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 (

Helen Hotten, Church Warden (

Andy Hansen, Co-Warden

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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.

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Faith Schools: Real concerns and ridiculous exaggerations

The journalist Catherine Bennett likes to be challenging and often succeeds, but in an article in the Observer at the weekend she ventured into the territory of insult and slur. Her underlying theme was ‘ never mind any Trojan horses in Birmingham, the real problem is faith schools per se.’ But in making her case she slipped in a completely unwarranted suggestion that Prince Charles would probably be perfectly happy with an Islamic State, and implied that one of the capital’s most prominent church schools is teaching ‘ creationism.’

The irony is that she was only able to think she could get away with that by assuming the ignorance of her readers. She cited a section 48 report on the school which said that students at the school are ‘ able to identify the contribution of a number of scholars to the Design argument for the existence of God’, as an example of ‘ irreversible  indoctrination.’

Bearing in mind that Charles Darwin was also well acquainted with such scholars before he made his own mind up, that Francis Bacon- the man with a good claim to being the inventor of the scientific method- was another of their ilk, and as was Isaac Newton, this is  a very weak argument. If the school is indeed teaching about such scholars and , very correctly, reserving discussion of them for Religious Studies classes, surely it is fulfilling its role very well.

It makes me wonder  if the writer has not inherited an unacknowledged stain from fundamentalism herself. The one that fears knowledge as a dangerous fruit, perilous to the picker!


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Christian Aid Week blues

A few people were disinterested or hostile, which always makes collecting a challenge. What surprises me most though is how despite its annual advertising campaign on TV and its huge impact of the Jubilee 2000 campaign, which it led, so many people are unaware of the charity’s name or purpose. It is well worth soldiering on though as all the monies help to transform lives and I was gratified to notice that mentioning that Rowan Williams is at its helm did elicit a sense of recognition and delight. Thanks are due, as always, to Helen for organising everything.

Christian Aid Week blues 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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