Activities July – December 2018

Sunday 30 September Harvest Festival


With much discussion around today about plastic in the seas, on land and in landfill sites, this year’s Harvest Festival was all about plastic waste and what we can all do about it.  Harvest Festival is also an occasion to involve the children of the Sunday Club in a special project, Katharine had given all the children clear re-cycling plastic bags to take home, collect all the plastic they and their families used and bring it to church on the Sunday before Harvest Festival.


This yielded a huge amount and to show just how much, an art installation was created that was suspended from one of the arches in the nave. 




During the service the children read the lessons and led the intercessions. They all moved to the chancel to participate in the special children’s sermon come activity. A large wicker hamper was wheeled in to the nave full of small plastic bottles of water – left to us after a wedding! The children asked us in the congregation, direct questions, for example, ‘Who spends more than 5 minutes in the shower?’ All who confessed were given a bottle of water, other searching questions followed and soon the hamper was empty with some people deserving two or three bottles! A simple exercise to show just how quickly plastic waste can grow.    

Elizabeth, our organist had helped the children learn this song which we all sang together at the end of the children’s activities.


The Plastic Song for Harvest 2018

Lots and lots of cling film and bubble wrap too

Single use containers, so what is the to do?

A carrier bag for 5 pence - that’s not a big deal

Oh ping goes the microwave and here’s your ready meal.


Messing up the planet for we don’t care

Lots of plastic for us all and even some to spare.

A shame about porpoises, a shame about the sea

A shame about the animals but what is that to me?


Lots and lots of poison is filling up the land

Plastic doesn’t decompose - it really should be banned

Plastic is so lovely, let’s use it every day

For wrapping stuff and everything - we need it anyway.


Messing up the planet for we don’t care

Lots of plastic for us all and even some to spare.

A shame about porpoises, a shame about the sea

A shame about the animals but what is that to me?


Messing up the planet for we do care

Too much plastic for everyone; we see it everywhere

We can save the porpoises, we can save the sea

We can save the animals, with help from you and me.


Words by Katharine Rumens sung to the Hymn tune ‘All things bright and beautiful’     

More plastic bottles on the Sword Rest.



We are asking our visitors to remember to recycle their plastic water bottles either in church or to take them home and do so but better still to use a re-usable water bottle.   

Saturday 23 September Open House Weekend

London City Guide, Lionel Wright gave historic tours of St Giles’ during the Open House weekend. As well as an overview of the building’s dramatic history, Lionel revealed the stories behind some of the smaller details such as the carvings on the organ and in the chancel.

Standing in the children’s corner, Lionel showed visitors displays that recorded the 50th Anniversary of the Unification of the Parish of St Giles’ with the St Luke’s, Old Street, photos of the devastation to the church in the Blitz in 194

0, its later restoration and the building of the Barbican Estate around the church.


We hope this will be the start of a series of historic lectures in the church.

Saturday 15 September

Visit to John Milton’s Cottage at Chalfont St Giles


Although John Milton lived most of his life in London including in our parish where he was buried, when the bucolic plague came to London in 1665 his friend and pupil Thomas Ellwood arranged for him, his wife and daughters to move to a cottage in Chalfont St Giles. Although he lived there for less than two years it was an important place for him; he finished writing Paradise Lost and was inspired to write the sequel Paradise Regained. Today the house is a museum that tells the story of his life and work and where copies of his books, pamphlets and letters are preserved. It was to this house that Katharine, Doris, Essa, Glenda, Peter and Diana from St Giles’ Cripplegate ventured out of London to visit on a sunny Saturday morning.

We were met in the garden by John, a Trustee and Kelley the Business Manager and enjoyed a cup of coffee together in the sunshine. Kelley then took us inside to show us the house and the precious paintings, books and letters that form part of the collection.


We had time to wander in the delightful garden and see the various trees, plants and flowers that Milton would have known.


A bust of Milton in the garden.



We enjoyed a sandwich lunch served on a long oak table in one of the rooms and said our goodbyes, before making our way to the village to visit the church of Sr Giles and look at the Fair on the Village Green. We joined parents watching their children in a popular area with animals in a large pen, including, sheep, goats, a boar, geese, a turkey, rabbits and guinea pigs. The children where encouraged to brush the animals and feed them. The animals and children all seemed very happy in each other’s company! We had time for a final cup of tea sitting outside in the sunshine before catching our train back to London.

Saturday 8 September Food Bank Collection 

Christopher our Food Bank Co-ordinator writes,


‘Thank you to everybody for all your cheerful help on Saturday - evident in the photographs taken by Tom - thank yous, to Marie for the smooth arrangements, to Radoslav, and to Dave from the Hackney Foodbank for appearing so promptly with the van. 

With two other worthy charities, Dogs on the Street and Macmillan, the Hackney Foodbank shared £1,000 in food donations from Waitrose which made a very welcome addition to the total collection which has grown from one or two large “cages” to three as it was again this time. As always, the generosity of Waitrose shoppers shone through. We also received a £60 cash donation for the foofbank. 


Latest information from Colleen at Hackney Food Bank is that we collection 620kgs!


The next collection will be on Saturday 8 December and I hope to see everyone there again’. 

August 2018 Book Fair


This successful book fair was organised and run by a very enthusiastic team. 

We made a total of £2874 - a new summer record - and this wil go towards church funds.

The innovation this time to allow payment by debit/credit card was well received and accounted for one quarter of our takings.


Thanks to all who donated, organised, sold and bought books.


Our next Book Fair will be from 21 November to 2 December 2018.

Sunday 29 July,  Essa’s Concert for Mind

When violinist Essa Flett, guitarist, Jamie Leeming and cellist Hannah Thomas funded their upcoming album via the fundraising website Kickstarter, they promised to hold a charity concert.


Essa, a Guildhall School  graduate who worships at St Giles’ writes,


‘We chose Mind because we have personal experience of mental health problems, either in our own life or the lives of our friends and wanted to help support a charity that does such good work in helping those struggling with their mental health, both through Mind’s work in local shops and through their website.’ 


After the Eucharist, Essa and her friends played for us and raised £230 for  Mind. Thank you to Essa, Jaime and Hannah and all who supported their charity concert.  

Sunday 12 July, Judth Eliis retires 

We had a goodbye party in the rectory garden for Judith after the Eucharist on Sunday 12 July. We don’t really think she’s going to give up on London living and that after a few weeks the dog walking and bicycle rides of retirement will be less enthralling.


Judith spoke about her first Sunday at St Giles and being greeted by Frank. She said that people do not give chief executives a hug, but Frank hugged her, and she felt really welcomed.


Judith has been an active part of the life of St Giles’ over 15 years and we have been energised by her humour and honesty. Also, we supported her former charity, Help 4 Hurting Children that helped to train many paediatric nurses in Uganda. Members of the congregation who visited the hospital in Kampala with her, saw that she was loved and respected for the dedicated work she and her colleagues did to improve the care of sick children.  We are proud that she was named among the 70 most influential nurses and midwives over the 70 years of the National Health Service. We look forward to seeing her again before long.

Where to visit us:-

St Giles' Cripplegate Church
Fore Street
London EC2Y 8DA


Registered Charity               Number 1138077

Services and church  opening hours


08.00   Holy 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)

Wednesday 17 October at 11am.

Funeral Serivce of Valerie Wise


Monthly Private Prayer and Reflection 

These sessions are held on the first Thursday of the month., from 13.00-13.30.

Future Dates,                              1 November and 13 December


Cleaning Angels 

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,                               1 November and  13 December

The church is normally open from 11.00-16.00 Monday to Friday.


Dates of future PCC meetings in church at 19.30

Tuesday 20 November


Parish Office Opening Hours

Mon-Fri 10.00-16.00

Tel: 020 7638 1997

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