St Michael and All Angels is a church within the Anglican Catholic tradition of the Church of England. It was built by the architect Norman Shaw as a focal point of the Bedford Park estate, for the worship of Almighty God and to serve the needs of the community. Our mission is to share the experience of the love of God in Jesus Christ with all people through worship, education and service.
The Church is open each day for people to spend time quietly in a holy place, to pray, light a candle or just look around. At other times, it is full to overflowing, as hundreds of people of all ages come here to worship – not just at Easter and Christmas but on Mothering Sunday, Harvest Festival and St Michael’s own Patronal Festival in September (see also Services for more details)
Each day there is an act of public worship which is open to everyone (see times). The centre of our worshipping life is the Eucharist where, in obedience to Jesus Christ, we take bread and wine “in remembrance” of Him. There is a Eucharist service each day, except Tuesday when Compline is celebrated.
Worship is in a traditional style. There is a sense in which both the mystery of God and the friendliness of God are experienced as we use all senses to engage in worship.
The incense, candles, ceremonial, music, use of altar servers, and colourful vestments are expressions of our deep conviction that the Holy is in our midst.
In Wordsworth’s immortal lines:
I have felt
A presence that disturbs me with joy
Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime
Of something far more deeply interfused
Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,
And the round ocean , and living air,
And the blue sky, and the mind of man.
As a Church of England Parish Church, we recognise that members of our congregation are from varied church backgrounds, or none. There is an emphasis on teaching the Christian faith and there is a lively children’s ministry in which the spirituality of children is taken seriously. It is our aim to help and encourage every member to grow in faith, prayer and understanding.
We regard ourselves as an open, enquiring and questioning congregation, with a growing sense of pastoral care and service to those within the local community and further afield.
Various Study Courses are offered throughout the year on the basic teachings of the Christian faith and on prayer. These usually take place on a weekday evening.
The Sacraments of Baptism and Marriage are frequently celebrated and holy communion is taken to the housebound and sick. There is a pastoral visitors group which is available to make visits to those in the community.