Welcome to our September news.
Rachel has told us that she will be moving to a new home in York during September. It has been a great privilege for us to have Rachel as a member of St Stephen’s, bringing her musical talent to lead us in worship and adding her voice and service to the life and ministry of the church. We wish Rachel well in her move but also look forward to seeing her again occasionally when she is in London.
Services this month
We will continue to be open for worship at 11am each Sunday. Services will be short and congregational singing is not yet permitted. During September we will be exploring how we might offer Sunday School and Dreams activities and will be thinking about evening services as well.
You can join us in person or on Zoom by following this link.
There are a limited number of places available in the Church whilst 2-metre social distancing must be maintained. The capacity is between 18 and 34 depending on the combination of individuals, couples and households. We are sorry that if we reach capacity it may be necessary to not allow people in. If you attend we must also keep a note of your name and contact information for track and trace purposes.
If you attend services you must wear a face-covering throughout the service. If you feel unwell or have symptoms of a cold, flu or Covid please stay at home. If you have underlying health conditions and are worried about whether it is safe to attend, you can seek advice from NHS 111 or your GP.
Recordings of services are posted on the website
and on the recorded phone line - 02080501091
Sunday 6th September
11am Morning Worship
Leader and preacher: John Beauchamp
Sunday 13th September
11am Holy Communion
Leader: John Beauchamp; Preacher: Margaret Evans
Sunday 20th September
11am Morning Worship and Annual Meetings.
Leader and preacher: John Beauchamp
Sunday 27th September
11am Harvest Festival
Leaders: John Beauchamp and young people; Preacher: John Beauchamp
Holy Communion on 13th September
Many of us have missed sharing Communion together as part of our worship. It is not possible to do what we used to but we will be able to celebrate and share Communion together on 13th September with special arrangements to make this safe. We will not be able to share the cup but bread will be broken and shared using small containers to make sure there is no contamination from person to person. It has long been understood that taking Communion in ‘just one kind,’ i.e. just the bread, is receiving Communion in full.
Podcast for younger members
Our podcasts for primary aged children will continue while we look at how we might be able to offer Sunday School again. The podcasts have thoughts, prayers and stories and can be accessed via the website ‘Sermons and services’ page or on the recorded phone line – 02080501091.
The annual meetings will take place on Sunday 20th September within the morning service. Circumstances will force us to make this as short as we can and deal with only essential matters. You are invited to attend in person or on Zoom via the usual link for services. If you intend to attend in person please let John know so we can do our best to accommodate everyone. Email him on firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 02072267526.
Annual reports and summary accounts, along with the agenda and minutes for the meeting, are on the website at
a few paper copies will be available in the Church as well. If you would like a copy of the full accounts please email email@example.com to request this.
We have several vacancies this year:
2 Church Wardens
2 Deanery Synod representatives
4 PCC members for 3 years
1 PCC member for 1 year
It is particularly important that we find 2 people willing to take on the role of Church Warden for at least the next year. Wardens work with the vicar to manage and enable the life of the church and ensure that our Sunday worship runs smoothly each week. Wardens are nominated by the congregation so it is up to you all to think and pray about who you would like your Wardens to be and to then talk to them to find out if they will agree to be nominated. Nomination forms for all positions are in the Church and available via email from John on firstname.lastname@example.org. John is also happy to talk to anyone about these roles.
The PCC, along with the Deanery will be working to shape the church of the future as we try to discern how Coronavirus has changed us and we establish a vision for the next 10 years in Islington and across the Diocese. If you would like to help St Stephen’s become a flourishing part of a flourishing local church then now is the time to get involved.
The Electoral Roll is still open for new members. This is the list of those who attend St Stephen’s regularly and feel that this is their church. Being on the roll entitles you to be nominated for the PCC and other roles and to vote at the annual meeting. All residents of the parish are entitled to join and those who live in other parishes but attend regularly. If you are already on the roll after last year’s review you do not need to apply again. If you are 16 or older on 20th September and would like to join the role, you can request an application form from email@example.com.
Harvest festival and Appeal
Sunday 27th September will be our Harvest Festival service, although unfortunately this will have to be a far more ‘muted’ affair than usual. We cannot accept any donations of food but our harvest appeal will be for Water Aid and their work to bring clean and safe water supplies to some of the poorest communities in the world. We will circulate more information soon and you can find out more about the work of ‘Water Aid’ at www.wateraid.org.
During the pandemic we have thought nothing of washing our hands regularly but in many parts of the world this is not possible because either water is not available or so precious it cannot be spared for washing. ‘Water Aid’ work to bring clean, safe and plentiful water supplies through wells and pumps, improving the lives of individuals and communities in transformative ways. Watch out for more information.
Website manager needed
We are seeking a volunteer to manage the church website. During the pandemic the website has been a useful way of sharing information and making service recordings and podcasts available. For several years the site has been managed and updated by John and Natalie’s son Paul. However, he is no longer able to do this. The person needs to have some basic knowledge of website management and be able to create and manage content as well as posting content that will be supplied. An important part of the role is making sure the site is always up-to-date and current and that links etc are functioning. It requires a small weekly commitment. If you would like to talk about taking on this role please contact John at firstname.lastname@example.org or 02072267526. If we cannot find anyone to do this we will have to reduce the scope of the site to just basic information that does not need regular updating.
Church on your phone
Our recorded telephone service is still available on 02080501091. You will find the recordings of our Sunday service and podcast for kids along with our morning, daytime and evening prayers.
You can also access the Church of England ‘Daily Hope’ phone service on 0800 804 8044 where you will find prayers, reflections, hymns and more.
Below is our September prayer request list.
• Pray for young people as they go back to school and transition back into school life after months away.
• Pray that Urban Hope can find ways to continue to support young people in the schools.
• Pray for partnerships that we are building so that we can better support young people while they are in school.
• Pray for young people whose mental health has suffered during lockdown and for those that are anxious about returning to school and being in large groups.
• Pray for the interviews for a female youth worker that are taking place this month.
• Pray for planning and vision for how Manna can continue to serve the most vulnerable as pandemic restrictions are slowly eased.
• Pray for all those whose mental health has suffered due to lockdown and isolation over past months.
• Pray for all who have been accommodated in hotels as they face the uncertainty of continuing accommodation and feel that the future is out of their control.
• Pray for the Manna staff and volunteers who have given so much during the pandemic.
• Pray for those who are unwell and those who support them: Mary Allen, Mary Fergus, Joy Maitland, Vivian Mehmet, Bryan Gault, Joyce Lowe, Stephen Spencer, Carol Mellor, Tish Gleadall, Terry Barber, Jeffrie Strang, Fola Faleti. Also for all mourning the loss of loved ones.
• Pray for people willing to be new Church Wardens, Deanery Synod representatives and PCC members this year.
• Pray as we work out how we can slowly restore more of the life and worship of the church over the next few months.
• Pray that the church across the world can respond to the Coronavirus pandemic with words and actions of hope. Pray for church leaders, that they may speak words of wisdom above the political wrangling and point scoring that is always going on.
• Pray that open and honest conversations can begin about issues of racism in society and the church. Pray for community and church leaders who can command respect and lead the conversation. Pray that this may lead to repentance and action and an end to racial injustice.
• Pray for those who do not have reliable supplies of clean and safe water. Pray for the work of ‘Water Aid’ as we support them through or harvest appeal.
• Pray for all refugees and migrants seeking a place to settle and build a better life. Pray for all who are prepared to undertake dangerous journeys on land and sea in search of a new future. Pray for a new understanding of refugees across the world and for compassion and support for all who have been driven from their homes.
• Pray that the glimpses of a fresher, cleaner environment that lockdown brought us will not be lost but spur more people to work for measures to improve the environment in the UK and across the world.
To add names to the prayer list and to share news items in our regular bulletins please contact John Beauchamp on email@example.com or 02072267526