Saint James



The Parish of

St. Peter,

Bushey Heath

Advent 2018


From the vicar


The canticle known as the Benedictus is commonly used at Morning Prayer. It is a prophetic hymn proclaimed by Zechariah the priest who was the father of John the Baptist. It describes John as the forerunner, but also looks forward to the day when the messiah will come to save God’s people.


The Benedictus brings to completion the prophecy of Isaiah which is so familiar from the telling of the Christmas story.

The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined. (Isaiah 9:2).

In the midst of grievous trials the Prophet declares that God will act decisively in the history of his people despite apostasy and exile. Zechariah declares God’s present action in these words,

Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, to give light to them that sit in darkness and inthe shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.

 (Luke 1: 78-79)

God has come to his people as the sun rises to lighten the earth bringing with him a knowledge of his presence and the promise of mercy. From henceforth Israel will be invited to live in peace for the light has come.


These are words of incomparable beauty, especially ‘the dayspring from on high’. The Greek refers to the rising of the sun and hence any reference to the dawn will make sense, but nothing affects the heart of the faithful – he who longs for God – quite like ‘dayspring’ which is the translation of Tyndale and the King James Version. Other translations fall rather flat and fail to convey the sense of awe that should prevail when God visits his people.


As if that were not sufficient to inspire praise, the collect for the first Sunday of Advent which dates back to 1549 reminds us that the Messiah came to ‘visit us in great humility’. Again, modern translations spoil the text and its meaning by omitting ‘visit’. We learn in scripture that Moses talked to the Lord face to face as a man would talk with his friend. It may not have been on Cranmer’s mind when he wrote this collect, but the use of ‘visit’ allows the faithful to picture our Lord, not coming to the earth to knock heads together in some general visitation, but calling at the house as a friend would; ‘behold I stand at the door and knock’.


The cosmic understanding and the thought of our Lord visiting us are held in tension just as the greatness and humility of God are in any orthodox understanding of the incarnation. We prepare for the Lord’s coming in Advent and celebrate his birth at Christmas because he offers us not only the forgiveness of our sins, but also joy and peace beyond our hopes and understanding.


St. Peter’s Church Christmas Feast

Saturday 8thDecember from 11am to 3pm in the Parish Hall

With performances by the North London Military Wives Choir

and the Drama Spectrum group


St. Andrew’s Methodist Church

Christmas Tree Festival

The Festival opens to the public on Friday 7th, Saturday 8thand Sunday 9thDecember. Refreshments will be available to purchase in the Café throughout the weekend.  Admission is free. The Festival closes with a special Carol Service “Carols Round the Trees” commencing at 5.00pm on Sunday evening.



Pray for opportunities to meet new people and to proclaim the Gospel.


From the diary

Thursday 29th November, 10.00am        Said Mass (St. Andrew, Apostle) note change of date

Saturday 1st December, 4.30pm             Patronal Festival at St. Andrew’s, Kingsbury

                                                            Celebrant: The Bishop of Richborough

Wednesday 5th December, 10.00am       Mothers’ Union Corporate Communion

Saturday 8th December, 11.00am           Christmas Feast in the Parish Hall (details on pew sheet)

                                       5.45pm            Bushey Inter-faith Festival of Lights (Mary Forsdyke Garden)


Sunday 9thDecember, 11.15am


Thursday 13thDecember, 8.00pm

Holy Hour for Advent with exposition of the Blessed Sacrament

Sunday 23rd December, 3.00pm             Carols at Kestrel Grove

Christmas Services 2018

Christmas Eve

6.30pm            Carol Service                                                                          

11.30pm          First Mass of the Nativity (Book of Common Prayer)

Christmas Day

8.00am            Low Mass (Book of Common Prayer)

9.30am            Family Mass with carols (Modern rite)

Wednesday 26thDecember, 10.00am     Said Mass (St. Stephen, First Martyr)

Thursday 27thDecember, 7.00pm          Said Mass (St. John the Evangelist)

Friday 28thDecember, 7.00pm              Said Mass (Holy Innocents)


St. Peter’s Christmas Cards

New this year, the cards which feature our crib set can be bought from Anne Swerling or Ranjan David at £3.00 for 5.


Christmas at the Food Bank: from the organisers

Thank you so much to each one of you at St Peter’s Bushey Heath who has donated food to us over the last year. You have helped a significant number of people in their time of need and have allowed us to build relationships with those who have asked for our help. Anyone can fall on hard times and each person we have listened to has a different situation or reason for needing the support – some only require a short term solution, and others are on a longer journey. We want to be there to support each and every one of them. The full letter and details of current needs can be found on a separate sheet.


Bushey and Oxhey Care Annual Report 2018

A copy of the report can be found on the table at the back of church. If anyone would like to volunteer as a driver or telephone operator please speak to Anne Swerling.


Chaplaincy arrangements for West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust: from the Chaplaincy

An extract from a letter to Ministers of Religion, October 2018

Information governance (sic)

The fact that a person is in hospital, and their whereabouts within the Trust, is a private matter which is governed by legal frameworks of Data Protection. Hospital staff and receptionists will not release this information to any member of the public; and visiting ministers or faith leaders are no exception.

If you are asked to visit a member of your congregation or community, then it is wise to check with them or one of their close contacts to ascertain their whereabouts before you travel to the hospital. Many patients bring a mobile phone into the hospital, and it could be helpful to speak directly with them in order to plan the best timing of your visit.

If for some reason you have not been able to confirm the whereabouts of a patient, then you may seek the assistance of the chaplaincy office. If a chaplain is available, then they will try to contact the ward on your behalf to ask whether a patient wishes to receive your visit. You may also ask reception to call the ward to seek the permission of the patient for your visit.


Contact details:

Vicar: Fr. Andrew Burton SSC, a priest of the Society. (020 8950 1424). Usual day off Monday.

Churchwardens: Mr. Peter Mould (020 8428 8307); Mrs. Anne Swerling (020 8950 8923).