We are hiring!
The church is currently seeking to hire a Buildings Caretaker, with relevant experience, to work part-time (mornings) to clean and keep in good order the church premises (12 ½ hours a week spread over 4 or 5 days).
The closing date for applications is 9 December 2013. Please send applications by email to from email@example.com or by post to St Giles-in-the-Fields Church, 60 St Giles High Street, London WC2H 8LG. Please call 020 7240 2532 or 0784 800 8069 with any inquiries.
First Sunday Giving
In November, £665.56 was raised for The Halo Trust, which removes land mines in war zones – many thanks to all who contributed.
This month our Christmas Appeal follows our usual pattern of supporting one of the London-based homeless agencies, and for 2013 this is Centrepoint (www.centrepoint.org.uk). Centrepoint is the leading charity for homeless young people, aiming to support some 80,000 young people who experience homelessness in the UK every year. Their vision is nothing less than ‘to end youth homelessness.’
Our collections on Advent Sunday (1st), the carol services on the 18th and 22nd and on Christmas Day will go to this cause.
We do try! Bill, Alan and a few others are hosting an evening reception in Church on the 3rd December. There are a lot of people St Giles depends upon through the year, and this is our way of saying, ‘Thank you’ to them all, which we shall do on behalf of everyone else. Later in the month, after morning worship on the 22nd, we very much hope that many of our regular morning congregation will be able to stay behind for a buffet Christmas lunch in the Vestry Room. his too is a way of rounding off the year together, and giving thanks for our friendships. Everyone is welcome. Along the same lines, the Vestry House is hosting a Christmas Tea for all the local Big Issue sellers in these parts, though you will need to see the magazine to get an invitation!
Churches Together in Westminster
The West End has more worshipping communities than you might think. In preparation for the season of the nativity, Churches Together in Westminster has produced a booklet detailing the main services happening across the area – click here to download a copy.
Believe it or not, our Buried Treasure sessions are one of the highlights of my week (I know, I should get out more!) even though I worry that my ignorance will be cruelly exposed every time. But I have really enjoyed these session and am grateful to those who have come along each time. (Anyone else is welcome anytime, by the way). We’ve been working on John’s Gospel for ages now, partly because we get distracted in our conversations, and partly because the gospel merits taking time over. This month we’ll meet on 3rd, 10th and 17th. Then we shall enjoy a winter break and resume on Tuesday, 14th January. Even Bible students need to rest up occasionally.
The Autumn / Winter Theatre Season
Performances of the three plays by dramatists who lived in St Giles by the Owle Schreame Theatre Company come to an end this month. I’ve watched them all in rehearsals over the past few months and have been struck by the energy, enthusiasm and commitment of everyone involved, under the lively direction of Brice Stratford. It will be strange when they have finally gone. The shows have been very well received. The remaining dates are Saturday, 7th and Friday, 13th. £5 on the door.
Restorations and Reorderings
This past week (25th to 29th November) specialist contractors have been in Church repositioning the Reredos (the wooden board behind the altar). The Rector has previously written about the reasoning behind this alteration. It has been fascinating to watch them carefully disengage, first the pelican, then the ten commandments board and finally the outer frame with the cherubim’s head firmly attached. By the Wednesday they had fixed the outer frame back again at its original height, ready to take the commandments board and pelican again. Some further touching up and making good will still necessary but already it is finally possible to realise the design as it was in its first incarnation, properly in harmony with the horizontal wooden designs going across the sanctuary. The whole reredos also sits further out than it once did and is closer to the viewer. It comes across as so much more impressive and feels complete again.
At the same time we have been working to complete the re-ordering that has taken place at the west end of the Church and by the Church office. Before long the floors will be stained and oiled to match the rest of the floors in the church, and the handsome new storage cabinets will have had French polishing. The days of dis-order will soon come to an end, we are pleased to report, and normal ‘service’ (pardon the pun) will be resumed.
Plans are also underway to have the Vestry House redecorated and the large table and other furnishings repaired and renovated. First, of course, there is the small question of paying for them, but here Wil (James), one of our churchwardens, has been energetically making applications to trusts which specialise in giving grants for the renovation of historic furnishings. In this way we are hoping to greatly enhance what is already a fine room. In the course of investigating this work, we have discovered that the large table was probably made in 1701. We even know the name of the carpenter and joiner, but I will leave others with more knowledge to speak of this at some future time.
Finally, for those who may have been following the saga of our trying to borrow a large sum of money to renovate some of the properties we hold in West Street, we finally have some grounds for believing the loan will go through very soon and we can make progress with this work. The income from these properties is used solely to support the mission and ministry of St Giles. Any increase in this income will enable this work to continue with confidence into the future.
A reminder that the Churchyard will be closed for approximately three months for renovation work from 2nd December. Pedestrian access will, of course, be retained to get everyone into Church!
Still time There is still just about time to visit the Curwen Gallery on Sunday, 1st, from 11 – 6pm for the Macmillan Fundraising weeked. All welcome.