We invite families with children aged 0 to 12 to come and join us for our informal, creative, relaxed worship. Older siblings are welcome too.
There will be stories, craft activities, games, reflection, short informal worship and the sharing of a simple meal together at the end.
Please contact Rev Ulrike Bell on 020 8505 5542 for more information.
Our July/ August newsletter is now available to read.
Click here to download the newsletter as a PDF or contact Rev June Colley on firstname.lastname@example.org for a paper version.
Three Scouts have gained the Chief Scouts Gold Award, which is the highest award that can be gained in the Scout Troop. They are Sebastian Roney, Thomas St George, and Harry Hill.
Sebastian and Thomas have previously gained the Chief Scouts Award in both the Beavers and Cubs.
All three have now gone up to Explorers.
We are trying to work out which Scout has the record for the highest number of activity badges gained in the Troop as Sebastian, Thomas and Ali Nijabat all have between 40 and 44 badges each and we are checking the badge records.
Other Scouts who have done well are Eddie Adams 34 badges, Steven Nicholaou 32, Harry Hill 31, James Maycock 28, Blue Winnock 22, Ella Magen 21, Billy Ayto 19.
All these achievements are added to our 27th Chingford Scouts Honours Book.
During this term the Scouts have been working on Adventure, Expedition, Outdoor, Personal, Skills and Team work Challenge badges and Athletics, Climber, Cyclist, Do it yourself, Geocaching, Hikes, Survival Skills Activity badges and have had opportunities to go to a Survival skills camp and a parent and scout camp and visit Gilwell, Fairlop Waters, Danemead camp site, the Gunpowder Park, and Chingford Plains.
Four Cubs have gained the Chief Scouts Silver Award, the highest award in the Cub Pack. They are Adam Corrigan, Max Majid, Saif Nijabat, and Frankie Reed.
The current record for Activity Badges in the Cub Pack is 39 and is held jointly by Thomas St George and Ali Nijabat.
All 4 of the Cubs above are attempting to break the record and at the head of the chasing pack is Saif brother of Ali who has 36 Activity badges.
During this term the Cubs have been working on Adventure, Outdoors, Skills, Teamwork Challenges and Backwoods Cooking, Do it yourself and World Faiths activity badges.
Activities have included making a shelter in the forest, climbing at the boulder park, making a game, a Buddhist tea ceremony at Gilwell and tracking in the forest.
Leaders and Helpers
We are still looking for helpers in all sections, Beavers, Cubs and Scouts as more helpers helps to spread the load.
Please contact Group Scout Leader Malcolm Smithon 020 8524 2491 if you can help.
My husband’s first cousin once removed was ordained as a priest serving with the Society of Jesus on May 11 at St Paul’s Basilica, Toronto.
His parents and I assumed Young Ted (as he is known in the family) wanted other family members who were also ordained to attend (although I don’t think they would recognise my own ordination as an Elder of the United Reformed Church) so we travelled with Richard’s cousin Anne who never misses a family celebration if she possibly can.
There had been a chance that Anne’s first husband (another CoE clergyperson) might attend which would have been problematic since they divorced in order for him to marry Young Ted’s aunt, but he was not well enough to travel so awkward meetings were avoided.
The service came in at under two hours which was pretty good for an ordination service. Ted and another Canadian were being priested and five men were being deaconed (with priesting next year). They came from the US, Nepal and the Antilles.
Training for the Jesuit priesthood takes 11 years and includes such exercises as being dropped into an unknown city with virtually no money and told to get by. Ted had worked in slums in South America and on the Monday after ordination was going to a conference in Rome on the subject of refugees as the representative for his Province.
On 12 May we went to Our Lady of Lourdes (OLOL) to Ted’s first celebration of mass in the morning.
This was far more informal with far fewer saints included in the Litany of Supplication (I lost count at
the Ordination maybe they named all the Jesuit saints) and I was delighted that we sang a John Bell hymn and Bernadette Farrell’s “Longing for Light” which we sing each year at the Ecumenical Advent Carol service.
I thanked Ted for choosing two British hymns but he said he had no involvement in their choice and had been concentrating on getting his sermon across.
In the evening we went to Choral Vespers at the Anglican Church of the Redeemer near to where we were staying which included Bach’s Cantata no 31 “The Heavens laugh the earth rejoices” and “Urlicht” from Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony.
It was very well done with choir, soloists and orchestra. I think the church might be part of the University of Toronto or Ryerson because as well as two named clergy there were five Honorary Assistant clergy. Donations were invited at the end to help with the cost.
We moved on to Ottawa where Richard’s Canadian cousins are based but stayed in a central hotel where we found an Anglican church two doors away which offered Morning Prayer at 8am.
This had been started to offer a service for people working in the banks and insurance offices etc.
The church was in the process of being renovated and we had to bypass building materials and found the Sanctuary unheated and only one other person there who said he had only just started coming and that the service would probably be said by another layperson if the priest didn’t turn up.
The other layperson turned up but priest didn’t so Richard took that part and I resorted to my Kindle for the reading from Acts. Judging by the size of the building and the work going on, on Sunday it must be a very popular church but not on a cold wet Thursday morning.
Then to Chicago – no family apart from Cousin Anne and the 10.45am at the Church of our Saviour at Fullerton – sorry another Anglican one - on May 19. The Greeter said she came to London about once a quarter – I asked and learned she was an Insurance Lawyer visiting clients.
Richard felt at home immediately- there was lots of incense and they censed the Pascal candle which the OLOL thurifier had failed to do (High Anglicans notice these omissions).
It was the end of the Sunday School year and the children and their teachers were paraded and congratulated on their progress. The preacher had distributed a visual aid in the shape of a triangle with Soul, Body and Personhood on one side and various “fold here” instructions and comments on the back which I shall give to Ulrike.
The congregation was not large and they are starting a discipleship programme. The after church gathering was going to be focussed on the End of the Sunday School year so we did not linger. I wanted to suggest to the priest that he look at “Holy Habits” but he had announced he was going to the airport immediately after the service to start his holiday. We sang one Brian Wren hymn which I didn’t recognise from Rejoice and Sing which impressed Cousin Anne and I was able to say the writer was a URC minister.
I nearly forgot – we did visit another church in Ottawa but in the middle of the Canadian National Museum – a small wooden Ukrainian Orthodox church which had been transferred there and which was still consecrated and occasional services held.
I could go on about the museums and concerts and how we eventually found a Currency Exchange to cash in our pre-Millennium Travellers Cheques but that is enough for now.
This year’s Bradwell Pilgrimage & Gathering is on 6 July.
This is a wonderful free day for all the family that’s worth going to.
For more information and answers to frequently asked questions, visit bradwellpilgrimage.co.uk.
We are a welcoming, inclusive community, following God in Jesus, learning about God and caring for Creation, growing in faith and joy.
We aim to be witnesses to the love of God and the teachings of Jesus Christ, by supporting people within and beyond our community.
Does this ring true to you for our Forest Group churches?
This Vision Statement evolved as a result of our joint Elders Day on 15 June, where the holy number of 12 of us met for 3 hours to work together on the questions:
Our conversations were very engaged. There was a buzz in the air, when Elders exchanged in pairs on the question: How does your church feed you spiritually? And then: What would you like your
church community to be known for? If you asked random people on the streets: what would you hope they would say about your church?
As you are reading this now: How would you answer these questions? We’d love to know! Why not share your thoughts at your next church meeting?
The Elders answered: “Church is like extended family (support in difficult times, advice, caring community, witnesses around you); a place of learning to follow God in Jesus, intellectually challenging; growing in faith, practicing Holy Habits”.
And wanting to be known as: “A place that offers a different perspective: quirky; open to
everybody. Non-judgemental; people who make a difference because of their faith: active in community, caring for people (social) and environment; happy place full of joy; a place where you learn about God and can grow in faith; a place where you can help make a difference/ get involved (in wider community, wider world, environment).”
All this we wove together into the above Vision Statement.
We then wondered: What needs to happen to make that true?
A lot of our answers reflected the fact that we need to turn our attention outside: outside our buildings (use spaces outside our buildings and go out into the community), be better visible and
audible (become braver speaking about our faith); better advertising (become more public about what we believe); show and celebrate inclusiveness and diversity (eg in the films we choose for film
nights, or in linking up with other organisations for bigger events).
But also inside: more focus on our “core business” (Bible and prayer).
Small steps we can all take already today for making this come true were identified: Speak out about your faith. And/ or join a new (nonchurch) group and identify yourself to these new people as Christian (talk about your faith and church).
Bigger, more innovative steps had not really emerged, but may still come. We will keep thinking, praying and sharing, and have our eyes, ears, senses open to God’s lead.
We are on the way! Walking the Way with Jesus more jointly, more intentionally, more sharing in Spirit and resources.
Yours in faith, love – and hope,
PS: If you want to get involved more practically in our joint Forest “Mission Action” group, please contact me.
Gladness and generosity are intimately linked because each one springs from the other. Our gladness arises naturally from the generosity of God, and our gladness will naturally lead to generosity towards others.
Generosity does not necessarily relate to money, but can instead relate to time spent with someone, words of encouragement or any other way of fulfilling a need.
The gladness that springs from God’s generosity does not depend on our circumstances, but comes from a deeper, richer source, namely, the knowledge of our ultimate security in our relationship with God, made possible by the death and resurrection of our Lord and Saviour.
Paul tells us of an impressive example in 2 Corinthians 8:1-3
“And now, brothers, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability.”
Generosity should not be forced, but should be from the heart, in order to give honour to God. In 2 Corinthians 9:7 we read
“Each man should give what he has decided to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver”
The Three Faiths Forum meeting at 8.00pm on Thursday 13th June was held at East London and Essex Synagogue, which is near South Woodford Station.
The topic for the evening was ‘Teaching Religious Truths by Parable’ and was a Scriptural Reasoning session when we split up into groups, with at least one Jewish person, one Muslim and one Christian in each group.
In my group we first looked at a parable from the Hebrew Scriptures: 2 Samuel 12:1-15. This is where the prophet Nathan tells a story to King David about a poor man having his pet lamb taken from him by a rich man who wanted to use it to feed a guest. The king is outraged by the story but Nathan then tells David that he is like that rich man, when he took the wife of another poor man for his own pleasure.
So the parable is used to make a point and David realises he has sinned and repents.
The second parable we looked at was the story of The Prodigal Son from Luke’s Gospel, showing how God welcomes back sinners if they have repented.
The third parable we considered was from the Qur’an. It concerned two men, one of whom had two very fruitful gardens and ascribed this to his own efforts, boasting about his good fortune. The other
man reminded him that all good gifts come from Allah and not through our own efforts. In course of time the rich man’s property fell into ruin so he lost all he had and realised he was in the wrong.
It was interesting reading these three parables from each of the three faiths and seeing how parables can be used as a means of religious teaching.
I had not expected to find parables outside the teaching of Jesus, so I learned something new, as I expect others did in our groups.
The next meeting of the Forum will be at 8.00pm on Thursday 10 October, when we will be discussing ‘Welcoming the Stranger’ which should be interesting. The venue is yet to be announced.