– MARCH 2009
his General Synod speech on the current economic situation, Bishop
Richard – having paid tribute to Fiona Stewart-Darling's work in
Docklands – said It is difficult to know whether to sympathise more
with those who have lost their jobs or those who are left carrying even
greater loads with higher targets and fewer colleagues.
found this an odd comment, if applied to those who have little prospect
of other work and may risk losing their homes. But he was thinking of
those who have been living and working under intolerable and inhumane
pressures (which can nevertheless become addictive), who when they lose
their jobs may at least have the chance of reviewing and simplifying
their lives – and he mentioned various church-based schemes which could
Lent is a time for all of us to do this, whether
voluntarily or involuntarily, as this poem by Robert Herrick
(1591-1674) shows. Please make worship a priority during Lent.
my prayers and good wishes
|Is this a Fast, to keep |
The larder lean,
From fat of Veales and Sheep?
Is it to quit the dish
Of Flesh, yet still
The platter high with fish?
Is it to fast an houre,
Or ragg'd to go
A downcast look, and sowre?
No; 'tis a Fast, to dole
Thy sheaf of wheat
Unto the hungry Soule.
It is to fast from strife,
From old debate,
To circumcise thy life.
To show a heart grief-rent;
To starve thy sin,
And that's to keep thy Lent.
Hamlets is holding public consultations as part of the 'participatory
budget' process to give local people a voice in how money is spent on
services in the community. The one for our Local Area Partnership (LAP
4 – the Rector is a member of the Steering Group) is on Thursday19
March from 6pm to 9pm at Mulberry School. They are hoping at least 100
residents will attend. You can register in advance on 7364 4562, or
just turn up. More details nearer the time in East End Life.
The next meeting of Tower Hamlets Inter Faith Forum is on Tuesday 17 March (venue to be confirmed) at 6pm. The
Forum, ably and enthusiastically chaired by Alan
Green, our area dean, brings together members of
faith communities, and works closely with the
Council and the police on a range of issues.
Meetings are deliberately open to all.
Behind the scenes a huge
amount of work goes on, with consultation on equalities policy and
other initiatives, and in a borough like ours it's vital that there
should be an effective and representative voice. For example, we are
exploring the possibility of English Heritage funding for an
inter-faith buildings support officer for places of worship in the
Do visit the recently-relaunched website
<www.faithintowerhamlets.com> to find out more. You can download
an interfaith religious calendar – or take a poster-sized copy from
church. (We also have large numbers of free copies of an attractive, if
a bit inaccurate, faith map of Tower Hamlets produced by Buildings
Since our parish is in the diocese's 'top twenty'
by percentage of people of other faiths, we will be invited to send one
member to the launch on 1 June of the Greater London Presence and
Engagement Network (PEN) – our region's response to a national report
calling for action – by the bishops of London, Chelmsford, Southwark
and Rochester, with the Archbishop of Canterbury preaching.
Developments on site
the Churchwardens' Garden (by Green Gables) will be done on 7-8 March,
and we hope that before long the security gate to the north passage
(for which we have some funding from the Tower Hamlets churchyards
security budget) will be installed.
Lighting and CCTV (again,
funded by Green Gables) remains under discussion. Lindsay, the Gardens
Ranger, is now installed in the former 'jumble room'.
We are going ahead with some vinyl banners to advertise our presence on the railings along The Highway.
Discussions about the longer-term use of our space continue.
the table in the panelled room is being restored (by the film company
who damaged it), and Susan achieved £120 for the old lampshades on
eBay. Oscar, who bought them, is an artist and 'retro-buff', keen on
artifacts of the 1950s and 60s, and is delighted with his purchase.
Well done, Susan!
Elspeth and others are planning a
short series of concerts, to show off our newly-restored piano. The
first will be a recital of well-known operatic arias, the second will
be by Christopher White's string trio, and the third will have a
baroque theme. We may also have a recital by a professional pianist who
has just moved into the area from the USA and has been practising in
church while he awaits the shipping of his own piano.
Sottyen Sen School of Performing Arts
young people and adults who rehearse in church on Saturdays regularly
perform around Tower Hamlets and beyond. They are a secular,
multi-faith group committed to the rich traditions of Bengali folksong,
dance and drama. On Independence Day (28 March) their rehearsal will
conclude with a performance in church, at about 3.30pm, for parents,
friends and others, and they would very much like some members of the
congregation to be present as well, to get some idea of what they do.
The school is named after a famous Bengali novelist (1907-81).
Nelson enjoyed her extended re-visit to Bangladesh last year and has
encountered these traditions in their local setting. She is full of
ideas to share with our children's group from the churches she visited.
Andrew Peck and Lorna Thorpe, who were married at St George-in-the-East
on 7 February. It was a joyful affair, with a medieval theme, as well
as many contemporary touches – the Rector spoke about marriage then,
now and in the future! The reception was held at the Care House,
Bigland Street. We wish them, and their children Brandon, Abigail and
Kaedon, every happiness. We have four other weddings booked for 2009 –
and hope there will be more.
....and our prayers
who have been ill and in hospital – among them Patrick Davey, Jackie
Saward and Janet White. We continue to remember Bishop Stephen's wife
Hilary and Diane Webb, facing (further) chemotherapy, and Archdeacon
Lyle Dennan recovering well from a hip operation; and also Kim Ali, as
she continues to give wonderful support to her brother's family
following Ashlie's death.
The Annual Parochial Church Meeting
be held immediately after church (no sermon that day!) on Sunday 19
April. This is not an ideal date as it is at the end of Easter week,
but the following Sunday – the last date on which it could legally be
held – is the Marathon (more details about this next month). So please
put the date in your diary NOW and make every effort to attend, to have
your say and to show your support for those who have served us over the
This means that the church Electoral Roll will close
for revision on Mothering Sunday, 22 March, and no new names can be
added between that date and the APCM; so if you are not on the roll and
should be, please get a form from church as soon as possible. Or you
can download a .pdf version from the 'Giving' page on the parish
website <www.stgite.org.uk> to print and return. The revised roll
will be displayed for checking from 5 April.
year in Lent we supported WaterAid – because we regard this as a vital
world issue, and welcome the way they tackle the issues, using local
and appropriate technology – and (at our bishop's request) the ALMA
appeal for our link dioceses in Angola and Mozambique, which focused on
building schools (work which is progressing well). This year the ALMA
appeal is 'Living Water', supporting water and sanitation projects, a
vital prerequisite in reaching the Millennium Development Goals.
Information, and Gift Aid, envelopes for this will be available in
church, and you can find out more from <www.almalink.org>
Christmas The News of the World kindly gave us some books to sell – and
most have now gone, raising a good amount for church funds. A
fresh consignment is on the way.....
Olivet to Calvary
Transport Choir are performing J.H. Maunder's Passiontide cantata at
All Saints Poplar on Saturday 14 March at 7pm – free admission.
The Church of England monthly news bulletin
full details of many current issues, including General Synod reports,
and can be viewed on
Back to Newsletters |
Back to Homepage