Friday, October 24, 2014

Islington Carers Hub

Many people in Islington are carers. Perhaps you or someone you know looks after a friend or relative who is ill, frail or disabled, suffers with their mental health or struggles with a drug or alcohol problem?  

If either you or they live in Islington, Islington Carers Hub may be able to help by offering free advice, support groups, debt counselling, training opportunities and a newsletter on a range of issues.

You can find out more about support and services for carers at or by calling 0800 085 1141 or 020 7561 5517 Monday to Friday 9am-5pm.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Service for the bereaved - 2 November at 6pm

Photo Credit:iNafih's photostream on Flickr

In the weeks and months following a funeral of a loved one, it can seem as though the world has rushed on. We're especially aware that as Christmas approaches, many people are missing someone special. On Sunday evening 2 November at 6pm, we'll have a quiet service that will allow us to remember with thanksgiving, to hear the names of those who have died read aloud in the church, and to light a candle. All are welcome and you don't have to be a member of St Mary's to join us.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Services on Sunday

Sunday 26/10/2014

11am Morning Worship Simon Harvey preaching. Fruitfulness on the frontline 4: Mould culture. Bible reading: Matthew 5.13-16

6pm Holy Communion Simon Harvey preaching. Bible reading: 1 Thessalonians 2.1-8; Matthew 22.34-end

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Aid collection for Syria - 2 November 2014

No one can fail to be moved by the plight of refugees in Syria. Following a long and bloody conflict between the government and opposition forces, IS militants have now begun to establish a rule of terror and barbarity that is unprecedented. This is a fast-moving situation. But we should remember that millions have displaced refugees and others have been struggling for years.

Last year, St Mary's gladly took part in a Big Winter Aid Drop organised by Hand in Hand For Syria. This year, the need is even greater than before. Please join us to bring relief to some of the most desperate people in the world.

We'll be collecting donations in church on Sunday 2 November 2014, at the 11am service and afterwards through to 5pm. We're sorry but we're unable to accept donations outside these times

There's a full shopping list on the Hand in Hand For Syria website. The list includes:
  • Clothing – NEW winter clothes, shoes, boots for children and adults
  • Blankets – NEW knitted/crocheted blankets and baby shawls
  • Newborn Packs — containing ONLY warm clothes + baby wipes + baby soap. We need premature packs AND 0-3 months.
  • Nappies – All sizes for babies and toddlers
  • Adult care – Adult incontinence pads
  • Women’s hygiene – Sanitary towels
  • Toiletries — Shampoo, soap, toothpaste & toothbrushes
  • Food – Rice, tinned chickpeas, tinned broad beans, tinned sardines, tinned tuna
  • Stationery – Notepads, notebooks and plain paper; pens, pencils & crayons (for adult and children)
  • Bedding – NEW groundsheets, warm sleeping bags, duvets, heavyweight blankets
  • Infant formula milk – Instructions in Arabic will be glued to the tin before despatch to Syria. 

Hand in Hand For Syria works only in Syria, bringing relief to people regardless of their faith and culture through local partners. It covers 90% of the country.

Monday, October 13, 2014

School admissions and church attendance

Church schools are popular and the number of applications for admission often exceeds the number of places available. To allocate places, each school has its own admissions policy which sets out their criteria for admission. These criteria are different at each school but they often include:
  • Special needs and disabilities
  • Siblings already at the school
  • Regular church attendance or membership
  • The distance from the school to the child's home.
From time to time parents ask us to sign a form from their school of choice to confirm that a child attends our church. We always want to do this as fairly as possible and we're aware that with limited places, there is always the potential for disappointment.

We're glad to help but we would ask parents to remember:
  • Each school has its own admissions policy and you should speak to the school if you are unsure about its requirements.
  • It's really important that you send all the information that the school needs in good time. Don't leave things until the last minute. Each school handles the process in a different way and we cannot offer you guidance on how to apply. Again, speak to the school if you're unsure.
  • Please make sure that you fill in the forms carefully. Make sure you complete all sections that are required from parents before you give the forms to us.
  • "Regular attendance" or "membership" are defined in different ways by different schools. Parents are often surprised that the level of attendance which qualifies as "regular" is quite high. For example, some schools state that anything less than 48 times in two years does not count as regular.
  • At St Mary's our Sunday morning children's groups each have an attendance register. If your child attends one of the Sunday groups, then please ensure that they are recorded.
  • We will always be scrupulously honest in confirming church attendance or membership. It's not possible for us to make any statement that we cannot know to be fact.
  • We understand that choosing a school is an important thing to do and it can feel like quite a stressful time. As deadlines approach, it's understandable that feelings run high. A decision from a school not to award a place can be hard to receive. We believe that with great parental support, children can thrive in a wide range of schools and things may not be as difficult as they seem. Many children grow up to be thankful that they didn't get into their first-choice school.
  • The worship, prayer and pastoral support of your church community is a great help. Attending worship simply to qualify for a school place, however well intentioned, is never going to be as good as coming with an open mind, ready to receive and to give to the Christian community. We welcome people who come to church for all sorts of reasons. We also hope that participating in the life of St Mary's will bring real opportunities for encountering God and growing in faith.
As admissions policies change each year, it's not possible for us to maintain an up-to-date list of documents for all local church schools. Please check the websites of the schools themselves (try searching for "admissions" and the name of the school). Further information on admissions is available from Islington.

Harvest thanksgiving

Children and families from St Mary's Primary School brought their donations of food for Islington Foodbank. We added lots more and today sent a donation of £1000 to support this valuable work.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to such a generous donation.

Listen to Tim Broadbent's sermon by clicking on the player below, or follow this link.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Podcast pilot episode

Mencap's work in the vicarage garden project
Can't see the player? Download the podcast here. Let us know if this recording was of interest and we'll consider doing more from time to time.