Collation of the new Rector
Alan Carr’s appointment at the new Rector of St Giles-in-the-Fields will be formalised and celebrated with a very special Service of Collation at 6pm on 26 July in the presence of the Bishop of London. In the meantime, I hope you will all join us in offering Alan our warm congratulations on his appointment. We are very much looking forward to this as a time for friends old and new to come together to affirm a new chapter in the history of the church. After the service there will be a refreshments to which everyone is invited. If the weather is fine (fingers crossed) then this will be in the churchyard.
Please don’t forget that the service starts at 6pm and not at the usual time for evensong of 6.30pm.
Before he assumes his new role, Alan will be taking a few weeks off to prepare and to make arrangements for moving into the Rectory. But, before putting down his duties as Associate Rector, he has had time to fill us in on what is happening here in the coming time…
Worship in July and August
With the Collation taking place at the end of July, I shall be spending the Sundays of the month away from St Giles so that Suzanne and I and the family can move from Brixton into the Rectory at Gower Street, and to be a bit more settled again before the task of ministry resumes. Joseph Gabor, a Hungarian priest who has recently been received in the Anglican Church, has kindly agreed to lead our 11am and 6.30pm services for these Sundays. I am very grateful to Joseph for this. I am sure you will receive his ministry with charity, kindness and appreciation. It will also be good for you to hear another voice and learn from another perspective on faith. He has a rich fund of experience to draw upon and I hope you will have the chance to hear something of it for yourselves as the month progresses and the Sundays of the long season of Trinity unroll themselves once again.
I shall be back again for the Sundays of August, apart from the 30th, when another priest (yet to be identified) will lead our worship. Please notice that on first Sunday in August, the 2nd, Evensong will not be taking place at St Giles, but that you are all invited instead to St Paul’s Cathedral for their Choral Evensong at 3.15pm when the preacher will be no other than your humble servant. Every year the Bishop invites four priests from the Diocese to preach at the Cathedral and, for some reason, I will be one of them and 2nd August will be my day. After worship at the Cathedral I thought that we would have had enough such worship for one day. Just for variety’s sake, we shall be observing St Barnabas on the 23rd.
It was a real pleasure to present Jenny from the St Giles Choir for her confirmation at St Paul’s on the Saturday before Easter. Now we have another confirmation coming up, of Harry Amos. Harry will be confirmed at The Temple Church at 11.15am on Sunday, 26th July. This means that I shall be seeing the Bishop (and he, I) twice in one day! If you are the praying type, please remember him then.
The Buried Treasure Bible Reading Group
Our Bible group is taking an enforced break in July, because of my own absence, and shall re-commence on 28th July and then for the following Tuesdays of August – 4th, 11th, 18th and 25th. Progress through the gospel of Luke has slow and steady, but we’ve finally made it into chapter three and John the Baptist preaching in the wilderness the baptism of repentance. Do join us.
First Sunday Giving in June
It was good to hear in June from Kieran Kettleton who spoke to us with real conviction of the work of the Church Urban Fund. It was good to hear also that their work of supporting church-based social projects in areas of deprivation is now extending into more rural areas – not good that it is needed there, but good that the need is recognised and, in some measure, addressed.
My own experience of 18 years in ministry in a semi-rural community (it was about 5 miles from the nearest towns) is that appearances can be deceptive, and we can (wrongly assume) that everyone is blessed with the latest Range Rover and ride-on mower. The contrasts of income we see only too plainly in London are common also in even the sleepiest looking of villages. Indeed, the difference might even be felt more acutely. So I was pleased to hear that this is now being identified even if it stretches the definition of ‘urban’ a long way. Did not Jesus (in the parable) send the servants out into the lanes and highways beyond the city boundaries? We collect for the Church Urban Fund again on the morning of 2nd August (but please remember there is no Evening Service at St Giles that day). From the months of January, February, May and June we have so far raised £1,058.64p for this cause. August will be the last month when we will dedicate our First Sunday Giving to the Church Urban Fund.