Dear friends,

What a wonderful time we had last Sunday: thank you so much to all whose hard work and generosity made our celebrations together such a success! It was so heartening to see our church alive with guests and visitors alongside a robust number of regular worshippers, and to welcome Carter by Baptism into the Church. Fr Mike has also asked me to share with you his heartfelt thanks for your birthday wishes and prayers, cards and gifts!

The day closed with a beautiful Mass of Requiem, accompanied by a visiting choir: again, many, many thanks to all who returned after an exhausting morning, to set up and serve later that day!

This Mass of Requiem set the tone for our “season of hope and remembrance“, as we enter the autumn months, with the fading of the light: please continue to add to the list in church the names of those whom you would like remembered at Mass on All Souls’ Day, Thursday 2 November – marking also whether you will be present at Mass that day either at 9.30am or 6pm to pray for the holy souls.

(Please find herewith attached a flier for All Saints, Margaret Street Patronal Festival, on Wednesday, 1 November at 6.30pm.)

Additionally, on three forthcoming Sundays we will be considering practical ways in which we can confront our own mortality with steadfast Christian hope: this coming Sunday, 22 October, we will welcome Galina Makohon, Project Manager, “Record My Wishes” at St Luke’s Hospice here in Kenton, who will speak at the 10.30am Mass about how to make plans for one’s personal medical care at the close of life. (The following Sunday, we will explore how to make known one’s wishes for one’s own funeral service; and on Remembrance Sunday, 12 November, we will consider the sort of legacy we might leave.)

Thank you for your recent Harvest donations for the Harrow FoodBank, which totalled 122.1kg. The most recent ALMA (London Diocese Link with Angola and Mozambique) newsletter is available here on their website, where you can also subscribe to receive it by e-mail. Also attached is a flier for the upcoming Sixth Form Open Evening at Bishop Ramsey School, on 9 November: please note that there is no visitor parking onsite, save for disabled drivers (please contact the school office to register).

There will be a Youth Group outing to LaserPlanet Watford on Saturday, 11 November: please sign up this weekend, if you would like to come – we need two more young people to qualify for the group rates. The cost will be just £5pp, to include food and drink, and two games.

If you are able to take a couple of bags of green waste from church to the tip, please let me know: this prevents this waste from piling up in our grounds. We would also be very grateful for offers of buffet food for the party after the Confirmation Mass on Sunday, 5 November at 5pm (no 10.30am Mass that Sunday): please have this date in your diary, and bring a friend! – and please notify Pat of your offers of food; please see Gloria if you can help setting up the Hall on the day, and please speak to me if you would like to make a donation towards the cost of fireworks! Finally and most importantly, please pray for our seven candidates – and for five candidates from St Lawrence, Little Stanmore, who will join us on the day.

We continue to pray for peace in the Holy Land: in this Sunday’s Gospel reading, Jesus points to the image of Cæsar on a Roman coin, and explains that we should give to Cæsar what belongs to him, but to God what belongs to God: we and all human beings bear God’s image, in which we were made – and so human life everywhere and always should be respected. Ask the Lord to turn the hearts of men from hatred to love, from sin to Jesus our Saviour.

With my best wishes, and God’s blessing of peace,

Fr Richard