Monday, 28 October 2019

Secret of a long life

We have many people of Nigerian heritage in Bermondsey and I love  this BBC video  about a doughty 104 year old who puts her long life down to native food and believing in Jesus. God bless her.

Sunday, 20 October 2019

Welcome Dag Magnus

To St Olav's Norwegian Church in London, Rotherhithe for the welcome service for Dag Magnus Hopstock Havgar, pictured with his wife, Cathrine.

Dag Magnus has been senior chaplain at the Norwegian Church in Torrevieja, south of Alicante in Spain. He has previously worked in the same role at the Norwegian Church in Miami in the US. He was a parish priest in two parishes in Norway before moving abroad. He is married to Cathrine Hopstock Havgar, also a priest. She will work 50 per cent of her time at the church in Rotherhithe. They have two grown up daughters who live in Norway. 

Welcome to Bermondsey Deanery to Dag Magnus and Cathrine. We are looking forward to getting to know you.

Saturday, 19 October 2019

St Augustine's at St James

St James hosted the annual wards ceremony today for St Augustine's College of Theology, at which Karowei, the Bishop of Woolwich, was the guest speaker.

Placement student Delorine is studying at St Augustine's as is Mandy who has just begun reader training.

St Augustine's, formerly the South East Institute for Theological Training, prepares candidates for ordination and reader ministry, from (mainly) the dioceses of Chichester, Rochester & Southwark.

It was good to host today's event at St James. Congraulations to everyone who received their awards today at the conclusion of their period of study.

Monday, 14 October 2019

St James Harvest Thanksgiving

St James Harvest Thanksgiving service this morning, included a thanksgiving for the birth of Caleb (left), the newest addition to Asha and David's family.

It was good to be reminded that we have so much to be thankful for - the harvest itself, of course - and then the wonderful gift of each other - and everything else God gives us.

Sunday, 13 October 2019

Men's breakfast

Paul and I  first got to know Jon Westall when he came to be curate of St Peter's, St Helier in 1999.

Twenty years later, Jon is the vicar of St Dunstan's in East Acton  and was the guest speaker at yesterday's men's brekafast at St James.

Jon grew up in a brethren family in Cardiff. His baptism by full immersion at the age of 14 was a powerful experience of the love of God for him personally.

A period teaching in Zimbabwe, was followed by a period teaching Physics in the UK, during which times the call to the ordained ministry became clear. Theological college followed and then our paths crossed for the first time when Jon came to be curate of St Peter's, the church of which I was then the vicar.

Speaking of some of the harder things that happen in life, Jon said that, although we often cannot fully explain them, we can be absolutely certain of the love of God on the basis of what God has already done for us and given us in the death and resurrection of his son.

Wednesday, 9 October 2019

I was a stranger

I am grateful to a correspondent for putting me on to this 1957 documentary about the Salvation Army's work in Bermondsey, a wonderful insight into old Bermondsey and Christian mission:

Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Re-imagining evangelism

To All Souls Church, Lagham Place (left), for the annual Evangelism Conference.

'Evangelism re-imagined' was the theme of this year's conference with US speaker, Dr Randy Newman.

Here's a bit about him from the website of the college where he teaches: 'Randy Newman is a teacher and writer with Connection Points, a ministry that seeks to engage people’s hearts the way Jesus did... He is the author of Questioning Evangelism, Corner Conversations, and Bringing the Gospel Home, three books that seek to help Christians articulate their faith in winsome ways.'

A really good conference with lots of practical input and ideas on the task of sharing the good news. 

School Harvest Thanksgiving

St James's School came to the church yesterday for their Harvest Thanksgiving Service, bringing gifts for the Manna Centre at London Bridge in its work with homeless people.

We sang a great selection of harvest songs (We plough the fields and scatter; Autumn days; I love the sun and I've seen the golden sunshine) and I spoke from Matthew 14 about the day when Jesus walked on the water and showed that he was in charge of everything.

In introduced the children to one of the Lord's nost remarkable creatures - the Jesus Christ Lizard, so called because it can walk (or at least, run) on water:

The lizard achieves its feat by being very light, running very fast, and by having curiously shaped feet.

When Jesus walked on the water - and when at Jesus's command, Peter did so to - God-in-the-flesh was demonstrating his Lordship and mastery over everything he had created.

He created all things and all things operate at his command. He is the Lord of the harvest and the Lord of everything.