A whole month has gone by since Christmas, and we are well into 2014 having celebrated the Epiphany and the Baptism of Christ in January. We were very grateful that Revd Geoffrey Owen, Vicar of Christ Church and St Stephen, came to us for the Baptism of Christ to take both morning services. As I write this the Venerable Stephen Roberts, Archdeacon of Wandsworth, is preparing to come to us, swiftly followed by Canon Dr Stephen Hance, Canon Missioner at Southwark Cathedral, on February 2 for the Presentation of Christ in the Temple or Candlemas. Then on February 23 we shall welcome Revd Mark Steadman, the Bishop of Southwark’s Chaplain.
Looking forward to our Lent programme, I would like to set out what we are offering this year:
- 1. Saturday 1 March– a pre-Lent Quiet Day at St Michael’s Convent, Ham Common, from 10 am to 4 pm. It will be led by Bishop Richard Harries, former Bishop of Oxford and member of the House of Lords. The day will focus on why we have a season of Lent and on preparing ourselves for it. A sign-up sheet will be on the noticeboard this week. There are 40 places, and you will need to bring a packed lunch with you. Please join us for a quiet time of reflection and preparation.
- Lent Groups– these will start straight after Ash Wednesday (March 5). The five week course we are doing this year is called “Build on the Rock – Faith, Doubt and Jesus”. It is a York Course (we have done them before) and each group will listen to a CD with commentaries from leading Christians on various aspects of life and faith, before settling down to discussion. We have a wide selection of groups for you to attend:
- Sundays at 9.30 am in the Church Crypt (from March 9)
- Mondays at 8 pm at 9 Edna Street (from March 10)
- Tuesdays at 8 pm at 55 Rowena Crescent (from March 11)
- Wednesdays at 8 pm at 5 Beechmore Road (from March 12)
- Thursdays at 1.20 pm in the Church Vestry (this group will start on March 6.
- A sign-up sheet will appear on the notice board shortly, so that you can express your preference.
- Sunday Evening Lent Talks– on the five Sundays of Lent we are offering a series of talks following a short service of Evening Prayer at 6.30 pm. The theme of the talks is “Rivers of Life – Streams of Anglican Spirituality”. You may be aware that Anglicanism (originating in the Church of England) has a very wide spectrum of spirituality, ranging from Anglo-Catholic to Pentecostal/Charismatic with a lot in between. We have invited five people to come and talk to us about their spirituality streams, followed by Q and A and prayer. At the moment this is still a work in progress, with three out of the five slots covered. I will keep you up to date with respect to the other two. You may like to think about where St Mary’s fits into the spectrum !
Finally, I shall be away from Thursday 30 January to Thursday 6 February inclusive. If you wish to raise any urgent issues, please contact one of the Churchwardens or our Administrator.