All Saints  

All Saints' and St Nicholas' Churches

Church of England, Poplar, London

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Church Mouse Blog - Chapter 5 (Easter to Summer 2008)

This blog records all of the important, memorable or disastrous events which occur at All Saints and in the Parish of Poplar. It therefore provides a narrative and pictorial record of the people and events in Poplar.

INDEX to Chapter 5    
Pentecost - the Spirit comes Lazy days of summer It's confirmation time again
We're visited by another bishop Our 185th anniversary Eileen Alabaster and Milo
More Bishops come to visit St Saviour's Service And so the summer begins
Eileen Alabaster's Funeral    
11th May

Pentecost - the Spirit comes


Hang on a minute - the last entry was Easter and that's 5 weeks ago - where have you been?? Well even a mouse deserves a break, so what with holidays, visits to Autie Flo and a bit of work, the time has just flown past.
But at last we are here again, and a packed Church for Pentecost (despite all the recent rumours about the death of God and the Church - we all seem to be doing fairly well, thank you). Quite a few of the people were there to support the three baptism candidates - who will later be confirmed. So now we settle down to the long summer season which lasts up until Advent - yes, Christmas will soon be here again. Now let's relax and enjoy the sun and warmth. I'm now off to the Mudchute Allotments for some excercise before a hot bath and a glass of water (?!)

1st June

Lazy days of summer


Do you get the impression that this mouse is under-performing? Well the days are lengthening, the rain continues, and life gets a bit boring at times, so what do you expect? Life plods along and we are all getting our strength back before the many exciting events in the next few weeks. So don't give up on me - but recognise the reluctance to speak when I have nothing to say! Come back soon as the summer is promising to be exciting.

  15th June

Its confirmation time again



Wow, there wasn't even room for a mouse to squeeze in! The Church was packed and over-flowing for this year's confirmation service. Bishop Stephen was great as usual, although I did get a bit lost after he introduced Thomas the tank engine. Everyone seemed to have a good time - even Father Alan who is now another year older - congratulations. Finally great eats afterwards, with even enough for this old mouse to pick up after everyone had left. Even the choir were good, and the sun shone - just goes to show (as the boss said) - there is a God! And all of us said - Amen.

Confirmation 08
  3rd July

We're visited by Bishop Richard


Bishop of London

George and his new friend, Richard Chartres,
the Bishop of London, who was visiting us for
our 185th anniversary mass.

Another distinguished visitor for
our anniversary was our
Archdeacon, The Ven Dr Lyle Dennen Archdeacon Lyle
  3rd July

Our 185th Anniversary


We had a great 185th Anniversary Mass tonight. The Bishop of London (Richard Chartres) was the celebrant and we had numerous visitors from other Churches in the area joining in our celebrations.

Naturally Fred had his job cut out opening the bottles, and wonderful eats came up from the kitchen. The weather was kind and we could all congregate outside the Church for nibbles and drinks until the sun set.

A special thanks to the boss who worked his socks off to make it an enjoyable and uplifting day. I wonder if I shall still be here for the 200th celebration, now there's a thought for the day!

Fred gets ready
185th Anniversary Unfortunately, as the bunting was being put up for the service, one of the bigger Church Wardens had an argument with St Frideswide, and she came off the worse for wear. She was in pieces, you might say. This mouse did hear that St Frideswide is not someone to argue with, as it is said she turned one of her suitors into stone. So watch this space, there may be a new statue in the Church soon. Although is there already a St Kevin? St Frideswide
13th July

Eileen Alabaster and Milo


What a roller-coaster of a week. On Saturday the PCC had it's away-day by staying at home in the crypt. An excellent time was had discussing our Mission Action Plan and how we hope to continue reaching out into our community with the love of Jesus.

And then on Sunday we learned of the death of one our old stalwarts - Eileen Alabaster. She was much loved for many years, and not just because the kitchen was her domain, and kept both people and mouses very satisfied for many years. She had a heart of gold and will be greatly missed.

This is a dreadful photo taken down in the crypt (sorry but the mouse on duty that day wasn't very technical), but it shows Eileen as we will always remember her - chatting and eating, having good fellowship with all and sundry in the Church. As the boss said this morning - she was well prepared to go off and be with Jesus, so we all need to both cry and rejoice! Another saint goes into the history book of All Saints.

Milo Brandon

Following this announcement our attached student Milo had to preach his first sermon - and he hit just the right note - acknowledging that at times life is very hard and stony - but one of the things which makes the ground better to receive the good news about Jesus is the love and care shown by the ordinary members of our fellowship. So back we come to Eileen. Our love goes out to her family at this time, and I expect she is now inspecting the catering arrangements in the "New Jerusalem", so we all have something to look forward to when we eventually go to join her.

Eileen Alabaster
13th July

More Bishops come to say hello

Bishop Soria Because of the Lambeth conference we have the honour to be visited by two more Bishops this week. Here are Bishop Guverra Soria from Guatamala and Bishop Oliveira from Southern Brazil. Bishop Oliverira
20th July

St.Saviour's Service


Another packed church for the annual leaving service of the top year at St. Saviour's school. Again there was no space to swing a cat (hooray!!). We seem to have had a whole series of packed services over the last few months - now everyone will go off to their caravans in Essex and some sort of peace will reign at All Saints. Following this service we had another 150 people coming for some baptisms. The staff at All Saints certainly earn their money.

Today we said goodbye to Milo, although I expect we shall see him again. The boss also gave some flowers to Tracey, it seemed because she was going away for 3 months, but would still keep an eye on the boss through her computer. Sounds fishy to me - so I expect it is something to do with cats. During the baptismal service two elderly visitors from across the pond looked in, just after having been to a service at Westminster Cathedral. They commented on what a difference between the two services. Yes, we are pretty informal at All Saints, but we still try to keep Jesus in the centre of all we do.

St Savoiur's service
  26th July

And so the summer begins


The mass exodus has started! All of the roads are blocked and the Blackwall Tunnell is steaming. The kids have broken up and we should have a bit of peace and quiet for a few weeks. I love London in August. Everywhere is much quieter and I can lie back in the green fields of Mudchute and ponder on all that has passed and all that is to come.

We need to say a huge "Thank You" to the many people who have quietly worked away to make a success of the recent events. Also we must not forget our wonderful staff who still manage to keep a sense of humour when the pressure is on.

AND we have just heard that Andrew and Estelle have a new baby son (Nicholas Alexander William- or is it Alexander Nicholas William !!). Wow! And then they will leave us soon. Life is full of change, the only constant we have is Jesus. So God bless for the summer, see you in the autumn with Chapter 6.

NOTE - there has to be one more entry before the summer as we attended the funeral of Eileen Alabaster this week, bringing this chapter to a close

  29th July

In Memorium - Eileen Alabaster


Eileen Alabaster

A better picture of our old friend and saint, Eileen.

Today was the funeral of one of our old and beloved friends. Several of us went up to Bedford to be with Bill and the rest of the family as they said farewell to one of our old saints. The boss gave the address, and it is avaliable (click here) if you would like to read what he said.

On the back of the order of service is a poem we would all do well to read, digest and then practice.


Look to this day, for it is life, the very life of life
In its brief course lies all the varieties and realities of your existence:
the bliss of growth, the glory of action, the splendour of beauty.
For yesterday is already a dream,
and tomorrow is only a vision,
but today, well lived,
makes every yesterday a dream of happiness
and every tomorrow a vision of hope.
Look well therefore to this day!
Such is the salutation of the dawn.

Finally, before you dry your eyes to get on with the washing up, here's the poem read at her funeral to sum up how to start the summer.

You can shed tears that she is gone,
or you can smile because she lived,
You can close your eyes and pray that she will come back,
or you can open your eyes and see that she has left.

Your heart can be empty because you can't see her,
or you can be full to the love you shared.
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday,
or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.

You can remember her and only that she is gone
or you can cherish her memory and let it live on.
You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back,
or you can do what she would want: smile, open your eyes,
Love and go on.


Updated 24-Dec-2008   Home >> Church Mouse Blog Index >> Blog 5 Easter to Summer 2008