The Parish Church of St John-at-Hampstead

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January 2017


Judy East

For many reasons 2016 is a year we may wish we could turn our backs on even if the consequences will live on to be dealt with in 2017 and beyond.  Politically the way ahead may well look pretty gloomy, world issues won’t go away, and perhaps individually the difference between 31st December and 1st January is only a day and nothing changes - if there are problems they won’t disappear overnight.   So is it a triumph of hope over diversity that makes people celebrate the New Year?  (I must be honest here - I’m someone who would happily sleep through it if it weren’t for the fact that I know the world will erupt at midnight and wake me up!)   Mother Diana in her article above writes about the uncertainty facing us in the parish - and perhaps there is an element of anxiety but of excitement too as we wait to see what changes Father Jeremy will make.  So maybe as I stay up beforce on New Year’s Eve my prayer will be that I’m equal to the challenges ahead and that I never say “Father Stephen / Father Philip / Father Graham didn’t do it like that” or worse still as someone did once say to Father Stephen “We don’t do that here”!  Only once - as I recall his reply was along the lines of “Well, we do now”.

Looking back
It occurs to me that this magazine has rather a lot of looking back - no less than three revues of autumn events - the Christmas Oratorio, and two Hampstead Players productions - Forty Years On and King Lear.  We also include Father Stephen’s address on the sad death of Sarah Eynstone and an article Sarah herself had just written for the magazine of her new parish in Aldbury. Sarah completed her curacy and left us for St Paul’s in 2009 so there will be a number of you who didn’t know her but it must be apparent to everyone that her sudden death has left a huge hole in very many lives and communities and those of us who do remember are grateful for the support and prayers of everyone around us.

Looking forward
So what does 2017 hold?  I have to admit to having rather less information on future events than a magazine editor should have at this stage!   Kathy Nicholson is doing the Lunchtime concert on 4th January, the Friends of the Music are having their AGM on 29th (I think!) and Martin Oxenham will be the speaker (definitely!).  Aidan Coburn is bringing his choir to perform in the church on 11th February and the Sidwell Recital is on 25th February - proper details of both these will be in the February magazine but note the dates now. 
AND ......

the Installation of Revd Jeremy Fletcher is on 16th March! If you mark nothing else in your new diary (do people still use diaries?) ring that date.  Further than that I won’t venture at this stage.  Even in saying the choir are performing a Passion on 2nd April I’m not sure which one.

Looking around: Our charities
The whole range of charities we support will have benefitted from the generosity of those who attended our Christmas services.  We try to keep you up to date with developments in each of them with our monthly series (covering them all in the course of a year).  This month Andrew Penny reviews CARIS Camden, whose Winter Night Shelters were commended by the Archdeacon in his sermon at Midnight Mass, and Rosemary Loyd writes about CARIS Haringey who regularly benefit from our Foodbank collections, as well as the occasional clothing and toy appeals. 
What do you do on Fridays?
A new initiative -Friday Focus 2017 offers an answer - pray! See their article further on in this issue for details.

And finally...
So many people attended our services over Christmas.  The music, the flowers, the liturgy, the sidesmen and servers, the unseen helpers in the background (all those orders of service!) all contributed to make them feel welcome. We were all part of something special.  

Happy New Year!

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