The Parish Church of St John-at-Hampstead

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June 2018


Jeremy Fletcher

Churches run on rotas – we all know that. The Coffee Rota, the Flower Rota, the Sidesmen, Servers, Cleaners, Sunday School, Creche, Stewards…. Rotas, Rotas, Rotas.  They’re a way of making sure everything gets done and everyone gets a turn and very necessary of course, but I really didn’t know whether to laugh or cry when Jeremy, handing out the bible and candles to the Sunday School at the start of a 10.30 service, suggested he should keep a note of who got to do it each week –  three year olds on a rota already!   Oh well, I suppose it prepares them for church life in the future!   

Rotas aside we all had a chance to participate in the Spring Fair in May – and wasn’t it a wonderful occasion?  I believe, if you were lucky enough to be outside, it was even warm!  

But enough of May, what about June – can we match it for excitement? 

Well, perhaps not, perhaps we don’t need to, too much excitement isn’t necessarily a good thing!  BUT

BUT BUT I can hear the Community Choir and the Hampstead Players shouting – but there is more excitement, we’ve got our Summer Nights Concert on 23rd June – that’s exciting.  

AND (the gardeners this time) we’ve got our Open Garden Squares Day on 9th – that’s exciting too, isn’t it? 

WHAT ABOUT US? That’s the Junior Choir reminding me that as well as participating in the Summer Nights concert they have their annual Prom on 17th after the 10.30am service.

So, OK, it looks as if June will be just as bustling and entertaining as May, and it finishes, of course, with the Ordinations to the Diaconate at St Paul’s Cathedral on 30th when, amongst all the other candidates, will be our own Ayla Lepine, the most exciting event of all.

But of course parishes aren’t all about excitement and we try never to lose sight of those who don’t get any joy out of our events, who for whatever reason feel themselves excluded – who perhaps don’t feel able to participate or are prevented by sorrow or ill-health.  Our prayer life encompasses a range of needs – on a Sunday we pray for those in immediate need, on a Wednesday at the 10.15 those with longer term problems, on the first Wednesday of the month there are Prayer for Healing at 7.15pm,  and on a Tuesday at Evening Prayer we take the prayer folder from the South Chapel and pray especially for those people, mostly unknown to us, who have requested prayers over the preceding week.

Nor is the work of the church allowed to suffer. The PCC continues its consideration of our new Mission Action Plan and improvements to the Fabric; we have two faculty applications running at the moment: one to restore the Taylor memorial on the south wall  and one to improve the timekeeping of the clock – it does seem ironic that the church associated with John Harrison should have a clock that keeps quite such poor time! You can read the Secretary’s full report further on in this issue. 

The Charity reps have been busy too – John Willmer updates us on two of our Refugee charities and Sara Hester on Asra Hawariat School, Ethiopia.  Also included is an update on the Community Sponsorship programme from Sheena Ginnings and an appeal from AgeUK Camden’s Good Neighbour Scheme – this in dire need of funds. 

The popular expression is “No rest for the wicked” but it perhaps isn’t fair to apply that to a church congregation: “No rest for the trying really hard to be righteous” maybe?

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