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  1. sexuality_struggle_saintliness

    Savi Hensman, a member of St Mary's has written a book, published by Ekklesia, called Sexuality, Struggle and Saintliness: Same-Sex Love and the Church.

    Here's what Savi says about it:

    There has been much controversy over Christian attitudes to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people and same-sex partnerships. The book outlines the shift in thinking on sexuality among numerous theologians over the past century, delves beneath the surface of recent debates in various churches, looks afresh at the Bible and tradition and examines how those with different views on this issue can remain in fellowship.

    If you'd like to buy a copy you can find it here. Savi has offered to lead a discussion on the book and the subject, so keep you eyes/ears open for news on when this might happen.

  2. Lots going on at St Mary's over Holy Week and on Easter Day.

    easter 2016 - website image

    Palm Sunday, 20th March: we gather at 9.45am outside Abney Park, in the High Street, joining with Christians from all over Stoke Newington for the Palm Sunday Procession. Our service begins at 10.30am in the New Church, the largest of our two church buildings.

    Monday, 7.30pm, Film Night in the New Church Rooms.

    Tuesday, 8.30am, Morning Prayer and Eucharist.

    Wednesday, 7.30pm, Eucharist followed by meditation (you are welcome at either or both).

    Maundy Thursday, 7.30pm, Open Table in the Old Church, remembering Christ's last supper, including a simple meal, meditation and informal communion.

    Good Friday, midday to 3.00pm, service of reflection and meditation.

    Easter Day:
    5.30am, Vigil in the Old Church.
    6.30am, Dawn Eucharist in the New Church.
    11.00am, a celebration of Easter for all ages.

  3. There are two great opportunities to experience Evensong in vastly different ways over the next week or so.

    This Sunday there will be Evensong in The Old Church as usual, at 6.30pm. This month it will include VOX - the wind harp installation that is part of the Breathe Festival - and all the other music will be a little simpler and more meditative than usual.

    The following Saturday at 4pm our friends at St John the Evangelist, Brownswood Park will be holding a Choral Evensong, sung by the alumni choir of St Chad's College Durham (see flier).

    st chads poster

  4. img_0753

    With the second Open Table event nearly upon us - this Friday (4th March) - a quick update to let those who weren't there know that the Open Table held on 18th February was a great success: wonderful food, good company and great speakers Sheila Melzak and Robin Samson, who introduced the theme of hospitality from a Jewish perspective.

    If you'd like to attend The Open Table this Friday please let Matt know ([email protected]). The speaker will be David Barclay on the theme Just Money. Or you everyone is welcome to attend on Monday 14th March where the speaker will be Chris Baker on the church as agent of flourishing community.

  5. We have now run the Night Shelter on 9 Wednesday nights. So far every night things have gone quite smoothly - there haven’t been any major problems, although having to provide a hot meal for our guests without a working oven in the New Church Rooms was tricky (many thanks to Dilly for allowing us to use her kitchen).

    Each night we have had around 23 to 25 people for supper, and then 9 or 10 of them go off to St John-at-Hackney to sleep, leaving us with 15 people staying overnight. We continue to have more women staying than ever before - one night, we had 8 women, although since then there have been 6 or 7 women each week. We work hard to provide a warm welcome and a peaceful atmosphere for our guests as well as a hot meal and comfortable beds.

    Our professional Night Shelter workers continue to work with our guests to try and help them move on to more long-term accommodation. They say this is increasingly difficult in the current economic climate, but they have had some successes: out of 78 guests in total this winter, 24 have moved on positively, to other night shelters, hostels, council accommodation, privately rented flats, and one to a live-in job. Sadly we have had to ask 7 people to leave the shelter during this season.

    We will be running the shelter for 5 more Wednesday nights before we close at the end of March. We still have gaps on our volunteer rota for people to help overnight or on Thursday mornings. Donations of new socks or underwear are always appreciated by our guests.

    Many thanks to all who have helped to run the shelter so far this winter.

    Jonathan Gebbie.

  6. stop_trident1_web

    A group of 20 (17 adults, 2 children and a dog with a Stop Trident scarf) gathered outside St Mary’s church on Saturday Feb 27th to make their way together to the national Stop Trident march from Marble March to Trafalgar Square.  Speeches in the Square from committed political, trade union, religious and  pressure group leaders, plus Vanessa Redgrave, between them filled out the whole picture. If you wanted to be there, but couldn’t, or are not yet convinced of the case, see this recording of Jeremy Corbyn’s talk.

    Graeme adds ‘For someone who has never been on such a march I thought it was a truly inspiring day’.