The Parish Church of St John-at-Hampstead

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May 2017


Judy East

I always hope nothing will go wrong over Holy Week and Easter (as I do over any major festival) - and generally, with a lot of hard work and forward planning, nothing much does.  So it was that I was particularly dismayed when getting out the cross for the Good Friday service to find it come apart in my hands.  Hurriedly mending it (thank you,  Maggie) we worked out  the stand was made in 1976 for The Lark (it held a canopy which cunningly doubled as a cloak which went on to be used as Mary’s cloak for countless nativity services); the cross itself was made for the Wakefield Mystery Plays in 1986. Had it been irreparable we would have had others to fall back on - the larger cross made for the Wakefield Mystery Plays in 2004 or the huge cardboard tube trio of crosses made for The Man Born to be King in 2014. And if you’re thinking Gosh, she remembers all those dates - I don't.  I looked them up on the Hampstead Players website!   I even recall on at least one, if not two occasions, using the cross behind the altar which is person-sized if you stand on the shelf (please take my word for it and don't try it yourself—we didn’t have Health and Safety in those days!)

So the bare cross took its usual central position on Good Friday, to be replaced by the Flower cross on Easter Day.  Now, if only we could think of some way of using the same cross for both - that might be a challenge too far even for Peter, Sheena and the flower team (and the Easter garden team) who worked all Saturday morning decorating the church.   So many people were involved that day—a huge number of children came to help with the flower cross—you may have seen pictures on facebook of putting the candles back in the chandelier, and a thousand other jobs went on in the background which all added up to truly wonderful Easter.  A big thank you to everyone who helped.

Of course Easter isn't over, even though the rest of the world seems to think it is.  Rather in the way that Christmas ends on Boxing Day, Easter seems to end after the Bank Holiday - eggs disappear from the shops to be replaced by the next consumer frenzy.  What will it be?  Father's Day?  Must-haves for the Summer Holidays?  Whatever it is, not an egg could I find only a week after Easter when visiting a friend and her family.

So if I seem to be looking ahead it’s not because I’m turning my back on Easter but that there’s so much happening this month.

There are two events for Quiz enthusiasts - the Community Choir Supper Quiz on 6th May (in the Crypt room) and Churches Together in Hampstead Quiz Evening on 13th (in aid of the Camden Churches Winter Night Shelters, this is held at St Andrew’s, Frognal).  There’s the Sidwell Memorial Concert on 12th and, of course, the Spring Fair on 20th.  You can find details of all these further on in this issue.  Christian Aid Week begins on 14th and there’s a Dementia Awareness Meeting on 15th and there’s an evening service for Ascension Day on 25th.

Stop press! - there’s just space to squeeze in a warm welcome to our new churchwarden, Jenny Lupa, who was elected at the APCM on 24th April.

Happy continuing Easter season!

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