Thursday, 18 January 2018

Two Upcoming Services

Thanksgiving for Marriage

Each year we give couples, whether they have been married a long time ago or recently; in a registry office, hotel or a church; in this country or abroad, to come to church and in a simple act of worship, give thanks to God for years of married life.

This increasingly popular service will be held on 11th February (full details below) and is followed by a reception. It would be wonderful to welcome you to join us.

Ash Wednesday 

The season of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday. Lent is the season during which the church historically did the final preparations for new Christians to baptised at Easter. It is the season in which we recall Jesus' time in the wilderness in preparation for his public ministry. Now the church often encourages us to renew our trust in God and deepen our faith through fasting, prayer and study of the scriptures.

Our Lenten pilgrimage begins with two services on 14th February, details on the poster below. During the service we will each be given the opportunity to receive an ash cross marked on our foreheads as a sign that we wish to renew our trust in God and want to follow Jesus through to his death on the cross. Look out for details of other Lent activities.

Saturday, 6 January 2018

Introducing Sam Frampton, our (soon to be) new Assistant Curate

“See, I am doing a new thing”

Hello one and all,

As you will know by now my name is Sam Frampton. I want to start by saying that I am delighted to have been offered to serve my curacy among you all at St. Peter’s, St. John’s, and St. Thomas’. I already know some of you because I was among you for the Parish Mission back in September 2016 and I am immensely excited to build on those existing relationships and making new ones once I am ordained in July. 

I was born in Portsmouth on the 13th February 1992. I spent most of my childhood in the surrounding areas of Portsmouth and Gosport and I have a great passion for the seaside because of it. When I was 10, the family and I uprooted and moved to France where we stayed until I was 15 and came back to Portsmouth. 

I always knew God had a calling on my life, when I was 6 I almost died from Meningitis and Septicaemia, and from then, I knew God was calling me to something. Coming from a non-Christian family, and in the most part stridently atheist, I chose my own faith journey. I was baptised as a Roman Catholic, and confirmed some years later. I discerned my vocation as a Catholic, but 6 years ago, after much prayer and discerning I was received into the Church of England and immediately knew that God had plans for me as an Anglican. 

I took on some pastoral assistant jobs and moved to St Albans to work at the abbey for a year, it was here that I began once more discerning my vocation to the ordained ministry. I was selected and recommended to begin training and started my training at Westcott House in September 2015. Having completed two years of formation, the time came to see where God was calling me to serve my curacy and I was offered to serve with you all in Mill End and Heronsgate with West Hyde .

I am looking forward to being with you all and discerning along with Fr Simon, and the congregations what things God has in store for us over the coming months and years and building further the kingdom of God in these  parishes. 

God bless you all. 


Introducing Kevin Shaw

During January, Dr Kevin Shaw will be on placement with us. Kevin is training as a Reader and lives locally. He introduces himself below. I know you will all make him welcome!

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Christingle 2018

Christingle is a service celebrating the Light of Christ and is especially beautiful and meaningful in these dark days of winter.

There are two opportunities to share in this service which is increasingly popular with families and full details are on the poster attached below.

We look forward to welcoming you!

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Our Christmas Services

Christmas is one of the high points of any year in the life of our churches.

We'd love to welcome you to join us for any of our services in the lead up to and during the celebrations this year!

Monday, 6 November 2017

Remembrance Sunday 2017

Here are details of the Acts of Remembrance at the war memorials outside St Thomas' West Hyde and St John's Heronsgate and in St Peter's Mill End. All are welcome.


I am writing this 500 years to the day that Martin Luther published his Ninety Five theses; nailing them to the door of Wittenberg cathedral. This was not an act of defiance, but rather was intended to spark a debate about the state of the church. Thus began what became known as the Reformation which changed the landscape not only of the church, but of politics and culture within Europe and America.  It is right that we remember Luther’s actions and rejoice: in the multiplicity of expressions of the Church that came into being including our own denomination; at the technological advances it sparked namely the printed word in our own language; but I am clear that the reformation was not just a past event.

One of the tasks given to ministers in the Church of England by their Bishop is to proclaim the faith afresh in each generation. For me, that is about taking the Incarnation seriously. Since God became flesh amongst us, we are called to find ways of making the love of Christ seen and heard by the people amongst whom we are set.  This means knowing our context and culture well. This can involve a process of  re-forming the local church as we seek to walk alongside and speak to people amongst whom we are called to minister, (hopefully) enabling them to see and experience the love of God in Jesus for them. This isn’t about changing our worship style, but about what flows from it. For some parishes this means significant work with young families; for others it will focus on supporting those struggling with debt; for us, we discovered having done some listening work earlier in the year, that there are significant pockets of isolated people across the age and gender spectrum in our communities. One of the things the PCC will consider later this month is - are there ways that we can reach out to them to love, support and encourage them?

The church of England nationally is being re-formed by a process called Renewal and Reform, which is helping Dioceses be fit structurally for ministry in 21st Century; but also for us in our parish, we have been designated as one that has significant potential to build on what the CofE calls ‘Fresh Expressions’ which would include ‘Play and Praise’ and ‘Messy Church.’ Our diocese has a plan to work alongside us, with an offer of training, support and money to see a flourishing of fresh and new ways of being church in this way. More food for thought for us all and our PCC.

The reform of the national church also comes about when we are being asked and are asking hard questions about how we minister in a context where ethics and what is deemed to be socially acceptable are in flux. The Church of England needs to make clear very soon where we stand on the ministry of women and on issues of human sexuality. We have Bishops of both genders finally, but we need to prayerfully reflect on how we make ‘mutual flourishing’ of both integrities (those willing/unable to accept the ministry of women) really work in practice. Also, being LGBTI is no longer a crime and is socially acceptable. We do need to prayerfully reflect on how we allow our LGBTI family members, neighbours and friends affirm their love in church. Slavery is no longer deemed acceptable and divorce is not the social taboo it once was and the church has moved on. So we must in these matter too. The longer we leave these and other far more important issues as a perceived ‘fudge’, the longer our nation sees us as an irrelevance.  

One of the things that God does with each of us individually is to re-form and re-make us. Through our weekly worship and personal devotions we are constantly being transformed into the likeness of Christ - although there will be days that it feels like we are not even on that road, never mind travelling along it!

Yet as this month unfolds’ and we remember the costs of war and the striving for peace in our world still; as remember those whom we love and who have loved us but we see no longer; as we remember those whose lives have been transformed by the love of God in Christ; we are reminded that the reformation of the church, the world and our lives is still much needed, but through Him who loved us, is not only desirable but possible.