Barnes in Common
the magazine of Churches Together in BarnesSpring 2013
The most notable occasion coming up is Confirmation on 16th June 2013. Seventeen girls and boys will be confirmed by His Grace Archbishop Peter Smith. Some boys and girls are making their Confirmation earlier than is usual, as this is a special year for the Catholic Church - the Year of Faith. First Holy Communion will be in May. Classes for both are being held at the presbytery; whilst this has been the case for Confirmation classes for some time, Holy Communion classes have always been held at the school, during school hours. Father Luke is hoping to see a greater involvement in parish life, for both children and parents.
The 6.30 pm Sunday Mass is a 'youth Mass', with a choir led by acoustic guitars and teenagers are encouraged to participate in this Mass, with readings and bidding prayers. Confirmation candidates come to their class at 5.30 pm and then attend Mass at 6.30 pm, at which they all share various responsibilities, such as the offertory, collection, readings etc.
We recently had the funeral of Mrs Agnes Cheshire who many people will remember for her years of dedicated service to our children as the 'crossing patrol' at St Osmund's School. She knew all the children by name and was wonderful at taking care of them and keeping an eye on any who had to wait for late arriving mums. Sadly she was knocked down by a car and badly injured so she was obliged to give up the job earlier than she had planned.
Fr Luke has been away for much of January, but Fr Francis has been able to say many of the Masses. We have also had a number of interesting visiting priests.
During Advent the Methodist Church members slowed down and took time to reflect with the help of ‘Ready, Steady, Slow’, an interactive advent calendar that invites people to take time to look inwards at our hopes and fears; to look outwards at a world in need of hope; and to look God-ward, confident in his love and commitment to the world. These reflections prepared us well for Christmas which we celebrated with our usual Candlelight Carol Service. This year our worship was augmented with beautiful music from both our new Singing Group and local string consort ‘String Circle’. We also held an All-Age Gift Service at which we were delighted to welcome many of the Brownies and collected Christmas gifts for the ‘Bayswater Families Centre’. This is an Action for Children project and the work of Action for Children was further supported by an evening’s carol singing, at which we were merrily joined by a number from St Michael’s.
As I write this we are in ‘ordinary time’ and looking forward to supporting some of our young people in our forthcoming baptism, confirmation and membership service. Lent however will soon be with us. This year we are taking as our preaching theme ‘The Great I Am’ and we will be exploring the seven 'I am' statements of Jesus from St John's Gospel. We are also looking forward to the ecumenical programme of Lent activities. The Bread Making group, led by Fr Paul Holland and myself, will be meeting at the Methodist Church every Tuesday during Lent from 10.45am. This will also include a time of reflection and lunch. Details of what to bring are listed with our other Lent activities.
We continue to hold the Night Shelter in our prayers, especially in this exceptionally cold weather, as well as the work of the local homeless charity SPEAR who are increasing their outreach work within the Barnes area.
For our weekly notices and more information about our activities please visit http://www.barnesmethodistchurch.org.uk
Rev Nicola Morrison
The end of 2012 and the beginning of 2013 were marked by two of our local Baptist Church 'Cluster Services'. At the first, Danny Podesta, Minister in Training, East Sheen Baptist Church, encouraged us to take to heart Jesus' words "Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:29. At the latter service I drew on the similarities between Abraham's walk of faith and that of all men and women of faith. Later on in the year we'll be joining together again for further encouraging times of worship and fellowship. During the last few weeks the theme for our morning services has been 'The Christian's Great Hope', in which we have been looking at what the Bible has to tell us about the Christian's future. In Philippians 3:20-21 Paul writes,
'But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Saviour from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.'
Is this your hope? Do you know what it means and what the implications are both now and for the future?
Following Lent we will be starting a new midweek course (Wed 8pm), 'Life on the Frontline'. We may be old or young; healthy or infirm; rich or poor .. whoever we are, as Christians, we have a Frontline .. a place where we can live fruitfully and faithfully for Christ in the daily places of life and work. If your interested in finding out more please come along.
This year's Baptist Assembly takes place in Blackpool and is entitled, 'Like Stars in the Universe' and the emphasis will be on facing the challenges we face to working positively alongside each other and especially with those who are often marginalised in our society.
We have successfully launched a new season at Holy Trinity, Barnes and are very encouraged. We have a new informal family service which begins with coffee between 9.50 and 10.10am which we hope enables people to chat and meet with each other. We then sing, hear some teaching from the Bible and share communion together (on alternate Sundays). We have also, in these early days, been hearing people's stories of faith and how they came to encounter and know Jesus which has been a wonderful experience. A number of folk have visited us to see how things are going and our feedback thus far has been good. We even now have a ‘Visitors book’ that allows you to tell us what you thought of the service. All are welcome to ‘come and see’ over the Christmas season and do please invite your friends and neighbours.
Advent and Christmas had all the usual joys of the time of year. But this year there was a new element. We introduced an idea called Posada which originates from the Church in Mexico. For us it involved a carving of the Holy Family travelling from home to home one day at a time throughout Advent. People would hand over the carving taking time to meet and share and then the receiving family create space for the Holy Family in their home for a day. It is a special way to remember the need to prepare our hearts and homes for the celebration of Christmas. All those involved found it to be a moving and helpful experience.
Since Christmas we have made a significant change to our pattern of services, reducing our 11.30 Informal Service to twice a month. This is to strengthen the core of our church and build up a sense of us being one church where all ages can come together to worship. The 11.30 services remain popular as an easy way to bring young children to church and to involve them in worship. Our 10 o’clock Eucharist has a thriving Sunday club for 5-12 year olds and a crèche for younger ones.
In January we ran a course led by Rev’d Richard Sewell entitled A Rough Guide to the New Testament. Members of several different churches attended the lectures which helped to give people an understanding of how to read and understand the New Testament.
The choir highlight of the last few months was when both Junior and Senior Choirs went together to Southwark Cathedral to sing Choral Evensong. This was quite a challenge but under the leadership of Dan Turner they achieved a very high standard. There is nothing quite like the beauty of a choir singing with passion and commitment.
Rev'd Richard Sewell
The year ended by saying goodbye to our Director of Music, Richard Lyne. Richard had been with us nearly five years and brought a very distinctive sound to our choir and we were very sorry to see him go. Dr Martin Neary, in partnership with John West, is now directing the choir. We are very fortunate to have such high quality of expertise with us and are very grateful. The choir will be learning two new settings to the Mass, one by Basil Moss and the other by Dr Neary.
Our monthly Book Group continues and we have been looking at 'Falling Upward - A Spirituality for the two halves of life'- by Richard Rohr.
This year we are planning a series of Quiet Days at Ham Common, exploring silence and prayer. Our first experience was very wonderful with the convent grounds covered in white snow giving a sense of enchantment and peace. There were ten of us altogether , the majority of whom had never been to the convent or to a quiet day or retreat. The whole experience was very positive for everyone. It is quite extraordinary, by just leaving everything behind, resting and reflecting in the presence of God can be so transformative .
Rosemary Hurry will be doing a Myers Briggs Workshop on 16 March. This personality profiling is always illuminative, not only about the person we are, but also about the people we share our lives with and why they react in certain ways. I can strongly recommend the experience.
Fr Paul Holland