Monday, December 15, 2014

Big Family Carols with Christingle - 21 December 2014

What can be more Christmassy than the faces of tiny children lit up with candle flames, in a church that resounds to the best loved carols?

It makes the hairs on the back of our necks stand up too!

Christingle originated in Germany in the mid-eighteenth century as a way of encapsulating something of God's love for children. Adapted over the years, the message remains the same.
Each person coming to the service will be given an orange with a red ribbon tied around it, a candle in the top and sweets on cocktail sticks stuck into it. And yes, the sweets can be eaten in church.

All warmly welcome. The service starts at 4pm and finishes around 5pm. Like all our public services, admission is free.

Services on Sunday

Sunday 21/12/2014

11am Holy Communion Liz Salmon preaching. Bible reading: 2 Samuel 7.1-11,16; Luke 1.26-38

4pm Big Carols & Christingle - More details.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Booking a wedding

Mike and Laura's wedding
A church wedding marks the beginning of a lifelong union in a service that blends joy, fun, celebration, worship of God and solemn commitment to each other.

Every home in the country is in a parish and most people choose to marry in their Church of England parish church. It's also possible to marry in another parish church, provided that you fulfil certain requirements. Check whether you live in the parish of St Mary's.

For us at St Mary's, every wedding is a wonderful occasion. To find out more about what's involved in making a booking, please download our introductory leaflet.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Candlelit Carols 14 December 2014

On Sunday 14 December at 6pm, come and enjoy the very special atmosphere of St Mary's lit by candles and join our choir in singing some favourite carols. Please do arrive early, as it is usually our most popular service in the year and we anticipate a full house.

Afterwards, do linger in the candlelight for a glass of mulled wine and a hot mince pie as we begin to celebrate the approaching Christmas season.

We'll be weaving lessons from scripture with wonderful pieces from our choir. Everyone who comes will be given a candle to light their way and together we'll sing traditional words to the best-loved carols.

If a classical carols service is too much for your little ones, we have a Christingle Family Carols service and a Crib service too.

Like all of our public services, admission is free.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Crib service on Christmas Eve 2014

Just hours before stockings are hung hopefully at the end of beds, little children have the opportunity to be part of a re-enactment of the Christmas story. At 4pm on Christmas Eve, St Mary Islington will be transformed into Bethlehem and we're seeking wise men, shepherds and angels to come and populate it.

Please bring little ones dressed in nativity costumes if possible (although we'll have some available on the day). We'll sing some simple songs, re-tell the story of Jesus' birth and finish by 4.45pm with juice and cake. We hope you can join us.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Lunchtime carols service 10 December 1-1.40pm

We really value all those who work in our parish, as well as those who live here, and we'd love to celebrate Christmas with you too. So on Wednesday 10 December, we're holding a lunchtime carol service from 1pm to 1.40pm, followed by mulled wine and a mince pie, specially for our working neighbours. We're taking a theme from the WWI centenary of Peace and the Christmas Truces.

We're delighted to do this in partnership with Angel AIM and local businesses, which have so generously sponsored the beautiful lights in the trees outside the church.

We hope many can join us for some well-known carols, the Christmas story - and an opportunity to network afterwards.

Friday, November 28, 2014

St Mary's Christmas Fair

Our annual fun and festive Christmas fair takes place next Saturday 6 December from 11am - 5pm.

Come and browse gift and craft stalls, join in carols and activities for children and enjoy refreshments from our cafe. Admission is free.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Unhappy Islington or the best borough in London?

Here at St Mary's, we're not just fond of Islington. We absolutely love it.

This week, the Metro rated Islington the best borough in London. They said "If you were to take the whole of London and pack it into one borough this is what you’d be left with."

Who can resist looking up a ranking to see where they feature? No wonder this article stirred Londoners to celebration and argument on social media.

Poor Lewisham was judged in this most un-scientific of surveys as being obese, the least peaceful and "a bit rubbish". But even they have the consolation of being remarkable. What about the joint last-placers, Kingston upon Thames, Redbridge, Havering and Bexley? No one on the Metro in-house jury even had an opinion on them.

The Metro's light-hearted list gives no numbers to back up the rankings. But it made me think.

I note that the things the Metro celebrates about Islington only work if you've got cash in your pocket (lots of restaurants) or a thumping salary (it's "the absolute dream when it comes to buying a property"). If you can't participate in the party that is Islington streetlife, presumably you're condemned to live the kind of dull and boring life of the residents of Barking and Dagenham (ranked 26) or Enfield (ranked 25).

A more reliable survey of London boroughs came my way a couple of months ago. It's a graphic on the Guardian website taken from The Information Capital by James Cheshire and Oliver Uberti. It shows a particular face for each borough based on government statistics (ONS data from 2012-2013). If you haven't seen the graphic, look it up and spend ten minutes to take it in.

When I saw Islington depicted as the most unhappy borough in London, I was shocked. That's not my experience. I meet lots of people who are struggling with a lot of problems yet they still appear to be cheerfully making the best of it. Other data reveals that Islington people have some of the highest rates of mental ill-health in the country.

Can it be true that Islington is at the same time, judged to be "London's best borough" and also its unhappiest?

One explanation is that the best bits of Islington life are conspicuous while its sadnesses are hidden. Opportunity, entertainment, and N1's general buzz give an impression of a stylish urban village that hasn't lost its grittier roots. But when the music fades and the lights go out, could it be that life for many local people is more stressed, less happy, more lonely than the team at the Metro can imagine?