Parish News

From All Souls to Advent

The descent into winter and the ever-shortening days are marked, liturgically, by the church’s annual remembrance of things past, of thanksgiving and loss, of what has been and is no longer, of what might be and what yet promises.

§ The month begins with the celebration of All Saints, on the day itself (the 1st) at the weekly 1pm, Wednesday Communion service. This is then followed with the Sung Eucharist on the morning of Sunday, 5th.

§ On the evening of that day the mood changes, as we once again mark the solemn season of All Souls. Previously the music for this service has revolved around the pattern of a Eucharist but as, this year, we are presenting Karl Jenkin’s version, called simply Requiem, which reworks the traditional order, the service will not be Eucharistic. The St Giles Choir will be joined by musicians from the London Arte Chamber Orchestra, directed by Fabricio Brachetta, to present a work, first performed at Southwark Cathedral in 2005, which combines settings of the traditional Latin text with five Haiku poems on the theme of death and loss; in addition, prayers for those to be remembered on this day will also be made. This promises to be a very special and moving evening.

§ Remembrance Sunday follows on the 12th, which means that the morning Sung Eucharist will begin at 10.50am with the Act of Remembrance followed by the Eucharist itself. Evensong that day will explore the theme of Peace through the psalm and readings and our new curate, Michael Lynch, will present the homily.

§ A more personal moment will be marked on Sunday, 19th when, during the Eucharist, I will ask for God’s blessing on my eldest daughter, Beatrice and her husband Tom, who will have married on 4th November. On this same day I and my family will also be marking and giving thanks for the 30th birthday of our youngest daughter, Naomi. Those of you who come regularly to the Sung Eucharist will have met Naomi, and will realise just how special she is. Do join us on this occasion if you can.

§ The final Sunday if the Month brings the long season of Trinity to a close with the Sunday before Advent, often known as ‘Stir Up’ Sunday from the collect for the day. By this time the evenings will be well and truly dark and autumn firmly dispensed with; and the Advent days of waiting and longing will be upon us. The Church is called to listen yet more closely to the voice of the prophets and the forerunners of the prince of peace, as we ourselves prepare to make ready for the coming of our Redeemer.

First Sunday Giving

The collection in October around the time of our Harvest Thanksgiving raised £169.21 for the work of the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Society (RABI) who support struggling farm households among the rural community. | Now that we have completed the collections this year for Safer Streets, which works amongst the rough sleeping community, I can announce that a total of £1,769.94 was raised for their work.  | Our collection in November will be on the second Sunday, the 12th, (not the 5th), to coincide with Remembrance Sunday. As in recent years, it will be for the charity called HALO, which defuses mines in former conflict zones. | We are hugely grateful to all those who contribute to these causes from whom we regularly receive letters of acknowledgement and thanks.

Richard Casserley, 1936 – 2017

Sadly, we report the death of Richard Casserley, a stalwart of the bell-ringing team. Adrian Udal writes: ‘Richard was almost certainly our longest serving bell ringer at St Giles. In the 1980s he worked nearby at St Pancras and was subsequently elected Ringing Master of the St Giles Society on 12th April 1997 – when his predecessor Keith Matthews retired unexpectedly due to ill health. During Richard’s mastership the major project that took place in 2006 was the restoration of our historic ring of bells. Richard was also almost the country’s top ‘tower grabber’, and had visited over 6,000 churches around the UK to ring their bells. Sadly, after a brief illness, Richard died in the early hours of 19th October, with his wife Margaret and his family around him.’

Will Aid

Look out this month for Will Aid, an initiative from the legal profession and nine of the main UK charities. Nominated solicitors will draw up a basic kind of will for free in return for a modest donation which Will Aid then passes onto the charities. In this way more people draw up a will (it is amazing how many do not have wills) and these charities are supported. You can find more about it online at http://www.willaid.org.uk.

What’s On?

The primary ministry of St Giles is Christian hospitality. Our Church was founded for this purpose in 1101 and continues in the same spirit today.

The key way in which we express this is by remaining open for prayer and quiet throughout the week. No questions are asked of the one who comes to pray, and no demands made on the weary, the inquisitive or the random visitor. As God’s love is at the heart of our life and church, so his presence is at the heart of such hospitality.  We also seek to enrich the spiritual experience of visiting St Giles by playing host to a changing calendar of music, art and cultural events.

Finally, we work to make the church and its surroundings available for a wide range of community groups, local organisations and events. These activities are run by outside groups; however, we are delighted to be able to provide a space for these groups.

Christmas Services

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World Food Market

We host a World Food Market, arranged by Epicurean Events, in the North Churchyard on Thursdays from 10am to 3pm. This is a great opportunity to enjoy the churchyard and have a break from the usual sandwich shops, so do pop along if you work nearby for a choice of warm lunches from around the world.

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Support Groups

Simon Community LogoSt Giles is pleased to host Support Groups who provide food and drink for the body, mind and spirit. From 2pm to 4pm on Saturdays and from 1.15pm to 3.15pm on Sundays the Simon Community set up a mobile Street Café in the north churchyard to dispense tea, coffee, sandwiches, fruit, cake and words of advice, seeking to reach out to the most unreachable. If you want to know more or find details of how to volunteer, please visit their website.

During the week, Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous groups gather in the Vestry House behind the Church. By definition, these are only open to those who seek such support and in each case the website (or word of mouth) is usually the first point of contact. Theses groups are entirely self-directed and operate independently of St Giles, but we are pleased to provide meeting space at the heart of the West End, where both addictions are only too prevalent.

Details of the timing of support groups can be found in our calendar on the side of this page.