The Parish Church of St John-at-Hampstead

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September 2019

The Vicar Writes

Jeremy Fletcher

I’ve just completed my 32nd August in ordained ministry. I think that in each of the 32 preceding Julys I have had the fond thought that August would be lovely and quiet. Perhaps there would be the opportunity to ease off a little, with the chance to do some sorting and tidying. Maybe some neglected projects could be given an airing too. At the end of each of those 32 Augusts I’ve looked aghast at the oncoming September, realising that though August may have a different rhythm, it is always as fulfilling and challenging as the rest of the year.

This August “Holiday in Hampstead” was a superb and exciting week, filled with interest, fun and friendship. There’s a report elsewhere in this magazine. The dates are set for next year already. We have enjoyed welcoming visitors, worshipping together on Sundays with wonderful contributions by the Community Choir and the continuing of Choral Evensong without a break. Our regular ministry of funerals and weddings has been a feature. A team from Lloyds Bank came and did some serious clearing in the churchyards. Some of us went to the Greenbelt Festival. And there were holidays too.

September does come with a bang. Junior Church starts on September 1, and the Junior Choir will be singing their first service on September 8. Holy Hamsters and our Monday Toddlers start straight away. There’s a Gardening morning on September 7. We will have our first monthly Compline service on Thursday 12 at 9.15. the Bible Book Club has become a Bible Breakfast Club (on Saturday 28) and a Bible Coffee Club (on Wednesday 25). There’s a special All Age service for Harvest on September 29, and the Sidwell recital on Friday 27.  Rehearsals are starting for The Sound of Music. There is lots to join in.

In our yearly cycle we will be holding a service of Confirmation on November 3. Young people in senior school (year 7 and above) and adults are welcome to be confirmed (and baptised if you are not already baptised). Please contact one of the clergy ( if you would like to know more. The PCC will be reviewing the Mission Action Plan after its launch a year ago. We will also be looking carefully at our communications, after the review in July. Your prayers are valued for all  this.

Perhaps I’ll learn next year to think of August as a different kind of active rather than a chance to step back. I hope your August has been fruitful, and that we can work and thrive together through these next months too.

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