Wednesday, 28 April 2021

Jane on the move

Our archdeacon, Jane Steen (pictured here with her husband, Pip), is on the move to the Diocese of Norwich where she is going to be the Bishop of Lynn.

Jane has been an excellent archdeacon of Southwark and a great friend to our churches. 

We shall miss her but wish her God's richest in her new work for him.

She can hear Jane introduce herself to her new diocese in this brief video message:

Bermondsey Daily Message 247

Tuesday, 27 April 2021

Danny's Faith

 Bermondsey footballer, Danny, talks about his life, his family, and his faith

(This is a longer version of the interview that featured in our Easter video).


Monday, 26 April 2021

Tulips from Bermondsey


Tulips are blooming all over Bermondsey, thanks to the Greener Bermondsey project. 

10,000 tulip bulbs were planted across the area in November, in commemoration of the centenary of Ada Salter's Bermondey Beautification Committee (which sought to plant trees and flowers throughout the district in order to beautify the area), and now they are in full bloom.

Pictured above: the Mayor of Southwark, councillors and community leaders viewing the tulips across the road from Bermondsey Station, and remembering 'Ada 100.'

 Here are some members of the congregation planting bulbs after church in St James Churchyard.

Bermondsey Daily Message 246

Friday, 23 April 2021

St George's Day

Jacob explains how the dragon flying on the top of St James's belltower is a reminder of the dragon that England's patron saint fought in real life. 

You can see below a short video of St James's dragon made at the time of its regilding and restoration: 


Sunday, 18 April 2021


Today we had our first wedding at St James for over a year - all because of Covid. 
Nancy and Jeff's wedding had to be postponed last year because of the virus but it went ahead today, with a small socially distanced congregation of 15, all that is allowed under the regs. But it was a wonderfully joyful event even so. 
And with Nancy running the flower
shop in Jamaica Rd the flowers were pretty special.
Lots of people came to the churchyard to cheer the happy couple as they emerged from the church and, in a first for St James, Nancy and Jeff had their first dance in the church portico, cheered on by their delighted friends.
And they song they danced too? You could hardly think of anything more appropriate as they danced to 'Islands in the stream' and its repeated refrain: 'And we rely on each other, ah ha; 'Cause we love one another, ah ha.'

God bless them and all their family



Today's service

Thursday, 15 April 2021

St George's House

I never met Prince Philip but I did get to benefit from one of the organisations he founded - and to live inside Windsor Castle for three weeks. 

The Prince had an interest in theology and in in-service training for the clergy. 

 When he founded St George's House, set in the grounds of Windsor Castle, in 1966 with its brief of being 'a place where people from right across society who are in a position to make a difference might gather together to grapple with issues pertinent to our contemporary world' regular conferences and consultations for the clergy were part of the plan from the beginning. 

So for ten days in 2007 and a further week two years later, I took part in one of the St George's House residential clergy consultations. There was a large reading list in preparation for the conference. Each of us had to prepare and read a paper on a topic we had chosen, and then afterwards we each had a kind of private tutorial/debrief with one of the House's theologians. 

 Each day we had worship in St George's Chapel and on one memorable night we our own private tour of the Chapel, after the public had departed. 

 In the Dean's study we saw the large Oak table on which the severed head of King Charles the First was sown back on to his body before being interred. 

 During the second course we visited the small 'village church' in the Great Park where the Queen worships each Sunday alongside estate workers. 

 Our discussions, and especially the amazing range of speakers who came to address us, was fascinating. 

All in all it was a memorable time, and another example of the Duke's wide ranging interests and desire to make a difference.

Sunday, 11 April 2021

The Queen

 I usually watch the press preview at 10.30pm or 11.30pm on the BBC news channel. It like to see how the papers plan to cover the different stories the next day.

On the day Prince Philip died, there was one story that dominated every front page. Of all the many striking front pages, the one I liked most was the Daily Mirror's.
What I most like about their front page, in addition to the beautiful picture, is the way that they focus in on what is surely the heart of the story: an extraordinary loving partnership of more than 73 years that has now come to an end.
Constitutional monarchy brings the events of family life that matter to us all, births, deaths, and marriages, into the very heart of our common life as a nation. 
A nation mourns. A world even mourns. But at Windsor, a wife mourns, and she steps out on the next stage of her life's journey without the man who has walked beside her (or was it two paces behind?) unfailingly and reliably for so long.
So, yes, God save the Queen, but also God bless the Queen, and, most of all,  God comfort the Queen.

Today's service

Our service for the Second Sunday of Easter, including special prayers to mark the death of HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

Saturday, 10 April 2021

In memory

The bells of St James's Church are tolled ninety-nine times, one for each of the years of Prince Philip's life:

Midday prayers for the Queen and Royal Family took place at 12 noon today:



Friday, 9 April 2021

A prayer for the Queen



O Lord, our heavenly Father, high and mighty, King of kings, Lord of lords, the only Ruler of princes, who dost from thy throne behold all the dwellers upon earth: Most heartily we beseech thee with thy favour to behold our most gracious Sovereign Lady, Queen ELIZABETH; and so replenish her with the grace of thy Holy Spirit, that she may alway incline to thy will, and walk in thy way. Endue her plenteously with heavenly gifts; grant her in health and wealth long to live; strengthen her that she may vanquish and overcome all her enemies; and finally after this life she may attain everlasting joy and felicity; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.



Monday, 5 April 2021

Easter joy


With the Covid regulations now allowing outdoor singing in churchyards, we were able to conclude our Easter Day communion services in both churches by going out to sing 'Thine be the glory' and 'the greatest day in history.'

It was a wonderful moment singing at the tops of our voices: 

Death is beaten, You have rescued me
Sing it out Jesus is alive
The empty cross, the empty grave
Life eternal You have won the day
Shout it out, Jesus is alive

Saturday, 3 April 2021

Resting, waiting

The body lay in the grave. It was Saturday, the sabbath, the seventh day of the week, the day of rest.

He rested.

In the first chapter of the Bible the Lord begins the act of creation on the first day of the week. 

On the sixth day he completes his work; 'the heavens and the earth were completed in their vast array.'

On the seventh day he rests: 'God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.'

In the same way, on the sixth day,  the Friday, the Son of God completed his work: 'It is finished' he cried from the cross

Then on the seventh day, like his Father, he rested.

Holy Saturday: This is the day of resting and waiting. 

Tomorrow is the first day of  the week, and it was on the first day that the Lord Jesus Christ emerged from the tomb alive. The New Creation had begun (on a Sunday, just as before).

Friday, 2 April 2021

Good Friday


Good Friday and we had our open air service in St James's Churchyard and, for the first time since Christmas: we could sing! It was so good to be there.

Our concluding hymn was that classic, I stand amazed in the presence of Jesus the Nazarene, with its repeated refrain

How marvellous! How wonderful!
And my song shall ever be:
How marvellous! How wonderful!
Is my Saviour’s love for me!

Here from Celtic Worship is a wonderful version of that hymn:

Good Friday message

Thursday, 1 April 2021

Maundy Thursday


We do not presume
to come to this your table, merciful Lord,
trusting in our own righteousness,
but in your manifold and great mercies.
We are not worthy
so much as to gather up the crumbs under your table.
But you are the same Lord,
whose nature is always to have mercy.
Grant us, therefore, gracious Lord,
so to eat the flesh of your dear son Jesus Christ
and to drink his blood,
that we may evermore dwell in him
and he in us. Amen.