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An Advent letter from The Chaplain

  • Posted on November 26, 2012 at 9:28 pm

Dear members and Friends of Magdalen Chapel,




With the Opening of the Bath Christmas Market we are reminded to take steps to prepare for the forthcoming Festival. Advent tells us Christ is near…and the Feast of Christ the King this Sunday leads us on a Royal Progress to the new Christian year on Advent Sunday (2nd December). Our hearts and minds are stirred as we open afresh the Gospel according to St Luke during this “Year C” of the three year cycle of readings at the Eucharist. What would we do without this Gospel which proclaims for our salvation the “tidings of great joy,” the details of the Angel’s Message to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the songs of praise uttered by her, and by Zechariah (at the birth of St John Baptist,) and the paeans of the Angelic Choir at the birth of the Saviour. All this and more in this Gospel – including the Parable of the Good Samaritan for example – confirms our faith in the mercy and love of God:  in this Gospel of the “Dear and Glorious Physician” .


Following the recent  survey results, from Congregation and friends,  the Special Services for Advent and Christmas are detailed overleaf, as are the opportunities for study and reflection together.  The Advent leaflet “Unwrapping the Gift” is yours for the asking. There are a few copies still available “with blessings from Magdalen Chapel” to help keep the light of Christ shining in these dark winter days.


If you are in Bath for Christmas you will of course be welcome at the chapel, and if you are away, do pray for us as we shall for you. Bring stories back of the life and worship of the Christian church wherever you find yourself on the Feast of the Nativity of the Lord.


With prayers and blessings,





You will be welcome………

  • Sunday 25th November Feast of Christ the King. Following the resignation of Alice Petersen as Chapel Warden we shall convene a Chapel Meeting following the 1030am Eucharist to elect a successor, and colleague for Nic Eager.
  • Service of Lessons and Carols 9th December at 6.30pm

for Choir and Congregation: with seasonal refreshments following


  • Sunday 16th December – a special “Photo Session” – a Message from Geoff Lee (Chapel Treasurer)

In the Book “Bath –The Blitz and Now,” by photographer Hazel Evans,  the “ghosted” images are quite extraordinary and I am hoping that the result in the Chapel will be the same. We have in mind a photograph of the bombed out Chancel mixed with a present day congregation. There is no cost to the Chapel the cost will fall to me as I have commissioned it personally from Hazel.  It will not take too long 10 -15 minutes if all goes well.

You are invited to stay awhile after the Eucharist to take part in this exciting venture. More explanation on the day, and participation will be entirely voluntary.

  • Christmas Eve 11.30pm Blessing of the Crib & Midnight Mass


  • Christmas Day 9am Holy Communion (Book of Common Prayer)


  • Sunday 30th December 10.30am Sung Eucharist & Carols


  • Sunday 6th January The Feast of the Epiphany 8am & 10.30am


(Apologies to those who received the “Services survey” on-line and were unable to reply because it was a “pdf” file. Nic and I are addressing this issue! DJP)


On (other) Sundays

8am Holy Communion (Book of Common Prayer – BCP)

10.30am Sung Eucharist (Coffee and Conversation following)


  • Holy Eucharist at 6.30pm on (some) Fridays

Nov 30th St Andrew, Apostle


For the Record…

Holy Baptism 4th November, Lily Morgan

Holy Matrimony6th October,Katie Doble-Birch and Philip Robinson

Harvest Festival evensong was well attended, and a very happy occasion: gifts were taken to Greystones and to Genesis.

The Chapel Open Day 2 -4pm, as part of Bath Heritage Week, with “The Story of the Chapel” told by the Chaplain at 3pm, attracted a steady flow of visitors and an attentive congregation, who were also nourished with afternoon tea.

The Pilgrims to the Holy Land 12th – 20th November (including members of the chapel Congregation) led by The Chaplain, were blessed by “friendship and fellowship that grew up between us all,” and witness that “never again will the Gospels be the same, as they have brought alive”, and “our faith has been strengthened by the visits to so many important places in the life of Jesus.”


In the News

The General Synod Vote on the proposals for Women Bishops was defeated by a margin of a few votes by the “House of Laity”, a similar margin by which the vote for Women Priests was passed in 1992. The unsatisfactory nature and result of this decision making-process has been well advertised. For some people the motion was unsatisfactory because it made any allowances at all for those (mainly of Evangelical and Anglo-Catholic convictions) who have made their objections clear to this move, and for others it was unsatisfactory because there was  so little understanding of  how the differences of belief in this matter could be reconciled.  It is hinted that the house of Bishops will want to grab the reins and seek to forge a compromise. We may hope and pray that this will be possible, to include all of us: perhaps it is too much to hope that other Bishops, including those of the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, will also be engaged in this consultation.  Meanwhile  Synod did also find time to comment on the important matters of youth unemployment and the minimum wage.


Forthcoming Events 

Thursday 29th November – the local Chapter of Priests of the Society of the Holy Cross  will meet at the chapel beginning with Eucharist at 12.30pm (All welcome at the Eucharist).

Chandos Singers Concert

Magdalen Motets on Saturday 8th December 2012, 7.30pm at Magdalen Chapel


The Chandos Singers, conducted by Malcolm Hill, are one of Bath’s leading chamber choirs.

This concert presents the Strathclyde Motets of James MacMillan (b.1959). These choral settings of sacred texts, published from 2008 onwards, were written both for individual liturgical use through the year (mostly as communion motets) and for concert performance. All the motets were first performed in Glasgow. They vary in style but form a consistent and satisfying whole, sharing both a perceptibly Scottish musical feel and deep roots in the Catholic faith of the composer.

The programme celebrates the seasons of Advent and Christmas with music that is over four centuries older than the Strathclyde Motets. The Chandos Singers continue to mark the 400th anniversary of the death of the great Italian composer Giovanni Gabrieli (1557-1612) with settings of O Domine Jesu Christe, Beata es Virgo, and Hodie Christus natus est. The concert also features the less well known Slovenian composer Jacob Handl (1550-1591), including attractive settings of Radix Jesse, Adoramus te, Jesu Christe, Rorate coeli, and O magnum mysterium.

Interval refreshments will be provided.

Tickets: £10, Students £5 Available at the door & from Bath Box Office – Tel: 01225 463362 Email: