St Stephen’s news update – 1st June

Visit www.ststephenscanonbury.org.uk for all our latest mailings and information and for our podcast services.
Contact John at vicar@ststephenscanonbury.org.uk or 02072267526

Welcome to our Monday mailing

Rich and Libby Senez
Rich and Libby have announced that they are moving back to Canada during June. They will be flying to Vancouver on 15th June where they lived before coming to London 8 years ago. Libby has secured an accountancy job and Rich will complete his studies and they will be close to Rich’s family. We will miss them and Juno and Stanley immensely and say a heartfelt thank you for all they have brought to St Stephen’s over the past 5 years. Do pray for them as they make the arrangements for the move and for the 14 days of quarantine necessary on their arrival.

Abi Ronan
Abi has told us that she will be moving to New York with her husband Peers during June. Abi and Peers came to St Stephen’s to hear their banns of marriage read a couple of years ago and Abi has worshipped with us regularly ever since. Abi has been particularly supportive of Joy Maitland as they live in the same building. We wish them both well as they make this move. Pray for Abi and Peers as they make this major change and settle into a new home and a new community.

Funeral of Florence Price
Florence’s funeral will take place at Islington Cemetery on Wednesday 10th June when her family will lay her to rest with Sylvestre. Only 8 of her closest family can attend the graveside service. The service will take place at 2 pm. Please pause to pray for a moment as Florence’s children and grandchildren gather to reunite her with Sylvestre and commend her into God’s care. The family are grateful for your prayers and messages of support at this time.

Lock-down Podcasts
Our 3rd lock-down podcast has been sent for editing and should be online later this week. It will include: some reflections on time from Fran Trafford, thoughts about faith in lock-down from Suzanne Roberts, the wonderful poem Sarah Strang shared with us at Easter, the 4am dawn chorus in Canonbury Gardens, some music by Benjamin Britten, thoughts from John Woolf and the view from South Africa with Geoff and Caroline Shave. I hope you enjoy listening to it.
You can find it (when it is posted) by visiting ‘Sermons and services.’

If you would like to contribute to podcast 4 in this series you will need to be able to record an audio file on a smartphone and send it to me by email. You could record your thoughts from lock-down, share a poem, tell us about a book, play a piece of music or record the sounds from your lock down world. Get in touch with me on vicar@ststephenscanonbury.org.uk if you would like to talk about recording a contribution.

Sunday Podcasts
I hope you enjoyed the podcasts last Sunday. All the recordings remain on the website so you can listen again or catch them at a later time.

Next Sunday is Trinity Sunday. There will be another service and reflection and a podcast for younger members as well with another Billy adventure to enjoy.

We will meet up on Zoom at 11.30 am again. The link will be on the ‘Sermons and services’ page and in Thursday’s mailing.

In June the reflections will be provided by:
7th June – John Beauchamp
14th June – Timothy Muller
21st June – Irena Edgcumbe
28th June – Margaret Evans

Tell others what we are doing
Feel free to ‘Tweet’ or share links to our services and podcasts via social media. The shorter, easy to access services are a great introduction to St Stephen’s and many people who would not usually attend church are making time to listen at home to podcasts or live stream services.

Time to reflect
Each week you are invited to listen to an on-line talk and then meet on Zoom on Wednesday evening at 8.30 pm to reflect together on what we have heard.
This week’s talk is ‘The grace of waiting.’ A talk given by Rev Margaret Whipp as part of the St Paul’s adult learning series. Margaret Whipp is lead chaplain for the Oxford university hospitals. Her talk, given on an Advent Sunday, introduces her book called ‘The grace of waiting’ and helps us reflect on what waiting times can mean for us in a world where waiting is very much out of fashion. The talk is 40 minutes long with 20 minutes of questions and answers.

The link to the talk is:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2ocZT-40ew

The Zoom link for our Wednesday meeting is:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84697630447?pwd=MWpRUGVLVWR6Z0t2SmlUMGtHMWdIdz09

I’ll send some discussion questions round in a separate email.
All are welcome to join us.

Resource hub from St Paul’s
If you are looking for some stimulating things to listen to or read, St Pauls’ have drawn a range of their resources together into a resource hub. You can find it at
https://resourcehub.squarespace.com/

2019 Annual Report and Accounts
We have not been able to hold this year’s annual meeting yet but our accounts and annual reports have now been signed off by our independent examiner. You can find the full report, a summary report and a summary account on the church website.
http://www.ststephenscanonbury.org.uk/annual-report-and-annual-meeting-2020/
If you would like to view the full church accounts please get in touch through the office at administrator@ststephenscanonbury.org.uk

We hope to hold the Annual Parochial Church Meeting on Sunday 20th September providing we can do this within the regulations and maintain any requirement for social distancing. We will circulate more about this nearer the time.

We will need to fill a number of important vacancies:
2 Church Wardens
2 Deanery Synod Representatives
4 PCC Members

If you would like to talk about taking on any of these roles you can talk to me by phone or email. In particular, we need to find 2 people willing to take on the role of Church Warden. Janice is retiring this year after 3 years as warden and being sole warden for the past 12 months. Wardens play an important role in assisting the vicar and supporting the running and development of the church. Please think and pray about whether you might be able to support St Stephen’s as Warden, Deanery Synod representative or as a member of the PCC.

Daily Hope Phone Line - 0800 804 8044
The Church of England has launched a new ‘Daily Hope’ phone line. The number is 0800 804 8044. This is free to call and offers messages, services and hymns 24 hours a day. If you know people who are not connected to the internet tell them about it and try it out yourself.

Keep praying
I have updated the prayer requests list which is now on the website at:
http://www.ststephenscanonbury.org.uk/prayer-requests/
The list is quite long now so do divide it up for your prayers during the week.
There are also links to prayer resources especially for this time.
http://www.ststephenscanonbury.org.uk/praying-together/
A prayer for each week is also on the ‘Praying Together’ page along with our own pattern of prayer.
Email me or phone to add requests to the list.


St Stephen’s news update – 25th May

Visit www.ststephenscanonbury.org.uk for all our latest mailings and information and for our podcast services.
Contact John at vicar@ststephenscanonbury.org.uk or 02072267526

Welcome to our Monday mailing.

Thy Kingdom Come
Thy Kingdom Come is a worldwide prayer initiative during the 10 days between Ascension Day and Pentecost. This year this is the 21st – 31st May. It is a chance to pray that more people will come to know Jesus Christ and for the blessing of the Holy Spirit to renew the church and the world. This is an initiative that has more relevance and urgency this year than ever. Although events planned in the diocese for this time have been cancelled, you can still take part in the initiative.

Morning Prayer with senior clergy
You can join the diocesan senior clergy for Morning Prayer each day at 9am via the diocesan Facebook page.

You can find the services and prayer resources for this at:
https://www.thykingdomcome.global/sites/default/files/2019-03/CW%20Daily%20Prayer%20for%20Thy%20Kingdom%20Come_0.pdf

24/10 Prayer Room
The diocese are also organising a 24/10 prayer room to enable prayer to be continually offered through the 10 days. You can sign up for an hour or more by visiting here.

You can join this initiative by taking some time each day (or several times) to pray:
For 2 or 3 people you know to come to a living faith in Jesus.
For church leaders to speak ‘truth to power’ in the power of the Holy Spirit at this time.
For the revival of faith in our nation and the world.
For the renewal of the church.
For the renewal of our mission to make Jesus known to the people of our parish.

As the world struggles to cope with the many consequences of the Coronavirus, Lets’ join in this global wave of prayer and seek God’s renewal across the world, in the church and in our lives.

Urban Hope and Manna updates
Urban Hope and Manna continue to offer support to young people and homeless and vulnerable adults throughout lock-down.

Urban Hope has furloughed K’Jorn and Anna but Mat is continuing to distribute cooking and craft resources to young people and provide on-line spaces for meetings, quizzes etc. Mat is also working on planning for re-establishing working schools, clubs and mentoring as the restrictions are slowly eased.

Manna has continued to offer services 5 days a week to support some of our most vulnerable clients. Limited showers and washing along with food and advice and support with benefit claims and more are offered to those who are really struggling at this time. Manna is working closely with Islington Council and other agencies and we are grateful to both staff and volunteers who have kept things going during this time.

Lock-down Podcasts
Our second ‘Lock-down Podcast’ is on line on the ‘Sermons and services’ page of the website. If you would like to contribute to the third in the series you will need to record an audio file and email it to me. Poems, reflections, thoughts, music, the sounds of your lock-down world and more are all welcome. Ring or email me if you would like to know more. Hopefully, I will post Podcast 3 during next week so contributions are needed by the end of this week.

Sunday Podcasts
I hope you enjoyed the podcasts last Sunday. We are grateful to Bishop Ric for his contribution. All the recordings remain on the website so you can listen again or catch them at a later time.

Next Sunday is Pentecost Sunday. There will be another service and reflection and a podcast for younger members as well with another Billy adventure to enjoy.

We will meet up on Zoom at 11.30 am again. The link will be on the ‘Sermons and services’ page and in Thursday’s mailing.

Tell others what we are doing
Feel free to ‘Tweet’ or share links to our services and podcasts via social media. The shorter, easy to access services are a great introduction to St Stephen’s and many people who would not usually attend church are making time to listen at home.

Time to reflect
Each week you are invited to listen to an on-line talk and then meet on Zoom on Wednesday evening at 8.30 pm to reflect together on what we have heard.
This week’s talk is another by Richard Rohr and is called ‘The Divine Dance.’ It is a talk given on the Google campus in San Francisco and focusses on his reflections on the idea of God as ‘Trinity’ that he expands in his book ‘The Divine Dance.’ The talk is 100 minutes long and is well worth listening to right to the end.
The link is:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1rA_gOgcjs

The Zoom link for our Wednesday meeting is:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84697630447?pwd=MWpRUGVLVWR6Z0t2SmlUMGtHMWdIdz09

All are welcome to join us.

Daily Hope Phone Line - 0800 804 8044
The Church of England has launched a new ‘Daily Hope’ phone line. The number is 0800 804 8044. This is free to call and offers messages, services and hymns 24 hours a day. If you know people who are not connected to the internet tell them about it and try it out yourself.

Keep praying
I have updated the prayer requests list which is now on the website at:
http://www.ststephenscanonbury.org.uk/prayer-requests/
There are also links to prayer resources specially for this time.
http://www.ststephenscanonbury.org.uk/praying-together/
A prayer for each week is also on the ‘Praying Together’ page along with our own pattern of prayer.
Email me or phone to add requests to the list.


St Stephen’s news update – 21st May

Visit www.ststephenscanonbury.org.uk for all our latest mailings and information and for our podcast services.
Contact John at vicar@ststephenscanonbury.org.uk or 02072267526

Welcome to our news update.

Ascension Day
Today is Ascension Day when the 40 days of Jesus appearing to his disciples after his resurrection come to an end and we join with the disciples as they witness his ascension. There is a special Ascension Day service on BBC Radio 4 at 8 pm this evening which will include a virtual choir singing the Hallelujah Chorus along with hymns and seasonal reflections.

Thy Kingdom Come
Thy Kingdom Come is a worldwide prayer initiative during the 10 days between Ascension Day and Pentecost. This year this is the 21st – 31st May. It is a chance to pray that more people will come to know Jesus Christ and for the blessing of the Holy Spirit to renew the church and the world. This is an initiative that has more relevance and urgency this year than ever.

Links and information about how you can participate on-line this year were included in Monday’s mailing below.

You can:
Join with diocesan senior staff for Morning Prayer on Facebook each morning.
Sign up to pray for an hour in the 24/10 virtual prayer room.

You can join this initiative at home by making some time each day (or several times) to pray:
For 2 or 3 people you know to come to a living faith in Jesus.
For church leaders to speak ‘truth to power’ in the power of the Holy Spirit at this time.
For the revival of faith in our nation and the world.
For the renewal of the church.
For the renewal of our mission to make Jesus known to the people of our parish.

As the world struggles to cope with the many consequences of the Coronavirus, Lets’ join in this global wave of prayer and seek God’s renewal across the world, in the church and in our lives.

Update on Mary Allen
Mary has been moved to a rehab ward at St Pancras following what was possibly a minor stroke a couple of weeks ago. Mary sends her love to everyone and thanks you for your prayers for her. Keep praying for Mary and her family supporting her but not able to visit her at the present time.

This Sunday – Sunday after The Ascension
A service and reflection and a podcast for younger members will soon be posted for this Sunday. This week Bishop Ric Thorpe has recorded a reflection for us.
The podcast for younger members will be reflecting on the experience of waiting and includes another Billy adventure.

You can find the podcasts by visiting:
http://www.ststephenscanonbury.org.uk/sermons-services/

Last week’s podcasts (and all our other services) are still online so you can catch up with any you have missed.

Meeting on Zoom
Once again you are encouraged to listen to the service at 11 am on Sunday and then log in over a coffee on Zoom to catch up, comment on the service and sermon, and share any prayer points. Unfortunately last Sunday the whole of the Zoom network crashed due to overload. Hopefully, it will work for us this week. The link for the Zoom meeting is below and will be at the top of the ‘Sermons and services’ page on the website.
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84961803983?pwd=RFFIb1VkMWFCMDJyRFVibTdpa1prQT09

Tell others what we are doing
Surveys are showing that many more people are accessing virtual church services than would ever go to church on a Sunday. Ease of access at any time, being able to listen or watch from your own home, not having to enter a daunting Church environment and people feeling a spiritual hunger for meaning and comfort at this time are all reasons people give for this. So this is a great time to introduce others to St Stephen’s. Our 30-minute podcast services are welcoming and friendly and the podcast for younger members entertaining and fun. So why not ‘Tweet’ the links to our services or share them with your Facebook friends. You can find all the links on the church Facebook page to make them easy to share. At a time when many people think churches are closed, let’s let the world know that we are open and alive and have a ‘good news’ message to share.

A time to reflect
Each week you are invited to listen to an on-line talk and then meet on Zoom on Wednesday evening at 8.30 pm to reflect together on what we have heard.
This week’s talk is another by Richard Rohr and is called ‘The Divine Dance.’ It is a talk given on the Google campus in San Francisco and focusses on his reflections on the idea of God as ‘Trinity’ that he expands in his book ‘The Divine Dance.’ The talk is 100 minutes long and is well worth listening to right to the end.

The link is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1rA_gOgcjs

The Zoom link for our Wednesday meeting is:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84697630447?pwd=MWpRUGVLVWR6Z0t2SmlUMGtHMWdIdz09

I’ll send some discussion questions round on Monday.
All are welcome to join us.

Lock-down Podcasts
Our second ‘Lock-down Podcast’ has been online for a week or so. You can find it by visiting the ‘Sermons and services’ page of the church website. The Lock-down Podcasts are a chance to share things from our lock-down world. This could be poems you’ve written or found, a short story, thoughts, books you’ve read and want to tell us about, music, the sounds around you, in fact anything really. Contributions are needed for podcast 3. You will need to record an audio file and email this to me. This can be done on any smartphone. If you are not sure how to do this you could look online where there are instructions for making audio recordings on most types of phones, or find a passing child who will be able to tell you or contact me and I’ll find someone who can help you. Podcast 3 will appear when I have enough contributions to put something together. So use your imaginations and get creative. Get in touch if you would like to talk about making a contribution.

Daily Hope Phone Line - 0800 804 8044
I mentioned previously that the Church of England has launched a new ‘Daily Hope’ phone line. The number is 0800 804 8044. This is free to call and offers messages, services and hymns 24 hours a day. If you know people who are not connected to the internet tell them about it and try it out yourself.

Resource hub from St Paul’s
If you are looking for some stimulating things to listen to or read, St Pauls’ has drawn a range of their resources together into a resource hub. You can find it at
https://resourcehub.squarespace.com/

Keep praying
There is a list of prayer points at the top of the ‘Praying Together’ page on the website. I will update this each Monday after our Sunday Zoom meeting.
If you have a prayer request for yourself, your family or others, you can also email me at vicar@ststephenscanonbury.org.uk](mailto:vicar@ststephenscanonbury.org.uk)

Looking forward
There has been some mention in the news recently of the possibility of Churches ‘reopening’ in July. Recent discussions within the diocese have made it clear that this does not mean that services will be able to restart in July or at any time in the near future. Issues about maintaining social distancing in Churches are significant and would drastically reduce the number of people that could be in our Churches at any one time. Issues about handwashing, cleaning and adequate protection for all further complicate this, making any decision about the future difficult.

Moving towards reopening our Churches is going to be very slow and carefully planned and it may even never be possible to function exactly as we have done in the past. So if you hear news stories about Churches reopening, please be aware that all decision making is the responsibility of the diocesan and area bishops and that extensive consultation will take place about how and when changes can be implemented safely. In the meantime, we will continue to worship and gather as we are at present.


St Stephen’s news update – 18th May

Visit www.ststephenscanonbury.org.uk for all our latest mailings and information and for our podcast services.
Contact John at vicar@ststephenscanonbury.org.uk or 02072267526

Welcome to our Monday mailing.

We are really sorry that our Zoom meeting failed on Sunday. For some reason, there was no sound. We will publish a new link for next Sunday on the website and in Thursday’s mailing.

Ascension Day – Thursday 21st May
This Thursday is Ascension Day and marks the end of the Easter season for this year. There will be an Ascension Day service on BBC Radio 4 at 8 pm. This will include a virtual choir singing Handel’s ‘Hallelujah Chorus. Along with a mix of hymns, prayers and seasonal reflections.’

Thy Kingdom Come
Thy Kingdom Come is a worldwide prayer initiative during the 10 days between Ascension Day and Pentecost. This year this is the 21st – 31st May. It is a chance to pray that more people will come to know Jesus Christ and for the blessing of the Holy Spirit to renew the church and the world. This is an initiative that has more relevance and urgency this year than ever. Although events planned in the diocese for this time have been cancelled, you can still take part in the initiative.

Morning Prayer with senior clergy
You can join the diocesan senior clergy for Morning Prayer each day at 9 am via the diocesan Facebook page.

You can find the services and prayer resources for this at:
https://www.thykingdomcome.global/sites/default/files/2019-03/CW%20Daily%20Prayer%20for%20Thy%20Kingdom%20Come_0.pdf

24/10 Prayer Room
The diocese are also organising a 24/10 prayer room to enable prayer to be continually offered through the 10 days. You can sign up for an hour or more by visiting here.

You can join this initiative by making some time each day (or several times) to pray:
• For 2 or 3 people you know to come to a living faith in Jesus.
• For church leaders to speak ‘truth to power’ in the power of the Holy Spirit at this time.
• For the revival of faith in our nation and the world.
• For the renewal of the church.
• For the renewal of our mission to make Jesus known to the people of our parish.

As the world struggles to cope with the many consequences of the Coronavirus, Lets’ join in this global wave of prayer and seek God’s renewal across the world, in the church and in our lives.

Encouragement from our Bishops
The London Bishops are issuing video messages to encourage all of us during this time.
You can view one from Bishop Ric here

Resource hub from St Paul’s
If you are looking for some stimulating things to listen to or read, St Pauls’ have drawn a range of their resources together into a resource hub. You can find it at
https://resourcehub.squarespace.com/

Lock-down Podcasts
Our second ‘Lock-down Podcast’ is on line on the ‘Sermons and services’ page of the website. If you would like to contribute to the third in the series you will need to record an audio file and email it to me. Poems, reflections, thoughts, music, the sounds of your lock-down world and more are all welcome. Ring or email me if you would like to know more. Hopefully, I will post Podcast 3 during next week so contributions are needed by the end of this week.

Sunday Podcasts
I hope you enjoyed the podcasts last Sunday.
All the recordings remain on the website so you can listen again or catch them at a later time.

Next Sunday Bishop Ric will provide the reflection for the Sunday after Ascension. There will be another podcast for younger members as well with another Billy adventure to enjoy.

Hopefully we will be able to successfully meet up on Zoom at 11.30 am on Sunday. The link will be on the webpage and in the Thursday mailing.

Tell others what we are doing
Surveys are showing that many more people are accessing virtual church services than would ever go to church on a Sunday. Ease of access at any time, being able to listen or watch from your own home, not having to enter a daunting Church environment and people feeling a spiritual hunger for meaning and comfort at this time are all reasons people give for this. So this is a great time to introduce others to St Stephen’s. Our 30-minute podcast services are welcoming and friendly and the podcast for younger members entertaining and fun. So why not ‘Tweet’ the links to our services or share them with your Facebook friends. You can find all the links on the church Facebook page to make them easy to share. At a time when many people think churches are closed, let’s let the world know that we are open and alive and have a ‘good news’ message to share.

Time to reflect
Each week you are invited to listen to an on-line talk and then meet on Zoom on Wednesday evening to discuss and reflect on what we have heard.
This week’s talk is by Richard Rohr and is called ‘Becoming stillness.’ This is an introduction to the principles and practice of contemplative prayer. The link is:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9TGS-JD80nE

The Zoom link for our Wednesday meeting is:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84697630447?pwd=MWpRUGVLVWR6Z0t2SmlUMGtHMWdIdz09
All are welcome to join us.

Lent Appeal
Thank you for your donations to our Lent Appeal supporting the Bishop of London’s Lent Appeal – ‘Wheels for Climate Change Emergencies.’ Your donations total £250 which we will be sending to ALMA. Thank you.

Daily Hope Phone Line - 0800 804 8044
I mentioned last week that the Church of England has launched a new ‘Daily Hope’ phone line. The number is 0800 804 8044. This is free to call and offers messages, services and hymns 24 hours a day. If you know people who are not connected to the internet tell them about it and try it out yourself.

Keep praying
I have updated the prayer requests list which is now on the website at:
http://www.ststephenscanonbury.org.uk/prayer-requests/
There are also links to prayer resources especially for this time.
http://www.ststephenscanonbury.org.uk/praying-together/
A prayer for each week is also on the ‘Praying Together’ page along with our own pattern of prayer.

Email me or phone to add requests to the list.


St Stephen’s news update – 14th May

Visit www.ststephenscanonbury.org.uk for all our latest mailings and information and for our podcast services.
Contact John at vicar@ststephenscanonbury.org.uk or 02072267526

Welcome to our news update.

Lock-down Podcast 2
Our second ‘Lock-down Podcast’ is now online. This is a mixture of poetry, music, VE day memories and readings. Contributors this time are Suzanne Roberts, Jess and Emily Elliott, David and Elizabeth Ainger, Vernon Trafford, Albert and Eddy Ainger and John Woolf. You will find it on the ‘Sermons and services’ page of the website. We hope you enjoy it. If you would like to contribute something for podcast 3 you can make a recording and email the audio file to me. Ring or email if you would like to talk about your contribution before you send it. This is a great chance to share our lock-down thoughts and experiences, so feel free to get creative and join in.
http://www.ststephenscanonbury.org.uk/sermons-services/

A time to reflect
Each week you are invited to listen to an on-line talk and then meet on Zoom on Wednesday evening at 8.30 pm to reflect together on what we have heard.
This week’s talk is by Richard Rohr and is called ‘Becoming stillness.’ This is an introduction to the principles and practice of contemplative prayer. The link is:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9TGS-JD80nE

The Zoom link for our Wednesday meeting is:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84697630447?pwd=MWpRUGVLVWR6Z0t2SmlUMGtHMWdIdz09
I’ll send some discussion questions round on Monday.
All are welcome to join us.

This Sunday – Easter 6
A service and podcast for younger members will be posted for this Sunday as usual.
This week the reflection draws from Acts 17:22-31, Paul’s time in Athens, and reflects on the spiritual context that Paul found in ancient Athens and the spiritual context we find ourselves in 20 centuries later.
The podcast for younger members includes another Billy adventure as we think about how Jesus taught us to treat others as we would want to be treated ourselves.

You can find the podcasts by visiting:
http://www.ststephenscanonbury.org.uk/sermons-services/

On Sunday 24th May, Bishop Ric Thorpe will be sharing a reflection with us.

Last week’s podcasts (and all our other services) are still online so you can catch up with any you have missed..

Meeting on Zoom
Once again you are encouraged to listen to the service at 11 am on Sunday and then log in over a coffee on Zoom to catch up, comment on the service and sermon, and share any prayer points. The link for the Zoom meeting will be at the top of the ‘Sermons and services’ page on the website.

Tell others what we are doing
Surveys are showing that many more people are accessing virtual church services than would ever go to church on a Sunday. Ease of access at any time, being able to listen or watch from your own home, not having to enter a daunting Church environment and people feeling a spiritual hunger for meaning and comfort at this time are all reasons people give for this. So this is a great time to introduce others to St Stephen’s. Our 30-minute podcast services are welcoming and friendly and the podcast for younger members entertaining and fun. So why not ‘Tweet’ the links to our services or share them with your Facebook friends. You can find all the links on the church Facebook page to make them easy to share. At a time when many people think churches are closed, let’s let the world know that we are open and alive and have a ‘good news’ message to share.

Ascension Day – Thursday 21st May
Thursday 21st May is Ascension Day and marks the end of the Easter season for this year. There will be an Ascension Day service on BBC Radio 4 at 8 pm. This will include a virtual choir singing Handel’s ‘Hallelujah Chorus. Along with a mix of hymns, prayers and seasonal reflections.’

Daily Hope Phone Line - 0800 804 8044
I mentioned previously that the Church of England has launched a new ‘Daily Hope’ phone line. The number is 0800 804 8044. This is free to call and offers messages, services and hymns 24 hours a day. If you know people who are not connected to the internet tell them about it and try it out yourself.

Lent Appeal
This is your final chance to make a donation to our lent appeal for this year. this year our appeal has been to support the Bishop of London’s Lent Appeal for Angola and Mozambique. The appeal, ‘Wheels for climate change emergencies,.’ Is to help buy trucks and resources to help diocese in Angola and Mozambique to respond to environmental emergencies caused by climate change in the region. Mozambique has experienced significant flooding and Angola extended drought. Lock-down has meant we have not been able to promote this as we usually would have done. This week is your last chance to make a donation. This will have to be direct to the bank as unfortunately accepting cash or cheques is not possible. You can find lots of information, including a link to the diocesan film about the appeal, on our website. You will also find details on how to make a donation. Please support the appeal if you can. Thank you.
http://www.ststephenscanonbury.org.uk/st-stephens-lent-appeal-2020/

Keep praying
There is a list of prayer points at the top of the ‘Praying Together’ page on the website. I will update this each Monday after our Sunday Zoom meeting.
If you have a prayer request for yourself, your family or others, you can also email me at vicar@ststephenscanonbury.org.uk

Looking forward
There has been some mention in the news recently of the possibility of Churches ‘reopening’ in July. Recent discussions within the diocese have made it clear that this does not mean that services will be able to restart in July or at any time in the near future. Issues about maintaining social distancing in Churches are significant and would drastically reduce the number of people that could be in our Churches at any one time. Issues about handwashing, cleaning and adequate protection for all further complicate this, making any decision about the future difficult.
Moving towards reopening our Churches is going to be very slow and carefully planned and it may even never be possible to function exactly as we have done in the past. So if you hear news stories about Churches reopening, please be aware that all decision making is the responsibility of the diocesan and area bishops and that extensive consultation will take place about how and when changes can be implemented safely. In the meantime, we will continue to worship and gather as we are at present.


St Stephen’s news update - 11th May

Visit www.ststephenscanonbury.org.uk for all our latest mailings and information and for our podcast services.
Contact John at vicar@ststephenscanonbury.org.uk or 02072267526

Welcome to our Monday mailing.

Lock-down Podcasts
I hope some of you have listened to the first of our ‘Lock-down Podcasts.’ This is a podcast of readings and reflections from Suzanne Roberts, Fran Trafford, John Woolf and myself from our experiences of lock-down. It is on the website on the ‘Sermons and services’ page.
The second podcast will be posted this week. It will include musical performances from Jess and Emily Elliot and Albert and Eddy Ainger, VE Day memories from David and Elizabeth Ainger and Vernon Trafford, and poems and readings from Suzanne Roberts, John Woolf and others. I’ll try and get it posted by Thursday.
If you have a phone and can make an audio recording and email it to me you can contribute to the next podcast. You could share a poem, a passage from a book you are reading (or just tell us about a book), play a piece of music, record some ‘lock-down sounds,’ share a few jokes, or just tell us about what you have been up to and share any thoughts and reflections you might have. It is entirely up to your imagination as to what to contribute. Ring or email me if you would like to know more.

Sunday Podcasts
I hope you enjoyed the podcasts last Sunday. All the recordings remain on the website so you can listen again or catch them at a later time.
http://www.ststephenscanonbury.org.uk/sermons-services/

We will post a service and reflection and podcast for younger members for next week as usual along with a Zoom link at the top of the page for our 11.30 am meeting. This week I will be providing the reflection and the following week Bishop Ric Thorpe will make a recording for us.

Time to reflect
Each week you are invited to listen to an on-line talk and then meet on Zoom on Wednesday evening to discuss and reflect on what we have heard.
This week the talk is ‘How to deal with dark times’ by Timothy Keller. It is a study in Psalm 88 and provides some insightful reflection on how we deal with the harder times in our lives. The link is:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ulmaUtbayGY
The talk lasts for about 30 mins.

I’ll email some discussion questions around in a separate email and we will meet on Zoom to reflect together on Wednesday at 8.30pm. The Zoom link is:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84697630447?pwd=MWpRUGVLVWR6Z0t2SmlUMGtHMWdIdz09
All are welcome to join us.

Church weekend away
As you know, we have decided to postpone the church weekend booked for October this year and have rescheduled for 12-14 February 2021. Information about the weekend has been circulated and you can contact me if you would like to know more. Put the dates in your diary and you can make a provisional booking for your places by emailing me to tell me how many people you are booking for and what accommodation you will need, on vicar@ststephenscanonbury.org.uk

Lent Appeal
This is your final chance to make a donation to our lent appeal for this year. this year our appeal has been to support the Bishop of London’s Lent Appeal for Angola and Mozambique. The appeal, ‘Wheels for climate change emergencies,.’ Is to help buy trucks and resources to help diocese in Angola and Mozambique to respond to environmental emergencies caused by climate change in the region. Mozambique has experienced significant flooding and Angola extended drought. Lock-down has meant we have not been able to promote this as we usually would have done. This week is your last chance to make a donation. This will have to be direct to bank as unfortunately accepting cash or cheques is not possible. You can find lots of information, including a link to the diocesan film about the appeal, on our website. You will also find details for how to make a donation. Please support the appeal if you can. Thank you.
http://www.ststephenscanonbury.org.uk/st-stephens-lent-appeal-2020/

Daily Hope Phone Line - 0800 804 8044
I mentioned last week that the Church of England has launched a new ‘Daily Hope’ phone line. The number is 0800 804 8044. This is free to call and offers messages, services and hymns 24 hours a day. If you know people who are not connected to the internet tell them about it and try it out yourself.

Keep praying
I have updated the prayer requests list which is now on the website at:
http://www.ststephenscanonbury.org.uk/prayer-requests/
There are also links to prayer resources especially for this time.
http://www.ststephenscanonbury.org.uk/praying-together/
A prayer for each week is also on the ‘Praying Together’ page along with our own pattern of prayer.
Email me or phone to add requests to the list.


St Stephen’s news update – 7th May

Visit www.ststephenscanonbury.org.uk for all our latest mailings and information and for our podcast services.
Contact John at vicar@ststephenscanonbury.org.uk or 02072267526

Welcome to our news update.

Susan Daphe
This week we heard the sad news that Susan Daphe died at home on Tuesday. Susan has been unwell for some time and her daughter Joy was caring for her. We give thanks for Susan’s life and her time with us at St Stephen’s. Please pray for Joy as she begins to make funeral arrangements at this difficult time.

Mary Allen
Mary was taken ill while undergoing her dialysis last week and is currently in The Royal Free Hospital awaiting the result of scans and tests. Please pray for her and her family, particularly as visitors are not permitted at this time.

This Sunday
A service and podcast for younger members will be posted for this Sunday as usual. Timothy Muller was due to record a reflection for the service but has been unwell since his operation last week. Instead, I will be reflecting on St Stephen and what we can learn from our Patron Saint. The service also includes a moment of remembrance and thanksgiving on the 75th anniversary of VE day. The podcast for younger members includes another Billy adventure as we think about what Jesus taught us about forgiveness.

You can find the podcasts by visiting Sermons and services

Last week’s podcasts (and all our other services) are still online so you can catch up with any you have missed.

Meeting on Zoom
Once again you are encouraged to listen to the service at 11 am on Sunday and then log in over a coffee on Zoom to catch up, comment on the service and sermon, and share any prayer points. The link for the Zoom meeting will be at the top of the ‘Sermons and services’ page on the website.

Daily Hope Phone Line - 0800 804 8044
I mentioned last week that the Church of England has launched a new ‘Daily Hope’ phone line. The number is 0800 804 8044. This is free to call and offers messages, services and hymns 24 hours a day. If you know people who are not connected to the internet tell them about it and try it out yourself.

Tell us what has been happening for you for our Lock-down Podcasts.
The first Lock-down Podcast is online with contributions from Suzanne, Fran, John Woolf and myself. You can find it on the ‘Sermons and services’ page of the website. There is poetry, readings and some ‘slow radio’ for Suzanne and Jonathan. Check it out. I’ve had a few contributions for the 2nd edition but others are welcome to send anything to include. Poems, readings, thoughts, music, the sounds around you. See what you can record and email to me and I’ll get it online this week. If you need help with recording and emailing let me know and I’ll try to advise.

Time to reflect
This week there is another talk to listen to and then a chance to meet on Zoom on Wednesday at 8.30 pm to discuss.
The talk is ‘How to deal with dark times’ by Timothy Keller. It is a study in Psalm 88 and provides some insightful reflection on how we deal with the harder times in our lives. The link is:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ulmaUtbayGY
The talk lasts for about 30 mins.

I’ll email some discussion questions around on Monday and we will meet on Zoom to reflect together on Wednesday at 8.30 pm. The Zoom link is:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84697630447?pwd=MWpRUGVLVWR6Z0t2SmlUMGtHMWdIdz09
All are welcome to join us.

Lent Appeal
Thank you for your donations towards our Lent appeal for Angola and Mozambique. You can find information at:
http://www.ststephenscanonbury.org.uk/st-stephens-lent-appeal-2020/
Donations can be made direct to bank, details are on the web page.

Church weekend away
Our church weekend has been rescheduled from October 2020 to 12-14 February 2021. It will be at the High Leigh Conference Centre in Hertfordshire and we hope by then to be able to enjoy a fun weekend with no restrictions. Details have been circulated, please contact me if you would like to know more. You can book places by emailing me at vicar@ststephenscanonbury.org.uk.

Keep praying
There is now a list of prayer points at the top of the ‘Praying Together’ page on the website.
I will update this each Monday after our Zoom meeting.
If you have a prayer request for yourself, your family or others, you can also email me at vicar@ststephenscanonbury.org.uk

Looking forward
We anticipate that government advice regarding the lock-down will begin to change over the next few weeks. The church is preparing to respond to this and make plans for how Churches might begin to open and corporate worship begin again. The Archbishops have put the responsibility for making these plans into the hands of diocesan bishops and in London next week clergy will be meeting (on zoom) in deaneries to begin to work out what the next few months might look like. The only certainty about timescale is that easing the lock-down will be a slow process with many restrictions remaining for a considerable time. Safety will always be the foremost consideration, particularly of the many elderly members of churches across the diocese. I will keep you up-to-date with plans as they emerge and look forward to the time when we will be able to gather together on Sundays once again, no matter how long this may take.


St Stephen’s news update - 4th May

Visit: www.ststephenscanonbury.org.uk
Contact John at vicar@ststephenscanonbury.org.uk or on 02072267526

Welcome to our Monday mailing.

Lock-down Podcasts
The first of our ‘Lock-down Podcasts’ will soon be available. Visit the ‘Sermons and services’ page on the website and it will be posted at the top of the list. There are contributions from Suzanne Roberts, Fran Trafford, John Woolf and myself along with a song from Dave Bilborough. If you have a phone and can make a recording and email it to me you can contribute to the next podcast. You could share a poem, a passage from a book you are reading (or just tell us about a book), play a piece of music, record some ‘lock-down sounds,’ share a few jokes, or just tell us about what you have been up to and share any thoughts and reflections you might have. It is entirely up to your imagination as to what to contribute. Ring or email me if you would like to know more.

VE Day
This Friday is the 75th anniversary of VE day when hostilities ceased and World War II came to an end in western Europe. The Bank Holiday that would have been on 4th May has been moved to 8th May to mark this but the planned celebrations across the country can of course not take place. If we were meeting in Church on Sunday the service would have included the marking of this anniversary and the service podcast for Next Sunday will include a short moment of remembrance and thanksgiving. The TV and radio schedules on Friday will include programmes that mark this anniversary including an address to the nation from HM The Queen. It is worth us remembering the direct impact the war had on St Stephen’s and the parish. On VE day in 1945 St Stephen’s was a bomb site with much of the Church destroyed and the surrounding area badly damaged. We give thanks though that out of this destruction a new St Stephen’s arose that has been able to be a beacon of hope for this area for the past 60 years.

Sunday Podcasts
I hope you enjoyed the podcasts last Sunday. Thank you to all who were involved in the recordings and particular thanks to Joy for sharing her reflection. All the recordings remain on the website so you can listen again or catch them at a later time.
http://www.ststephenscanonbury.org.uk/sermons-services/

We will post a service and reflection and podcast for younger members for next week as usual along with a Zoom link at the top of the page for our 11.30 am meeting. Timothy Muller will be providing the reflection for us.

Time to reflect
Each week you are invited to listen to an on-line talk and then meet on Zoom to discuss and reflect on what we have heard.

This week the talk is by John Swinton and Rowan Williams and is titled ‘Who am I? Identity, faith and being human.’ It particularly focusses on dementia and how we can still see identity and preserve spirituality for those who find themselves with this condition. I will send a separate email with more details. The talk can be found at
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HVx8dfMIR7k

Church weekend away
I Emailed last week to let you know that we have decided to postpone the church weekend booked for October this year and have rescheduled for 12-14 February 2021. Information about the weekend has been circulated and you can contact me if you would like to know more. You can make a provisional booking for your places by emailing me to tell me how many people you are booking for and what accommodation you will need, on vicar@ststephenscanonbury.org.uk.

Lent Appeal
Our Lent Appeal this year has been to support the Bishop of London’s Lent Appeal for Angola and Mozambique. The appeal, ‘Wheels for climate change emergencies,.’ Is to help buy trucks and resources to help diocese in Angola and Mozambique to respond to environmental emergencies caused by climate change in the region. Mozambique has experienced significant flooding and Angola extended drought. Lock-down has meant we have not been able to promote this as we usually would have done. It is still possible to make a donation directly to a bank but unfortunately accepting cash or cheques is not possible. You can find lots of information, including a link to the diocesan film about the appeal, on our website. You will also find details for how to make a donation. Please support the appeal if you can. Thank you.
http://www.ststephenscanonbury.org.uk/st-stephens-lent-appeal-2020/

Keep praying
I have updated the prayer requests list which is now on the website at:
http://www.ststephenscanonbury.org.uk/prayer-requests/
There are also links to prayer resources, especially for this time.
http://www.ststephenscanonbury.org.uk/praying-together/
A prayer for each week is also on the ‘Praying Together’ page along with our own pattern of prayer.
Email me or phone to add requests to the list.


Stephen’s news update – 30th April

Visit www.ststephenscanonbury.org.uk for all our latest mailings and information and for our podcast services.
Contact John at vicar@ststephenscanonbury.org.uk or 02072267526

Welcome to our news update.

This Sunday
This Sunday Joy Faulkner-Mpeho will provide the reflection for our podcast service.
The readings are Psalm 23 and Acts 2:42-47 where we read about the life of the early church in Jerusalem after the Day of Pentecost.
There will be a podcast for younger members as well. We will be thinking about Jesus instructions to his disciples to ‘Go out into all the world and tell everyone about him.’ We will be thinking about what it means to be ‘brave’ and there will be another Billy adventure as well.

You can find the podcasts by visiting the ‘Sermons and services’ page.

Last week’s podcasts (and all our other services) are still online. If you haven’t listened yet, I encourage you to listen to the Frank Topping Road to Emmaus meditation which has been a favourite of mine for many years.

Next week Timothy Muller will record a reflection for us and on 24th May Bishop Ric Thorpe will join us as well.

Meeting on Zoom
Once again you are encouraged to listen to the service at 11 am on Sunday and then log in on Zoom to catch up, comment on the service and sermon, and share any prayer points. The link for the Zoom meeting is below and will be at the top of the ‘Sermons and services’ page on the website. I think 30 people logged on last Sunday so it is becoming a fun social event.

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81894446133

Daily Hope Phone Line - 0800 804 8044
The Church of England has launched a new ‘Daily Hope’ phone line. The number is 0800 804 8044. This is free to call and offers messages, services and hymns 24 hours a day. If you know people who are not connected to the internet tell them about it and try it out yourself.

Tell us what has been happening for you.
Thank you to the few people who have sent me some lock-down thoughts and reflections. Next week I’ll put together a magazine-style podcast to share these with you. There is time to send me more. You could share a poem, reading, play a piece of music, tell us about something that has happened to you, share something you’ve read or just reflect on what life is like for you. You will need to be able to record an audio file and email this to me. You can do this on any smartphone, tablet or computer. If you would like to send something but don’t know how let me know and I’ll try and hook you up with someone who could explain. I’ll get them edited together and post them on the website from time to time. Think about what you could share with us at this time.

Time to reflect
This coming week you can listen to another in the St Paul’s adult learning series of talks and then meet on Zoom at 8.30pm on Wednesday to discuss this and share your reflections.

The talk is: ‘Who am I? Identity, faith and being human’ by John Swinton and Rowan Williams.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HVx8dfMIR7k

John Swinton is a leading disability theologian and Rowan Williams needs no introductions. This is a wonderful reflection that includes thinking about spirituality and dementia.

I will email the Zoom link around with some questions for our reflections on Monday.

Lent Appeal
Our Lent Appeal this year has been to support the Bishop of London’s Lent Appeal for Angola and Mozambique. The appeal, ‘Wheels for climate change emergencies,.’ Is to help buy trucks and resources to help diocese in Angola and Mozambique to respond to environmental emergencies caused by climate change in the region. Mozambique has experienced significant flooding and Angola extended drought. Lock-down has meant we have not been able to promote this as we usually would have done. It is still possible to make a donation direct to bank but unfortunately accepting cash or cheques is not possible. You can find lots of information, including a link to the diocesan film about the appeal, on our website. You will also find details on how to make a donation. Please support the appeal if you can. Thank you.
http://www.ststephenscanonbury.org.uk/st-stephens-lent-appeal-2020/

Church weekend away
Our church weekend has been rescheduled from October 2020 to 12-14 February 2021. It will be at the High Leigh Conference Centre in Hertfordshire and we hope by then to be able to enjoy a fund weekend with no restrictions. Details have been circulated, please contact me if you would like to know more. You can book places by emailing me at vicar@ststephenscanonbury.org.uk

Keep praying
There is now a list of prayer points at the top of the ‘Praying Together’ page on the website.
I will update this each Monday after our Zoom meeting.
If you have a prayer request for yourself, your family or others, you can also email me at vicar@ststephenscanonbury.org.uk


St Stephen’s news bulletin - 27th April

Visit: www.ststephenscanonbury.org.uk
Contact John at vicar@ststephenscanonbury.org.uk or on 02072267526

Welcome to our Monday mailing.

It was good to see so many of you on Zoom yesterday and to catch-up with what has been going on for you. There are lots of prayer points on our prayer list now and I update these each week. Visit the website and click on the ‘Praying Together’ page. You can always email or ring me with any additional prayer requests.

Lent Appeal
Our Lent Appeal this year has been to support the Bishop of London’s Lent Appeal for Angola and Mozambique. The appeal, ‘Wheels for climate change emergencies,.’ Is to help buy trucks and resources to help diocese in Angola and Mozambique to respond to environmental emergencies caused by climate change in the region. Mozambique has experienced significant flooding and Angola extended drought. Lock-down has meant we have not been able to promote this as we usually would have done. It is still possible to make a donation direct to bank but unfortunately accepting cash or cheques is not possible. You can find lots of information, including a link to the diocesan film about the appeal, on our website. You will also find details for how to make a donation. Please support the appeal if you can. Thank you.
http://www.ststephenscanonbury.org.uk/st-stephens-lent-appeal-2020/

Sunday Podcasts
I hope you enjoyed the podcasts for last Sunday. Thank you to all who were involved on the recordings. All the recordings remain on the website so you can listen again or catch them at a later time.
http://www.ststephenscanonbury.org.uk/sermons-services/

We will post a service and reflection and podcast for younger members for next week as usual along with a Zoom link at the top of the page for our 11.30am meeting. Joy will be providing the reflection for us.

Time to reflect
Each week you are invited to listen to an on-line talk and then meet on Zoom to discuss and reflect on what we have heard. This week you are encouraged to listen to a talk by rowan Williams from the St Paul’s Adult Learning archive and then to meet on Zoom on Wednesday at 8.30 pm to discuss this. See the separate email about this with links and discussion questions.

Lock-down reflections
I suggested last week that it would be nice to collect your thoughts and reflections from lock-down in audio format and share these as a podcast from time to time. You could read a poem, tell us about a book, share a prayer, just muse on what you have experienced, interview your family, play a piece of music or offer anything else that says something about your lock-down experience. You will need to record an audio file, which you can do on a tablet or smartphone, and email it to me. If you don’t know how to do this and would like help, let me know and I’ll try and find someone who can talk to you. So far I have had no offers or contributions. Think about it though, it would be nice to share and record some of our experiences and thoughts from this time.

Church weekend away
I Emailed last week to let you know that we have decided to postpone the church weekend booked for October this year and have rescheduled for 12-14 February 2021. Information about the weekend is attached. You can make a provisional booking for your places by emailing me to tell me how many people you are booking for and what accommodation you will need, on vicar@ststephenscanonbury.org.uk.

Keep praying
I have updated the prayer requests list which is now on the website at:
http://www.ststephenscanonbury.org.uk/prayer-requests/
There are also links to prayer resources especially for this time.
http://www.ststephenscanonbury.org.uk/praying-together/
A prayer for each week is also on the ‘Praying Together’ page along with our own pattern of prayer.


St Stephen’s news update – 23rd April

Visit www.ststephenscanonbury.org.uk for all our latest mailings and information and for our podcast services.
Contact John at vicar@ststephenscanonbury.org.uk or 02072267526

Welcome to our news update.

This Sunday

This Sunday our theme is ‘The Road to Emmaus.’ Although we are not able to celebrate Communion together at this time, the service includes an opportunity to join with these Emmaus road disciples and ‘break bread’ together as a sign of our unity as the people of God. So to take part fully in the service you will need to have a bread roll or slice of bread to hand.

There will be 3 podcasts for you to listen to.

The service and reflection and the podcast for younger members, and also a recording of a meditation on The Road To Emmaus by Frank Topping read by me and Rachel Lindley.

You will find them on the website as usual:
‘Sermons and services’

The reading is Luke 24:13-35

The Frank Topping meditation is a wonderfully evocative reflection on what the 2 disciples on the road to Emmaus experienced and felt. You could listen to this before you listen to the service at 11 am or listen to it later in the day.

Over the next few weeks, others will be recording reflections for the podcasts.

3rd May – Joy Faulkner-Mpeho
10th May – Timothy Muller
17th May – John Beauchamp
24th May – Bishop Ric Thorpe

Previous podcast services along with the material for Holy Week and a sermon archive stretching back over several years are also available.

Meeting on Zoom
Once again you are encouraged to listen to the service at 11 am on Sunday and then log in on Zoom to catch up, comment on the service and sermon, and share any prayer points. The link for the Zoom meeting will be at the top of the ‘Sermons and services’ page on the website.

Tell us what has been happening for you.
I said in last week’s mailing that it would be really good if some of you would like to share your lock-down thoughts and what you have been up to over past weeks. You could share a poem, reading, play a piece of music, something that has happened to you, something you’ve read or just what life is like for you. You will need to be able to record an audio file and email this to me. You can do this on any smartphone, tablet or computer. If you would like to send something but don’t know how, let me know and I’ll try and hook you up with someone who could explain. If I get some contributions I’ll get them edited together and posted on the website each week. So far no contributions have been received so don’t be shy, think about what you could share with us at this time.

Time to reflect
I hope some of you enjoyed listening to the talk by Michael Curry. I am really sorry that there were problems with the Zoom meeting we arranged for Wednesday evening. I could not get on to it and apologies if you tried and were frustrated by the ‘this meeting is for authorised people only’ messages. We will do our best to avoid this next week. I am told that those who did manage to join the meeting enjoyed reflecting on all that Michael Curry said.

The next talk you are encouraged to listen to is ‘Jesus Christ, the unanswered questions’ by Rowan Williams

Again, this lasts for about 2 hours with a talk and then questions and answers. Listen to the first 45 minutes if you don’t’ have time to get through it all.

We will then meet again on Wednesday 29th April at 8.30 pm on Zoom to reflect on this.
I will email the Zoom link in Monday’s mailing along with some questions to focus our thinking.

The following week we will listen to
‘Who am I? Identity, faith and being human’ by John Swinton and Rowan Williams.

John Swinton is a leading disability theologian and Rowan Williams needs no introductions. This is a wonderful reflection that includes thinking about spirituality and dementia.

Keep praying
There is now a list of prayer points at the top of the ‘Praying Together’ page on the website.
I will update this each Monday after our Zoom meeting.
If you have a prayer request for yourself, your family or others, you can also email me at vicar@ststephenscanonbury.org.uk


St Stephen’s news bulletin 20th April.

Welcome to the first news bulletin of this week.

Florence Price
Yesterday we heard the sad news that Florence Price died suddenly on Saturday. Florence was the wife of Sylvestre Price who died in 2018. Sylvestre was a long-term member of St Stephen’s and supporter of Manna. Although Florence was not a regular attender at St Stephen’s many of us knew her and her family. Please pray for her children and wider family as they come to terms with her death and arrange her funeral at this difficult time.

Time to reflect.
On the St Paul’s website, there are many films of past talks by world-renowned speakers in their adult learning series. While we are in lock-down we thought it would be useful for some to listen to one of these and spend a little time together on Zoom reflecting on what we have heard. We will try the first of these this week.

The talk to listen to is ‘Where love is the way – The Jesus movement now’ by Michael Curry.
Michael Curry is the American Archbishop who spoke at Harry and Megan’s wedding.
The link to the talk is:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0P5yz_ORq4w

There is a talk followed by questions and answers. The whole event lasts for just over 2 hours. The Q and A is worth listening to if you have the time but listen to the talk that lasts for about 30 minutes.

We will then meet on Zoom on Wednesday at 8.30pm for about 40 minutes to share thoughts and reflections.

The Zoom link is:
https://efedu.zoom.us/j/99309116532

The questions we can reflect on are:
Is the current Coronavirus pandemic an opportunity for the church to show the radical love that Michael Curry talks about in a new way?
If it is, how can we do this now and beyond this time of lock-down?
Is this time of separation teaching us anything about what it means to be a community build on love and a community dedicated to sharing love?

Listen to the talk and come and join us to reflect on these questions.

Next week the talk to listen to is ‘Jesus Christ, the unanswered questions’ by Rowan Williams
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AVZbNkDG5J4&feature=emb_title

And the following week, ‘Who am I? Identity, faith and being human’ by John Swinton and Rowan Williams.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HVx8dfMIR7k

I will circulate some questions for discussion and we will meet on Zoom at 8.30 pm each Wednesday.
If you would like to take part in this, drop me an email and let me know – vicar@ststephenscanonbury.org.uk

Sunday Services
The statistics tell us that our Sunday podcasts are being listened to nearly 50 times each week which means a good number of you and several others from outside the St Stephen’s community are using them. It is good to hear that the podcasts for younger members are being enjoyed by children and adults as well.

Podcasts for next Sunday will be posted on the website again. The reading is The Road to Emmaus from Luke 24. I will record a reflection for this week. Joy will record one for the following Sunday and Timothy the Sunday after that.

We will continue to meet on Zoom at 11.30 am each Sunday to catch-up after the service. The link will be published on the website at the top of the ‘Sermons and services’ page.
Congratulations to those of you who have now mastered the art of getting on to Zoom.

Help on your doorstep.
In the Thursday mailing last week I included an appeal from ‘Help on Your Doorstep’ for befrienders who can offer either telephone support to people in isolation or practical help with collecting and delivering medication and other items. Help on Your Doorstep says:

‘We are looking for telephone befrienders to offer friendly phone calls every 2-3 days, and also befrienders who are able to take essential supplies to these residents. Volunteers can do either of these roles or both. We are offering volunteers training and supervision from a Coordinator, and support from the Advice and Guidance team at HOYD. This is to ensure that both volunteers and residents are able to enjoy the experience, feel safe and know where to go for information and advice as and when they need it. We are looking for a minimum 8-week commitment and we will match volunteers with residents so that a relationship of trust can be established.’

The role description and volunteer application form are attached.
You can find out more from Denise Ward at denisefrancesward@gmail.com

Please pray.

Here is our current updated prayer list.
If you have a specific prayer request please email me at vicar@ststephenscanonbury.org.uk

Prayer request - Monday 20th April

Please pray

Pray for the family of Florence Price after her sudden death on Saturday.
Pray for Susan Daphe and Joy Eni. Susan is receiving palliative care at home and Joy is caring for her.
Pray for Val Bull who is unwell in her care home.
Pray for Manna that staff can still offer valuable support with current restrictions.
Pray for Urban Hope, especially for K’Jaurn and Anna now on Furlough.
Pray for all our members who work in the health service – Suzanne and Jonathan Roberts, Jeni Cousins, Max Hurd, Eleni Barlow and Annie Ainger.
Pray for Marian’s brother Michael who cannot be contacted, that he will reach out to his family. Also for Marian’s son and daughters and wider family.
Pray for Timothy currently isolating for 14 days after the care home he works in has cases of CV19. Pray for all care homes and those with dementia at this time.
Pray for Martin Durkin who is very unwell with CV19 and for Kate and the family supporting him.
Pray for Christian and Sandy as Sandys back is troubling her and Christian returns to work at the FCO. Pray that they find suitable childcare arrangements.
Pray for all civil servants still working in these extraordinary and stressful circumstances.
Rachel and John Woolf ask us to pray for their friends Mandy and Tero whose 3 year old son Noah died suddenly and whose funeral took place recently.
Lizzie and Daniel ask us to pray for 2 friends, Knomes and Christina, whose mothers have both died recently.
Rachel Lindley asks us to pray for her Aunty Doreen who is in a care home with CV19 cases.
Rachel Woolf asks us to pray for her Grandfather who has had a stroke. Give thanks that he has returned home and has no CV19 symptoms.
Basil asks us to pray for the family of Nikos, a member of the security team at his work, who has died after contracting CV19
Anna asks us to pray for her father, Martin, and for her sister, Jenny, who is pregnant and understandably anxious at this time.
Sarah and Ian ask us to pray for Ian’s parents, Jim and Sheila. Jim is in a care home and they are grateful that Sheila is now able to call him to keep in touch. Pray for the staff and residents as there have been Covid 19 cases in the home.
Pray for Luke and Annie and Albert and Eddy who are living in a small flat with Annie’s father, Joost, while the builders are supposed to be working in their house. Pray for Annie as she works on the NHS frontline in A & E and for Joost’s safety as he is 78.
Pray for all whose work contracts have been terminated or not renewed due to Coronavirus uncertainty.
Rose asks us to pray for her parents in Uganda who are very concerned for her and the family in London.
Sarah Strang asks us to pray that people will use parks sensibly so they can stay open for those who really need the open space.
Pray for those suffering domestic abuse and violence and living in fear at this time of lockdown.
Pray for Pastor Emmanuel and all the congregation at St Stephen’s Luanda now in lock down and unable to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the church as planned.


St Stephen’s news bulletin 13th April

Dear Friends,

I hope you managed to journey through Holy Week and celebrate Easter as best as you could. Our Holy Week material and Easter podcasts are still on the website if you haven’t accessed them yet. It was good to catch up with so many of you on Zoom yesterday as well as talking to a good number of you on the phone.

We are all finding this experience different and will at times all find it particularly stressful and difficult. I am always on the end of the phone to talk or pray if I can help – 02072267526 or 07946161098.

Hopefully, those of you who are working from home will find this week a little easier as it would have been a holiday week for many. Particularly if you are working from home and looking after children at the same time.

Please do continue to pray for those who work in the NHS as they face unprecedented pressure and stress. Particularly those we know here at St Stephen’s - Suzanne and Jonathan Roberts, Jeni Cousins, Max Hurd, Eleni Barlow, and Annie Ainger.

Many religious and social commentators are highlighting the need to learn from this experience and re-examine our priorities and goals as a society. As stark inequalities are sharply focussed and the fragility of much of what we thought was dependable exposed, let’s pray that the courage is found to be open and honest about our failings and creative and innovative about shaping a new way forward.

Services and a podcast for younger members to use next Sunday will be posted again during this week and we will meet on Zoom again at 11.30 am if you have mastered the technology needed to do this.

It would be great to hear more from you though. I’d like to include news or reflections from any of you if you are able to record your thoughts and send me a sound file. It could be your own words or a reading or a piece of poetry (I thought the poem Sarah included in the prayers was particularly helpful and beautiful). So if you have any ‘lock-down thoughts’ or something to share that has helped or inspired you recently, record yourself if you can and email me a sound file.
vicar@ststephenscanonbury.org.uk. Keep it to about 2 or 3 minutes.
If you are not sure how to record yourself on a computer, IPad or phone let me know and I’ll try and link you up with someone with the technical knowhow. (Unfortunately, we cannot post videos).

In the meantime, have a good week. Below is the prayer list that has been building up over the past few weeks. Email me if you would like to add to this. Do use this in your prayers this week.

With continuing Easter greetings – Alleluia! Christ is risen!

John

Prayer list

Monday 13th April

Please pray

Please pray for Susan Daphe and Joy Eni. Susan is receiving palliative care at home and Joy is caring for her.
Basil asks us to pray for the family of Nikos, a member of the security team at his work, who has died after contracting CV19
Anna asks us to pray for her father, Martin, and for her sister, Jenny, who is pregnant and understandably anxious at this time.
Joy and Rufin give thanks that their friend Yemi is recovering from CV19 and that Liz, his wife, is also well.
Sarah and Ian ask us to pray for Ian’s parents, Jim and Sheila. Jim is in a care home and they are grateful that Sheila is now able to call him to keep in touch. Pray for the staff and residents as there have been Covid 19 cases in the home.
Please pray for Christian and Sandy. Give thanks that Christian has recovered well from CV19. Pray for Sandy whose back is troubling her and for Christian has he has to return to work.
Please pray for Luke and Annie and Albert and Eddy who are living in a small flat with Annie’s father, Joost, while the builders are supposed to be working in their house. Pray for Annie as she goes back to frontline working in A & E and for Joost’s safety as he is 78.
Please pray for all whose work contracts have been terminated or not renewed due to Coronavirus uncertainty.
Pray for all our members who work in the health service – Suzanne and Jonathan Roberts, Jeni Cousins, Max Hurd, Eleni Barlow and Annie Ainger.
Pray for Jonathan Roberts and all doctors/consultants conducting clinics on the phone and concerned about missing symptoms of serious illness.
Rose asks us to pray for her parents in Uganda who are very concerned for her and the family in London.
Rachel Lindley asks us to pray for a school friend recovering from serious effects of CV19. Pray for a swift recovery.
Christian asks us to pray for a colleague and their family all of whom are recovering from CV19.
Sarah Strang asks us to pray that people will use parks sensibly so they can stay open for those who really need the open space.
Rachel Woolf asks us to pray for her Grandfather who has had a stroke. Pray for him as he returns home from hospital this week and give thanks that he has no signs of CV19.
Rachel Woolf also asks us to pray for her friends Mandy and Tero whose 3 year old son Noah died suddenly and whose funeral was last week.
Please pray for those suffering domestic abuse and violence and living in fear at this time of lockdown.
Lizzie and Daniel ask us to pray for 2 friends, Knomes and Christina, whose mothers have both died recently.
Please pray for Timothy Muller and for the care homes he works in as a music therapist. pray especially for elderly people with dementia now in even more isolation than usual.
Pray for Pastor Emmanuel and all the congregation at St Stephen’s Luanda now in lock down and unable to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the church as planned.


St Stephen’s news update 9th April

Dear friends,

Today we enter into the final great drama of the Gospel. The last supper and Jesus washing of his disciples feet. Jesus anguish at Gethsemane and his betrayal. His arrest and trial and condemnation. His crucifixion and burial. This 24 hours of brutal drama are 24 hours that changed the world as the Christ, the fullness of God, absorbs into himself the very worst of human suffering and pain. We are called to travel through this time holding its stories and events in an awe-filled silence at the depth of love and grace that we see. Love and grace that is still ours today here in Islington (or wherever you are) in 2020.

At this strange time there is a new starkness to our Maundy Thursday and Good Friday experience. As we hear the figures of Covid 19 deaths still increasing, hear the stories of individuals who reach out to care in hospital and the community, and live with separation from family and friends, all around us is the suffering and service that is embodied in Jesus at this time.

‘Now that I, your Lord and teacher, have washed your feet, so you should wash one another’s feet.’
‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’

In so many ways these Passion imperatives are being lived out around us time and time again. But as we live and hold these experiences today, we are of course also moving inextricably towards Easter. Towards an early morning garden and an empty tomb and the words.

‘Why do you look for the living amongst the dead? He is not here, he is risen!’

From the evening of Maundy Thursday until 3pm on Good Friday, Jesus lived through hell. He walked the pathway into the very depths of hell in every way. But for Jesus this was also the path to Paradise, the pathway to heaven, and the same can often be true for us in our lives today as well. We live these Maundy Thursday and Good Friday experiences with Jesus in a new and stark way this year, but this then leads us on to Easter Sunday. On to the resurrection hope that is planted at the centre of creation in the risen Jesus words, ‘Peace be with you.’

As we find ourselves in a new and stark way traveling the Maundy Thursday and Good Friday pathway, let’s also open our hearts and eyes and minds to the Easter hope in a new way as well. We hold the pain of a world in crisis, but live in the sure and certain knowledge that beyond pain is Paradise as, even in these times, God is making all things beautiful in their time.

You are invited to join our podcast services and material available on the website

http://www.ststephenscanonbury.org.uk/sermons-services/

Listen to the chapters of Mark for each day and join in the services for Maundy Thursday at 7.30 pm and the meditation for Good Friday at 2 pm.
Then join us on Easter Sunday for our service and podcast for younger members.
You will also find the final chapter of Mark and links to a short video clip mentioned in the service and an extract from ‘The Miracle Maker’ telling the Easter story.

You are also invited to join us on Zoom at 11.30 am on Sunday. The link is:

https://zoom.us/j/219769861

You will need a laptop or tablet with a camera and a microphone. Click on the link and follow the instructions.

I have found the London bishops Holy Week reflections really helpful. You can find them at:
https://www.london.anglican.org/articles/holy-week-2020/

And the material from St Paul’s Adult Learning helpful as well.
https://www.stpauls.co.uk/learning-faith/adult-learning

St Pauls’ have also put together some meditations and services with links to music from the cathedral choir.
https://www.stpauls.co.uk/lent-and-easter

Please keep praying. You can find our current prayer request list on Monday’s mailing and on the ‘Coronavirus information’ page on the website. If you have a specific prayer request for yourself or others email me at vicar@ststephenscanonbury.org.uk. We also collect prayer requests during our Zoom meeting.

No matter what your circumstances are – at home with lively children trying to keep the peace and find activities, at home separated from family with only the phone or internet for contact, on your own with plenty of time to think, reflect and pray – I pray that these next few days are days of blessing in which you know the presence of our saviour both in his Passion and his resurrection.

With my prayers for you all.

John


St Stephens News Bulletin - 6 April

Dear Friends,

I hope you are all as well as can be and enjoying what you can of this spring weather when you take your daily exercise. Those of you who live close to St Stephen’s may know that Canonbury Road is closed for roadworks at the moment so we are enjoying some unusual peace and quiet at the vicarage and particularly enjoying the birdsong through the day.

I hope you enjoyed using the podcast services and material for younger members yesterday. It is all still on the website if you haven’t listened yet. My thanks to Joy, Lois, Jess and Emily for taking part in the service. It was lovely to hear a number of you on Zoom after this and to catch-up with how things are. We will do this again next Sunday, the link will be published on the ‘sermons and services’ page of the website.

As we enter Holy Week we are called to enter a time of reflection and prayer, following Jesus on his journey to the cross with all the startling events that lead up to this.

With our meetings suspended lots of material has been put online to aid your prayer and reflection this week.

On our church website, you will find recordings of the Gospel as told by Mark. You can listen to 3 chapters a day Monday – Friday and then the final chapter on Easter Sunday. This is a wonderful way of experiencing Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday through the lens of the whole Gospel story, so I encourage you to listen each day if you can.

Then there is a service and reflection for Maundy Thursday to be used in the evening. This ends with the ‘Gospel of the Watch’ which would traditionally lead into a prayer vigil that could last all night. I encourage you to listen at 7.30 pm and make time to be still and silent for a while afterwards. You will need a candle and matches and a bowl of water and towel to take part.

For Good Friday, along with the chapters from Mark telling the story of Jesus’ crucifixion, there is a series of reflections on the 7 last words of Jesus from the cross. This could be used at 2 pm as you keep watch with Jesus during his last hour of suffering before his death.

The London Bishops are also producing a series of daily meditations for this week. These are also based on the 7 last words of Jesus. You can find them by visiting:
https://www.london.anglican.org/articles/holy-week-2020/

St Paul’s Cathedral Adult Learning are also producing online resources while the cathedral is closed and usual events cannot take place. These will include reflections by Lucy Winkett during Holy Week. There is also an extensive library of recordings of past events that is well worth exploring. Sign up to their mailing list for up-to-date information about what is available. Visit: https://www.stpauls.co.uk/learning-faith/adult-learning

Please pray

Through or Zoom meetings and messages we are compiling a list of prayer requests.
Please hold the following in your prayers over the next few days.

Please pray for Susan Daphe and Joy Eni. Susan is receiving palliative care at home and Joy is caring for her.
Basil asks us to pray for the family of Nikos, a member of the security team at his work, who has died after contracting CV19
Anna asks us to pray for her father, Martin, and for her sister, Jenny, who is pregnant and understandably anxious at this time.
Joy and Rufin ask us to pray for Yemmie who has tested positive for CV19 and for his wife Liz now in isolation.
Sarah and Ian ask us to pray for Ian’s parents, Jim and Sheila. Jim is in quarantine in a care home and Sheila is unable to visit or call him. Pray for the staff and residents as there have been Covid 19 deaths in the home.
Please pray for Christian and Sandy. Christian is recovering from CV19 and Sandy has been unwell this week.
Please pray for Luke and Annie and Albert and Eddy who are living in a small flat with Annie’s father while the builders are supposed to be working in their house.
Please pray for all whose work contracts have been terminated or not renewed due to Coronavirus uncertainty.
Pray for our members who work in the health service – Suzanne and Jonathan Roberts, Jeni Cousins, Max Hurd, Eleni Barlow and Annie Ainger.
Pray for Jonathan Roberts and all doctors/consultants conducting clinics on the phone and concerned about missing symptoms of serious illness.
Rose asks us to pray for her parents in Uganda who are very concerned for her and the family in London.
Rachel Lindley asks us to pray for a school friend recovering from serious effects of CV19. Pray for a swift recovery.
Christian asks us to pray for a colleague and their family all of whom are recovering from CV19.
Sarah Strang asks us to pray that people will use parks sensibly so they can stay open for those who really need the open space.
Rachel Woolf asks us to pray for her Grandfather currently in hospital after a stroke, that he can avoid CV19 and get home safely.
Rachel Woolf also asks us to pray for her friends Mandy and Tero whose 3 year old son Noah died suddenly and whose funeral is this week.
Please pray for those suffering domestic abuse and violence and living in fear at this time of lockdown.
Lizzie and Daniel ask us to pray for 2 friends, Knomes and Christina, whose mothers have both died during this past week.

With my prayers for you all during this Holy Week.

John


St Stephen’s news update Thursday 2nd April 2020

Visit the church website – www.ststephenscanonbury.org.uk – for information about what we are able to offer during the Coronavirus crisis.

Greetings to you all,

Welcome to our second mailing for this week.

It has been good to catch up with a good number of you on the phone and by email and Zoom over the past few days.
Fortunately, most of you seem to be bearing the current restrictions well although there are and will be ups and downs for all of us.

See the prayer requests below and support those mentioned with your prayers each day.
I am always happy to chat on the phone. Ring me on 02072267526 or 07946161098 or email on vicar@ststephenscanonbury.org.uk

Keep praying and keep yourselves safe.

You can find all our recent mailings at
http://www.ststephenscanonbury.org.uk/coronavirus-information/

News from Stuart and Margaret

Stuart is strengthening in his slow recovery from pneumonia caused by the Coronavirus. In the last few days, he has pottered in the garden which is good for his lungs. Previously he didn’t have the energy for that but he still tires quickly. He’s been told to expect it to take about six weeks to get better.
Stuart and Margaret thank their friends at St Stephen’s very much for all your prayers and best wishes.

Podcasts for this Sunday

This Sunday is Palm Sunday and there will be 2 podcasts available for you to use on the website.
A service and reflection for Palm Sunday and a Palm Sunday podcast for younger members.

http://www.ststephenscanonbury.org.uk/sermons-services/

To participate fully in the service and the podcast for younger members, you will need to use your craft skills and try to weave yourself a cross in place of a palm cross. You could use twigs or long leaves or paper or any other materials you have to hand.

If you search online for making or Weaving a paper cross’ there are plenty of videos showing different ways of doing this.
Make your cross before you listen to the service and have it ready to use.

Zoom meeting at 11.30 am on Sunday

It was great to catch up with some of you on Sunday at 11.30 am on Zoom.
We have set this up as a recurring meeting that John Woolf will host. Click on this link and follow the instructions.

https://efedu.zoom.us/j/886948827

Listen to the service at 11 am so we can catch-up and discuss the reflection. If you haven’t used Zoom you need a tablet or laptop with a camera and microphone. All you do is click on the link and follow the instructions. Even I can do it so it must be simple. Do join us if you can. Young people are welcome as well to tell us about their podcast.

Holy Week and Easter

Next week is Holy Week. As we are all confined to our homes for much of the time, for some of us this will give extra space for prayer and reflection. For others with children to care for it will give less time for anything beyond constant activity and exhaustion. Those of us who have the luxury of time to be still and silent will be praying for those of us for whom this is a longed-for but unachievable luxury.

There will be a number of things on the website for you to use during Holy Week if you would like to.

Monday – Friday there will be dramatized recordings of the Gospel according to Mark. You can listen to 3 chapters a day. This is a wonderful way of preparing to hear the story of Jesus Passion on Good Friday and then the Easter narrative on Easter Sunday. It will take about 15 minutes a day.

For Maundy Thursday there will be a service of reflection to listen to in the evening ending with the reading of the Gospel of the Watch. This takes us from the last supper to Jesus arrest and Peter’s denial. Traditionally this would be followed by a prayer vigil which you could keep for a while at home. (See the ‘Praying Together’ page on the website for prayer material you could use). To participate fully in this service you will need a candle and matches and a bowl of water and a towel.

On Good Friday you can listen to the account of Jesus trial and crucifixion from the recordings. There will also be a series of meditations on ‘The seven last words,’ the words spoken by Jesus from the cross as recorded by all the Gospel writers. I recommend you listen to this at 2 pm on Good Friday as you spend the final hour at the cross. To accompany the meditations you might like to find some artwork inspired by the ‘Seven last words’ on line. Search for ‘The Seven last words of Christ in art’ to find a selection of work in different styles.

Then for Easter Sunday there will be two podcasts again, a service and reflection and a podcast for younger members. And once again we will gather on Zoom at 11.30 am.

Keep praying

We are all encouraged to pray at 7pm each Sunday and to place a lighted candle in your window as you do. Visit the website at
http://www.ststephenscanonbury.org.uk/praying-together/
for material and links that you will find useful.

Keep praying for:
* NHS staff and volunteers working at this time.
* The Manna still working to support the most vulnerable homeless in our community.
* All working to find accommodation for the homeless.
* Urban Hope offering online contact and activities for young people.
* All who are feeling isolated and anxious.
* Families with children at home.

Specific prayer requests received are:

Please pray for Susan Daphe and Joy Eni. Susan is receiving palliative care at home and Joy is caring for her.
Basil asks us to pray for the family of Nikos, a member of the security team at his work, who has died after contracting CV19
Anna asks us to pray for her father, Martin, and for her sister, Jenny, who is pregnant and understandably anxious at this time.

Joy and Rufin ask us to pray for Yemmie who has tested positive for CV19 and for his wife Liz now in isolation.
Sarah and Ian ask us to pray for Ian’s parents, Jim and Sheila. Jim is in quarantine in a care home and Sheila is unable to visit or call him.

Please pray for Christian and Sandy. Christian is recovering from CV19 and Sandy is exhausted having been in isolation with the children.

Please pray for Luke and Annie and Albert and Eddy who are living in a small flat with Annie’s father while the builders are supposed to be working in their house.

Pray for our members who work in the health service – Suzanne and Jonathan Roberts and Jeni Cousins and Max Hurd.

I will build up this list of prayer requests over the next few months. Send any requests to me by phoning 02072267526 or email vicar@ststephenscanonbury.org.uk

Other news

The Bishop of London has made some special dispensations regarding the celebration and receipt of Holy Communion. If Priests are able to celebrate the Eucharist and ‘live stream’ this to their parishioners and members they are allowed and encouraged to do this from their homes. Churches are also given the option of suspending the celebration of Holy Communion until we are able to meet together again. As we do not have the technology to ‘live stream’ from the vicarage we will take the option of suspension and look forward to sharing at the Lord’s Table again in the future.

It is also a requirement, under Canon B15, for all confirmed members of the C of E to receive Communion at Easter and Whitsun. As Easter Communion will not be possible this year, the Bishop of London has suspended this requirement until congregations are able to meet together for worship once again.

Lent Appeal

Don’t forget our Lent Appeal for Angola and Mozambique. See the information and video on the Lent Appeal page on the church website.

Next news

Our next news update will be on Monday 6th April. All the updates and bulletins can be found on the website.
http://www.ststephenscanonbury.org.uk/coronavirus-information/

With prayers for you all.

John


St Stephen’s Coronavirus bulletin 30th March

Dear Friends,

I hope you are all as well as can be and able to get all you need at this time.

I also hope you managed to access the service yesterday. This is still on the website along with the podcast for younger members if you haven’t listened yet.

http://www.ststephenscanonbury.org.uk/sermons-services/

The reflection for Passion Sunday was on the cross as a place of God’s complete identification with our human experience. I included a quote from Richard Rohr’s book ‘The Universal Christ.’ This is it for any who would like to reflect on this further:

‘The Divine Mind transforms all human suffering by identifying completely with the human predicament and standing in full solidarity with it from beginning to end. This is the real meaning of the crucifixion. The cross is not just a singular event. It’s a statement from God that reality has a cruciform pattern. Jesus was killed in a collision of cross-purposes, conflicting interests, and half-truths, caught between the demands of an empire and the religious establishment of his day. The cross was the price Jesus paid for living in a ”mixed” world, which is both human and divine, simultaneously broken and utterly whole. He hung between a good thief and a bad thief, between heaven and earth, inside of both humanity and divinity, a male body with a feminine soul, utterly whole and yet utterly disfigured—all the primary opposites.’

It was great to catch-up with some of you on Zoom afterward. Sorry, this is accessible only to those with the technology to do so. I am trying to ring people on the old fashioned ‘telephone’ as well but please feel free to ring me on 02072267526 or 07946161098 if you would like to talk or receive prayer support over the phone.

We will make a Zoom meeting at 11.30 am each Sunday a regular event. I’ll put the link on the website at the top of the ‘Sermons and Services’ page. If you need some guidance about using Zoom you can contact John Woolf at: johnjacobwoolf@gmail.com

Not all of us have access to the internet. To try and include everyone, Katie Melville is heading up a postal service to keep in touch with those we can identify who are not connected.

If any of you would like the text of the services and sermons emailed to you let me know and I will do this.

Palm Sunday

Next Sunday is Palm Sunday. Usually, you would be given a palm cross but as we can’t do this year it would be great if you could find a way of making a cross to use as part of the podcast service. This could be simply finding a way to weave some paper into a cross, or collecting some twigs or long leaves from the garden if you have one. It doesn’t matter how you do it or how rough it is, see what you can do this week.

Prayer requests

From our Zoom meeting came a few prayer requests. I will build up a list of requests and keep emailing these regularly, so if you would like people or topics added to this please ring me or email on vicar@ststephenscanonbury.org.uk.

Please pray

Basil asks us to pray for the family of Nikos, a member of the security team at his work, who has died after contracting CV19
Anna asks us to pray for her father, Martin, and for her sister, Jenny, who is pregnant and understandably anxious at this time.
Joy and Rufin ask us to pray for Yemmi who has tested positive for CV19 and for his wife Liz now in isolation.
Sarah and Ian ask us to pray for Ian’s parents, Jim and Sheila. Jim is in quarantine in a care home and Sheila is unable to visit or call him.
Please also pray for Christian and Sandy. Christian is recovering from CV19 and Sandy is exhausted having been in isolation with the children for 10 days with at least 4 more to go.

There are plenty of prayer resources on the ‘Praying Together’ page of the website. This includes links to diocesan and C of E resources and ‘A litany of prayer for a worrying time’ to help you pray for our nation and the world as we face this together.

There is also a set of prayer colouring pages for children recommended by the diocese available from the ‘Praying Together’ page.

Lent Appeal

As we head towards the end of Lent, don’t forget our Lent Appeal ‘Wheels for Climate Change Emergency.’ This is to support our link Dioceses in Mozambique and Angola (through ALMA) to buy vehicles to help respond to climate change emergencies. There is plenty of information on the church website about this, including a link to the diocesan video that shows the devastation caused by flooding in Mozambique.

http://www.ststephenscanonbury.org.uk/st-stephens-lent-appeal-2020/

There are details of how to give. Please support the appeal as best as you can.

Looking after yourself

This is a stressful time and as well as doing all you can to maintain social distancing or isolation to minimise the potential of catching CV19, it is important to think about your mental health as well. Anxiety and fear can build up without us being aware and can quickly become an issue for any of us. Prolonged exposure to the 24-hour news feeds on TV and online can distort your sense of proportion about the risks you face. Isolation on your own can make you feel ‘alone’ rather than just in isolation and isolation with others can put a strain on relationships even with those you love the most.

There are some useful tips and further information at

https://www.churchofengland.org/faith-action/mental-health-resources#main-content

and

https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/publications/looking-after-your-mental-health-during-coronavirus-outbreak

Talking to people to restore a sense of balance to your thinking is often important. Talking about things other than Coronavirus is vital. Check-in with a trusted friend and tell them how you are feeling but be honest, all of us will find this a struggle for many different reasons from time to time. Feel free to ring me 02072267526 or 07946161098 or email vicar@ststephenscanonbury.org.uk at any time.

With prayers and best wishes for you all

John


St Stephen’s news update Thursday 26th March 2020

Visit the church website – www.ststephenscanonbury.org.uk – for information about what we are able to offer during the Coronavirus crisis.

Greetings to you all,

I hope you are all managing to keep safe and well and finding ways of managing this time of confinement.

Here is a bit more information about the latest guidance for churches and what you can access as we seek to still pray and worship together. All our news updates and bulletins can be found on the website

http://www.ststephenscanonbury.org.uk/coronavirus-information/

Podcasts for this Sunday

There will be 2 podcasts again for you to use this Sunday. A service and reflection for Passion Sunday and a podcast for our younger members.

http://www.ststephenscanonbury.org.uk/sermons-services/

Once again you could use the service and the podcast for young people as a Sunday School session while you listen to the reflection.

Zoom meeting at 11.30am on Sunday

We encourage you to listen at 11am on Sunday and after this, you are invited to log into a Zoom meeting to catch up and discuss the service and reflection. This will be hosted by John Woolf.

The details are:
Topic: St Stephen’s Church Discussion
Time: Mar 29, 2020 11:30 AM London
https://efedu.zoom.us/j/971221460
Meeting ID: 971 221 460

If you haven’t used Zoom you need a tablet or laptop with a camera and microphone. All you do is click on the link and follow the instructions. Do join us if you can. Young people are welcome as well to tell us about their podcast.

If this works we will try to offer this each Sunday.

Holy Week and Easter

It will be very strange not to be meeting for worship during Holy Week and Easter. I will put some extra resources on the website for you to use over this time. These will include:

  • A recording of the Gospel according to Mark for you to listen to in episodes each day during Holy Week.
  • A Maundy Thursday reflection
  • A Good Friday reflection
  • Services and a podcast for young people for Easter Sunday

Keep praying

We are all encouraged to pray at 7pm each Sunday and to place a lighted candle in your window as you do. Visit the website at
http://www.ststephenscanonbury.org.uk/praying-together/ for material and links that you will find useful.

Keep praying for:
* NHS staff and volunteers working at this time.
* The Manna still working to support the most vulnerable homeless in our community.
* All working to find accommodation for the homeless.
* Urban Hope offering online contact and activities for young people.
* All who are feeling isolated and anxious.
* Families with children at home.

Keep in touch

I will try to ring or email to catch up with most of you. Many of you will be in contact with each other through social media as well. Please do not hesitate to ring though at any time 02072267526 or 07946161098.or email vicar@ststephenscanonbury.org.uk

Other news

The bishops have placed further restrictions on all churches. As well as suspending all public worship, all Churches have to close to the public at all times. No baptisms, weddings or funerals can now take place in Church of England Churches.

Funerals can only take place at Crematoria or at a graveside with the minimum number of the closest family present.

Our next news update will be on Monday 30th March. All the updates and bulletins are on the website though.
http://www.ststephenscanonbury.org.uk/coronavirus-information/

With prayers for you all.

John


St Stephen’s mailing 23rd March 2020

Dear Friends,

I hope you are all as well as possible and coming to terms with the new reality for all of our lives.

As is often said, we are in a fast-moving situation and as part of this, the Bishop of London and the area bishops issued a notice on Sunday that all Church buildings should be permanently closed to all visitors until further notice. So, unfortunately, as well as no public worship, Churches will no longer be open as sanctuaries for prayer and stillness during the week.

We have consulted with the Bishop of Stepney though and are allowed to keep using our building for some Manna activities although in a very different form. Manna will be serving the street homeless and most vulnerable of its clients but encouraging others to stay at home and self isolate as recommended. Contact will be maintained through phone-calls and email/social media. Take away meals will be available for a few and a limited number will be able to access the shower and do their washing.

You may have heard that the Mayor of London is working with hotel chains to make rooms available for the street homeless and we hope and pray that many will accept this offer and be safe during this crisis. Please pray for the Manna team as they seek to respond in the best way.

Manna is still keen to have donations of old mobile phones and chargers, radios and puzzle books and games for one person.
If you can donate any of these items please ring the Manna office on 02072265369 or email themanna@ststephensccanonbury.org.uk

I hope you managed to listen to the podcast service and podcast for younger people yesterday. If you haven’t yet they are on the church website – www.ststephenscanonbury.org.uk – and click on ‘Sermons and Services. We will post a new service and podcast for young people each week. You can let me know if you found this useful and easy to use by email at vicar@ststephenscanonbury.org.uk

On the ‘Praying Together’ link there are new links to material from the Church of England to help you pray regularly for our community, nation and the world at this time. Also a litany of prayer for a worrying time to help you pray for God’s blessing upon us all.

A number of people are praying at 7.30 am and 7.30 pm each day. Please pause to pray at these times if you can.

Life is changing for families with children as schools have closed and there are at least 2 or 3 months ahead with children at home and limited activities to enjoy. If you have children at home be assured that many people are praying for you.

If you are self-isolating or in any kind of need do ask for help if you need it. All borough councils have special help and advice lines available on the phone and by email. Visit your council’s website for information. In Islington this is:

Islington Council helpline – ‘We are Islington’
02075278222
weareislington@islington.gov.uk

In Canonbury help and support with practical issues is available from the ‘Canonbury Mutual Aid Group.’
0203 026 4438.
canonburymutualaid@gmail.com

I am always available on the phone to talk, pray and offer support. You can ring me on 02072267526 or 07946161098 at any time.

I am also working to set up a telephone buddies scheme to make sure everyone is kept in touch with. If you are willing to be a buddy and phone someone each week or if you can suggest people who need to be contacted for support, please email or ring me and let me know.

In these unprecedented times as so much of what we have come to regard as vital to our lives is stripped away, the closing verses of 1 Corinthians 13 seem very appropriate. Paul says that once all other things are taken away just 3 things remain – faith, Hope and Love. Let’s pray that these are the qualities that triumph at this time and are revealed as the qualities of lasting value that we all need to sustain us through the struggles and difficulties of life.

With my continuing prayer for you all at this extraordinary time.

John


St Stephen’s news update Thursday 19th March 2020

Visit the church website for up-to-date information and postings
www.ststephenscanonbury.org.uk

Greetings to you all.

As we are prevented from meeting together for worship, our communications become all the more important. This news update will outline some of the ways in which we can keep in touch and remain a praying, worshipping and serving community during this time. This is though a fast evolving and changing situation and what we hope to do is dependent on our communications infrastructure remaining up and running, what further restrictions might be placed upon us and on people staying well. So keep watching for emails and checking updates on the website for the latest information.

At this extraordinary time let us remain a distinctive community with prayer at its heart for our communities, the parish, London, the UK and the world.

Stay safe

Most important for all of you is to stay safe and adhere to the latest guidelines and restrictions. Isolate when necessary and observe social distancing at all times. Ask for help when you need it and don’t think you need to ‘struggle on.’

Communication and support

We will issue regular email updates and news and post information on the website. If you would like to share any news, ask for prayer or support or anything else please email or phone John on 02072267526 or vicar@ststephenscanonbury.org.uk

Many of you will be keeping in touch with WhatsApp and Facebook. We also want to make sure everyone receives regular phone-calls as well and are setting up a telephone ‘buddy’ scheme. Please let John know by phone or email if you can be a buddy. You will just have to ring 1 or 2 people a week for a chat.

Prayer and Worship

As you know, all public worship has been suspended, but we can remain a praying and worshipping community in other ways. Prayer resources for you to use will be posted on the website over the next few days. Special prayer resources to use during the week will be put under the ‘Praying Together’ link. These are for you to use as you wish. We will also include links to Church of England prayer resources specially developed for this time. I know some of you have already agreed to pray at home at 7.30 am and 7.30 pm each day, everyone is welcome to join with this.

We will also post 2 podcasts for use on Sundays. One will be a short service with a reflection, the other will be for children and younger members of the St Stephen’s family with a story and some other thoughts. These will be audio files under the ‘sermons’ link and should appear on Friday each week.

Manna

At Manna, we will do all we can to continue to support the most vulnerable clients. While it is possible, restricted sessions will run for the street homeless and those whose health and circumstances make them particularly vulnerable at this time. This will, of course, depend on staff and volunteers remaining well but we will do our best to keep going.

Manna are seeking donations of a number of items to help clients through this time and particularly for those who have to isolate due to age or health conditions.

We need:
Hand sanitiser
Thermos Flasks
Old basic mobile phones and chargers that you might have lying around the house.
Radios
Puzzle books, playing cards, individual games etc

If you can donate any of these items please ring the Manna office on 02072265369 or email themanna@ststephensccanonbury.org.uk

A number of volunteers have had to withdraw from Manna activities due to their age or health conditions. If you feel you are young and fit enough and would like to offer to volunteer please ring or email as above.

Urban Hope

Urban Hope is planning to continue to offer support to smaller numbers of young people and individuals which is particularly important as schools close. There will be face to face contact as well as support on the phone and via social media.

Your local community

Community groups are springing up via Facebook and other social media that are coordinating volunteers to offer help to older and vulnerable members of the community. If you can, see if there is one in your area or on your street.
‘Help on your doorstep’ is a support network across Islington with an office in Canonbury. Visit www.helponyourdoorstep.com to find out how to get in touch and offer to help. A new Canonbury community group can be contacted at canonburymutalaid@gmail.com or via Sarah Strang. Importantly though, look out for your neighbours. Not just the elderly and disabled but, as schools close, families as well. Many people will be under a lot of pressure and strain over these months. Sometimes just a few brief words of understanding can make all the difference. The Citizens Advice Bureaux is a place that people can contact for advice on financial support and extra benefits that may be available during this time. For elderly people ‘Age Concern’ is also a great source of information.

Office and Admin

Rose will be home-working from now on but will be dealing with admin work as usual. You can email her on administrator@ststephenscanonbury.org.uk

PCC and Annual Meeting and Elections

The PCC will not be able to meet during this time and the Standing Committee becomes the principal decision-making body for the church. Just so you know, this is: Janice Emslie (Church Warden), Ralph Dunham (Treasurer), Joy Faulkner-Mpeho (secretary), Katie Melville (Chair of staffing committee) and Suzanne Roberts (Lay chair of PCC), along with John. The Standing Committee will deal with any pressing issues by telephone and email.

The Annual Meeting is very unlikely to take place on 26th April as scheduled. We are awaiting guidance on how to manage this. We still need you to think and pray about whether you might take on one of the vacant roles when we do get back to normal though.

2 Church Wardens
2 Deanery Synod Reps
4 PCC members

You can contact John to talk about any of these vacancies.

It is still possible to join the Electoral Roll if you are 16 or older by 26th April and attend St Stephen’s regularly or are a resident of the parish. You can find out more from John and we can email/post you a form.

John and Natalie

We will be isolating ourselves because of some health conditions but hopefully that will mean I can stay well to coordinate and issue material on the website. I will be phoning round to see how people are and can always pray on the phone or by email. Please do not hesitate to get in touch at any time and for any reason.

Lent Appeal

This year’s Lent Appeal is to support the Bishop of London’s Lent Appeal for ALMA (The Angola – London – Mozambique association). The appeal is called ‘Wheels for Climate Change emergencies’ and is to help buy vehicles for the dioceses in Angola and Mozambique to use to respond to emergencies caused by the effects of climate change. Mozambique has been hit by storms and floods and Angola is affected by drought. The dioceses are often the first to respond with aid and support. There is more information in our Lent Appeal flier along with information about how to make a donation. There is also a page on the website with plenty of information and stories from Angola and Mozambique.
Thank you for your support.


Coronavirus update – 17th March 2020

Dear Friends,

As you know, we are living in extraordinary times that none of the post World War II generations have seen the like of. As we are all asked to change the way we live in fundamental and challenging ways, the Church of England has had to find a way of responding that enables us to play our part in combatting the spread of the Coronavirus. You will have heard that the major element of this response is the suspension of public worship until further notice announced by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York today.

This means that there will be no Sunday services at St Stephen’s until we are told it is safe to resume these. Although no date has been suggested for this, it is likely to be an extended period of 3 months or more.

The Archbishops writes:
‘As the challenge of the coronavirus grips the world, and as the Government asks every individual and every organisation to rethink its life, we are now asking the Church of England in all its parishes, chaplaincies and ministries to serve all people in a new way. Public worship will have to stop for a season. Our usual pattern of Sunday services and other mid-week gatherings must be put on hold. But this does not mean that the Church of England has shut up shop. Far from it.’

At St Stephen’s we will do our best to keep a service available to the most vulnerable members of the Manna community. We will inevitably be discouraging some of our Manna regulars from attending if their needs are not so great, but we do this in order that we can keep a service running for the most vulnerable for as long as is possible, depending on available staffing and volunteers. Equally, at Urban Hope we will continue to offer restricted support through clubs and drop-ins and one-to-one work for the young people of this area (particularly for those who will suffer the most when schools close for an extended period) for as long as we can, depending on available staffing and volunteers.

We will still remain a praying and worshipping community but will have to do this at home. Each week a service will be posted on the parish website www.ststephenscanonbury.org.uk for you to use on a Sunday and for those who do not have access to this technology, we will post information and a service to use. I encourage you to use the ‘Praying Together’ material on the website and the special prayer for each week along with the special prayer for the Coronavirus pandemic that you can find there.

We will look for opportunities to support and stay in touch with each other. You are invited to join the telephone ‘buddies’ scheme by emailing me at vicar@ststephenscanonbury.org.uk. In this way, through regular phone calls and emails we can encourage each other and share prayer requests. I am sure others will do this through WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter and other social media.

This is also an opportunity to look for new ways to serve the wider community. Different community groups are springing up to co-ordinate this, see if there is one in your area. As I hear about these I will circulate information but as many of you live outside of the parish and Islington it will be quicker for you to investigate these yourselves. On a simpler level lookout for your neighbours. Speak to people you’ve seen but never spoken to before. Make contact and check up on the more elderly people on your street or in your block and help if you can (while observing guidelines for distancing and safety).

On Sunday 22nd March (which would have been our Mothering Sunday celebration of course) we are all called to pause to pray at 7 pm and to place a lighted candle in our windows as a sign of solidarity with the local community. I encourage you to join with this. The Church of England will be publishing prayers to use, I will email a link to these when they are available.

Churches that are able to are encouraged to keep their buildings open so people can find a space for personal prayer and reflection. Unfortunately, this is not something we can easily do at St Stephen’s but other local Churches, St James and St Mary’s in particular, will be open during the day for visitors to use.

Over the next few weeks we will be learning a lot about what it means to be church when we no longer have a ‘Church’ to meet in. As difficult as this current situation is, there is an opportunity here to learn things that we will take forward beyond this time as we seek to be a relevant church for the 3rd decade of the 20th century. Let’s share this challenge together and ask God to use even this time to reshape us more into the image of Jesus Christ our Lord.

I will be issuing regular updates and information and in time giving you opportunities to share what you are doing and how you are affected by these challenges.

In the meantime follow the advice from government via Public Health England and trusted sources of information. Although it is difficult at times, do not let the ‘voices of doom’ colour your heart or your thinking but give all of this to our God for whom nothing is impossible.

With my prayers and blessings for you all.

John