Today the last levels of the scaffold on our spire has been 'struck', or taken down. It reveals exactly what we had hoped for: a restored, beautified, and bold spire.
It's something new that harks back to something very old. The last time All Saints' would have shown itself so proudly would have been in 1882. Then, like now, the dark flint, would have contrasted with the creamed Cotswold stonework.
This has been a long-while coming. Even the works themselves have taken over a year. The planning began in 2014, as we got wind of the fact that the spire was not just tatty but dangerous.
Thanks to a great team effort from Wardens, parishioners and staff, it has come to fruition. Especial thanks must, though, be given to David Lane, our Treasurer, who in his own understated way has financially managed (and continues to do so) a project of phenomenal complexity, alongside the main parish financial strategy. I am hugely grateful to him as Vicar, as I am to the Heritage Lottery Fund, and the many other trusts who have supported us. More on that very soon....
Thank you to all those who helped Gillian and the @guildofhealth making a video a week or so ago. You can check out the finished article here, and learn all about churches as places of health and healing.
During Holy Week and Easter we follow the final week of Christ's life and his death. Interestingly, Christian worship has expressed this devotion by worshipping in the same way as the earliest followers of Jesus. It is a particularly poignant time, when we think about the most important aspects of life and death. It is definitely the case that the more that one invests in this week, the closer one will feel to Christ. This week can be revolutionary, even converting, if we let ourselves get close enough to Jesus' pain, and to the extraordinary hope of his resurrection. Come and join us; I can guarantee that you will not regret doing so.
The closer you come to Christ's cross, the more extraordinary you will find the reality of resurrection.
We're pretty excited to be running the Bible Society's Bible Course for Lent and the weeks immediately after Easter. It's a great way to see the Bible with fresh eyes, or If you're new to it. The Bible Society writes that the Bible Course:
'shows how all the books, characters, and events fit together to form on BIG story, from Genesis to Revelation.'
What not come and try it this Lent?
Wednesdays at 1pm (venue tbc decided on numbers in the group but either Hall or Vicarage). It will be on the following dates:
13th, 20th, 27th March
3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th Apri
Sundays after 10am mass:
10th, 17th, 24th March
14th, 28th April
2nd, 9th, 16th, 30th May.
Modern Slavery –
Hidden in Plain Sight
This year at All Saints’, in both the school and church, we are asking for your generosity to fight Modern Slavery as part of the Diocese of London’s Lent Appeal.
Modern Day Slavery is a very real problem both nationally, and locally in London, and I have recenrly discovered it affects even in our own area here in Whetstone and Friern Barnet. Often those are enslaved go about their lives, slaves in our very midst.
Our new bishop, Sarah Mullally writes:
We are asking all our parishes to prayerfully consider how we as a Diocese can join together and raise awareness of an issue that is ‘Hidden in plain sight. Our Capital is faced with an immense challenge of Modern Day Slavery.
How can we help?
A central theme in the Bible, is a call to seek after justice, to be generous and to be kind. The prophet Micah writes that God
“has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”
Jesus tells us that to love God is to love our neighbour. The two commandments are inseparable.
We are asking whether you could give generously to support the work of a number of respected charities fighting to release slaves held captive in our city. These charities are:
All do equally incredible work, and we have been asked prayerfully to consider how we can join together and raise awareness of an issue that is ‘hidden in plain sight’, and by raising funds, support our partner charities to continue to help those trapped by Modern Day Slavery.
All the money that you give will have an immediate impact on people who currently live in fear, as powerless neighbours. With your help, we can help them find their freedom. Please pray for all those caught up in this hideous reality, that they may be enjoy again the freedom for which God created them.