St. Alban the Martyr

October Newsletter

19 Oct 2019 • General news

Last time I wrote, we were looking forward to the Season of Creation. When this magazine comes out, we will almost be at the end of the season. We produced a new Mass booklet with some seasonal material. Another change was that the text of the Mass starts on the opening pages rather than several pages into the booklet. This change was made in response to conversations with some of our visitors, who found the booklet confusing because they had to find the start of the service. I hope that you found the Season of Creation Mass enjoyable and stimulating and not confusing and different. I have had some positive feedback from the alterations we made to the midweek Mass.

Continuing the Season of Creation theme, we have a pet blessing service on October 5th. This is actually a day after the season finishes but it is in the octave of St Francis’ day. October itself is back to ordinary time and then November is a Season of Remembrance. With All Saints, All Souls, Armistice day and Remembrance Sunday. Last year we installed the new war memorial in Ark St Alban’s Academy. We had an excellent day, Bishop David came (on his motor bike) to bless the memorial and speak to the school about his grandfather’s service in the First World War. I’ll leave writing more about remembrance Sunday till the next magazine. However because it is at the start of the month I want to flag un that there is a lot happening musically to celebrate All Saints and All Souls. Here I quote from John Jenkin.

The choir and visiting singers are going to mark the beginning of November with a weekend of special liturgical music.

  • On Friday, 1st we celebrate All Saints’ Day with a group of Barytons singing Duruflé’s Messe Cum Jubilo at the Solemn Mass at 7.30 pm
  • On Saturday, 2nd there will be a Solemn Requiem for the Commemoration of All Souls. This will be sung to the music of Fauré at 5.30 pm
  • On Sunday, 3rd we are inviting past members of the choir and encouraging others to come and sing a Haydn Mass with us at the 10 am. Solemn Mass.
  • Jeanne Conard is conducting a singing workshop in St Patrick’s Room on the Saturday afternoon.
  • Please make these events known as widely as possible. Further details can be obtained from John Jenkin, 07929723319 or

Thanks to John and Joan for organising all of that.

For me this academic year has been very busy because I have taken on some new responsibilities at Ark St Alban’s Academy. There is more about that in my chaplain’s report later in this magazine. I wrote this for the Ark St Alban’s website about out first collective worship of the year which introduced out new school prayer.

At Ark St Alban’s we aim to have assemblies and collective worship that everyone can feel part of whatever their religion.

Today our new year 7 students had their first assembly in St Alban’s Church. Together we thought about prayer in our different religions and how it is important to talk to and listen to God. We had readings from the Quran and Bible and a short drama to illustrate how different people pray. Year 7 had given us topics that they wanted to pray about:

  • the Amazon Rainforest,
  • victims of knife crime in our community,
  • a reduction of infections transmitted by polluted water,
  • innocent people caught up in wars,
  • more recycling, and
  • for our teachers who work so hard to help us to learn.

We used these topics as part of our prayers. Students and staff at Ark St Alban’s have written a new school prayer and we used it for the first time in the church today.

Most merciful God,
Give us strength to stand up for what is right and true.
Allow us to prosper and benefit each other in the best ways we can.
We pray you will strengthen our spirits
so that we may learn better,
to glorify our maker,
increase our faith,
make our parents proud,
and contribute to our community.
We are hopeful in your infinite love and mercy. Amen.