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
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.
St 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.