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Golders Green Parish Church – Newsletter

16 March 2021




Hoping you are all well and longing for it to be a bit less windy and much warmer.
Last week, Nationally, Internationally across Churches and Countries, the focus has been on celebrating the achievements and contributions of strong women through, “The International Women’s Day”, “The World Day of Prayer” from Vanuatu (South Pacific Ocean Nation ) which had its usually brilliantly compiled service by the International Committee of Women, and then, “Mothering Sunday” where we had an opportunity to give flowers and gifts to our mothers and those who have cared for us with love; so much to rejoice about and be proud of. Then, came the dreadful story of the 300 young girls who were kidnapped in Nigeria, not for the first time. The pain of the Nigerian parents cannot be imagined, there are no adequate words and we all pray that acts will be taken that the kidnapping of young women will end, that they will be able to go about their lives in safety without fear.  In the UK, we then had the murder of Sarah Everard just walking home in the evening from seeing her friends. This tragic act caught the experiences and memories of so many women, young and old, who know what walking in the streets feels like, keeping a careful eye, always wary, or should be, concerned about about who might be following them/us. None of us should ever have to feel like that. None of us should keep keys ready in our hands or pocket alarms ready, “just in case”. What freedom is that? Yet nothing really effective is done. Why should we wait for yet another tragedy before something is done? The only change that will come will be from women themselves/ourselves, and those men who are just as aghast and do not want to be seen as potential muggers or rapists.  There is so much to address and act upon to be able to live a life of respect and safety. How much is forgotten by so many, that we are all made in the likeness of God and therefore worthy of being valued and cared about. We must protect each other.
Many thanks to The Revd Rachel G for being with us on Sunday and for her excellent and sensitive sermon just about covering all the aspects of Mothering Sunday that needed to be said. It is printed below with the illustrations she used to help make the points. Rachel is serving with our Area Dean Revd Julie G.
Please note the request to us from All Saint’s Childs Hill for anyone who would like to consider being a governor to their church school.  It is so good to be part of a school community and serve in that capacity.
Included in the newsletter is a poem celebrating the matriarchs of the Bible and church, written by a Roman Catholic Benedictine nun, theologian, author and poet, Sr Joan Chittister. She is an outspoken advocate of justice, peace and equality, an inspiration to many of us who have read her books and heard her lectures when we were studying and beyond. Needless to say she gets herself into trouble as do all those who speak out for Justice, Peace and Equality. When you read her poem you might like to think of names of women you know from your past and present who have inspired you and add them. We can then make it a poem of our own!
You might be interested in hearing about the newly published book by the Archbishop of York, called “Dear England”.  It arose out of a question a young woman asked him when he was waiting for a train at Paddington station; “Why are you a priest???”. The video made at the book launch can be found on - In it he makes a fascinating digression about how some public figures who profess to be Christians might be regarded by Jesus Christ if he reappeared on earth alongside them. It is worth watching to hear his clear reflections on society and how we live. He is both deeply serious in intent, warm and humorous.
Love and good wishes – Sally


This week’s edition includes:

  • Update from Tony.
  • All Saints CofE Primary School -Governor Request
  • Wednesday Evening Prayers Reminder from Tony
  • Sermon from Revd Rachel G;
  • Lenten Prayer
  • Seder Memories from Sheila;
  • Update on Pastoral Care from Nehar;
  • Night Shelter Progress and Thanks from Nehar;
  • Poem by Sr Joan C;
  • Resources for Lent.
  • How We Are.
  • Links to services, hymns, and broadcasts.
  • Zoom links.

Update from Tony


Just an update on the applications for our new priest in charge - we currently have 3.  I hope we may get a few more, as the closing date is this Friday.  Could I therefore invite you to pray and to join us to pray over this process.  The zoom link is below.
Just to let you know that we are looking at how we may reopen for in person socially distant services.  These will be a combination of in person and zoom.  I will be trying this out this Sunday, so do pray about it.
Could I ask that if you have not returned your electoral roll form please do.  We seem to be missing quite a few people.
Lastly, Easter Sunday is nearly upon us in two weeks time.  It will also be Rev Charlotte B's last Sunday with us.  We have been blest with her being with us for this length of time and grateful to Bishop Roy for finding her.  I am trying to find help for services after Easter. Please pray about that.


All Saints CofE Primary School -  Governor Request


Our neighbour, All Saint’s Child’s Hill, has an excellent Primary School. The Revd Robin S, who is a good friend to us at Golders Green, has asked if we have anyone who would be willing to serve as a governor to the school as they have a vacancy. We do not have a school attached to us so it would be a valuable service if someone from our congregation would consider taking on this role. The school is right next to the church at Child’s Hill NW2 2TJ and has a strong sense of community.
If you have been a governor and would like to volunteer, or, would be willing to learn what it is about, please get in touch with the churchwardens who will be pleased to discuss this with you. There are also a couple of us who have been long-serving governors to different schools who would also be willing to talk to you; if so please make contact on  - Thank you – Sal


Wednesday Evening Prayers Reminder from Tony

You are invited to join our Wednesday evening prayer meeting at 7.30pm for the next few Wednesdays in Lent. We will pray about a new incumbent and also for the process following that.  Please do come and pray together. The zoom link is below. With many thanks.
Golders Green Parish Church is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: GGPC Wednesday Evening Prayers
Time: Mar 17, 2021 07:30 PM London
        Every week on Wed, until Apr 21, 2021, 7 occurrence(s)
        Mar 24, 2021 07:30 PM
        Mar 31, 2021 07:30 PM
        Apr 7, 2021 07:30 PM
        Apr 14, 2021 07:30 PM
        Apr 21, 2021 07:30 PM
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Sermon from Rachel

Mothering Sunday 14th March 2021

In God’s family no one is without a mother, or someone to mother
It’s wonderful to be here in Golders Green Parish Church this morning and worship with you over zoom. Thank you for lending me your ears for the next little while.
Let’s pray. May I speak in the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Today we may be feeling mixed emotions.
Some of us may be feeling disappointed and sad. Having looked forward to today in the hope that we would be able to share daffodils, cards, gifts and hugs with our children and our mothers.
Some of us may feel the void left by the death of a mother or the pain of a difficult relationship. Some of us may find today unbearable due to the loss of a child.
Some of us may feel more acutely aware of our singleness. Some of us may feel distraught after unsuccessful IVF or adoption attempts.
Some of us may today feel the grief of not being able to worship in person at our ‘Mother’ Church, due to Covid.
Today is a day of mixed emotions, which is, reflected in the mood our bible passages.


In our reading from 1 Samuel, we meet Hannah and our husband Elkanah. The previous chapter tells us of Hannah’s barrenness. She would have certainly struggled with Mother’s Day as Elkanah’s other wife Peninnah perpetually flaunted her fertility in Hannah’s face.


Hannah pours out her grief before God in the temple, her grief misunderstood by the priest as intoxication by wine. She asks God for a son, promising to give this son back to God if he grants her request.


God grants Hannah’s request and she gives birth to Samuel. I wonder if she had second thoughts about her promise to God? The child she had so bitterly longed for pledged in her grief, distress, anxiety and desperation, casting a shadow over her precious time spent with her little boy. Hannah had a choice. She could have decided to keep Samuel to herself; after all the scripture doesn’t record her telling anyone that Samuel is a divine gift before he is born. 
Yet Hannah is a woman of her word. She keeps her promise to God, even though he is the only one who knows. She tells her husband that she is going to present Samuel to God as a Nazarite.
We first hear of the term Nazarite in Numbers 6 when the Lord is recorded as giving the Law to Moses. A Nazarite was the term used to denote a person who had taken a vow to set themselves apart totally for God, this was mostly time limited, open to both men and women and involved abstaining from alcohol or any grape related produce, abstaining from visiting the hairdressers or barbers and to not make themselves unclean under the Jewish Law by coming into contact with a dead body.
Only three times in the bible do we hear of a child, before they are born, being set apart as a Nazarite and pledged to God for their whole earthly life. The first is Samuel, the second is Samson, the third is John the Baptist. All three boys are born to previously barren women.
This theme of humanly impossible births, divinely answered prayers and female rivalry is repeated throughout scripture. The previously barren and geriatric matriarch Sari gives birth to Issac with Hagar looking over her shoulder (Genesis 15-21) and the barren Rachel, jealous of her sister’s Leah’s children gives birth to Joseph (Genesis 28-30). 
When a story sounds familiar in scripture, reminiscent of another story in the bible, we should pay attention. The common theme of a miracle birth rings in our ears as we find ourselves in our second reading at the foot of the cross.


We find ourselves this morning with another woman who is loosing her child. Yet unlike Hannah, Mary the mother of Jesus won’t be able to visit her son where he is going. All the previous divinely answered prayers of barren women throughout scripture have pointed towards this moment. The miraculous births of Issac, Jospeh, Samuel, Samson and John are children gifted not just for the mother or parents, but as a means of God working his Salvation plan out through history, in spite of human sin and failings.
And here we come to the outworking of the most miraculous of all the impossible births recorded in Scripture. God born in human flesh; fully God, fully human, Jesus Christ. In his humanity Jesus dying on the cross for our sins, in his divinity Jesus rising to life, so that through him we might have everlasting life, a home with God and a family of saints made up of people from every tribe and colour and nation. Orphans no longer. Knowing that when we die, the pain of barrenness, separation, loss and division, will be no more, as we are enfolded in the love of God; through the Father’s arms, the Spirits embrace and the Son’s touch.


Jesus from the cross looks at his best friend and his mum. He knows that his siblings will look out for his mum, especially James. Yet he tells his Mum she has a new son – his best friend John. Mum, take care of my friend John like he is your own child, as I have mothered my people Israel, I need you to look out for my disciples who will need your tenderness.  John, you have a new mother, it doesn’t matter that she didn’t give birth to you. God’s family is full of adopted sons and daughters, each needing mothering.
From the cross Jesus instates a new way of doing family, where in God’s family no one is without a mother, or someone to mother. Today, on Mothering Sunday ‘nobody in church should feel left out’.[iii] Mothering is an activity. Jesus mothered his people Israel, expressing his care and concern for them through the metaphor of a mother hen gathering her chicks (Matthew 23:37).
If we are to take Jesus’s example, we can all mother. I close with a prayer from the Christian writer Pete Greig:

We pray for mothers to know love and joy
And for orphans, comfort
For not-yet mothers, hope
For single mothers, grace
And for those who are lonely, family
We pray grace today
For the mothers of prodigals
For those who've lost children
And for those who don't know where their children are
May the embrace of grace displace shame
For mums in prison,
For those who cant feed a baby
For those who miscarried
And those who had an abortion
May those who never held their own child,
For whom today is sadder than it is happy, Know the joy of parenting sons and daughters Within the family of God
For ‘as a mother comforts her child,’ says the Lord, ‘so will I comfort you; and you will be comforted.’ ~ Isaiah 66:13


Lenten Prayer

Eternal God,
You have made us in your image, children, women and men;
In one another’s faces we glimpse the love that moves the sun and the stars.
Open our eyes and imaginations this Lent
to know and to reverence your presence among us.
Hallow our human loving, and bless our caring and our serving.
Help us to receive as generously as we try to give,
and to bless you for the Christ who visits us in friend and stranger.
We ask this in his name, Amen.

Icon of Faithful St Joseph Loving and Cari


Seder Memories from Sheila

There they stand piled on top of each other like sentries by Sainsbury's entrance, their blue boxes exchanged for red ones protecting the specially blessed matzos inside.  Matzos should not be eaten for the month before Pesach (Passover) so that when the first of two Seder meals is shared the participants enjoy the fresh taste.  The Seder meal takes place on the first two nights of Pesach (seven nights), a time when bread, pastry, biscuits and cakes containing yeast cannot be eaten.  Having, with some trepidation, met my future mother-in-law, Hilde, we were invited to a Seder (means order) meal at one of her friend's and this was the start of our sharing meals for the main Jewish and Christian festivals.
The Seder plate is a special plate made of metal or china with specific places for small amounts (samples) of the foods that the participants will eat from plates and dishes placed on the table.  Parsley, celery, lettuce and grated fresh horseradish can be the bitter herbs, hard boiled eggs, one of which with a burnt shell is placed on the Seder plate together with a burnt lamb bone, charoseth (representing the mortar and bricks used in Egypt) made from desiccated coconut, grated apple or pear, cinnamon and red wine plus salt water which represents tears.  Three matzos are hidden in a special cover, the centre one being broken in half which will be hidden for the youngest male to find at the end of the meal.  There is a special glass for Elijah and certain places during the meal when Kosher wine or fruit juice is drunk.  Two candles are traditionally lit and prayed over at the beginning of this and Friday night meals.
Hilde was in charge of food at her synagogue so whether we visited for a Friday night dinner, Sunday lunch or a Seder meal the food was always delicious, but simple, kept hot and the cooking utensils washed up before we ate - something I never managed.  Everyone has their own book called the Haggadah, Hilde's being marked as to when she should go and reheat the soup and other sojourns to the kitchen.  Peter (my husband) had a different book from his childhood with him and his mother reading in Hebrew.   I tried to follow (Hebrew on the right-hand page and English on the left) from a different book and then copies of another issue when our children, Natasha and Sacha, took part.  The meal can take between two and four hours depending on numbers and whether the whole order is followed but, fortunately, our's never did.  After the candles have been lit the reading of the Haggadah begins with the drinking and eating of the various food in the correct places - the bitter herbs dipped in salt water, the grated horseradish placed on matzo to help take away the heat and sharpness, salt water poured over the hardboiled eggs and the sweetness of the charoseth on matzos.  Traditionally Hilde would serve chicken soup with matzo balls followed by roast lamb.  At the end of the meal Sacha would hunt for the hidden matzo half which would be shared after which nothing else can be eaten.  Peter and his mother would happily sing in Hebrew some of the songs at the end of the Haggadah.
When Hilde was preparing to go into a local care home I tentatively asked if I could have the Seder plate which had been given to her when she gave up co-ordinating the food at the synagogue.  I need not have worried because she was delighted and from then on had a Seder meal at home until Natasha and Sacha had left to pursue their own lives by which time Hilde was well settled into the home which had been opened specifically for Jewish, German refugees and she partook in the Seder meals there.
To me the Seder meal represents freedom and I am hoping that when our grandchildren are older we'll be able to share a meal as a family, bringing their great-grandmother close and to understand, as I have done, what Passover means.
Pastoral Care: Update from Nehar
The pastoral group met on Monday.  We discussed how to keep in touch with all of our church family in these difficult days.  All of us are touch with friends from church who we speak to regularly.  There may be some known to us who would like a member of pastoral group to get in touch with them.  It is our aim to ensure that no-one feels left out in these very difficult times when we have been unable to meet in person.  Please email Nehar at churchwardens email;
We thought it would be good for us to have a zoom coffee evening once/twice a month.  We will set up a zoom meeting with the same connecting details which you can save.  It is our aim to meet at 7.30 for about 30-45 minutes with a cup of tea just for an informal chat.  It will be good see how we all are.  You can come for 10 minutes or stay till the end!  I know it has been a bit late in coming but we can keep it going beyond lockdown.  It will mean we can continue to meet without having to travel further than our armchair!
We will put a link out after Easter and look forward to seeing you all.
With much love Sally, Anita and Nehar.
Night Shelter Progress and Thanks
As said a couple of weeks ago, the project is going really well.  We now have 14 new guests at the hotel who are being cared for and fed by all those involved in the Night Shelter Rota. A big thank you to Silvia, Shaniv and Soheil for being present when it is our turn to hand out the food and to Jennifer who bags the tea, coffees etc when they arrive in the Church. But we especially want to thank the Toprack–Ocakbasi Restaurant,  just adjacent to our church, not only for the excellent food they cook for the Night Shelter guests but for delivering it and being so very helpful to us. How good that they have been open for takeaways throughout lock-down too. Many thanks to everyone involved.


Lent Book Suggestions

  • Dear England”, is the letter the new Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell, would like to write to acountry that no longer sees the relevance of a Christian narrative;
    “Rooted in Love” draws on the collective wisdom of the Area bishops in London, introduced and edited by Bishop Sarah M. The book explores the ways in which we can live the Christian life to the full today. It contains forty reflections that lead us deeper into the meaning and practice of life in Christ today. Each reflection includes a Bible reading, a prayer and a suggestion for action based on the reading. You can buy your copy from: 
  • If you go to the Edmonton Area link containing more information you may find that helpful. Both links are on: or the facebook page: 

  • The Heart’s Time”, Poems and Prayers by Janet Morley;
  • Candles in the Dark: Faith, Hope and Love in a Time of Pandemic” by Rowan Williams
  •  “Forgotten Desert Mothers, The Sayings, Lives and Stories of Early Christian Women” by
    Laura Swan. The last chapters on, “Yearning for Holiness”, “Contemporary Asceticism”, “Compassion” and others following, draw on the desert mothers’ wisdom and how they can relate to our lives today. They would be so helpful for Lenten reflections.
    Why not support online Christian bookshops and buy them from one of these:, or, or


How we are:

Simon: How good to hear that Simon is much better and that his father is coping as well as can be expected at this time.
It is also encouraging to note that we have had no new messages of illness among us. Please continue to pray for those who are unwell and they know we pray for them daily. 


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.

Contact the office for my details. Please do get in touch.

YouTube - Worship Video of the week

???? ?? ??? (??????????) - ?????/????? - [???? ????] ??? ????
In English this is Oceans, from Hillsong in Arabic and Hebrew

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, Rose O,  Judy N, David A, Gideon O, Simon H


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

Time:  Mar 14, 2021 10:00 AM London
        Every week on Sun, until Mar 28, 2021, 2 occurrence(s)
        Mar 21, 2021 10:00 AM
        Mar 28, 2021 10:00 AM

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

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 849 2013 8690
Passcode: 109211
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        +44 131 460 1196 United Kingdom
        +44 203 051 2874 United Kingdom
        +44 203 481 5237 United Kingdom
        +44 203 481 5240 United Kingdom
        +44 203 901 7895 United Kingdom
Meeting ID: 849 2013 8690
Passcode: 109211
Find your local number:

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.

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. Please email

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, 16/03/2021
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.