August - September 2017

Dear Friends,

A friend sent me this quotation the other day and I thought it apposite to living in the particular sacerdotal style of ministry at St Margaret's…….. “If a priest has the smell of the sheep, like St Francis tells us we should, it's because he carried them as well. Not just in liturgical celebrations, but in their daily lives-knowing their needs and their sorrows too” (St Martin RC Community in France). I think that because I have lived so long in the Gallowgate I have become a fixture in this place, almost an institution! I have evolved into a Benedictine style of ministry, where because one is settled, more people come to know you and know of you. This is the opposite of a Dominican style which is more transient and does not put down the same roots. I think this is borne out by the amount of funerals I do on behalf of the community or passports that I sign. It does go to show that St Margaret's is no mere exotic but is very closely anchored into the East End scene. At the moment the Five City Centre Churches are looking at their witness in the City Centre. I feel that we are slowly edging our way to a more sharing arrangement in ministry, but that will not alter the particular ethos and liturgical style of St Margaret's because that is what makes this place distinctive and unique. The recent City Centre discussions have basically been about how we can improve our common vision and witness to the Gospel.

You will notice in the Kalendar that some of the Wednesday evening masses in August and September have been cancelled. Alternative masses will be available at the Cathedral at 1000 hours, St Mary's at 1000 hours and St John's at 1930 hours. This does present opportunity to go and worship with other Episcopalians in the city. At the moment Provost Isaac and myself are the only two fulltime priests in the five city centre churches.

Please remember the Sung Mass for the Assumption of the BVM on Tuesday the 15 th of August. There will be an Assumptiontide Buffet on the Sunday in the Octave where we will be joined by the Staff and Cadets of TS Scylla.

What a particular joy it is to see how our two young organists Christopher and Emily are engaging enthusiastically and musically with the liturgy. It is very encouraging to see this and gives one hope for the future. In fact, as I write this epistle in my study, I can hear Christopher diligently practising the organ in Church.

Enjoy the rest of summer and see you at Mass,

As Aye, Fr Emsley.