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  1. AllSouls

    We held a moving service for All Souls in The Old Church yesterday evening. Remembering our own loved ones who have died; that they are held by a loving God. We particularly remember George Mills, long-standing member of St Mary's, who died recently.

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    Hackney Winter Night Shelter is a project run by volunteers that provides basic accommodation in church halls around Hackney for up to 25 homeless people during the coldest months of the year. We aim to provide a warm welcome, a hot evening meal, a bed for the night and breakfast in the morning for our homeless guests. In addition, the Night Shelter employs workers to help our guests find more long-term accommodation. The Shelter will open on the 2nd November this year. Many volunteers, both church members and from the wider community, will help to run the shelter. Our contribution at St Mary’s is to host the Shelter in our church rooms each Wednesday night from late December to the end of March. We need volunteers in various roles: to help set up the shelter, cook and serve supper, stay overnight, and to cook breakfast and clear up in the morning. Could you help? If you are interested, please get in touch with our volunteer team coordinator, Jonathan Gebbie at [email protected] or on 07949-169583. We particularly need people who could help in the morning or volunteer to occasionally do an overnight shift.

    There are also opportunities to help at other Shelter venues around Hackney on other nights of the week from the beginning of November - please get in touch if you’re interested. There is more information about the Night Shelter on the web site here.

  3. Many thanks to Jane Pryce! Her sale of pickles over the last two weeks or so have raised a total of £202.41 for St Mary's. And thanks to all who bought some!

    Our Harvest collection raised £307 for the Africa Educational Trust - many thanks to all who generously gave.

    And finally... the Bishop of Stepney's Discretionary Fund grew by £294 during the Confirmation service last week.

  4. An 'Arts, Crafts, Christmas Produce Fair' is being considered for 28th November to raise money for St Mary's. If you want to get involved in the planning of this event please come along to the Rose & Crown at 8pm on Wednesday 14th October.

  5. 20151004_170641_resizedHere's Dilly speaking at the Hackney Alevi Centre in Ridley Road, joining with them in celebrating the British Alevi Foundation being granted charitable status. This is something they've been working hard towards for a number of years.

    Politicians and community and religious leaders were there to celebrate with them.

    As always, the afternoon ended with true Alevi hospitality and a delicious spread of food. 


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    Even more celebrations than usual this morning at St Mary's! Bishop Adrian led a service of Holy Communion with baptism, confirmation and reception into the Church of England.

    Congratulations to Daniel, Sakir and Samantha who Bishop Adrian baptised and confirmed; Joanna, Jade, Alexandra and Michelle who he confirmed and Kaarina who was received into the Church of England.

    Almighty and ever-living God,
    you have given these your servants new birth
    in baptism by water and the Spirit,
    and have forgiven them all their sins.
    Let your Holy Spirit rest upon them:
    the Spirit of wisdom and understanding;
    the Spirit of counsel and inward strength;
    the Spirit of knowledge and true godliness;
    and let their delight be in the fear of the Lord.

  7. img_0106A wonderful evening of classical, folk, jazz, musical theatre and music hall tunes last night in The Old Church.

    Sarah Warren's voice, Iwan Davies' piano and Sam Elwin's guitar combined to raise money for ALMA and the Church of the Epiphany in Tete, Mozambique.

    St Mary's has a long relationship with the Church of the Epiphany in Tete and has helped them to build a new church that was completed this year with some St Mary's folk visiting Mozambique for the dedication ceremony. Funds will also assist in their outreach and community work.

    Many thanks to Sarah, Iwan and Sam for a great evening's entertainment!

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    Wondering what to do with the scores of plastic carrier bags you have stuffed in a draw or hanging on the back of your kitchen door? Feel bad throwing them away? Want to see them used again?

    The Hackney Migrant Centre give away a significant amount of donated food to users of the centre each week and they need carrier bags to put it in. Supermarkets will soon be charging 5p for each carrier bag (which is a great way of encouraging recycling) but that means HMC need to start collecting donated bags.

    If you have bags you can donate then please bring them to the church office during the week or give them to Matt on a Sunday morning.

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    Hackney Migrant Centre need local volunteers! This is a great way to support migrants from across London and beyond.

    Food collectors:

    People who have a car to help with food donations on Tuesday evenings. This involves collecting food from Wholefood on Stoke Newington Church Street at 9.30pm and then bringing the collected food to St Marys New Church Rooms at 9am the following day.

    Volunteers are also needed to help with collections on Wednesday morning, this involves doing some food shopping locally, collecting food from Growing Communities at 9.15am and dropping everything off at St Marys New Church Rooms for 9.30am.

    If you are available to volunteer please email [email protected]

    Sessional setting-up volunteers:

    HMC are also looking for people who could help set up the session on a Wednesday by putting out tables and chairs, setting up the laptops etc and help to pack away at the end. If you are free on a Wednesday between 9.30am - 10.45am and/or 4pm-5pm.

    Please email [email protected]

  10. Hackney Citizens (which St Mary's is a member of) has a team of people working to gather pledges across the community to support Hackney council as it responds to the refugee crisis and hopes to resettle refugees in the borough.

    If you would like to pledge support then please print off this form, fill it in and return to Dilly or Matt or the church office. There are also printed copies at the back of church.

  11. We see violence all about us, on our TV screens, in our newspapers. Many of us live in fear. Many of us have moved from our homes to escape it.

    In response to the United Nations' International Day of Peace on 21st September, take a moment to sit with these words regularly at midday.

    prayer for peace

    If you have ideas or a desire to act in building a more peaceful world then please contact Just Peace N16 (twitter @JustPeaceN16).

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    We had a service with a difference on Sunday morning, led by the St Mary's folk who visited our friends in Mozambique earlier this year. They gave us a flavour of their joyful and inspiring experience at the Anglican Church of the Epiphany in Tete through words, music, colour and video.

    You can find out more about ALMA (the Diocese of London's link with the Anglican church in Angola and Mozambique) here.

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    The New Church hosted ‘The Forgiveness Project’ in June: a startling and deeply moving exhibition recounting stories of horror, reconciliation and healing from people of all faiths and cultures across the globe. Thanks to Just Peace N16 for bringing this to us. On the back of this, sixteen of us went to the Forgiveness Project’s Annual Lecture: a talk by Karen Armstrong on the link between Forgiveness & Compassion. Take a look at the website and be inspired!!

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    Many thanks to all at St Mary's who participated in and attended the Comedy Evening with Nick Revell at Ryan's Bar and to the kind contbutors to the raffle. 

    It was a very enjoyable evening of poetry, comedy and music. New talent from St Mary's has sprung forth! The event has generated £400 for the work of St Mary's and our partners. Not too bad for a 3 hour event! Nick Revell was happy to be supporting us and has offered to take part in any future comedy evenings.

    Thank you again for contributing to this successful and entertaining evening.


  15. Three groups are now running each month taking a deeper look at Karen Armstrong’s thoughts on how we embed compassion in our daily living. Each month we study a chapter and then commit ourselves to practicing an activity in keeping with the theme. If you’re interested in this but haven’t yet joined a group, do say, as we can start another group when we have sufficient numbers - have a word with Liz or Dilly.

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    During May, we asked if you might consider joining the Planned Giving scheme to help raise regular funds for the continued maintenance and mission of St. Mary's. We are pleased to report that the response was very positive and by your generosity and commitment to the work of St Mary's and our beautiful church building we currently have a promised increase of £5,736 for 2016 - exceeding the £5k target!

    The Planned Giving group, on behalf of the PCC, would like to add an extra thank you for bearing with us throughout the campaign and beyond, so please join us for cake on Sunday 19th July - no need to move because we'll be coming to you!

    See you at Matins, the All Age service or the Sung Eucharist!

  17. Six intrepid walkers from St Mary's covered 13 miles or so Saturday 20th June as they walked from Bayford in Hertfordshire all the way to St Albans for the annual pilgrimage. With three stops to reflect and read a set of prayers at 'stations' along the way and a slight diversion around Hatfield they eventually made it in time for tea and Evensong at the Cathedral. 

    Everyone is welcome to join future walks: listen out for details in months to come.

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    This time last year the Pink Peace Scarf knitting project - officially known as Wool Against Weapons - had begun. By 9th August our community had produced 120 sections to join, with hundreds of others from across the nation, at Aldermaston to complete the 7 miles Pink Peace Scarf linking the Trident warhead production sites Burghfield with Aldermaston. 

    In the spirit of spreading hope we have re-formed the scarf pieces into baby blankets. Acting in partnership with the charity, Rescue4Children, these pink blankets will be sent for the refugee babies of displaced families in Kurdistan-Iraq. It has taken three months, countless hours of stitching and crocheting and 12 individuals – all women – to achieve two shawls for wrapping mother and new baby, a poncho, two large blankets and 31 baby blankets.

    The honour role of blanket creators: Betty Manning, Laura Dove, Dorothy Anderson, Mary Wallen (visiting from Derbyshire), Elizabeth Grande, Millie Fitzgerald, Eve Adams, Morlean Jaysundra, Julie Farley, Penny Macgeoch, Karen Swift, Sarah Wall.

    It has been a great privilege to work with these wonderful people. On behalf of all who seek peace I take this opportunity to thank them for their part in working for peace.

    Sherry White