Magazine December 2019

Christmas Bazaar and Toy Service for magazine

Dear friends, What a wonderful production the Drama Group put on of Dorothy L Sayers two plays He that should come and Kings in Judea recently. Described by one member of the audience on the Friday night as ‘nativity plays for adults’ these were great dramas and explored the hidden depths and theological meanings behind the stories of the nativity … Read More

Magazine November 2019

2019 confirmation and licensing event

Dear Friends, Epilogue to my sermon from Paul’s 2nd Letter to Timothy 1: 1-14 This I believe, may be my last sermon before I retire, and if I was writing a letter to St Mary Magdalene’s Church, Windmill Hill, in the style of Paul to Timothy. In a paragraph or two it might read something like this: To My Beloved … Read More

Magazine October 2019

2019 Harvest

When we commemorated the end of the First World War last November we looked back at the parish magazines from 100 years earlier to see what people were saying at the time – particularly what the vicar wrote in the magazine and other parish records. Since then I’ve been very aware that what one writes now is not just for … Read More

Magazine September 2019

2019 parish concert slider

We Need One Another!  My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, I’m sure most of you will have now heard that I will be Retiring at Harvest, on Sunday 13th October 2019 at the 10am Service; followed by lunch in the hall. Retiring, but definitely not leaving! After a holiday, I plan to join everyone back in the pews; and … Read More

Magazine August 2019

Dear Friends, Well what a Patronal weekend we had! A stunning and well-attended Organ Spectacular at which John Rippin, Keith Beniston and Jonathan Marten played wonderfully, including a topically themed improvisation on ‘Blue Moon’ by Keith. After delightful fizz on the lawn, we adjourned to the Hall, where Judy Smith had prepared a bumptious dinner of cold salmon and wicked … Read More

Magazine July 2019

Frinton 2019

Dear friends, It really began in the spring of 2017 when my nephew brought his fiancé to meet the family at my sister’s home in Berkshire. They told us that they planned to marry in May 2019 in Bali and they would be delighted (made up) if any of the family could be there. This got Malcolm and I thinking. … Read More

Magazine June 2019

Parish Tea Dance poster

Dear Friends, There isn’t much room for me in this month’s packed magazine! I don’t mind – as the American Composer John Cage once said, ‘I have nothing to say and I am saying it’! To be serious, we congratulate and welcome Annaliese Fenwick on her election as new Churchwarden and, for the second time and thank Alison Reeve for … Read More

Magazine May 2019

2019 Spring Fair slider

Dear friends, Happy Easter! You will know that we have been spending time and money on the organ, and while we had hoped it would be ready for Easter Day, it wasn’t quite ready, but it very soon will be. The weekend of 18/19 May will be the time to celebrate its inauguration, and we have a free concert and … Read More

Magazine April 2019

30, The Ridgeway Dear friends, We must congratulate the ladies on the choir, who have now been singing with us for a hundred years! In the Parish magazine of April 1919, our predecessors reported: “An innovation has been introduced into the services at S.Mary’s by the admission of ladies into the choir in place of boys, and we are very … Read More

Magazine March 2109

Parish Games Evening

Dear Friends, It is the time of year again, but this time in a year that only comes around every six years, when we revise and reconstitute the Electoral Roll of the Parish. From what follows, dug up by Joy Heywood from the Parish Archives, you’ll see that this is the centenary of our Electoral Roll, which was introduced here … Read More

Magazine February 2019

2019 Jazz Evening

Dear Friends, As well as telling us how many days to next Sunday there are, or what date to write at the top of the page, our calendars remind us of which secular, religious or family festival is approaching. As we near someone’s birthday or wedding anniversary, we think of them, perhaps pray for them, at the very least we … Read More

Magazine January 2019

2019 Parish Feast event

30, The Ridgeway Dear friends, It has been another good Christmas, for which we welcomed congregations of our usual increased numbers for Crib and Carol Services, and had a wonderful orchestral carol concert with readings too. As always, feedback is useful in terms of what we do in future years, although I cannot see us changing our hugely popular and … Read More

Magazine December 2018

2018 Christmas services at St Mary Magdalene Church

Dear Friends, You may have seen Bishop Sarah launching the new app for Advent with Christian publisher SPCK: https://spckpublishing.co.uk/a_good_advent We all know how important it is for us to help our people to pray and reflect during the Advent season. So, on Christ the King this Sunday, why not encourage them to download the app and use this simple form of … Read More

Magazine November 2018

2018 armistice exhibition

30, The Ridgeway Dear friends, Here are the words of a hymn written by Canon Rosalind Brown, who recently retired from Durham Cathedral: ©Rosalind Brown 20/10/2000 Four years ago we began a period of Remembrance which brought into focus a series of events that encompassed the significant and tragic milestones of the Great War.  In 2014 we ‘marked’ the beginning … Read More

Magazine October 2018

2018 Harvest Festival

30 The Ridgeway 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 … Read More

Magazine September 2018

Parish Concert

30, The Ridgeway It’s five years now since Archbishop Justin Welby declared what the press decided to call the ‘war on Wonga’. You probably remember – Wonga were in the habit of advertising short-term unsecured loans with their 2 little old people saying in their cartoony way that this was the solution to all their problems. Ironic that they were … Read More

Magazine August 2018

Poetry and Prosecco evening

30, The Ridgeway Dear friends, All this sweltering heat we are having reminds me of the places in the world where I have been, where such temperatures are normal. Usually hot weather is associated with holidays – or pilgrimages – and for sure we have had Israeli and Jordanian and Egyptian temperatures these last few weeks haven’t we?!. So having … Read More

Magazine July 2018

30, The Ridgeway, As the NHS celebrates its 70th birthday, most of us have no conception of what life without penicillin, surgery and medicine would be like. Clearly it would be painful and short, especially at the end. Similarly, even only a few centuries ago people could not have conceived of our world of hospitals, surgery and chemotherapy. A hospital … Read More

Magazine June 2018

2018 Jazz Evening

30, The Ridgeway, Suddenly summer is upon us, after what can only be described as a bumpy ride in!  Which means we can turn our attention to the summer of 2020 – only 2 years away. Casting our minds back 8 years, we went with 50 others to Oberammergau, the Bavarian town where the famous Passion Play is enacted every … Read More

Magazine May 2018

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. … Read More