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Holy Trinity Sloane Square

and St. Saviour Upper Chelsea
Weekly News
Sunday 6 January 2019
The Feast of the Epiphany

'The Adoration of the Magi', Francisco Henriques and Vasco Fernandes, 1501-6

Sunday readings

Isaiah 60.1-6
Ephesians 3.1-12
Psalm 71.1-2,7-8,10-13
Matthew 2.1-12

Francisco Henriques and Grão Vasco show us the contrast between the strange visitors and the Virgin and Child. The visitors are exotic, richly and extravagantly dressed.  The beautiful white, tasselled boots of the magus at the left of the picture are hardly sensible wear for long-distance travel, but presumably he has others to worry about keeping them clean. The middle figure flaunts his plumed crown, and he wears bands of gold at his wrists and ankles; he has no interest in appearing inconspicuous. The older man, kneeling to worship the baby, has a rich, warm cloak and his beard and hair look freshly coiffed. No wonder they went first to Herod's palace, so obviously their natural habitat.

By contrast, the baby is entirely naked, while Mary is dressed in simple, unornamented black, with her head bare, and her hair in school-girlish plaits. She is sitting outside her temporary home, a stable that has now seen better days, its roof decaying. The donkey in the background shows no interest in the visitors, but continues to munch from the sparse foliage of the tree against which Mary is leaning. The elaborate gold and ebony containers seem wholly out of place in this scene.  Very reluctantly, Mary is taking the costly jar in one hand, as though it is the last thing in the world that a young mother wants. Her face suggests that she knows the symbolism of the gifts and does not appreciate being reminded of it.

Yet the painters also show that the still figures of the Virgin and Child are the centre of authority in the picture. It is not just that the old man is kneeling before the naked child, with his hands clasped in prayer; his companions, too, are awed and uncertain in this presence. The man on the left of the picture lifts his hat, acknowledging that here is someone greater than himself, and the central, dark-skinned figure is standing with his legs awkwardly splayed, as though uncertain whether or not to join the kneeling figure. They know they have come to the right place, however unexpected it looks, but they are not quite sure of the social etiquette in such strange circumstances. It should be Mary, the young peasant girl, and Jesus, the vulnerable infant, who are off-balance, but instead it is the wealthy and mighty visitors. This is a new world they are entering, but it is one where the child and mother are completely at home.

Matthew's Gospel is the only one to mention the magi, who are often politely described as 'wise men', but whose wisdom probably derived from the almost occult science of divination using the stars, a bit like astrology. They must have been good at it, too, if their wealth and status are anything to go by. But that world, the world of government by dark and impersonal forces, is to meet its match in the just and generous rule of the new king whom they have come to worship. They are the first to give up everything and follow Jesus Christ. Their submission to the new ruler is clear in this poignant painting, as in the Gospels.

Jane Williams

Wise men from the East

This Sunday we celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany as we recall the arrival of wise men from the East to see the infant Jesus. At our Sung Eucharist at 11am there will be some special royal visitors and after the service the French speciality, Galettes des Rois, will be served with coffee.

This year we’re adding an Epiphany Carol Service at 6pm to our worship which features readings and carols for the season and music sung by Holy Trinity Choir.

'Simply having a wonderful Christmas time!'

What a joyful Christmas season we have been having! Thank you to those who have enriched our celebrations of the birth of Jesus Christ: our servers who ensured that each act of prayer and worship was a beautiful offering to God and built our crib and decorated the church; Holy Trinity Choir for their magnificent singing; our Churchwardens and Stewards for welcoming so many visitors so warmly to church; for our hospitality team producing a wide variety of refreshments; the team who turned 100 oranges into Christingles; everyone who volunteered and donated towards our Parish and School Christmas Fair, the Events team for our delicious Parish Christmas Lunch, our Cleaning Guild for ensuring the building was spick and span; Myriam Saavedra for the beautiful Advent Wreath; our Parish Administrator Sophie Wilson for all her hard work on the service papers, our Facilities Manager Clinton McMaster for overseeing so many events so effectively and many others who made their own contribution.

Fr. Nicholas


Ringing in a New Year

There was a beautiful start to the New Year at Holy Trinity on New Year's Day with a Sung Eucharist attended by almost 60 people. During the service, Fr. Grant read the poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson, 'Ring out, wild bells'. The final stanza runs:
Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.

Sunday Lunch at the Saatchi Gallery

Join us for Sunday Lunch on Sunday 3 February at 1pm at the Saatchi Gallery. It's £25 per person for a two-course meal (vegetarian options available). There's room for 30 people, so book and pay for your place early through our Parish Administrator -

The speaker at the lunch will be Victoria Gillies, Executive Director of the charity Fine Cell Work which makes beautiful handmade products in British prisons.

Afterwards, you can always drop in to the gallery to see its latest exhibition.

A Thank You Letter from 'the three wise men'

Our Rector, Assistant Priest and Curate write: ‘Thank you to all those members of the congregation who sent us Christmas cards and gifts this year. We have been thoroughly spoilt! Some gifts got separated from the cards that came with them so forgive us if we don’t thank you personally. We were all deeply touched.’ Fr. Nicholas, Fr Grant & Fr Paul.

Tuesday 1 January
New Year's Day
Eucharist with Hymns
and drinks reception

Sunday 6 January
The Epiphany
Epiphany Carol Service
All events at Holy Trinity Sloane Square unless otherwise stated
The Epiphany
Parish and People   
8.30am     Holy Communion
11.00am   Sung Eucharist
                     and Junior Church

Holy Trinity Choir
Ibant Magi
Francisco Guerrero
Missa O magnum mysterium
Tomas Luis de Victoria
The Infant King
Edgar Pettman

Preacher: The Rev’d Canon Nicholas Wheeler
1.00pm      Servers' Epiphany Party at the Rectory
6.00pm      Epiphany Carol Service

Monday 7 January
Intention: For the people of the world 
1.00pm   Intercessory Prayer     

Tuesday 8 January 
Lucian, Priest and Martyr, 390
Intention: For the emergency services
6.30am    Healing Mass

Wednesday 9 January
Intention: For those suffering with addiction
1.00pm   Holy Communion
6.30pm   Eucharist

Thursday 10 January
William Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1645
Intention: For those who live in fear
6.30pm    Eucharist
Friday 11 January 
Mary Slessor, Missionary in West Africa, 1915
Intention: For the unemployed

Saturday 12 January
Aeired of Hexham, Abbot of Rievaulx, 1167
Intention:  Mary, Mother of God

The Baptism of Christ
Parish and People                      
8.30am     Holy Communion
11.00am   Sung Eucharist
                    with Junior Church

Preacher: The Rt Rev'd Dr. Michael Marshall

6.00pm      Choral Evensong and Benediction

The Revd. Canon Nicholas Wheeler

The Revd. Grant Bolton-Debbage

The Revd. Paul Gismondi

The Rt. Revd. Dr. Michael Marshall

Jeffrey Kabel and Caroline Watts

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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