The Parish Church of St John-at-Hampstead

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May 2018


Judy East

The world's favourite season is the spring. 

All things seem possible in May."
Edwin Way Teale

May is Spring Fair month
One year we moved it to June but it didn't last, we quickly went back to May.  Of course this year May also contains the enthronement of the new Bishop of London and the Royal Wedding - two landmark events that caused us much anxiety around dates. I suppose we could have put up a big screen to watch the enthronement, it is after all, a big event, but somehow I suspect it might not have the same impact.

We always emphasise the FUN aspect of the Fair but for everyone to have FUN a lot of people have to WORK very hard and Julia and her group have been planning for weeks.  Stallholders are gathering their helpers and their goods (I'll resist the temptation to specially plug my own stall) but, as ever, we need YOU - all of you - to bring us the things we need to sell - and to publicise it and come and spend as well - on morning coffee and delicious cakes and biscuits, amazing lunches,  etc. etc.   You'll find a whole list of ways in which you can help further on in this issue and I'm sure appeals will be appended to the weekly email if not the pewsheet (which isn't as elastic as people would like to think when they send in possible notices).  So, as Julia says,  put the date in your diary now, ring it in red, put it on your noticeboard - do whatever you need to but DON'T MISS IT.  Don't be the one who comes in the following week and says "Oh, was it last week?" 

So is anything else happening in May, I hear you ask?  
We don't shut down to concentrate on the Fair!  There's the Lunchtime concert on 2nd with the Marmara Quartet;  the Literary Hour on 16th is "England my England", compiled by John Willmer, who has written an introduction on page 9. 

May also, this year, contains some of the most important feast days of the Christian year - Ascension (10th), Pentecost (20th) and Trinity (27th) and it ends with Corpus Christi (Day of Thanksgiving for the Institution of Holy Communion) always the Thursday  after Trinity Sunday and which, though we don't make much of it,  is important enough to push the commemoration of the Visit of the Virgin Mary to Elizabeth to 1st June from its usual 31st May position. 
Is this perhaps why the London Festival of Contemporary Church Music (LFCCM) chose 13-20 May for their events?  We are one of the participating venues with our choral services on 13th and 20th May - details on page 11.   There are a few leaflets listing other venues and their services around the church or you can get the information from their website

Saving the planet one cup at a time
You may have noticed (if you're on the coffee team, you can't have missed it!) that the church is thinking about its environmental footprint and in particular its use of disposable cups.  Some of the team have gone over to china mugs and washing up, some are investigating biodegradable cups.  Either way you can help by bringing your own reusable cup to church - whether that's saving a disposable or a bit of washing up it all helps.   And, yes, we know it's only a tiny step, but it's also about awareness and the legacy we pass on by example.   It really is depressing emptying the bins in the churchyard and seeing the quantity of plastic they contain - bottles, food trays, bags - in the summer it's an almost daily job for Rebecca or I, not made any easier by the crows who sit on the bins pulling out the rubbish and scattering it about.  Of course I want to save the planet but I'm not so sure about saving crows at the moment! 

And finally a Reminder:  Parish visit to Southwark Cathedral - Saturday 2nd June - meet at the Cathedral for a 12.45pm start.  Please don't be late - we can't keep our guide waiting! 
There's a list on the noticeboard - please sign up so we know how many people want to go.

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