On Saturday the 7th September from 10.30 am until 3pm the church and garden will be open for anyone who wishes to have a look around or just enjoy the quiet. There will be tea and coffee available. All in our local community will be welcome, particularly those who have not been in before.
There are some meadow brown butterflies around and there are bees and hover flies in abundance. The long grass is now teeming with grasshoppers and the native wild flowers such as lesser knapweed are getting established. More details can be found on the Twitter feed- with photos.
- It began with the admission of 7 children to first communion on Sunday. A joyous landmark in their journey of faith.
- On Sunday evening we had a concert with music and reflections centred around the Sufi philosopher Rumi- with a chance to hear an oud; the ancestor of the lute.
- Riversdale Primary featured a lot this week.St Barnabas has long had links with our local school- both my predecessors, David and Bertrand, having been governors- and on Monday I took an assembly there and chaired the Governors’ meeting in the evening.
- The next day I accompanied Amy, the head-teacher, to a meeting with Wandsworth councillors, where the progress of the school and Amy’s leadership were widely praised.
- Meanwhile Claire was busy in the office and planning for the first evening of the Night Shelter on Friday.
- Tom Tillyard’s team were hard at work restoring the church, with Mark Kennett doing some amazing masonry repairs. Meanwhile Steve from R&S roofing was investigating the recurring leak from the parapet above the vestry window.
- Just before 9am on Thursday The Mayor and Royal Marines joined about 200 students from Southfields Academy for the annual Remembrance Day event around the war Memorial. This is always a moving community event; which is then followed up by a further act of remembrance at the Academy. It is always good to hear about the ambitions of the students too.
- Later on Thursday there was a meeting of the clergy representing the 4 churches, where future plans were discussed and Joy’s leadership of the Youth Group was commended. We also picked up the mince for Friday’d chilli, kindly provided at a large discount by The Village Butchers.
- On Friday we welcomed staff from Glassdoor Shelter for the homeless, and at around 6 pm our first guests arrived, although some found it very difficult to find our church! Thanks to the team- Claire, Caroline,Jane and Helen. We confidently left the Night Staff to it at about 10 pm. All went very well.
- Saturday morning saw our annual All Souls Service, with about 60 people in attendance. Thanks to Charles who played the organ and Margaret for organising the refreshment team.
Thanks to everyone who supported our quiz night. We did raise about £1800 towards our building project but also due to the generosity of those present I am delighted to say that I have just posted a cheque to the Ibba Girls School in South Sudan for £425.
Thanks for all who helped with the Quiz night which raised funds for our building project and the Ibba Girls’ School. On Saturday about 60 children and adults attended our second Messy Church event. And our brilliant concert on Sunday was not well attended but that did not stop the quality shining through, with one of the performers suggesting that in terms of atmosphere and acoustics we beat many of London’s famous venues.
About 70 people attended a conference at St Barnabas on Tuesday at which Professor Kevin Fenton was a speaker. We are partners in the Wandsworth Coproduction Network which aims to develop community- centred approaches to health and well being. Representatives of Wandsworth Council, academics ,leaders of voluntary organisations and charities, and church leaders and leaders in the Muslim Community were all present for a morning of reflection and discussion. We saw films about Somali women sharing expertise in healthy cooking, Mosques delivering family therapies and The New Testament Assembly pioneering fitness classes for men in their middle years. All these projects are community led initiatives to help tackle mental and physical health issues at an early stage. Projects good in themselves but also a practical response to stretched NHS budgets.
Professor Fenton is an inspirational figure who has years of experience combating the spread of HIV in the USA and has a profound understanding of the role of social context- particularly housing and healthy food availability- in people’s all round well-being and the powerful part that community groups can play in changing the mind-sets and practices of politicians and health professionals.
One of the unexpected highlights for me was a conversation with one of the Muslim leaders present who enjoyed the chance to be inside a church!