Climate Emergency Meeting

A small group of parishioners from St Anne’s Church Kew met on Friday June 7th with their MP, Zac Goldsmith, to follow up a letter signed by over 100 constituents, expressing their concerns about climate change. The letter addressed climate change in the context of Brexit, air pollution and flooding.

We prepared for the meeting with the help of Jo Musker-Sherwood, director of the charity Hope for the Future, who came with us. Hope for the Future helps individuals and groups work with their MP on the issue of climate change.

Zac Goldsmith was clear that the impact on the natural environment of dependence on fossil fuels and consequential global warming constitutes an emergency. He personally is committed to doing all he can in Parliament to make this the political priority for our times. To this end, he is promoting pressure for action with like-minded MPs across all parties. He reminded us that an MP’s postbag reflects the concern that people have about a particular issue. So it is always worth while writing about climate change concerns to one’s MP.

Background Notes on the Challenge of Affluence Lecture

Dr Rowan Williams

We are honoured to welcome as our speaker on Friday, 12 July Dr Rowan Williams, Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge and Archbishop of Canterbury from 2002 to 2012. Rowan Williams is a poet, theologian and author. His numerous academic and popular books include Christ: The Heart of Creation (Bloomsbury 2018) and God with Us: the Meaning of the Cross and Resurrection: Then and Now (SPCK 2017).

The Reverend Conrad Noel

Over the weekend of Friday 12 – Sunday 14 July, the congregation of St Anne’s Church Kew Green are taking the opportunity to remember the Reverend Conrad Noel, who was born 150 years ago in a house on Kew Green on 12 July 1869. Conrad Noel is a remarkable figure in Anglican history, although not often remembered today. He was a disciple of F D Maurice, the Christian socialist theologian and philosopher and firmly believed that the social message of Christianity is found throughout the bible and is essential to full understanding of the Church’s teaching and sacraments. His family were minor aristocrats and his father Roden Noel a poet. In 1910, aged 41 and married with one daughter, Conrad Noel became the vicar of the very beautiful church of St John the Baptist, Thaxted in north west Essex. He remained there until his death on 22 July 1942.

During his time in Thaxted, he ‘revolutionised’ the church there in a number of ways. He believed passionately in beauty, in order and in quality. He altered the church interior to make it brighter and lighter. He had the entire congregation process for the great festivals of the church with banners and lights and flowers. His wife Miriam was a great enthusiast for English folk song and dance, and together they introduced this as a parish activity and actively contributed to the revival of Morris dancing. Conrad Noel loved music and was a friend of Gustav Holst (see next paragraph). He preached incessantly about bringing the Kingdom of God to fruition in our own society.

His absolute conviction that we are all equally children of God and equally loved by God led him to hold views – that he acted upon – that were regarded as very controversial. He was intensely anti-imperialistic and actively supported the movements for independence in Ireland and in India. He was not a pacifist. In 1914, he hung the flags of all the allies in Thaxted church and included the red flag of the international and later of Sinn Fein. His son-in-law, the Reverend Jack Putterill, said of him, in a talk for the BBC series ‘Men of Vision’ in 1962 that he had

‘many friends and admirers among whom was the great Archbishop Temple. But he also encountered very bitter opposition and hostility… By nature he was the kindliest of men, with his brown eyes and curly hair and determined chin; with a rare wit and humour. He had great personal charm and the gift of drawing everyone into his own immediate interests and enthusiasms.’

Gustav Holst, the composer, and his wife Isobel rented a cottage in Thaxted in 1914. He and Conrad Noel struck up a close friendship and Holst was closely involved with the musical life of Thaxted Church. From 1916-1918, he and Noel organised a four-day musical festival at Whitsun to lighten the wartime gloom. Holst was Director of Music at St Paul’s Girls’ School from 1905 until his death in 1934 – hence we are complimenting Dr Williams’ lecture with an all Holst concert on Sunday, 14 July, at 15.30 by a choir of accomplished singers from the school.

The Challenge of Affluence

A background paper to July 12 lecture by Dr Rowan Williams Note: for definitions of poverty, please see the end of this note. (Footnote references in bold parenthesis)

1. St Anne’s Church, Kew is one of the wealthiest parishes in England. (1) The parish (population just over 5,000) has very low rates of poverty in all age groups: 5% child poverty, 4% working age poverty, and 7% pensioner  overty. 6% of the parish population are without academic, vocational or professional qualifications. This affluence contrasts sharply with the  inhabitants of a parish like St Ann’s, South Tottenham (population 19,000), with 36% child poverty, 24% working age poverty and 40% pensioner poverty. 23% of the population there are without educational qualifications. (2)

2. In London, little percentage change has occurred in 120 years. Charles Booth, who is Christopher Stephens’ great grandfather, did not believe the  extent of poverty in London in the 1890s and funded an extensive survey. He found that 30% of Londoners were in poverty, due to low wages, lack of employment, sickness and disability. To-day, although there has been a massive improvement in living conditions and life expectation, the figure is 27%. (3) Low wages and high housing costs are largely the reason.

3. In the UK, child poverty has been rising since 2011/12. 4.1 million children now live in poverty, a rise of 500,000 in the last five years. The vast majority of this rise has taken place in working families. Four million workers are in poverty – a rise of more than half a million over five years. Strikingly, in-work poverty has been rising even faster than employment, driven almost entirely by increasing poverty among working parents. (4) In May this year, the United Nations Human Rights Council issued a report on poverty in the UK, following a visit in November last year by their special rapporteur. He concluded:

“The United Kingdom is the world’s fifth largest economy … Policies of austerity introduced in 2010 continue largely unabated, despite the tragic social consequences. Food banks have proliferated; homelessness and rough sleeping have increased greatly; tens of thousands of poor families must live in accommodation far from their schools, jobs and community networks; life expectancy is falling for certain groups; and the legal aid system has been decimated. The social safety net has been badly damaged by drastic cuts to local authorities’ budgets, which have eliminated many social services, reduced policing services, closed libraries in record numbers, shrunk community and youth centres and sold off public spaces and buildings. The bottom line is that much of the glue that has held British society together since the Second World War has been deliberately removed and replaced with a harsh and uncaring ethos. A booming economy, high employment and a budget surplus have not reversed austerity, a policy pursued more as an ideological than an economic agenda…”

The Government has contested this report and the rapporteur has replied that

“there is a striking and almost complete disconnect between the picture painted by the Government … and what people across the country told the Special Rapporteur. ” (5)

4. Inequality indicates the disparities between better-off and worse-off members of the population in terms of income and wealth as well as a host of other, often connected, disparities relating to gender, age, social background, health, education and so on. In terms of income inequality, there has been a marked increase since 1979. Between 1979 and 2012, 10% of overall income growth went to the bottom 50% of households; 40% of the total went to the richest 10%. Although taxes and benefits modified this by supporting households on the lowest incomes, the UK remains among the most unequal of western European countries. Inequalities in wealth are  double those of income. Half of the UK’s wealth is owned by 10% of the population. (6) It is now ten years since Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett published their findings that inequality damages social relationships –the more unequal a society, the more social problems there will be. (7) Economic advantage and disadvantage are reinforced across the life cycle, often passing on to the next generation. (8)

5. Global poverty. Our collection at Dr Williams’ lecture will be, at his choice, for Christian Aid, the churches’ charity to help the most
disadvantaged people in our world.

“In 2015, 10 percent of the world’s population (736 million people) lived on less than US$1.90 a day, compared to nearly 36 percent (1.85bn) in 1990…While poverty rates have declined in all regions, progress has been uneven… More than half of the extreme poor live in Sub-Saharan Africa. In fact, the number of poor in the region increased by 9 million, with 413 million people living on less than US$1.90 a day in 2015, more than all the other regions combined. If the trend continues, by 2030, nearly 9 out of 10 extreme poor will be in Sub-Saharan Africa.”

“The work to end extreme poverty is far from over, and many challenges remain. It is becoming even more difficult to reach those remaining in extreme poverty, who often live in fragile countries and remote areas. Access to good schools, health care, electricity, safe water, and other critical services remains elusive for many people, often determined by socioeconomic status, gender, ethnicity, and geography. The multidimensional view – wherein other aspects such as education, access to basic utilities, health care, and security are included – reveals a world in which poverty is a much broader, more entrenched problem.” (9)

6. Christian attitudes to poverty. The Church Urban Fund exists to help people living in some of the poorest communities. In an analysis of how
clergy and churchgoers understand poverty, the Fund reported:

“Christian theology provides a distinctive perspective on poverty,including … a strong emphasis on a personal and collective responsibility to help those in poverty … clergy understand poverty and inequality very differently to their congregations… The majority of church goers do not recognise the extent of poverty in this country and only a small minority attributes poverty to social injustice.” (10)

7. Defining poverty. Working age poverty is the proportion of working-age adults who experience income deprivation. This includes those in receipt of Job Seeker’s Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, Incapacity Benefit, Severe Disablement Allowance and Carer’s Allowance. A similar basis is used for calculating child and pensioner poverty. (11)

Current weekly benefit rates (12)

  • Carer’s Allowance £66-15
  • Employment and Support Allowance, Job Seeker’s Allowance £73-10
  • Incapacity Benefit (long term) £112-25
  • Severe Disablement Allowance £79-50

Notes

1 Church Urban Fund, http://www2.cuf.org.uk/parish/370320
2 Church Urban Fund, http://www2.cuf.org.uk/parish/230387#data
3 Trust for London (2017) London’s Poverty Profile.
4 Joseph Rowntree Foundation (2018) UK Poverty 2018
5 United Nations General Assembly Human Rights Council (2019) Visit to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. A?HRC/41/39/Add.1/E.pdf
6 Institute for Public Policy Research (2017) Time for change. Interim report of the IPPR Commission on Economic Justice.
7 R.Wilkinson and K. Pickett (2009) The Spirit Level: why more equal societies always do better. Allen Lane.
8 Report of the National Equality Panel (2010) An anatomy of economic inequality in the UK. Summary
9 https://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/poverty/overview
10 Church Urban Fund (2012) Bias to the poor? Christian attitudes to poverty in this country
Note by Claudine McCreadie, 31 May 2019. All web sites were accessed in the previous week.
11 Church Urban Fund http://www2.cuf.org.uk/node/616446
12 Department of Work and Pensions (2019) Benefit and pension rates 2019-2020.

Note by Claudine McCreadie, 31 May 2019. All web sites were accessed in the previous week.

Statement of intent in relation to climate justice

Statement of intent in relation to climate justice.

“We are a Christ-centred, faithful, outward looking, inclusive Church seeking not only to serve our local church but also to address, through the pursuit of Social Justice and Peace, the challenges that face the wider community”.  

(2020 Vision – A Mission Worth Living)

 The fifth mark of Mission of Southwark Diocese it ‘to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth.’  The Diocesan Synod adopted a policy for ‘Taking Care of God’s creation’in 2013.  It begins as follows:

“We recognise the biblical vision that the environment, in which all humanity and all other creatures live:

  • comes to us as a gift from God the Father;
  • is held together in Christ the Redeemer;
  • and is given life by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

As part of this commitment, we at St Anne’s, Kew adopt the following statement of intent:

  • To make care for God’s creation an integral part of our worship, life and work;
  • To celebrate the gift of creation, especially at Creation Time (Sundays in September);
  • To review annually progress in reducing our carbon footprint;
  • To work where possible in cooperation with others in churches and civil society to strive for a more just and sustainable world;
  • To recognise the rights of all people including future generations, and to ensure the responsible use and sharing of the rich resources of God’s earth.

In pursuit of this, we propose the following areas as part of an action plan for future sustainable living by our Church:

  • Liturgy and teaching;
  • Buildings and churchyard;
  • Lifestyle

Agreed by St Anne’s PCC in 2018, drawing on Southwark Diocese, Taking care of God’s creation, 2013.


Our action plan includes the following:

LITURGY AND TEACHING

  1. Celebration of Creation time in September and Harvest at Lammastide (1stAugust)
  2. Junior church includes work on Creation and caring for God’s earth
  3. An annual event/occasion – lecture, café evening, visit – on climate justice

BUILDINGS and CHURCHYARD

  1. BREEAM assessment for sustainable building design
  2. Measurement of energy use
  3. Set energy use targets
  4. Calculation of carbon footprint
  5. Offset carbon footprint
  6. Use ‘green’ energy supplier eg Ecotricity; Bulb
  7. New boiler is ‘best’ for energy efficiency
  8. Use LED bulbs
  9. Floodlighting using LED bulbs
  10. Measurement of water use (install meter)
  11. Low volume toilet cisterns
  12. Investigation of solar panels on the church roof (cf St James’ Piccadilly)

LIFESTYLE

  1. Visible notices about all the environmental measures that are used by the Church to conserve energy and to treat the environment gently
  2. Recycled paper, including toilet paper
  3. Environmentally friendly cleaning products
  4. No use of disposable plates, cutlery, tablecloths, cups etc
  5. Recycling of all paper, glass, tins etc
  6. Wherever possible, fair trade products are used e.g. tea, coffee, flowers, biscuits
  7. Church funds are ethically invested e.g. current account and/or investment
  8. Participate in Toilet Twinning: https://www.toilettwinning.org/

Agreed by St Anne’s Church PCC in 2018.

SOCIAL JUSTICE FORUM, final report. February 2019

  1. The Social Justice Forum: history and purpose.

The first meeting of the Social Justice Forum was held in December 2015, following consultation and preparation.  By social justice, we understand how all that we have been given is from God and is shared between us (the social element), and how fair or unfair these shares are (the justice element).  At a preliminary meeting in November 2015, it was agreed that at the end of the three years, we would need to be able to demonstrate that something at St Anne’s has changed as a result of the initiative.  Ideally, this would be a pervasive awareness in the congregation that social justice is fundamental to Christian faith, not an add-on, or something political that the church must avoid.

  1. The meetings

The Social Justice Forum met four times each year.  Each meeting followed a very similar pattern, consisting very roughly of an opening liturgy, 30 minutes of study, 20 minutes of silent prayer and reflection, and an hour of deciding on possible actions that we might take.   A ‘hand-out’ included factual material on the topic, a short liturgy, a biblical passage, prayers and reflections, suggestions for action, and references.

3. Action and output as a result of Forum meetings

a. Contact was established successfully with the following organisations:

i. Breaking Barriers, a charity whose aim is to establish refugees in employment for which they prior experience and skills. Two members of St Anne’s are involved as volunteers.

ii. CARAS (Community Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers), a Tooting based charity that provides help and support to refugees and asylum seekers in South London. We had talks from two of the trustees at our February 2016 meeting and at the 2016 Harvest Supper and a collection for them at the 2016 Harvest Services (over £1000 with gift aid).  Proceeds from the 2016 Advent Fair were also given to CARAS.  We held a Question/Answer session in Christian Aid week in May 2017 with, their Chief Executive.  They are now, jointly with the charity Safe Passage, one of our chosen charities receiving a share of St Anne’s charitable giving

iii. The Chickpea Sisters is a social enterprise in catering, set up under the auspices of CARAS.  After providing our Harvest supper in September 2016, they catered for a concert in October 2017 and gave a cookery demonstration in November 2017 for ten people locally.

iv. Refugees Welcome in Richmond is a group, working with Richmond Borough, that is dedicated to finding housing for fifty households under the government’s scheme to bring in 20,000 Syrian refugees from refugee camps. Contact is minimal but we are in touch with them through Churches Together in Kew.

v. Hope for the Future. This group links to our concern about Climate Justice.  It is a small organisation linked to the Anglican mission charity, USPG.  The Director, spoke at our meeting in October 2018 and advised on action for climate justice in the form of making contact with our MP.

b. Written materials

i. The handouts as well as a note on each meeting are on the St Anne’s web site.

ii. Refugeessignposting material was displayed for the first six months of 2016, giving a wide range of material about the different ways in which we can all help refugees. A shorter guide to helping was compiled from this, was distributed at the harvest services in 2016 and an updated version is on the St Anne’s web site and was on the church notice board.

iii. Refugees: a prayer card for refugees has been in all the pews since March 2017.

iv. RefugeesDeclaration of fellowship. We worked on a statement of positive commitment toward refugees in February 2017 and decided to subscribe to the Declaration signed by the Bishop of Southwark and the Mayor of London in December 2016.   This Declaration of Fellowship has been on the St Anne’s web site, since March 2017.  At the time of writing, 26 people have signed.

v. Communication with M and M committee and PCC. We wrote reports on Years 1 and 2 of the Forum in November 2016 and October 2017 and a two page submission drawing on the experience of the Social Justice Forum for Vision 2020: Mission Worth Living.

vi. Climate Justice:Carbon Fast in Lent. Following a suggestion from the October 2017 meeting, St Anne’s adopted a Carbon Fast for Lent in 2018.

vii. Climate Justice: Declaration of Intent by St Anne’s Church.   Following, and based on an activity (EcoChurch) at the February 2018 meeting, that addresses all aspects of the life of the church in the context of climate justice, we drew up a draft Declaration of Intent that sets out the principles and actions that we will take as a church in response to climate change and the issues of climate justice.  This is currently under consideration by the PCC

c. Talks

i. Refugees: A trustee of CARAS (see above), spoke at our meeting in February 2016.]

ii. Asylum seekers: A senior judge in the Immigration and Asylum Chamber spoke on 22 March 2017 on Refugees and the Law.   25 people came.

iii. Climate justice.  We organised a series of three talks on Climate Change and Climate Justice in 2018. We tried to do this in conjunction with Churches Together in Kew.  The first two talks were held at the Barn Church and the third at St Anne’s.

First talk: March 2018 (Lent).

Climate and Gospel: the science of climate change and Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si: on care for our common home.   Bishop David Atkinson and Father Nicholas King, SJ. A collection for Operation Noah (charity chosen by Bishop Atkinson) raised £250.

Second talk: May 2018 (Christian Aid Week).

Climate change and human development: sustainable life styles and global action.  Ian Christie, University of Surrey, and David Nussbaum, CEO, The Elders.  A collection for Christian Aid raised £275.

Third talk: October 2018.

Climate change: what can the church learn from the work of Kew Gardens?  Richard Deverell, Director, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and Brother Sam, Society of Saint Francis.  A collection for A Rocha (charity chosen by the speakers) raised £400

iv. Climate justice. Libby Insall, volunteer at Kew Gardens, spoke at St Anne’s in March 2018 on ‘Climate change in relation to the two reports from Kew Gardens on the State of the World’s Plants’.

v. Hope for the Future. Jo Musker-Sherwood, Director, spoke at our meeting in October 2018.

d. Worship

i. Refugees. Our Harvest services in 2016focused on refugees. Our guest preacher was the Reverend Canon Professor Nicholas Sagovsky who has worked over many years with refugees and asylum seekers.

ii. Refugees. a Prayer vigil under the auspices of Churches Together in Kew, was held at St Anne’s during Refugee Week, June 2016.  It was poorly attended.

iii. Prayer and social justice.  Sister Sue (the Reverend Sue Berry), Society of Saint Francis, led a two hour session (replacing our seventh meeting) of prayer and reflection on social justice in May 2017.

iv. Climate justice.  Brother Sam, Society of Saint Francis, spoke on a Christian perspective on the environment on Advent Sunday 2017.

e. Other

i. Junior Church links. One or two of our members are Junior Church parents, and we are conscious of the gap between them and some of the rest of us, as our paths do not really cross.When considering climate justice, we thought it important to try and increase these links.  The Junior Church made a beautiful poster about caring for our world and at a summer picnic at the end of July 2018 had a stall at which children could decorate pots and plant marigolds

4. Impact assessment

The SJF provided a forum for those concerned about social justice and feedback from those who came to the meetings was generally positive.  We do not know if the SJF precisely ‘added value’ to M&M and /or the PCC. Arguably, the SJF ‘added value’ to the life of St Anne’s as a whole because things did happen during the three years as a result of SJF that would not have happened otherwise. e.g. prayer card for refugees; declaration of fellowship about refugees; Carbon Fast; talks; Harvest Supper 2016, and possibly switch to celebrating creation rather than Harvest (a trend being encouraged by the Diocese); links with Breaking Barriers and CARAS; letter to our MP and the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary candidate about climate change (20 November 2018); statement of intent in relation to climate change.

Some of these changes will endure but others will require definite action.

To try and gain some idea of its significance, or lack of, for people who did not come, a random selection of 23 regular church attenders (including some PCC members) who did not attend any meetings of the Forum were contacted about their reactions.  Fourteen responded, six were unobtainable, two were too busy and one did not want to respond.  Of the 14 respondents, there were two men, eleven women (one no reply on gender); nine were in part time or full time employment, four were retired and one was unemployed.  All, except one respondent, were involved in some voluntary work, either connected with St Anne’s or outside, or both.

Of those who responded, about half knew about the focus of the Forum (refugees and climate change), two did not know anything and the others were aware but a bit vague.  Six out of the fourteen had looked at the handouts on-line, had thought of going to a meeting (three had done so) and thought the initiative should be taken forward in some way.  Time constraints and other commitments were the main reasons for not going to the meetings.

Ten of the fourteen thought social justice was important or very important for us as Christians at St Anne’s although there were clearly differences about how people thought it should be taken forward.

5.  Questions arising

i. Responsibility and resources

The organisation and running of the Forum was by Claudine McCreadie and Christopher Stephens. Some of the actions we agreed on in the meetings led to quite a lot of work by a few people.  The Forum was not set up with any responsibility for carrying this out.  Only a few involved further action by all those who came to the meetings.  Some involved one individual.  Some, notably the Harvest Supper in 2016, drew in a wider circle of people.    Some, however, required Claudine and Christopher to do quite a lot more work: particularly the talks in 2018 about Climate Justice.  We had hoped that, by holding these in conjunction with Churches Together in Kew, we would be able to share the workload, but, like the Prayer Vigil for Refugees in June 2016, that did not work out as we had hoped.

The original understanding of the Forum (see section 1 above) was that it must result in action.   However, one conclusion that we draw from the last three years is that this action can only reasonably be modest unless there are other resources to draw on.  The more people who are involved in attending any event, then the greater the organisation and communication required. Funding may also become an issue. We ran into considerable difficulty when we needed to cover the transport costs of our speakers (just under £150) at the first climate justice talk.

ii. Communications

The communications side required a significant amount of time.  There are three major tasks: informing the congregation; informing the ‘outside world’; designing appropriate materials e.g. posters.  There is a need to inform both before and after a meeting or event.  Informing the ‘outside world’ is a major issue.  Our climate justice talks were ambitious and we succeeded in having distinguished speakers.  We secured the large audience only at the third talk but suspect the turnout had a good deal to do with the Director of Kew Gardens being one of the key speakers.

Designing attractive posters and leaflets is quite a specialised task.

We did not set up the Forum in any formal way and as we were a time limited project we did not try and recruit anyone to be responsible for publicity.  Our conclusion is that communications require a dedicated person to address them.

iii. Links with M and M and PCC

We gave written reports in the autumn of 2016 and 2017 to the M and M committee.  We were disappointed that we did not have any communication or feedback from M&M or the PCC.

 

6. Overall conclusions and recommendations

We have found this three-year experiment stimulating, and have learnt much in being a part of it.   We set this up as a time-limited project and do not think it feasible to try and carry on organising and leading the Forum.  We would both actively support any continuation while relinquishing our leadership roles and we see this as a role for the M & M committee.  We recommend that:

i. The M & M committee takes this on; decides on a programme for the year, which may mean a talk, a study session, bible study, prayer, a sermon or two, worship, a special collection …. One option would be to run a high profile event annually on the lines of the “ St Anne’s Annual Lecture”. The forthcoming lecture on July 12th2019, by Dr Rowan Williams to celebrate the 150thanniversary of the birth of the Reverend Conrad Noel in a house on Kew Green, with the title, The Challenge of Affluence, could count as the first of such;

ii. M & M co-opt people to help them deliver on the actions required; this would not require the same people each time but would depend on the particular action

iii. Someone is specifically responsible for communications – this does not have to be a member of M & M;

iv. There are some guidelines for spending.


Claudine is happy to contribute study material from time to time if required, and both of us would happily lead a regular worship slot focused on social justice.  In advance of Dr Rowan Williams’ lecture, we intend to circulate a ‘fact sheet’ on inequality to the congregation and we would also be happy to contribute to a follow-up event to his lecture in the autumn.  We both sincerely hope that a way forward will be found to keep a profile for social justice at St Anne’s as for us, as clearly for others at St Anne’s, it is fundamental to our Christian faith.

Claudine McCreadie and Christopher Stephens, 15 November 2018 (edited 2 February 2019)

Admission to Holy Communion

As well as preparation being run at the Queen’s School we will be offering preparation for young people wishing to be admitted to Holy Communion on Sunday mornings during the 10.00 Eucharist – please sign up if you are interested. The rite of admission will take place on Sunday 30th June.

Bishop of Southwark’s Lent Call, 2019

‘I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly’ (John 10:10b)

Week 1. The Leprosy Mission: improving leprosy-affected communities in Sri Lanka. The first week’s project is to help communities in Sri Lanka severely affected by leprosy. It is 2000 years since Jesus healed people with leprosy. Sri Lanka has one of the highest rates of leprosy in the world, with nearly 2000 new cases diagnosed in 2018. The recent civil conflicts over 25 years severely disrupted health care provision, notably early treatment, resulting in high rates of disability. Our giving will support the Leprosy Mission’s work in the Northern Province, directly to address both the underlying causes and the treatment of leprosy.

Sunday teas – updated

The sign-up board is up and ready in the church hall. The Summer Music Season runs from May 5th to September 15th – 20 weeks in all. Many of you have been involved in the past and I hope you will be again. Those of you, who have not signed up before, please consider it – why not sign up with a partner, friend, colleague, or helpful child? I will be making further contact concerning the general organising and, of course, the necessary supply of cakes etc; but not until the second half of March. If you have any questions or suggestions, I am happy for you to contact me by email: – abc.cook@btinternet.com. Thank you, Barbara

March 6th – Climate Change

CHURCHES TOGETHER IN KEW:

CLIMATE CHANGE AND ITS CHALLENGES.

We are all increasingly aware of the importance of better understanding of climate change and its implications for us all. As Christians, we have a particular responsibility to understand how it is affecting our fellow human beings in different parts of the world.

In conjunction with St Anne’s Social Justice Forum, Churches Together in Kew invites you to a series of three ‘conversations’ that address the scientific basis for recognising climate change and the nature of a faithful Christian response.

The first of these conversations took place on March 6th at The Barn Church.  The speakers were Bishop David Atkinson and Father Nicholas King SJ and their topic was “Climate and Gospel” – the science of climate change and Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si: on care for our common home.

SPEAKER DETAILS:
Bishop David Atkinson now retired as Assistant Bishop, Diocese of Southwark, was formerly Fellow and Chaplain of Corpus Christi College, Oxford; Canon Chancellor of Southwark Cathedral; Archdeacon of Lewisham; and Bishop of Thetford. David has taught theology in Oxford, lectured in the USA and India and has written a number of books on Christian Ethics and Pastoral Theology. Among his titles is Renewing the Face of the Earth: A theological and pastoral response to climate change (Canterbury Press, 2008). He served for several years as a board member of Operation Noah, a Christian organisation providing leadership, focus and inspiration in response to the growing climatic threat and is now a patron of that organisation. During that time he led the theology group that created ‘Climate change and the purposes of God: a call to the Church’ (2012), a document that challenges the Church to recognise that care for the world is central to its mission and fundamental to the Gospel.

Father Nicholas King SJ writes on the Jesuit website:

“ I was born in Bath in 1947. After I left school, I went up to Oxford to read Classics, with the firm intention of becoming a wealthy barrister after that. However at a particular moment, which I can date to within a few minutes, and greatly to my surprise, I realised that the only thing that I could do if I was to be happy was to join the Jesuits, who had taught me at Stonyhurst. That was 47 years ago, and (so far) I have seen no reason to change my mind… For the last twelve years I have been teaching New Testament and Greek at the University of Oxford, where I am at Campion Hall, the Jesuit house. Most recently I have published a translation of the entire Greek Bible into English, something that I can hardly believe. Before I came back to Oxford, I taught for many years in South Africa, which was one of the most remarkable experiences of my life. Jesuits do all sorts of things, and our task is to do whatever the Church asks of us. .. Let me simply say this: if it is the life for you, then there is no better or happier way of life. But it must be the life to which God is calling you.”

Posts navigation

1 2