Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Happy birthday dear Tube Station

Bermondsey Underground Station is twenty years old today and to celebrate they commissioned the children of St James's School to design some celebratory posters, which now adorn the booking hall as passengers enter and leave the station.

Well done to the all the children who contributed to the project, as we give thanks for twenty years service by the staff at our local station, and remember those, most notably Sir Simon Hughes, who had the foresight to campaign for the new Jubilee Line extension to have a station in Bermondsey.

Sunday, 15 September 2019

Welcome Delorine

Today at St James we welcomed Delorine who is with us on placement for eight weeks.

Delorine, who is a member of St John's, East Dulwich,  is in her third year of training for the ordained ministry at St Augustine's College of Theology.

All being well, she will be ordained next summer and start her curacy.

As well as being with us on Sundays, Delorine will be joining in with many of ouer midweek activties as she gets an over view of church life here in Bermondsey.

Saturday, 14 September 2019

Bermondsey Street Festival

To Bermondsey Street for the annual Bermondsey Street Festival.

The whole street was packed with people, enjoying the stalls and sideshows in the brilliant sunshine.

Our friends at St Mary Magdalen were joining in with the spirit of it all by stagin, with music, stalls, a bouncy castle and delicious Jerk Chicken.Well done to the St Mary Mags team.

And soon afterwards we arrived we were able to enjoy Boutcher School Choir, St Mary's church school, performing in the church:

Below: Bermondsey Street Festival in full swing:

Sunday, 8 September 2019

St Anne's at 150


Pictured: Graham and Mavis (St Anne's churchwardens), cutting the 150 cake made by Sarah (centre), part of today's wonderful bring and share lunch after our United Service of Thanksgiving for St Anne's 150th anniversary.

As we arrived for the service we were serenaded by the Dockland Ringers, who usually ring the bells at St James, who came to ring at St Anne's on a mobile bell rig which they also played - and allowed visitors to use - at yesterday's Community Fun Day:

Also on their way to church was someone who looked so Victorian, she could have been Queen Victoria

And then there was a clutch of past and present vicars, including (left to right), Stewart Hartley, Stan Catton, and Henry Whyte.

And then we joined together for a service full of joy and praise, giving thanks to God for the origins of St Anne's in what today would be called a bold piece of pioneer evangelism, hearing from the children of the church what they valued about St Anne's and from two more senior members, Mavis and Jackie, who shared their memories of St Anne's.

Bishop Graham Kings led us and in act of Rededication at the end, as we set out on our next 150 years, but first he preached on the story of Ruth, using this picture

The whole story of Ruth points to Christ, and the baby in the picture (Obed, the grandfather of King David), does so in particular. Graham encouraged us as Christians to see ourselves in the picture, because we are in Christ, and God is working out the purposes of his kingdom through us.


They flocked to St Anne's Churchyard yesterday for a wonderful community celebration. It was great to see so many people there, to meet so many people we knew, to get to meet new people, and to see everyone having such a great time.

Everything was free (apart from the ice creams) so the whole event was a lovely expression of the generous giving of God. Here are some of the photographic highlights of a great day:

Friday, 6 September 2019

This weekend

Back to school

St James's School was back from its holidays on Wednesday and the children poured into church for their beginning of term service.

Jacob spoke about the stories of the lost sheep and the lost coin from Luke 15. The childrem had great fun locating a lost toy sheep and a golden coin in the church and we were reminded that these stories tell us that God wants to know us personally.

It was a great start to term. Have a good year, everyone.

Sunday, 1 September 2019

1869-style at St Anne's

We begun a week of celebrations for St Anne's 150th anniversary with a service 1869-style at St Anne's today, with various members of the congregation wearing period costume.

The front of the church was arranged as it would have been in 1869. Our liturgy was taken from the Book of Common Prayer (1662) and we sang a selection of hymns that our Victorian forbears would have known well.

It was a great to start to a week that will culminate next weekend with a Community Fun Day on Saturday from 12 noon to 4pm, and a United Service of Thanksgiving and Celebration on Sunday at 10.30am at St Anne's, when we will be joined by our brothers and sisters from St James, and when Bishop Graham Kings will be our guest preacher.

After the recent mammoth tidy up of the church, standing in pride of place in the vestry, is this reminder of the St Anne's, Bermondsey Parochial Mission of 1907, following which congregation members were urged to (1) To pray to God and to read his Word thoughtfully every day; (2) To watch continually against our besetting sins; and (3) To attend God's House regularly, and to come to the Holy Communion at least once per month.

Friday, 30 August 2019

To have and to hold

Roger and Pat (left) were married in St James exactly fifty years ago today and today, on their Golden Wedding Anniversary, they came back to renew their vows to each other, and to thank God for the blessings of the past years.

Roger comes from the north of the river, but Pat was a Bermondsey girl. He dad was the caretaker of Alexis St School, now the part of St James's School.

They met at work and the have been blessed with two children and three grandchildren.

They are active in their local church where Roger is the churchwarden, and they have warm memories of St James fifty years ago - soon after it re-opened - and of the then vicar, the late Michael Whinney.

It was great to meet them, and to share in the joy of their very special celebration. May God bless them richly today and always.


A full church with six children from four families were baptised at St James on Sunday.

Congratulations to all of them, and God's blessing to each of the children as they 'fight valiantly as a disciple of Christ against sin, the world, and the devil, and remain faithful to Christ to the end of their lives.'

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Engaging with working class culture

My friend and fellow vicar, Steve Cook and I, led this seminar (left)  at Trinity House (the diocesan offices) at which Sir Simon Hughes was our guest speaker, which was attended by clergy from our diocese and across the river, and by our own Diocesan bishop, Bishop Christopher.

Connecting with working class people is a key challenge for the Church of England and it overlaps with the project to further the work of evangelism in social housing estates across the country.

Simon Hughes brought to our seminar his 32 years experience as MP with Bermondsey, during which time he engaged so successfully with the hopes, dreams, and needs of the working class people of the constituency.

He brought us great wisdom from his depth of experience us and challenged us to get out there and make contact with people - not least on the doors, which the politicians all do, and and which Simon has contantly exhorted the church to do much more than it does at present.

It was a great afternoon - more of a discussion starter, that the solution of a problem, but it gave much food for thought, and shortly Steve and I will be meeting to consider how to take this vital work of mission forward - vital if the Church of England is to truly live up to its aspiration to be the church of all the people of our nation.

Sir Simon in full flow

Wednesday, 7 August 2019

To Lambeth

For his last act of service to us and for our deanery social, Simon Lewis, ;ed a guided tour of Lambeth Palace for members of Bermondsey Deanery Synod.

Pictured above is the group in the palace's chapel.

The tour also included a visit to the extensive grounds - the palace is saod to have the largest private garden in London after Buckingham Palace - and an oportunity to hear about the work of the Anselm's Community (which Simon leads) of young people from all over the world who live at the palace.

It was a fascinating insight to the hidden interior of a London Landmark.

Wednesday, 31 July 2019

St Anne's 150th Celebrations coming up..

And if you ever wondered how our forebears worshipped when St Anne's first opened, join us for WORSHIP 1869 STYLE on Sunday 1st September at St Anne's at 10am, as we begin our week of celebrations.

Friday, 26 July 2019

Just out

Just out: our new History of St James Church, Bermondsey.

Copies are available for £2 from the Church Office or after church on Sunday.

Alternatively, you can download your own copy for free here

Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Celebrating 150 years

The banners are up and St Anne's is getting ready for its 150th anniversary celebrations, which will culminate with a Service of Thanksgiving on St Anne's Day, Sunday 8th September.

On the day before, Saturday 7th September, St Anne's will be hosting a Community Fun Day in the church grounds with a Buckaroo, coconut shies, barbeque, DJ, face painters, sideshows, ice cream van, fire engine, badge-making, bellringing and much more besides.

It will be a great weekend of rejoicing and thanksgiving for our community, which has had St Anne's at its heart for more than 150 years.

Sunday, 21 July 2019


Three church families, including our own curate, Jacob, brought their young sons for baptism this morning at St James.

Every blessing to Maxwell, Felix, and Zola as they 'fight valiantly as a disciple of Christ against sin, the world and the devil, and remain faithful to Christ to the end of (their) lives.'