All Soul’s Day Solemn Requiem

All Soul’s Day Solemn Requiem in commemoration of all the faithful departed is on Saturday 2nd November at 6pm.

As usual we are joined by orchestra and choirs.

All welcome.

Back to School Sunday

Sunday 1st September is “Back to School Sunday”, when we mark the start of the new school year with a special Family Service at St Peter’s, Elgin Avenue, at 11am. There is no Mass at St Mary Magdalene’s, as we combine the congregations for this service, celebrating our two church schools and giving thanks for the work of Christians in education.

Bishop Jonathan’s Sermon

Tonight we celebrate the abundant fruits of ten years of visionary thinking, meticulous planning and execution of the highest quality. Congratulations to Fr Henry and his team. And in so doing, we are also celebrating the successful accomplishment of that greatest of challenges: how to remain true to the ideals of founders and pioneers in hugely changed times. The principal architect of this magnificent building, G.E. Street, sometime Churchwarden of All Saints in Margaret Street, no doubt had many objectives and aspirations in mind as he contemplated his schemes and plans for this church, but one little detail speaks volumes. He was determined that there would be no pew rents here; all the seating in the House of God would be free, free for all the People of God. It was to be a church for the poor: the poor who are always our teachers. The realisation and the completion of the works undertaken here will ensure that this remains a place of worship, a place to inspire the heart and lift the soul to heaven, but also a place which is at the heart of the community, as it was always intended to be. The history of this church on your parish website describes it as having been ‘marooned’ after the post-war slum clearances; but now our prayer and our confident hope is that it will not be an island but a hub, with spokes radiating outwards to make numerous connections with local life – life which, in all its richness and diversity, is lived out here in the true Christian sense “in all its fullness.”  

A place of worship; a sermon in stone, to borrow Ruskin’s phrase, himself of course quoting Duke Senior’s vision in As You Like Itof not an urban but a rural paradise – but the phrase remains both resonant and fitting. In his notable essay ‘of the Atmosphere of a Church,’ Sir Ninian Comper, another of this church’s architects and designers – and what a roll call of names to conjure with who have built, adorned and beautified this place, and now new names are added to the roll – writes:

‘A church built with hands, as we are reminded at every Consecration and Dedication feast, is the outward expression here on earth of that spiritual Church built of living stones, the Bride of Christ, urbs beata Jerusalem, which stretches back to the foundation of the world and onwards to all eternity….To enter therefore a Christian church is to enter none other than the House of God, and the gate of Heaven.’Comper prefaces this passage with his exposition of the mass, the offering of this holy sacrifice in which we are now engaged, as the very heart and soul of the church building, its source, its purpose, its entire raison d’etre. He writes:

‘[A church] is the centre of Worship in every community of [those] who recognise Christ as the Pantokrator, the Almighty and Ruler and Creator of all things; at its altar is pleaded the daily sacrifice in complete union with the Church Triumphant in Heaven, of which He is the one and only Head, the High Priest for ever after the order of Melchisedech.’

This is heady stuff; it is all true, but expressed in words almost too intoxicating in their strength. But then Comper makes this wonderful, pithy observation:
‘There is then no such thing as a Protestant church. A church is of its very nature Catholic, embracing all things.’This surely could be the strapline for the mission statement for this church and congregation: – ‘Catholic, embracing all things.’ Our Scripture readings this evening fill in the detail. The Spirit of God comes upon the prophet in order that the oil of gladness might be poured out upon the poor, the broken hearted, the prisoner, those who mourn. When Jacob erects a pillar to mark the spot where the Lord God met him in a dream, and promised him that his descendants would fill the whole earth, he pours oil upon it. When we consecrate our altars, to offer (in Comper’s phrase) the daily sacrifice, we pour oil upon them. Oil for holy places and holy things. But oil too, the oil of gladness, for the poor of the Lord, for all who inherit the promise of the year of the Lord’s favour. In Jesus Christ, all the promises of which Isaiah speaks are fulfilled, and in the Gospel reading from St Matthew this evening Jesus Christ commissions his servants, his friends, to go out and bring in the harvest of those who will live in the light of His own coming and be drawn thereby into the Kingdom of God. It is as we know Christ and are known by him, as we share in his life by baptism and through the other sacraments of the Church, that we too can speak the prophet’s words which Our Lord Himself makes his own – ‘the Spirit of the Lord has been given to me.’
What a great thing has been done here. The offer – generous, expansive, and magnificent – which is made here is that of nothing less than life in all its fullness. The prophet Ezekiel sees a river flowing from the threshold of the temple, and the river brings life; just so did a river flow from Eden, divide into four, and water the regions of the earth before even Adam and Eve were made. This church and the Grand Junction (what a marvellous name) which adjoins it will surely bring life, life to this part of London and beyond. Henry James said of London that it was ‘magnificent:’ not agreeable, or cheerful, or easy, but ‘magnificent.’ Lovers of London, among whom I count myself, might find his failure to find cheer here James’s problem and not London’s, but we sort of know what he meant. But, he said, still speaking of London, ‘the biggest aggregation of human life…the most complete compendium of humanity’ is here. What a canvas upon which to trace the outlines of a ministry in the name of Jesus Christ. What an adventure will surely unfold in this place.Today we celebrate St Anthony of Padua, the Evangelical Doctor, a saint hot on penitence, hot against heresy, and hot on compassion for all in need and love for the poor. At the end of this mass we shall offer him lilies, and pray for freedom from evil, the healing of sickness, and the gifts of peace and grace to strengthen us in our weakness. Last Sunday we celebrated the Feast of Pentecost, and the descent of the Holy Spirit on the apostles gathered in prayer with Mary the Mother of the Lord; the Holy Spirit who drove them out into every corner of the known world, on fire with the love of Jesus Christ and the message of This is heady stuff; it is all true, but expressed in words almost too intoxicating in their strength. But then Comper makes this wonderful, pithy observation:
‘There is then no such thing as a Protestant church. A church is of its very nature Catholic, embracing all things.’This surely could be the strapline for the mission statement for this church and congregation: – ‘Catholic, embracing all things.’ Our Scripture readings this evening fill in the detail. The Spirit of God comes upon the prophet in order that the oil of gladness might be poured out upon the poor, the broken hearted, the prisoner, those who mourn. When Jacob erects a pillar to mark the spot where the Lord God met him in a dream, and promised him that his descendants would fill the whole earth, he pours oil upon it. When we consecrate our altars, to offer (in Comper’s phrase) the daily sacrifice, we pour oil upon them. Oil for holy places and holy things. But oil too, the oil of gladness, for the poor of the Lord, for all who inherit the promise of the year of the Lord’s favour. In Jesus Christ, all the promises of which Isaiah speaks are fulfilled, and in the Gospel reading from St Matthew this evening Jesus Christ commissions his servants, his friends, to go out and bring in the harvest of those who will live in the light of His own coming and be drawn thereby into the Kingdom of God. It is as we know Christ and are known by him, as we share in his life by baptism and through the other sacraments of the Church, that we too can speak the prophet’s words which Our Lord Himself makes his own – ‘the Spirit of the Lord has been given to me.’
What a great thing has been done here. The offer – generous, expansive, and magnificent – which is made here is that of nothing less than life in all its fullness. The prophet Ezekiel sees a river flowing from the threshold of the temple, and the river brings life; just so did a river flow from Eden, divide into four, and water the regions of the earth before even Adam and 

His Gospel. Let us give the last words to St Anthony whose feast we keep, from a sermon which he preached on the Feast of Pentecost.

Let us speak, then, as the Holy Spirit gives us to speak, asking Him humbly and devoutly to pour out His grace, so that we may complete the days of Pentecost in the perfection of our five senses and in the observance of the Ten Commandments. May we be filled with the mighty wind of contrition, and be set afire with the fiery tongues of confession; so that, ablaze and alight in the splendour of the saints, we may be found fit to see God the Three and One. May He grant this who is God Three and One, blessed for ever and ever. Let every spirit say: Amen. Alleluia.

St Mary Magdalene Paddington, 13thJune 2019

 

A solemn choral Mass

On Thursday 13th June, at 6.30pm, we shall be celebrating the completion of our conservation and building works with a solemn choral Mass. The Bishop of Fulham will preside and preach, and the choirs of Sussex House and Caldicott will sing Durufle’s Missa Cum Jubilo. All are welcome.

“The Missa Cum Jubilo had its first British performance at St Mary Magdalene’s in 1968, under Durufle himself. We shall also be using a setting of the Lord’s Prayer which he said he wrote for St Mary Magdalene’s. There will be drinks after this Mass.”

IRISH HOOLEY AT ST MARY MAGDALENE’S WITH THE KILFENORA CÉILÍ BAND

Launching the new venue: Grand Junction at St Mary Magdalene’s, Rowington Close, Paddington, London W2 5TF on Friday the 31st of May 2019

IMDL´s 5th annual Hooley to raise the profile of their work and funds towards hosting year round activity (including the newly rebranded annual October Festival of traditional Irish music, song and dance ´Return to London Town´.)

This year, IMDL (Irish Music and Dance in London) are very excited about launching a brand new arts venue ´Grand Junction´ at the newly refurbished, beautiful St Mary Magdalene´s Church, Paddington – originally built in 1865 as they host their annual ´Irish Hooley´ with the legendary Kilfenora Céilí Band in concert plus support from ´The Trad Gathering´. There will also be music in the crypt at various points during the evening with a chance to catch up for a chat and a drink during intervals, and as always … there will be the Grand Draw.

Read more about the Kilfenora Céilí Band here on the Folk and Honey website …

St Mary Mags Open Day

Come along to the St Mary Mags Community Open Day!

You can access guided tours of the stunning building as well as live music and an art workshop. There will be something for all the family with lots of kids entertainment including face painting and a family explorer trail!

Tours will run every hour 1.30pm, 2.30pm and 3.30pm led by the architect and vicar.

Free entry with snacks and drinks …

Rowington Close, London, W2 5TF

Saturday 17th November 1pm – 4pm

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Gold Medallists

The conservation project at St Mary Magdalene’s has been awarded the prestigious King of Prussia’s Gold Medal for church architecture, which recognises the best conservation project in a church in the UK in the past year.
King Frederick William IV of Prussia gave the medal in 1857, and it is now awarded annually by the National Churches Trust and the Ecclesiastical Architects and Surveyors Association.
At an awards ceremony at St Mellitus’ College, at which HRH the Duke of Gloucester presided, the medal was given by Prince Nicholas Von Preussen. Fr Henry was accompanied by Bethan Watson of Caroe Architects, and Lewis Proudfoot of Cliveden Conservation.

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Fr.Henry Everett.
Vicar of St.Mary Magdalene & St.Peter, Paddington.
frhenryeverett.blogspot.co.uk
st-mary-magdalene.co.uk
marymags.org.uk

War Memorial Calvary

On a brilliantly sunny October day the figure of Christ returned to the War Memorial Calvary, newly gilded, restored to its original appearance. Hoisting the cast-iron corpus onto the wooden cross was a nerve-wracking exercise for all concerned, and a gilder was on hand to touch up any damage caused by the operation. Restoration of the Calvary has been supported by the War Memorials Trust and a generous private donor, and we are delighted that work will be finished in time for the centenary of the end of the First World War. 

The parish Act of Remembrance will take place at the Calvary at the end of Mass on Sunday 11th November, and the Calvary will be re-dedicated at 10.45 on Monday 12th, with children from St Mary Magdalene’s School taking part.

Important updates for Sunday services

We will be celebrating going back into the Nave for Sunday worship with a mass for the anniversary of the consecration of the church, at 11am on Sunday the 21st October. There will be a party after the service.

From Sunday the 21st all services will return to the Nave and Chancel.

On the 28th of October there will be no Sunday Mass, as we shall be joining with St Peter’s to celebrate their dedication festival.

Also we have a free event on Thursday 25th October, at 6.30pm in church. Celebrated American poet (and civil-rights activist) J Chester Johnson will speak on “Auden, the Psalms and Me” about his time working alongside W H Auden translating the Psalms for the American Prayer Book. This will be fascinating for enthusiasts for poetry as well as liturgy.

Tribute to John Julius, Lord Norwich

We are very sad to hear of the death on 1 June of our patron John Julius, Lord Norwich.

Lord Norwich liked to tell the story of first visiting St Mary Magdalene’s Church with the poet Sir John Betjeman in the 1950s, a time when Victorian architecture was under grave threat. Betjeman opined that the church was “a corker”, the architect George Edmund Street at his very best, and must be protected. Lord Norwich duly took up the baton from Sir John. Years later when the St Mary Magdalene appeal was launched to fund the conservation and redevelopment of the church, it was fitting that he became patron.  We were hugely honoured to have his support, not least considering his reputation and achievements in the cause of cultural heritage on a much larger European and world stage.
He gave important help to St Mary Magdalene’s at a critical juncture. In 2016 a £3.6m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund hung in the balance, with a deadline looming to show that we could raise enough match funding towards our building works. Lord Norwich led the charge that, in the nick of time, got us over the line, working actively and assiduously to bring in all-important grants and pledges that secured the church’s future. Whatever he promised to John Betjeman, he delivered on his word. We could not thank him enough.
Lord Norwich led a full life, and achieved many things. He was an immensely likable man of warmth and friendliness. It was a privilege to have him with us, and he will be missed and remembered at St Mary Magdalene’s.

Lord Norwich

Lord Norwich (centre) at the St Mary Magdalene Church ground-breaking ceremony in November 2017.