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Golders Green Parish Church – Newsletter
20 May 2020
Our guest contributor’ this week is Jenny.
‘This is so weird’, was my niece’s verdict on being locked down, a few weeks ago now. She  was right – for me that phrase perfectly sums up the whole extraordinary experience. Adjusting to the massive constraints on what used to be ‘normal’ life has been a challenge in all sorts of ways, for all of us. I was just getting the hang of it, and actually quite enjoying working at home, when I was furloughed. Suddenly the structure of my days and weeks disappeared, and I had to re-adjust to the prospect of at least two months with none of the familiar pattern and purpose that work had given me. To start with I was really upset. Now, three weeks in, I’m seeing it as a gift – not the sort of gift that you want to give back, but one to be savoured and appreciated.
What is it that changed how I felt? Even when I was still working, I’d found myself becoming more and more aware of the faithfulness of God. There were days when I couldn’t get out of my head the song ‘Faithful one, so unchanging, Ageless one, you’re my rock of peace……’. The words include ‘You are my rock in time of trouble, you lift me up when I fall down…’. I would sing it (silently!) as I went on my walks around the park each morning, gradually internalising the words in a new way and as a deep conviction.  The conviction was reinforced during one of our super Wednesday evening prayer groups, where Rex encouraged us to meditate on Psalm 139: verse 10 leapt out at me – ‘your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.’. There were other times, in those Wednesday gatherings and elsewhere, where the fact of God’s faithfulness was made inescapable. So when I was furloughed, I had something to cling onto. God is faithful, whatever is going on. His love is the anchor.
That made it much easier to see the furlough as a gift – but of what?  The obvious answer for me is of time – two months with no pre-existing commitments. It means that I don’t have to rush from one deadline to another, always thinking of the next thing on the list. That’s new, as I’ve always been an ‘activist’, and definitely not good at sitting still. I’ve prided myself on multi-tasking, but am now discovering that ‘single-tasking’ is far more satisfying. On my daily walks, I have time to stop to consider the astonishing variety of leaves on the trees, their shapes, textures and shades of green, to admire the daisies (and even dandelions!) in the freshly-mown grass, and stick my nose in the lilac to inhale its gorgeous scent. This lovely connecting with nature is so refreshing, and so life-giving. I can almost feel the pleasure that God must have taken in creating it all – ‘it was very good’. At home, if I’m watching television I’m not also constantly checking e-mails and texts – there’s time later for those, and focusing on the programme means I get far more out of it than if I were trying to multi-task. I’m reading more, and not feeling I have to skim read. I’m sitting listening to the birds, and watching them nest – looking closely at a sparrow I no longer see it as just a ‘little brown job’ but as a very beautiful work of art. I’m connecting virtually with friends and family, and making more time for that than in the ‘old normal’. And there’s now more time to support and be useful to friends and neighbours, and for volunteering with a Christian organisation which has asked me to help them with some work on gender justice. All of this is an unexpected gift, and I’m very grateful.  God is faithful, and he is good – all the time!
Thank you Jenny

I was reading Myfanwy’s piece on her war time memories and although I was only a child some of mine are still quite vivid.
I was born in August 1939. My Mother and I were living in South East London while my Father had been called up for special duty in Oxford as he worked for Shell and BP. He was responsible for organising rail tank repairs and much later worked on the petroleum line under the ocean ‘PLUTO’ which supplied oil for the Normandy landings in 1944.
My first memory at the age of about two and a half was the arrival of our indoor ‘Morrison’ shelter (named after Herbert Morrison the Home Secretary). It was erected under the dining room table by the local Scout troop and was known by me thereafter as ‘the Boy Scouts bed’. With such a cachet my Mother had no problem putting my younger sister (Jean born in 1941) and I to bed in it when the air raids started to happen nightly. It served its purpose too, as it saved our lives twice during the war. I did not know it was the war of course, I was told that the soldiers were practicing and I believed what Mummy had told me and I was never afraid. My Mother was a very brave woman coping alone with two small children during these incidents.
The first time was when an incendiary bomb was dropped on our house. My Mother had just enough time to tell us to put our heads under the bed clothes before there was aloud explosion. When I next looked the room was on fire and the bed clothes smouldering. My Mother got us up and said brightly “We are going to be like Girl Guides and climb out of the window”. Fortunately the young woman next door was an Air Raid Warden and had come to check on her parents. My sister and I were handed to her and my Mother climbed out. I remember saying sleepily as I was put to bed later that night, “Mummy the soldiers practiced too hard”, which was rather an understatement!
The second time the shelter saved us was some years later when Hitler was making an all out attempt to bomb us into submission. The Germans had developed a pilotless plane, packed with explosive, which could be programmed so that the engine cut out at a precise moment. It then fell causing an immense amount of damage when it exploded. The British called them ‘Doodlebugs’. The noise of their engines was immediately recognisable, and you knew you were safe until the engine stopped and there was silence.
On this particular day it was early morning about 6.00 am and as usual my Mother had got up early to get her chores done so she could devote the rest of the day to us. Suddenly she heard the noise of a Doodlebug and then to her horror the engine stopped and she heard the whistling noise of it falling. She rushed to the shelter, threw herself in, shouting to us to put our heads under the bedclothes. The next moment there was a tremendous explosion. When I dared to look, I saw the windows completely shattered, the curtains hanging in ribbons, and the doors blown off their hinges. The floor was knee deep in plaster from the ceiling. We heard later the bomb had fallen in a neighbouring road. Obviously it wasn’t safe to stay where we were as the air raid was still going on. My Mother wrapped us each in our pink dressing gowns and ran into the street with one of us under each arm. A neighbour came and relieved her of my sister and they ran into the next road where friends had an underground ‘Anderson’ shelter (named after Sir John Anderson) in their garden.
We stayed there for six long hours until the ‘All Clear’ sounded about midday. My Mother then ran home to get us some clothes. She was informed by an Air Raid Warden that the house was unsafe but she took the risk and went inside and grabbed something for each of us to wear. While she was dressing us the phone rang in our friend’s house. As it was impossible to make outgoing calls, she managed to give the caller my Father’s number in Oxford and ask if he could be told we had been bombed out. My Father got a message to us that he was coming to fetch us and told my Mother to pack enough clothes to last while we were away. We then went to the local Methodist Church Hall which had set up a soup kitchen. We were given soup and rice pudding, both burnt, which sister Jean and I refused to eat. Raids were still going on and we had to take refuge in the shelter several times. On our way home we saw enemy planes that were strafing civilians and we lay in the gutter until they went over.
The rest of my war was somewhat quieter! We stayed a few weeks at my Father’s ‘digs’ in Oxford but his landlady didn’t want small children in her house. Although both my sister and I were in the aftermath of whooping cough we had to leave. We travelled to distant relatives in Blackburn on a crowded train. We sat on cases in the corridor for the whole journey and managed not to be sick when we coughed. My Mother had got hold of a packet of biscuits for us to eat and just as she prepared to hand them out the train slowed for the next station. A soldier swung his kit bag on to his shoulder ready to get off the train and knocked the biscuits out of the window!
Blackburn was quite a shock, coming as we did from London suburbs. My Mother found the pace of life much easier and instead of running to the shops between raids there was even time for a chat while your fish was filleted. I started school while we were there. It was just across the road but I found to my horror that no toilet paper was provided in the school toilets. My Mother provided me with a supply which I regarded as a vital part of my school equipment. On my first day I managed to lose it so I immediately ran home for a further supply. I got back to school just as playtime was ending. Teacher had just missed me so I explained why I had gone home and no more was said. Schools were more relaxed about things in those days.
While I was there, some chocolate arrived from Canada for children who were evacuees. I didn’t know what an evacuee was but I was called to the front and given a huge slab. All sweets were rationed and we never saw chocolate, so there were mutterings of “not fair” from some of the local children. At home my Mother invited some of the neighbouring children in and shared it around.
Later that year we left to stay with another relative who lived in Chichester. My poor Father travelled from Oxford to Blackburn to collect us, took us to Chichester, and returned to Oxford in one day. He later said that refreshment kiosks would not even serve him a cup of tea because he was not in uniform.
I was enrolled in yet another school where I had threats to “bash me up” if I didn’t bring my sweets to school. The teachers were not very friendly either. One day I was sent to another class to ask if they had a spare chair. I was shouted at for interrupting to the extent that I was too frightened to ask for the chair. When I returned without it my own teacher shouted at me too and sent me back. I didn’t know what to do so I opened the door quietly and waited. When somebody stood up I grabbed their chair and rushed out. I often wondered what happened when they went to sit down again. Many years later when I became the Head Teacher of an Infants school, I made sure that no child was ever too afraid to enter another classroom.
While we were in Chichester we celebrated VE Day. In my school the children were all given triangular pieces of paper to paint either red white or blue to be made into bunting. Powder paint had been in short supply during the war so I had never used it before. I scrubbed away at my paper with blue paint very happily, but as I used far too much paint I tore the paper. It was thrown in the bin so I was the only child in the class to have no flag hanging up.
Not long after that I was sent to school with a note to say I was leaving that day. My little sister came with me so my mother could get on with the packing. Our reception was extremely friendly, our matching dresses were admired and I was given the third of a pint of milk which was given to all children during the war. There were several bottles left and my sister Jean was offered one. Her reply “I only drink cow’s milk”, became a family joke.
That was the end of my war experiences apart from dancing round a huge bonfire on VJ night.
We might be in ‘locked down’ but the church year roles on as it always has, this Thursday will be Ascension Day’, I can hardly believe it!
Thy Kingdom Come is a global prayer movement that invites Christians around the world to pray from Ascension to Pentecost for more people to come to know Jesus.
If you would like to join me in praying ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ this year all you need can be found here
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.
Please continue to pray for those who have asked us as a community to pray for them
Okey Jnr, Margaret, Yvone, Anna, Jason, Ian, Eva, Juliette, Ivor, Myfanwy, Tim and Dorothy

We at Golders Green Church will continue to offer a number of ways we can and will keep in contact though emailing and phoning each other, the use of Facebook and the website, sending out updates by supporting those who need shopping, prescriptions fetched, letters posted and anything else you may need if you are isolated at home, whether you are in the over 70-year-old age group, or, have underlying health conditions.
The important thing is, PLEASE LET US KNOW. We are drawing up a list of volunteers we can call on to help. If anyone wants to add their names to this, please email Rex
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

YouTube - Worship Video of the week
Martin Smith - Song of Solomon you have favourite worship songs? Please email them to Rex

Rex Morton, 20/05/2020
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.