It has been lovely to catch up with many of you following the summer break and my absence, and I look forward to seeing others very soon. Today we are delighted to welcome Fr Gillean, the former Vicar, who will be preaching for us at our 11.15 am Matins service, and will also be joining the coffee between services.
Looking ahead to the following Sunday, we shall be celebrating our Harvest Thanksgiving with a Family Eucharist, and as we give thanks for all God’s good gifts to us, we ask you to bring donations which can be shared with others. The Harvest offerings go to the Upper Room who run, amongst other things, a food bank and soup kitchen. You can find out more www.smaw8.org/harvest-thanksgiving.html. We do hope that you will be able to join us for this joyful service. If your child would like to read, serve, or welcome, please contact Martina; if they would like to sing in the children’s choir, please contact Mother Alice.
As autumn comes near, we remember all those who are driven to sleep on the streets of our city in all weathers, and we do hope very much that you will feel able to sponsor the St Mary Abbots team of volunteers who will be sleeping out in Duke of York Square in a couple of weeks. We are very grateful to all those who have already contributed – and to the sleepers themselves!
It is with great excitement that we see the progress on our Access Project. The internal wooden ramp to the Holland Chapel, blessed by the Bishop on her visit, now makes it possible for everyone to join in when we have refreshments or Bible Studies there, and we can now also offer a dedicated space for wheelchair users close to the front of the church for concerts and services alike. The stone ramp outside the South Door is also taking shape before our eyes, and I am very grateful to the Friends who made both of these possible. The final stage of this project to make us fully welcoming is to re-hang and alter the doors, so that access will be much easier, and this will be started shortly. We are still fundraising for this final stage, so if you feel able to contribute, please do either contact Petter in the parish office, or use one of the QR codes in church. Leonora is documenting the whole timeline of this project on the boards in church and on the ‘what is on’ page of the website.
As we continue to expand our welcome to all through the generosity and support of our church family, we remember the prayer of Bishop Thomas Ken (1637-1711):
O God, make the door of this house wide enough to receive all who need human love and fellowship, and a heavenly Father’s care; and narrow enough to shut out all envy, pride and hate.
Make its threshold smooth enough to be no stumbling block to children, nor to straying feet, but rugged enough to turn back the tempter’s power: make it a gateway to thine eternal kingdom. Amen.
With my love and prayers,
24 September 2023
Virtual Donation Plate
If you would like to make a donation during our services, or at any time, we have set up an online virtual collection plate below.
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