'The Ascension of Christ', Pietro Perugino, 1446-1523
THIS WEEK'S READINGS
Acts 1.1-11 · Psalm 47 · Ephesians 1.15-end · Luke 24.44-end
‘…he withdrew from them (v.51).
The crucifixion can be endlessly painted and sculpted and every image shows another facet of the mystery, but the Ascension is impossible to portray. As soon as we suggest heaven as having some co-ordinate in space and time, and show Jesus ‘going up’, we go wrong. Worst of all are those risible representations of a pair of feet sticking out beneath a cloud. The ‘height’ of heaven is spiritual, not literal; the cloud that receives him is the cloud of unknowing the presence and Glory of God that was also with Moses on the mountain.
There is a further paradox, one that Luke captures here. Though in one sense’ he withdrew from them’, in another he came close, and they continue to worship him in the temple with great joy. He withdraws in one way to become utterly available in another; he brings one thing to an end to make a new beginning. They wait, and we with them, to be clothed with power from on high. I tried to suggest something of this in these lines from the sonnet I wrote for the Ascension:
‘We saw him go and yet we were not parted, He took us with him to the heart or things, The heart that broke for all the broken-hearted Is whole and heaven-centered now…’
Celebrating the Ascension at Holy Trinity
This Sunday (May 24) we are celebrating the Ascension of the Lord at Holy Trinity. So be sure to join us on Facebook and YouTube for the Sung Eucharist at 11am. Our preacher this week will be Bishop Michael Marshall who is stepping out of lockdown to talk to us about the extraordinary events and implications of the day Jesus returned to the Father, 40 days after the Resurrection. Then join us LIVE in our Zoom Room for a Coffee Break at 12 noon. Just copy and paste the link below into your search engine. It will give those of us online the opportunity to catch up with each other. Meanwhile, our weekday services will continue LIVE on our Facebook Page at 10am, Tuesday to Friday.
Live weekday services this week
Holy Trinity's Patio Garden ensured there was a real Flower Show in Chelsea
Chelsea Flower Show at Church and Home
The Chelsea Flower Show had to move online this year for the first time since it began in 1913 in the grounds of the Royal Hospital. Thanks to our own Patio Garden, and the dedication of its creator and sustainer Gogo-Rose Ilo, Chelsea still had a great Flower Show. During the week Fr. Nicholas and our Facilities Manager Clinton McMaster made a video to share something of its beauty more widely.
We also received many photographs from members of the congregation in response to our appeal for favourite flowers from your balconies, gardens, nearby open spaces or indoors. Thanks to all who have contributed. The roll call of names can be found at the end of the film that our Parish Administrator Sophie Wilson made below, 'How does your garden grow?'
How does your garden grow?
A time to keep on giving
The present situation is having a dramatic financial effect on many people and organisations. Holy Trinity is not immune from this. Without public worship on Sundays and weekdays our income from giving is dropping by at least £1,000 per week. Some members of the congregation already give by standing order, direct debit or through online payments. If you are not doing this already, we would be so grateful if you could start:
...or if you prefer to send a cheque, please do not hesitate to do so:
Holy Trinity Church
146 Sloane Street
London SW1X 9BZ
You can boost your donation by 25p for every £1 you donate with Gift Aid. Some of you regularly give with Gift Aid, so we are able to claim the extra money you kindly donate by bank transfer or standing order, as your declaration remains valid until you tell us otherwise.
For those new donations coming via our bank account which we don't already have a Gift Aid form, our Finance Team will be in touch by email to ask you if you would like to do so. It will help us if you can alert us in advance: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please do not feel under any pressure to complete the Gift Aid Form. It is entirely up to you and we are very grateful for any penny you can spare to support our church's mission and ministry.
Free as a bird...
Last Sunday, inspired by Picasso's 'Dove of Peace', the Junior Church children got extremely creative and designed and made some amazing birds, all different shapes, sizes and colours - the 'show and tell' was very exciting! Every Sunday, Junior Church meets online at 11am for 20 minutes via Zoom. If your family would like to join this joyous occasion each week, please email the Parish Office for the login details.
A new member of Junior Church
Jayne Zecha (who led Junior Church until she was 6 months pregnant) has written, with her husband, Alston, to tell us all about her new born son. We are delighted to introduce him virtually and hope to meet him very soon, in person.
"Alston and I are pleased to be sharing news that God has blessed us with a second son, Aldric Donovan Lauw Zhi-Hao Zecha. Aldric was born at 3.20am on 28th March weighing 3.2kg. He arrived a mere 2 hours plus after contractions began, and we were certainly in a hurry to get to the hospital that morning. Aldus is overjoyed at having a brother at last and said, "It is actually great that the baby arrived during the lockdown, as it means I get to spend more time with him". A silver lining for us all."
Jayne and Alston Zecha
Keeping in touch with your Church
If you wish to contact the Parish Office for any reason, please do not hesitate to contact us by using the Parish Mobile as all members of staff continue to work from home.
Parish Mobile 07842 486514
...and don't forget to access our news and notices through our website
...and you can find our online services LIVE on Facebook
...or RECORDED on our Youtube Channel
... and lots more on our Twitter Page
Help us create our own YouTube Page
We urgently need your support to create our very own Parish YouTube Page. Once we have our own dedicated page it will be much easier for others to find.
YouTube may ask you to log in. If you have Gmail or Yahoo e-mail (plus some others) you can log into YouTube using the email and password for those.
Thanks for your support!
Clinton McMaster Facilities and Events Manager
Above: All Saints', Muggington
'For the beauty of the earth'
Annie Thomson, a member of our congregation, reflects on her rural lockdown.
Dear friends of Holy Trinity
Every morning when I wake up I draw my bedroom curtains. I thank God for the beautiful place where I live in the countryside of the Derbyshire Dales. I look out over the fields full of cows, sheep, pheasants and now crops.
I am lucky the sun streams through my south-facing windows and I take a moment to appreciate my garden, now full of bluebells as are the wood and lanes around me. The many trees are full of blossom.
I thank God for the peace and tranquillity as my cottage (circa 1760) is in between two hamlets. Tractors and horses pass my house and the farmers at the end of my lane are very wonderfully caring neighbours so I never feel isolated.
Nearby there is a little Saxon church set on the top of the hill in the hamlet of Muggington built in the mid 9th Century next to an old yew tree itself well over 1400 years old! It used to be open every day and lots of walkers would call in to see the wall paintings and make brass rubbings from the tombs of the benefactors. Sadly this simple little church – the complete opposite of Holy Trinity – is only open occasionally for services.
At the back of the churchyard at its highest point I have a tiny garden, built around a headstone where my husband’s ashes are buried. It is my refuge where I say my prayers. It is where I feel my most spiritual and connected to God.
The garden looks over what I call Gods little acre – rolling hills, sheep, horses all ‘spill out’ before me. Recently there have been some truly magnificent sunsets. What a privilege!! I call these times ‘moments of grace’.
My dear mother often used to say to me ‘God moves in mysterious ways’. How true! On VE Day I was visiting the churchyard and was invited in to join a ‘socially distanced’ party just outside the church gate. How lucky I was not to spend that special day alone, but to enjoy good company, excellent refreshments and lots of bunting! It was only then I realised how much I missed meeting people face to face instead of just hearing their voices or even seeing them on facetime.
So more than ever I look forward to entering Holy Trinity again and seeing all of you. Until then stay safe, keep well and God bless you all.
Blessings can abound in lockdown
Christine Green, a member of the congregation, has been speaking by telephone to Sheila Wilson (pictured above), who never normally misses a Sunday at Holy Trinity. Sheila worked at Bletchley Park during the War, was a film-maker and Jungian therapist, so has lived through many changes. She said:
"We have all been taken by surprise, but it’s important to remain positive, to think about each other more as a community; we must not lose this as it will diminish the quality of our society. We carry our shadow from one place to another, still needs to be given recognition and expectation. We are in new territory. The closure of the churches and access to sociable events such as concerts has been the hardest, but we must not allow ourselves to be limited. At times it feels like we are living in a dark fairy tale - it is both heroic and tragic.
One of the greatest pleasures is Caroline (her kind carer) taking her down to sit in the gardens, once part of Thomas More’s estate, and the pleasure of being in the sunshine and joined by families with voices of young children has made her appreciate small blessings.
As in earlier epochs, some things have to go. We are experimenting all the time, each human is an experiment; what is the understanding of Today’s story- from a world view? Jung, the Church, Christian powers - all can point a way. Time to come out of the cocoon!"
The Merry Month of May?
Paul Isolani-Smyth, a member of the congregation along with his wife Teresa, continues to share with us his poems about life during lockdown and the coronavirus...
Spring 2020 April is the cruelest month as I've many times heard tell and this year it was extra cruel for those dying in viral hell The "Merry Month of May" is not that merry this year as people remain in ICU's and others shed bitter tears This virus caught us by surprise it hit us from left field and played merry hell with all our lives but we're determined not to yield Like an all consuming third world war the pandemic affects us all the old, the young, the fit, the strong it holds us in its thrall "All our hope on God is founded " we sing in Church and pray that He will save us by His love which we yearn for every day.
Faith Communities unite in response to the Coronavirus Pandemic
Over the past few weeks, our Rector has been meeting with members of all the faith communities in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea to coordinate their response to the Coronavirus Pandemic. One of the things the Interfaith Forum has produced is this shared statement: Psalm 46.1-2, ‘God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea.’
As faith communities across Kensington and Chelsea, we are united in our approach and commitment to helping our communities through this challenging period of the Covid-19 pandemic.
As places of worship remain closed, we are embracing technology and new ways to reach out to our congregations. We have been encouraged to see so many people joining us digitally for our online services especially those who live further afield and who would not usually be able to attend our services. We will explore opportunities beyond the lock-down period for developing this further.
Some of our faith and church schools remain open for children of key workers and those at risk while others are hosting virtual schools to support their students, whether it’s with the national curriculum, collective worship, Quran studies or other educational needs.
We recognise the hard work and dedication of many of our local residents and organisations in getting essential food and medicines to our most vulnerable residents and we too are working alongside them. This may be by making and delivering food, reaching out for a friendly conversation, providing a listening ear, ensuring that the homeless have a cooked meal or collecting vital prescriptions.
There are many acts of kindness being shown by people of all faiths and those of no faith as we stand together and are committed to continuing this work for as long as we are needed. We welcome the bi-weekly meeting hosted by Kensington and Chelsea Council which enables us to share experiences and information that we can pass on to our communities. This has been invaluable.
We know how hard isolation can be for many people and that there will be many more challenges ahead but we are doing all we can to ensure that we emerge from this crisis, a better-connected and inter-dependent community in which we look out for those in need around us.
It is our shared experience that faith help builds our resilience in times of crisis and calls us to respond in ways that we could not otherwise imagine. We wish to use that comfort to bring compassion to others in our communities.
Al Manaar The Muslim Cultural Heritage Centre
All Saints Notting Hill
Central Gurdwara (Khalsa Jatha)
Chelsea Old Church
Chelsea Muslim Community
Christ Church Chelsea
Christ Church Kensington
Churches Together Notting Hill
Church of Our Most Holy Redeemer & St Thomas More
Fetter Lane Moravian Church
Holland Park Synagogue
HTB Brompton Road (Holy Trinity)
Kensington United Reformed Church
Latymer Community Church
Notting Hill Methodist Church
Our Lady of Dolours (Fulham Road RCDOW)
Our Lady of Victories
St Andrew’s Church Chelsea
St Barnabas Church
St Clements Church
St Columbas Church of Scotland
St Francis Of Assisi R C Church
St George’s Church Campden Hill
St John's Chelsea
St John's Notting Hill
St Mary Abbots (Church of England Parish Church)
St Marys Roman Catholic Church
St Peter's Church Notting Hill
St Philip’s Church
Westbourne Grove Church
Baraka Community Association
St Mary's of the Angels
St Andrews Fulham
Holy Trinity, Sloane Square
St Thomas Kensal Town
Kensington Council of Churches
News from ST. PAUL'S CATHEDRAL
A Book of Remembrance for the victims of Covid-19 launched at St. Paul's Cathedral
St Paul’s Cathedral has launched Remember Me,an online book of remembrance for all those who have been living in the UK who have died as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. People of all faiths, beliefs or none are invited to contribute to Remember Me.
HRH The Prince of Wales recorded a video message in support of the project. His Royal Highness said: “This virtual book of remembrance is here to help us remember; not just to recall our loss and sorrow, but also to be thankful for everything good that those we have loved brought into our lives, and all that they have given to others.”
Family, friends and carers of those who have died can submit, free of charge, the name, photograph and a short message in honour of a deceased person via the Remember Mewebsite. The deceased person must have been living in the UK. Remember Me will be open for entries for as long as needed.
To launch the project, the choristers of St Paul’s Cathedral have recorded a special piece of music to serve as an anthem for the book of remembrance.
HRH The Prince of Wales commends St. Paul's Cathedral's 'Remember Me' memorial
It is intended that the Remember Me site will become a physical memorial at the Cathedral. There are approved designs for a new inner portico in the North transept and, subject to funding, this will serve as a fitting memorial for all who have died as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Very Revd David Ison, Dean of St Paul's, said: “'For centuries, St Paul's Cathedral has been a place to remember the personal and national impact of great tragedies, from the losses of war to the devastation of the Grenfell Tower fire. We have heard so many sad stories of those affected by the pandemic, and all our thoughts and prayers are with them. Every person is valued and worthy of remembrance.
“We are all experiencing the devastating impacts of COVID-19 across the country and beyond. Remember Me is an opportunity to mourn every person we have lost to the effects of this terrible disease, an encouragement to offer compassion and support to those left behind, and an ongoing recognition of the impact of the pandemic on the UK.”
The Remember Me project could not have been achieved without the generous sponsorship of The Dorfman Foundation. St Paul’s Cathedral would also like to give special thanks to Sir Lloyd Dorfman for his leadership and guidance in the realisation of this project along with James Olley for his wise counsel and dedication to St Paul’s. Our deepest gratitude goes out to all of the companieswho have given their time, incredible expertise and pro-bono support so generously.
'Lift thine eyes' by Felix Mendelssohn sung by the Boys' Choir of St. Paul's Cathedral
All services are closed to the PUBLIC but available online at www.Facebook.com/sloanechurch
SUNDAY 24 MAY The Ascension of the Lord
Intention: Parish and People
11.00am The Eucharist
Monday 25 May The Venerable Bede, monk, scholar, historian, 735 Intention: The sick
Tuesday 26 May Augustine, archbishop, 605 Intention: Doctors and Nurses
10am Morning Prayer