Our calling is to share the loving hospitality of God,
seeing Christ in friend and stranger.

Spring Newsletter 2018

We are about to begin our pilgrimage through Holy Week. This is at the very heart of the Christian faith. Here at St Mary’s we will be marking each day with an act of worship, enabling us to understand our own lives in the light of the Jesus story.  We will live the joy of Palm Sunday; we will rest in the intimacy of Maundy Thursday, recognising both our closeness to Christ and our easy acts of betrayal; we will stand at the foot of Jesus’ cross on Good Friday and pause to remember the ways in which he is still being crucified today.  We will wait in silence on holy Saturday, alongside all who wait and despair. Then finally on Easter Day, together we will celebrate our conviction that love is stronger than hate, hope stronger than fear and life stronger than death.             

If you would like to travel part of this journey with us, you’d be very welcome at any or all of the events. For details please click here.       
The Annual Parish Church Meeting  
This will be held on April 22nd in the New Church and will follow straight on from a Joint Service at 10.30 am. Please make every effort to attend as we will be sharing where we are up to with our new St Mary’s Centre and highlight what still needs to be done.  Please come along!  The meeting will end with a shared lunch, so if you are able, please bring a plate of food (cold) to share.
Kathleen Housden celebrated her 104th birthday in March!   We raised a toast to her and shared some exquisite cakes - thank you Nicholas and Andrew!

The Earth our Mother

During this season of Lent our 9.30 congregation has been giving more thought as to how we live more sustainably.  We got inspired by the national campaign to reduce our use of non-recyclable plastics, sharing ideas and good practice.  Mothering Sunday provided the obvious context for us to share our thoughts with a wider audience.  What are you doing to rid our earth of plastic?  What are the next steps for us a church community?

Hackney Winter Night Shelter  

"The Night Shelter is well past halfway through the 2018 season.  We have had close to 25 guests each Wednesday evening, and a strong team of volunteers, combining some experienced people and some newcomers - both are equally welcome.  It's been particularly useful to have people picking up specific tasks such as making sandwiches and collecting the laundry, which take the load off the rest of the crew.  The problem of rough sleeping got a particularly high profile with the exceptionally cold weather at the end of February, but the work of the Night Shelter is just as important throughout the winter.  Our volunteer rota is full up to the end of March when the Night Shelter season ends, but we still need donations of new underwear and socks for women and men.”

Hackney Migrants Centre, that operates from St Mary’s will be closing its doors to visitors in April as staff need time out to reevaluate the service they are offering. They say: Visitors we see at HMC arrive with ever increasing numbers of problems. We have seen a growth in the number of families who are destitute and the number of people who now have problems accessing healthcare. Its more difficult for those who need legal advice to find the support they require. Due to legal aid cuts and austerity measures, we find it increasingly difficult to refer cases on to other organisations and therefore have been doing a lot more in-house casework. As a small organisation with only part-time members of staff, we are struggling to respond to the number of cases we are seeing at the drop-in. We are committed to working in a way which will most benefit visitors to our drop-in without over-stretching ourselves or having a negative impact on the wellbeing of our staff’.

New Build Developments
Yes, planning permission has been submitted and we are awaiting feedback from Hackney Council.  We continue to push forward on the fundraising and have some great ideas for raising money over the next 6 months.
Look out for the ‘Three Billboards’ - a timely and  innovative way to get our message out there.  We still have  £250K to raise before we can begin building, so please continue to push on all doors - you never know which might open!
If you haven't seen the video for the new St Mary's Community Centre just yet, CLICK HERE to view it.
Coming up....
Once in a lifetime chocolate experience - a fundraiser event for the new build.
Tickets are available on Eventbrite. Click here to purchase. All the proceeds go to the new St Mary's Centre.

We look forward to welcoming Bishop Sarah Mullally, as the new Bishop of London. Sarah will be installed as the 133rd Bishop of London in a ceremony at St Paul’s Cathedral on May 12th.  Before ordination Sarah was a senior civil servant in the Department of Health. A trained nurse, she became Chief Nursing Officer for England in 1999, the youngest person to be appointed to the post and in 2005 was made a Dame Commander of the British Empire in recognition of her outstanding contribution to nursing and midwifery. In 2012 she was installed as Canon Treasurer at Salisbury Cathedral, before becoming Bishop of Crediton in the Diocese of Exeter in 2015.

Want to dig deeper? Why not join a study group?

We’ve been treated to a broad range of study groups over the last few months:  one meeting regularly to study Falling Upwardsby Richard Rohr, another meeting under the banner of ‘Words of life and love- spirituality and scripture.    In addition we’re just drawing to the close of our lent groups where we’ve been studying the course entitled, Feast or Famine looking at what might be a christian response to the politics of austerity.  Thanks to all who have hosted or led these stimulating groups.

As we look forward, we are thinking about adding 2 more to the mix!  One group will be led by Graeme Watson and will be explicitly for men to explore faith.  The other is a women’s group that will consider how women experience the divine, interwoven with some of the main strands of feminist theology.  If you’re interested in this, please let Dilly know.

Ever thought about trying Meditation?

Don’t forget St Mary’s has two groups - one meets on a Tuesday morning at 10.30 in the foyer of the New Church and the other on a Wednesday evening, in the small chapel at the left hand side of the New Church, 8.15pm.
Why not give it a try?


The Old Church presents....
A four day festival WHAT IS ENGLAND?  in the run up to St George’s Day exploring national identity through music, talk, workshops, film and more. An opportunity for EVERYONE to explore and re-imagine English identity and nationalism in an inclusive, welcoming way, at a time when a toxic form of nationalism is on the rise. Including the European debut of Bishi’s The Good Immigrant song cycle. Work from the Nest Collective and Output Arts, East End Film Festival and a talks programme. Keep an eye on the website for tickets.

Did you know that Data Protection rules are changing?  As from May 25th we will all have more rights and protection regarding how our personal data is used by organisations.  Because of this, St Mary’s will shortly be contacting you to ask your explicit consent to store and use your data.  So if you want to continue to receive information from St Mary’s, please look out for this alert and please don’t delay in responding!

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St Mary's Church
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St Mary, Stoke Newington · Stoke Newington Church Street · London, N16 9ES · United Kingdom

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