Dear friends,

With a busy week, we begin a busy summer: it’s all go at St Mary’s!

The 6pm Vigil Mass this coming Saturday evening, 1 July will be celebrated not in church but (weather permitting) in the Vicarage garden, both to allow the Stanmore Choral Society to complete preparations for their summer concert in church at 7pm (details and tickets here) and to afford us the opportunity to worship our Creator amidst His creation (at least if my gardener finishes tidying up in time!) Why not join us on Saturday evening for Mass in the midst of nature? Entry is via the garden gate in the Vicarage drive. There will also be no public Evening Prayer or Confessions.

On Sunday morning, 2 July, there will be a brief barbecue planning meeting after the 10.30am Mass, in the Hall. Please stay to this meeting to confirm arrangements for our parish barbecue, which is set to take place on Saturday, 15 July, in the memorial garden, from 3pm. Tickets will also be on sale (£12.50/£5) – and we welcome your offers of sides, salads and desserts.

Please also on Sunday morning collect a special Gift Aid envelope for our “Sea Sunday” collection on Sunday, 9 July. This collection is in aid of the Mission to Seafarers – and the offertory envelopes will be accompanied by an information leaflet about this important Christian charity.

There are a number of changes to the Mass schedule next week: on Tuesday evening, 4 July, we welcome our brothers and sisters from churches across the Harrow Deanery. Members of St Mary’s congregation are very much encouraged to join us, beginning with Mass at 7.30pm. This Mass will replace the usual Tuesday evening services, i.e. no public Evening Prayer or Rosary. Likewise during Sunday’s barbecue planning meeting we will be putting the finishing touches to the hospitality we hope to offer to our guests next Tuesday: please, if you can, offer some buffet food for ourselves and our visitors, to maintain the reputation for the warmth of the welcome which St Mary’s is well-known to provide!

There will be no public Morning Prayer on Thursday next week, 6 July; and on Saturday 8 July there will be nomorning services, no public Evening Prayer and no Confessions – but the 6pm Vigil Mass will go ahead as usual, the first Mass of “Sea Sunday”, as mentioned above.

On the afternoon of Sunday, 9 July we are heading to Hampton Court: if you have signed up for this outing, but cannot now join us, please let me know ASAP (as, likewise, if you would like to come but did not sign up before the deadline). We will leave after Mass at 12.15pm, travelling by public transport – please bring an Oyster or contactless payment card, or a Freedom pass or travelcard. Our anticipated route will be by bus to to Northwick Park Station, and then via the Underground (changing at Finchley Road) to Waterloo, to catch the 13.27 train to Hampton Court. It is a short walk from the station to the Palace: en route, there will be the chance to buy lunch at the Coppernose Café – however, please be advised that Hampton Court and its surroundings will likely be very busy, on account of the Flower Show. You may therefore prefer to bring a packed lunch on the train. For anyone travelling independently of the group, please meet at the main gate (opposite the Mitre pub) at 3.00pm – before we make our way into the Chapel for Choral Evensong at 3.30pm. We will likely return to Kenton around 6.30pm.

Please find attached a poster for the 2023 Forward in Faith (London) diocesan assembly, at St Silas, Pentonville on Wednesday, 12 July, beginning with Mass at 6.30pm.

A poster is also attached for a talk by Sir Stephen Timms MP, organised by Action by Christians Against Torture (ACAT) Harrow, at Christ Church, Roxeth on Friday, 21 July at 8pm: the talk is titled, “Complicity in Torture?” The flier includes details for those who wish to log-in to watch online.

Please sign up in church for the parish outing to St Alban’s on Saturday 5 August (by 16 July), noting also that there will be no 6pm Vigil Mass that evening. Please also sign up in church for the day pilgrimage to Walsingham “for healing and renewal” on Bank Holiday Monday, 28 August (by 13 August).

May we ‘find [our] joy every day in your name O Lord, who are the glory of [our] strength.’

With best wishes and every blessing,

Fr Richard