Monday 12 December Parish Carol Service
Over 200 hundred people made their way to St Giles’ last evening for the annual candlelit Parish Carol Service. They included local residents, members of the congregation and representatives of organisations and businesses in the area including LSO St Luke’s, St Luke’s Parochial Trust, Kunstrum Gallery in Roscoe Street, the Alderman of Cripplegate Ward, City of London Police and the Barbican Centre.
Members of the augmented Choir – included our professional singers and others invited by Anne, the Director of Music to join them on special occasions stood at the back of the church while Rebecca Collett, a pupil at the City of London School for Girls, sang the first verse of ‘Once in Royal David’s City.’
The congregation joined in the singing as the Choir and Katharine processed down the aisle.
The 5 lessons that followed continued the Christmas story and were interspersed with carols sung by the choir including June Nixon’s setting of ‘The Holly and the Ivy’, ‘A maiden most gentle’, a traditional French carol arranged by Andrew Carter, ‘The Huron Carol’, a traditional Canadian carol arranged by Michael Oczko and ‘O little one sweet’ a German carol harmonised by JS Bach.
The congregation had their chance to sing several favourite carols including, ‘O come O come Emanuel’, ‘O little town of Bethlehem’, ‘It came upon the midnight clear’ ‘While shepherds watched their flocks by night’ and ‘O come all ye faithful’ Katharine gave the blessing and Elizabeth, our organist played the Postlude ‘Paean on Divinum mysterium’ by John Cooke.
Sunday 11 December Nativity Play by the Sunday Club
3 & 4 December 2016 St Giles’ Hosts Iconic AIDS Quilt in Memory of Lives Lost
Iconic quilt panels commemorating the lives of those lost to the AIDS epidemic in the 1980 and 90s, were on display at St Giles’ as part of a series of events marking WORLD AIDS DAY.
This irreplaceable piece of international social history tells the story of people whose lives were lost at the beginning of the AIDS epidemic, a reminder too that AIDS is still with us and lives still being lost. It is a call to action to challenge HIV stigma and those living with HIV today.
This was the first time some of the panels have been on public display
The UK AIDS Memorial Quilt Partnership is a coalition of HIV charities that have come together to find a permanent home for the quilts, to make them available to this and future generations as an important part of response to HIV in the UK.
To support or for further information visit the website aidsquilt.org or Tweet #AIDSQuiltUK or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday 29 November Carols, Tea and Cake
The Chamber Choir of this Independent school for children aged 3-11 years in the City of London asked if they could sing carols in St Giles’. This seemed a great opportunity to invite friends and neighbours to come and join us and to all enjoy tea and cake afterwards.
The programme included less well-known carols and favourites with the audience invited to join in too.
They sang a carol by John Rutter and Katharine explained to the choir his connection with St Giles’ and the Barber Surgeon’s Livery Company.
Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 November ADVENT FAIR and Christingle Service
This year we decided to make a weekend of it rather than just on Sunday!
Diana and her team provided hot soup, slices of pizza, cheese and ham rolls for lunch and a wonderful selection of homemade cakes and biscuits (including these gingerbread men made by Gail) for tea. The homemade cake stall was popular as usual. Katharine’s famous Victoria sponges, Suzanna’s delicious minces pies and biscuits, John’s superb Christmas cakes and Annette’s amazing cupcakes were soon all sold.
Vivian and Mona sold lots of raffles tickets for an excellent collection of prizes donated by members of the congregation as well as vouchers for meals in local restaurants and a selection of interesting bottles.
Paulette oversaw the decorating of the Christmas tree, this year with gold and silver baubles and lots of tiny white lights. The final touch was the star placed at the top of the tree.
During the afternoon, there were games and activities for children including face painting which is always popular. Anne played requests on the organ and Christingles were made.
The various stalls selling clothes for children and adults, toys, and bric a brac were popular as was Dawn’s delightful collection of clothes, jewellery, and handbags. A big thank you to Dawn who planned the weekend in such detail, to Mona who collected and counted the money and all who helped to make the weekend such a success.
The Christingle Service
At 3.30pm the lights were dimmed in the church as children and their parents sat quietly in the pews. The children were invited by Katharine to come to the front with a blue kneeler to sit on while she helped them explain the meaning of the Christingle. It is made up of different parts, each to remind us of something.
The orange represents the world. The candle reminds us that Jesus is the light of the world. The red ribbon is the colour of love – the love of God around the world. The four cocktail sticks represent the four corners of the world. The sweets (or sometimes dried fruit) remind us of God's gifts to the world including kindness and love. The foil is only there to catch waxy drips from the candle. We all sang ‘Twinkle,twinkle little star.’
Then we made a large circle around the inside of the church and our candles were lit. We processed around the church as Anne played the organ. Katharine gave the blessing and it was time to go home, with some hoping to get there without their candle going out!
The end of a very happy and enjoyable weekend.
Saturday 29 October at 17.00
A Service to Celebrate the Life and Work of Samuel Boguslaus Chylinski and to commemorate the 350th anniversary of his death in this parish in 1666
During his time in England, Samuel Boguslaus Chylinski translated the Bible into Lithuanian and started printing it with the financial support from English Protestants. Chylinski’s was the second Lithuanian translation of the Bible and the first to be partly printed.
Samuel Boguslaus Chylinski spent his final years in the parish of St Giles’ Cripplegate Church and was buried in the Churchyard in 1666.
Katharine welcomed the Lithuanian Ambassador, members of St Casimir’s Lithuanian Church, the London Lithuanian choir Gausa and pupils of Lighthouse, a Lithuanian school based in London and other members of the Lithuanian community in London.
Pupils of the Lighhouse, the Lithuanian School presented “The Miraculous Catch of Fishes.’
The Rev. Petras Tverijonas of St Casimirs Lithuanian Church in London reflected on life and work of Samuel Boguslaus Chylinski, there were readings, a reflection by Katharine and we joined together to say the Lord’s Prayer in our own language A hymn and the Blessing followed and Anne played a Postlude by Bach..
Afterwards there was a reception in the church.
Thursday 19 October
Congratulations to Leula
Sunday 9 October More Celebrations for Mollie at 95!
On Friday 7 October Mollie celebrated her 95th Birthday having supper with friends.
On Sunday it was our turn to join in the celebrations. All of us sang ‘Happy Birthday’ led by Anne and the Choir after the service.
Sunday 3 October: Harvest Festival
‘Giving and Sharing’ was our theme this year and we celebrated the generosity and support we receive for the quarterly emergency collections we make for the Dunloe Centre and Hackney Food Bank. On these occasions a dedicated team from St Giles’ led by Sidney, Katharine, Mona and many others hand out shopping lists of items needed or in short supply as shoppers arrive at our local Waitrose store. At the exit the items purchased are collected, stored and then taken to the food bank.
On Sunday we made an extra collection and the children were busy collecting tins from members of the congregation and putting them in a shopping trolley.
We played a singing game led by Katharine, Anne and the choir. Those who had begun by singing ‘We don’t care and we won’t share’ were persuaded to join in and sing a new song ‘We do care and we will share’
Our next collection will be on Saturday 3 December from 10.30-12.30
Sunday 25 September: The Annual Progressive Lunch
Vivian and Penny have always organised this annual event with such enthusiasm and skill, encouraging some of us to act as hosts and others to be guests. They somehow manage to cater for all our many dietary needs.
Penny prepares a themed timetable, showing the address of the hosts. As this year we were celebrating Lancelot Andrewes who was vicar here, the hosts all had a place name where he was priest or bishop!
After the Family Eucharist that had included the baptism of baby Milly, we walked across the churchyard to the Rectory for a glass of wine or fruit juice and canapés provided by members of the congregation. Just before 12.30pm small groups of 5 or 6 people are seen making their way around the Barbican to find the host who would provide them with a delicious main course. There is always much laughter and conversation and all too soon we are off again to the Rectory to sample a selection of delicious sweets and coffee.
This year the weather looked rather greyer than of late and there was even talk of rain but many of us enjoyed the warm afternoon sunshine sitting in the Rectory garden. A perfect end to a very pleasant lunchtime together. We all agree that the Progressive Lunch is such a good way to get to know each other as well as welcoming recent arrivals to St Giles’.
Saturday 10 September: Food Bank Appeal
We had a very successful and necessary collection for Hackney Food Bank. The food bank has run low on stocks over the summer and they were delighted that people responded so generously.
We have received a thank you from Colleen, Administrator at Hackney Food Bank
‘You collected 347.2 kg of food for our Distribution
Centres. This has provided 463 meals for local people in crisis.
Thank you for all your efforts in supporting Hackney Foodbank!’
This is an all-time record weight for us!
Friday 8 July to Sunday 10 July, Parish Weekend at Othona
This was our sixth visit to Othona, we have now been each summer since 2011. Nearly everyone had been before, but we were glad that Jessie, Joseph and Gail could join us for the first time.
In our sessions we followed themes from Walter Brueggemann’s ‘Sabbath as resistance; saying no to the culture of now.’ The book is a challenge to those of us who lead over-full lives; there were opportunities to listen to one another and share insights that happen best when we go away together.
Mona taught us a way to be still and calm. When we practised this standing below the solar building or in the labyrinth area it was a wonderful moment for us all to be there relaxed and in silence, to hear the birds singing and the wind rustling the trees. For some this exercise will go with us to bring calm and stillness in our busy lives
The chapel was waiting for us: silent holy space where we met for compline, daily prayer and the Eucharist on Sunday. Perhaps we should not be surprised that those of us who choose to live and work in the restlessness of the city should find ourselves so easily at home in that ancient place of prayer surrounded by the spaciousness of the salt marshes.
The open door looks out across the fields and is always open when we are there
Monies raised for charity in June
During June events at St Giles’ raised £2,500 for charity
The charities who benefited were, from the St Giles’ Charity Book Fair, Help4Hurting Children, and Christian Aid, from the Brew and Bake Sale for the Children's Society and The Wind Up Penguin Theatre Company towards their trip to Berlin to perform in refugee camps.
Many thanks for the generosity of all you contributed.
Sunday 24 April Annual Parish Church Meeting
Following the Parish Eucharist and time for coffee, the Annual Parish Church Meeting was well attended
Katharine chaired the meeting with Gwen Rogers as clerk.
The meeting elected Tim Middleton and Lorraine Mullins as Church Wardens for 2016/17. They will take up office on 9 June. Katharine thanked Church Wardens Diana Gray who is standing down, Tim Middleton and other officers for all their work in the past year.
The revised Church Electoral Roll was received with the total of 148 remaining the same as last year after 6 names had been removed and 6 added.
The following, were elected to the Parochial Church Council until 2019 to fill vacancies including that of Anne Marsden Thomas (who is standing down to complete her latest book). Valerie Davies, Vivian Elliot, Mark Hunter, Simon Freeman, Wendy Ellis and Diana Morgan Gray.
An attentive audience study the next item on the agenda or look at the very informative and excellent Annual Report prepared by Gwen Rogers
The following Sidespeople were elected
Alasdair Anderson, Sherry Bates, Valerie Davies, Vivian Elliott, Wendy Ellis, Judith Ellis, Ros & Simon Freeman, David Freeman, Gail Beer, Daniel Gerring, Amanda Gibbon, Eileen Hall, Wayne Head (with Elvie), Mona Henshall, Louise Hunter, Mark Hunter, Paula Jefferson, Tim Macer, Anne Marsden Thomas, Celia and John Marshall, Roddy and Susan Morriss, Lorraine Mullins, Dawn Runnicles, Alan Taylor, Catherine Urquhart, Setsu Waters, Malcolm Waters, Louise Watson, Joanne Williams, Peter and Glenda Woods, Eucalyptus, Sara Strati and Cyril Leroy
The Annual Report and Financial Statements of the PCC [Registered Charity 1138077] and of its associated endowed charity the Cripplegate Church Sworder Foundation for the year to 31/12/2015 & the Report of the Independent Examiner were approved.
He then proceeded to tear off pieces from each coloured strip to show how the total was made up eg on expenditure, our contribution to the Common Fund, our charitable giving and church repairs and for income, our stewardship giving, church bookings for concerts etc and sale of post cards and church publications.
John was congratulated and thanked for all the hard work that had gone into preparing the accounts and also to Alan Clements the independent auditor.
Katharine made her usual “thank you chocolate awards” to the Standing Committee with a long-service chocolate award to Anne
In her closing remarks Katharine told the meeting that she had been thanked by St Paul’s staff for the warm welcome we had given them on Palm Sunday, and the other comments we get about the many things we do at St Giles’. Everybody can be friendly, everybody can be busy doing lots of things. What sets us apart as a Christian community is the presence of the Holy Spirit. That we share moments of the grace and love of God. One of the closing comments from our time together at Othona last year was ‘Everyone is interesting; everyone has a story to tell.’ It is a remarkable journey that we travel together as custodians of this holy place and companions in faith.
Finally, Katharine was thanked for her leadership.
Easter Sunday 27 March
The greatest and oldest feast of the church when we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. In earlier times this was the only time Christians could be baptised. The family Eucharist and renewal of baptismal vows at 10.00 was a joyous service with uplifting music to celebrate the risen Christ.
While the adults enjoyed coffee and tea after the service the children took part in an Easter Hunt to find 180 chocolate eggs hidden in the church the day before. Katharine ensured fair play by giving the children the colour of the eggs they were to hunt for and the maximum number of eggs allowed per child!
Holy Week Events
The church looks different in Holy Week as the pews are moved to the side aisles revealing the wonderful space that is St Giles’. After the service on Palm Sunday we put down the canvas labyrinth for prayer and meditation. It was a focal point for the dance during the St Luke’s School end of term service. Essa Flett our GSMD student played music for meditation before Compline on the Tuesday and Wednesday evenings. Morning Prayer and Compline are said daily during Holy Week.
Monday 21 March
St Giles’ was one of the venues in the Coexist House ‘Stations of the Cross’ Lent art project, “New Stations for a New Jerusalem”.
In the evening there was a discussion with Roland Biermann, artist of the Station of the Cross No 9 Jesus falls for the third time on display in the churchyard. It was followed by a performance of the String Quartet No 3 by Georg Frederich Haas, a 20th century Austrian composer. One listener said it reminded her of childhood sounds growing up in London during World War 2 with sirens and loud bangs!
Wednesday 23 March
During the afternoon the Bishop of London, Richard Chartres and Cardinal Vincent Nichols were “on pilgrimage together” to 3 of the Stations of the Cross where they prayed and met local people. At St Giles’ they met the artist, our ecumenical friends and members of the community. They then came into the church to see it in its Holy Week configuration with the labyrinth.
In the evening there was a Labyrinth workshop let by Dr Jan Sellers who told the history of the labyrinth and how it is used today using slides, hand held wooden and clay labyrinths. There were questions and discussion before walking the labyrinth in the church and the one projected onto the churchyard outside. This was the work of Jim Buchanan a land artist interested in labyrinths and present at the workshop. This image seen only after dark was in place during Lent and the following two weeks.
Maundy Thursday 24 March
The refreshment team were busy in the afternoon setting up the tables and preparing for the Maundy Thursday Supper. We catered for 50 and this year needed additional table space
We were pleased to welcome members of the recently formed Plus Club for teenagers who helped Katharine with the washing of feet and hands
A simple form of Holy Communion followed as we stood around the tables and in a dramatic move Katharine knocked the chalice over and the remaining wine was spilt reminding us of things to come and Christ’s blood spilt for us on the cross. The lights in the church were dimmed and we listened to Psalm 22 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? A vigil was kept until midnight in the silent, darkened church except for the candles on the chancel steps lit by members of the congregation as they left the church.
Good Friday 25 March
The Day of the Crucifixion – The Service of Three Hours
On the floor of the church, a reminder of Palm Sunday, the Last Supper and the nails of the cross
The First Hour was a service of music, hymns and reading of the Passion narrative by members of the congregation each one following the other with a short break between each reading.
For the Second and Third Hour there were periods of extended silence, with organ music and short meditations led by Katharine. Our time together concluded with a hymn and prayers followed by tea and hot cross buns.
In the evening a number of us met our Roman Catholic Colleagues at the Barbican to hear James MacMillan’s ‘Seven Last Words’. A good conclusion to our ecumenical study days this Lent.
Easter Eve Saturday 26 March
In the morning we gathered not for a service but to prepare the church for Easter Day. There is always lots to do, but there is a break for coffee and hot cross buns. The large palms were removed and the purple and black hangings put away.
Sunday 20 March Palm Sunday
as we processed into church via the West door for the Liturgy of the Palms.
We held our palms high while they were blessed by Katharine. Led my Diana and Tim the Church Wardens carrying their staves, we processed twice around the church singing the great Palm Sunday hymn before those who were going to St Paul’s Cathedral went on their way through the City to be greeted by the clergy and congregation in Paternoster Square. There were donkey rides for the children at the end of the morning.
There was a Story Sermon on Mothering Sunday in which the children took part in the retelling of the Prodigal Son as the story of the Farmer and her two daughters. Before the last hymn, the children took round bunches of daffodils to everyone in church, including the musicians in the organ loft.
In celebration of Mothering Sunday the Sunday Club had made cakes to enjoy afterwards with coffee and squash.
Ruben was the official photographer and this is one of his pictures.
Where to visit us:-
St Giles' Cripplegate Church
London EC2Y 8DA
Registered Charity Number 1138077
Services and church opening hours
Communion (First Sunday in the month)
10.00 Parish Eucharist
16.00 Evening Prayer
Evening Prayer may be cancelled on the Sunday after Christmas and on Easter Day or during August. The service may also be cancelled if no key holder is available or it may take place in the Rectory instead.
08.30 Morning Prayer (Monday-Thursday)
Monthly Private Prayer and Reflection
These sessions are held on the first Thursday of the month., from 13.00-13.30.
Future Dates, Thursdays, 5 October, 2 November and 7 December.
These sessions are normally held on the first Thursday of the month from 13.30-15.00. Some gentle cleaning and tea and cakes at the end.
Future Dates, Thursdays, 5 October, 2 November and Wednesday 6 December.
The church is normally open from 11.00-16.00 Monday to Friday.
Parish Office Opening Hours
Tel: 020 7638 1997