Things have been very quiet at the Chapel since Christmas. We have had our first Open Day of the year on 10th March and although not rushed off our feet, there was a steady stream of visitors and we made a grand total of £244 for which we are very grateful.
Our next Open Day is on Saturday 12th May and we hope that many of you will come and visit us. We will have all the usual stalls as well as light refreshments and look forward to seeing you.
The membership secretary has been having a clear out of membership and taken off the list any who have not renewed their membership fee for two or three years which brings our total to about 260 members.
If you know of anyone who is interested in preserving the gem of Ilford and becoming a member please put them in touch with Martin Fairhurst.
May is for Mary
May is Mary’s month and no it’s not just because the month is Mary without the ‘r’. Mary gave herself unquestioningly into God’s hands, she was as pure as it was possible to be and did not seek to promote any interests other than those of her love of God. I read somewhere that Mary does not seek to push her way into peoples lives, but waits to be invited, she has been described by many as ‘a woman wrapped in silence.’ someone who waits to be called rather than calling.
In Africa there are many languages and dialects but one translation of the word mother is ‘she who hears when I call’. Given how a mother reacts instinctively to the cry of her baby or the call of her children I can see the logic behind this idea. Mary was certainly there for Jesus when he needed her and indeed in the fullness of time she was assumed into heaven, there to be with her Son. Mary gave herself wholly to God, Father Son and Holy Spirit, and in turn God rewarded Mary for her trust and faith.
In granting Mary this special place God also made her the spiritual mother of us all, for by her example of obedience and loyalty, her willingness to say YES to God’s plan she gives us all an example of how we must surrender humbly all that we have and do to God, who also loves us with such mercy and compassion.
Mary’s spiritual motherhood is constantly active, even if we ourselves do not see or understand it. A mother never ceases to be a mother, she never forgets her children. Mary is still working so that Jesus can be born in the hearts of all people. Her heart’s desire is that everyone should come to know the fullness of the love of God; a love so graphically illustrated in the sacrifice of her Son Jesus on the cross.
Under the influence of the Holy Spirit, Mary welcomed him in herself so that she could in turn give him to the world. On the day of Pentecost, Mary was praying along with those gathered in the upper room so that the Holy Spirit could blow powerfully into the lives of all Jesus’ disciples. On that day, Christ was born again in his body, which is the church.
God calls us to join with Mary’s yes. In so doing, we welcome the grace and power of the Holy Spirit into our lives. As we learn to enter into a more open and dynamic relationship with Mary, so we participate more fully in her mission to bring the light and life of Jesus to the four quarters of the world.
So why is May Mary’s month, well if you haven’t worked it out as yet then I suggest you look at the 31st of May. Not only is it the last day of the month, but it also the day that the Church celebrates the solemnity of the Visitation. The day when Mary arrived at the home of her kinswoman Elizabeth who was to be the mother of John the Baptist; it is Elizabeth’s greeting that identifies Mary’s special place for all of us. “Blessed are you among woman, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me?” (Luke 1:42-3).
In the city of Oxford the start of May is heralded with many student balls running through from the previous night, but as the sun rises at around 5am the choir of Magdalene College climb to the top of their bell tower and sing the Regina Caeli, the Magnificat and various other hymns dedicated to Mary. It is really something rather special, and in England at least, unique although in countries like Italy and Spain, but then that’s a different matter.
Here at St. Augustine’s we shall keep the solemnity as we do all the churches great feasts, with the proper ceremony and respect, but if you want to come a little closer to Mary in a different way then look out for one of the sessions of the Rosary that I hope to begin very shortly. Instruction will be given and I have a few rosary’s that can be borrowed if needs be.
Friends of the Hospital Chapel AGM
As many people do not like to come into Ilford in the evenings, we are going to try something a little different this year we are holding is on Thursday 14th June at 2 p.m. which will be after the normal morning Mass.
All members are welcome to attend the Mass before hand which starts at 12.35 p.m. and if you are very lucky you could also get a cup of tea or coffee.
Come along to the AGM and hear what has been happening at the Chapel, how the progress of plans for future work in the chapel, and the election of your committee and officers. We are also looking for a new secretary, if your feel you could volunteer for this post please contact the Chairman, you would be made very welcome.
Grand Summer Draw
At the AGM we will make the draw for the Summer Draw—which in previous years has been very successful in raising money for the Chapel. We have taken the liberty of enclosing two books of tickets and an addressed envelope to return the subs and the money. Just to remind you that tickets must not be purchased by anyone or for anyone under 18 years of age.
May we thank you in advance for your help and contribution towards this fund raising event. If you are one of the very few who object to this form of fund raising, we apologies for sending you tickets .
If it is not too late on behalf of the committee can I wish you a very happy new year. It is not long before I first open day of the year, which is on Saturday 10th March from 10.a.m. to 2 p.m.
We will have the usual stalls and of course our free guided tours. If you have never been to the chapel or have not been for many years, why not come along and see the gem that is almost hidden away in Ilford. We are on Ilford Hill just beyond the Nat West bank at Ilford Broadway.
We are always looking for items to sell or put away for our Christmas Bazaar. If you have any unwanted gifts you received at Christmas why not bring them along to the Chapel and help increase our funds to preserve this beautiful building.
Annual General Meeting
Over the last few years the numbers attending the A.G.M. have decreased and the committee wonder if one of the reasons is because it is held in the evening, and many people do not like coming out to Ilford at night. So this year we are going to try something different. Every Thursday there is a Mass at the chapel starting at 12.35 p.m. and ending about 1.30 p.m. so it was decided to have the AGM on Thursday 14th June starting at 2.p.m. and if you are lucky you may even get a cuppa. It is hoped as many members will attend as possible and find our what has been going on and what is planned for the future.
General Data Protection Regulations
In May the law changes regarding General Data. The only people who have your information is our Membership Secretary and the Treasurer (for Gift Aid forms)
In accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), we will store your data securely. We will only use this data for membership renewal and claiming Gift Aid and will not use your data for any other purpose. We will never share your data with a third party other than in connection with processing Gift Aid.
We will also remove and delete your data if you cease to be a member or cease to be in a position where we can claim Gift Aid.
Information on the Chapel
Martin Fairhurst our main guide writes:-’
I recently obtained from the British Library a copy of an undated plan headed ‘The Chapel & Almes-houses at Great Ilford in Essex’ which shows the layout of the chapel with 34 box pews, 8 almshouses with possible fireplaces and kitchens, and the courtyard. The catalogue entry indicates that it dates from the time of George III in the late 18th and early 19th century. It was contributed by George IV, forming part of the King’s Library, which became the core of the British Library. There appear to be staircases at the Western end of the chapel, maybe for the gallery which is shown in a picture in Bert Lockwood’s book.
I will put copies in the self-guide folders on the table by the doorway of the chapel for anyone who wants to look at the plan.”
I can remember the box pews. Back in the late 1970’s they were in existence when I use to attend the mid-week lunch time mass, and when my elder daughter was learning to play the organ and used to practice in the Chapel. It was very dark and cold and I was glad when she had finished, she was only 11 years old. Unfortunately by the time she got to her teens she discovered boys and things like playing the organ were given up.
Do you have any information about the Chapel, articles on it’s history, we are trying to get all the information about the Chapel in one place, instead of being ’scattered’ all around the district. If you have anything can you please contact Martin Fairhurst who will be only too pleased to hear from you.
Future Events – 2018
Saturday 10th March – Open Day 10.a.m. – 2.00 p.m.
Saturday 12th May -Open Day 10 a.m. – 2.00 p.m.
Saturday 14th July – Open Day 10 a.m. – 2.00 p.m.
Saturday 22nd & Sunday 23rd September – London Open House Weekend
Saturday 24th November – Christmas Bazaar 11.a.m.
Newsletter 111 – October 2017
Gone but not Forgotten
Thank you to all those who attended the concert by members of the Kenneth More Theatre, we are very grateful to the theatre members for giving their time to help raise funds for the Chapel. The event made just over £350.00. For those who were unable to attend you missed a very enjoyable afternoon, which was followed by gateaux with tea or coffee. A very enjoyable afternoon.
As I am sure you all know by now that our annual Christmas Bazaar will take place in the Chapel on Saturday 25th November. Doors open at 11 a.m. and we plan to finish about 3 p.m. with the Grand Draw.
You will find tickets for the Grand Draw enclosed with this newsletter, and we hope you will sell them to you family and friends. More tickets can be collected on any Thursday between 11.30 and 12.30 or from 1.30 to 2.00—either side of the regular Thursday Service. I am sure there is no need to remind you that tickets must not be sold or purchased for anyone under 18 years of age. The first prize is £50 with other prizes of Argos vouchers which have kindly been donated by our friends from Cross Rail, to whom we are very grateful for their support. If you object to raffles we apologise for sending you tickets, but it is difficult to leave them out of one or two envelopes when ‘stuffing’ 300 + envelopes.
Thank you to all those who have donated items for us to sell at the Bazaar. We are grateful for all donations. The other thing we are short of is man power. Strong men and women are needed on Thursday 23rd November from about 1.30 p.m. when after the morning service we move all the chairs out of the way and set up the tables. Unfortunately most of those who attend the Thursday service are of more senior years and unable to move furniture. If you are fit and can give us a hand we would be very grateful. If you are able to spare the time on the Saturday to come and help, I know the kitchen always needs help and many of the stalls only have one person on them so they do not get a chance to look around or even get a cup of tea. If you are able to help in any way please have a word with Pamela Wood (details on the back) and we will put you to work.
The other way you can help is to tell all your family and friends about the bazaar and bring them along.
Admission is free and there is disabled access at the back of the Chapel in Reeds Close.
Look forward to seeing you at the Bazaar.
Thanks to our many Benefactors.
Over the last few years the Chapel has been left bequests, both large and small, by former members in their wills. We are very grateful to them and most of the money was put together and new altar frontals with lectern falls, burses and veils to match have been purchased. On Sunday 23rd October there will be service of Dedication to past Benefactors, when the new altar frontals will be blessed. They will all be on show, so you will be able to see them all.
The service begins at 4 p.m. and will take the form of Evensong. It is hoped as many of you that can will attend this service to give thanks to those who remembered the Chapel in their wills.
At the time of writing this newsletter, no events for 2018 have been decided. The next committee meeting is on 2nd November when details for next year will be finalized. There will be fliers with the dates of Open Days and any other event that is planned will be available at the Christmas Bazaar. One of the reasons for this is lack of man power, and it is difficult to plan events when we do not know if we will have people to run the kitchen or run a stall.—Can you Help?