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.