11th November 2015

fr_simonDear All,

There are many delights attached to being the Vicar of St Nicholas Chiswick, chief amongst them is cake. Every now and again I am furnished with a wonderful home made cake, I’m not fussy; chocolate, fruit, Victoria sponge, fresh cream of butter icing, I’m very happy to consume the lot, in my mind you can never have enough cake. I was given a cake on Sunday morning by Mrs Maxwell, who in my eyes is one of the queens of Chiswick cake making. I cannot begin to describe the delight of her chocolate cake with a Malteser topping. This week it was a fruit cake, which I am still happily working through. This week’s offering came with a thoughtful quote and I share it with you. “Where there is cake there is hope…and there is always cake!” How true. I was talking to our Confirmation class on Sunday after church and I was sharing my thoughts on the Eucharist, the Mass, call it what you will. What I find so enriching about the Christian faith is it’s links with ordinary human activity. Food and drink are the basic requirements of life and what do we do every Sunday…we eat. An ordinary human activity transformed into an encounter with the divine. Communion is the opportunity for God to meet us where we are, it is his free gift, given in love, for our sustenance. How amazing, God actually meeting with us, touching us, every Sunday morning and it doesn’t matter who we are,  what we are, or where we are, it is his free gift. That’s about as hopeful an encounter as I can imagine. So perhaps we should say  “Where there is communion there is hope… and there is always communion.”

Keep baking !


Dear Friends,

Well it was a busy weekend. On Saturday the parish sponsored walk took place in heavy wind and rain over seventeen miles from St Pauls Cathedral to St Nicholas. Those of us who completed it were very stiff and tired and were well fortified by a wonderful tea afterwards in St Denys House; thanks to everyone. On Sunday morning we had a moving and dignified Parish Mass for Remembrance Sunday – the trumpeter was brilliant! We will have her back next year! Alice, myself and the children then dashed off to Hertfordshire to have lunch at my brother’s house with the rest of the family. My sister Linda who lives in South Africa has flown over for a while as she has very recently been diagnosed with cancer and will be having investigations and treatment over here in London. We are waiting to hear what her options are. Please keep her in your prayers. Sunday night was spent flopped on the sofa watching the last episode of Downton Abbey which was wonderful although a little preposterous and far-fetched at times…. Mr Spratt a magazine columnist?!

I have been reading some Henri Nouwen recently, the remarkable Dutch Catholic priest and spiritual writer who died in 1996. If you haven’t encountered him I warmly recommend him; he has this knack of being able to get you thinking about yourself, and more importantly to get you thinking about God. He wrote this (about how we might look back on our day as we are preparing for bed) :

“Did I offer peace today? Did I bring a smile to someone’s face? Did I say words of healing? Did I let go of my anger and resentment? Did I forgive? Did I love? These are the real questions. I must trust that the little bit of love that I sow now will bear many fruits, here in this world and the life to come”.

I think these are pretty good questions that all of us can ask ourselves.

With every blessing,

Fr Andrew

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