Surely the Lord is in this place

280 years is a long time - about eleven generations, depending on how you reckon them - and our church building has watched over nearly three centuries of rapid change. When it was blitzed, it became part of that process. Throughout its life, worship has been faithfully offered here, day by day and Sunday by Sunday, almost without a break. ('Almost', because for several weeks during the ritualism riots 150 years ago it was closed, on the Bishop's instructions: this is part of the story we are currently telling.) We will be marking the anniversary as usual, with a Festal Eucharist on Sunday 19 July, at which we hope Bishop Stephen will preside, if his wife Hilary's health permits. It will be followed by a bring and share lunch in the Rectory garden. Bring family and friends and make it a special day!

Parish barbecue

And to make the most of the summer weather, the following Sunday (26 July) we plan to have a parish barbecue after church. Food will be provided, and you are asked to bring drink and make a contribution to the costs, which will be subsidised by the church.

St Paul's School News

Some of the highlights of the busy last weeks of term include:


We were pleased to host a memorial service for Wilfreda Loverance on 18 June, arranged by her daughter Rowena (a Quaker who values her links with our church) to enable her friends to celebrate a remarkable life marked among other things by a commitment to teaching business skills to young women, and by a love of travel, especially to Greece. Everyone sang favourite hymns enthusiastically, and readings were from Julian of Norwich, the Qur'an and the New Testament.

Concerts in July

There are two concerts this month. The final one before the summer break in our own concert series will be given on Sunday 12 July at 5pm by flautist Laura Elliot, accompanied by Elspeth Wilkes (our own director of music), with music by Poulenc, Copland and Piazzola - just the thing for a summer evening! As with our previous four concerts, we can guarantee that the music will be of the highest standard. Tickets are £10 (concessions £8), including a glass of wine and light refreshments, and can be booked in advance by phone (020 7481 1345) or on the door.

We are grateful to the team who have organised this successful series of concerts; they are planning more in the autumn.

The next day (Monday 13 July) Wapping Great Voices, the News International choir, will present a short summer programme at 1pm, with light refreshments, to enable people to come during their lunch break. All are welcome, and there is no charge. The choir has gone from strength to strength, and it will be good to hear them again.

Committees, and email addresses

A reminder that we would like some members of the congregation who are not on the Parochial Church Council to join our various committees and working groups - Buildings, Worship & Mission and Publicity. These normally meet three or four times a year, and play an important part in the detailed planning of our work. We need to hear your voice! Have a word if you're interested.

We also want to update our parish email list so that we can send out messages and reminders about church events, and other items of interest. Messages are sent on a 'blind copy' basis so that your address is not publicised. Please send a message to <> if you'd like to be included.

Chapter conference

The Rector enjoyed a short break in Ely with fellow-clergy of Tower Hamlets deanery - a time to reflect and relax together, with some good speakers and lively discussion. It included a presentation about the new Stations of the Cross at St John Bethnal Green, painted by Chris Gollon and well-worth visiting. We were also updated on swine flu pandemic plans for the borough.

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