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Golders Green Parish Church – Newsletter

20 January 2021



This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased

Greetings to Everyone hoping you are keeping as upbeat as you can and that the weather improves and gets more Spring like – I see some crocuses are peeping though and other bulbs are showing signs of growth which is good.  Nature always wins! Again it was so good to see those of you who joined in the Sunday Service and then to have a “virtual” coffee chat afterwards. If you haven’t linked-in yet, please do try and come, we would love to see you. The zoom information is at the bottom of the newsletter and doesn’t change from week-to-week. If you use the phone only, you can join in by dialling the code mentioned. Any problems doing so please don’t hesitate to ring and you can be supported.  The service is a very joyful time, with very good sermons, lots of music, and a variety of hymns and blessings sung from different traditions and countries – so uplifting. The benefit of this is you can join in and sing as loudly and joyfully as you like from your own room with no COVID-19 prohibitions to stop you! 
Just one more appeal from me. Please, if you have any snippets of news, thoughts, or happenings, you would like to share via the newsletter, send them in.  It is so good to hear from you.  Whatever you want to say, they are all interesting. It could be a paragraph similar to that Tim has sent about his father (who is 96 years old this week), about how you spend lockdown, any family history that you recall, what you notice on your daily walks, any amusing anecdotes, whatever you like. The newsletter is yours and to hear your voice is just so good. You have no idea how much I cheer when something is sent to go in it believe me!
Thank you to Maia (Rosie’s granddaughter) for sending us some drawings she has done for the newsletter- very gratefully received.  Many good wishes to everyone – Sally

This week’s edition has:

  • A sermon from Archdeacon John that was videoed for us.
  • A Message from Bishop Rob telling us about a video that has been made for the Edmonton Area giving details of events in which we can join in
  • A piece from Tim about his father, Cecil, receiving his vaccination.
  • An update from Nehar on the arrangements for the night shelter
  • Information for programmes for young children who are being home-schooled.
  • Some reflections on John’s Gospel from Nehar
  • How We Are
  • “The City is My Monastery” book comment.
  • A poem of peace and relaxation for our time by John O’Donohue
  • Zoom links.
  • Links to services, hymns, and broadcasts


Archdeacon John’s Sermon


Reflecting on the call of the disciples in the first chapter of St John’s gospel I wonder what strikes you most?
Do you feel up to the task of responding to the call of God in your life?
What obstacles do you place in the way of the call of God. Do you allow your own ambitions or agenda to get in the way?
When we turn to the gospel we read of the Jesus calling Philip. Jesus finds Philip and says to him “follow me”. He responded immediately by going and telling Nathanael that he had found the one who was spoken of by Moses and the prophets – that is the Messiah the Christ.
It is interesting to remind ourselves that the response to the call of Jesus Christ in our lives should lead us to involve others. Philip immediately brings others to Jesus so that they too can make a response to him for themselves.
For those who respond to the call of Christ in their lives to be priests in his church this is never a private or a solely personal journey. It is one that we share with many from the first moments when we meet with assessors or Directors of Ordinands to the moment, when in the full glare of many, the question is asked “is it your will?” that this person should be ordained to which a thundering response IT IS resounds from the lips of God’s people.
Our baptism should be seen for what it is the action of the few that transforms the many as the faithful gather and pray for the gift of the Holy Spirit to begin his work of awakening as desire to turn to Christ, to submit to Christ and to come to Christ the way the truth and the life.
But there is a challenge here too: for too often the church is content to send out her priests alone, and to keep the baptised in their pews. for her priests to believe that they are the only ones called to lead God’s people and that God’s people are there to be served but never to serve. The truth is never so binary and the reality in the gospel is that the call of one to follow inevitably leads to the call of another and never does Jesus send his disciples out alone.
And in the response of Nathanael, we see one of the most common faults, dangers, reasons that people do not respond to God and the call of his son – Prejudice.
For Nathanael it was the shock that God’s anointed should be someone from one of the least important parts of the country, not a great city like Jerusalem or a place where he had revealed his glory in the past, but a town called Nazareth in Galilee up in the north of the county. “Can anything good come from Nazareth?
So What obstacles do you place in the way of the call of God?
What unconscious biases we might ask in our time are at play when it comes to the ministry and leadership in the Church of our time?
 For many of us it begins with our inability to listen. This can be for a number of reasons, but most common is the reality that we are too busy making all the noise, doing all the talking. There is much truth in observation made long ago that God created us with two ears one mouth.
So often we find ourselves looking in the wrong place when we are searching out God and his purpose in our lives. We are like the disciples casting their nets on the wrong side of the boat thorough the dark night only to be told in the dawn light by the risen Christ to cast their nets on the other side of the boat.
It is often our prejudice and fear of the other that means we are not fully awake to the possibilities of God. As with the calling of Samuel in the Hebrew scriptures the church, like Eli the priest, can grow old and weary and dismissive of the words and thoughts of others.
The youngster Samuel hears the call of God in the silence of the night. Of course, God can speak at any time of the day and in any place. He does not limit his actions or his initiatives to sacred places or special times, BUT it is often In the “peaceful silence” that the all-powerful Word of God comes to us. Just as it is in the night that the faithful gather to greet the child born of Mary and many gather in the night to greet the new year and all that it might –by God’s grace bring.
I therefore encourage you, all of you, to spend some time this week in quiet reflection and prayer and listen for the voice of God calling you in this time in your place to follow him in to a new space.
In John’s Gospel the first words he attributes to Jesus is the question
“What are you looking for”.
It is a question that goes to the very heart this time: in the midst of not one but three pandemics, COVID-19 , global racism and an environmental extinction event - what are you looking for?
In the call of Philip and Nathanael St John the Evangelist is very precise about time, place and space – now is the time and this is the place in which we are being called to create for every Londoner an encounter with the love of God in Jesus Christ.
It is in Christ that our deepest human longings are met, are received and transformed by God’s love.



Message from Bishop Rob

Bishop Rob has made a video to all clergy and lay people in Edmonton thanking everyone for all they are doing during the pandemic in keeping people together, supported and recognising the frustrations we are all facing at this time. He acknowledges all the many difficulties so many are going through, such as loneliness, having to shield and/or not seeing our relatives and friends.
His talk was not scripted so the Bishop kindly sent the gist of what he said and urged everyone to look at the full video which contains a great deal more information about events and services onto which you can link. You will find it on:
You may like to know that one of the events taking place every Monday at 9.30pm will be Compline. If you wish to join in please let me know (Sally)and I will send you the zoom link when it is sent out: Please contact the office: 020 8455 1873 or my home number which I think most of you have.
Bishop Rob sends:
  • his personal thank you for those kind prayers and messages he and for Helen, his wife, received as they lived with Covid, since being tested in early January.
  • his personal thank you to the PCCs, wardens and clergy for their heart felt and contextually appropriate responses to the rising levels of transmission, and the impact on whether churches should stay open or not.  A note also to encourage churches to speak about the vaccine, and publicly encourage our church members to receive the vaccine when offered.
  • a notice that he is intending to support churches slightly differently in the Episcopal Area this     lockdown.  There will be produced a weekly online Edmonton Sermon for churches to use (building upon the well- received provision in August 2020).  (Video link given above)
  • notice that we will produce a weekly good news story of hope from across the Area, and at 9.30pm on Monday evenings, there will be an opportunity for us to come together to pray together over zoom- for any clergy or lay person that wants to join in.
Night Shelter – update from Nehar
We have approached the local Turkish restaurant opposite our church to give us pricing for food to be delivered to 16 guests.  The manager said that he could provide a meal for £9 a head which would include a main course, dessert and delivery.  We are partnered with another church and it may be possible to share our contribution with them.  I will be speaking to the person coordinating it there.
We are also hoping to price out hampers to be placed in each room weekly to include tea, coffee, UHT milk and biscuits.   HAB is organising microwaves so that people can heat up meals.  They have funding for 9 but need 7 more.  The cost is around £40 each.  It would be helpful if we could donate funds for at least 3.
Please pray about this.  All donations will be very welcome and can be made to the Church clearly marked as being for the Night Shelter.
Homeless in Barnet (HAB) has just sent us an emergency appeal for:
  • Cereals
  • Coffee
  • Tomato-Based Sauces (small jars)
  • Small tins of fruit
  • Can Openers

Tim: My Dad’s Vaccination

Listening to Rose's account of getting her COVID Jab in Temple Fortune got me thinking that people might be interested to hear about my Dad's experience of getting vaccinated. (Rose talked about getting her vaccination after our zoomed service on Sunday)
On the Tuesday between Christmas and New Year, I had the task of taking my father Cecil, who will be 97 this week, to get his first COVID Vaccination at the Oak Lodge Medical Centre, Burnt Oak. We had been contacted the week before by his GP Surgery and given two appointments for receiving the Pfizer / BioNTech version of the vaccine. The process was good once we managed to get into the building, the only drawback being that the arrival and waiting area was in a part of the car park outside - though a tent had been erected to give some shelter. We learnt that this was the first day of operations as a vaccination centre, so the staff were still learning how best to keep things moving. A useful tip for anyone else attending this centre is to use the car park, accessed off Burnt Oak Broadway, and wait until the time of your appointment before joining the queue.

There were plenty of staff to check people in and match names to the paperwork that had been pre-prepared. No one was sent away for being slightly late. Inside, Dad's jab was administered by one of the resident GPs. There were several questions about medical conditions and any previous allergic reactions that took about 10 minutes; then the undressing; the jab itself was over in a couple of minutes. Afterwards, people were ushered to a waiting area for about 15 minutes to ensure that there were no immediate reactions and given information about possible side effects (and how to handle them).
Dad's appointment for his second jab on 19 January has now been cancelled and he will have to wait - probably until sometime in March - at least the weather should be slightly warmer by then!

Self Portrait by Maia, Rose’s 11year old granddaughter


Some reflections on John’s Gospel – Nehar

Last week we looked at the Word becoming flesh.  In chapter 3 John reiterates the reason:  God the Father so loved the World that He gave up God the Son so that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).   We see firstly the sacrifice of God the Father – separation from His Son.  Secondly the sacrifice of God the Son giving up His divinity for the glory of the Father -working in perfect harmony.  Love that brought with it life and light – the Word who is the Light of the world.
The Light has come into the world but people loved the darkness instead of the light (John 3:19).  Isaiah pointed to the coming of the Light when he spoke of those walking in darkness seeing a great light (Isiah 9:2).  Jesus Himself said “I am the Light of the world.  Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness but have the light of life”. 
John loves to use the imagery of light and darkness.  To be in the light is to be born again and alive in Jesus; to be in darkness is to be dead in our sins. I read an article by Craig R Koesta talking about these themes and using the story of Nicodemus who at first came to Jesus, the Light of the World, under the cover of darkness (chapter 3) and left under cover of darkness.  He had not accepted Jesus and who He was.   But once he came to accept Jesus, he was not afraid to be associated with Him in the day (Chapter 19) when he accompanied Joseph of Arimathea when they went to claim Jesus’s body from Pilate.  He had moved from darkness into light – from unbelief into belief. 
Darkness is seen as hostility and alienation from God. It is opposed to Him and His world.  We remember that is what happened in the Garden – Adam and Eve hid from God because they knew that they had sinned.  They had chosen a path out of relationship with Him in whose image they were made – to come out from under the light of His glory – into darkness where we remained until the Light of the world came to call us back.   Once again to give us a choice.
The Word became flesh and brought knowledge about how to dispel the darkness.  Darkness which is about death and sin and is the opposite of life and light.  Darkness can never overcome the light (John 1:5).  But Jesus warned us that it can overcome us because of our unbelief.  We may still choose to stay in darkness and to find comfort in its shadows.  We do that when we choose to live life in our own way – in our own strength believing that we are safe in the shadows.  But we can’t have our feet in both camps – we will run the risk of falling into the crack!
When we come into the presence of Jesus, the Light of the world, we are faced with two choices: to come into the light and have abundant life or to stay in the darkness and be dead to eternal life (John 3:19-20). No contest really but still so hard!
John uses the story of the blind man to illustrate light and darkness.  Because of his healing the blind man believed and accepted that Jesus is the Messiah.  Because of their unbelief the pharisees and the Jewish leaders continued to live in darkness and to be dead in their sin (John 9).
To have life is to come to the knowledge of God the Father through God the Son, the Light of the world and to be united to them through the in-dwelling of Holy Spirit is us.   
Websites and Video Programmes for Home Learning
Nehar, Anita and Sally have put together some ideas from friends who are engaged in home learning with their children and grandchildren. These are possible resources you may wish to look into to help your children and keep them enjoying their school-in-school:
  •  - free
  •  - free
  •  - free
  •    - app/fee paying Video Calls for Kids 4+
  • > programmes    Lockdown Learning
  •    Maddie Moate - You Tube
    this looks to me to be fun and science based. There are many sessions covering a variety of areas.
  • NatGeokids and Natural History websites have been recommended.
  • Apparently, Westminster Abbey has activities linked with history. Go to their website >learning centre and scroll to “Learning at WestminsterAbbey”
  • #WhyDoWeForget #Dr
    Why Do We Forget? | The Dr. Binocs Show | Best Learning Videos for Kids | Peekaboo Kidz
  • My friend Eva McIntyre’s book, “Where is Lonely?”, has a good selection at the back for young children.All these look very inviting as well as enjoyable. It is so important that, above all at this time, learning for children must be fun (and for parents/carers of course).   Good luck to all

How we are:
Jason: We heard yesterday (Monday) that Jason has been taken into the Whittington Hospital with COVID-19. His family said he was fighting it but is clearly very ill.  They asked that we all send lots of prayers for him. This is such sad news of a very dear man. If there is any further news you will be updated as soon as we hear.
Simon’s mum, Sheila, is not too well after seeming to improve last week. Please keep her and her husband Michael in your prayers that she may make a promising recovery.
Hearing such good news last week, of the safe delivery of Sam and Ewan’s baby boy, a brother for Noah and Luke, we now hear they have named him, Nathaniel. Apart from being a lovely and biblical name, it is very apt for today’s Epiphany Sunday and sermon!
Please continue to pray for Rose who remains seriously ill in Kenya. She is at present undergoing a course of chemotherapy. We hope that her treatment proves successful and healing.
How lovely to hear from Tim about his Father Cecil’s 96th birthday that takes place on Friday 22nd January, A birthday card is being sent from us to wish him a Very Happy Day.
Lots of continuing prayers for all those who are ill, feeling lonely, depressed and missing human contact at this time.
Please send any messages you would like to have in the newsletter about friends and relatives who are experiencing good as well as not so good times so we can think about and pray for them. It is one supportive way we can keep in touch with each other.


Sally writes of, “The City is my Monastery” by the Revd Richard Carter

Associate Vicar for Mission, St Martin-in-the-Fields


I was born in the heart of London and, apart from a time when I lived in Canada, it has always been my home; the place I love best. While I enjoy being in the countryside and appreciate its beauty I cannot wait to get back to London with its bustle, noise, diversity, liveliness, and rich history.  When I was a little girl my aunt used to take me for walks on a Sunday around the empty City telling me stories of its history and how people used to live as equally in squalor as in splendour.  I was engrossed and, as I got older, I became more and more aware that every footstep taken had layers of history beneath it and every building passed by, bombed or not, as the City took a pounding during the war, told its story etched into its walls. When I could I used to walk around on my own in reflective solitude and soak up its special type of beauty thinking of the people that lived there in past ages, including my own ancestors.  I miss doing that now because of lockdown. I remember someone asking me once when I was in my teens, “Didn’t I think that God was more present in the peace and green of the countryside than the town with its grubby streets and so many people?” (The way she said it I think she also meant “grubby” people).  She was quite shocked when I said I didn’t; that while I loved the countryside, I felt God’s presence very strongly in the midst of the life of the city with all sorts of people, the parks, the streets and beauty of its own that reflected so much of God’s creation. I remember her being quite shocked and I was probably a pompous little prig for answering her like that. But this is a feeling has never left me. So, when I made connections with St Martin-in-the-Fields, in Trafalgar Square, a church my parents loved, I became more aware of the huge amount of work they do with the homeless, the refugees, as well as reaching out to those who felt on the edge of the Church or rejected by it. Organising an event on refugees for a Society I belonged to, I met the Revd Richard Carter, Associate Vicar for Mission. Richard does a great deal of work with refugees, visiting them in the camps, supporting them in ways that they need and also caring for street sleepers. He helped me with this event and told me what many endured. One young man said he would come and talk to our society – which he did so well and successfully. Previously, for 13 years, Richard had been a member of an Anglican Religious Order in the Solomon Islands leading a life of great simplicity. He then felt a strong calling not to retreat from the city anymore but to return to it. He felt he was being told, “The City is your Monastery”. So, he swapped one Monastery for another, figuratively speaking, by going to St Martin’s right in the bustle and humanity of London- some contrast. But what was so affirming about him when he talked was his awareness and recognition that, wherever you are, that place can be your monastery. It doesn’t have to be in the countryside alone among the trees or walking by the sea. You can meditate, pray, recognise the beauty and godliness in all things in all the noise, the people and commotion of the city. It was so supportive to hear all I had felt being spoken about with such clarity, empathy and awareness. To cut a long story short, as there is so much more to be said, he eventually encapsulated all his thoughts in the book, “The City is my Monastery”, which he describes as a “contemporary rule of life”. It is a book that speaks of his vision and aims and gives, anyone who wished to hear, a code by which to try to live. I keep it by me to read when I have moments of quiet - or need them! During the writing of it he formulated an idea of creating a community of people, who have a strong desire to live a life of gentle rules in their/our homes, with help, and to find our monasteries wherever we are. He named it the Nazareth Community and now it has many companions who try to live in a pattern or structure of life, together, but independently, if that doesn’t sound contradictory, by 7 rules of gentle guidance.  That is basically what the book is about. It is one I strongly recommend.


Message from Nehar

I am a trained qualified integrative Counsellor. If anyone would welcome a chat on anything you would like to talk over and discuss, in confidence, please don’t hesitate to give me a ring and we could fix up a time. This would be in a voluntary capacity.

Please contact the office for my details. Please get in touch.

Zoom link numbers

Please find below the Zoom links for our Sunday Service from the Churchwardens.
“Golders Green Parish Church is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: My Meeting
Every week on Sunday from now until Feb 7, 2021, 7 occurrence(s)
        Jan 24, 2021 10:00 AM
        Jan 31, 2021 10:00 AM
        Feb 7, 2021 10:00 AM
Please download and import the following iCalendar (.ics) files to your calendar system.

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 856 4255 1099
Passcode: 140906
One tap mobile
+442030512874,,85642551099#,,,,*140906# United Kingdom
+442034815237,,85642551099#,,,,*140906# United Kingdom
Dial by your location
+44 203 051 2874 United Kingdom
+44 203 481 5237 United Kingdom
+44 203 481 5240 United Kingdom
 +44 203 901 7895 United Kingdom
 +44 131 460 1196 United Kingdom
Meeting ID: 856 4255 1099
Passcode: 140906

Find your local number:”

Please download and import the following iCalendar (.ics) files to your calendar system.


YouTube - Worship Video of the week

Never once - Matt Redman

Is He Worthy

Do you have favourite worship songs? Please email them to Sally
Please continue to pray for those who have asked us as a community to pray for them

Okey Jnr. O, Margaret M, Yvone S, Anna M, Jason E, Ian K, Eva M, Juliette D, Ivor S, Myfanwy K , Dorothy N, Sheila G, Mirela B , Marlies A, Florence O, Judy N, Sheila H, David A and Gideon O.  

Daily Hope - The Church of England Phone line church service - is available 24 hours a day on 0800 804 8044 – has been set up particularly with those unable to join online church services during the period of restrictions in mind.

Radio, Television and Online Worship

You may wish to join in worship during this time through television and radio.
Check online, in the Radio Times and elsewhere for details:
Songs of Praise BBC 1, Sunday afternoon, variable times
Sunday Worship BBC Radio 4, Sunday, 8.10am Choral Evensong BBC
Radio 3, Wednesday Daily Service
BBC Radio 4 (Longwave only), weekdays, 9.45am
Big Sunday Service Premier Christian Radio, Sunday, 7am, 8am, 10am Easter Sunday Eucharist A service is usually broadcast on the BBC on Easter morning
Free 24 hour telephone church service 0800 804 8044
Online resources Church of England Daily Prayer St Paul’s Cathedral have a number of resources available for us to use.
Church of England Online Resources during this time
Go On-line to " ps://", put in Area or post code and find a local church that broadcasts Worship.
Prayers from Christian Aid Pray as you Go (a short service each day in the Jesuit Tradition)
LICC have some great resources on their website
Especially on Covid-19
Golders Green Parish Church, 20/01/2021
Hello and welcome to our church. If you are a new visitor, we have a page for you to get to know us and learn more about planning a visit.
Click here to see more.

Planning your Visit

WhatsApp Image 2021-11-26 at 1Welcome

New to Church

Welcome. Whether you've just moved to the area, or have lived here all your life - we hope our website helps you find out what you want to know about Golders Green Parish Church.

Key information about the church:-

When and where does the church meet?
What to expect when I visit the church?
Is there a dress code?
Will I be made to feel uncomfortable?
I have more questions, how can I get in touch and ask them?

When and where does the church meet?
The church meets every Sunday at 10.00am. It helps to get there 10 minutes early and be seated in time for the service to start. We meet at Golders Green Parish Church, our address is West Heath Drive, Golders Green, London, NW11 7QG. 

What to expect when I visit the church?
You can expect a warm welcome, great worship, an impacting preach and a friendly group of people gathering to learn more about God. Also FREE tea, coffee and biscuits!

Is there a dress code?
No, just wear something comfortable!

Will I be made to feel uncomfortable?
 We want you to feel at home and enjoy the service. Do join us for a hot drink and biscuits after the service to get to know some people from the church.

I have more questions, how can I get in touch and ask them?
Please feel free to call 020 8455 1873 or email the church office with any questions you have and we will be happy to help you.