements of Bush Hill Park ours has been much the same as every other in this very strange time. But there have been a couple of little highlights.

On Monday we bumped into Vic and Pam and had a lovely conversation on the street. Keeping social distance of course. On Thursday we lit a candle to say goodbye to Billy and pray for his grieving family. Then on Friday we spent a couple of hours in the vicarage garden saying farewell to Gordon, Jessica and Maria. It struck me that from 3.15pm on Saturday Gordon will no longer be our vicar, gone but yet not gone. A present reality to be made complete in the future. A picture of God’s Kingdom in miniature perhaps!

Late on Friday evening we watched a comedian who closed his performance with a short and serious phrase, I would like to share it with any of you who are finding life difficult now.

“If you’re struggling, it doesn’t mean you’re failing.”

Finally keep on doing what you are doing. That is, loving and encouraging each other, and collectively sending our love and prayers with Gordon, Jessica and Maria, as they move on to a great adventure in Rochester. Bon Voyage dear friends.


Trinity 2

Dear Friends,

Well it has happened, Gordon has gone from our everyday lives. Gone but will return for the real leaving and the presents and the party. We wish him, Jessica and Maria well in their new life in Rochester and in their new home.

Life, as they say, must go on, and your PCC have been getting down to business, planning for the immediate future as we wait during an interregnum. As we discern when is the right time to safely open our doors for private prayer, and when we will be able to worship with one another again.

My thoughts about our readings today pointed me directly to our situation over the past three months. At the beginning of March did any of us believe it would be easy. I certainly didn’t and I have not been disappointed. I am very much a people person and find isolation almost torture. But, we all must not waste the enormous effort these weeks have taken, so please keep taking the advice from the Government and stay safe. Also I urge you to keep doing what we have all been doing so well, praying for and encouraging each other with food deliveries, phone calls, emails and texts. Until we are able to meet again for worship, our St Mary Magdalene family grows stronger and closer. “So do not be afraid: you are of more value than many sparrows.”

You all have my love and prayers.


Trinity 3

How welcome are you? What's your hospitality like?

Dear friends,

Friends both old and new. Welcome to our virtual service of worship today. We look forward to a time when we can meet in person and pray that it will not be too long to wait.

Many of you are beginning to be frustrated by the rules we all have to follow to keep us safe. But I urge you to stick with it for the benefit of all.

I hope you are all keeping safe and well and that those who can get to church for private prayer, will consider offering time to keep our building open. Our thanks go out to all those who have volunteered so far.

You all have our love and prayers.


From the Parish Registers

If anyone is celebrating a birthday or anniversary and wishes to take up the elements please inform the churchwardens.

Parish Magazine PDF

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

Coffee Mornings 2020

If coffee mornings continue for 2020 here are the dates which we hope to see each other again!

July 21: Cancelled
August 18: Gill & David Bird
September 15: Jackie Fish
October 20: Kate & Bob
November 17: Lilian & Colin
December 15: Rita Barker

as you all know March, April & May were all cancelled and I do not think it would be appropriate at the moment for June to take place so that is cancelled. As you know the takings from the coffee mornings are to be used eventually for a new kitchen in the Vestry and because of the virus we have potentially lost £800. I was wondering if you could manage to put say £3 per person x 4 in a pot and eventually bring it to the next morning whenever that will be. I know times are hard but we should keep God’s house in good order and this would be a wonderful sign of our love for St Mary Magdalene’s.

Many thanks for all your past support, keep safe and love to everyone,

Rita Barker

Fellowship meetings for 2020

Lockdown permitting...

15 July – Bring and Share picnic lunch Cancelled

August – no meeting

Please encourage friends to join us, especially when something is of special interest.

Coffee and a Concert

Lockdown permitting
11.30pm – 1pm

Retiring Collection

Coffee, tea and cake available in the Choir Vestry from 11.30 am

Concert programme for 2020

July 8 – Cancelled
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