Activities July-December 2019

Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th December – Christmas Food Bank Appeal outside Waitrose, Cherry Tree Walk

Christopher reports,


‘We had a great turnout of volunteers for the pre-Christmas collection for Hackney Foodbank on 7 and 8 December with St Giles running the Saturday collection


Katharine, Alex, Kerri, Tim and Charis



and Wesley’s Chapel on the Sunday. 

As always, Waitrose shoppers were wonderfully generous and the total collected weighed 980kg.Over this year, the weight of all four collections is 4.3 tonnes, enough for over 10,000 meals! 


Kerri, Alex, Amanda and Charis busy sorting a full trolley

Thank you as always to all Waitrose partners, particularly Marie and Ruby, and to all volunteers from St Giles’ and St Luke’s and Wesley’s Chapel, but most of all to Waitrose Barbican’s unfailingly kind customers. 


Amanda and Charis with a full trolley and full stacked green boxes behind them



Particular thanks to Tim and Charis for taking over the Saturday organisation when illness struck elsewhere’. 



The food bank driver packing his van.

10 November Remembrance Sunday


We gathered at 10.00 on a sunny Sunday morning for the Family Eucharist that also included our Act of Remembrance.

Again, this year the Perspex figures were placed in the pews as a poignant reminder of those who did not return from WW1 and many later conflicts. Katharine also reminded us in her sermon that this was the 100th Anniversary of the First Remembrance Service held in Buckingham Palace on 11th November 1919. Communities knew they needed to come together to mark their loss as we do today. At the first service a period of silence was observed that became the 2 minutes silence we as a nation observe each year.


The start of our 2 minutes silence was signalled by Robin, tenor choir member who played ‘The Last Post’ on the trumpet and ‘The Reveille’ at the end.


Another poignant reminder for us this year is the photograph exhibition in the church by Gabrielle Crawford of WW1 War Memorials across Northern France. 


Photos: Two angels and a memorial to the hundreds of pigeons that where shot as they carried messages to the front line

Over a period of three years she has taken over 300 photos of both WW1 and WW2 memorials that have been exhibited in the museum of a Normandy village where she lives. She says that as she travelled around the area so many of the memorials seemed to be hidden away or where in places where they were only acknowledged on one day of the year, for an example she quoted a lofty splendid statue of an angel on a roundabout in Alençon where the traffic stops on one day only, 11 November each year!


The Exhibtion, ‘At the going down of the sun’  contimues until             28 November.

Sunday 3 November – All Souls’ Service


This is always a very popular service, the Commemoration of All Souls held on the Sunday nearest 2 November at 16.00.

Walford Davies’ Solemn Melody played by Elizabeth as the Organ Prelude, sets the scene for the service as Katharine, Alex Norris our new curate and David Allen, Vicar of St Cement’s, Kings Square process to the Chancel. The church is in semi-darkness and it is already dark outside. The service consists of 3 parts; Part 1 Grief, Part 2 Acceptance and Part 3 Remembering with Love. Each part consists of prayers, readings, hymns and music for the choir.    

At the end of Part 3 with the church in darkness, candles are lit by members of the congregation and placed by them on the altar; the names of the dead are read out and silence kept.


The Organ Postlude, Finlandia by Sibelius brings the service to an end.


People find it very moving and beautiful and make a point of coming back each year.

Sunday 20 October – Celebration of the Anniversary of Katharine’s Induction as our Rector


Katharine’s Induction as Rector of St Giles Cripplegate by Bishop Richard, the then Bishop of London, took place in the church on St Luke’s Day – 18 October 2000.

Today we were celebrating the Anniversary of this event 19 years ago. Katharine received a card signed by members of the congregation on St Luke’s Day and on Sunday additional celebrations included the singing of, ‘For she’s a jolly good fellow’ with choir and organ and the presentation of a bouquet by two members of the Sunday Club. We thank Katharine for her Ministry among us and the wider community

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

Saturdays 5-26 October – Ecumenical Study Mornings


Again, this year, we met our friends from Jewin Welsh Chapel, St Joseph’s and Wesley’s Chapel for our October Saturday morning study sessions.


Our book this time was a series of reflections on the Lord’s Prayer. We met each week in one of the churches or chapels to study, pray and share hospitality.


At St Giles’, Steven Cooper, Minster at Wesley’s Chapel led the session, ‘Hallowed be your Name’

During the session we moved into small groups to discuss various aspects and then come back together for a wider discussion and for our prayers.


Over the years since we established this ecumenical partnership, we have made many new friends and joined in each other’s services and celebrations.

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

As we are now in a national lockdown and with a NHS emergency in London there will be no services in church for the time being, but we will be broadcasting a service at 10am on Sundays via our YouTube page here  


Sunday 17 January Epiphany 2

Details of Music and Readings here

Please click here if you would like to make a donation.

Join the Virtual Coffee morning at 11am   

Click here to join.

Weekday Services

08.30 Morning Prayer (Monday to Thursday in the Chancel)


18-25 January - Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 

Ecumenical Service from Wesley’s Chapel

Click here to join



27 January 2021                    Home Prayer Group - Lectio Divina 19.30 via Zoom. To join contact Suzanne Royce


The church is open for private prayer

The church iremains 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 

You are invited to join others in church on Thursday 7 January  Please bring the monthly prayer sheet  here. If you are not able to join us, we hope you will continue to pray with us wherever you are.

Dates for 2021 

4 February, 4 March, 1 April, 6 May, 3 June, 1 July, not in August, 2 September, 7 October, 4 November, 2 December. 


Cleaning Angels

The monthly sessions on the first Thursday of the month from 13.30-15.30 including tea and cake.- with the current lockdown 

Cleaning Angels is suspended until further notice. 
Dates in 2021

4 February, 4 March, 1 April, 6 May, 3 June, 1 July, not in August, 2 September, 7 October, 4 November, 2 December. 


2021 Dates of PCC meetings in church at 19.30 

25 January
16 February – Shrove Tuesday Supper*
23 March
w/b 3-May Supper*
22 June

* in the Rectory at 7.30pm


APCM Sunday 25th. April 2020 incl. PCC Meeting 


Parish Office Opening Hours

Mon-Fri 11.00-16.00

Tel: 020 7638 1997

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