Friday, 18 September 2020
forgot to be modest - that was all - and thought that everything was still possible for them; which presupposed that pestilences were impossible.
Thursday, 17 September 2020
From Russell's fish stall at the Blue, to Maltby Greek under the arches, to Nancy's flower shop in Jamaica Rd, to all the things we buy and enjoy from the local supermarkets, like the Co-Op in Thurland Rd, all the benefits of God's wonderful harvest will be celebrated in our online harvest festival.
Harvest is also a time, not just for giving thanks, but also for sharing and this year, as every year, we will be collecting non-perishable foods for the work of the Manna Society at London Bridge in its work among homeless people - so our last visit was to Manna to speak to the director, Bandi Mbubi.
I first got to know Bandi in 1991 when, soon after he became a Christian, he joined the congregation at St Luke's, West Norwood, where I was the curate. It was excellent to see him again and wonderful to think of all the good work that Manna does and how our harvest gifts can make such a difference to so many people.
We've still got some filming to do down at the allotments, but it looks like our Bermondsey Community Harvest Festival is going to be a great event - look out for it here, on Facebook, and on YouTube during the first weekend of October.
Wednesday, 16 September 2020
Tuesday, 15 September 2020
Saturday, 12 September 2020
Tuesday, 8 September 2020
Covid regulations mean that assemblies have to take place in 'class bubbles' and, for the time being, whole school or even half school assemblies are a thing of the past.
So our weekly church assemblies are going online and here is the first one from Jacob - in their classes the children will have the opening words of worship we use for every assembly, will say the Lord's Prayer and will sing God's praose - but here is the talk with the Bible message for today:
Monday, 7 September 2020
Sunday, 6 September 2020
Graham's book is full of insight and interest, not least the focus it gives to the crucial London dimension of the Mayflower story, and its brilliant explanation of who the pilgrims were, what motivated them, and what they bequeathed to us in terms of the freedom of religion and the right for individuals to live according to their conscience.
It's an excellent read, full of fascinating detail. I particular enjoyed reading the names the pilgrims gave to their children: eg Humility, Resolved, Desire, Wrestling, Love (a boy), and the baby that was born on the voyage, Oceanus.
It's been twenty four Sundays since we have been together, and it was good to be back at St James and St Anne's, even if the Covid regulations made the seating arrangements and the content of the service somewhat different from usual.
Recognising not everyone would be able or comfortable to attend live worship, our online services continued as usual, and here is today's service:
Tuesday, 1 September 2020
Friday, 28 August 2020
The accompanying plaque (belows) records that as Tyndale died, he prayed 'Lord, open the king of England's eyes' and that within a year of his death, a copy of the Bible was placed in every parish church of the land by Royal command.
Friday, 7 August 2020
Thursday, 6 August 2020
Tuesday, 4 August 2020
Saturday, 1 August 2020
There are four of these Paupers' Galleries but should they be there at all?
Listen to today's message...
|Inside one of the four Paupers' Galleries|
|The identation, just below the ceiling, indicates where the Paupers' Galleries (now blocked in ) are located|
Tuesday, 28 July 2020
Sunday, 26 July 2020
Thursday, 23 July 2020
Who were the Pilgrims and what was the revolutionary idea that changed civilisation on both sides of the Atlantic? Find out in today's Bermondsey Daily Message:
Friday, 17 July 2020
The first Bermondsey Daily Message went live on Monday 23rd March.
On Saturday 21st wthe three of us filmed our first three messages: one at the Blue, one on the Lucey way estate, and one outside the Queen Victoria pub.
Soon after that further restrictions came in that meant we had to film alone (either using a camera and tripod - or for outside videos, our phones and a selfie stick) and we could only go outside for exercise walks, so that cut down the scope for videos on location, though we still tried to do them when we could.
Anyway, we have kept going, and Adrian and Penny, have joined our team, and by the grace of God, beautiful words from the beautiful book have continued to reach across Bermondsey and beyond.
Here is today's message, and as a bit of nostalgia, our very first message, Bermondsey Daily Message No. 1, delivered on a sunny, cold, and very windy March morning at the Blue:
Thursday, 16 July 2020
Today the church would have been packed with more than 500 children for St James's School end of term service to say good bye to our year 6 leavers.
Instead, year 6 came in three portions, a bubble at a time, as Paul and Penny led the service.
Still we heard their memories, still we prayed for them, and still we gave them their bibles.
It was the strangest leavers service ever but God's love is unchanging and He goes with them wherever they go. God bless our leavers.
|Thank you to Pat for the photos|
Tuesday, 14 July 2020
Sunday, 12 July 2020
Saturday, 11 July 2020
Monday, 6 July 2020
Sunday, 5 July 2020
Thursday, 2 July 2020
Saturday, 27 June 2020
Tuesday, 23 June 2020
Saturday, 20 June 2020
After thirteen weeks of Coronavirus closure, St James & St Anne's re-opened today for private prayer, in accordance with Government guidelines.
St James will be open on Saturdays and Wednesday from 11am to 1pm, and St Anne's can be accessed at any time by obtaining the key from Captian Paul Warren.
A big thank you to everyone who was worked hard to get the buildings ready again for public use.
Thursday, 18 June 2020
Sunday, 14 June 2020
This evening our bell-ringers tolled the muffled tenor bell of St James 72 times, in memory of the 72 lives lost at Grenfell exactly three years ago, as part of a London-wide commemoration. You can view an excerpt above. Thank you Dockland Ringers.
Back in 2017 I wrote on this blog about my own experience of living in a high rise block in Battersea in the mid sixties:
As a former tenant of a council tower block my thoughts and prayers have particularly been with the residents of Grenfell Tower over the past few days.
My younger brother and I rather enjoyed living in Selworthy. The views were terrific and each day we raced each other the 38 flights of stairs to the ground floor on our way to school, timing ourselves by the factory clock opposite. (There was a lift - but we were young and liked the run down the stairs).
Years later, for a theological college project, I interviewed my Dad about our time at Selworthy.
He said two things that have stuck in my mind.
First he said, 'it was like we were just a number, not a family.' Secondly he said, 'I always worried about how we would get out if there was a fire.'
To be honest I have come to loathe tower blocks with a passion. Even if you get the fire safety and maintenance right (and we have seen that even that is a big if), high rise living is disastrous for family life. It doesn't work for kids and it doesn't work for parents - who like to supervise their children when they play out.
Years later I was a vicar on a council estate where they got it right: houses in streets, with gardens. The tenants loved it and community life flourished.
That estate, St Helier, was built in the 1930s. Selworthy was built in the 1960s; it was not a step forward. The small terraced houses that were demolished to make way for Selworthy could have been replaced with something similar, or just repaired. If the local people had been asked, that is what they would have said, but no one asked them.
By all means let's make our tower blocks safer, but let's also accept that sometime in the 1960s we took a wrong turning. The St Helier estate of the 1930s shows a better way forward:"
Saturday, 13 June 2020
Friday, 12 June 2020
Statues are in the news
Apart from this statue (above), I regard all other statues to be of morally flawed individuals. In fact every single one of the statues in this great city of ours is of a sinner.
If we want to rid our streets of sinners we could get rid of all of them, but, when I see a statue, here's what goes through my mind: somebody thought there was something memorable or worthy about this person to celebrate. What was it? Do I agree?
Even if I do, I know that the individual will (like myself) be a deeply flawed individual, capable of that peculiarly human mixture of being able to do very good and very bad things.
Only of Jesus was it said that he was 'without sin' (Hebrews 4.15). And his challenge, surely relevant in the present climate was, 'let him who is without sin, cast the first stone.'
Tuesday, 9 June 2020
Here's the title page of the book that gave the people of England the worship of God in a language they could understand:
And here's what the Articles of the Church of England have to say about it:
XXIV. Of Speaking in the Congregation in such a Tongue as the people understandeth.
It is a thing plainly repugnant to the Word of God, and the
custom of the Primitive Church to have public Prayer in the Church, or
minister the Sacraments, in a tongue not understanded of the
Great stuff and the good thing is that the idea spread around the world so that people of every language could have the Bible and the prayer book in their language, too.
Today we have got to keep up the challenge, using English, yes, but also the straightforward easy-to-undertstand English that anyone can understand, because anyone and everyone needs to hear the message of God's love in a way they can understand, (that is, 'in such a Tongue as the people understandeth')
Sunday, 7 June 2020
|'Out of the mountain of despair, the stone of hope' - the national memorial to Martin Luther King Junior in Washingtonm DC|
You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet:
|The Hallelujah Statue at the Whitney Plamtation in Louisiana, depicting the joy of an enslaved man on the day of emancipation|