Monday, 20 June 2022

Sunday catch up

Bermondsey mural

I love this new mural celebrating the history of Bermondsey - the dockers and the docks, Peek Freans biscuit factory, the invention of the tinned can and tinned food, Millwall, market traders, Ada Salter beautifying with flowers, the Joyslide and much more besides.

Sunday, 19 June 2022

Estates ministry

This print was made and given to me by my fellow area dean, Jonathan Roberts, in connection with my role as an advocate for estates ministry in our diocese. 

It shows five twenty-storey GLC tower blocks from his parish which were replicated at several points around London in the mid 1960s, including Camberwell, Rotherhithe, Clapham and Battersea. 
It is with the two Battersea towers that I have the closest connection as we were one of the first families to move into Selworthy House (left), overlooking the Thames at Battersea, where we lived on the nineteenth floor.
I am touched by Jonathan's gift, by its representation of those distinctive blocks by Colin Lucas, and by the words from the psalm 'God keep the city.'
(Below: the towers of the Wyndham and Comber estates in Jonathan's Camberwell parish)


Sunday, 12 June 2022

Baptised today

 Catherine and Naomi have recently completed our Simply Christianity course and today were baptised by Paul along with Naomi's baby daughter. Congratulations and blessings to all three

Sunday, 5 June 2022

Jubilee celebrations

(Click on photo to see enlarged version)
Wonderful to toast Her Majesty the Queen after our Jubilee Thanksgiving Service today.
The toast was proposed by our very own knight of the realm, Simon Hughes, and was followed by a resounding three cheers for Her Majesty. 
Simon also paid tribute to retiring councillor, Eliza Mann, and then at the end of Jubilee Banquet (with tons and tons of food) it was time to cut the Jubilee Cake (thanks Abiola)



A Sermon for the Queen's Platinum Jubilee


There she was:  a tiny figure, a little frail, holding on to her walking stick, emerging on to the balcony at Buckingham Palace.

 Ruth and I were very privileged to be there on Thursday. It was a scene that we shall never forget.

 The crowds cheered. Countless flags waved creating a sea of red, white and blue that stretched the length of the Mall. It was a profoundly moving moment.

 Each year on the anniversary of Her Majesty’s accession to the throne the Church of England prays that that the Sovereign will ‘always possess the hearts of her people.’

 It was plain as I stood on the Mall among that vast throng of people that the Accession Day prayer had been well and truly answered. There was no doubt Queen Elizabeth the Second possessed the hearts of her people.

 Here she was, 96 years old, still reigning after seventy years of service, our good and glorious Queen, the centre of the love and affection of her people, having abundantly kept the promise that she made an astonishing seventy-five years ago at the age of 21 when she said:

I declare before you all that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service...

 For me that attitude of service was summed up by that scene in St George’s Chapel, Windsor, where the Queen sat quite alone, wearing a face mask, in a near deserted chapel at the funeral of her beloved husband, Prince Philip.

No for her the special treatment she could easily have requested. Instead

she opted to live under the same restrictions that all her subjects were experiencing as a result of the pandemic. She acted in solidarity with her people. She was one of us, sharing in what we were all facing at this time of national crisis, as her parents did at the time of the Second World War.

 In our second reading Jesus says: ‘the greatest one among you must be like the youngest, and the leader must be like the servant’ and he said to the disciples ‘I am among you as one who serves.’

 Jesus showed a different way of being a leader. By being a servant. The Lord of Lords and King of Kings, the eternal Son of God, declared ‘I have come not to be served but to serve and to give my life as a ransom for many.’

 He was the true servant king who gave his life for his people.

Surely our nation, surely the Commonwealth, has been blessed to have as its head someone who follows her master, the Lord Jesus Christ, in having that attitude of a servant.

On numerous occasions the Queen has testified to her own deeply held Christian faith that has strengthened her, sustained her, and guided her through her life.

 In her 2014 Christmas broadcast she told the nation

 For me, the life of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace….. is an inspiration and an anchor in my life. A role model of reconciliation and forgiveness

And the following year she said

 Billions of people follow Christ’s teaching and find in him the guiding light for their lives

 And then she added ‘I am one of them...”

 Thank God for our servant queen, Queen Elizabeth.

 Thank God for all that she has given to this nation. Thank God for the Queen’s constant faith in Christ and her willingness publicly to testify that faith.

 In the many decisions she must make, in all the responsibilities she bears, may it be that God’s Spirit inspires her and his wisdom guide her.

 May it be that the wisdom described in our first reading will be the Queen’s guiding light in her life, and may it be ours, too:

“I am Wisdom, I am better than jewels; nothing you want can compare with me.
I am Wisdom, and I have insight; I have knowledge and sound judgment

 I help kings to govern and rulers to make good laws.
Every ruler on earth governs with my help,    officials and nobles alike.

God save the Queen. Long live our noble Queen.  

Let us pray


Thursday, 2 June 2022

A new start for Jacob

 It was very special to be at St Brigid's Church, Mallusk, for Jacob's licensing as priest-in-charge and to be invited to preach by the Bishop of Connor.

Here is a picture of the new priest in charge leading the prayers

And here are some pictures of the clergy and readers who were attending, along with George, the Bishop of Connor