Tuesday, 30 March 2021

Singing returns

Until this week the Government Covid guidelines have prevented congregations from singing during acts of worship, but the good news is that from this week congregational singing is allowed at outdoor events.

This means that on Good Friday at our open air service in St James’s Churchyard at 11am we will all be able to sing the lovely hymns and songs we have prepared for this occasion. Do come and join in as we celebrate the good news of God’s love and make a joyful noise in the churchyard.

Then on Easter Sunday, in both churches, we will move outside after communion so that we can all sing together our concluding Easter songs of joy and praise.

 As the psalmist says: ‘O come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.


The last time outdoor singing was allowed was for Christmas


Tuesday, 23 March 2021

Day of reflection

Today, the anniversary of the first national lockdown, us being observed as a national Day of Reflection to commemorate those who have died of Covid-19, to remember all who have suffered, and to give thanks for all who have worked to alleviate the terible effects of this disease.

Here  are some prayers for the day produced by Church Society:

For those grieving in isolation for the death of loved ones
Gracious Heavenly Father,
who knows our grief is the price we pay for love:
give gospel comfort and consolation
to those who feel the pain of bereavement
and the anguish of separation at this time of global crisis;
and reminded as we are of the fleeting frailty of this life,
teach each one of us to number our days aright,
that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
For we ask in the name of your Son,
who was cut off from the land of the living
to rescue us from the present evil age,

For those dying alone during this time
Sovereign Lord, our rock and our salvation,
who has promised never to leave or forsake those who put their trust in you:
hear the feeble sighs and groaning
of those now fighting their final battle without their loved ones by their side;
by your Spirit, grant them grace and strength to endure what they must,
and having put their faith in Christ,
may their eyes see at last the Redeemer
for whom our hearts have always yearned,
so that along with all those who love the Lord Jesus with an undying love, they may receive the crown of righteousness from him
on the day we meet again,

For those diagnosed with COVID-19
Lord Jesus,
who offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears
to the one who could save him from death,
and was heard because of his reverent submission:
have mercy on ____________(insert names)
(and) all those who live in the shadow of this terrible virus,
that they may have strength for the struggle and hope for the future;
And in the midst of the heat and urgency of their condition
grant their thirsty souls true repentance for their sins,
that they may know forgiveness and eternal life in you,

Collect for the present time
Heavenly Father,
our ever-present help in trouble,
our fortress and our God:
calm the anxious fears of all who turn to you;
give strength and healing to those who are sick,
and courage and skill to those who care for them;
grant wisdom and clarity to those in authority;
and humble us all to call upon you
that we may be saved not only in this life,
but also for that which is to come,
through Jesus Christ our Lord,

23rd March is also the anniversary of our first Bermondsey Daily Message. Since then there have been a further 230 BDMs, but here is the first one:

Sunday, 14 March 2021

On Clapham Common


When I was a child, Clapham Common was where you went to see the circus. I well remember the circus procession, clowns, marching bands and an elephant (was I just imagining the elephant?) passing down Battersea Rise at the end of our road on its way to the Common.

But, now there are darker associations with that glorious expanse of common land so beloved of south Londoners: an act of horrific violence that has shocked a nation.
We tell ourselves, rightly, that such crimes are astonishingly rare but, here is the terrible truth: acts of violence or sexual harassment against women are not rare, and overwhelming they are carried out by men.
Today is Mother's Day and I am so thankful for my own mother, and my marvellous wife, the mother of our two wonderul daughters, but it is precisely as we think of the women we love that we realise the awfulness of what has happened to Sarah Everard and to many, many other women in so many ways.
It shouldn't be like this.
We have a problem and by 'we' I mean us men. We have a problem about how we educate our boys, the images they see, the attitudes and behaviours that are modelled to them that they then emulate. We have a problem about how fathers father and how boyfriends and husbands treat their partners. Its about love. Its about respect. Its about faithfulness, sacrifice, and self-forgetfulness.
It's a deeper problem than something education alone can deal with. That's why Christians believe in the radical inner change in our hearts that can be effected by the Holy Spirit alone.
The horrible crime that has occurred this week is part of a long term problem that isn't just going to go away. 
What we really mustn't do now is to put our heads in the sand and move on to the next item that grabs the headlines.
This is one of those moments when as a nation we need to pray: Lord, have mercy upon us.

Gift for mums

 Thank you Pat for making up the posies with the flowers donated by Nancy and Jeff, soon to be married at St James, and adding a tag to each posy with this verse from 1 Corinthians: 'And now these three remain; faith, hope, love. But the greatest of these is love.' 

 A lovely gift for mums on Mothering Sunday.

Saturday, 6 March 2021

Upgraded, repainted

 You can see what a great job Danny and Jack have done with the church doors. Along with the railings and the lampstands.the doors have all been repainted, just in time for St James's to re-open for worship this Sunday.

Work in progress

Thank you Danny & Jack from all of us. 

Job done