Activities July-December 2019

Sunday 6 October Harvest Festival and Mollie’s 98th Birthday

Not only were we celebrating Harvest Festival but also it was the day before Mollie’s 98th birthday.


During the service the children read the lessons and led our intercessions. They carried the candles and other items used during the service in procession at the end.  



The tins collected in church will go to the local Food Bank

The Story Sermon was about three places named in honour of Mollie: St Mary’s on the Plain because Mollie was baptized at St Mary’s Fortune Street. The church was destroyed in the blitz and Mollie and her parents then went to St Luke’s Old Street – hence St Luke’s Island. Mollie has been at St Giles’ for the past 60 years, so the final location was St Giles’ in the Forest.

With improvisations by our Organ Scholar Jack, the children were tasked with sharing food supplies between the three places visited by a hurricane, a flood and a forest fire. As they moved with Katharine to each disaster site, the congregation helped them to decide what was fair sharing.


Katharine also reminded them that it is children who are telling grown-ups that we must all take action on climate change, if God’s beautiful world is to be saved.

Our Harvest Intercessions led by Sunday Club teacher, Dave and his son Fred


God you have given us a beautiful world and we have not cared for it as we should have done.


We thank you for Greta and all her friends who cry out to us to stop destroying their world and future. We pray that we may listen to our children and young people and be content to live more



Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer


We thank you for the blessing of sunshine to warm us.


We pray for children who live where the land is scorched by the heat of the hot sun: where the fields have turned to dust; where crops don’t grow anymore; where forest fires have destroyed what was good and green.


Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer


We thank you for the blessing of cooling winds that turn wind turbines and generate power.


We pray for families whose homes have been destroyed by hurricanes, for mums and dads who have to start again to make a safe place for everyone to live. 


Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer


We thank you for clean water to drink when we are thirsty.


We pray for villagers who watch their community being washed away by "floods and who feel

frightened that it may happen again.


Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer


We pray for people in towns who have seen the beauty of their surroundings spoilt by greed and carelessness.


Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer


We thank you God for people who help when there is a disaster, relief workers and the emergency services.


For environmentalist and naturalists who share their passion for the glory of creation.  We pray that we may treat the world kindly and share her resources.


Merciful Father,

Accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen

Sunday 22 September – Lunch in Church during Open House Weekend

After the Parish Eucharist and time to talk, over our usual coffee afterwards, there was a ‘bring and share’ lunch in church. This coincided with Open House weekend and we were pleased to offer visitors a glass of wine or fruit juice, a plate of food and a choice of puddings at the end of the afternoon. Usually at this time of year we hold a Progressive Lunch, the progress was reversed this time – food came to the people rather than people going to eat in different flats.

We have very good cooks among us and we enjoyed a selection of salads, cold meats and cheese as a main course and apple pie and cheese cake for pudding. The final stragglers decided to make for home soon after 3.00m which left a short break before Evening Prayer.

Saturday 21 September – Installation of Window Panel to William Ward founder of City of London School for Girls

The artists Caroline Swash and Laura Perry have designed and installed the first of a series of panels in the windows in the north aisle to celebrate figures from history who have a close connection with St Giles’.


Here Laura and a colleague install the panel.

The finished panel with a sunny backdrop of the Barbican Centre and Shakespeare Tower


There will be an exhibition in church of the evolution of the design of this and other panels.

Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 September Emergency Food Bank Collection

Christopher Gadsden, St Giles’ Food Bank Co-ordinator writes ‘Gail Curry at the Hackney Foodbank says happily that their shelves look a lot better after over 1,000kg of food and personal hygiene products arrived from the collection at Waitrose Barbican on 14 and 15 September. In total, this was enough for more than 2,400 meals. A team from St Giles’ collected on the Saturday and another from Wesley’s Chapel on Sunday. 


A normal one-day collection is around 450kg, so more than twice that in two days shows just how generous Waitrose customers are. Many are old hands by now and tell us smilingly as they enter the store that they will be donating as they always do. It really does make you feel good about people to be a helper on those days. 

Many thanks to Charis and Tim (who single-handedly hefted almost all those 1,000kg into the cages), Amanda, Mo, Mona, Gail, Gabriel, and of course Katharine. 


Thank you also to all the partners at Waitrose who were so helpful - particularly Marie, Ruby, Ansu, and Victoria, and welcome to new manager Adam.’ 


The next collection, with Christmas in mind, will be on 7, 8 and 9 December.

Wednesday 4 September – Visit to Regent’s Park Mosque       

In our search to better understand and have dialogue with those of other faiths, Katharine, Alex, John, Diana, Stephanie and son Alex made our way to the Regent’s Park Mosque and the Islamic Cultural Centre. We were met by Peter, an Englishman who converted to Islam in the 1980s who was our guide for the visit. He told us about the history of the building saying that the Churchill war cabinet authorised the acquisition of a site to build a mosque in London in 1940. A prime site adjacent to Hanover Gate in Regents Park of almost 2.3 acres was presented by the British Government as an unconditional gift to the Muslim Community in Britain for educational purposes and practice of the Islamic Faith.

It was not until 1974 that construction of a purpose-built mosque began. The present building is based on a design by Sir Frederick Gibberd, selected in 1973 in an international competition and took over two years to complete.

It is a very spacious site with courtyards, prayer halls and large rooms on two floors. The large prayer hall on the ground floor under the dome is very beautiful with a blue ceiling and daylight coming through windows where you can see the trees blowing in the breeze outside. Together with a blue carpet the whole area gives a feeling of calm and tranquillity. Before entering the prayer hall, we removed our shoes and Diana and Stephanie put on scarves to cover their heads (Katharine was already wearing a hat). Some men were already at prayer and we sat on chairs at the side while Peter explained the fundamentals of Islam. This included reference to Abraham and the prophets of Judaism and Jesus and Mary in Christianity all of whom appear in the Quran.


We were invited by Peter to stay for the call to prayer by the Iman. This was very moving. Gradually men entered the hall and made their way to the front near the Iman – we were told that you gained greater blessings by being at the front – where they stood side by side and prepared to follow the Iman in prayer. They knelt, prostrated themselves, sat up, stood up many times as the Iman prayed aloud. When the formal prayers had finished – about 8 minutes – most men left but others stayed to say their own prayers.

Afterwards we were then invited downstairs to a large room for some refreshments and to continue our visit. In this room were large display panels covering all aspects of Islam including the role of women in the faith. This information ‘aims to provide a greater understanding of the universal message of Islam, thereby encouraging meaningful and positive dialogue and promoting greater community understanding and harmony.’ We were encouraged to ask questions and answers were freely given in a very relaxed and sympathetic way.


We made our way outside and said our thanks and goodbye to Peter. We had felt very welcome and certainly learnt much about Islam. Misunderstanding or misinterpretation of certain sections of the Quran by fundamentalists for their own cause or ignorance by non-Muslims with their own agendas have done much to harm and made people afraid of Islam, something we felt did not have any place in the community we visited. We hope other exchanges can be made in the future.

St Giles’ August Book Fair Result

Despite many regulars being away on holiday we raised the very significant sum of £3,360.92 which was £15 more than raised in June.


Thanks to all the volunteers, especially Wendy Ellis and Karen Lee who spent most of the previous week sorting the books. Thanks also to those who donated and purchased books this time.


We continue to need more volunteers. Please encourage anyone you know with spare time to get involved. All are welcome, the strong and physically fit – moving books can be heavy work, and those less energetic or able but who enjoy meeting people and supporting their fellow volunteers. Please ask them to contact Jake in the Parish Office.


Our next Book Fair will be from Wednesday 20 November to Sunday 1 December


Donated books can be left on the pew at the back of the church and the church is normally open on weekdays from 11.00-1600


Further update: Three books were subsquently sold via an antiquarian book dealer raising a further £500. 

Sunday 28 July - A formal ‘Goodbye’ lunch for Doris

Doris Barrera has been with us at St Giles’ for a year as our Ministerial Experience Volunteer. Doris, who is from Chile, has been assisting Katharine on a voluntary basis, while considering if she has a vocation to the ordained ministry of the Church of England. From September she will be an Assistant to the Chaplaincy at King’s College, London. She will continue to be with us on Sundays.


After the Eucharist, Katharine presented Doris with a card and a cheque from us all. She thanked her for all she has done in the past year and good wishes for her new role at Kings.


A goodbye picnic had been planned but as the weather was looking unsettled, instead tables were quickly put up in the rectory garden.


We enjoyed a splendid bring and share lunch, comfortably seated and admiring Katharine’s lovely flowers.       



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)

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


Monthly Private Prayer and Reflection 

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

2019 Future Dates,                    7 November and 4 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.

2019 Future Dates,                    

7 November and 4 December.


2019 Dates of PCC meetings in church at 19.30

Tuesday 19 November        


Parish Office Opening Hours

Mon-Fri 11.00-16.00

Tel: 020 7638 1997  

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