05 October 2015

Services on Sunday 11 October 2015

Sunday 11 October 2015

11am All Together Church with Harvest
Gloria Naylor TBC preaching. The earth is the Lord's Food justice. Bible reading: Isaiah 58.1-9a;  Matthew 25.31-45

6pm Holy Communion
Mike Bartholomew Biggs preaching. Bible reading: Amos 5:6-7, 10-15; Mark 10.17-31

30 September 2015

Islington - a borough of poor children and poor pensioners

ONS Indices of Deprivation report 30 Sept 2015
According to newly published national statistics, Islington has the third highest rate of income deprivation affecting children and the fifth highest rate of income deprivation affecting older people.

The ONS reports published today reveal that life in Islington for many people is far from the image of high living that is portrayed in the national media.

Over one in three children in our borough live in income deprived families. For many people, very low income is made worse by the relatively high costs of goods and services in our central London Borough.

Similarly, one in three older people are income deprived.

The reduced benefit cap is hitting many Islington families hard and there are signs that the inequalities in our borough are rising. Unlike the other boroughs in the most deprived rankings--Tower Hamlets, Middlesbrough, Hackney and Newham--Islington is also a place of substantial and conspicuous prosperity.

In our parish, wealth and poverty are side by side. This is a gospel issue and we treasure the diversity of our church community, which includes people from both ends of the wealth spectrum.

We're committed to doing all that we can, together with our partners Mary's to ensure that our borough is "one Islington", to create opportunities especially for the youngest and the oldest, and to see that people are enriched by each other.

Every day, our buildings are used for activities that support children and pensioners, attracting over 2500 visits each week for projects, groups and worship.

If you want to tackle inequality and income deprivation, come and join in with our work.

Harvest thanksgiving 11 October 2015

At our Harvest Thanksgiving service we will be giving thanks for all that God has given us and taking the opportunity to give something back.

We would be very grateful for donations of food from the following list which has been provided to us by Islington Food Bank so please take a look and donate whatever you can. These foods will be used to make up emergency parcels to help local people in crisis.

  • Tinned meat
  • Tinned fish
  • Rice 
  • Pasta (dry)
  • Pasta sauce
  • Pot noodles
  • Instant mash potatoes
  • Tinned vegetables
  • Cup a soup
  • Sugar
  • Tea bags      
  • Instant coffee
  • Long life milk     
  • Dried powdered milk
  • Breakfast cereal    
  • Tinned fruit
  • Rice pudding     
  • Soup
  • Crackers      
  • Sponge pudding (tinned)
  • Nuts       
  • Tinned fruit
  • Crisps      
  • Snack bars
  • Jam       
  • Chocolate bars
  • Small bottles of water   
  • Small cartons of fruit juice

Please bring your donation of food to the service at 11am on Sunday 11 October 2014.

Ric Thorpe becomes the new Bishop of Islington

Picture: Diocese of London
At St Paul's Catherdral yesterday, Ric Thorpe was made Bishop of Islington. Our vicar Simon Harvey and ministry assistant Adam Hobson joined thousands of people in a service at which the Archbishop of Canterbury presided. This was the first time that women bishops were consecrated at the cathedral. Anne Hollinghurst is now Bishop of Aston and Ruth Worsley is Bishop of Taunton. The sermon was preached by Stephen Cottrell, Bishop of Chelmsford, who used the words of Gregory the Great to encourage the new bishops to be sentinels and to take a broad perspective.

Ric becomes only the second Bishop of Islington; the post lapsed in the 1920s after just one appointment. This appointment is to a completely new and pioneering role.

Bishop Ric will not be a local bishop in the usual way. Islington's parishes and clergy remain under the oversight of the Bishop of Stepney.

Instead, the new Bishop of Islington will have a role in the national church, drawing on the capital's experience and enabling other dioceses to replicate the kind of growth that the Church of England in London has seen for two decades.

Further details and pictures on the website of the Diocese of London.

21 September 2015

Youth from St Mary's have an awesome time

Happy Campers from St Mary's Church
Tim Broadbent our Children and Youth Minister writes, 
During August 2015 young people from Mary’s church youth group (SMS) went on a summer youth trip. Six of us left inner city Islington and made our way together to Lee Abbey, a Christian community and holiday venue, on the beautiful Devon coast. We joined about 90 other young people from across the UK to have fun and share in the Christian faith.  
As I grew up in a church setting I am aware of the value of taking young people on trips, and with the help and support of St Mary's PCC and a charity called Allchurches Trust I have been developing a long term youth ministry strategy. The strategy that I have developed involves taking young people out of their typical environment on two trips per year. These trips (one at Easter and one during the Summer) will consolidate the relationships formed throughout the year and create more space to explore together the Christian faith. I believe creating this pattern of weekly contact through SMS, enhanced by trips away will reap a huge harvest in the lives of young people who will go on to serve God throughout their lives. The trips are chosen as they are based in the heart of nature. I feel this is important as Islington has the second lowest amount of open space of any Local Authority in the country.

For the past 4 years I have been leading SMS, with the hope that it supports and nurture young people in St Mary's and Islington. Throughout my time SMS has been hugely supported by many members of St Mary's Church, that has been part of its success. Thanks for reading this and I think the final words about this summer trip should come from the young people themselves.

Quotes from members of SMS who went to Lee Abbey 2015
  • “The camp at Lee Abbey was very wet and damp, but it was never dry with humour. I'm glad I went.”  Mayron

  • “Lee abbey was better than good. It was awesome in fact. God gave me confidence to make a lot of friends.” Jerry

  • “I really enjoyed Lee Abbey Camp because the leaders made me feel really welcome and the activities were fun. I think I made more of a connection with God and I understood more about the bible while I was there. I would definitely go back again because it was just such a magical and friendly place.” Kerry

  •  “My experience at lee abbey was amazing. I learnt lots of news things about Christianity. I learnt why Christians go to church and the seminars where helpful, I went to one on conflict.” Princewill

  • “Lee abbey was fun, social and welcoming. When I arrived at Lee Abbey I was agnostic, now I am Christian, but I am still sceptical about some things.” Nicholas
This is the main field we camped on. 
One of our meetings featured a reflection on the life of Christ culminating on a powerful reflection on the Cross

15 September 2015

Through the Hole in the Wall

Through The Hole In The Wall from Dan Jobar on Vimeo.

Produced and Narrated by Susan Oudot
Directed by Chiara Messineo
Edited by Dan Jobar

When Islington Council took over their housing in the 1970s, Milner Square’s residents were dispersed to estates and New Towns. They gained bathrooms and boilers, but lost their tight-knit community; they were filled instead with a sense that the world - their world - had changed forever.

Through the candid, colourful and often emotional recollections of those who lived there through the pre- and post-war years, this film shows them returning to the Square and beautifully recaptures a place in time, and its importance to those who called it ‘home’.

Simon Harvey and Jules Cassidy were invited to the premiere of the film last week, which brought together past and present residents. Many of the people in the film spoke of their family connections with St Mary's Church. Some remember playing among the debris of the bomb-damaged church during the 1940s.

Milner Square is near the centre of our parish and is full of character. We're glad to be looking for further ways to partner with Islington's Local History Centre, whose work helps treasure and share the memories of our neighbourhood.

10 September 2015

Help for refugees at Calais

Taken from the Islington Council website.

Islington Town Hall is opening its doors to donations of clothes, tents, and other items to help support people living in camps in Calais.

The council is working with humanitarian aid charity, CalAid, to collect much-needed supplies for refugees and migrants living in appalling conditions in the camps.

This follows an outpouring of concern from Islington residents, with many emails and phone calls from residents wishing to help.

The donation point is open in the Town Hall on Upper Street, N1 2UD, from Wednesday, 9 September. Donations are welcome 8am-8pm, seven days a week.

Items that are particularly welcome are:

  • Shoes - trainers or hiking shoes (only the most common sizes 41 to 43)
  • Tents - (and covers and tarpaulin)
  • Jackets - only small and medium sized ones
  • Travelling Bags
  • Socks
  • Candles or any other lighting implement
  • Belts
  • Tracksuit trousers (highly appreciated)
  • Jeans (Size 28 to 32)
  • Blankets
  • Sleeping bags
  • Soap & Shampoo
  • Toothbrushes & Toothpaste
  • Woolly hats
  • Pants
  • Pots & Pans

A separate CalAid collection point is open at Mildmay Community Centre – details available here.

Adam Hobson

Adam is our Ministry Assistant. Contact details 07958 766962 adam.hobson@stmaryislington.org.

He joined St Mary's in September 2015 and is participating in the Stepney Intern Scheme, which gives young people opportunities to explore Christian ministry.

Adam was raised on a farm in Ireland. He studied English and Theology at Trinity College, Dublin, where he was president of the Christian Union. When in Dublin he became involved in an active parish - here he developed interests in liturgy and city centre outreach. Adam has volunteered with United Beach Missions and Scripture Union.

Adam’s theological interests include the place of liturgy in evangelism, Anglicanism, and Christian responsibilities towards the environment. In his spare time he enjoys cycling, organic gardening, fishing and reading.