Vicar’s Blog

A letter of appreciation and invitation

Dear Everyone,

We are hugely grateful to all the people who have contributed time, skills and resources to St Barnabas over many years, but it is also lovely to have so many new people attending the church. We hope that you are finding both a warm welcome here and a good place to explore and deepen your faith. Some of you are just beginning to make it your home church, and we hope that in the years to come your sense of belonging and believing will grow. But we also do need to ask for your help.

Like most churches, apart from Ian and Claire in the office, we are run entirely by volunteers and do need assistance with a number of roles, some small and some more demanding.

We still urgently need a treasurer and will need more part time administrative support in the future.

We will also be putting together a job description for a paid administrative post very soon, as Claire, after many years fantastic service, has decided to stand down.

You can also contribute by helping with the garden, with singing in our excellent choir, giving tech help, welcoming people, helping with Sunday School, and preparing refreshments. Service on our very small number of committees will also help.

We run regular online courses for people to reflect on their faith, and previous sessions can be found on the website.

Covid 19 had a large effect on our numbers, the health of our congregation, and led to people feeling they should move out of London.

As a charity we have also seen the impact on our finances of the cost-of-living crisis. One example is that our annual electricity and gas bills are likely to increase from £8000 per annum to £25000 over the next year. So, we do need money to help, and regular giving is a particularly important part of that. We do manage to generate income through our beautiful halls, but that comes with many overheads too, in terms of cleaning, administration and maintenance.

We will be doing a recruitment and involvement drive over the next few months. Hopefully, this will be a rewarding thing to do, which will strengthen our community and the life of the church.

More details will follow, but if you would like to offer a skill and have any questions, do feel free to contact Ian or Helen.

Best wishes,

Ian Tattum, Vicar (iantattum@gmail.com)

Helen Hotten, Church Warden (helen.hotten2@btinternet.com)

Andy Hansen, Co-Warden

A letter of appreciation and invitation Read More »

Summer 2022 on Riverside Radio with Ian and his guests

Ian is back on Riverside Radio for a second series of ‘Sunday Joy Recess’. In Part 1 he’s in conversation with Nick Mayhew-Smith, author of Landscape Liturgies. In Parts 2 and 3 he interviews St Barnabas member, Susan Holliday, author of Hidden Wonders of the Human Heart. Catherine Yardley joins him for Part 4 to talk about her debut novel, Ember.

Summer 2022 on Riverside Radio with Ian and his guests Read More »

In conversation with Andy Bungay on Riverside Radio

This summer, Riverside Radio presenter Andy Bungay invited Ian to join him for a three-part series of interviews on some of Ian’s favourite subjects. ‘Sunday Joy Recess’ aired for three Sunday mornings (August 1, 8, and 15 ) while regular programming was taking a break. Catch up now with Ian and Andy in dialogue, plus music, soundscapes, and poetry.

In conversation with Andy Bungay on Riverside Radio Read More »

Reflection for Trinity Sunday 2021 (John 3.1-17) from Revd Ian Tattum

Nicodemus is someone we only hear about in St John’s gospel.  And he is an intriguing figure.  We know that he was a prominent person in Jerusalem – religious and political leader, a Pharisee like St Paul, someone learned in scripture and theology.  He was probably quite an old man and a wealthy one.  But he was clearly fascinated by Jesus and he was the sort of person who asked questions and was open to review his deeply held convictions.

And we know what got his attention in the first place, because St John actually tells us.  It was that famous moment when Jesus, an obscure carpenter’s son from Galilee – a stranger and outsider, with no credentials or status – comes to Jerusalem and creates mayhem in the Temple precincts.  He picks the eve of the most holy festival, Passover, and makes the sort of dramatic protest that would be the envy of such modern movements as Extinction Rebellion.

As St John tells it, Jesus makes a whip of cords and drives the sacrificial animals and the money-changers out of the building, saying: ‘Take these things out of here!  Stop making my Father’s house a market place’  Other gospel writers say he used equal force but stronger language – turning over the tables and accusing the stall holders of making His Father’s house a den of thieves.

It was this act that seems to have piqued Nicodemus’ curiosity.  Rather than seeing Jesus’s behaviour as something he could just discount, he saw it as, to use his own words, ‘a sign that indicated the presence of God.’

Then Nicodemus comes to Jesus at night – probably not out of fear or embarrassment but because that was then the traditional time of the day for religious discussion – and calls him rabbi, ‘teacher’, and begins to question him.  In the conversation that follows he hears about the idea that it is possible to be born again of the Holy Spirit and is told what has become one of the most celebrated summaries of what Christianity is about:

For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him – or has faith in him, or trusts him – may not perish but have eternal life.

There is a lot in that Gospel reading to think about, but I just want to note three things.  Both Jesus and Nicodemus agree that the truth and wisdom come from God.  They have no difference of opinion concerning God as the originator and creator of all things.  But where Jesus fits in and the role of the Holy Spirit there are matters for further exploration.

Today is, as you will have noticed, Trinity Sunday, a day when there is an ancient tradition that clergy do their best, using skilful or bizarre analogies, to explain the doctrine of the Trinity – how what appears to be three things: God, the Father, God, the Son and God, the Holy Spirit, are actually one thing.  The oddest example I have come across recently is the one where God was compared to a hairdryer.  That should be obvious.  The Holy Spirit is the warm air, Jesus is the electricity, and God the Father is the entire dryer!  But all this seems to entirely miss the point, and it confuses as much as it enlightens.

The Christian experience of God is threefold.  God meets us in three ways.  We acknowledge this whenever we worship together and whenever we pray individually.  Nicodemus was tentatively exploring that with Christ himself.  He could sense something of God in Jesus’ prophetic act in the Temple but he is struggling with the idea that God can work great changes within himself – hence his confusion about being born again.

The God who is Trinity is glimpsed by Nicodemus as he seeks to make sense of who Christ is and what he means.  Like us, he was stumbling around in the dark, if you like; groping towards the God who was coming to meet him, the God who loves everything he has made and who shares our life and walks with us and can be experienced in our hearts and guts.  God met in the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit is the one who can overturn our expectations and bring profound truth and great depth to our lives.

Reflection for Trinity Sunday 2021 (John 3.1-17) from Revd Ian Tattum Read More »

The Church is open.

From Sunday 5th July the church is going to open between 9am and 11am for informal prayer. People are welcome to come in, preferably by arrangement with the church office, for silent prayer and reflection. There will be readings for the day and occasional prayers led by a member of the clergy or congregation.

This re-opening has been done after careful thought and a thorough risk assessment has been undertaken.

Over the summer an experimental programme of services will be developed and the Eucharist re-introduced. St Barnabas will also continue its online presence on Twitter and Facebook. Online services will also continue to be available.

The Church is open. Read More »

Hall Bookings

Looking for a space for your class, AGM, or birthday party?

Everything you need to plan your booking is right here on our Halls webpages, accessible from our main menu above. View images of the halls we have to offer. Consult our FAQ page for the size and capacity of each hall and to find our rates. Study our hall bookings calendar to check availability. Make sure you understand our Ts & Cs. Then download a hall booking request form and email it to our Parish Administrator, Svenja Taylor.  She will help you get your booking confirmed and on the calendar.

We look forward to serving you!

 

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