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Friday 26th February 2021

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Regular Mass Times:
10am, live streamed at St Michael & All Angels on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday.
And at 
St Peter's Church, Southfield Road, W4 1BB: Sunday, Tuesday and Friday.

A letter from the Vicar, Fr Kevin Morris, 
followed by t
oday's Events Newsletter 

Dear Friends,
                     As we journey through Lent, I hope you are enjoying our Lent programme: the reflections on our stained-glass windows, which have certainly taught me a great deal and made me look at them much more closely; Stephen Cherry’s book on the Lord’s Prayer; the 21-day contemplative challenge; the video reflections from the Holy Land; and the daily worship.
Since I last wrote, the Prime Minister has published his ‘road map’ ahead, detailing the return of schools on the 8
th March and the gradual lifting of restrictions as the months go by. He is right to be cautious and to emphasise the need to monitor the data as we move ahead, but there is light at the end of the tunnel, and this is a cause for rejoicing. Our whole country owes everyone in our amazing NHS, who has been involved in an extraordinary rapid vaccine programme, a huge debt of thanks. 
Christian Aid are encouraging those of us who have received a vaccine to give a donation in thanks, so that the poorest and most vulnerable communities across the world can have the hope of a vaccine roll-out too. You can read how to do so here on their website.

However, we are not there yet, and we must be patient as the restrictions, in some form or other, will be with us for some time to come. In view of this the Parish Council has decided to cancel Green Days this year. The two days on the Green are always a highlight of our church life, so the decision was not made without a lot of research, deliberation and regret. The fact that Ealing Borough still reserves the right to cancel bookings on the Green and the full lifting of restrictions won’t happen until 21st June, the up-front costs of putting on Green Days, and the lead-in time necessary to organise and seek volunteers, have made it impossible for this year. 
We are determined, nevertheless, to continue with the Bedford Park Festival and, in particular, our fortnight’s Arts Festival (11th-27th  June) and hopefully a ‘mini fête’ in the church grounds.
St Michael’s has become renowned for its engagement with the Arts, as both the Bedford Park Festival and Chiswick Book Festival bear witness. It is integral to our mission that we involve ourselves with the different ideas, concepts and perspectives, the creativity, ingenuity and imagination that the Arts bring to bear on our faith. I know how important for me it has been during lockdown to listen to music, read poetry, write a journal. These are just some of the ways in which people find the resources to cope.
Recently a psychologist was asked for some ‘coping tips’ during lockdown. She gave five: social support; positive reappraisal; meditation or mindfulness; avoiding the things that bring us ‘bad stress’; and distraction -immersing ourselves in anything we enjoy and that takes our full attention.
I would also want to add exercise to this list.  I reflected that the life of faith inspires us in all these things: communal worship and the support we give one another, thanksgiving, meditation and prayerfulness, the giving up of time for God - which means less time on things which stress us out in a hurtful way - and getting out and about (safely) to enjoy God’s good creation. 
We don’t always see that an engagement with creativity is also essential to that list and I am reminded that for some years during Lent we have run a programme of cultural events each week called, simply, ‘Delighting in God.’
We’ve been pleased as a church to take a leading role in the ‘Exploring Chiswick’ initiative with other cultural groups, to encourage people to seek out the local arts trails, online (if staying at home) and on foot (if exercising). We’ve had to replenish the trail booklets in the church porch - and the enthusiastic response on Twitter and other social media has been very rewarding. It will continue for a while yet, and you can read more here.

I also hope parents involved in our Children’s Church, Creche and Youth Church will take up our creative project for Mothering Sunday and ask their children to draw pictures of flowers and bouquets for us to display on our website. We’ve all missed meeting together and I think this is a wonderful way to re-engage with our church families, when we can’t distribute flowers at the service in person. The details are in the Newsletter below.
One of the things I have been involved with over the last few years has been a project to commemorate the poet W.B. Yeats, who lived for at time in Bedford Park (in Woodstock Road and Blenheim Road) with his highly artistic family. He is very much a favourite poet of mine; a great poet of world renown, and I have the privilege of being Chair of the committee set up to commission a sculpture. The Committee decided from the outset that it didn’t want a statue of the great writer, but rather an artwork that captured his spirit and illustrated how growing up in the artistic community of Bedford Park had inspired him.
The design is by the leading young artist Conrad Shawcross RA, whose work is on show in public spaces all over the world. Like all art of any worth it will doubtless divide opinion and encourage conversation. It is hoped that it will be placed on the (council-owned) land on the west side of the church. My own enthusiasm for the project aside, you can see the planning application at, ‘Green Space adjacent to St Michael and All Angels’ ref: P/2021/0577, if you wish to make your own comments. The PCC will also be looking at this themselves at their next meeting.
The sculpture is influenced by a poem Yeats wrote in Bedford Park, particularly the sense of being ‘enwrought with golden and silver light'. As we seek to ‘delight in God this Lent’, I leave you with that poem.
“He Wishes for The Cloths of Heaven” by William Butler Yeats.
HAD I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet; 
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
Yours in Christ,
Fr Kevin

Events Newsletter for Friday February 26th 2021

Public worship continues at St Michael & All Angels, under current COVID-19 restrictions. There is a daily Mass at 10am, in St Michael’s (Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday) or St Peter’s Acton Green (Sunday, Tuesday, Friday), also live-streamed  here on our Facebook page.
The Sanctuary Lamp is dedicated this week in loving memory of Pierrette Barbara Atallah.
We are marking Lent through our services; our study book; our  Lent Charities Appeal; and study courses. See more – with links - on our 
Lent at St Michael & All Angels page. 

1. Today, Friday February 26th, our daily 10am Mass is at St Peter’s Acton Green. All welcome, under COVID precautions. It will also be live-streamed 
here on our Facebook page
            Today’s Lent reflection focuses on the ‘Archangels’ stained glass window in St Michael & All Angels, seen on the left as you enter the church. Read it here.
 Catch up with all Fr Kevin’s reflections on the angel groups here.  

2. Later today, Friday February 26th, St Peter’s Centre for Mindfulness & Spirituality will launch its 21 Days Meditation Challenge - an online course led by Fabrizio Pesce and Luigi Gioia. The daily 15-minute meditation session on zoom costs £60. The  videos will be available to download later today. Read more and book here.  
3. Continuing till March 7th, it’s Fairtrade Fortnight, with a virtual Fairtrade Festival this year: dozens of free events, from all corners of the global Fairtrade community, from quizzes and expert panel discussions to live music and Q&A’s with Fairtrade farmers. On March 4th there's a Zoom session with two of Divine Chocolate's cocoa farmers from Ghana. 
See more and join the events here

4. Tomorrow, Saturday February 27th at 10am in St Michael & All Angels there’s a weekday Mass, livestreamed 
here on Facebook.  
             Afterwards, between 10.30 and 11.45am, St Michael’s ‘fruit & veg bank’ will take donations for our asylum seeker neighbours (under COVID-secure conditions), prompted by our charity West London Welcome. They are now being provided with salad as part of some meals, so they no longer need vegetables. So please could we ask for: fresh fruit such as oranges, apples, pears, bananas, kiwis; dried fruits such as nuts, dates, apricots and figs; and maybe some sweet treats. At the moment there is no need for sanitary products.
              John Clark of our Charities Group has had an encouraging update about another of our charities, WaterHarvest. You can read his report on our website here. And watch out for news of this year's Upper Room Winter Lectures, which will start next month, online.

5. This weekend, the Lego model of Chiswick House is again on display in the Chiswick House Café. Donors can buy bricks online for £1.50 each.
             At 9pm on Sunday February 28th, entries close for the Chiswick House & Gardens Camellia photography competition. Entries should be sent to more here.  
6. On Sunday February 28th (and March 7th), there will be road closures and parking restrictions near St Michael & All Angels Church, as the Portakabins are removed by crane from the front of the ArtsEd building on Bath Road.
7.  On Sunday February 28th, the second Sunday in Lent, at 10am at St Michael & All Angels Church there’s a Parish Mass  (live-streamed on 
our Facebook page here). Preacher: Mother Maggie Davidge-Smith. All welcome to attend: please observe our COVID restrictions. Or, if shielding, please join the service online.      
            At 10am at St Peter’s Acton Green, the service will be in English. All welcome.

            After the morning services, the second film in our study course, ‘A River Through the Desert’, will be available on this page, where you can also catch up with last week’s film - The Desert. It comes from St George’s College in Jerusalem and focuses on the physical features of the Holy Land to explore our faith through Lent.
8. For our Children's Church & Creche families at St Michael & All Angels, there are activities on the 
website here, including links to Mother Sarah Lenton’s worship videos for children, and games. 
            Looking ahead to Mothering Sunday, when we would normally hand out beautiful posies in church, we want to adorn our Children's Church webpage with lovely colourful drawings of flowers. Please ask your children to create the brightest, happiest, most colourful bouquets they can imagine and then scan or take a photo of them. Please send them to Christina Whiteway at by Friday March 12th.

9. On Sunday mornings between 10.30am and 12 Noon (except the first Sunday of the month), Chiswick Horticultural & Allotment Society in Staveley Road are collecting the deep plastic containers which contain grapes or similar. They are getting to the season when they are pricking out veggies!  Please leave the containers there at that time, or any time at 68 Esmond Road. 
10. Thanks again to all who entered the ‘Chiswick in 50 Buildings’ competition to suggest the ‘51st Building’. The result will be announced this weekend in local media and social media. It’s part of our ‘Exploring Chiswick’ initiative (
read more here),

11. As Father Kevin mentions in his letter above, a planning application has been submitted for the WB Yeats Bedford Park Artwork Project, to install a sculpture by Royal Academician, Conrad Shawcross, on council land to the west of St Michael & All Angels Church. 
The PCC at St Michael & All Angels will discuss the proposal at its next meeting.
         The Project has reached its first target of 100 pledges by today, via the Make London crowdfund page, to unlock funds under the Mayor of London’s ‘Build Better’ COVID-19 scheme. There’s an article here on The Chiswick Calendar.  
12. On Monday March 1st, at 11am, musician and broadcaster Sandy Burnett, who has performed in many Bedford Park Festival concerts and led the Bach cantata cycle at St Michael’s, will begin a six-week  Zoom course exploring the Matthew Passion. The course fee is £60, and there’s full information on his 
Listening Club webpage.

13. On Thursday March 11th at 8pm via Zoom, the next Arts Society Lecture is ‘Art behind Bars: the role of the Arts in breaking the cycle of crime, prison and reoffending’. 
Read more (and how to join) here.
14. On Mothering Sunday (March 14th) at 9.30am at St Michael & All Angels Church there will be a Family Mass (instead of the first Sunday of the month). There will be also an 11am Mass on that day. Don't forget to submit the children's paintings of posies!

Events further ahead

Friday June 11th to Sunday 27th - Bedford Park Festival (but without Green Days weekend).          

For events in Chiswick and local news see The Chiswick Calendar and and

Regular Mass Times:
10am, live streamed at St Michael & All Angels on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday.
And at 
St Peter's Church, Southfield Road, W4 1BB: Sunday, Tuesday and Friday.
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