29th April 2012 Newsletter

Posted in Parish

St Mary Magdalene †      St Bartholomew †    St Alban †


Sunday 29th April 2012


Looking for directions

I heard that a team at Newcastle University has designed a Granny-Nav which will identify the safest route, avoiding too many right turns, for those senior citizens who may feel unconfident driving in unfamiliar surroundings; night vision systems have been devised too which will help with driving after dark. I slightly resent the ‘Granny’ label because these things are about needs, not age, but it’s still great news if it will help and encourage anyone who wants to maintain their independence and get out and meet other people, so combating isolation and loneliness.

I thought we could get them working on a Parent-Nav which takes you straight to best friend Charlie’s house and gives constant updates on when we’re going to get there. And then we’ll need a Man-Nav which chooses a route which avoids all shoe shops.I could go on….

And maybe there are people who’d like a Life-Nav that would tell us what to do in difficult situations; should I take that job?

Or, is that bloke good as well as good-looking? And the convoluted situations of life that make me ask, what would be the most loving thing to do now? And then, what can I do here that would bring a little life, love and liberty into the world?

I can hear some of my Church colleagues saying that that’s what the Bible’s for, and while there’s no doubt that it gives some very important guidelines, the Bible’s often a bit vague on twenty-first century issues in all their complexities.

I believe that we do have a Life-Nav in God’s Holy Spirit but we do have to tune in; timely words of wisdom can come in a song or a dream, from a friend or a book but it’s no good wishing for help if we’re not listening – and we learn to listen by being still now and again, stopping the clamouring, and reflecting a bit; losing ourselves for a moment in God’s love. 


Please remember in your prayers:

Les Page, Clarice, Vicky Schiff, Arthur Worwood,

Win Jones, Martin Gammon, Dela McCarteny, Frank Burdge,

Joan Short & Colin Brockwell.

PARISH PRAYER ROTA   This week we pray for

Worshipping Communities who share our buildings;

Clergy & Lay Ministers: Quintin, Fred, Frances, Ann & Shirley;

Staff: Brenda, Chrissie, Bill, May, June, Win & Mary;

Churchwardens: Andrew, Damian, Laurine, John, Philip & Ajith

Readings for 29th April 2012

Acts 4: 5-12         1 John 3: 16-end         John 10: 11-18

Readings for 6th May 2012

1 John 4: 7-21             John 15: 1-8

St Mary’s Birthday’s HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Ben Davies

St Bart’s Communion Hymns:   682; 383; 35

At St Bart’s this morning we warmly welcome Chris McDermott as our preacher and celebrant.


After many years of excellent service Tim has decided to hang up his calculator and give up his post as Parish Treasurer. If anybody would like to take up this roll please contact one of the clergy.

Tim is happy to give pointers as to what’s needed.

The Parish profile is now on the Diocese of Chelmsford website and also on our website.

The advert will be going in the Church Times on 11th & 18th May.

A copy of the Profile is available at the back of both Churches.

Frances will be away at Waltham Abbey until the end of June getting some experience of life in a different Parish. We wish her every blessing while she is away from us. While Frances is away please contact the Parish Office if there are any problems/concerns.


2nd June Dance at St Mary’s.

3rd June Picnic at St Mary’s to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee

7th July Parish Trip to Maldon


21st/22nd July St Mary’s Patronal Festival Weekend

21st July Open Day at St Mary’s and Olympic Torch relay down High Street South

22nd July St Mary’s Patronal Festival


6th October Quiet Day at Haggerston.

East Ham Parish Quiz Night.

St Mary’s Church Hall – Norman Road

Saturday May 19th 2012, 7.30pm start.

Tickets £5.00, bring your own food and drink.

Tickets available from Colin Mansfield at St Mary’s and Irene Phaup at St Bart’s:

Tables of up to 8 people

In aid of the Parish Children’s Jubilee Party.


Our 12th trip to Stubbers Adventure Centre in Upminster is from 29th June – 1st July 2012. We have space for 30 children aged 8-16 to spend a residential weekend with a team of experienced adults where they will do Jet Ski, high-ropes, raft building and other great stuff. The cost is £55/child (the real cost is £120 so good value). Please e-mail Brenda at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for an application form and return to 292B Barking Road E6 3BAAS SOON AS POSSIBLE with a cheque made payable to"East Ham PCC".



Date: Saturday 12 May 2012        Time: 3.00pm

Venue: St Bartholomew’s Church.

(PS: tone deaf but talented in the kitchen? – all contributions towards refreshments gratefully received!)



                                                                    PARISH CHURCHWARDENS: Andrew Biro     Damian Sutton



St.Mary Magdalene Laurine Griffith   John King

St.Bartholomew Philip John        Ajith Leikshmanan



Doris Goodchild,   Ehi Omoregie,   Sam Ozurumba,   Norman Lipman

                                                                  Hazel Thomas, Mary Richards, Fred Ashford-Okai


                                                     St. Mary Magdalene Jean Mansfield, Ancil Griffith, Colin Mansfield,

                                                            Tina Preston, John Hedges, Terry Hooker, Dennis Pridmore, Victor Grimes

                                                   St. Bartholomew Geraldine Pote, Pat Williams, Primrose Sibanda,

                                                            Lorraine Ashton, Susan Allen, Gladys Carter, Rose Geaney, Hazel Phillips


DEANERY SYNOD  Shirley Biro, John King, Gordon Owen, June Bassenger



Wednesday 6.30pm at St Mary’s

Thursday 12.30pm at St Bart’s

The Parish Office is open Monday – Friday 9.30am – 3.30pm

Telephone 020 8470 0011

Website: www.easthamparish.org.uk

email:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Registered Charity No: 1127847

22nd April 2012 Newsletter

Posted in Parish

St Mary Magdalene †      St Bartholomew †    St Alban †


Sunday 22nd April 2012


You are Witnesses of Jesus


The vocation (or call) to faith, is not a trivial expression of God’s sense of humour but a generous extension of the divine to the human. Our response to this call from God completes the covenant.

The human response to God’s call is indeed a bold step that launches us, into a peculiar way of life: Christian (or Christ Way), and on the epic journey of untold experiences. On this journey, we are privileged to walk alongside Jesus, like his apostles and disciples did 2000 years ago. We are on the way to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35). Baptism and confirmation make this experiences present and real in time and space in the lives of each and everyone of us. We journey, with Christ walking beside us, talking to us and nourishing us. But do you hear His voice? Do you recognise him? The recent paschal/Easter liturgies revitalise these faith and sometimes even mystical experiences in all creation.

The vocation/call to Christian discipleship and mission becomes even more complicated and onerous by Jesus’ in today’s Gospel, asking us to be his WITNESS: “You are witnesses of these things."

Where do we start with this vocation/call to be Witnesses of Jesus ? It is quite easy to be Jesus’s witness when he performs those wonderful miracles: When water becomes wine, the lady with haemorrhage is made whole, five fishes and five loaves made to feed and satisfy the five thousand (without an additional trip to Tescos, Asdas, Green Street, or even East Ham market!), and indeed when He raised Lazarus out of the tomb - from death to life – those glorious moments! I would volunteer any time, any day to be Jesus’ witness.

But the Jesus experiences is not that simple, is it? Is this God-Made-Man recognizable to me lying in the poverty of a manger? Or when He is disgraced and spat at in the courts of Pontius Pilate? Do I really have to bear witness to Him, when He hangs dying on the Calvary cross? Even Peter had to deny Him then (three times!)

Perhaps the complexities and paradoxes of Jesus’ images mimic the paradoxes of our own humanity and lives. The happy faults of incarnation and Jesus’ vicarious suffering and death makes what is ours His, and what is His ours, gaining for us so great a Redeemer! (Exultet) YES! This is the irreversible POWER that accompanies God’s call/vocation to YOU.

Go therefore and witness to Jesus, without fear or shame in your life and with your life. Remember, Jesus walks beside you and He will whisper each time you need it: “PEACE BE WITH YOU”                         Fr Fred

15th April 2012 Newsletter

Posted in Parish

St Mary Magdalene †      St Bartholomew †    St Alban †


Sunday 15th April 2012


On it being Low Sunday

They obviously didn’t mince their words in days of yore gone by. When I was working at St. Barts Hospital (no relation) there were two churches adjacent to the site –“ St. Bartholomew the Great” and “St. Bartholomew the Less”. So there! This church is bigger (and better ?) than that one. It took me a while to realise it was the churches that were being referred to and not two different Saints.

So it is with today. Today is Low Sunday.

The origin of the phrase is lost in history (“probably so named because of its relative unimportance in contrast with Easter Sunday”

– Collins dictionary, apparently) but, for many, it is appropriate. Today is the day we don’t (have to) go to Church. Lent, Palm Sunday, Holy Week, Easter are all over and it can be a bit of an anti-climax: but at least we can have a lie-in – well except for our APCM.

But, of course, it isn’t – or it shouldn’t be. Today we can ask ourselves - what now? We celebrated Easter last week but what does it mean this week? If the last few days and weeks meant anything to us they have re-invigorated us and given us a new beginning. We celebrated the Resurrection and, now, today and every day, we have to take it with us and live it – Low Sunday or not.



8th April 2012 Newsletter

Posted in Parish

St Mary Magdalene †      St Bartholomew †    St Alban †


Sunday 8th April 2012


Resurrection Hope

I started our Lenten journey this year by reading a poem by R.S.Thomas at our Ash Wednesday service. The poem asked us to see God in the ordinary things of life. Ann put it in a sermon as the ‘Ah hah’ moment. For the Welsh priest and poet, Thomas, he saw God through the way sunlight temporarily fell on a Welsh field. So this Lent we looked once again at the ordinary things of our lives and see the possibility of life changing encounter with the Holy.

 So it seems appropriate to finish our Lenten journey with another one of Thomas’ poems.

In ‘Resurrection’ Thomas returns to the theme of seeing God within the natural world while weaving in the Easter Gospel where Mary Magdalene finds the empty tomb.


Easter. The grave clothes of winter
are still here, but the sepulchre
is empty. A messenger
from the tomb tells us
how a stone has been rolled
from the mind, and a tree lightens
the darkness with its blossom.
There are travellers upon the road
who have heard music blown
from a bare bough, and a child
tells us how the accident
of last year, a machine stranded
beside the way for lack
of petrol, is covered with flowers.


The story of the resurrection and an abandoned car that is slowly being reclaimed by the earth,
 covered with flowers.How do we see signs of Resurrection in our world today? 
 Happy Easter!


1st April 2012 Newsletter

Posted in Parish

St Mary Magdalene †      St Bartholomew †    St Alban †


Sunday 1st April 2012

Palm Sunday

I’m sure that many of us have pets of whom we’re fond and some of us may have worked with animals, everything from chickens to shire horses. Jesus was born in a stable among the animals there and no doubt grew up being very familiar with the animals around his home; later, sheep and goats, chickens and dogs were among many animals featured in the stories and parables that he told.

Today, we remember one particular animal which became an essential in the fulfilment of Biblical prophecy. Zechariah 9;9 speaks of ‘your king, coming triumphant and victorious, but humble and riding on a donkey’ and we are told that Jesus asked his disciples to go and find a donkey tied up with her colt beside her because he would ride into Jerusalem on her back(or the colt’s back, depending on which Gospel you read!)

I love G K Chesterton’s poem which celebrates that momentous occasion:

When fishes flew and forests walked
And figs grew upon thorn,
Some moment when the moon was blood
Then surely I was born.

 With monstrous head and sickening cry
And ears like errant wings,
The devil's walking parody
On all four-footed things.

The tattered outlaw of the earth,
Of ancient crooked will;
Starve, scourge, deride me:
I am dumb,I keep my secret still.

Fools! For I also had my hour;
One far fierce hour and sweet:
There was a shout about my ears,
And palms before my feet.


Some churches have a special collection to send to a donkey sanctuary on Palm Sunday or

we can perhaps make a prayer of thanks for the animals which are essential in our lives – Zipporah the Westie in my case!