For information on our Service pattern please look at the "Services & Events" page
“Deacons are called to work with the Bishop and the priests with whom they serve as heralds of Christ’s kingdom. They are to proclaim the gospel in word and deed, as agents of God’s purposes of love. They are to serve the community in which they are set, bringing to the Church the needs and hopes of all the people.”
This week, Alice is away on her ordination retreat, preparing to be made Deacon this Sunday at St Paul's Cathedral. This is a big step in Alice's life, as she enters what the Ordination Service defines as a "life of visible self-giving", and it is also momentous for her family: Cain, Arthur and Robin. Please hold them all in your thoughts and prayers this weekend. Her ordination service will be live-streamed on Youtube at 1.30pm and should you wish to watch the service this is the link: https://youtu.be/5vufx6Mk7eU We look forward to greeting Mother Alice in her clerical collar next week, as we give thanks for her new ministry and seek to to sustain her in it. She has written her own reflection on her deaconing below.
As I shall be leaving for St Paul's Cathedral after the Eucharist, I am very grateful to the Revd Neil Traynor from Holland Park Benefice for leading and preaching at Matins on this occasion.
Please could I encourage you to read the item in our newsletter about the Glass Door Sleepout, and to consider if you might be able to sponsor one of our intrepid Centre carpark sleepers as they raise money for homeless shelters in the churches of West London on the night of October 2nd?
Finally, please could we remind you either to take your service sheets home with you and re-use them, or to put them straight into the recycling bin at the church door, to avoid putting our virgers and volunteers at risk. Many thanks for all your huge support in following our Covid restrictions, which allow us to keep the church open at this complex and confusing time.
With my love and prayers
In January of this year I sat in a lecture theatre listening to Bishop Rowan Williams talking about being a priest. At the end he invited questions, and someone asked: ‘what advice would you give to someone who is about to ordained?’. Bishop Rowan answered: ‘I would say to expect a certain amount of disruption in your life’. Well, I don’t think even Bishop Rowan could have anticipated the sort of disruption to 2020 that we have all faced, but for me lockdown meant ending college abruptly, continuing to study via online seminars and writing essays with digital resources, a ‘zoom’ leaving service from St Mellitus, and then a postponement of both my ordination retreat and service at St Paul’s Cathedral. This year has been a strange mixture of grief and gratitude.
As I reflect on beginning ministry at St Mary Abbots over the last two months, I am so grateful for all that I have learnt from Mother Emma and Father Jonathan, and the ways in which they have helped me to forge my identity as a deacon-to-be. As my ordination now approaches, I feel so humbled and joyful to have had such a positive and encouraging start to my curacy. I have really enjoyed serving at the different Sunday services, and leading morning and midday prayers during the week. I have loved getting to know different people in the parish, and beginning to develop relationships with St Mary Abbots school and local businesses. I work with the most wonderful team here at the parish centre and at the church, and am excited about working with the new PCC and wardens to continue to develop our discipleship and mission.
Bishop Rowan continued his response to my friend’s question: ‘What you are stepping into is something that very visibly declares to the world the love of God, and you will find that there is much which seeks to minimise, erase, or oppose this very bold step that you are taking’. With this in mind, I particularly ask your prayers in this ordination season for strength, protection, and grace to abound, that I may step into this calling as a deacon with confidence in the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, and serve the people of our parish with faith, hope, and love. Alice
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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"Transforming St Mary Abbots" is a fundraising project, for works to the fabric of the building, which operates within the PCC of St Mary Abbots, a Registered Charity : Number 1132235