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Golders Green Parish Church – Newsletter

28 April 2021



Greetings to everyone. What an interesting week it has been with strong protests suddenly taking place up and down the country over issues such as proposed changes over football! Such strength of feeling was shown within a day or so with the result that the proposals were speedily withdrawn with apologies all round from those who had planned them. I cannot pretend an interest in football, other than suddenly being made aware that this was one issue, out of so many others that have caused people far more suffering and injustice across the country that should merit strong protest and revolt, and it just had to be football!
But one key issue we, in the Church of England, do need to consider is that of Discrimination and Racism. It is something that should concern all of us that has been going on for decades, wherever we are, whoever we are and wherever we worship,.  I know it does at Golders Green. It is only now just surfacing with any real seriousness for the attention it should have been given long ago. On Monday, April 19th the BBC Panorama programme screened, “Is the Church Racist”, exploring allegations of racism and discrimination within the CofE. I wonder how many of you saw it and how you felt? It was a deeply concerning programme. In many ways it didn’t really tell us anything many of us had not known, felt and commented on for ages, and, in fact, could have given many more examples that the programme itself did not.
Then, on the following Wednesday, the CofE’s Report, “From Lament to Action”, came out produced by the Archbishops’, “Anti-Racism Task Force”. The report accepts the definition of ‘Institutional Racism’ adopted by the Macpherson report into the murder of Stephen Lawrence, (whose day it was during the week and so many of us remember) covering processes, attitudes and behaviour which amount to discrimination - as applying to the Church of England and speaks of racism as a “sin” requiring repentance.
While I have written a synopsis of it in this newsletter I do urge you to read it and see each area it covers with the planning and commitments given.  It is well laid out, clear, detailed and set within the context of a sound biblical and theological rationale. Most importantly it is written by those who know from their own life experiences what they are talking about.
This week we have; an update from Tony on the progress of the interviews for our next incumbent; a reminder of the date of our APCM; the Archdeacon’s sermon on “Jesus the Good Shepherd”; a message from the pastoral group regarding our zoom Wednesday evening chats with the link; and a reminder from Jenny about the National Trust’s “Blossomwatch Day”.
Many thanks, love and good wishes - Sally

This weeks edition includes:
  • Update from Tony;
  • Wednesday Evening Zoom Coffee Reminder;
  • Night Shelter Request;
  • Sermon from Archdeacon John;
  • “Lament to Action” Church of England Report on Racism;
  • National Trust and “Blossomwatch” from Jenny;
  • Book Recommendations;
  • Links to services, hymns, and broadcasts.
  • Zoom links.


Update from Tony

Yesterday along with the Bishop, our Archdeacon, our Area Dean and Pamela, we met the two top candidates.  After the long evening and in discussions afterwards, despite the impressive credentials we were not convinced that we had the person for Golders Green before us.  We are looking at what next to do - re-advertise and go through the process we have been through or we could go through a one to one process.  We will discuss what next to do very shortly so watch this space.  Please keep praying and join us later today when I can hopefully answer such questions as you have. Please see zoom link below.

20200428Coffee      Wednesday Evening Reminder        20210420Picture9

Just to remind you we are continuing our zoom coffee chat this Wednesday 28th April at 7.30pm. It was a good discussion last week and we look forward to seeing you again.  Bring  coffee, tea or cocoa! The link on how to join is below.

Church Wardens are inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: Prayer Meetings
Time: Apr 28, 2021 07:30 PM London
        Every week on Wed, until May 26, 2021, 7 occurrence(s)
        Apr 14, 2021 07:30 PM
        Apr 21, 2021 07:30 PM
        Apr 28, 2021 07:30 PM
        May 5, 2021 07:30 PM
        May 12, 2021 07:30 PM
        May 19, 2021 07:30 PM
        May 26, 2021 07:30 PM
Please download and import the following iCalendar (.ics) files to your calendar system.

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 917 9672 6926
Passcode: 021414
One tap mobile
+442080806592,,91796726926#,,,,*021414# United Kingdom
+443300885830,,91796726926#,,,,*021414# United Kingdom
Dial by your location
        +44 208 080 6592 United Kingdom
        +44 330 088 5830 United Kingdom
        +44 131 460 1196 United Kingdom
        +44 203 481 5237 United Kingdom
        +44 203 481 5240 United Kingdom
        +44 203 901 7895 United Kingdom
        +44 208 080 6591 United Kingdom
Meeting ID: 917 9672 6926
Passcode: 021414
Find your local number:


Night Shelter Request

The Night Shelter is progressing really well. Many thanks to those who have already sent donations of food and toiletries, they are very welcome. Just to remind you of the following items that are still needed; please could you bring them to the church during office hours on either Tuesdays or Wednesdays. Sheila will pick them up and take them to the Hotel.
Donations welcomed of:
- Pot noodles and Rice                     -         Soap
- Jam                                                -         Men’s deodorants
- 1 litre long-life milk                         -         Men’s disposable razors
- Crisps                                            -         Toilet rolls
- Biscuits 

Sermon from Archdeacon John


Today is often referred to as Good Shepherd Sunday
One Sunday morning, following the church service, a member of the congregation accosted the priest and said, “Fr, this church has been insulting me for years, and I did not know it until this week.”
The stunned priest replied, “What on earth do you mean?” “Well,” said the parishioner every Sunday morning the call to worship in this church ends with the words, ‘We are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand.’ And I have heard clergy over the years call the congregation, God’s flock.’
Then this past week I visited the city abattoir.  There I discovered that sheep are just about the dumbest animals God ever created. They are so stupid that they even follow one another docilely into the slaughterhouse.  Even pigs are smarter than sheep, and I would certainly be angry if my church called me a pig’ every Sunday morning.  So I’m not at all sure I want to come to church and be called a sheep’ any longer...even God’s sheep’.”
Maybe the man had a point. Have any of you been up close and personal with a sheep?   But whether we like it or not, this is the language of the Bible: both the Hebrew Bible and the Christian New Testament.  We are called “God’s sheep.” The favourite psalm of many people is the 23rd, and it begins by saying, “The Lord is my shepherd...” And if “the Lord is my shepherd,” then I am one of the Lord’s sheep.
I think that here is a classic example of how a English idle of the 18th & 19th century, of green and pleasant lands with pristine white fluffy sheep dotted in tranquillity around verdant pastures where the wildest form of beasty is a wasp that might disturb our quite afternoon in the warmth of the sun. it is this image has come to dominate our imagination and inform our understanding.

The reality of sheep and indeed shepherding in the middle east, in the time of Jesus and even today, is a far cry from that soft glow image that many of us probably had over our child hood bed of Jesus with a shepherd crook and a lamb in the crook of his arm and pretty fluffy sheep standing around him.

Twenty years ago I took my first trip to the holy Land and there we met with a Palestinian shepherd. He gave us an insight into to the shepherding techniques of the time. If a lamb wanders off and gets lost, then the shepherd will go out and search for that lost sheep.

This is usually only realized at the end of the day when the shepherd, usually a boy is counting them back into the safety of the enclosure.

The shepherd will then go back into the gathering dusk, into a dangerous landscape, to search for the lost sheep. He will find that lost sheep, it may be afraid, it may be injured, it may be dehydrated and hungry. It will be weak.

Before he picks up the sheep to carry him home he does something that you and I might find strange. He will break the sheep’s front leg, there and then at the moment of rescue he will inflict pain and what I image many of us will think of as act of cruelty. He will then bind up the broken leg and lift the sheep up over his shoulders with the head of the sheep lying on his left breast.

The shepherd explained that this was to ensure that in the days ahead as the front leg of the sheep healed the lamb would not be able to wander far so will keep close and safe. This is the reason that he first inflicted pain and then ministers to that pain. The reason that the shepherd carry’s the sheep home on his shoulders with the sheep’s head on his left breast is so that in the pain inflicted and relief of being saved the sheep will hear the heart beat of the shepherd and know his heart for ever and smell the sweat of the days excursion which will be forever imprinted on the mind of the sheep so binding the sheep to the shepherd.

This the shepherd told us ensured that this sheep, even when healed and older will remember that incident and be wiser and not leave the side of the shepherd.
There is of course a warning here that this is not a policy we should adopt in terms of our children’s work in church, but it does give us a way into reflecting on our own lives this Good Shepherd Sunday

I wonder in what ways you have wandered off like a lost sheep, desirous to fill your own needs rather than those of our Lord and Master? I wonder where we are finding ourselves lost and afraid today in the midst of all that we are living with in our world today?

I wonder in what ways our ‘our leg has been broken” so that we cannot go about with the freedoms that we once had. The last 12 or so months have been a breaking of our legs as we have had to restrict our movements, change our ways, lose our power of choice due to Covid-19 and in the last 12 months where have we seen and felt the reassuring and healing hands of Jesus in our lives giving us hope, giving us strength?

I wonder in what ways we have drawn nearer to God in the last 12 months in this pandemic, in our prayers that we have had to say in our homes rather than in our churches, in our zoom calls and online Eucharist’s were a spiritual communion has been for many of us a new way of drawing near to the Jesus’ body?

Sheep need protection:


Sheep are not very clever - I have heard that if two sheep are grazing together and a wolf comes up beside them and kills the one eating it right there, the other sheep will continue grazing.

Need protection: Not only do they need protection from predators, they need protection from themselves. You have no doubt heard that sheep are some of the dumbest animals in all the animal kingdom. They are creatures of habit: They will graze the same hills until it become a desert a wasteland. To their own destruction they will not move on.
Cannot look after themselves: They are creatures of bad hygiene: They will pollute their own ground until it is over run with disease and parasite. To their own ill health they will live in their own filth.
They are creatures with heavy coats: And when they lie down they can roll over. Once on their backs they cannot right themselves unless a shepherd comes and puts them back on their feet. To their own destruction they become burdened with things.
So if we are like those sheep what is Jesus the good shepherd like?
We are not very clever – we need guidance and so we have both the  bible and church  to guide us.
He will protect us, but we need to follow him and listen to his voice and remain part of the fold.
He will lead us to fresh pasture and so look after  us.
He will rescue us when we get lost or simply roll on to our backs. He will help us back to our feet again.
As we acknowledge Jesus the Good Shepherd with us this morning the words of the Good shepherd by the reggae artist Chevelle Franklyn come to mind
Your’re Good shepherd
You laid down your life for me
I say what kind of love ah love is this
What kind a love is this
Feel the shame I may bring You
The many disappointments
The grace you've poured on me oh oh oh See am unworthy, yet, You still  bring me in Your glory


“Lament to Action” Church of England Report on Racism

A commission was mandated by the two Archbishops to implement significant and cultural changes on issues of racial justice with in the Church of England. They stated that if the CoE is to be a credible voice in calling for changes across the world we must call for apologies and lamentation. The report that came out last Wednesday with the comment that, “Decades of inaction carry consequences, and this inaction must be owned by the whole Church. A failure to act now will be seen as another indication, potentially a last straw for many, that the Church is not serious about racial sin”.  As statement with which I am sure we all agree.

The introduction of the report is embedded within a sound biblical and theological rationale containing many biblical quotes emphasising, that we are all wonderfully and fearfully created in the image of God (Psalm 139:14 and Genesis 1:27), and speaks of the,“the intrinsic value in each and every human being, making mutuality and responsibility towards one another a theological mandate”. It states that at the core of the Bible is the demand for justice that is predicated on the ideal that God’s people are to be nourished in a justly ordered society, in harmony with God and within itself. This quest for a reconciled world culminates in the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ and recognizes that Racial sin disfigures God’s image in each one of us by taking away their fundamental God-given human dignity. Wherever racial sin takes place either in society or in our church, we must challenge it together. We must repent of racial sin, turn away from racism and be reconciled, so that we may all experience the love of God. Whether we focus on Galatians 3:28, Colossians 3:11, Ephesians 2:14-16 or 1 Peter 2:9-11, we share together the understanding that we are one in Christ.

Following the introduction, the report then gets into the core of its proposed changes and how they are to be implemented to bring a change of culture in all areas of the CofE.

There are 47 detailed actions that range across the five priority areas. The key ones are listed below.

These are a) participation, b) governance, c) training, d) education e) young people. They include;
  • Within months, racial-justice officers are to be appointed to every diocese of the Church of England, and a racial-justice directorate is to be created, to combat institutional racism and lack of diversity within the Church from the ground up.
  • From September, every senior vacancy — bishop, dean, archdeacon, and residentiary canon, as well as senior lay posts in the National Church Institutions (NCIs) — is to have at least one appointable, minority-ethnic candidate on the shortlist, or “provide valid, publishable reasons” for failure to do so.
  • By 2030, UK minority-ethnic and global-majority-heritage (UKME/GMH) people should constitute at least 15 per cent of the membership of all governance structures in the C of E. A plan to set this in motion should be implemented within weeks;
  • A maximum of ten UKME/GMH people (five clergy; five laity) to be appointed  as governing members of the General Synod in the next quinquennium (2021 to 2026);
  • UKME/GMH participant observers are to be introduced to the House of Bishops for three years from the autumn (as women were before legislation on women bishops was introduced);
  • mandatory diversity-monitoring forms, are to be implemented immediately to gather and report all racial diversity annually to inform recruitment processes;
  • 30 per cent of nominees are to be ensured to the next intake of the Strategic Leadership Development Programme from UKME/GMH backgrounds (bishops must nominate at least one candidate);
  • At least one UKME/GMH candidate is to be shortlisted for senior clerical posts, senior NCI appointments, and senior leadership teams, by September;
  • By the autumn, all BAP advisers will have undertaken a new mandatory three-stage learning programme covering unconscious bias, intercultural awareness, and anti-racism (by July 2022 for all other staff);
  • By February 2022, a mandatory anti-racism learning programme will be developed, (online and in-person) to be rolled out to all staff and clergy in every diocese from April 2022, and to all Readers and church officers by September 2023, over a two-year period with a triennial refresher. This should be available to all volunteers;
  • By the end of the year (Covid-dependent) regular diocesan networking days will be introduced to encourage diversity within congregations;
  • The Committee for Minority Ethnic Anglican Concerns (CMEAC) will be replaced “with a body which acts as a standing committee of the Archbishops’ Council, whose chair is co-opted on to the Council by the Archbishops”;
  • Full-time racial-justice officers will be placed in every diocese by the autumn (where they are not already in place) — centrally funded for five years — to work in individual churches and wider communities;
  • A racial-justice directorate will be appointed by the summer, incorporating a director-level post, a senior post, and an administration post, as part of the national church institutions (for five years) “to ensure delivery, monitoring, and accountability for the actions” of the report;
  • A plan will be created to increase representation and participation of UKME/GMH people to at least 15 per cent at all levels of C of E governance by 2030.
Besides setting specific dates for the implementation of its recommendations, as above, the taskforce lists who is to be responsible for its implementation and monitoring.
The commission states, apart from the enormous pressures and the issue of Covid none the less, “failure to implement these recommendations will lead to the inescapable conclusion that the Church does not consider this a priority, and is content to continue a record of benign neglect — a record which past failures to act have come to represent.
“We urge the Archbishops and the whole Church of which we are a part to act now to address the causes and consequences of racial sin in our Church, and to seize the missional opportunities offered in our report to both the benefit of the body of Christ and the mission of God.” It makes it clear that “Addressing systemic and institutional racism and racial sin in the church is not a theological addendum. It is a missional imperative of the Church of England.” These are the key parts taken from “Lament to Action” and with additional thanks to “The Church Times” from whom I also quoted.
These are all commendable aims, but, they will only be achieved if they are implemented with serious intent and shown to be so. I can see in some areas there will be difficulties and probably be push-back from quarters reluctant to believe what the report is saying is so, however, it is critically important much work is carried out at a congregational level up and down the country. From my long experience of campaigning for the Ordination of Women (and frankly, how I wish a report such as this had been written with such conviction regarding the ordination of women and how women are seen in the Church), I know that any real change only comes from below by a people convinced this it is right and just to do. The Cof E now has to show, the Gospel imperative, that, “we are all one in Christ” is truly believed and lived.

Members of the Archbishops’ Anti-RacismTask Force


“Blossomwatch”  from Jenny


You may have spotted that the National Trust made last Saturday their first ever Blossomwatch Day: Even if you missed it, the concept is a lovely one - celebrating the blossom that we can see in gardens and parks around us. This is a photo I took on Saturday of the first lilac that I have  seen this year, and it's certainly worth celebrating! Blossom is such a wonderful gift to us - look out for it, enjoy it, and celebrate the generosity and creativity of the God who made it!

Book Recommendations

Jenny writes: I’ve recently been introduced to the novels of Barbara Pym, with whom I’m sure some of you are already familiar. They’re such a delight that I wanted nevertheless to enthuse about them! She’s been referrred to as a 20th century Jane Austen, and I can understand why. She writes with great perceptiveness about human nature, and a wonderful eye for detail; she’s also very funny, and like Jane Austen she writes with genuine warmth and affection for her characters and a fantastic eye for the absurd. Unlike Jane Austen she writes about ordinary people, not the elite and privileged: those who just get on with life as they encounter it, with no great expectations of excitement or radical change.  
So far I’ve read ‘A Few Green Leaves’ and ‘Quartet in Autumn’. The former is a lovely, and hilarious, depiction of life in a sleepy Oxfordshire village, from the perspective of an outsider who comes in and gets caught up in village life.  ‘Quartet’ is about four work colleagues coming up to retirement and each dealing in different ways with loneliness and a sense of having missed out on life. Although it’s a serious subject it’s also wonderfully witty, and ultimately optimistic. Both books are worth savouring, and have got me hooked!! I’m looking forward to working my way through the rest of Barbara Pym’s novels, and perhaps to comparing notes with any of you who read them as well?

On-line Christian Book Shop Recommendations

Jenny has sent a useful list of online Christian bookshops who provide good and quick services as well as comprehensive book lists. They are:
And if you don’t have a physical bookshop within reach, and are looking for ethical alternatives to Amazon for general books, try:


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

YouTube - Worship Videos of the week :

How Great Thou Art - Taryn Harbridge

How Great Thou Art - Loyiso Bala ft. Don Moen



Monks' Stairway Hexham Abbey


Zoom link numbers

Please find below the Zoom links for our Sunday Service from the Churchwardens.
The link for the Sundays in April & May are :
Golders Green Parish Church is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: Church Services
Time: May 2nd, 2021 10:00 AM London
        Every week on Sun, until May 30, 2021, 7 occurrence(s)
        Apr 18, 2021 10:00 AM
        Apr 25, 2021 10:00 AM
        May 2, 2021 10:00 AM
        May 9, 2021 10:00 AM
        May 16, 2021 10:00 AM
        May 23, 2021 10:00 AM
        May 30, 2021 10:00 AM
Please download and import the following iCalendar (.ics) files to your calendar system.
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 958 4899 4911
Passcode: 950103
One tap mobile
+442034815240,,95848994911#,,,,*950103# United Kingdom
+442039017895,,95848994911#,,,,*950103# United Kingdom
Dial by your location
        +44 203 481 5240 United Kingdom
        +44 203 901 7895 United Kingdom
        +44 208 080 6591 United Kingdom
        +44 208 080 6592 United Kingdom
        +44 330 088 5830 United Kingdom
        +44 131 460 1196 United Kingdom
        +44 203 481 5237 United Kingdom
Meeting ID: 958 4899 4911
Passcode: 950103
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

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, 28/04/2021
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.