• - Approaching Harvest

    Dear Friends, We are approaching Harvest. Our Celebration & Thanksgiving will take place on Sunday, October 3rd. Given the possibility of empty shelves in the supermarkets, with increasing shortages of even basic foodstuffs – whatever the reason(s) – there is a grim irony attaching to this year’s Harvest Festival. Notwithstanding which, we will go ahead as usual. I have always understood ‘thanksgiving’ as ‘giving’ as a way of saying ‘thank you’. And so at Harvest we emphasise the continuing need to ‘give’ something as a way of saying ‘thank you’ for what we continue to ‘receive’ courtesy of the Providence of God…I am grateful to those members of the Congregation who give every week in support of the local FOODBANK. At Harvest we ask each other to be particularly generous in the giving of non-perishable foodstuffs. Whilst it is a terrible indictment of the failure of our social, political and economic infrastructure that FOODBANKs exist at all. We wish they were not necessary. We should use any means possible to persuade the ‘powers that be’ to do something to alleviate the poverty that make them necessary. For now, they make a vital contribution to the nutritional health and well-being of those individuals and families who rely on them. But then there is an even greater need. And so, at Harvest, the food that is given is donated to ‘Homeless Action in Barnet’ – dedicated to feeding and clothing rough sleepers local to our borough.…But we also invite gifts of money This year, a very special ‘ask’. Covid-19 is wreaking havoc across the globe. Mass vaccination is thought to be the only effective way of ensuring a return to relative normality. Some countries are struggling to access supplies of vaccine. One such country is Botswana. We have worshipping with us John Seakgosing – the High Commissioner – and his wife, Lulu. They have shared with me the situation in their country. Botswana needs many thousands of doses, but they all have to be paid for. And so, this year, our Harvest Offering will be given to John & Lulu to be spent on purchasing vaccines. Just a token, but more than that, a symbol of our ongoing prayerful and practical concern for the needs of people less fortunate than we are…I understand that some have doubts – vaccine hesitant – concerning the long-term efficacy of vaccination. I respect your view. However, it would seem that the overwhelming opinion of the wider scientific community is that it is appropriate to administer vaccine. That is why I feel able to make this appeal…’Giving’ as a way of saying ‘thank you’ is a straightforward expression of what is at the heart of the Christian Gospel. God loved the world so much that God gave His only begotten Son. Jesus gave His life, that we and others might live. ‘Our Heavenly Father’ knows how to give good gifts to us His children.’ It is incumbent on us, having received all that we have as a gift from God, to acknowledge it as such. And to do so in a tangible way, by giving of ourselves. So, thank you for what will be given this Harvest time, Food & Money, and may we continue to be thankful. In spite of everything, we always have so much to be thankful for…

  • - Our door must always be open

    In spite of the chaos that surrounded their evacuation, it is good that it was possible to airlift some 20,000 Afghan refugees out of Kabul with the intention of relocating them to this country. One can only hope that the initial out pouring of generous concern demonstrated in so many ways – including by folk local to us – will continue after the proverbial dust has settled.

  • - Common Sense

    Over the centuries, the great thinkers of every age swapped ideas as to the best way of describing ‘Common Sense’. Ironically, it might be said that if they just bothered to use their own common sense, they would have worked it out much more easily…

  • - The Citadel

    Its that time of year. Final preparations are being made for the ‘return’ to school, college and university. For many it will be like ‘starting all over again’ given the enforced disruption of the last 2 academic years. For others, sadly, opportunities denied that will never be recovered.

  • - Charlie who?

    I was gearing up to write something profound when the news broke that CHARLIE WATTS had died. Charlie who? I hear you say. He was the drummer with the Rolling Stones. It was in 1963 …

  • - Approaching Harvest

    Dear Friends, We are approaching Harvest. Our Celebration & Thanksgiving will take place on Sunday, October 3rd. Given the possibility of empty shelves in the supermarkets, with increasing shortages of even basic foodstuffs – whatever the reason(s) – there is a grim irony attaching to this year’s Harvest Festival. Notwithstanding which, we will go ahead as usual. I have always understood ‘thanksgiving’ as ‘giving’ as a way of saying ‘thank you’. And so at Harvest we emphasise the continuing need to ‘give’ something as a way of saying ‘thank you’ for what we continue to ‘receive’ courtesy of the Providence of God…I am grateful to those members of the Congregation who give every week in support of the local FOODBANK. At Harvest we ask each other to be particularly generous in the giving of non-perishable foodstuffs. Whilst it is a terrible indictment of the failure of our social, political and economic infrastructure that FOODBANKs exist at all. We wish they were not necessary. We should use any means possible to persuade the ‘powers that be’ to do something to alleviate the poverty that make them necessary. For now, they make a vital contribution to the nutritional health and well-being of those individuals and families who rely on them. But then there is an even greater need. And so, at Harvest, the food that is given is donated to ‘Homeless Action in Barnet’ – dedicated to feeding and clothing rough sleepers local to our borough.…But we also invite gifts of money This year, a very special ‘ask’. Covid-19 is wreaking havoc across the globe. Mass vaccination is thought to be the only effective way of ensuring a return to relative normality. Some countries are struggling to access supplies of vaccine. One such country is Botswana. We have worshipping with us John Seakgosing – the High Commissioner – and his wife, Lulu. They have shared with me the situation in their country. Botswana needs many thousands of doses, but they all have to be paid for. And so, this year, our Harvest Offering will be given to John & Lulu to be spent on purchasing vaccines. Just a token, but more than that, a symbol of our ongoing prayerful and practical concern for the needs of people less fortunate than we are…I understand that some have doubts – vaccine hesitant – concerning the long-term efficacy of vaccination. I respect your view. However, it would seem that the overwhelming opinion of the wider scientific community is that it is appropriate to administer vaccine. That is why I feel able to make this appeal…’Giving’ as a way of saying ‘thank you’ is a straightforward expression of what is at the heart of the Christian Gospel. God loved the world so much that God gave His only begotten Son. Jesus gave His life, that we and others might live. ‘Our Heavenly Father’ knows how to give good gifts to us His children.’ It is incumbent on us, having received all that we have as a gift from God, to acknowledge it as such. And to do so in a tangible way, by giving of ourselves. So, thank you for what will be given this Harvest time, Food & Money, and may we continue to be thankful. In spite of everything, we always have so much to be thankful for…

  • - Our door must always be open

    In spite of the chaos that surrounded their evacuation, it is good that it was possible to airlift some 20,000 Afghan refugees out of Kabul with the intention of relocating them to this country. One can only hope that the initial out pouring of generous concern demonstrated in so many ways – including by folk local to us – will continue after the proverbial dust has settled.

  • - Common Sense

    Over the centuries, the great thinkers of every age swapped ideas as to the best way of describing ‘Common Sense’. Ironically, it might be said that if they just bothered to use their own common sense, they would have worked it out much more easily…

  • - The Citadel

    Its that time of year. Final preparations are being made for the ‘return’ to school, college and university. For many it will be like ‘starting all over again’ given the enforced disruption of the last 2 academic years. For others, sadly, opportunities denied that will never be recovered.

  • - Charlie who?

    I was gearing up to write something profound when the news broke that CHARLIE WATTS had died. Charlie who? I hear you say. He was the drummer with the Rolling Stones. It was in 1963 …

  • - There was bound to be a response

    For many of us, it was the moment that JFK was shot. We would always remember where we were, when President Kennedy was assassinated. More recently our defining moment in history has become 9/11…

  • - What is a ‘good’ education?

    During this week thousands of teenagers will get their A-Level and GCSE examination results, including a number of our own church family. These are not ‘ordinary times’ as far as education is concerned.

  • We could of course explore ways of generating our own energy. It might be possible to identify aesthetically pleasing solar panels that could be fitted on the south facing roof. Someone has even suggested a wind turbine in the West End Garden. (All other suggestions gratefully received). What we do know is that if the world is going to be able to get through this environmental crisis, it will require a positive commitment on the part of all of us.

  • - Do people still send postcards?

    …But then the school holidays are six or seven weeks. That can seem like a life time for some families. So, I’m pleased that throughout the whole of the holiday our premises – church & hall – will be hosting a succession of summer playschemes. Already this week both buildings are full of very lively children. And even though we can’t run holiday clubs ourselves, we are pleased to be able to partner with established users to ensure that everyone who comes has a really good time…

  • - Freedom Day

    There is more to Freedom than being able to go nightclubbing, and we do well to remind ourselves that this is the case. And so, enjoy the ‘freedoms’ that post July 19th society is now able to enjoy. But don’t confuse them with Freedom, real freedom…