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Golders Green Parish Church – Newsletter
27 May 2020

Our guest contributor’ this week is Jenny.

Lent, by Jean M Watt
Lent is a tree without blossom, without leaf,
Barer than blackthorn in its winter sleep,
All unadorned. Unlike Christmas which decrees
The setting-up, the dressing-up of trees,
Lent is a taking down, a stripping bare,
A starkness after all has been withdrawn
Of surplus and superfluous,
Leaving no hiding-place, only an emptiness
Between black branches, a most precious space
Before the leaf, before the time of flowers;
Lest we should see only the leaf, the flower,
Lest we should miss the stars.
In case you were wondering, no, we haven’t fast-forwarded to February next year! Although this wonderful poem is called ‘Lent’, it seems to me to resonate with life under lockdown, and I’d like to share some reflections on that.
Most of us, in our different ways, are feeling the limitations of life at the moment. There’s so much we can’t do, so many people we can’t see, so many places we can’t visit. Millions of people have been furloughed and can’t work; many others have lost their jobs. We have time and space that perhaps we’re not used to, but fewer choices as to what to do with them.
These are without doubt incredibly difficult times, but the poem offers a way of looking at them which I’ve found helpful. Try replacing ‘Lent’ with ‘lockdown’ as you read it again, and see how that feels.
The first part of the poem describes Lent/lockdown as a period of ‘stripping bare’, contrasting the exuberance of Christmas decorations and festivities with the bareness of a tree’s branches in winter. Lent/lockdown is ‘all unadorned’, ‘a taking down’ and a ‘starkness after all has been withdrawn of surplus and superfluous’. I really resonate with that: lockdown enforces a simplicity of life, a de-cluttering, and puts us in a situation where we’re forced to rethink our priorities and core values – asking questions about what is ultimately important, and what is simply ‘nice to have’. We learn to appreciate the simple pleasures in life, like birdsong or finding flour in a supermarket (!), and to value the ‘key workers’ who often at great personal risk make life in lockdown possible despite having previously been written off as ‘low-skilled’, and valued accordingly.
The second part turns to ‘the emptiness between black branches’, the ‘precious space’ which exists before the tree’s leaves and flowers appear. The leaves and flowers will come again – but the ‘stripping bare’ in Lent/lockdown has purpose: it enables us not only to discern what is for each of us ‘surplus and superfluous’, but also ‘to see the stars’. In ‘normal’ times the ‘stars’, God’s bigger picture, so easily get crowded out by our busyness and plans. The simplifying starkness of Lent/lockdown gives us the space to see things from God’s perspective, and for me that’s a lovely and much-needed gift of hope and encouragement.
‘Lent’, by Jean M. Watt, in Jenny Robertson (ed.), A Touch of Flame: An Anthology of Contemporary Christian Poetry, Lion, 1989, reproduced with permission of Lion Hudson plc through PLSclear.
Thank you Jenny

This coming Sunday (31st May) is the feast of Pentecost, the birthday of the church. I would love to include some photographs of birthday cards that you have made in next weeks newsletter. Please send them to
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

A prayer from Christian Aid for the victims of Cyclone Amphan.

Millions of people have been evacuated from their homes in India and Bangladesh due to Super Cyclone Amphan. But these life-saving efforts are being restricted because of the need to social distance. Raging winds of up to 120mph and 17 foot high waves have battered and damaged thousands of homes made with mud, tin and thatched roofs. Please pray with us for our global neighbours who have felt the destruction of Cyclone Amphan. Pray for their protection and safety during these unimaginable circumstances.
Christian Aid’s Bangladesh Country Director, Pankaj Kumar says: ‘We have an increased number of intense storms year on year, and it is the most poor and vulnerable who are being hit the hardest. They are still restoring their homes and livelihoods from previous years… Amphan risks putting them back to square one.’. Local partners are assessing the needs of people most in danger so that we can give life-saving support. Immediate help is likely to include safe water, hygiene kits, masks and sanitisers – to avoid transmission of coronavirus.
'O afflicted one, storm-tossed, and not comforted,
Behold, I will set your stones in antimony,
And your foundations I will lay in sapphires.' (Isaiah 54:11)
God of refuge,
protect our sisters and brothers in Bangladesh and India,
tossed far from their homes by Cyclone Amphan.
Some afraid to evacuate for fear of a pandemic disease,
surrounded by catastrophe and debris.
Comfort them as they journey and where they stay.
Your love knows no distance, O God be near your children in peril.
Set them on their way to safety, let them find your help.
Awaken in our hearts a love that reaches out –
a love that shelters neighbours from the storm,
a love that lays the foundations for recovery,
a love that perseveres.
We pray for their protection to you,
our God who never gives up.
In Jesus' name,

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

Come Down O Love Divine (Down Ampney) - performed by the choir of King's College, Cambridge
Do you have favourite worship songs? Please email them to Rex

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.