In 2010 a group of residents from the Rockingham Estate in South East London engaged in a process called ‘Conversations for the Soul’. The women who took part, from Christian, Muslim and Buddhist backgrounds, found there was much they wanted to discuss together. They began to develop trusting friendships in which they were able to discuss their approaches to life. At the end of the process they decided to keep their friendship group going, continuing and broadening the range of activities.... Read more
In a guest blog, we hear from Revd Dr Gregory Platten about the growing relationship between faith groups in a north London suburb...
In my early months as Vicar of All Saints, Friern Barnet, I was approached by our neighbours at the Sha’arei Tsedek Synagogue to take part in Mitzvah Day, along with friends from the Muslim Community and Education Centre (MCEC) in Palmer’s Green. Mitzvah Day (Hebrew for command) is a Jewish day of social action and outreach, but it has branched... Read more
Until 2017 the month of Ramadan will fall in the summer months, during long day light hours, the exam season and the school term. What few non-Muslims appreciate is that Ramadan is not just about going without food and drink. Gathering for Maghrib prayers as the sun sets and iftar, breaking the fast, is not the end of devotions. Many Muslims will also gather for further night prayers, Tarawih. This means that activities in a mosque may not end until midnight or even one in the morning.... Read more
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby travelled to Southall this week and visited a Church, a Hindu temple, a Gurdwara and a Mosque. He witnessed presentations about inter religious work given by the community, and plans to found a new inter religious centre on the site of the old St John’s Church.
In his speech, Archbishop Justin stated: “Diversity is a gift, not a threat; it is a hope, not a danger. The kind of country I want to live in has as one of its best examples what... Read more
Earlier in 2013 PEN hosted an afternoon around the 2011 census data; what it does and doesn't tell us and what to do with the information. We are very grateful to Louise McFerran from the Church of England's Research and Statistics Department who gave of her time and experise. For those who weren't able to attend here are the key points:
• Understanding the community we serve is key to ministry and mission; it requires a mixture of observation and background research.
•... Read more
At the end of the nineteenth century the Victorians built a huge brick church building as a daughter church to the twelfth century Norman chapel of St Mary in Little Ilford (Manor Park). The new church did well for over fifty years, surviving the war, but declining numbers and the physical deterioration of the building meant continued use of the old St Michael’s was no longer viable. The bold decision was taken to close and demolish this building.
The Froud Centre is built on the site... Read more
By Rt Revd Dr Michael Ipgrave, Bishop of Woolwich
It is amazing to think what and who we have gathered under roof of this historic parish church – a church over six hundred years in its history, a history which keeps changing. What does not change, though is that as a parish church this is for all the people of the parish; so it is good to have Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist contributions, worship led by members of different Christian churches, and people of every... Read more
The clearing up process continues and the comment becomes more reflective. There are also more stories of how churches and individuals responded across Greater London.
The Bishop of Barking noted "As well as being shocking the events of this past fortnight has also been inspiring and heart-warming. I refer to the instinctive response of the majority of the population who have demonstrated kindness, generosity and voluntary service to their stricken communities. It has been evident... Read more
In the midst of the violence and destruction of the past few nights, London's churches have been places of comfort, prayer and hope. It is at moments like these that the church's local presence and engagement is most severely tested. It has borne striking fruit. Here are just a few of the stories from parishes on the front line:
PROPOSED TWINNING BETWEEN ST PETER-ad-VINCULA COGGESHALL, ESSEX and EMMANUEL FOREST GATE, LONDON
1. To promote friendship and improve mutual understanding between a small rural North Essex market town Parish and an urban, multi-ethnic and multi-faith East London Parish, both within the Diocese of Chelmsford.
2. To develop a training resource as a ‘good practice’ model in the wider diocese.
1. To provide an opportunity for Emmanuel parishioners... Read more