Activities 2022

Annual Parish Weekend to Othona

1-3 July 2022

This year we were back to our usual time of the year for the visit after the last two that were in September.

The organising team of Fr Jack, Cath and David Price devised a successful weekend of prayer, discussion, workshops, leisure pursuits, and time to be at peace in this holy place. Susan had arrived after lunch to sort the accommodation needs of the group. 

For the first time all the yurts were used this year.


We thought we would be a party of 18 but a last-minute strike by Great Anglia Railway staff meant that 3 people who would have joined us or left on the Saturday were unable to do so and with one person ill, it was finally a party of 14 that arrived on the Friday early evening by train, taxi, or car. The train journey was not without its difficulties as it required a change at Wickford for the shuttle train to Southminster but as the train was late leaving Liverpool Street the connection was missed and meant a wait of an hour for the next one! Eventually everyone had arrived by 7pm and after a welcome drink we were able to have our dinner at 7.30pm.


After dinner Fr Jack led our first workshop ‘Arriving’ with us all sitting comfortably in the solar room. We discussed how we felt about arriving at Othona and what we had left behind us. We agreed it was great to be back and several of us reflected on letting go of our day-to-day concerns while we were here and of soaking up the peace and tranquillity of this ancient place.


We then made our way around the wonderful field of ripening barley to the chapel of St Peter-on-Wall, built on the site of a Roman fort by St Cedd in 654, for the service of Compline. 

We marvelled at the stunning sunset as we walked back to the Community buildings.

On Saturday after breakfast at 08.30 we met in the chapel for Morning Prayer. This was followed by the next workshop led by Ros. Our theme this year was ‘Blessed are the Peacemakers’. Ros writes, ‘In the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5: 1-12), Jesus describes the attitudes that are foundational to building the Kingdom of God – and their rewards. These eight « Beatitudes » are radical and transformational and turn everything upside down: the world declares the powerful and the rich to be the blessed, but God favours the humble and the poor, and “the peacemakers shall be called sons of God” (Matthew 5:9). Blessed is taken to mean flourishing or truly happy. I used a painting by Laura James (a contemporary American artist) that illustrates each of these Beatitudes. She uses Ethiopian artistic tradition to paint scenes from the 18thcentury American South when the transatlantic slave trade sold millions of Africans into slavery. In each scene those receiving Christ’s blessings are African men and women at various stages of their enslavement with a black Christ in the central scene. The suffering slaves, and their present-day descendants who suffer still, are the blessed. This painting can be found on the website  ”A Visual Commentary on Scripture”.’

After a coffee break our next workshop, ‘Blessed are the Peacemakers’ was led by Susan. We were invited ‘to create something about Peace’. We worked on our own or in pairs using the wonderful collection of photos, cards coloured papers, paints, and pens that Susan had brought with her for our creations.  

After lunch, we had our usual free afternoon to walk the sea wall, garden, swim, rest or read. Some swam, others walked or sat and read.


We met for Evening Prayer in the chapel before drinks and a barbeque as we enjoyed the warm evening outside.  



We walked to the chapel at the end of the day for Compline. For those who wished there was a showing of the film, ‘The Life of Brian’ in the Lounge

We were back in the chapel for Holy Communion at 10.00 after which we asked a couple who were walking their dog to take a group photo of us outside the chapel. There was one more session ‘Leaving’ led by Father Jack when we reflected on our time at Othona and how we felt about leaving. This was held outside and ended with one of Mona’s famous exercises – standing still in the open air in our own space with our eyes closed and listening to the sounds of nature around us – the birds singing and the wind rustling the leaves on the trees.


After a lovely Sunday lunch and thanking our hosts, it was time to leave Othona for our journey back to London. All of us felt relaxed and calmed by our stay in this holy and beautiful place and in company of each other.


It was the first visit with us for Fr Jack and Penny, our soprano from St Giles’ choir whose beautiful voice enriched our worship in the Chapel. Fr Jack wrote, ‘Thank you, for all you’ve done to make this weekend so wonderful. It was a joy to be with you all.’ Penny wrote, What a wonderful weekend. Thank you all for making it so special.





Dates for next year, 9-11 June 2023.

The St Giles' May/June Book Fair 

The Book Fair raised £5,170.00.


Thank you to all volunteers and those who donated and bought books

Where to visit us:-

St Giles' Cripplegate Church
Fore Street
London EC2Y 8DA


Registered Charity               Number 1138077

Sunday Services 

Sunday 7 August Trinity 8

08.30 Morning Prayer

10.00 Parish Eucharist

16.00 Evening Prayer


Weekday Services

Monday-Wednesday and Friday 

08.30 Morning Prayer 

17.30 Evening Prayer 

(some midweek services will be held in the Rectory at the East End of the church)



The next session will be on 7 September

Home Prayer Group - Lectio Divina 19.30 via Zoom. To join contact Susan Royce


The church is open for private prayer

The church is open from 11.00-16.00 Monday-Friday for private prayer. Please observe social distancing and any other instructions required when visiting the church.


Private Prayer and Reflection on  first Thursday of the month from 13.00-13.30 

You are invited to join others in church on Thursday 7 July.

If you are not able to join us, we hope you will continue to pray with us wherever you are.

Dates in 2022

No session in August, 1 September, 6 October, 3 November, 1 December.


Cleaning Angels

The monthly sessions are on the first Thursday of the month from 13.30-15.00 including tea and cake from 14.30. 

Dates in 2022

No session in August, 1 September, 6 October, 3 November, 1 December.

2022 Dates of PCC meetings in church at 19.30

Tuesday 20 September

Monday 21 November. 


The Parish Office will be closed 10-25 August 

as Jake is away. Please contact Jack if you have an urgent enquiry: or  07765 771 547

Parish Office Opening Hours  

The Parish Office is open Mon-Fri 11.00-16.00

Tel: 020 7638 1997

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