The Monthly e-Newsletter for Holy Trinity, Roehampton
This is the last time that I will be writing a monthly newsletter because, as you know, on September 29th the Bishop of Southwark, The Right Reverend Christopher Chessun, will be collating The Reverend Joshua Rey as our new incumbent.
Services in church – at last! August itself has been an eventful month in the church of Holy Trinity. After several months when the church has been empty and forlorn, we have now begun to hold services here again, twice a week, on Sundays at 10 and Wednesdays at 12.15. You will again hear the church bell being rung (for the Angelus) before the service begins.
In some ways these services have been familiar in form to what many of you have been used to. In other ways, things have changed.
From a personal angle, two of our very well-known and respected members, Dr. Mark Garner and Professor Jill Francis have left to begin retirement in Australia, and although we will miss them, we wish them and their family well for this new beginning.
In the services themselves, we have had to get used to wearing face masks and not touching one another, particularly in greeting each other at the Peace. And Holy Communion has been restricted to the reception of the consecrated bread, rather than bread and wine. This will have to be the new norm for some time to come. It is very important to stress that to receive Communion in this way is entirely valid as a sacramental act. I say this because some of you have raised concerns about it.
And, for now, there are no refreshments after the service, although we might be able to find a way of re-introducing this in a while. We will let you know progress as soon as we can.
Building Works. And one very important announcement is that the lighting in church will be replaced in September in time for the collation service for Joshua.
Our School: As I reported last month, we had a wonderful service in church for the school leavers, including one member of staff. I know that Richard Woodfin the head teacher and the whole school are very keen to resume having regular services in the church again, and I very much hope that regular members of the congregation of Holy Trinity will want to become involved in that when it is possible to do so. This will involve careful thought and planning, but it is vital that we become more involved and supportive as a congregation – just having the clergy doing it is not enough!
Ministry for the Future I have been the interim priest in charge at Holy Trinity since the beginning of June, and I have very much enjoyed taking services and getting to know people though the school, the funerals that I have led, and general meetings with others, including the ‘loitering with intent’ ministry of wandering round the local streets, and of course the pub! Joshua has kindly asked me to keep my connection with the parish for some time after he arrives, and I am happy to agree to this. M Woodroffe our organist and reader also has an important ministry in the parish. And we are of course an ecumenical parish: we will be looking at our links with the Methodist church, with which we have an official relationship, and the Faith Temple Pentecostal Church, who have used our building in the past, and may well do so again.
But ministry isn’t all about men and women in ‘dog-collars’: there are aspects of ministry in which we can all share and I hope that can be encouraged as we move ahead with our new incumbent. It will be challenging, exciting, and rewarding.
So – full steam ahead!
We continue to pray for one another,
Your priest and friend,
The New Monthly August Newsletter for Holy Trinity, Roehampton
HOLY TRINITY NEWS
The Church Building
Let there be light!
As you are probably well aware, the lighting in church has been getting worse with time, and particularly for those with impaired vision, or who, like me, wear ankle length skirts in church, it has become rather hazardous as well as inefficient.
So we have now had authorisation from the Diocese to replace the lighting, but much better basis, and work will begin on that very soon. Of course what we are really aiming for is to have it completed in time for the service of welcome for our new vicar at the end of September.
Further to that, the work of repairing and redecorating the vicarage has now been completed. So the Reverend Joshua Rey and his family will be moving in soon. I haven’t got a definite date, but it is likely to be towards the end of August. I have been in touch with him, and he has very kindly invited me to remain here at Holy Trinity for a while after his Collation as vicar, and I am delighted to know that I am not going to be allowed to slip back into quiet retirement any time soon!
It was a great joy to be able – despite COVID 19 problems – to invite the school to have a service in church at the end of their summer term. It was a shame that because of health precautions we were only able to have the end of year leavers (including one member of staff) and some of our teachers on the day. So no parents this year.
I think it was very important to mark this ‘rite of passage’ for the leavers, each of whom spoke from the pulpit (and were far less nervous than me!), and was given a Bible and various other gifts including a hoodie. I am so glad that we have this good relationship with the school and hope that this will continue to grow – Mr Woodfin is an excellent head teacher, and the children are given a superb academic start and also helped to mature as people.
On the ecumenical front
I know that we value our links with other churches in Roehampton, and have a special relationship with our Methodist friends. Unfortunately Deacon Kathy has had an accident recently which has hindered her return to work. Please pray for her. We hope that she will be much better soon, and able to resume her ministry.
I was able to go into St. Joseph’s last week as there were workmen there. They are having major refurbishment and redecoration in the church building, but are able to meet for Mass in the church on Sundays. I went to the presbytery and met the two priests who are working there, Fr Alberto, who is Italian, and Fr Louis from Togo. They are both members of the religious order called the ‘Verona Fathers’ so I think of them as the Two Gentlemen of Verona! They were very welcoming. Please remember them and their important community work here.
Since starting to minister in this parish I have conducted one funeral, that of Judith Latey, whom some of us knew, and there will be a service for the late Sandra Lindsay on August 7th. May they rest in peace and rise in glory.
SERVICES at HOLY TRINITY
During August we are working our way towards getting regular services going in church again although we will also be broadcasting them either as Zoom, or perhaps more adventurously as a live stream.
So – from Sunday August 9th we will have the Sunday parish Eucharist at 10.00 each Sunday. It will be very similar to what most of us are used to, but we are, for the moment, not supposed to do any singing because of the danger of infection. But there will be live organ music. Hand sanitizing facilities will be provided, and there will be proper spacing. You are recommended to wear a face covering unless there are medical reasons for not doing so.
We are continuing to open the church on Wednesdays from 10.30-1.30. Many people have taken advantage of this, and we now include a celebration of Holy Communion at 12.15 from 12th August 2020 onwards.
May God go with you, and if you are going away on holiday travel safely and come back refreshed and energised.
May we all continue to pray for one another,
The New Monthly July Newsletter for Holy Trinity, Roehampton
OPEN ALL HOURS! (well, not quite…)
BUT our beautiful, historic place of worship for all in Roehampton has been able to open its doors again in the last two weeks (after several months of closure because of Coronavirus). Thanks be to God!
The story so far…
As you know, we had to close the church and not hold any services there when the Covid19 virus began to spread so rapidly in March this year.
Since then, we have held Zoom services each Sunday, so that we could all keep in touch and have some prayer time together. But that has meant, for example, that nobody has been able to receive Holy Communion, which has always been the principal focus of our worship at Holy Trinity.
A number of clergy have helped to keep this Zoom service going on weekly basis, and thanks are particularly due to our parish administrator Mrs Sunny Walker-Kier, for making sure that we had a priest to lead our worship each Sunday at 10.00.
And our local clergy – The Revd. Mark Garner, the Revd. Daniel Eshun, the Revd, June Boyce Tillman, and Canon Richard Truss – all have generously helped out when needed, so many thanks to them.
Now we are back in church – from late June, we have opened the church on Wednesday mornings from 10.30 – 1.30. And I am delighted to tell you that a very good number of people have come to sit, pray, meet, think, weep, and give thanks. We are so fortunate to have a building which invites prayer. Soon I hope to build into that experience a short, simple service of Holy Communion probably at 12.00.
We are, of course, making sure that everyone who comes in will be protected with the use of hand sanitising and social distancing at all times while health risks continue.
But this is only part of the plan. On Sunday July 5 I will be celebrating the Eucharist from the church, and we will be Zooming the service so that people who are not able to be physically present will at least be able to join in at home, as they have done during the months of lock-down. After that we will be having a service in church most Sundays – details to follow.
Then at a later date we will go a step further, and start having full Sunday services again. More details about that will be available soon.
OUR NEW VICAR
As you probably know, we are very much looking forward to the Collation of our new parish priest at the end of September. It has been a long time since the Revd. Jim McKinney died, after a long and much valued ministry here in Roehampton. As we move forward we give thanks for all that he gave to us and our church and the local community, and send our very best wishes to his widow Sue, and his children Ruth and Alex and the rest of the family.
It has taken a long time to come up with the right person to take that work forward, and the Bishop of Southwark has appointed the Revd. Joshua Rey, his chaplain, to be our new incumbent. His service of welcome will be held on September 29, The Feast of St. Michael the Archangel, the Protector of the Faithful. Joshua and his family will be moving into the vicarage as soon as the repairs and redecoration have been completed.
Please pray for them as they make this highly significant change in their lives.
For now I will be your temporary parish priest, and I have been delighted by the wonderful welcome you have all given me. Thank you! I am enjoying meeting people and beginning to take services again. If you need a priest urgently, you can contact me on my mobile number 07946 243 660.
Please pray for me – as I do for you.
Wishing you every blessing,