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Sunday 23 February 2020
Sunday Next before Lent
This week's REFLECTION
'The Transfiguration,’ Sebastiano Del Pombo (1485-1547)

Exodus 24.12-end · Psalm 26 · 2 Peter 1.16-end · Matthew 17.1-9

 ‘ Jesus led them up a high mountain’ (v.1 )

It had to be on a mountain, of course. Mountains are where special encounters took place between God and his chosen messengers. Moses had received the law on Mount Sinai; Jesus was fulfilling Moses' task with the new covenant, so it had to be on a mountain. There's another parallel, too - that between this mountain and the dark hill outside. One was a hill of glory, the other a hill of shame. On one, Jesus is flanked by Moses and Elijah; on the other side he's flanked by two thieves. On one, there's a bright cloud; on the other, darkness. On one, Peter is thrilled; on the other, he's vanished.

On the Mount of Transfiguration, Peter is bowled over by the experience and simply doesn't know how to handle it. He suggests lamely that he might build three shelters for Jesus, Moses and Elijah (Well, what would you do?). It's a vain attempt to do justice to an experience so overwhelming that all normal categories are blown away. We do the same today building churches and shrines on sites where earth and heaven have overlapped in special ways. We try in vain to capture profound spiritual experiences. You can't brick God in. You can't capture the dawn and bottle it. We have to let the Spirit fly. We have to let God be God.

Is there any way in which we might be trying, without realizing it, to hold God back?

John Pritchard

The Beauty of Holiness

There is nothing more compelling than a life lived for others that brings love and joy to the world. We may think of one of the saints or perhaps a neighbour who makes a big difference to our community. All too often our awareness of our own frailties and faults discourages us from seeking to emulate those spiritual giants but we are all called to be 'something beautiful for God’ and by His grace working in us we can be transformed. 
The season of Lent provides an  opportunity to engage our whole selves in just such an adventure.  Its forty days recall the time Jesus spent in the desert preparing himself for the offering of his life. Originally, it was the time when new Christians prepared for  baptism at Easter or when those separated from the life of the church through sin were restored to its fellowship.
There is something for everybody at Holy Trinity this Lent to help us grow in the beauty of  holiness. Not everything will be for everybody.  But I pray that through study, self-examination, penitence and   prayer you will come to Easter Day renewed for your witness in the world. 

Fr. Nicholas Wheeler ·  Rector

Pancakes + Quiz Night on Shrove Tuesday

Come and join the Mardi Gras Party and Quiz Night in the Parish Room on Shrove Tuesday (25 February) at 7pm. Volunteers to help make pancakes would be great. Please let our Parish Administrator know as soon as possible if you are able to help!
Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord

Sarah Royce (nee Medlar) went to be with the Lord she loved two weeks ago after a courageous battle with cancer. For a number of years, Sarah and her husband Robert attended Sunday morning services at Holy Trinity, worshipping at our neighbouring parish of St. Simon Zelotes, where they met and married, in the evenings. For a time, Sarah was our Gift Aid secretary and recovered valuable funds for Holy Trinity Church from HM Revenue and Customs. Sarah's funeral takes place this Monday (February 24) at 12 noon at St. Simon Zelotes. All are welcome.

Sarah's sister Margaret writes:

My sister Sarah Scott was born in New York City in 1948. Our parents were navy officers who met during the war.

Her childhood was a happy one. She grew up in a small town in New Jersey swimming in the summer and ice skating when winter came.

In 1960 she moved with her family to Florence, Italy. There she had a more difficult time adjusting to a new language, being left-handed and being Protestant.

She returned to the U.S. and attended the National Cathedral School in Washington, D.C. She graduated in 1967.

She graduated with honors from Tulane University after spending her junior year abroad in Perugia, Italy. She then earned a master's degree in Italian from Harvard University.

At that point Sarah realized there was little hope of finding employment with an advanced degree in Italian. She returned to Washington, took a management training course, and her banking career was launched.

That banking career eventually brought her to London. During that time she married Lew Medlar. She shared her life with him until his death in 2009.

In 2012 Sarah married Robert Royce. They both retired and looked forward to a life of travel and good times with family and friends. Then, as life will do, their lives became difficult. Robert was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease and a few years later Sarah discovered she had advanced cancer. Robert died in August 2019. Sarah died on February 7.

She faced her troubles bravely and cheerfully and had a deep love for the people of this beautiful church.

Holy Communion in a time of Coronavirus

The World Health Organization has declared that this is a public health emergency of international concern. This enables resources to be targeted at countries which have a weak public health infrastructure. The risk to the public in the UK is currently set at moderate. This permits the government to plan for all eventualities. The number of cases in the UK is very small and good preparation is in place.

Most people recover from the illness after experiencing heavy cold / flu like symptoms for 6 – 8 days, but as this is a virus and not flu no vaccine is available. It is now being understood that death rates are much lower than was first thought – initially only the serious cases were reported, and not the ones that just seemed like flu. Deaths are most likely to occur where there is a pre-existing condition.

While it is our faith that the sacraments are means of grace and not of sickness, they are physically ministered, and we should take physical care. As well as the specific concern about Coronavirus, this advice is generally applicable for all infectious disease.

  • Do not intinct. Because hands can be as much a source of pathogens as lips, intinction (dipping the bread into the wine) is no safer than drinking and can introduce germs into the cup. Intinction can also threaten those with certain immune or allergic conditions. For instance, those with gluten intolerance for whom traces of gluten can be hazardous are at greater risk when other communicants have dipped their communion wafer into the wine.
  • Consider receiving Holy Communion in one Kind. It is Anglican teaching that to receive the sacrament in one kind only (ie. just the bread) is to receive the sacrament in its entirety. The celebrant should always receive from the Chalice. Should a communicant feel ill or not wish to drink from the chalice then he or she ought to receive the consecrated bread alone. There is no need at this stage to cease offering the chalice to the congregation.
  • The Peace. At this time there is no need to refrain from sharing the Peace. Possibly further advice will need to be given were the virus to spread widely in the UK.
The Ven. Luke Miller
Archdeacon of London

Winter Lunch warmed the heart

With Storm Ciara blowing a gale, our Winter Lunch sat 40 members of Holy Trinity Sloane Square down to a delicious and warming meal at Belgravia’s new LIV restaurant. We also sang 'Happy Birthday' to the great British actor Tony Dawes who was turning 92!.

World Day of Prayer 

This year’s World Day of Prayer service (formerly World Women Day of Prayer) is taking place at St Mary the Boltons on Friday 6 March, 11am-noon, followed by Refreshments. The theme is ‘Rise! Take Your Mat and Walk’. It has been prepared by the people of Zimbabwe and will be presented by representatives from twelve churches in the Borough.  All are welcome.

Pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 2021

It is always very moving to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, there is so much to see and experience and learn together. St Jerome said: ‘Five gospels record the life of Jesus. Four you will find in books and the one you will find in the land they call Holy. Read the fifth gospel and the world of the four will open to you.’

We invite you to come and know this for yourselves whether you are new to the Holy Land or have been many times before; there are always new sights and sounds to reflect upon. Reading the gospels will never be the same again and by visiting the Holy Land we are standing in solidarity with our brothers and sisters there too. To have the chance to meet the ‘living stones’, the local Palestinian and Israeli Christians who are the ongoing, living church in the region, is humbling.

Our pilgrimage will include the sites where the most important events in Our Lord’s life and ministry took place: in Jerusalem and the surrounding area and further north in Galilee. We hope that if you have never been on pilgrimage to the Holy Land before you will choose to join us and, if you have been before, we welcome you back. Our journey is a life changing as well as faith changing experience. We invite you to journey with us and to share in this great opportunity to see those places we read of in the Scriptures.

The cost is £1,995 sharing a twinbedded/double room with ensuite bathroom. We stay in two religious guest houses - St Andrew’s in Jerusalem overlooking the Old City and in Galilee we stay at the popular Pilgerhaus in Tabgha right on the lakeside. The tour is on a full-board basis with buffet breakfast, lunch and evening meal included daily. Touring is by airconditioned coach and we will be accompanied by a local guide who will share leadership responsibilities and look after the formalities of hotel check-ins, etc. All entrance fees are included as well as gratuities.

For more information, see the brochure in church or contact

Church of England sets 2030 Net Zero carbon target

The Church of England’s General Synod has set new targets for all parts of the church to work to become ‘net zero carbon’ by 2030.

At its February 2020 meeting, members voted in favour of a revised date encouraging all parts of the Church of England to take action and ramp-up efforts to reduce the emissions which cause climate change.

A motion approved today called for urgent steps to examine requirements to reach the new target, and draw up an action plan.

Meanwhile, the Church of England has announced a bespoke footprinting tool for parishes to calculate the carbon footprint of their churches and halls, as part of their annual returns.  This tool is expected to be available from March 2020, for churches to enter their figures from 2019.

Churches in the Diocese of London will migrate to the new tool from our existing reporting system for churches – which has been running since 2007, and has collected and reported on 14 years’ data and progress so far.  From this we know that our churches have already made savings of 19.5% in their energy use and 21.7% in their carbon emissions. We owe a huge debt of thanks to every church and staff member and volunteer who has taken part in this valuable work, which has helped development of the new national tool.

Following the General Synod debate, The Bishop of Salisbury, Nick Holtam, the Church of England’s lead bishop for the Environment said:

“Synod has set an ambitious target for the whole Church of England to respond to the urgency of the Climate Crisis.

“To reach Synod’s target of 2030 we will each need to hear this as an urgent call to action, but I am encouraged by the statement of intent this makes across the Church, and wider society about our determination to tackle Climate Change, and safeguard God’s creation.

“This is a social justice issue, which affects the world’s poorest soonest and most severely, and if the Church is to hold others to account, we have to get our own house in order.

“There is no serious doubt that climate change is happening, and that people are causing it, so it is very encouraging that Synod is grappling with the most urgent issues of our time.”

The final motion approved was as follows:

That this Synod, recognising that the global climate emergency is a crisis for God’s creation, and a fundamental injustice, and following the call of the Anglican Communion in ACC Resolutions A17.05 and A17.06;

(a) call upon all parts of the Church of England, including parishes, BMOs [Bishop Mission Orders], education institutions, dioceses, cathedrals, and the NCIs [National Church Institutions], to work to achieve year-on-year reductions in emissions and urgently examine what would be required to reach net zero emissions by 2030 in order that a plan of action can be drawn up to achieve that target;

(b) request reports on progress from the Environment Working Group and the NCI’s every three years beginning in 2022 and;

(c) call on each Diocesan Synod, and cathedral Chapter, to address progress toward net zero emissions every three years.

Diary Dates

Tuesday 25 February at 7pm
Mardis Gras + Quiz Night
in the Parish Room

Wednesday 26 February 
Ash Wednesday
8am Mass and Imposition of Ash
1pm Mass and Imposition of Ash
7pm Eucharist and Imposition of Ash

Sunday 19 April 2020 at 11am
Fr Grant's Farewell 
at Holy Trinity

Sunday 4 May 2020 at 8pm
Fr Grant's Institution and Induction
as Vicar of All Saints, New Cross

at All Saints, New Cross

Parish Diary
All events at Holy Trinity Sloane Square unless otherwise stated
The Sunday Next before Lent
Intention: Parish and People                   
8.30am     Holy Communion
11.00am   Sung Eucharist
Holy Trinity Choir
Quicumque Christum quaeritis
Tomas Luis de Victoria
 Communion Service in G
Francis Jackson
I was glad
Henry Purcell

Preacher: The Revd. Canon Nicholas Wheeler

6.00pm     Choral Evensong and Benediction
sung by the City of London Chamber Choir
Magnificat and Nunc dimittis
Evening Service in Bminor Thomas Tertius Noble
O Thou, the central orb
Henry Wood

Monday 24 February
St. Matthias, Apostle and Martyr

Intention: The blind and partially sighted
5.45pm      Free Teatime Concert
7.00pm      Sloane Square Choral Society

Tuesday 25 February

Intention: The Children's Society
5.000pm     Stile Antico concert
7.00pm       Mardi Gras Party and Quiz Night
                        in the Parish Room

Wednesday 26 February

Intention: The hungry and homeless
8.00am     Mass and Ashing
10.30am   Garden House School
                     Ash Wednesday service
1.00pm     Mass and Ashing
2.15pm    Holy Trinity CofE School
                    Ash Wednesday service 
7.00pm    Sung Mass with Imposition of Ashes

Thursday 27 February
George Herbert, Priest and Poet, 1633

Intention: Unity
5.00pm     PCC Staffing Committee at the Rectory

Friday 28 February
Intention: European Christians

Saturday 29 February
Intention: Those in need

The Sunday Next Before Lent
Intention: Parish and People                      
8.30am     Holy Communion
11.00am   Sung Eucharist
Preacher: The Revd. Grant Bolton-Debbage
12.45pm   Sunday Conversation 'Lent Appeal'
                     'City of God' with Fr. Nicholas
6.00pm     Choral Evensong and Benediction

The Revd. Canon Nicholas Wheeler

The Revd. Grant Bolton-Debbage

The Rt. Revd. Dr. Michael Marshall

Jeffrey Kabel
Carolyn Hallett

Gill Dunley
John Renz


David Fairlamb

Martin Bonham

Sophie Wilson
Telephone: 020 7730 7270

Clinton McMaster
Telephone: 020 7730 7270
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Holy Trinity Church · Holy Trinity Church · 146 Sloane Street · Chelsea, London SW1X 9BZ · United Kingdom

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