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Golders Green Parish Church – Newsletter

18 May 2021


Greetings to Everyone

I do hope all is well with everyone and that now more of the lockdown is lifting we will take care and look after ourselves and each other as well as enjoying more freedom. The news from around the world is really depressing - it’s no good pretending that all is well – articles in this week’s newsletter reflect that fact.  We may feel at a loss to know what to do and how we can help, and there are many practical ways, but for each of us, as mentioned in the articles below, we can pray deeply and profoundly for each issue as we read about it and see what is happening on our televisions. We may do it individually but prayers become collective and spread in all directions in their strength. We think of all countries and individuals at war, suffering from the pandemic with little relief; we think of countries suffering from assaults and persecution on groups and vulnerable individuals, so many, too many, to name and we pray that peace and healing may come on them all and that those who are perpetuating these atrocities may also experience a sense of the need to change and be at peace.
For a change of tone to something more upbeat! Last Saturday I joined a poetry retreat put on by the Church Times (Weekly newspaper; and Sarum College(Centre of theological learning and ecumenical Christian study and research; entitled, “Send My Roots Rain”. It was one of the most uplifting and inspiring retreats I have ever attended; inspiring because I like poetry, but because I find some very hard to understand and often gloss over what I am reading, it is so helpful to listen to present day published poets reading their verse and talking about how and why they write their work, an eye-opening-or I should rather say “mind” opening experience.  I am in awe of those who use language in such a way and often with such sparsity to make their feelings and experiences known, using words you often have to think about and get behind for understanding, but give a new meaning often to old ideas and experiences so you look at them in a new way. Below is an account of the day and a video link for you to go to so you share in parts of the day too.
This Sunday is Charlotte’s last day with us. Like many of you I wish it weren’t so and we could keep her until we make an appointment. It is true to say she has been a real asset to us with her excellent sermons that are much commented on and her discussions with us about her work and family. We do wish her well and that she flourishes in all she does. We thank her so much for everything. She will be missed. 
Love and good wishes - Sally

This weeks edition includes:
  • Update from Tony;
  • Sermon from Charlotte;
  • Refugees: comment from Jenny;
  • Prayer session on Wednesday 7.30pm (and zoom link);
  • Story from Rose;
  • Bishop Ellinah W- Prayer;
  • “Send My Roots Rain” - A Day Retreat;
  • Christian Aid Prayers for Peace;
  • How we are;
  • Prayers, Services, Hymns, and Broadcasts;
  • Zoom links.



Update from Tony

As most of you know, this weekend is Rev Charlotte's last with us.  So I do hope that as many of you who can will be able to join us on zoom or in person (we can sit up 42 people and 3 families) in church.
The other update is that the re-advertisement of our vacancy commences this Friday.  Please do pray for this and join us on Wednesday for prayer as well.

YouTube - Worship Videos of the week :

Shane & Shane: In Christ Alone

Robin Mark - Days of Elijah (Official Lyric Video)


Ascension Day Sermon from Charlotte


Sermon from Charlotte Easter 6    

 On Thursday we celebrated Ascension Day; we’ve come now to the last period of Eastertide before we celebrate Pentecost next Sunday. This period between Ascension and Pentecost is when we turn our heads away from the joyful time that the disciples spent with Jesus after the resurrection, rejoicing that his predictions had come true, that what they hadn’t allowed themselves to believe had happened before their eyes – and we turn our eyes now to the long term future. We turn our eyes to what it means to live without the risen Jesus being present as one, physical person, but rather what it means to live as the Holy Spirit among us, God with us at all times and in all places.  “And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you.”
For the disciples, the Ascension must have been a baffling, startling and in some ways a devastating and difficult experience. They had left homes, friends, families, and livelihoods to follow this man. For three years they ate and drank with him, travelled with him, learnt from him, shared their lives with him – they had such high hopes of the great things to come that he spoke of. But days after his triumphal entry into Jerusalem, one by one, they left him. He was given an unfair trial, beaten, and killed. Their hopes were dashed, and they were left alone without this man they loved, having to face returning to their old ways of living. Then the great celebration of Easter took place; the Risen Jesus appeared to them, just as he said he would; they could talk with him and eat with him and share their lives with him again. But just as they were getting used to his presence amongst them, he left them again to join his Father in heaven. To them it must have felt like the bereavement of Good Friday all over again. The Ascension marked a huge transition for them, as it does for us. Not only did they no longer have his physical human presence amongst them, the way they related to him had to change. Christ’s withdrawal from earth to heaven marks the change from following him to worshipping him.  
In the chapter just before the one we heard from in John's Gospel this morning, Jesus tries to explain the reason for the Ascension. He tells his disciples, “it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.” In other words, the Holy Spirit is actually better than the physical presence of Jesus Christ, because through the Holy Spirit, Christ can be not just in one place at one time, but everywhere, in everything and everyone. I suspect it might not have sounded like that to them. I’m leaving you, but don’t worry, I’ll send this Spirit thing for you to have instead of me. We've been hearing from the Book of Acts throughout Eastertide, which is peppered with descriptions of how tough life became for the disciples after the Ascension – they came up against anger and persecution and the majority of them were martyred in a gruesome fashion. But the Book of Acts also shows us that the promise of Christ that the advocate, the Holy Spirit would come was real. They rid themselves of fear and proclaimed the Gospel; we heard this morning of Peter standing in front of 120 people before Matthias is elected to become one of the apostles, who went on with that group of apostles to heal the sick, perform miracles and stun crowds with their teaching. The Holy Spirit was not just among them, he was in them – just as he is in you and me, Christ’s presence here on earth through his Church. 
Not only do we have the Holy Spirit among us, we have Christ in heaven to pray for us. In the old dispensation, the high priest passed through the veil of the Temple into the Holiest of Holies once a year to make atonement for the sins of the people. Christ has passed through the veil that separates heaven from earth and sits at the right hand of the Father, praying for us. And his passing from earth to heaven changes the nature of our faith. If Jesus had remained one physical, human being here on earth, it would be relatively easy to believe in him. In passing from our sight, faith in Christ becomes a matter of trust – a hope in things we cannot see. 
I don’t think we really need to get bogged down in the detail of exactly how Jesus was transported into heaven. We are used to seeing images of the Ascension in which Jesus is zooming up to a heaven contained within fluffy white clouds, with the disciples gawping down below. Many of you made a pilgrimage on Monday to the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham in Norfolk, and may have seen there the striking and only mildly tacky chapel of the Ascension, which has two feet stuck to the ceiling of the chapel, intending to bring to mind a vision of Christ disappearing through the clouds into the sky. 
The people of Jesus’ day knew, just as we do, that heaven is not just above the clouds. The Angel in the Book of Acts warns against naïve literalism when he says, “men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up to heaven?” The important word to focus on in the accounts of the Ascension is withdraw. His withdrawal is not the beginning of his absence, but the beginning of his presence in a new way -through the Spirit and through the sacraments – in the breaking of bread in the Eucharist, in the water of baptism and in all the sacraments. It is only by withdrawing as one human being, that Christ can be present to everyone everywhere. 
And what about up being ‘the only way’? What about, dare I say it, down? Some strands of the Christian tradition believe that Christ descended on Good Friday into the heart of hell as he himself experienced separation from God. For all the portrayals in Christian art and literature of fire and brimstone, pitchforks and lava and flesh-eating monsters, hell is, in the end, separation from God. The thoughts of this should make our blood turn cold, but it doesn’t – which is why the tradition has piled on the agony, the fire and the torture, to show us how agonizing such a separation would be. The essence of Christian hope is that hell might be empty; that the mercy of God reached down even to those who will eternity without him for themselves, bringing them despite themselves into the heart of love. In the words of the theologian Hans Urs Von Balthasar, 
Here, ‘lies hope for the person who, refusing all love, damns himself. Will not the man who wishes to be totally alone, find beside him in sheol Someone lonelier still, the Son forsaken by the Father, who will prevent him from experiencing his self-chosen hell to the end?’ God never stops trying to raise us up. 
And that’s why this period of Ascensiontide is not a time to mourn the loss of the physical presence of Christ on earth, but a time of great hope. Christ has passed through the veil from earth to heaven to sit at his Father’s side in glory to pray for us. The Holy Spirit is in us and among us to be Christ’s presence here on earth. From here we are sent into the world to be Christ. “The one who believes in me will do the works that I do, and in fact will do greater works,” Jesus said at the Last Supper. We can do the works of Christ because we are given the Spirit of Christ. God has gone up with a merry noise, with the sound of the trumpet – Alleluia!


Refugees: Comment from Jenny

The issue of the appalling treatment of refugees and asylum-seekers which Sally wrote about so powerfully in last week’s newsletter, is one which as Christians, we can’t ignore, and must challenge. The Bible is full of calls to care for the stranger, the alien, the marginalised, people who are 'not like us’, and Jesus spent rather a lot of time with strangers and aliens and all sorts of other people who were seen as not welcome. It’s so important, as Sally said, that we think about what’s going on in our name and about how we can get involved. Perhaps that’s by offering practical support for refugees and asylum-seekers, perhaps it's by telling our MPs how disgusted we are by the way such vulnerable and desperate people are being treated, when all they want is somewhere safe where they can live a productive and dignified, which is surely not too much to ask. 
Another thing we could do is to sign up for one or more of a series of three online Bible studies being facilitated by Churches Together in Britain and Ireland next month. You can find details on their website: they’re each based on a different Bible passage, and led by someone with a lot of relevant experience. They’re taken from a set of resources called ‘God with us’ - an anthology of prayers, Bible studies, reflections, poems, hymns and songs on the theme of refugees and migration. These can be used to plan a service that focuses on that theme, or for personal prayer and reflection, and we could also join in the Bible studies simply as an opportunity to be refreshed in our understanding of what may be familiar passages of scripture. Maybe we could even ask whoever is leading our services in June if we could incorporate something about refugees and migration, particularly as Refugee Week takes place during June and culminates on 20th June with Sanctuary Sunday.
You can find out more about the Bible studies, and sign up, via this link: You might also like to explore CTBI’s website for more information about the work churches are doing around the country to support and campaign for (and with) refugees and asylum-seekers:

Prayer session on Wednesday 7.30pm

Why not come and join in our prayer sessions held each Wednesday at 7.30pm. This is an informal time, when we not only pray for guidance in appointing a new incumbent for our church, but a time of reflection on a psalm or some verses from a Gospel. They often lead on to an interesting discussion brought up by anyone who is there that has something on their mind. Last week was so engaging as the whole question of “forgiveness” came up. We are told to forgive, we know that, but realistically it is easier said than done; how do we know we really have forgiven and how is it possible to truly forgive dreadful acts that happen to ourselves and/ or in the world.  This discussion stayed with me on and off for the whole week and everyone who joined in had something valuable and thought-provoking to say. What do you think……?

Church Wardens are inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

 Topic: Prayer Meetings
Time: May 19, 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
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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
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A Story from Rose 


This is a story Rose received from a friend. She thought you would like it!

“As a singer I sing at many funerals & I was recently asked by a funeral director to sing at a graveside service for a homeless man.  He had no family or friends, so the service was to be at a Pauper's Cemetery out near Lindale. As I was not familiar with the area, I got lost. Everyone that knows me knows I can be directionally challenged AND my navigation lost its signal.  I hate Sprint!! 

Anyway, I finally arrived an hour late and saw that the funeral guy had evidently gone and the hearse was nowhere in sight.  There were only the diggers and crew left and they were eating lunch.  I felt bad and apologized to the guys for being late.  I went to the side of the grave and looked down and the vault lid was already in place. I didn’t know what else to do, so I started to sing. The workers put down their lunch and began to gather around.  I sang my heart and soul out for this man with no family and friends.  

As I sang, “Amazing Grace”, the spirit began to move and the workers began to weep.  They wept, I wept, we all wept together.  When I finished, I prayed  a benediction and started for my car, my head hung low but my heart so FULL.

As I opened the door to my car, I overheard one of the workers say, “I’ve never seen nothin’ like that before and I’ve been putting in septic tanks for twenty years.” 
Apparently, I was still lost ??….”


 20210518-AliBarne                           20210518-AliBarne1

 We pollinate so you get blossoms- Ali Barne

Bishop Ellinah W  

Bishop Ellinah W, was the first female bishop in the Anglican church in Africa, elected in 2012. She was a leading campaigner on environmental issues and led the Anglican Communion Environmental Network for a number of years. Tragically she died of Covid in January this year. Here is one of her prayers from Swaziland, Southern Africa. Jenny sent this as a tribute to her and for all her caring ministry.
Creator God, we thank and praise you for giving us the opportunity to be co-creators with you and to ensure the sustainability of “Mother Earth,” our meeting place with God. God as a community of Father, Son and Holy Spirit teach us as the Anglican community to work together for mutual respect with one another and your creation. We repent for our negligence leading the earth to be in peril from loss of habitats and species. Help us to be caretakers of your gifts, protecting the land from abuse, and ready to share with all in need. Amen.

“Send My Roots Rain” - A Day Retreat

It was a day-long event based on the writing of poets, past and present. Some, well known to us such as George Herbert (1593- 1633), whose verses we often sing in our hymns and whose phrases have become absorbed into our language; others more contemporary, such as Mary Oliver and Helen Dunmore, whose poetry exudes spirituality and awareness of the spirit of God in all things. These two speak to us directly of so much of what we experience, (if you haven’t heard of them do look them up as their poetry is stunning and communicates to us at so many levels).  There was so much during the day that was uplifting that I wished everyone could share in it. Whether poetry is your thing or not- and I know it is not for everyone- having the opportunity to listen to those who have an understanding and love of what the poet is expressing, who has studied them for a long time, can open our eyes and our thinking, illuminating what makes them understood in ways never thought of. Present, too, were some notable poets and writers who spoke about what motivates them to write in poetic form from their life experiences and insights and how they develop and struggle with their faith while doing so from challenging conditions of turmoil and rejection.  In so many aspects poets are our truth tellers who work to find just the right word or words to express what they want to convey with the minimal use of language.
My greatest admiration for poets is exactly that, the way they are able to use language at its most frugal, cutting out extraneous words, expressing meaning and feelings with such sparsity that we, the reader, often have to work hard to get to the meaning of what they want to say.  It took me a very long time, as a fast and often impatient reader, to realise that poetry has to be read in a very different way to any other literature or form of writing. It needs to be slowly absorbed, paced, given time to think about and savour (like good wine).  If you are a fast reader it just doesn’t work. One of my most favourite poets since my earliest days is Emily Dickinson (1830). She lived in a grand house with her wealthy, respected family in Amherst, Massachusetts, USA. She chose to live like a hermit writing her short perceptive stanzas in minimalist, reflective verse with her idiosyncratic punctuation of dashes rather than commas. She wrote during her life time, 1,800 poems, covering a wide range of thoughts and feelings, most of which were only discovered after her death by her sister, but, are now widely published. The opening session of the day was based upon “Fragments” which is what her poems were often called as they seemed like small fragments of thought. The opening reflection was given by Pádraig Ó Tuama, himself a poet and spiritual writer, who talked about the many fragments of our lives.
But the one poet, who has been mentioned in past newsletters, who has published many books of poetry and writes for the Church Times, is Malcolm Guite, a priest of the church of England and spiritual guide. He gave a riveting session on his new book of poems, “David’s Crown”, where each poem is written in response to the Bible's 150 psalms as they appear in William Coverdale's translation. The psalms express every human emotion we have with honesty, forthrightness anger, despair, shame, and thankfulness, all directed at God. In themselves they are a wonderful guide and release to prayer showing us we do not have to be “polite” to God but giving ourselves permission to say it how it is!  Guite in his poems relates to each psalm, wrestling honestly with them in his own expressive and thoughtful way.  You may find it a good book to have. And is listed mentioned below.

If you would like to view any of the day you can do so by going to the Church Times video below and experience the sessions given by an excellent group of speakers.


Christian Aid Prayers for Peace in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory

We will all have been horrified by the escalating violence in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory and the heartbreaking impact on Palestinians and Israelis alike. They all deserve better from the international community, which must treat both as equals and ensure justice is served if peace is to be achieved. Jenny writes that Christian Aid has produced a series of prayers for a lasting solution to the conflict that provides justice to all parties.  They have also just launched an e-mail action calling on Boris Johnson urgently to use his influence to achieve a ceasefire and to press for all parties to observe international law so that justice and peace for everyone in the region can become a reality. 
You can find the prayers and the e-mail action here: 
You might also be interested in this blog from Christian Aid Ireland, which describes the experience of a staff member of one of their partners in Gaza:
In case you don’t have access to the internet here is one of the prayers, from the World Council of Churches:

O God of Sarah and Abraham,
our tears are mixed with yours, weeping for the cities in the world.
We weep for the holy cities and especially for Jerusalem:
where brothers and sisters kill each other,
where hatred feeds and nourishes anger,
where animosity blinds mercy,
where religions divide, as children learn to hate and the elderly nurse old grudges.
With Jesus weeping over Jerusalem, we pray:
Teach us to walk the way that leads to life.
Transform our grief into determination,
our tears into action, and our acts into a just peace.




David’s Crown: a new book of poems based on the psalms by Revd. Malcom Guite; Canterbury Press




How We Are

Simon: It is so good to hear from Anita that Simon, after several radiotherapy sessions, is doing well.  He has a few more to go and we wish him well and lots of prayers.
Margaret: It is also good to hear that Margaret is recovering well after a fall at home but is now fine. Soon she will be having her second eye procedure and we all hope that goes as well as her first.



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.
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 23, 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
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+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, 18/05/2021
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.