Monday, 30 September 2013



Today Ann and I filled her car with Harvest Gifts from St. Augustine's, Rush Green and delivered them to one of Havering's several Food Banks. Whilst there we heard a little about the work they are doing and how every person who receives three day's  food is referred by an agency such as School Welfare, Citizen's Advice, Clergy etc. At this one outlet they are giving 1.3 tonnes of food to hungry people a month. We were told how many local children are going hungry; we heard how one teacher takes packets of biscuits to school for kids in her class who haven’t anything to eat. We learnt how one teenager has just been given a job and a contract by a national shopping chain of 3 hours a week at the minimum wage. This, it appears, is considered a job by the Employment Agency. This youngster can only pay his rent and buy food if, and when , he is employed doing “overtime” which he sometimes gets taking his hours to 20 a week. Is he expected to starve in the meantime?


Today George Osborne our much-loved Chancellor of the Exchequer announced that nobody should expect something for nothing. Mr Osborne used his keynote speech to confirm plans for a new Help to Work scheme under which the long-term unemployed will be required to do community work, such as picking up litter or cleaning graffiti, in return for their benefits. He said that those who have been unemployed for more than three years would either have to work for their dole, attend job centres daily to search for a job or accept help for underlying problems such as illiteracy or drug dependency. Press Association.

Far be it from me to call anyone a hypocrite but I wonder how a person who inherits a large fortune dares to speak about people getting something for nothing.

Sunday, 29 September 2013


The Hospital Chapel were hosts today for the Ilford Town Churches 5th Sunday in the month Service which took the form of a Harvest Songs of Praise. At the service on Thursday we collected items and cash for the Ilford Food Bank.

I am pleased to say that we have raised £150 for the Food Bank.


Father Mervyn presided at the Harvest Parish Mass whilst Father Martin concelebrated, read the gospel, talked to the children and gave a commentary so people not familiar with the Mass understood what we were doing. The church was full to capacity with additional chairs brought in to accommodate all those who came. It was a Parade Service so the Scouts,Beavers Brownies and Rainbows presented their flags at the beginning of the service collecting them at the end. The Guides were not able to be with us as they had a prior engagement.
Gifts were collected for the Havering Food Banks and will be taken to them during the week to replenish what has been an unprecedented demand during the summer.
In his talk Father Martin asked the children what their favourite foods were and had a variety of answers. He picked one that seemed to be a firm favourite with both the children and adults: the pizza. He then talked about where all the various ingredients used to make a piazza originated and how we needed to show our thanks to God for all his gifts and our thanks to those who worked hard to harvest and supply them.

During the Notices Father Martin reminded people that the Harvest Tea is next Saturday

Thursday, 26 September 2013



Today we celebrated Harvest at the Thursday Mass at Ilford Hospital Chapel at which we collected items as well as cash for the local Food Bank. In my sermon I pointed out that usually we would be supporting one of the agencies like Christian Aid, Save the Children, Send a Cow, or CAFOD etc. but people in our local community were going hungry and depending more and more on Food Banks so that the amount they had available was quickly decreasing.

Celebrations at the Hospital Chapel will continue on Sunday when there is a "Harvest Songs of Praise" which the Chapel is organising on behalf of the Ilford Council of Churches. The service is at 4.00 p.m. & all are very welcome.

It seems to me to be a national disgrace that in the 21st Century we have people, including children in our country, who are going hungry. The irony for me is that today the papers are reporting that George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer, is taking the EEC to court as they intend to limit Banker’s Bonuses and he wishes them to continue as in the past. The British taxpayer are funding this legal procedure. Many of the economic problems we have faced and continue to face during the recession have been caused by greedy bankers with their noses in the troughs. It is a great pity, a national shame, a national disgrace, that British children are suffering hunger whilst bankers count the earnings in millions and politicians do nothing to alleviate the problem.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013



Nature can be very beautiful – and very unkind – both at the same time. I caught this spider’s web with my camera the other day and wondered at the intricate work that the spider had undertaken to make such a magnificent creation but, of course, there was a purpose in all that work.Any unsuspecting insect or fly that went by too close  would then become the spiders lunch/supper

Sunday, 22 September 2013


This weekend is the once a year event called London Open House when various places of interest, many not normally open to the public, welcome guests. Ilford Hospital Chapel has been taking part in this for several years and we had a steady stream of visitors yesterday. What I don’t believe is that the Underground (TFL) has closed part of the Central Line, Bakerloo Line, Docklands Light Railway, and the Northern Line for “planned engineering “ work. Am I being totally naive when I think that liaison between Transport for London and the organisers of the London Open House could, and should, take place so that people can take advantage of this annual event, easily moving around the capital without the hassle of trains being replaced by buses.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Ask Nick Clegg to stop the insults


Yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg used his Lib Dem Conference speech to mock opponents of redefining marriage, calling them “dinosaurs”. Watch it for yourself.

We think you should send a respectful email to Mr Clegg, telling him that cheap insults are not worthy of a British Deputy Prime Minister and asking him to apologise. If the remark makes you less likely to vote Lib Dem, please tell him.

The Rt Hon Nick Clegg MP

In his speech he said that while serious parliamentarians were debating the vital issues in the House of Lords, he thought the right place to be was outside Parliament with campaigners clapping along to Abba’s song, Dancing Queen.

Remember last year, his office issued a speech calling us all “bigots”. He hastily retracted the document, saying he would never use such language. He blamed his officials, and said he respected those who disagree with him.

There was precious little respect shown yesterday. If he wants to disagree with us, that’s up to him. But as Deputy Prime Minister he should not use insulting words to write off millions of people who believe in traditional marriage.

Here are some tips for what to say (please only use one or two points, and please use your own words).

Please be polite and respectful.

  • If his remarks make you less likely to vote for the Liberal Democrats, please say so.
  • Say you’re very disappointed that Nick Clegg would stoop to insults and name-calling.
  • Say there’s a lot of concern about the civil liberty of people who believe in traditional marriage, and this intemperate language will just increase the chances of traditional marriage supporters being sidelined.
  • Say the remark is unbecoming of a British Deputy Prime Minister, and he should show more respect for people who disagree with him.
  • Say you are personally offended by his ill-chosen remarks which display an intolerant attitude.
  • Say polls show millions of people did not support the redefinition of marriage, and they should not be written off in such insulting terms.
  • Say people of good will had sincere concerns about redefining marriage, including within Mr Clegg’s own party, and they deserve a little more respect.
  • Ask him whether he thinks people should throw around cheap insults on this highly sensitive issue.

Yours sincerely,

Colin Hart
Colin Hart
Campaign Director
Coalition for Marriage

Monday, 16 September 2013


St. Augustine’s Church, Rush Green, Romford where I am Hon. Assistant Curate now has its own website.   CLICK HERE

Sunday, 15 September 2013


womenbishopsThe Church in Wales has voted to have women as Bishops. Soon this innovation will be voted on in the Church of England and will no doubt, this time. be accepted. Ever since women have been ordained to the priesthood it was inevitable that they would, sooner or later, be elevated to the Episcopate.

It is to be hoped that suitable provision will be made in Wales for those who believe that women can not be either priests or bishops - traditionalists who believe that the Bible and two thousand years of tradition are not wrong and believe in the principle that any innovation must accord with Scripture, Tradition and Reason. It is also to be hoped that if, and when, this innovation happens in the CofE suitable alternative provision will be made for those of us who have steadfastly opposed this for many years.

Saturday, 14 September 2013


ssc cross

14th SEPTEMBER 2013


A very Happy & Blessed Holy Cross Day.


Whilst staying at Southport, we visited our friend Brian who has just moved there from Thaxted and also Peter Jebson who is the Organist at St Cuthberts. The organ is a four manual Copeman Hart instrument designed by Ernest Hart, Nigel Ogden (of the Organist Entertains fame) and Peter Jebson. It switches between a traditionally voiced to a theatre organ voicing at the throw of a switch. After Peter had demonstrated this wonderful instrument I played it for a while. As far as I know this organ is unique; it is a joy to play and I can’t wait to return to play it again for a little longer.

Pictured is Peter at the console.



Friday, 13 September 2013


We’ve been away for a few days, staying in Southport. As my granddaughter started school last week, our daughter took some leave to see her settled in so that meant that Ann was relieved of child-minding for few days so we decided we would have a few days away. Looking on the internet I found this cottage in Southport which looked ideal, and, never having been there, we decided it would be a great place to visit and we weren't disappointed. We had a wonderful time and we saw red squirrels at the nature reserve in Formby which is owned by the National Trust. A few years ago they were nearly all wiped out with a flu type bug but now they back in force and we must have seen getting on for a dozen or more and what lovely animals they are.

More tomorrow, when I’ll put some photo’s on the blog and tell you about the wonderful organ I played at St. Stephen’s Church in Lytham St. Anns.

Sunday, 8 September 2013

St. Andrew’s North Weald, 23rd Sunday of the Year

This morning I left home extra early to go to St. Andrew's, North Weald to celebrate their 9.30 a.m. Mass as today is also the day of the North Weald Airfields Air Day and I thought the traffic could be difficult. In the event there didn't seem to be any around where I had to go. After a long interregnum St. Andrews, together with the parish of St. Mary Magdalene, await their newly appointed parish priest.

The Gospel reading contains one of the difficult saying of Jesus in which he talks about “hating” our families. I pointed out that this had to be compared to his own concern for his mother when he was dying on the cross and gave her into the care of St. John. His own family had been against him; St. Mark reported that: “his family set out to take charge of him saying ‘He is out of his mind’” and St. John reports “not even his brothers believed in him” In St. Matthews Gospel Jesus says: “Anyone who loves his father or mother,son or daughter, more than me is not worthy of me”.Jesus is not asking us to despise our own flesh and blood but is comparing our mission with our priorities. This comparison means that we must love our families a great deal but love him more.

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Pontifical Mass at St. Mary’s Ilford

P1000099Today I went to St. Mary's, Ilford for their Patronal Festival to take part in the Solemn Concelebrated Pontifical Mass at which the Principal Celebrant was Norman, Bishop of Richborough. The choir was excellent and sang Locus Iste by Bruckner and during the Communion they sang the motet Virgin Born by C F Waters. The Homily was by The Revd. Canon Jeremy Haselock, Chaplain to the Queen. Father Gareth presented Bishop Norman and Father Haselock with a bottle of gin after the Blessing,. After Mass there was a reception in the Church Rooms with Canap├ęs and Wine. It was really great to see again so many people that we knew from the time of the interregnum and when I’ve been there when Father Gareth has been away.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013



We wish all our Jewish friends “L'shanah tovah” and all well for the fast.


Sunday, 1 September 2013


I cannot understand how David Cameron thought it wise to recall Parliament to consider some sort of limited military action against Syria before the United Nations experts had reported on their findings. Whilst it seems highly likely that the Assad Regime were responsible for this abhorrent attack it has yet to be proven. It must come as no surprise that action against Syria was rejected.

Now, President Obama has decided to ask Congress to approve military action and this will now wait until Congress reconvenes on 9th September. It seems unlikely that reports on the UN investigation will be ready by then. I think any military action by the USA and it’s allies will make the situation worse and could lead to the whole of the Middle East erupting in war. Iran is already threatening to bomb Israel.

I suspect I, and many others, are suspicious of the reports issued by the British and USA Governments about Syria  after the lies we were told about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Are we being fed similar fairy stories? Sadly it is the innocent of Syria who are suffering as a result of this civil war but the problem is that neither we nor the United States has any mandate to act as the police force of the world; that is the role of the United Nations and any action should be through them.