Monday, 24 May 2021

Strangely warmed

On this day in 1738 a young John Wesley went 'very unwillingly' to a religious meeting in the City of london, where he heard a message that changed his life, and equipped him to be one of the greatest evangelists that our nation has ever produced.

Near that spot (left) is a memorial to that life changing encounter, the Aldersgate Flame, on which are engraved these words of Wesley describing the events of that night:

 "In the evening I went very unwillingly to a society in Aldersgate Street, where one was reading Luther's Preface to the Epistle to the Romans. About a quarter before nine, while he was describing the change which God works in the heart through faith in Christ, I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone for salvation, and an assurance was given me that he had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death."

His brother, Charles, became a prolific hymn writer, writing 6,000 hymns in all. A year after he and John had been converted, he wrote a hymn 'For the Anniversary Day of One's Conversion.

It orginally ran to 18 verses. Today we sing six of them. Here are the first two: 

 O for a thousand tongues to sing
my great Redeemer's praise,
the glories of my God and King,
the triumphs of his grace!

My gracious Master and my God,
assist me to proclaim,
to spread thro' all the earth abroad
the honours of your name.

Friday, 21 May 2021

New joyslide

A hundred years after Arthur Carr, of Peek Freans biscuit factory, gave his celebrated Joyslide to the children of Bermondsey, a new joyslide, designed by Arthur's great great grandson, Fergus, is nearly complete and is already being enjoyed by local children in St James's Churchyard.
Soil needs to be added to the planters, then the plants themselves will be added, all set for the official opening of the purpose-built slide next month.
Fergus's slide, is designed for younger children than Arthur's, as befits its location in a playground for small children, but the aim is the same: to provide joy and enjoyment to the youngsters of Bermondsey. 

And the story of the orginal slide is told in the display panels.
Thank you Fergus, and thank you to all the generous funders who have donated to this project.


The date for the official opening of the slide is  Wednesday 20th June at 2pm. It will be a great occasion. Everyone is welcome to this special event.


Wednesday, 19 May 2021

Bermondsey Weekly Message 1

The first of our new series of weekly messages filmed on location around Bermondsey: 

Tuesday, 18 May 2021

Happy birthday, Simon

Congratulations to Sir Simon Hughes, 70 years old yesterday!

God bless you, Simon, on reaching this significant milestone and thank you for all you have done and still do for our community of Bermondsey.

Friday, 14 May 2021

Bermondsey Daily Message 254

This is our last ever Bermondsey Daily Message, but look out for a new series, Bermondsey Weekly Message, starting on Wednesday and going out each Wednesday.


Thursday, 13 May 2021

Blessed assurance

I was honoured to be asked by Bishop Christopher to represent him at the funeral of Folajimi Olubunmi-Adewole, which was held today at the family's church in Camberwell, Bestway Christian Centre.

Bishop Christopher was himself representing the Archbishop of Canterbury a service for the new archbishop in Jerusalem., and so could not be there in person.

Folajimi's service gave eloquent testimony to the kindliness, liveliness and likeability of a young man, who gave his life in an attempt to save the life of a stranger.

In a service full of Scripture,  Gospel and testimony we heard of Jimi's love of his family, his sporting prowess, and of the day he commited his life to Christ. I had the opportunity to lead in prayer and then, later, was very moved to be invited to give the final blessing at the graveside.

The service - both in church and at the graveside - was full of the hope of heaven. 

Standing at the head of the grave with the other pastors, having been reminded once more of Jimi's own personal commitment to Christ and Lord and Saviour, we sang the hymn 'Blessed assurance'  with its  wonderful refrain: This is my story,  this is my song; Praising my Saviour all the day long

It was a moment I shall never forget.

Saturday, 8 May 2021

Ursula departs

 This is the huge crane that has arrived at Chambers Wharf to winch the 1300 tonne Tunnel Boring Machine on a barge for transportation to Rotterdam.

And here from the Port of London Authority's Twitter feed is the scene last night as Ursula is lifted by 'Matador 3'

Tuesday, 4 May 2021

Ursula arrives in Bermondsey


Ursula has just arrived in Bermondsey.

Ursula weighs 1300 tonnes is a Tunnel Boring Machine that has been boring a tunnel from Battersea, past the House of Parliament and under Tower Bridge, to Chambers Wharf in Bermondsey as part of the Thames Tideway project which is producing a new super sewer to dramatically improve water quality in the tidal Thames.

Ursula is named after cryobiologist at King’s College Hospital in who discovered the use of glycerol to protect human red blood cells during freezing.

Ursula will soon be hoisted onto a barge and towed down the river on her way to Rotterdam.

Church assembly

 Snakes for dinner! This week's church assembly for the children of St James's School:

Saturday, 1 May 2021

Local hero


Just over a week ago, twenty-year old Folajimi Olubunmi-Adewole (Jimi), from Bermondsey's Neckinger Estate lost his life whilst trying to rescue a woman who had fallen into the river close to London Bridge.
Yesterday evening hundreds gathered in Spa Gardens for a vigil in his memory and the family's pastor read these words of Jesus from John's Gospel: 'My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command.'

Jimi was a local boy. a member of the Salmon Youth Centre, and from a family of deep faith. Our hearts go out to his parents and his brother in their great loss and we pray for them.