Reformation 1517 – 2017

On 31 October 1517 Martin Luther pinned 95 Theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, protesting against the practice of indulgences and touching on questions of grace, repentance and forgiveness.

The 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Reformation provides the opportunity to explore and reflect upon issues of church, state, and religious and cultural diversity that are still at the centre of our national life: the conflicts that divide, and the convictions diverse parts of the Christian church hold sacred – the pillars on which their faith stands or falls. How are we called to be reformed by the Gospel? How do we build the unity Christ called for with those whose convictions are very different from our own?

This autumn St Martin in the Fields will host a lecture series, exploring some of these hopes and controversies. All lectures from 7.00pm-8.30pm on Monday evenings at St Martin-in-the-Fields, and are free and open to all.

More info here.

If you missed an evening, you can listen here:

Listen to Alister McGrath on the Meaning of the Reformation 500 years ago and today – an introduction to the importance of the reformation not only for the church

Listen to Lucy Winkett and Sam Wells on Reforming the Church – exploring the challenges that the church faces today from the viewpoint of the reformation. There are now also a scripts available under the above link.

Listen to Nicholas Holtam, David Monteith and Sally Hitchiner on Reforming Marriage – exploring the challenges of gay relationships, civil partnerships and same sex marriage for the church.

Listen to  David Olusoga and Liz Adekunle on Reforming Attitudes to Race – exploring our attitudes to race in 21st century Britain.

Nobel Peace Price 2017

 

The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapon (ICAN) wins the 2017 Nobel Peace prize

 

 

ICAN is a coalition of non-governmental organizations in one hundred countries. By harnessing the power of the people, we are working to bring an end to the most destructive weapon ever created – the only weapon that poses an existential threat to all humanity.

This prize is a tribute to the tireless efforts of many millions of campaigners and concerned citizens worldwide – including a number here at St Paul’s – who, ever since the dawn of the atomic age, have loudly protested nuclear weapons, insisting that they can serve no legitimate purpose and must be forever banished from the face of our earth.

It is a tribute also to the survivors of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki – the hibakusha – and victims of nuclear test explosions around the world, whose searing testimonies and unstinting advocacy were instrumental in securing this landmark agreement.

The work continues until all nuclear weapons have been destroyed.

Harvest Celebrations

Decorating for Harvest.
We will be decorating the church for Harvest on Saturday September 30th at 9:45am. If you are able to help in any of the following ways it would be much appreciated:-any garden produce or seasonal foliage with or without berries, helping to decorate or clearing up (from 11:15am) or a donation towards the cost of the decoration. Don’t forget as in recent years, any fresh fruit or veg will be sold after the service on Sunday morning and monies raised will go to the local food bank which helps families in need in our area. Offers of help please to me Doreen Hewitt on 0208 337 4815, or doreenhewitt@yahoo.co.uk

Harvest Festival Service Sunday 1st October 10am

Harvest Festival Supper Saturday 7th October 7-10pm  Community Centre
An Evening celebrating our diversity at St Paul’s. Please come in your national costume and bring some typical food; perhaps you can also show off an aspect of your homeland’s culture.

Please sign up on the red board at the back of the church.

Bring along a neighbour or friend

Parsons Green Incident

Father of Forgiveness,
who has forgiven us so much in order to bring us back into relationship with you. Teach us to forgive. Help us forgive even when the personal cost is huge, knowing we are always held by you. But let us always push for an end to injustice, to challenge the systems of oppression we find ourselves in. For you are the God of mercy, but also a lover of justice. Amen.

Parish Profile

Parish Profile As part of the process of recruiting a new vicar, we have to produce a Parish Profile describing distinctive features of St Paul’s and explaining how we see the church developing in the future.

To enable everyone to contribute to this we are inviting you to complete a questionnaire during September and October, and are organising an open consultation meeting with small discussion groups on Sunday October 8th at 11.30.

Please note the date as we would like to have a healthy attendance.

Parish Profile 2017 Questionnaire

Pilgrimage to Iona

Today, a group of 14 members of St Paul’s aged between 12 and 73 will be setting off for the Scottish Island of Iona for a week’s retreat, renewal and refreshment, staying at the Abbey as guests of the Iona Community.

Please think of us as we embark on our long journey – we’ll be thinking of you all on the Island.

On the final leg of our long journey to the isle of Iona, we passed the Iona Community young people’s contribution to the Bunnessan annual scarecrow competition, warning of the dangers of the UK’s nuclear submarines in the waters of Argyll, one of the community’s concerns as part of our engagement for justice and peace.

 

 

Save the Musicians Church

A flashmob choir singing outside St Sepulchre

There is a bitter irony, during this BBC Proms season, in the announcement by the PCC of the National Musicians’ Church, St Sepulchre-without-Newgate, that amateur and professional musicians will no longer be permitted to hire the church for rehearsals and concerts. The ashes of Sir Henry Wood, founder of the Proms, lie in its north chapel, which is dedicated to the commemoration of significant British musicians.

“The sheer diversity of those opposing this decision from the highest profile conductors, instrumentalists and broadcasters in the country, to educational and industrial leaders of the music industry and also to members of the clergy, collectively illustrate the obvious; that a substantial and open rethink of the hiring policy at the National Musicians’ Church of St. Sepulchre’s is needed.

The church has benefited hugely from many of their talents in the form of choral music and performances in the concert hall; for St Sepulchre’s, the National Musicians’ Church, not to acknowledge this is a simple act of betrayal.

Clearly, the current situation is unsustainable and should result in meaningful change. We appeal to all sides to begin an open and respectful dialogue to end the current crisis. A reiteration of the practical concerns within St. Sepulchre’s and piecemeal gestures to the ministry of musicians will be met with a cool response.

Banning musicians from the Musicians’ Church is as crazy as banning football fans from Wembley.

Christianity is about spreading a generous message to as many people as possible, not one that protects itself. Generosity towards the many should be of premium not just space, because the Anglican Church should welcome all, rather than just the saved, elected and lucky few.”

Richard Robbins, Save the National Musicians’ Church Campaign

As a church in the liberal tradition of the church of England, dedicated to providing rehearsal and performance space to musicians in SW19, St Paul’s Wimbledon Park asks the PCC and priest in charge of St Sepulchre to reconsider their decision.

Fast in memory of victims of nuclear bombs

Watch outside the MoD offices in Whitehall, commemorating the victims of the nuclear bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki 72 years ago and stating our opposition against nuclear weapons.
Some of us have been fasting since Sunday, 8.15am, when the first bomb was dropped and will continue until 11.30 am tomorrow, Wednesday, when the second bomb was deployed.
Nagasaki: Midori’s Rosary – a poem by Rowan Williams
The air is full of blurred words. Something
has changed in the war’s weather. The children
(whose children will show me this) have been sent
to the country. In the radiology lab,
Takashi fiddles, listening to the ticking bomb
in his blood cells, thinks, once, piercingly,
of her hands and small mouth, knotting him in
to the long recital of silent lives
under the city’s surface, the ripple of blurred Latin,
changing nothing in the weather of death and confession,
thinks once, in mid-morning, of a kitchen floor, flash-frozen.
When, in the starburst’s centre,
the little black mouth opens, then clenches,
and the flaying wind smoothes down the grass
and prints its news black on bright blinding
walls, when it sucks back the milk
and breath and skin, and all the world’s vowels
drown in flayed throats, the hard things,
bone and tooth, fuse into consonants of stone,
Midori’s beads melt in a single mass
around the shadow with its blackened hands
carved with their little weeping lips.
Days earlier, in Hiroshima, in what was left
of the clinic chapel, little Don Pedro, turning
from the altar to say, The Lord be with you,
heard, suddenly, what he was about to claim,
seeing the black lips, the melted bones,
and so, he said, he stood, his small mouth
open, he never knew how long, his hands
out like a starburst, while the dialogue
of stony voiceless consonants ground across
the floor, like gravel in the wind, and the two
black mouths opened against each other,

Nobody knowing for a while
which one would swallow which.

An explanatory note:
Midori Nagai was a young housewife from an old Nagasaki Catholic family who died in the bomb blast in 1945; her husband (Takashi) was a radiologist, and after the war became a peace activist. The melted rosary is preserved at a museum in Nagasaki commemorating Takashi Nagai’s work.

Rowan Williams is a poet, critic and theologian, and former archbishop of Canterbury. He is Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge.