Good Friday Procession 2013

Hundreds of people will gather at the N1 Centre at noon on Good Friday, 29 March 2013. Churches from across south Islington are working together to walk in solidarity with each other, and with a figure of Jesus, in the way of the cross.

The simple gathering will be followed by a joint service at St Mary's, Upper Street, from 12:30 to 1.00pm. People may then choose to remain for the Good Friday Meditations until 3pm.

Follow the event on twitter #upperstreetpassion.

Services in August 2012

During August, we’ll be reading and preaching from the First letter of Peter.

Taking a whole book of the Bible means that we can see the context for some key lessons.

As we read the letter in our contemporary culture, we’re bound to spot some contentious issues. Slavery is mentioned, without any reference to it being wrong. The model of family life that is described is far from the accepted norm of our day.

We’ll have to work hard, as the letter hopes we will, to understand and apply teaching from one cultural context to our own.

Join us in worship at our eleven o’clock services on Sundays to explore this provocative and helpful book.

5 August 

9.00am Holy Communion (Book of Common Prayer)
11.00am Holy Communion Called to holy living
1 Peter 1; John 3.1-8
6.00pm Evening Worship

12 August

11.00am All Together Church A chosen people
1 Peter 2
6.00pm Holy Communion

19 August

11.00am Holy Communion Tender hearts and humble minds
1 Peter 3; Matthew 5.1-11
6.00pm Evening Worship

26 August

11.00am Morning Worship Stewards of grace
1 Peter 4
6.00pm Holy Communion

Pressing issues

In the weeks of June and July, we’ll be looking at pressing issues of contemporary living. In the details of our lives, our inner attitudes and priorities are often most clearly revealed.
Join us in worship at our eleven o’clock services on Sundays to explore the principles that will guide our living for God, who is active in our lives by the power of the Holy Spirit.

3 June 11.00am Holy Communion

This place, this time, this people
Acts 17.16-34 and John 12:20-23
At the start of our Soul in the City Neighbourhood Festival, we’ll be exploring God’s calling to us to proclaim the Gospel in our culture and time. In particular, how do we bear faithful witness to our inherited faith in a contemporary context?
6.00pm Evening Worship

10 June 11.00am Soul in the City Celebration

Guests at God’s Party
Luke 14.12-24
Jesus taught that the Kingdom of Heaven is like a feast, to which surprising people are invited. How do we respond to God’s invitation?
6.00pm Holy Communion

17 June

11.00am Holy Communion
“Does God always guide us?”
Deuteronomy 30.15-20 and John 6.66-71
Scripture is clear that God’s care extends to all our living. But does that mean that there’s always a choice for God in every decision we make? To what extent are we free to improvise in our lives and to make our own choices?
6.00pm Evening Worship

24 June

11.00am Morning Worship
“I haven't read the Bible for ages, does it really matter?”
Psalm 119.97-112 and 2 Timothy 3.10-4.5
Many of us struggle to find a regular pattern of reading the Bible. Some of us lose interest or even fall asleep when we start late at night. How can we begin again in our reading of God’s word?
6.00pm Holy Communion

1 July

9.00am Holy Communion (Book of Common Prayer)
11.00am Holy Communion
“Is my job my vocation?”
Proverbs 12.11-14 and Mark 1.16-20
The word vocation suggests a calling. Many of us can identify our paid employment with that sense of calling. Some of us can’t. Does it matter? How can we know that we’re in the right kind of work?
6.00pm Evening Worship

8 July

11.00am All Together Church
“I keep doing the stuff I shouldn't”
Romans 7.14-25
Habits are so hard to break. Secret struggles with besetting addictions and patterns of thought and behaviour can make us ashamed and diminished. How might we respond?
6.00pm Holy Communion

15 July

11.00am Holy Communion
“Should I wear a cross at work?”
1 Corinthians 1.18-31 and John 19.16b-23
The cross is used in many ways. Is it a potent faith-symbol, a cheap sign, a nice shape for jewellery, or a chance to witness positively? How willing should we be to identified as Christians and how can we do so graciously and generously?
6.00pm Evening Worship

22 July

11.00am Morning Worship
“I wish I looked different!”
1 Corinthians 6.12-20
Never has body-image been such a powerful force in people’s lives. Our culture is quick to judge people on the basis of their appearance and few of us are happy with the way we appear to ourselves. What does it mean to be made in God’s image, and how do we handle this potent topic?
6.00pm Holy Communion

29 July

11.00am Service with prayer for healing
“Should I shop on Sundays?”
Exodus 20.8-11 and Mark 2.23-3.6
The Lord’s Day Society was founded at St Mary’s. Our predecessors would be shocked to find London’s shops so busy on Sunday. Does this really matter anymore? How can the Sabbath principle be a blessing in our 24/7 culture?
6.00pm Holy Communion

Resurrection Living

The explosion of confident faith in the early church is one important piece of evidence for the resurrection of Jesus.

A tiny group of depressed and failed followers was suddenly transformed into a passionate movement that changed the world. Against all odds, and against the intolerances and prejudices of the ruling elites, the message of the apostles took hold. To educated Greeks it looked like foolishness. To reverent Jews it was an offence. But to those who believed, the Cross of Christ became symbolic of the very power of God. Jesus was dead, buried, gone. Jesus is alive!

The Book of the Acts of the Apostles and the resurrection appearances of the Gospels give us an insight into the radical way that life lived through the experience of resurrection changed everything.

8 April 2012 – Easter Day 
11.00am Family Holy Communion Acts 10.34-43 and Mark 16.1-8
6.00pm Evening Worship

15 April 2012 
11.00am Holy Communion Acts 4.32-35 and John 20.19-end
6.00pm Evening Worship

22 April 2012 
11.00am Annual Church Meeting Acts 6.8-11 & 7.51-8.1a
6.00pm Holy Communion

29 April 2012 
11.00am Morning Worship
Acts 4.5-12 and John 10.11-18
6.00pm Holy Communion

6 May 2012 
9.00am Holy Communion (Book of Common Prayer)
11.00am Family Holy Communion Acts 8.26-end and John 15.1-8
6.00pm Evening Worship

13 May 2012 
11.00am All Together Church Acts 10.44-end
6.00pm Holy Communion

20 May 2012 
11.00am Holy Communion Acts 1.15-17, 21-end and John 17.6-19
6.00pm Evening Worship

27 May 2012 - Pentecost 
11.00am Morning Worship Acts 2.1-21
6.00pm Holy Communion

There will be no sermon this Sunday

This Sunday there will be no sermon at our main 11am service.

We'll read story of the last Wednesday, the last Thursday and the last Friday of Jesus' life.
We'll be reading from Mark's Gospel, the briefest of them all. 
And then we'll wait.
In community.
In silence.
In awe.

If there are too many words in your life, be part of something amazing this Sunday.

Where do sermons come from?

The pulpit at St Mary's
Come to St Mary's for any service and you can expect to hear a sermon that relates the word of God to the world in which we live.

We often preach a series, from a book of the Bible, or from a set of issues. Our preachers get together regularly to pray and plan for the services in the coming months. We try hard to get a sense from God about the topics we should be tackling, in the expectation that he has something fresh and relevant for us even in texts that we've heard many times before.

The Lectionary of the Church of England provides a rich and varied set of readings throughout the year and we usually use it in at least one of the Sunday services. This brings us a sense of belonging to the wider Church as well as well-chosen passages that suit the church's seasons in worship. But at other times we look to the needs and concerns of the church community and of those who might visit us. We can be responsive to what's happening for people in confident expectation that the Bible has something to offer, some insight or set of clues as to how faith in the eternal God will empower us to live today.

In the weeks after Pentecost, in June and July, we're going to try something new. We'd love to hear from those who hear our preaching about the topics and issues that they would like us to address. Is there something that you rarely hear preached about in church, that you think we should explore together? Is there an aspect of faith that you'd like to understand better? Send us suggestions and we'll find a way of letting our church community choose seven topics for us to tackle.

Are Christians allowed...?

In our worship during Lent the cross of Christ is never far away.

It's a time to know our need of forgiveness and to receive it. But this kind of reflection can be a problem if it leads us into a dry and less-than-human way of life. It throws up some practical questions about the way that we live - questions that other people sometimes want to ask if they're considering walking the walk of Christian faith.

So are there limits to how Christians should live, behave or think?

We're unafraid to ask these provocative and insightful questions in a series of sermons Are Christians allowed…?

26 February - Are Christians allowed to be successful?
4 March - Are Christians allowed to be self confident?
11 March - Are Christians allowed to be angry?
18 March - Are Christians allowed to be party people?
25 March - Are Christians allowed to doubt?

Jonah and the City

One small person, one huge city, and God.

We'll be exploring the fabulous Jonah story in three Sunday sermons in February.

5 February Jonah chapter 1 
God sends | Jonah flees
Ever run away because you've been asked to do something too risky or frightening? What if the one who sends you is God? Where do you run then?

12 February Jonah chapters 2 and 3 
Jonah obeys | God forgives
God turns Jonah's life around in a way that leads to great goodness in the lives of people around him. How can we be available to share real blessings like that?

19 February Jonah chapter 4
Jonah is angry | God restores
Jonah discovers that God's love challenges his certainties. He finds that he now believes in a bigger God, yet he's still angry, depressed and concerned for his own comfort. How does honest prayer to God bring real perspective?

The picture depicts the restored entrance to the ancient city of Nineveh, which is now part of the Iraqi city of Mosul. Download our flyer for the series Jonah and the City.

God changes things - Sunday 22 January at 11

God changes things.
Not just water into wine.
But despair into hope.
Meaninglessness into purpose.
A people concerned with purity into a people commissioned to bring blessing.

11am Morning Worship

Preaching: Simon Harvey
Leading: Liz Salmon
Theme: Words of power
Genesis 14.17-20
John 2.1-11

Childrens' activities, contemporary worship, refreshments and prayer ministry.

Lunchtime services - new series

In addition to Sunday services St Mary’s offers short lunchtime services on Wednesdays during term-time. These services start at 12.45pm and finish at 1.15pm. A sandwich lunch is available from noon. Once a month, usually on the first Wednesday, the service includes a short Holy Communion.

The theme of this term’s series is “journeying with Abraham”.

11 January 2012 12.45 to 1.15 Bible Talk
The call and the promise Genesis 12.1-9

18 January 2012 12.45 to 1.15 Bible Talk
Fear ….. or diplomacy? Genesis 12.10-20

25 January 2012 12.45 to 1.15 Bible Talk
Lot’s choice …. and its consequences Genesis 13.1-14.16

1 February 2012 12.45 to 1.15 Holy Communion
Melchizedek Genesis 14.17-24

8 February 2012 12.45 to 1.15 Bible Talk
The Covenant Genesis 15

15 February 2012 12.45 to 1.15 Bible Talk
Hagar and Ishmael Genesis 16

22 February 2012 Ash Wednesday 12.45 to 1.15 Bible Talk
Sign of the Covenant Genesis 17

29 February 2012 12.45 to 1.15 Bible Talk
The visitors Genesis 18.1-15

7 March 2012 12.45 to 1.15 Holy Communion
The city of Sodom Genesis 18.16-29

14 March 2012 12.45 to 1.15 Bible Talk
Promise fulfilled ….. and jealousy Genesis 21.1-26

21 March 2012 12.45 to 1.15 Bible Talk
The test Genesis 22

28 March 2012 12.45 to 1.15 Bible Talk
Abraham’s legacy and death Genesis 24.1-25.11

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

We enjoyed a wonderful Carols service last night. There are more opportunities to make Christmas special this year with services on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day:

Christmas Eve 4.00-4.45 Children's crib service. The Christmas story told for young children and their families.

Christmas Eve 11.00-12.15 Midnight communion. A special late night service of Holy Communion with Christmas readings and carols.

Christmas Day 9.00-9.45 Traditional communion. A quiet reflective start to Christmas Day.

Christmas Day 10.30-11.30 Family Service. Come along with all the family for this special Christmas service with Holy Communion.

We wish you all a very happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year.

Changing patterns at our carols services

Something interesting is happening in the pattern of attendance at our carols services. We're seeing many more people coming to worship but also a much higher number of children. This year forty-six children came to the service - one in six of the congregation.

The atmosphere in church last night was really special. With beautiful singing and everyone holding a candle throughout the evening, we experienced the story of God coming among us in the smallness of the newborn Jesus in a profound way. We're so thankful to everyone who came and to those whose hard work made it possible.

Carols by Candlelight - Sunday at 6

Sunday 18 December 2011 6.00-7.15 Carols by Candlelight, followed by mince pies and mulled wine in the crypt.

There'll be favourite carols for the whole congregation to sing, readings which relate the promise and fulfilment of the birth of a Saviour, and a centre-piece performance of Andrew Adigun's Anno Domini.

Andrew has been a member of St Mary's since childhood and his oratorio was first performed nine years ago.  Anno Domini is the first part of an intended larger work, The Life of Christ. The text incorporates original story-telling through words and music prefixed by an Orthodox hymn to The Mother of God incarnate.  Musically, it is inspired by idioms such as Russian music, Gregorian chant, and the music of Miklós Rózsa, Nascimbene and Morricone.

Christmas Services at St Mary's

Join us for one or more of the very special Christmas services at St Mary's.

Saturday 10 Dec 11.00-4.00 Christmas Fair with gift stalls, café, carol singing and an opportunity for children to help decorate our Christmas tree.

Sunday 11 Dec 11.00-12.15 Christingle service. A special service for children and families.

Sunday 18 Dec 6.00-7.15 Carols by Candlelight. The Christmas story told through readings and carols, followed by mince pies and mulled wine in the crypt.

Christmas Eve 4.00-4.45 Children's crib service. The Christmas story told for young children and their families.

Christmas Eve 11.00-12.15 Midnight communion. A special late night service of Holy Communion with Christmas readings and carols.

Christmas Day 9.00-9.45 Traditional communion. A quiet reflective start to Christmas Day.

Christmas Day 10.30-11.30 Family Service. Come along with all the family for this special Christmas service with Holy Communion.

Cards for Good Causes are on sale in the church from 10am-5pm Monday-Saturday until 17th December.

Regular Sunday Services at 11am and 6pm.

Join our singers for Carols by Candlelight

We are hoping to gather a big choir to sing at the Carols by Candlelight service at 6 pm on Sunday 18 December. We shall be singing all the usual favourites as well as some items for choir only. Do please think about joining us if you can read music.

Rehearsals, all in the church,  will be on:
  • Saturday 3 December at 5.30 pm
  • Thursday 8 December at 7.30 pm
  • Saturday 10 December at 11 am (during the Christmas Fair – do try very hard to come to this one!)
  • Wednesday 14 December at 7.30 pm
  • Saturday 17 December at 6 pm (please note, half an hour later than originally planned)
  • Sunday 18 Dec at 3.30 pm (before the service)
For more information, contact Anna McKane.

Services in Advent and at Christmas

In the darkening days as winter approaches, we look for signs of light and hope. This is Advent - a time of promise.

27 November 2011
11.00 Morning Worship
Advent Sunday - The Coming of God's Day Isaiah 64.1-9 and Mark 13.24-end
6.00pm Holy Communion - Waiting for Justice

4 December 2011
9.00 Holy Communion (Book of Common Prayer)
11.00 Holy Communion
Repentance and restoration Isaiah 40.1-11 and Mark 1.1-8
6.00pm Evening Worship - Waiting for Freedom

11 December 2011
11.00 Christingle Service
Testimony and witness Isaiah 61.1-4, 8-end and John 1.6-8, 19-28
6.00pm Holy Communion - Waiting for a Saviour

18 December 2011
11.00 Holy Communion
Where God might dwell 2 Samuel 7.1-11, 16 and Luke 1.26-38
6.00pm Carols by Candlelight

24 December 2011 - Christmas Eve
4.00 Crib Service
11.00pm Midnight Communion

25 December 2011 - Christmas Day
9.00 Holy Communion (Book of Common Prayer)
10.30 Holy Communion
The Word became flesh and lived among us - Isaiah 52.7-10 and John 1.1-14
6.00pm No evening service

Praying seven days out of seven

We're delighted that having extended our Morning Prayer services to Saturdays last year, from tomorrow there will also be public prayer on Fridays as well.

There is so much more to the Daily Office than the clergy saying their prayers. By making this daily offering of worship and intercession for the world open to everyone, we're weaving the everyday into the eternal. Christian prayers have been offered to God on this site for a millennium, and we're glad to add our own.

Seven whole days, not one in seven,
I will praise thee;
in my heart, though not in heaven,
I can raise thee.
Small it is, in this poor sort
to enroll thee:
e’en eternity’s too short
to extol thee.
George Herbert, 1633


In very different ways, the lives of Samuel Ajayi Crowther, David Sheppard, William Cave and Charles Wesley revealed the truth and love of God. We're proud to claim a St Mary's connection with all of them. Join us at the 11am service for the next four weeks, to learn about the faith which led these people to do great things for God and change the world.
30 October - The faith of Samuel Ajayi Crowther

6 November - The faith of David Sheppard

13 November - The faith of William Cave

20 November - The faith of Charles Wesley