The Parish Church of St John-at-Hampstead

Parish Magazine

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March 2019


Judy East

Technology is a wonderful thing. I had to keep reminding myself of that in February as I returned from Retreat to a new computer (I quite like it actually – better than the old one), new email “server” / “host” – something complicated anyway that required words like configuring to be bandied about at an alarming rate – and a new deal with BT over the broadband. “It’ll be SO much better” everyone enthused whilst also mentioning passwords and activation and ever-changing appointments (to say nothing of the texts going to quite the wrong person’s phone). It felt like living in one of those “Back in time for…” TV programmes - every day something new to grapple with. And all this on top of working round electricians who from time to time turned off all the power to the office. That was the point at which I removed myself to Waterstones and did something very old-fashioned – I bought a book.

But in and around all this chaos life goes on and we have, as they say, an “Action packed” edition of the magazine for you this month. Not least one job where technology isn’t as good as fingers – The Voluntary Rate envelope stuffing day! We may use technology to prepare the letters and even to send them out but there’s no substitute for US, in person, when it comes to putting the letters in the envelopes. It’s more fun than it sounds - a chance to chat, maybe with someone you haven’t met before – and there’s always one of Elizabeth’s excellent lunches to look forward to. Saturday 16th March from 10am for as long as it takes – we can usually finish by early afternoon if we get enough helpers.

There’s quite a lot of charity news. John Willmer has resigned as a Trustee of PSALM after a good number of years and handed the parish representation to Beryl Dowsett (already a trustee, she hasn’t until now been the parish rep on that particular charity); then there’s the Junior Choir Lent Project which is supporting CARIS Camden’s work with families (not CARIS Haringey, who we routinely support through foodbank and clothing collections); CARIS Camden is the same organisation that runs the C4WS Night shelters and who have now branched out into family work – you are following me, aren’t you?

Allan Maclean writes about the Parochial School with particular reference to the Development fund that we as a parish contribute to, and Sue Kwok updates us on the situation with Traidcraft which, in spite of everything, is still alive and well and looking to the future.

Of course with Lent beginning we also have much to look forward to in the way of Lent groups which Jeremy has enlarged on his letter; the Bible Book club continues with a look at St Luke’s Gospel, and some of our Sunday school will be attending preparation sessions for Admission to Communion on Mothering Sunday (31st March).

The burials grounds are alive with spring flowers – snowdrops, crocuses and daffodils all out together – and if you’ve noticed snowdrops springing up in new places - the flower bed under the magnolia outside the Crypt Room and in the Memorial garden for instance - and wondered which good fairy has been planting them – I can reveal that it was Alice Gardner in memory of her grandmother Pat.

And just a reminder – though it’s hard to miss all the other reminders – that this year we have to completely renew the Electoral Roll. This happens every six years and every six years we spend an astonishing amount of time chasing people who we know come regularly but who somehow haven’t got round to renewing their membership.

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