Notices w/c 10th January

This Sunday the season of Epiphany continues as we celebrate the feast of the Baptism of Christ. Like the visit of the Magi when Christ was revealed to the people of the world, so at Christ’s Baptism there is a revelation of the Holy Trinity, as the Son is Baptised, the Father speaks, and the Spirit descends upon Christ. It is also an occasion to give thanks for our Baptism and membership of the Church, the Body of Christ. The current circumstances mean that many of us are not able to be together in church for worship, but this celebration of our Baptism reminds us of our unity in faith as God’s people. Despite the understandable fear and anxiety at this time, let us take comfort in God’s words at Christ’s Baptism – ‘this is my Son, the beloved, in whom I am well pleased’  – which may be understood as also speaking to each one of us as his beloved children.

SERVICES THIS SUNDAY – Second Sunday of Christmastide (10th January)
9.00am              Morning Prayer – in person
10.00am            Sung Mass – in person and livestreamed on Facebook and You Tube
6.00pm              Epiphany Carols – ONLINE ONLY (see info below)

You can access livestreamed services by clicking on either of these links:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTExOrxD97ng8MF8LKSg9CQ
https://www.facebook.com/saintmichaelbarnes/videos

EPIPHANY LETTER – please read
Dear friends, many of you will have received by email my Epiphany Letter which can be found here. Please read this carefully as it describes how we are responding to the corona virus pandemic and lockdown at this time. Please note the change to Epiphany Carols tomorrow evening.

EPIPHANY CAROL SERVICE  – Sunday 10th January, 6.00pm 
We have made the decision to hold this service ONLINE ONLY as it is normally very popular and involves an expanded choir. The service will take place in church with only clergy, choir, readers and servers present and we invite you to watch the service from home via the Facebook and You Tube (links above). The order of service will also be available on the website so that you can sing along to the beautiful Epiphany hymns!

EPIPHANY CHALK – available for collection from church or delivery
Those of you who have been Epiphany services at St Michael’s before will know that we continue the custom of blessing chalk for us in blessing our homes for the New Year – something that seems even more appropriate than ever as we spend so much time at home at the moment! Envelopes of Epiphany Chalk with instructions enclosed can be picked up from the back of church – if you would like it delivered, just let us know and we will see to it.

ZOOM COFFEE RETURNS! Sundays 11.30am-12Noon
The popular Zoom Coffee returns for the new lockdown with a guest speaker each week. Schools are currently much in the news and this week we are pleased to welcome our very own Hannah Childs as both a member of staff at Barnes Primary School and a parent herself to talk about what things are like in education at the moment and how she and other parents are finding this lockdown. Do join us with a cup of coffee and greet one another online.
Topic: St Michael’s Zoom Coffee
Time: This is a recurring meeting (same link works every week)
Join Zoom Meeting:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81480421749
Meeting ID: 814 8042 1749

I am also particularly interested to hear from you about subjects and themes that you would like the clergy to consider preaching about in the year ahead. It is very useful for us to know what issues you are interested in, thinking about or which are challenging you so that we can shape our preaching accordingly and help you in your faith. Please do drop an email to me on vicar@stmichaelbarnes.org with any comments you might have.

CANDLEMAS CHRISTINGLE SERVICE – Sunday 31st January, 11.30am by Zoom
We are planning to hold an online Children’s Service as we keep the feast of Candlemas (properly known as the presentation of Christ in the Temple) with the ever-popular Christingles! You might like to begin getting together the necessary ingredients – a red ribbon, an orange, small piece of aluminium foil, cocktail sticks (four for each orange) and some soft sweets – we will provide a candle either to be picked up at church or delivered to your home. Details of the Zoom meeting are below.
Fr Stephen Stavrou is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: Candlemas Christingle Service
Time: Jan 31, 2021 11:30 AM London
Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87800037125
Meeting ID: 878 0003 7125

WEEK OF PRAYER FOR CHRISTIAN UNITY – 18th – 25th January
This year we have decided not to have a physical gathering together in worship in Barnes to celebrate the Week of Prayer for Unity. However we do intend to together in worship online and it is an opportunity to reconnect and encourage one another during this new lockdown.  So do please make a date in your diary to join us on Sunday 24th January, 4pm for a short service based on the theme of Abiding in Christ (drawing on Jesus’s words in John 15:1-17).
Abiding in Christ: Week of Prayer for Christian Unity Barnes service 
Time: Jan 24, 2021 04:00 PM London
Join Zoom Meeting:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/6509659502?pwd=Q09SRWJqSGJpZituaDd4cjAvZ3hQdz09
Meeting ID: 650 965 9502
Passcode: 465270

EPIPHANY OFFERINGS
The gifts of the Magi to the infant Christ make this a season of thanksgiving and offering, and I am aware that many of you were unable to join us for worship at Christmas and make your customary offerings in the collection for the mission and ministry of St Michael’s. I would therefore like to invite you to consider making a special Epiphany donation. To this end we will send out further information and Blue Envelopes very soon but, in the meantime, you would be welcome to pick up a Blue Envelope from church or make a direct bank transfer using the following bank details below:

St Michael & All Angels Church
Barclays Bank
Account no.10774065
Sort code: 20-72-33

I realise this is a difficult time for many of us, but if you are in a position to make a donation please keep St Michael’s in mind because much of our usual income from collections and rentals is currently impossible.

ENGAGEMENT CONGRATULATIONS!
Congratulations are due to James Black, longstanding member of St Michael’s and PCC member on his engagement to Elli Hill. We wish them all the best as they prepare for their marriage in the future.

SERVICES NEXT WEEK

Monday 11th     
9.00am              Morning Prayer – in person or via Zoom (see link below)
7.00pm              Holy Hour: Silent Prayer before the Blessed Sacrament – in person     
Tuesday 12th 
9.00am              Morning Prayer – in person or via Zoom (see link below)     
Wednesday 13th
9.00am              Morning Prayer– in person or via Zoom (see link below)        
12.00pm            Mass – in person and livestreamed on Facebook and You Tube
Thursday 14th
9.00am              Morning Prayer – in person or via Zoom (see link below)     
Saturday 15th 
9.00am              Morning Prayer – in person or via Zoom (see link below)        
9.30am              Mass– in person and livestreamed on Facebook and You Tube    
Sunday 16th    Second Sunday of Epiphanytide
9.00am              Morning Prayer – in person
10.00am            Sung Mass – in person and livestreamed on Facebook and You Tube
6.00pm              Evening Prayer –  in person

REMEMBER IN YOUR PRAYERS
Sick: Frances Harman, Rosalyn Fletcher, Tina Wilkinson, Jon Campbell, Susannah Shakespeare, Dennis Chalker, Iain McPherson, Ali Adams,
Dinah Garrett
Recently Died: Phylis Kirkland
Anniversary of Death: George Pelton Herbert, Clare Ingram, Linda Collier, Olive Frost, Grace Pratt, Heather Downey, John Hill, Joan van Emden, Peter Colt, Betty Cordel, Dick Crockford, Evelyn Halfrod, Margay Lee, Christopher Evans Tipping

Epiphany Letter

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Download letter here

Dear Parishioner,

As we enter another period of lockdown, I want to express my prayers and best wishes to each one of you, that your faith may bring you hope and joy even in the current circumstances. I write this letter to reflect on the situation, and to describe how Saint Michael’s is responding. Most of you will receive this letter first by email, and then in hard copy, along with some other materials that will be useful over the coming weeks.

WORSHIP
Within the latest lockdown restrictions, communal worship is permitted and attending worship is a legitimate reason to leave home. This is important because it recognises the essential nature of worship to the wellbeing of individuals and to society as a whole. At Saint Michael’s we are blessed with a large and flexible space that enables worship to continue in a modified form. For the time being the pattern of services will be:

On Sundays
9am Morning Prayer  – in person.
Sung Mass at 10am – in person or livestreamed via Facebook and You Tube.
6.00pm Evening Prayer – in person (this Sunday 10th January, Epiphany Carols).

For the time being the 8am Low Mass is paused along with the 11.30am Children’s Mass. I hope both of these services will restart again as soon as possible. We hope to hold a Children’s Mass with Christingles for Candlemas at the end of January, but I am also actively exploring other activities to engage children.

During the week (Monday to Saturday)
Morning Prayer at 9am – in person and via Zoom every day except Friday (details below)
Mass on Wednesday at Noon and Saturday at 9.30am – in person.
Monday 7-8pm Holy Hour of silent prayer before the Blessed Sacrament – in person.

Remember, that the church is open every day for prayer and reflection (except Friday). Some of you may not feel comfortable attending a service, but might prefer to come into church at other times.

I ask you to prayerfully discern whether you should attend worship. As your parish priest I never imagined I would be in the position of discouraging some of you from coming to church! My role is to ensure that risk is at a minimum as far as possible, and sanitising, cleaning and social-distancing are all fairly effective in that regard, and this should provide significant reassurance and confidence. On the other hand, in all situations that risk still exists, particularly for those who are older or have health conditions, and if you decide not to come to church at this time I fully support your decision. I only ask that you would make a conscious effort to nourish your faith by taking part in services online and in other ways. Even if only a small number of people can attend in person, they do so on behalf of all those who are unable to, and though separated physically, we are united in love and prayer.

FAITH AND FELLOWSHIP
Worship unites us as the Body of Christ, but there are many other activities that support our unity in faith and so I encourage you to take part in the following –

  • Zoom Coffee every Sunday during lockdown, 11.30-Noon with a short talk from a speaker followed by questions. I am also exploring the idea of a Zoom ‘Cocktail Party’ (or something like it) for Candlemas – more details soon.
  • Parish Quiz, Saturday 13th February, 7.00pm, (online). Details TBC but put the date in your diary.
  • We are taking forward our Saint Michael’s Cook Book and if you haven’t already given us a recipe, please get in touch.
  • Any other ideas? I am keen to hear them!

PASTORAL CARE
This is a difficult time for us all, but for some more so than others. Fortunately, because of the previous lockdown and restrictions, most of us have now found support networks in family, friends and neighbours and coping strategies. However, please let the clergy know if you hear of anyone who is having a difficult time and who might appreciate a call or other forms of support. We are often able to advise how to access help in the local community. Please keep supporting each other, as you have been doing, and keep in your prayers those who experience particular loneliness, distress and hardship as a result of the pandemic.

PARISH CALENDAR 2021
Uncertainty about the future has made it impossible to issue the usual Parish Calendar for the whole year. With the hard copy of this letter will come a list of liturgical dates and some other events later in the year that we hope might be able to take place.

EPIPHANY OFFERINGS
Thank you to those who responded to previous appeals for financial support either by making a donation or joining Planned Giving. I’m sorry to have to ask again so soon, but as we remember the offering of the gifts of the Magi, now is an appropriate time to ask you to consider making an Epiphany Offering for the ministry and mission of Saint Michael’s. In a normal year, many of you would have given to collections as part of Christmas services, and in the absence of these please consider whether you can make a special contribution in one of the following ways:

  • Using the blue Gift Aid envelope that will be provided with the hard copy of this letter or picked up from church. This can be returned to Vicarage or to the wall safes at the back of church.
  • Making a bank transfer to account no. 10774065, sort code 20-72-33. Use the reference ‘Epiphany’ to help us identify it as part of this appeal.
  • Joining or increasing your Planned Giving (the relevant forms can be found on the website here: http://www.stmichaelbarnes.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Bankers-order-1.pdf
  • To give by text simply text SAINTMICHAEL to 70470 followed by the amount you wish to give (e.g. SAINTMICHAEL£10) up the value of £20 – although you can donate more by texting again.

I know that this is a difficult time financially for many of you, but it is also very difficult for Saint Michael’s with so many of the usual sources of income, being entirely impossible or greatly reduced. So if you are in a position to help, even by a small amount, please consider doing so.

EPIPHANY REFLECTION
At Epiphany we commemorate the visit of the Wise Men to the ‘house’ in Bethlehem where the Holy Family are staying. Ironically, none of us can receive visitors at this time, but it is the most domestic of feasts, and so the tradition of blessing one’s home at Epiphany finds a new resonance in the order to ‘stay at home’, that we might remain safe inside at a time of fear and anxiety. At Mass on the Epiphany, we continue the ancient practice of blessing pieces of chalk which will then be available for collection from church (we can also deliver this to you) along with instructions on how to write the traditional Epiphany blessing at the entrance to your house, asking for God’s blessing upon you and your household in the year ahead. It is my prayer at this time that whatever the coming year holds, like the Magi, you may be ‘overwhelmed with joy’ (Matthew 2.11) at the revealing of Christ who is the light of all people.

Father Stephen, Vicar

Topic: Morning Prayer
Time: This is a recurring meeting
Join Zoom Meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88998801204
Meeting ID: 889 9880 1204

Topic: St Michael’s Zoom Coffee
Time: This is a recurring meeting
Join Zoom Meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81480421749
Meeting ID: 814 8042 1749

Advent Reading

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‘Liturgy of the Ordinary: sacred practices in everyday life’ by the American priest Tish Warren is our main book and the focus of our Advent sermons and book groups. The chapters of the book reflect the ordinary patterns of our daily lives from rising in the morning to going to sleep at night, and seeks to connect our domestic lives with the liturgy of the Church so that we can discover the sacred in the secular. Accessible and practical, each chapter also suggests a spiritual practice that might help us to pray at home whether on our own or with others.

The relevant chapter for each Sunday’s sermon can be found below with some hard copies in church. The sermons can be found here.

Advent 1 – 29th December
Chapter 2 ‘Making the Bed’

Advent 2 – 6th December
Chapter 3 ‘Brushing Teeth

Advent 3 – 13th December
Chapter 9 ‘Calling a Friend’

Advent 4 – 20th December
Chapter 7 ‘Blessing and Sending’

Pastoral Letter: Lockdown & St Michael’s

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Thursday 5th November, 2020

Dear Parishioners

As I said Mass yesterday in church, I was painfully aware that this was the last public service at Saint Michael’s for at least a month. But this is a very different kind of lockdown from earlier in the year. Although public worship is suspended, I stress that the church remains open for personal prayer and I urge you all to come as often as possible. Some materials will be available to help you pray. The church will be open every day (except Fridays) from about 9.30am until around 6.30pm. The only other time it will be closed is when a service is taking place. Although the doors will have to be closed briefly for this purpose, the bell will ring out as usual to remind the parish that prayer is being offered on behalf of all.

Unlike before when we pre-recorded some services, all worship will be ‘live’ – whether that is Morning Prayer using ‘Zoom’ (please see link at bottom of the page) or Mass both during the week and on Sundays, which will be livestreamed simultaneously on Facebook and our YouTube channel – just access these directly from the church website (stmichaelbarnes.org) or via the links below, and see the end of this message for a list of services. I realise that not all of us feel confident with technology, so please don’t be reticent to ask for help with accessing services. Of course, this coming Sunday is Remembrance Sunday and the livestreamed Sung Requiem Mass at 10am will conclude with an Act of Remembrance at our War Memorial in church. Whether you are able to watch the service or not, I encourage you to keep the two minute silence at that time as we remember the dead and pray for peace.

Another significant difference between this lockdown and the last, is that two people are permitted to meet one another outside. This will be a great help to many, and the clergy are here to provide pastoral support. Although the colder weather brings its own challenges, do let us know if you would like to meet in this way. However, there are some urgent contexts such as the hearing of Confession, the anointing of the sick, and the comfort of the dying upon which there can be no restrictions, and in such cases the clergy will of course minister in church and at home as appropriate.

Once again, Christians find themselves unable to access the grace of the Sacrament of the Eucharist. We must let this time of deprivation increase our longing and our hope to be united with Christ. With that in mind, the Blessed Sacrament will be on the Altar for personal devotion every Sunday straight after the Sung Mass has been livestreamed (around 11.00am) until closing time. However, the Scriptures also use the term ‘Body of Christ’ to refer to the gathered people of God, and while we cannot gather in person, we can gather online and from this Sunday there will be a return of the popular Zoom Coffee with guest speaker at 11.30am (link details will be in the Notices email on Saturday).

Personally, I am glad that this lockdown comes at this time if it means restrictions may be lifted in order to keep some kind of Advent and Christmas together, albeit rather different from normal. I am putting together plans for a number of possible scenarios and will share this with you soon. Whatever happens, Christmas will happen, because the celebration of Christ’s birth is a reality that exists in the heart of every Christian, and nothing can prevent that joy from rising within us.

I want to finish by commending to you a prayer of Saint Augustine of Hippo as prayer to say during lockdown. It is a very simple prayer, but I offer it to you as one that may be useful in this period of anxiety and uncertainty, so that you may be strengthened with hope and faith.

Trust the past to God’s mercy, the present to God’s love, and the future to his providence. Amen.

With best wishes and prayers,

Father Stephen, Vicar

ONLINE SERVICES

Sunday – Sung Mass 10.00am Facebook and You Tube
Monday – Morning Prayer 9.00am Zoom
Tuesday – Morning Prayer 9.00am Zoom
Wednesday
Morning Prayer 9.00am Zoom
Mass 12.00pm Facebook and YouTube
Thursday – Morning Prayer 9.00am Zoom
Saturday
Morning Prayer 9.00am Zoom
Mass 9.30am Facebook and YouTube

Morning Prayer takes place via Zoom – click on the link here to join in:

Masses are on Facebook and You Tube – click on these links to join in: Facebook
You Tube

Choral Scholar Appointed

We are delighted to welcome Kilda Carpenter as a soprano singer as part of our choral scholarship scheme. Kilda says of herself:

“I am delighted to be joining the choir of St Michael and All Angels Church.
I discovered my love of choral singing whilst a student at New College, Oxford where I studied Medicine. I primarily sang as a soprano choral scholar with the Chapel Choir of St Peter’s College, and was a member of several other ensembles during my studies.
I graduated in March and when I am not singing in Oxford and London, I can be found in Buckinghamshire working as a junior doctor in Anaesthetics and Intensive Care.”

Children’s Ministry Leader

We are delighted to introduce Clover Summers, who is taking on a volunteer role as ‘Children’s Ministry Leader’. Clover’s role will be to help us develop and lead our work among children and parents so that we can deepen the Christian faith of families in our parish and be a church for all ages that reaches out to our community. You can contact Clover on children@stmichaelbarnes.org .

Clover Summers


“In normal times (whatever they are) I am a civil servant working on climate change policies. At the moment I’m on a career break to look after our three children (aged 7, 5 and 3). I’ve been coming to St Michael’s since around  2005 with my husband Bennet, and I’m really looking forward to getting more involved in church life.”

Face coverings in Worship

PASTORAL REFLECTION

On the use of face coverings at worship

Dear Parishioners,

I’m sure many of you are now becoming used to using a face covering in shops and other places. It felt strange to begin with, but it now feels increasingly routine, albeit a little inconvenient and sometimes uncomfortable.

As mentioned last Sunday, the government has extended the use of face coverings to other indoor settings including churches. There will be a range of views and feelings about this, but whatever each one of us may think, it is law rather than guidance and we have only limited discretion in its application.

No one should feel discouraged from coming to church because of this, for the following reasons –

First, because it is really a very unimportant thing compared to the great joy of being able to worship together, which is our duty and our joy as Christians, and this is surely more important than any small inconvenience such as this.

Second, we are in the fortunate position of having a spacious and well-ventilated building that lowers any risk considerably. The introduction of face coverings may look and feel disconcerting, but the wider measures we have put in place make us Covid-secure.

Third, we are in an area which currently has very low community transmission, we pray that this may continue, and that these measures, which arise from an abundance of caution, may further help in this regard.

Fourth, our Christian faith requires a particular attention for the needs of the vulnerable and to consider others before ourselves. The wearing of face coverings protects others more than it protects us, and we may therefore see it as an act of loving care to our neighbour.

I want to emphasise the breadth of the term ‘face covering’ which can mean a scarf, mask, bandana or anything else that covers both nose and mouth. Bearing this in mind, please put your face covering on before or as soon as you enter the church for a service. Please do not be offended if a Steward gently reminds you, and they will have some spare disposable face coverings available for those who come without. On principle, I do not believe anyone should be turned away from worship whilst still upholding the law.

Of course, there are exemptions for children and for adults for a variety of health reasons, some of which may be invisible, so we must not judge someone who is not wearing a face covering, and I leave it to individual consciences to consider how exemptions may relate to their own circumstances. If you have reason to be exempt then please mention this to the Stewards, but you are not required to give the specific cause for your exemption.

Those leading worship in some way, such as readers, cantors, readers and intercessors, are permitted to remove their face covering to aid communication, especially when they are more than two metres away from anyone else. For the same reason, clergy will only wear a face covering at the distribution of the Sacrament when close proximity is inevitable. When receiving Holy Communion, remove or pull down your face covering immediately beforehand, replacing it after you have consumed the Body of Christ.

Finally, let us redouble our efforts in praying for our world, the church and our parish at this time when many people are suffering and fearful for the future. I write this reflection on the feast of the Transfiguration when Christ’s glory is revealed to the disciples on the mountain top. Likewise, in the midst of a world thrown into confusion by this virus, may we as Christians still discern the light of God’s glory shining through the darkness, as we look forward to the day when we can be close together again.

Father Stephen, Vicar
6th August 2020
Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord

Appointment of honorary organ scholar

We are delighted to announce that Ismail Mardin has been invited to take on the honorary role of Organ Scholar at St Michael’s. Ismail Mardin is an 8th Form Pupil at St Paul’s School, and also attends the Junior Department of the Royal College of Music. He has been studying the organ for several years with Philip Berg,  Master of the Music at The Queen’s Chapel of the Savoy . He is an admirer of all organ music, and one of his lasting memories is a visit to Bach’s church in Leipzig, the St Thomas Kirche, during a family road trip through Saxony and Thuringia.  

Apart from classical music, he is also an avid fan of jazz and has played with St Paul’s groups at the Bull’s Head in Barnes. As Ismail has played at St Michael’s over the last year and grown in expertise in liturgical music we felt it was right to honour him with this voluntary position as a sign of our thanks and hope it will be of benefit to him in the future as we continue to enjoy his musical skill.

St Michael’s Cards

We have produced a beautiful card with an image of the Adoring Angel from one of the windows in the Lady Chapel.  Packs of 6 for £5 and 15 for £10! Available from the Parish Office.

Photograph: Judy Totton

Vision Card feedback

Vision Card 2019 In preparation for our PCC Away Day on 21st September, Fr Stephen would like to give the congregation a chance to write some comments for the PCC to take into account as they consider St Michael’s new Mission Action Plan.

Please return comments via the card to the Vicarage or Parish Office (email to admin@stmichaelbarnes.org) no later than Wednesday 18th September.