The Parish Church of St John-at-Hampstead

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April 2018


Judy East

The Annual Parochial Church Meeting has to be held by 30th April each year.  It doesn't have to be, as it is this year, on 30th April.  But we will have made the deadline!

In 1928 the Meeting was held in March and reported in the April magazine which coincidentally was the month the then vicar (Revd Carnegie) moved into 14 Church Row - the parish's new vicarage fortuitously left empty after the death of its previous owner, a Mr William Woodward.   A relatively new house,  it was only built  in 1925  - poor man, he can't have lived there long.

APCMs don't change much - lots of accounts, lots of thanks, people have arrived, people have died, the parish is in a more or less satisfactory state.  Indeed what vicar would admit it if it weren't?
Among the things troubling Revd Carnegie in 1928 was the perennial issue of making the different congregations known to each other.  How many of us, working at the Night Shelter, met 'new' people i.e. people who attend a different service but whom we simply didn't know at all!

He had a solution: "It would be a real strengthening of our life as a parish if more frequently we could gather in some social way, and young and old enjoy ourselves in friendly intercourse without any feeling that there was any ulterior motive in getting us together.  One of the reasons why I value the annual Sale of Work is that then so many come together in a friendly way, who ordinarily never see each other."

For Sale of Work read Spring Fair and you see where I'm going with this.  See pages 11 and 12 and leaflets around the church for what you can do and what fun you can have. 

It's perhaps fortunate that after such a busy March April should be a quieter month - not dull of course, when is HPC ever dull?    We have the Choir of the 21st Century on 14th, the Junior Choir term starts again with Choral Evensong on Thursday 19th (if you've never been to this it really is worth dropping in on - starting at 6.30pm it lasts around half an hour and they really do sing so well).

Then there are then usual Wednesday events - the Lunchtime Recital (always on the first Wednesday of the month this month it's almost immediately this magazine comes out) on 4th we welcome five young organists for a Young Organists Showcase - two of them, Tilly and Joseph, are our own organ scholars, so do come and support them.   Knit and Natter follows on 11th,  and the Literary Hour on 18th is devoted to a tribute to Doris Asher who was so much a part of the parish for so long.   Stephen Clarke writes about her wide knowledge of literature further on in this issue. She had a particular love of poetry and he's spent much time tracking down some of her favourites.

April, of course,  abounds in poems - "April is the cruellest month" (Eliot's The Wasteland), Chaucer's Canterbury Tales: "April with its  sweet showers",  Wordsworth's vision of daffodils, so for a change let's have a London one and hope that after a decidedly wintry March we actually have "miraculous April weather":

April Midnight
Side by side through the streets at midnight,
Roaming together,
Through the tumultuous night of London,
In the miraculous April weather.
Roaming together under the gaslight,
Day’s work over,
How the Spring calls to us, here in the city,
Calls to the heart from the heart of a lover!
Cool to the wind blows, fresh in our faces,
Cleansing, entrancing,
After the heat and the fumes and the footlights,
Where you dance and I watch your dancing.
Good it is to be here together,
Good to be roaming,
Even in London, even at midnight,
Lover-like in a lover’s gloaming.
You the dancer and I the dreamer,
Children together,
Wandering lost in the night of London,
In the miraculous April weather.

Arthur Symons (1865-1945)
And finally, don't miss Ayla Lepine's article about Nicaragua. We look forward
to welcoming Ayla to the parish in July and I have a feeling we're all going to
learn a lot more about Nicaragua after that.

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