Friday, 27 March 2020

Guiding the city

Pictured on Tower Bridge, the coat of arms of the City of London, with the City's motto 'Domine dirige nos,' which means 'Lord, guide us' or 'Lord, direct us.'

It is good to be reminded that the motto of our Capital city is a prayer for the Lord's guidance - especially at the present time of national crisis.

This may be just the moment for us all to turn afresh to the creator and sustainer of the whole universe and say 'Lord, guide us; Lord, direct us in your ways.'

Bermondsey Daily Message 5

Thursday, 26 March 2020

God bless the NHS

There was a huge turnout in our area tonight in support of the NHS.

As the clock of St James struck eight, Thurland Rd errupted with applause, people banging pots and pans, and cheering  for our hard-pressed, dedicated, and  courageous healthcare workers of the NHS.

What a great way of saying thankyou' and 'God bless the NHS.'

Bermondsey Daily Message 4

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Bermondsey Daily Message 3

Here is the third of our Bermondsey Daily Messages.

Please note this video was recorded at the weekend, before the Prime Minister's address to the nation on Monday night and his announcement of new restrictions on movement and travel.

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Bells ring out

Sadly our bellringers have had to cease ringing on Sunday morning because of the Coronavirus, but to inaugurate our first livestreamed service on Sunday, two of our bellringers (a couple) performed a special style of bellringing with two just people ringing all eight bells.

Amazing. Well done and thank you. Here it is

Bermondsey Daily Message 2

Here is the second of our Bermondsey Daily Messages.

Please note this video was recorded at the weekend, before the Prime Minister's address to the nation last night and the announcement of new restrictions on movement and travel.

Monday, 23 March 2020

Bermondsey Daily Message 1

Here is the first of our Bermondsey Daily Messages, which we hope to post each day from locations around Bermondsey.

Enjoy it and pass it on to your friends.

It was a bit windy down the Blue when we filmed this so apologies for the sound interference - hopefully a new, higher spec microphone, arriving tomorrow, will solve this problem.

Sunday, 22 March 2020

Livestream 1

Lots of appreciative comments for our first livestreamed service today.

It felt very strange speaking to a camera in an empty church, but we were also quite conscious that though we are physically separated we are united spiritually in Christ as we come to worship.

Apologies to anyone who experienced technical difficulties in handling Facebook - we are working on some more help with this one for next week.

If you missed the service, or want to see it again you can view it now here.

Watch out tomorrow for our first Bermondsey Daily Message, filmed on location around our two parishes, that will be posted here each day.

Finally, God bless everyone, and, especially on this their special day, all mums. 

Saturday, 21 March 2020

Beautiful words for Bermondsey

We were out this morning filming the first three of our Bermondsey Daily Messages in locations around Bermondsey: at the Blue, on the Lucey Way estate, and outside the Queen Victoria pub.

Our aim is that everyday during the Coronavirus outbreak, starting on Monday, we can  put online a 3 or 4 minute daily message, subtitled 'Beautiful Words from the Beautiful Book', filmed on location around Bermondsey, with an encouraging message from God's word and a prayer for the people of Bermondsey.

Look out for the first Bermondsey Daily Message this Monday - on this blog, on Twitter, and on Facebook.

Meanwhile, don't forget to join us for our Mothering Sunday Family Service which will be livestreamed tomorrow at 10.30am at our Facebook page:

Wednesday, 18 March 2020

Livestreaming St James & St Anne's

During the Coronavirus crisis, our Sunday service at St James & St Anne's will be livestreamed every Sunday at 10.30am at:

Just click on the link above to watch the service on your PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone.

If you can't conveniently watch it at 10.30am, don't worry because the service will remain on the church Facebook page for you to watch when you are able.

Tuesday, 17 March 2020

Today's announcement

Today the Archbishops of Canterbury and York have written to all clergy saying the time has come to put public worship on hold until further notice.

You can read their letter here

This means there will be no public service on Sunday at St James or St Anne's for the time being, nor will there be Wednesday Night Church.

However, we hope that we can livestream a service from St James every Sunday at 10.30am so that members of the congregation can worship in their own homes online.

We will have further details of this soon.

In the meantime we pray for each other and we pray for the nation.

Saturday, 14 March 2020

Men's breakfast

There was a good turn out for today's men's breakfast at St James.

Neil (pictured centre) was the speaker our speaker.

Like Paul, he works for Church Army and, like Paul, he comes from Weymouth in Dorset.

In fact, they have known each other since they were small boys.

Neil came from a broken family but at the age of 18 he came to know the love of God for him personally. That changed everything he knew about love and family and that was a big part of what he shared today, as he encouraged us to be embraced and changed by the power of God's love.

Tuesday, 10 March 2020

Southwark Park Primary

Today we welcomed 57 year one children from Southwark Park Primary School to St James.

The children enjoyed climbing up into the gallery to get a full view of the church and to see the organ.

Back on the ground floor we saw how a baptism is done, before descending to the crypt to the spaces where families sheltered from wartime bombing.

They were an enthusiastic bunch and it was great to welcome this, the latest class from Southwark Park Primary to visit the church.

Thursday, 5 March 2020

Farewell to Angel

Today we laid Angel to rest, as a large congregation gathered at the cemetery from her family, from St James School, and from the healthcare organisations which had cared for.

We heard some of her favourite pieces of music and sung one of her favourite songs, 'He's got the whole world in his hands.'

Her stepfather spoke movingly of the special girl who won your heart when you met her, and of the deep Christian faith that has sustained him and her.

Mrs Willis, our headteacher, spoke of all that Angel had contributed to the school and enjoyed in school

Her family asked for Revelation 21.1-6 to be read with its wonderful words about the day when death, mourning crying and pain have been abolished, and when the Lord will wipe away every tear from his people's eyes.

In my sermon I said (1) We mustn't measure her life by its length but by its depth, its joy and its love; (2)We mustn't forget that Angel is with Jesus, in his safe keeping forvever: (3) We mustn't forget the end of the story - the new heaven and new earth, the day when the Lord makes everything new and wipes the tears from our eyes: (4) We mustn't forget that the Living Lord Jesus speaks to us and invites us 'to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life.' (Revelation 1.6).

In her last days Angel told her step father she was ready to go home. Now she is in the Father's house - forever.

I left thankful for Angel's life, thankful for her faith and thankful for the promises of the Gospel - and  so thankful for all the loving care of the staff of St James's school that made school such a happy place for Angel to be.

Wednesday, 26 February 2020

Ash Wednesday

Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, and we gathered at lunchtime at St Mary Magdalen for our traditional service of Holy Communion for St Mary's, St James, and St Anne's churches, the three churches which together make up the Bermondsey Group Ministry.

A good congregation from all three churches gathered together to hear the Lent readings, to pray, to sing, to take Holy Communion and to receive the sign of the cross in ash on our foreheads, as the words 'turn from your sins and believe the good news' were said to each of us.

As begin our journey through Lent to the great celebration of our faith at Easter, the words of one of the hymns seemed particularly appropriate:

Saviour, breathe forgiveness o'er us,
All our weaknesses Thou dost know,
Thou didst tread this earth before us,
Thou didst feel its keenest woe,
Tempted, taunted, yet undaunted,
Through the desert Thou didst go.

Monday, 24 February 2020

Remembering Angel

The opening Powerpoint slide for today's service in church

Just before school broke up for half term, we heard that Angel from year 5, had died after a long illness.

Teachers broke the news to the children on that day and led their classes in a prayer of thanksgiving for Angel's life, and today all the classes from years 3 to 6 came to church first thing this morning for a service to remember Angel.

We thanked God for Angel's life and all that she brought to our school. We prayed for her family. We sang 'Kum ba yah' (come by here, Lord) and listened to a version of the Lord's My Shepherd.

We heard from Mark's Gospel how Jesus said 'let the children come to me and do not try to stop them.' Although, we were sad that Angel was no longer with us, we realised we could be confident that she was safe with Jesus forever - and that was a good note to end on as we returned to school and the coming half term.

Thursday, 20 February 2020

Lakeside view

An elegant new addition to Southwark Park, the cafe by the lake, is now open to the public:

You can see more about the new building here