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Golders Green Parish Church – Newsletter

22 June 2021


Greetings to Everyone

How welcome it is to get memories of Golders Green from Sheila in this week’s edition following on from last week’s equally interesting memory from Myfanwy of nursing in the USA in the time of Kennedy. Thank you so much. Many of you have a great number of fascinating stories to tell which, if you are willing to share, are of great interest to all of us and give us pleasure in reading them. They often make us recall episodes we may have forgotten of different times in our own lives.  If you have anything you would like to contribute – please do. I am happy to type them up for you from hand-written accounts!
Welcome back to Archdeacon John. It is so good to have his support in person with us and his powerful sermon which is included below.
Thanks to Jenny for her article on Refugee week. So many events and talks took place giving accounts of those who actively support asylum seekers and refugees and the variety of different ways they are doing so. It was also incredibly moving to hear the stories of those who have made long, dangerous journeys to escape from persecution and war. In last week’s edition I highlighted two particular events that took place at Mansfield College; one was an; Audience with Bishop Munib Younan and Bishop Tor Jørgensen talking of their experiences of being a refugee as well as supporting them and working for peace. This is on:
The second, was a conversation with the Revd Inderjit Bhogal, a Methodist Minister, broadcaster, and writer, who founded The City of Sanctuary UK Movement, and Afraa Hashem who described her life in Syria, her efforts to keep her family and others safe and the work she has carried out to support those who have escaped. Her determination and courage just blew my mind – such incredible people! This can be viewed on:   Do look at them if you have time to spare.
On Sunday we all wished Tony well, and those involved in shortlisting for out next incumbent. We hope and pray that this time round we make an appointment. So, continuing on with the prayers, please do not forget we meet every Wednesday at 7.30pm by zoom to pray for this and other issues that are important to us, the church, and our country. Please join us.
Love and good wishes - Sally


This week’s edition includes:

  • Update from Tony;
  • Sermon from Archdeacon John;
  • Memories from Sheila;
  • Homeless Action Barnet Appeal;
  • Refugee Week - comment from Jenny
  • How we are;
  • Prayers, hymns, and broadcasts;
  • Zoom links;


Update from Tony

A number of things - most importantly we shortlisted 4 people for in person interviews in July.  Please do pray for those interviews.  We will need some volunteers to show them round the church and vicarage, lunch of sorts - sandwiches will be provided.
I need volunteers to pray and read this Sunday as it is our informal service with breaking bread.  Please pray for me as I think about a sermon video.  If you have suggestions - the gospel is on Jesus raising of Jairus’s daughter and the woman.  The other reading is from 2 Corinthians 8: 7 - 15.
We are hoping to get the work under way very soon to renew the wiring to the Tower, which will hopefully lead to the restoration of light in the main building in the Tower area / Nave.
Lasting maybe a helpful hint with reading the parables: some scholars suggest that the parables have in them something about the Kingdom.  So maybe we should always ask ourselves what does the parable say about the kingdom before thinking about other things the parable might be saying.
Please see the zoom link below which is for the Wednesday evening prayer group, and also the link for Sunday.

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Sermon from Archdeacon John

From the west
Clouds come hurrying with the wind
Turning sharply
Here and there
Like a plague of locusts
Tossing up things on its tail
Like a madman chasing nothing.
An African Thunderstorm by David Rubadiri
Words of a Malawi poet written in the 1960’s and seen by many as an allegory for the violent upheaval that Western nations inflicted on the continent of Africa during the colonial era and its aftermath.
We must this morning keep Nigeria in our prayers and those of the Revd. Amatu Christian-Iwuagwu – our own director of Mission - who has appealed to the ABC to intervene in the terrible slaughter of Christians in Nigeria, our brothers and sisters in Christ who make up the largest membership within the Anglican communion today.
The ups and downs, the hardships and pain of life have often been compared to stormy seas.
They come upon us whether we like it or not. They terrify us. They reduce us and like sea sickness itself our lives are turned inside out with retching pain.
The stormy sea is a powerful metaphor for all that threatens to destroy our stability and security. We do not know whether we can survive their turbulent waters and depths that can swallow us whole. And we do not know how long such storms will last.
As Mark tells the story, the disciples were terrified that the boat was going to break up and everyone would die. But Jesus was asleep, on a cushion no less, Mark notes, adding to the contrast between Jesus’ tranquility and the disciples’ panic, apparently oblivious to their pending doom. They wake him and cry, "Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?" (v. 38). Of course, Jesus quiets the storm with a word, but then he chides the disciples: "Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?" (v. 40).
Some of the lessons in the story are obvious. Jesus has power over the storms of life, experiences them alongside us, loves us, saves us from them and wants us to trust him more than we do.
But there is more for us to take from this episode than the illustration of a simple truth that Jesus will rescue us when we are in danger. Indeed, this is the meaning we give to his dying on the cross an action in which Jesus saves us from our sin!
In the face of those who make the allegation that God does not care that we are alone in this universe and have been left alone to make the best of things on our own, there is nothing in this episode to suggest that Jesus is absent. He is with the disciples; it is his silence that they struggle to understand. He is silent, his silence is not the same as absence.
The counterpoint of Jesus, who is calm and asleep, and his disciples, who are frantic with fear, is one that is all too familiar for us in our lives.
Just like the disciples we too wonder at those times in our lives when we find ourselves in the midst of a storm, whether or not Jesus is there, whether or not he cares about our struggles and fears. Indeed, there are times when we like the disciples cry out in fear and wonder why he seems so slow to come to our aid?
But the truth that Mark might be pointing to is that Jesus is not just in control at the end of the story when he bids the waves to cease and the wind to be calm, Jesus is in control as he is present throughout the whole episode.
The criticism that Jesus has for his disciples is that they doubted this, that they thought they were in peril when in fact this cannot be the case because their Lord and master is right there with them.
The psalmist shares our concern, that God does indeed seems asleep and uninterested in our plight:
Rise up! Why Sleep, O Lord
Awake and do not reject us for ever
why do you hide your face and forget our grief and oppression? Psalm 45:  24-25
Maybe that’s why Mark included this story. The not-so-obvious lesson is that Jesus was just as much in control, and the disciples were just as safe in his hands, while he was asleep as while he was awake. The disciples were never to be at risk from wave or wind provided they have faith.
Most of the time, life seems like a relentless voyage from one storm to the next. Faith in God will not immunize us from the storms of life, it is not a lucky charm that will keep us pain free and emotionally secure.
The Lesson of faith in God when in times of trouble, in times of peril, in times of loss is powerfully illustrated in the book of Job. Job remains faithful, his friends do not of course and advice in many and different ways that Jobs suffering is of his own making, is in the nature of things and that he should curse God and die.
In the 38th Chapter God speaks to Job asking him how he thinks he can understand God and his ways, who is he to question God, for was he there when God laid the foundation of the earth.
In the last chapter, Ch 42 Job understands, surrenders his own will to that of God, his own understanding to the Grace of God his own purpose to the purpose of God
I know that you can do all things and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted            
Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand
I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear
But now my eye see’s you I repent in dust and ashes.
Then God restores to Job all that he had lost – the storm is over, the trial is past and faith in God’s grace like the sun shining thought the dark and foreboding storm clouds brings the joy of life and the warmth of love
I began with the words of an African who lived through the storms and upheaval of the colonial period and its aftermath I will finish with the words of another from the African Diaspora the English artist born in South Londoner  - Stormzy
I’m blinded by your grace
Lord I’ve
been broken
Although I am
not worthy
You fixed me,
now I’m blinded
by your grace
You came and saved me
I’m in a better place I am not longer afraid
Because you came and saved me

Memories from Sheila

Thank you Sally for your article about Father Donald who was such a presence when he was with us at Golders Green - your thoughts reminded me of two particular instances and a link with Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
My children were part of the serving team from the ages of six and eight which continued from being acolytes to Head Servers until they left home for university.  I never heard them comment about this duty on a Sunday morning apart from the times when Donald was to be there - mornings they looked forward to as he was fun and always had a twinkle in his eye.  My personal recollection is when Donald led the children's service (although, of course, adults were always welcome) on Good Friday.  At that time, the depictions of the Stations of the Cross were pictures blu-tacked to the walls around the church, not the beautiful Stations of the Cross we have today.  This service was the first of the three Good Friday services with Donald leading us to each picture where we stopped to sing a hymn verse, a reading, some words from Donald and a prayer before processing to the next one.
How lovely to have the photographs of Donald, the one of The Three Wise Men, bringing back particular memories.  Sitting next to Donald is Mac C (Anita's father) who was a 'real gentleman', always interested and interesting but we cannot think of Mac without thoughts of his wife Devi who was such an elegant lady.  The beautiful, carved Stations of the Cross that we are so lucky to have were given by Mac as a memorial to Devi.  If you have not taken a look at these so carefully carved and painted, please do.  Whenever I visit a church or Cathedral I am always drawn to the stations of the cross, but I have never yet seen any that compare with the delicacy of those gracing our church walls.  Devi and Mac's ashes are in the chancel near the high altar.  Next to Mac in the photograph is Fred Grundy who was Church Warden for many years and would appear to be able to turn his hand or mind to whatever was needed with his beady eyes always on the lookout to protect the church.  Working aside him was his wife Janet who was always busy giving her time to the church by, among other things, being responsible for the local Women's Institute, the weekly flower arrangements, the church linen, cleaning the brass, etc.  Her saying, to which she kept, was 'If you want something done, ask a busy person, they can always find those extra minutes'.  Janet and Fred moved away some years ago to be closer to their family and have since died.
Sally told me that Donald was a friend and great admirer of Archbishop Desmond Tutu and there was a photograph of him in a recent church newsletter which again brought back memories for me.
Some of you may not know that Archbishop Tutu did part of his curacy training here at St. Alban's church with his family living in flat 1.  When he came to England some years ago, he gave an address at St. Alban's Cathedral during the day's St. Alban's patronal festival (a Saturday close to 26th June) and many of our congregation travelled by coach to hear him speak.  At the time the parade started in the Verulanium Park (now at a local church) where the story of St. Alban is acted out by tall (10ft.?) puppets with stops along the way and accompanied by robed priests.  The Cathedral is always full with the service relayed outside and in the afternoon another service is held after which red roses are laid at his shrine.
When plans were being made for the centenary of St. Alban's church in 2010 (now called Golders Green Parish church with the amalgamation of St. Michael's and St, Barnabas) a request was made for a visit from Archbishop Tutu during our summer celebrations but being very busy he was unable to attend then, out of the blue, his office rang to say he was to be in London during November.   Rex quickly got things moving with Archbishop Tutu being invited to tea with the PCC members followed by an evening service where he gave an address.  For me, however, this was not the only face to face meeting I had with Archbishop Tutu.  London and South East Girlguiding region had been supporting an orphanage called 'God's Golden Acre' near Durban which had been started for children whose parents had died from AIDS and as 2010 was the centenary of Girlguiding groups of Guides were to be going to help at the orphanage which also meant leaders were needed.  I was not chosen but some of us decided we would still like to go resulting in seven of us travelling together.  Starting in Johannesburg (having seen Nelson Mandela's and Archbishop Desmond Tutu's homes from outside in Soweto) and having spent a week helping at the orphanage and with the local Zulus, a stay in Durban was followed by a few days in Cape Town.  We had visited Robin Island where Nelson Mandela had been held prisoner and the next afternoon returned to the quay as the gift shop had been closed.  Sitting having a drink and chat the ferry arrived from Robin Island and a group of smartly dressed men made their way to the large, shiny cars parked by the quayside.  Linda realised Archbishop Tutu was amongst them, so we went over and told him why we were in South Africa.  I mentioned St. Alban's but there was no reaction and although we gave the security men our cameras there was nothing on my memory card.  Perhaps I forgot to switch on the camera, but I still have the picture in my mind.

Appeal from Homeless Action Barnet (HAB) 


Homeless Action Barnet (HAB) have appealed for some essential food. They are in need of the following supplies:
  • long life microwavable ready meals. eg
  • pot noodles
  • instant mash
  • coffee
  • Jam or any other spread
  • baked beans
  • tinned meat (ring pull preferable)

If you are able to help out, please send or deliver these items to the HAB centre (36b Woodhouse Road, London, N12 0RG) between the times of 9am-3pm, Monday-Friday.  Thank you very much.

Refugee Week- comment from Jenny

Last week was, as Sally reminded us in her thoughtful and challenging article in the newsletter, Refugee Week: a week-long festival celebrating the contribution, creativity, and resilience of refugees and people seeking sanctuary. What follows is an edited version of a blog published by the Joint Public Issues Team, a collaboration between the Methodist, Baptist and United Reformed Churches and Church of Scotland.

Churches have a role to play in creating communities where refugees not only feel welcome but play a fundamental and valued role. As Christians we want to see a society which welcomes the stranger: a world where people are treated with decency and dignity whatever our immigration policies.

The instruction in Leviticus to welcome the stranger with compassion is one of many instances in the Bible where God’s people are told to create welcoming environments in our countries and communities:

When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. (Leviticus 19:33-34)

This call goes beyond simply creating a welcoming environment for the foreigner in our land. It asks us to establish a parity between how we treat our ‘native-born’ and those new to our country, to the point where a distinction cannot be made between how we value and treat the two groups. The verse acknowledges that the idea of being a ‘foreigner’ is fluid and subjective: ‘you were foreigners in Egypt.’

This verse is one of countless moments in the Bible which ask us to go beyond the bare minimum. It asks us not just to be civil to newcomers in our land, including refugees, but to radically re-engage with the world by inviting those same people into the heart of our communities. Refugee Week aims to celebrate and lift up the contribution of refugees as integrated and vital parts of our collective communities, and it is a message which, as Christians, we should welcome.

The theme of Refugee Week this year was ‘We Cannot Walk Alone.’ It’s a line taken from Martin Luther King’s ‘I have a dream’ speech: ‘They [White people] have come to realise that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.’ It is a theme which acknowledges that our journey is shared with refugees, and that our communities are interconnected and inextricably linked. Just like the instruction in Leviticus to break down the barriers between the ‘foreigner’ and the ‘native-born’, Luther King’s invitation is one which acknowledges shared journey and shared interests.

This is not to say that we should try to erase the variety of experiences which different people bring to our communities. Treating refugees with the same respect and compassion with which we treat the ‘native-born’ in our communities does not mean ignoring the trauma of displacement or expecting refugees to fit into the mold of those born and brought up in our local community. Diversity and difference enrich our communities and our churches. But extending the hand of welcome to the stranger and inviting them to join our communities as active and appreciated participants, are vital to starting to break down the artificial boundaries so often thrown up between refugees and the communities where they settle.

Recently, we have been shocked by the way new policies outlined by the government (in the New Plan for Immigration) stand contrary to this vision. They establish a two-tier system, perpetuating damaging attitudes towards those seeking sanctuary and forcing thousands of families in need into isolation and destitution. As these ideas are legislated for in the new Sovereign Borders Bill, our calling to welcome the stranger must be taken ever more seriously. We are called to celebrate diversity, welcome enthusiastically and speak loudly against injustice.
A PRAYER FOR REFUGEE WEEK 2021 (and in fact any week!)

Lord, we lift up to you all who are escaping war, persecution, or natural disaster.
Would you comfort, empower, and protect them,
drawing alongside them all who can assure them of their infinite worth.
And would you bless us with discomfort and a sense of separation from you,
until we invite the stranger in and discover you in our midst.

YouTube - Worship Videos of the week:

"You Know My Name" (Cover) By The Jones Family


How We Are



A highlight of my week was a chat with Dorothy over the phone and hearing how well she is doing after her treatment over the past months. It was so good to hear her strong, warm voice; one that we have missed in church and on zoom. We miss her and hope soon we will be able to meet up and give her a “virtual hug”. The fact she is doing so well is a joy to hear. Dorothy stresses it is down to her strong faith, constant prayers that always sustain her and knowing that “God is Good”. These are words Dorothy always said in her intercessions and ones we all echo with our many prayers for her.  Dorothy sent me a video about “Battling Cancer and Boosting your Faith” by Becky Dvorak. If you go to You Tube and search for Becky Dvorak, you will be able to view it. We pray for Dorothy, Festus, and family with much love.
Rose sent a reminder for Sickle Cell Day which was on Saturday 19th June. While we have missed the actual day, it is important to remember all those who suffer from this terrible, disabling condition as so many in Roses family have.  While much research work is being carried out to help alleviate the symptoms there does not seem to be a cure as yet.  The Sickle Cell Society was formed to support those with the disease.


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,Ian K, Eva M, Juliette D, Ivor S, Myfanwy K , Dorothy N, Rose O,  Judy N, David A, Gideon O, Simon H

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 by emailing .

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, 22/06/2021
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.