Parish News

Little Big Camp | 17th September

photo 2 (1)

A third Little Big Camp is taking place this September before the cooler days set in – on Sunday, 17th, from 2pm to 5pm. Once again, if anyone from St Giles could join me and others, it would be much appreciated. | Alongside this, the weekly autumn play sessions, run by trained staff from the YMCA, will have begun, following on from those held each Thursday through the weeks of the school summer holidays. Attendance has not been dramatically good, but there has been enough to encourage us to persevere with the project. There is definitely a need for good quality, free play spaces for young children in our community, and if we can play a part in providing this, it seems well worthwhile.

Two Patronal Festivals in one

With the visit of the St Giles Choir to sing at Exeter Cathedral on the first weekend in September, we shall mark the feast day of St Giles (1st September), our patron saint, in two halves this year – at the 11am Sung Eucharist on Sunday, 3rd September and again at the 6.30pm Choral Evening Prayer on Sunday, 10th September, when the choir will have returned. Please note that this means the Evening Service on the 3rd will be said. Do join us to give thanks for the past and present life of our church as we continue to seek God’s guidance for the years ahead.

First Sunday Giving

Leprosy MissionIn September we revert to giving, as we have for many years, to the work of The Leprosy Mission in token of the foundation of St Giles by Queen Matilda to provide for the needs of lepers in these parts.

This will be on Sunday, 3rd September.

Phoenix Garden Agricultural Fair | 2nd September

All things being equal, the day of this year’s Agricultural Fair will not be washed out as it was last year but will be sunny, dry and bright. They deserve it. This year has seen the re-opening of the garden after a long period of closure, while plans were drawn up for the construction of a new educational building and then the work itself was carried out. Parts of the garden are still waiting to be restored, but it is all looking so much better and will doubtless look better still by the time of the fair itself. This will feature the usual cast of brass band, Punch and Judy, traveling farm, Morris dancers, the WI and so on. If you have never been, do come along. It is rare to have such a community event in the heart of the city and it really does deserve our support.

Homeless art

In the coming weeks look out for a poster exhibition to be displayed on the churchyard railings with photographic art work from residents of St Mungo’s hostel at the top of Endell Street.

Everyone needs to find a way of expressing their experience of life, and those without the security of homes as much as anyone else.

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.

The Children’s Space

Summer party invite (2)

Over the past year or so we have been working with a local mother and others on the idea of a semi-permanent children’s space to be set up at the west end of the church, to provide a safe, attractive and child-friendly environment where parents, carers and young children can spend time together. There are many families in our local community living in fairly cramped households who, from time to time (and especially in the winter months) need somewhere else to be with their children. To this end, and thanks to a grant from the William Shelton Educational Charity, a large rug and a varied collection of craft and play equipment has been acquired.

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.

World Food Market 3

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.