Saint James



The Parish of

St. Peter,

Bushey Heath

November 2019


From the vicar


Throughout history mankind has been engaged in the search for God. Our forebears looked for the divine, for meaning and for truth as they sought to understand their existence and that of the world around them. At the same time God revealed himself to men, in particular to Abraham and his descendants whom he called to be his own people. Through both these experiences – search and revelation – an understanding of God developed from the primitive to the profound.


At the time of Jesus the different approaches to gaining an understanding of God, through exploration (Natural Theology) and by Revelation (which led to Theism), were both found co-existing within the Roman empire. Greek religion is a good example of the fruit of Natural Theology. Philosophers explored the idea of divinity as the origin of existence and posited that the divine was involved in the world and in the lives of men. This was expressed through the Greek pantheon of gods which were representations of the various facets and powers of existence. Thus there were gods of sun and moon, sea, death and the underworld, war, peace and so forth. This sort of idolatry can be described as pantheism, a word used to describe a belief that all things are in some sense God. The Greek understanding of the divine was not without its personal element however, especially as expressed in the stories of the gods, and neither was it completely polytheistic as the panoply of gods was, at its best, conceived as a unity with the individual gods fitting into an ordered structure of gods.


Whilst some Greek thinkers expressed the unity of God and might almost have been described as monotheists, others like the Stoics believed such thinking diminished God who was best described as a plurality. Either way, most philosophers believed in God in some way and taught that he was the beginning of all things. As a footnote not all theologians accept the possibility of Natural Theology. Whilst Thomas Aquinas taught of the distinction between Natural Theology and Revelation, Augustine had been opposed to it and in the 20th Century the influential theologian Karl Barth wrote extensively against it. Many theologians who teach Natural Theology today would qualify their thinking by adding that it is possible for all human searchings and discoveries to be inspired by God, even if they do not qualify as direct revelation. This is important because a rejection of Natural Theology has implications for the Christian understanding of faiths outside the Judeo-Christian tradition.


Christians are, of course, much more familiar with the monotheistic concept of God inherited from Judaism through the Old Testament. This truth about God was revealed to Abraham, the Patriarchs and especially Moses who turned their back on the idols and polytheism of their contemporaries. The Israelites believed that God had revealed himself to them as the one true God and that worship of him was to be exclusive. The complete acceptance of this revelation took many centuries to achieve, but the result formed the foundation for the Christian faith expressed in the New Testament. Over the centuries a key role was played by the prophets who were the primary recipients of Revelation and the people who not only guided the Israelites in the ways of God, but also prepared them for the arrival of the Messiah. Of the prophets and their work, more in the letter for Advent.



Requiem for All Souls

Saturday 2nd November at 12 noon



Pray that the Church may receive a renewed vision for mission and service and that she may be properly resourced to carry out God’s work.

From the diary


Tuesday 29th October, 7.00pm               Said Mass (SS Simon and Jude, Apostles)

Wednesday 30th October, 10.00am         Said Mass

Saturday 2nd November, 12 noon            Requiem for All Souls

Sunday 3rd November                            All Saints’ Sunday

Wednesday 6th November, 10.00am       Said Mass (Mothers’ Union corporate)

Sunday 10th November                          Remembrance Sunday

Tuesday 12th November, 12 noon           SSC Chapter Mass (Requiem)

Wednesday 13th November, 10.00am     Said Mass

Wednesday 20th November, 10.00am     Said Mass

         8.00pm     Parochial Church Council in the Parish Hall

Saturday 23rd November, 2.00pm           Wedding

Wednesday 27th November, 10.00am     Said Mass

Thursday 28th November, 9.15am           School visit to St. Peter’s

Friday 29th November, 7.00pm               Said Mass (St. Andrew, Apostle)


Thursday 12th December, 8.00pm           Holy Hour with exposition of the Blessed Sacrament


From the Registers


20th October                  Annabelle Irene Jenkinson


15th October                  Dennis Wallis (aged 90 years)


Church Heating

Readers may be aware that the central heating system in church is not functioning. Unfortunately one or more leaks under the floor have caused fresh water to enter the system and damage the boiler. The cost of repairing the leaking boiler section would be in the region of £3,300 whilst the cost of replacing all the sections would be £6,500. These prices do not include the cost of searching for and replacing the leaking sections of pipe under the church floor. This would need to be undertaken to prevent corrosion of the boiler in the next few years and the problem repeating itself.


As the existing system is old and inefficient the Parochial Church Council has agreed to explore the possibility of a new heating system based on the use of gas-fired space heaters within the nave. These heaters send out warm air and are much more economical to use than the old wet-system. Warm-up times are short, the operation is quiet and the result is a much more comfortable environment for worship. A site meeting is being arranged with our heating engineer at which possibilities will be discussed. The number of, and positioning of the heaters will be significant, as will the cost. You will be informed of the outcome and the next steps as soon possible.


Whilst the present system is not working and until a new system is installed, temporary heating will be used in church to make it as comfortable as possible. Please dress appropriately and sit near a heater. Please note also that St. George’s Chapel is electrically heated and will be warm for 8.00am and mid-week services.


Advent Study Booklet

The Additional Curates Society has produced a study booklet for Advent. Written by Joan Whyman it is entitled ‘On Angels’ Wings’ and costs £2-00. Please order your copy from Fr. Andrew by 10th November.


Ascot Priory 2020

A Quiet Day has been booked for Saturday 26th September. Further details in due course.


Bushey Interfaith Forum


There will be speakers from the Catholic, Protestant, Muslim, Jewish and Jain faiths. 

Thursday 21st November 2019 at 7.30pm at

Shrimad Rajchandra Mission Dharampur, Falconer Hall, Bushey.

Entrance is free and light refreshments are included.


Contact details:

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

Churchwarden: Mrs. Anne Swerling (020 8950 8923).