2014 Lent Talks: Mind(fullness)
As is our tradition, during Lent we will host a series of talks during Sunday 6.30pm Evensong. This year they are on the theme of Religion and Mental Health, under the title Mind(fullness). We hope that this will help to build on our understanding of mental health issues this year as we also keep in our thoughts, prayers and giving the work of Mind in Camden, who are our focus charity for 2014. There will be a display in Church on the work of Mind in Camden during Lent.
9th March | BREAKDOWN, BREAK-UP, BREAK-IN
Though times of emotional and psychological crisis are always disturbing, sometimes they open the way to God
The Reverend Alan Carr, Associate Rector, St Giles-in-the-Fields
16th March | HEARING VOICES
Reporting on an innovative project for those who hear voices
Rowena Dean and Rachel Waddingham, Mind in Camden
23rd March | SEARCHING FOR THE MIND OF THE CHURCH
How do we know when a Church has ‘the mind of Christ’?
The Venerable Stephan Welch, Archdeacon of Middlesex
30th March | ‘IT’S ALL IN THE MIND!’
Pastoral responses to the mentally ill
The Reverend Neil Bunker, Mental Health Chaplain in Westminster
6th April | IS ANYONE NORMAL?
Exploring the relationship of body, mind and spirit
Deirdre King, therapist in private practice
First Sunday Giving in March: Helping Children be Children
Our custom in the season of March is to support the Bishop of London’s Lent Appeal for the year. The Diocesan website provides the following description: ‘Since 2004, the Bishop of London’s Mission Fund (BLMF) has supported mission work throughout the Diocese, aimed at reaching ‘beyond the walls of the church’ to increase its mission work in areas of social need as well as keeping pace with the needs of the growing church in London. Over one hundred projects have received support with grants totalling £3.8M. Throughout the Diocese of London there is a growing need to support social projects in deprived areas owing to the withdrawal of council and government funding. The Diocese, through the BLMF, is uniquely equipped for this role. Through its 450 parishes, the Diocese of London is present in every community, and BLMF support for projects can really make a difference to communities in areas of need. This year’s theme is ‘Helping Children be Children.’
As the recipient of funding from the BLMF said after this summer’s riots in London, the Revd Michael Learmouth, Team Rector, Barnsbury Parish said: ‘There is a real need for community and for people to get to know those they are living beside. Many secular bodies do great projects working with particular groups of people but few attempt to bring all types of people together. I have seen that the church has been able to take a lead on this task.’ Core funding for BLMF comes from the Church Commissioners, but the increasing number of projects applying for funding from the BLMF means that additional funds are needed to enable the Diocese to respond to the needs of communities north of the Thames. Please help us to help those in need by donating to the BLMF.’
Associate Rector Alan will be away for the first session of the month (the 4th) but will be around for the rest – 11th, 18th and 25th. John’s gospel continues to be our teacher and guide to the mystery of Christ’s passion and resurrection. All are, as always, welcome.
Pilgrimate to Israel
If you have not considered a pilgrimage to Israel before, but are interested, do get in touch with me. We’re up to 10 now. A few more would be very welcome. Alan.
Annual Meeting and Electoral Roll
The 13th April, Palm Sunday, not only brings the beginning of Holy Week, but also the Annual Parochial Church Meeting. This will take place in the Vestry House at 12.45pm after the 11am Sung Eucharist and refreshments and everyone is very welcome. A presentation on the life of the Church, its administration, ministry and mission will be formally given, and the Annual Accounts for 2013 adopted. If you want to find out where our money comes from and goes to, come along!
More importantly, perhaps, this is our moment to give thanks for our churchwardens and others who contribute to our common life and witness. The churchwardens for the coming year and two deanery representatives will be elected (for a three year term), and other members of the PCC also elected. Do join us.
The members of the Bell Ringing Tower met for their annual meeting on 20th February to review the year past and elect their own officers. Most importantly, Dennis Ellison, known to many of us at St Giles, announced that he was stepping down after six years as Ringing Master (and four years prior to that as Deputy Ringing Master). Dennis has served the cause of ringing at St Giles with real enthusiasm for the craft, and particularly enjoyed bringing on new ringers. We very much hope that we will still see him around on Tuesday evenings for practice and Thursday lunchtimes for ringing, as well as at other times.
The new Ringing Master is Tom Lawrance, and welcome him to this role. We are also grateful to all those who ring at church throughout the year. At the meeting it was also announced that this coming June will mark the 50th anniversary of the Thursday ringing group. There will be a celebration on Thursday, 5th June with a special ringing and service. More details later in the year.
Likes and Dislikes about living and working in Camden
We have received an invitation from the Borough of Camden to participate in a photographic initiative designed to show what people like, and dislike, about living in Camden. The invitation comes from one of the planning officers for the public realm.
‘The Council will soon be consulting on Camden’s most ambitious and largest ever public realm project, aimed at transforming this part of the West End into one of London’s premier commercial, cultural and academic districts. As part of working with the community on the West End Project, we would like to create a “photoblog” of the area. We are inviting a select group of local people to take up to 10 photographs of the area, focusing on main roads and public spaces, covering their “likes and dislikes” (5 photographs of each) and a sentence about why. If you would like to take part, your photographs and captions would be displayed in an exhibition at the New London Architecture premises on South Crescent, together with plans of the scheme and photographs of the area from our local archives. The exhibition will take place on Thursday 19 June between 10am and 5pm and on Monday 7 July between 6pm and 8pm. The photographs and captions will help to start a conversation about the area, sparking debate and feeding into the consultation. They can be displayed with your first name only, if you would prefer them to be anonymous.’
I would be very happy to receive digital images which capture your own likes (e.g. diversity, vibrancy) and dislikes (e.g. noise, litter, holes in the road!) and put them together as our combined reflection upon life in the Borough. Just send an attachment to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We noted last month that Evangeline Hunter-Jones had just died, aged ninety. Her memorial service was at St Giles on 4th February. Rector Bill has penned this tribute to her:
She was one of St Giles’s most stalwart supporters. As long as she possibly could she came to church every Sunday, latterly only for the early Holy Communion, supported by her marvellously loyal and supportive carer, Flora. Those of her many family and friends who were able to come to her memorial service learned what an extraordinary person she was. Utterly confident, utterly fearless, hers was a life of dedicated public service in the cause of campaigning for scanning for cervical cancer, for which she raised funds by walking down the wing of a Tiger Moth piloted by her daughter Georgina; for the purchase and restoration of Benjamin Franklin’s house in Craven Street; as a magistrate; as the chair of the Gas Consumers’ Council; as a member of the Betting and Gaming Board; as the first woman livery member of the Worshipful Company of Skinners; and many other activities. Evangeline was also tremendous fun, and no respecter of persons, however grand they might think themselves. She was, what’s more, a person of deep faith. Some of the prayers she had written, which were quoted at the service, were deeply moving in their depth and simplicity. She will live in our memories, and we are the better for having known her.