Monday, 14 June 2021

Remembering Grenfell

 On the fourth anniversary of the Grenfell Tower tragedy, St James's bells were tolled 72 times, one for each person who died:


A curacy is a time of firsts. Your first funeral. Your first baptism. Your first wedding. And then, for a Bermondsey curate, your first visit to Manze's and your first pie and mash.... 

A great London tradition - pie and mash, complete with 'liquor' in Manze's famous shop in Tower Bridge Road, Bermondsey.

Friday, 11 June 2021

Come on, England

 The Kirby Estate has become famous for the amazing way they decorate their estate in support of the nation team, now in their best effort ever, a magnificent display of community action, 400 flags, taking three days to put up, proudly show their support for England. 

Tuesday, 8 June 2021

Fast forgiveness

You say something daft or even wicked when you're a teenager and ten years later it comes back to haunt you. You say you're sorry but can you be forgiven? Can the slate ever be wiped clean?

Whether our culture can do that, whether the media can do that, whether the England and Wales Cricket Board can do that for Ollie Robinson, one thing is certain and that is: God's forgiveness is fast, final, and complete - whoever you are and whatever you have done - thanks to the blood of Jesus.
As British culture becomes ever more censorious and unforgiving, the radical transforming power of God's forgiving love shines ever brighter. 
That was the point I was trying to make in our recent Bermondsey Daily Message, 'Don't get cancelled, get forgiven.' Do have a look at it if you haven't seen it:

Church assembly

Monday, 24 May 2021

Strangely warmed

On this day in 1738 a young John Wesley went 'very unwillingly' to a religious meeting in the City of london, where he heard a message that changed his life, and equipped him to be one of the greatest evangelists that our nation has ever produced.

Near that spot (left) is a memorial to that life changing encounter, the Aldersgate Flame, on which are engraved these words of Wesley describing the events of that night:

 "In the evening I went very unwillingly to a society in Aldersgate Street, where one was reading Luther's Preface to the Epistle to the Romans. About a quarter before nine, while he was describing the change which God works in the heart through faith in Christ, I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone for salvation, and an assurance was given me that he had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death."

His brother, Charles, became a prolific hymn writer, writing 6,000 hymns in all. A year after he and John had been converted, he wrote a hymn 'For the Anniversary Day of One's Conversion.

It orginally ran to 18 verses. Today we sing six of them. Here are the first two: 

 O for a thousand tongues to sing
my great Redeemer's praise,
the glories of my God and King,
the triumphs of his grace!

My gracious Master and my God,
assist me to proclaim,
to spread thro' all the earth abroad
the honours of your name.

Friday, 21 May 2021

New joyslide

A hundred years after Arthur Carr, of Peek Freans biscuit factory, gave his celebrated Joyslide to the children of Bermondsey, a new joyslide, designed by Arthur's great great grandson, Fergus, is nearly complete and is already being enjoyed by local children in St James's Churchyard.
Soil needs to be added to the planters, then the plants themselves will be added, all set for the official opening of the purpose-built slide next month.
Fergus's slide, is designed for younger children than Arthur's, as befits its location in a playground for small children, but the aim is the same: to provide joy and enjoyment to the youngsters of Bermondsey. 

And the story of the orginal slide is told in the display panels.
Thank you Fergus, and thank you to all the generous funders who have donated to this project.


The date for the official opening of the slide is  Wednesday 20th June at 2pm. It will be a great occasion. Everyone is welcome to this special event.


Wednesday, 19 May 2021

Bermondsey Weekly Message 1

The first of our new series of weekly messages filmed on location around Bermondsey: 

Tuesday, 18 May 2021

Happy birthday, Simon

Congratulations to Sir Simon Hughes, 70 years old yesterday!

God bless you, Simon, on reaching this significant milestone and thank you for all you have done and still do for our community of Bermondsey.