Great article in the South London Press by local historian, Graham Taylor, about George Balleine, vicar of St James from 1908 to 1938. You can read Graham's article 'Vicar of Mirth Who Died with a Smile' here
On Wednesday just at the time that children were leaving school at Alexis St there was a very serious incident just by the school which involved a young man being shot
We're very proud of St James's School and the teachers who moved quickly to herd children and parents back into school following the shooting and a car driving at speed down a narrow residential road.
Yesterday we visited every class to pray with the children and then, at playtime individual children had the opportunity to come and talk with us about their fears and concerns - quite a number did so and we talked with them and prayed with them individually and in groups.
All had seen the ambulances, police cars, the helicopter, the armed response police, many had seen the injured man, and they had all heard the gunshots.
It was good to reassure them they were safe in school. It was good to pray for all involved.
Here is Jacob's Bermondsey Daily Message where he shares what he told the children and what God's word says to us in troubling times
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.
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:
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: