Appointment of two organ scholars

For the year 2021-2022 we are delighted to have two Organ Scholars at Saint Michael’s – Ben Law and Cameron Soo. If you might be interested in auditioning for our Organ Scholarship, please get in touch with the Parish Office.

Ben Law

“I am in the Upper 8th at St Paul’s School and am planning to study music at university next year.  I started studying the organ with Philip Berg at the age of 11 having played the piano from the age of 3 and then the oboe from the age of 8.  I am heavily involved in music-making at school as well as being a member of the London School’s Symphony Orchestra, which performs at the Barbican.  I was christened at St Michael’s and have been brought up here, as well as being a member of the St Paul’s School Christian Union, so St Michael’s is my spiritual home. I am looking forward to developing my playing over the next year under the expert guidance of Martin Neary and Philip Berg.  I feel privileged to be able to play the organ for services here during my last year at school.”

Cameron Soo

“I am a music scholar in the Upper 8th at St Paul’s School, learning the organ under Philip Berg. I have been passionate about music from a young age, and also play the violin and both jazz and classical piano. I sang in the Colet Court Recital Choir, which introduced me to liturgical music and sparked my interest in the organ. I am now a member of the school Chapel Choir, and have sung in St Paul’s Cathedral and various colleges in Oxford and Cambridge. I am grateful to St Michael’s for giving me the opportunity to take part in its worship through music. I hope this will build my confidence so I can continue to play in the future.”

Children’s Ministry Survey

Children and families are at the heart of St. Michael’s, and we want to make what we do as relevant and enjoyable as possible.

Gemma Curran (our new Children’s Leader) and Fr Stephen have put together a very short survey to help us think about our children’s ministry in the future. The link to the survey, which has 8 questions and should only take a few minutes to complete is here. We would be extremely grateful if you could take the time to complete it and also share with local friends, WhatsApp groups etc that are local to Barnes.

Footsteps of Jesus Pilgrimage

Holy Land Pilgrimage
6-15 October 2022

Time to book your place!

Letter from Rev’d James Hutchings

You may recall I wrote earlier in the summer about an exciting opportunity to visit the Holy Land next year. Places are now filling up, so I am writing to encourage you to join in this unique way to deepen your faith and open yourselves to the extraordinary life, culture and history of the Holy Land.

Only four years ago a group from St Mary’s undertook a pilgrimage to the Holy Land and it was a deeply significant and enjoyable experience for those who took part: “The incredible contrasts in physical landscapes and climate over very short distances in the land where Jesus walked, and its history, will leave a lasting impression on me”; “the peace, beauty and serenity of the Sea of Galilee has left a profound impact on me, and I can conjure the natural surrounds of the biblical stories whenever I read/hear them back home. I would like to keep the memories of our Holy Land trip alive as I continue on my own ongoing personal pilgrimage”

My predecessor Richard Sewell is now the Dean of St George’s College in Jerusalem, and this pilgrimage will be organised through the college and Richard. There are other very good reasons for visiting through St George’s College:

* St George’s has a long term relationship with the communities in the Holy Land The college recently celebrated its centenary and is integrated with local Anglican Arab communities, and especially in Jerusalem. The college is also part of the Anglican Diocese of Jerusalem and the Middle East with which our diocese is now twinned;
* the pilgrimage will be led by the college’s highly qualified clergy. They are steeped in the history and archaeology of the land and the faith which has shaped it. Carefully thought through programmes enable people to reflect and to learn whatever their prior level of knowledge.
* the college is rooted in prayer and rich liturgical experiences Every day on the pilgrimages is bound together in prayer so that they are a great deal more than a tour of fascinating places. The College enjoys the daily pattern of worship of the Cathedral which is on the same site.
* Beautiful and comfortable accommodation St George’s has its own premises, just ten minutes’ walk from the Old City of Jerusalem but it is a peaceful idyll in which to study and to rest. There are en suite facilities, an outstanding learning environment and comfortable areas in which to socialise. The Pilgrim Guest House is an attractive context for dining and fellowship together. Accommodation outside Jerusalem is chosen to provide similar comfort.

The Footsteps of Jesus study pilgrimage which lasts for 10 days, invites participants to become pilgrims who follow the journey that Jesus and his first disciples made through the Holy Land. The course aims to lead its members to be struck anew by the power of Jesus’ teaching and healing ministry, to experience both the joy and the sorrow of his journey to the cross, and to encounter the risen Christ at his tomb and in breaking bread together at Emmaus.

Mini-lectures prepare pilgrims for site visits and explore the geographical contexts of Jesus’ ministry. The course integrates biblical study with theological and spiritual reflection on contemporary issues in Israel and Palestine, and encounters the roots and traditions of the Christian faiths of East and West. All activities are rooted in prayer.

While the details of every programme vary, visits include:
• Jesus’ birthplace in Bethlehem and childhood home in Nazareth
• The site of Jesus’s baptism (where you may renew baptismal vows)
• The Judean desert where Jesus was tempted after his baptism
• The Sea of Galilee, including Jesus “own town” (Matt. 9.1), Capernaum
• Caesarea Philippi, where Peter answered Jesus’s question, “Who do you say that I am?” by affirming “You are the Christ” (Mark 8.29)
• The site of the Transfiguration on Mt. Tabor (Matt. 17.1-8)
• Bethphage, from where Jesus entered Jerusalem in triumph (Mark 11.1-10)
• The Garden of Gethsemane (Mark 14.32–49)
• The remains of the Jerusalem Temple complex from Jesus’ day, and Western Wall
• The Way of the Cross, Golgotha and Jesus’ tomb
• Emmaus, where Christ appeared after his resurrection (Luke 24.13-31)

What to do next if you are interested. A $500 deposit will secure a place and this can be done via the college website below (best way is using the PayPal option). Given the uncertainties caused by COVID-19 there is a flexible refund policy until there is greater travel confidence. The course fee is $2,600 which covers all board & lodging and all costs once in the Holy Land except personal extras. Flights are not included and will be arranged separately as a St Mary’s group. Participants will be billed for the remainder of the amount one month before the course starts. Think and pray about if this is something you would like to do. Have a look at the college website for more details: Please contact me or perhaps others who have previously been on a Holy Land pilgrimage, if you would like to discuss this further in any way.

With all good wishes

Rev’d James Hutchings

Pastoral Letter from Fr Stephen

Tuesday 20th July, 2021
Feast of Saint Margaret of Antioch

Dear Parishioners,

The lifting of corona virus restrictions this week will have brought relief and joy for some, and anxiety and uncertainty for others. As I think of these diverse responses I am reminded of Saint Paul’s words in Romans 12.15-16 when he tells us to ‘rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep’ so that we might ‘live in harmony with one another’. Although life will look a lot more normal, it is important to remind ourselves that the pandemic is not over.

Throughout the pandemic Saint Michael’s has continued worship and church life as far as possible, as an affirmation of the importance of the spiritual life to individuals and the community, whilst working within the guidance in effect at the time to mitigate virus transmission and keep everyone as safe as possible – and I thank God that we have not had any cases linked to church.

In this new phase of our life together, I would like our watchwords to be caution and courtesy. Caution in terms of moving forward carefully and continuing with some of the infection control measures which are now usual to us all. Courtesy in terms of our attitude to one another and being sensitive to different needs as part of our Christian vocation to love one another.

I see the next few weeks between now and the end of August as a transitional period, in which we learn as individuals and as a parish how to negotiate the new situation. Having consulted with Churchwardens and PCC, I describe below how Saint Michael’s will respond to the lifting of restrictions, particularly with regard to worship. These will be reviewed in the days ahead and particularly at the start of September. I hope that they will provide both comfort and encouragement to all of you, however you are feeling at this time.

  • Sanitiser will continue to be available, and you are strongly encouraged to use this when entering the church. The clergy will continue to use Sanitiser regularly throughout services and testing themselves regularly for your reassurance.
  • Seating will continue to be separated with alternate pews roped off. Although there is no requirement for social-distancing it is still strongly encouraged where possible, and the ropes will assist those who wish to remain socially-distanced. You are welcome to sit with whoever you like and in whatever number, but as a courtesy do check with someone that they are happy with this. The abundance of seating at Saint Michael’s means that there is room for people both to sit together or to remain separate as they prefer. Masks are not required any longer, but some (perhaps many) will wish to continue wearing them. We are fortunate to have a large and well-ventilated building that lowers the risk of virus transmission, and to facilitate this the doors of the church will continue to remain open during services. If deemed necessary, we may designate some areas of the church for people who wish to wear masks and those who don’t, particularly with regard to singing (please see below) The Clergy will continue to wear masks to distribute the Sacrament.
  • Singing will perhaps be the most noticeable change to services, and I know how many of you are looking forward to singing hymns again. We will restart congregational singing from this Sunday, but as part of our courtesy to each other I ask that those singing without a mask sit in the front half of the church, so that those who are being more cautious can sit behind.
  • Holy Communion will continue to be distributed in one kind (the Body of Christ) from a standing position – for most services this will be in the Nave as now, although the 8am Low Mass will be in the Lady Chapel. Whilst I would dearly love to see the return of the Chalice, prudence would suggest delaying this for what I hope will only be a little longer. Likewise, while kneeling to receive Communion is an important reflection of our devotion to the Sacrament, it is more practical at this time to continue standing.
  • Welcome Cards are no longer necessary to record attendance of everyone at worship. However please look out for emails from church as it might be necessary to inform everyone of any confirmed cases, and therefore to contact those who were present on a particular Sunday. Welcome Cards will be available for new worshippers to fill in.
  • Collections will continue to be taken at the back of the church rather than passing around collection bowls, and this may turn out to be a permanent change as many people have said they prefer it! I would also like to encourage you to use the contactless payment machine, and if doing so, remember that it can be used before the service as well as afterwards. As ever, we encourage regular members of the congregation to donate via Planned Giving using the information on the Giving page of the website.
  • The Peace continues to be shared without physical contact, except for those within the same household or where you know physical contact is welcome. Indeed, many people have not expressed enthusiasm for a return to shaking hands at the Peace.
  • Holy Water is available again, but you are invited to use sanitiser beforehand. The Lady Chapel and the Prayer Board beside the Shrine of Our Lady are in general use again.
  • Refreshments, social events and meetings can now resume to a large extent and with no limitations on numbers. It is worth remembering that in all cases it is prolonged proximity, particularly indoors where risk is greatest, and therefore as many activities will take place outside as possible and I would also ask you to bear this in mind. Those preparing food and drink will continue to take infection control measures for your reassurance.
  • Livestreaming of worship continues at a reduced level, with a service being broadcast once a month. A list of dates can be found on our website.

The measures above are not necessarily exhaustive and some other changes will be brought in gradually, so do get in touch if you have any questions. I want to thank all of you for your faithfulness to God and your support for Saint Michael’s during this time. I am particularly keen to hear from those of you who might need to take extra care so that I and the other Saint Michael’s clergy can continue to support you.

To download and print this letter please click here.

With prayers and best wishes,

Father Stephen Stavrou

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 no later than Wednesday 18th September.

General Data Protection Regulation

The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come into force on 25 May 2018, superseding the Data Protection Act 1998.

Organisations will no longer be at liberty to contact people on their mailing list with circulars, appeals or general information, without their explicit consent.

Read our Privacy Notice by clicking on the link setting out your rights and our obligations (see SUMMARY below).

Please click here to view the consent form.

If you are already on St Michael’s database:

  • you will receive a personal email or letter where no email address is available;
  • you will have been asked to confirm whether or not you wish us to continue to hold your details and to use them to send you information;
  • if you choose to remain, you will be given access to your personal information and will be able to correct or update it yourself online at any time.

SUMMARY (Privacy Document)

Our commitments:

  • we understand that it is very important that we protect the privacy of your information and we will store it securely;
  • we will only use the data for the church’s administrative needs, including claiming Gift Aid on donations, and to contact you about church activities;
  • we will not supply your data to anyone else (unless legally obliged to do so);
  • we will not hold the data longer than is needed to enable us to fulfil these purposes.

Your rights:

  • You have the right to see the data we hold on you, to correct errors, to have it deleted from our records and to complain to the authorities if you believe it is being misused.