Holy Week and Easter
is the centre of the Christian year - even more important than Christmas! Augustine said We are an Easter people, and Alleluya is our song. Details of all services are on a separate flyer, of which there are plenty of copies in church for you to take and share with friends and neighbours. There are also A4-size posters, if you can use these.

Two other events to mention: a performance of Fauré's Reqiuem by the London Docklands Singers at All Saints Poplar on Saturday 4 April at 7pm; and a programme of children's activities in Easter week (13-18) at St Paul's Cathedral, including mosaic-making. More details from the Rector, if you're interested.

The Annual Parochial Church Meeting
will follow the morning service (at which there will be no sermon! - the meeting is our corporate response to the word of God) on Sunday 19 April. It will be in the crypt hall, and all are encouraged to stay - including children, who will be giving their own report. Nomination forms for wardens and church council members will be posted in church ahead of the meeting, and also the revised Electoral Roll for checking.

Patronal Festival - Thursday 23 April

We have been waiting on Tower Hamlets for arrangements for the official re-opening of St George's Gardens on this day, but so far the department responsible, 'Public Realm', does not appear to have made any definite plans! So we will go ahead, as usual, with our own evening service that day, and inviting other churches in the deanery to join us. The preacher will be the Revd Jeremy Crossley, Rector of St Margaret Lothbury (and until recently Area Dean of the City), who was such a good friend of St George's during the vacancy. He is delighted to have been invited, and we shall be delighted to see him again. A bring and share supper will follow the service.
[At this point the printed newsletter contains a paragraph about the tree recently planted in St George's Gardens in memory of Joseph and Sarah Ramanoop, but as it contains some factual errors - including what sort of tree it is! - a corrected version will appear next month.]

London Marathon - Sunday 26 April
Roads around church seem to close earlier each year! We have been in close contact with PC Barry Cambridge of the Metropolitan Police who is responsible for local arrangements, and have received clear assurances that cars will be allowed through the barrier at the junction of Cable Street and Cannon Street Road for our 9am service. (They do not issue permits because they have found that they are open to abuse.) We have his phone number, and also a personal hotline, in case there are any problems on the day; these numbers will be displayed in church.

We have been busy stockpiling supplies for serving refreshments to the crowd, and need a good number of folk to help on the day - not just to serve, and direct people to our loos, but to be a WELCOMING PRESENCE.

We now have three banners on the railings along The Highway, aimed at both cars and pedestrians. We hope that these too will help to put us on the map!


The series of three Sunday 5pm concerts which Elspeth and others have arranged continues in May. Christopher White's string trio will perform on 3 May, and a baroque ensemble on 17 May. Please put the dates in your diary, and help us build a good audience!

Mothering Sunday, and Lent projects

It was good to welcome Sheenagh Burrell and her husband Richard on Mothering Sunday. Sheenagh is one of the officers for ALMA (the Angola - London - Mozambique link), as well as a Reader in the diocese, and she spoke about this year's diocesan Lent project with its theme of providing water - which, like mothering, is a key part of nurture. The children led our prayers of penitence on the same theme, by watering a plant as a sign of our dependence on God's grace. More details at <>

We have leaflets and Gift Aid envelopes for this project, as well as labels for WaterAid jars, and hope that everyone will support either or both of these projects as part of our Lenten commitments. Please return envelopes and jars to church at Easter. 

Dates for your diary

Christian Aid Week is 10-17 May, and on Sunday 17 a 'Circle the City' event is planned, starting with a service at St Mary-le-Bow at 1.15pm which leads into a walk exploring the City, from the Tower to Fleet Street, to raise money for Christian Aid and KEEP HOPE ALIVE. More details next month, and in church - or visit <>

A Stepney Area vocations day will be held on Saturday 20 June (10.30-3.30), with a range of speakers about opportunities for lay and ordained ministry. There have been many training developments recently, and they are hoping that there will be at least three people from each parish present, to find out more. Have a word with the Rector if you're interested, especially if you would like to explore your own calling and training!

For your prayers
Please continue to remember Jackie Saward; Patrick Davey; Ben, and his new wife Ellen; Frederick; John Allison's sister Margaret; Hilary Oliver; Archdeacon Lyle; Diane Webb; Jean; and all others who ask us to remember them.

Fire at the Gurdwara, Harley Grove, Bow E3

A statement issued recently by various groups, including the Tower Hamlets Inter Faith Forum

We are deeply saddened to hear of yesterday’s fire at the Gurdwara in Harley Grove, Bow. This magnificent building, currently a Sikh temple, has been used as a place of worship by many groups over the years and it is terrible to see it damaged in this way.  The origins of the fire are currently being investigated, however the Police are keeping an open mind to the cause. Should arson prove to be the cause of the fire, we must be vigilant and stand united in ensuring that any such criminal action does not undermine the extremely positive relationships we have in place within our borough.

It is heartening to hear of the support provided by local people to representatives of the Gurdwara in the immediate aftermath of the fire, when they opened their homes to provide comfort to those affected. This kind of support reflects the commitment that the Tower Hamlets Interfaith Forum, Council, Police and local people have to continuing to bring local communities closer together under the banner of One Tower Hamlets.

It is vital that this incident does not undermine the mutual support and wider community cohesion evident in our vibrant borough.  We have held meetings with the local community and key partners to ensure a co-ordinated and timely response. We recognise that this fire will be very traumatic for local people and particularly for the Sikh community. Support will be provided to the Management Committee of the Gurdwara to find an alternative place of worship to try to minimise the disruption this terrible event has caused.

Councillor Lutfur Rahman, Leader of the Council       
Paul Rickett, Chief Superintendent, Tower Hamlets Police
Reverend Alan Green, Chair of the Inter Faith Forum 
Butta Singh, Management Committee Member, Gurdwara Sikh Sangat

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