The Parish Church of St John-at-Hampstead

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May 2019

May

Judy East

May…. Well, it’s not May, of course, it’s still April, it’s not even Easter but the relentless march of the Church year requires me to launch myself into the future and address what’s going to be happening, divorcing myself from the immediacy of Holy Week and what’s actually happening all around me.  By the time you read this the Easter Eggs will have been eaten, the flowers will have wilted – who says there no such thing as time travel!
What is as true now as it will be in May, is how lovely our new lighting is.  All the existing fittings restored and new ones made to match.   I particularly like the one behind the organ, on the steps going up to the office – I always hated that bare bulb!  
The big news for May is, of course, the Spring Fair (18th – you’ve got the date in your diary haven’t you?)  Lots of new ideas and lots of old favourites.  You might be drawn to the eclectic flavour of the lunches as members of the congregation are invited to bring their favourite dishes.  If you’re an art lover you might like to look through some of Estelle Spottiswoode’s paintings that Jonathan will be selling (we hope to get another chance for a sale of more of her work later in the month – on Sunday 26th after morning service).   You’ll surely want to try your hand at the Raffle, the tombola – we do all love a gamble, don’t we?  I won the most disgusting bottle of herb liqueur at the Christmas Market – your worst nightmare cough mixture – but no doubt I’ll be back this time to try to do better.   For sure I can’t do worse!   We’ll have books, and gifts and clothes – see the ad further on for a fuller list.  All the fun of the Fair!
A Christmas Carol
No, I’m not time-travelling this time, I’m referring to some filming taking place in the church towards the end of the month.   It might feel like time-travelling into winter as, being a Christmas story, the churchyard will be covered in artificial snow – postcard opportunity there perhaps. I wonder if artificial snow lasts overnight or if they have to spray it all anew every day?   But really I mention it by way of warning you that there’s going to be a film crew here from 23rd to 30th (filming only takes 3 of those days, the rest is preparation and clearing up time) and access is likely to be limited, if not actually impossible, some of the time.  Fortunately it’s half term so most of our daytime groups will be on holiday and evenings aren’t affected.  Not sure where we’re going to say the daily offices.   I tried looking the production up online to see if anyone famous was going to be around but can’t find any details of the cast, only the crew so far.   Time will tell.  
Do you read the weekly email?
I know some of you aren’t on email and some of you have opted out but of those we send only about 50% are opened – and I wonder why?  Is it because you were in church and picked up a pewsheet?   Is it because you get so many emails your inbox is bursting at the seams?   Is it because it goes straight to spam (might be worth checking!)?   We constantly try to improve it – with pictures, with a list of contents so you can go straight to what catches your eye – sometimes with items that don’t fit on the pewsheet, and often with direct links to websites.   Mailchimp, from which we send it, comes with a handy button for the final moment before you send your composition   - animated on screen sweat pours down an arm to the finger and that’s pretty much how I feel, having struggled with the composition, the layout, the links and so on – finally (and even after I’ve sent myself a test copy) I have to take the plunge and press the big red button.   So for the sake of all the labour that goes into it please, if you’ve never opened it before, try it at least once this month!
There’s lots to interest everyone in this issue – charities, music, reviews, events  including, instead of a sermon an article by Ann Morisy which appears right at the back (page 19).  This is simply because the footnotes in the document I copied it from insisted on being “Endnotes” and wherever I put the article and whatever I put after it, the footnotes jumped to the end of the issue!   Rather than fiddle around with separate documents I decided to leave it there - sometimes you just have to let the computer win!

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