Category Archives: News

Our New Area Dean

The Revd Alex Barrow, from All Saints’, East Sheen, was commissioned as the new Area Dean of Richmond and Barnes by Bishop Richard, via a Zoom service on Sunday 5th July. Please pray for Father Alex as he takes on this role. Our thanks go to Revd Peter Hart, the outgoing Area Dean, as he leaves the area soon to take up a new post in the Diocese of Worcester.

Reading: John 20, 24-29
But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord.’ But he said to them, ‘Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.’

A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’ Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.’ Thomas answered him, ‘My Lord and my God!’ Jesus said to him, ‘Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.’

Reflection from Bishop Richard
The Gospel reading comes from that set for St Thomas’s day, which was last Friday, 3 July. It’s always been a favourite of mine, partly because I was ordained as a priest on St Thomas’s day in 1988 in Newcastle Cathedral, but mainly because it speaks to me of the importance of a questioning and enquiring faith. Many people identify strongly with St Thomas in this regard. I have always found that engaging with the deep and often challenging questions which arise in both life and faith leads paradoxically not to a crippling doubt, but to a deeper faith and trust in God’s love. This was certainly the experience of Thomas in these few verses from John chapter 20. He moves from a position of finding it almost impossible to believe in the resurrection to the moment when he addresses Jesus as “my Lord and my God”. Prof Christopher Evans, who taught me New Testament in my ordination training, described this as the highest Christology in the New Testament. Thomas really did see the significance and importance of Christ after asking his searching and enquiring questions.

The context of our world today is certainly challenging and complex. It is deeply secularised in our part of the world. Around half of our contemporaries in this country self-describe as having no religion. There are many different major faiths and worldviews. Most people are disconnected from the Christian faith and the life of the Church.

The pandemic has exposed many fragilities in our self-confident modern world. Many of our assumptions about how things work have been shattered and we have been forced to consider what really matters in our lives, including consideration of our deep values and beliefs.

Those who are ordained in the Church of England or move to a new ministry are reminded of the importance of proclaiming the Gospel afresh in each generation. The time we are going through now with the pandemic has shaken our world to its core, and arguably in the short space of a few months we have moved into a new generation. There is undoubtedly a renewed interest in spirituality, a deeper appreciation of our connectivity with each other and with the planet, a new urgency about working for economic, racial and environmental justice. If the church is to connect with our current emerging generation we need to find the right language and the right actions in which to proclaim the good news of God’s self-giving saving love, and the hope that it brings to every situation.

As we rethink and reimagine both our world and the Church’s part in God’s mission, I believe the role of deaneries is more important than ever. The deanery structure is playing a very important part in our response to the pandemic. The archdeacons in the Kingston Episcopal area have had regular meetings by zoom with the area deans and assistant area deans and these have been vital in not only steering us through and supporting one another, but also beginning to imagine how things might be in the future. I have been very impressed and encouraged when I have joined these conversations. As we move through the process of beginning to open up our churches I would draw your attention to the pastoral letter from the bishops of our diocese, which was read today in our churches. In particular, the part which encouraged deanery coordination as we think through how to open up in a manageable and safe way.

Looking to the future deaneries can play an even more important role across their areas in combined action such as in the many food banks which serve our communities, links to the civic authorities and major charities which operate across the deanery, relationships with other churches and faith groups, and links to major institutions such as our secondary schools, and in the Richmond and Barnes deanery the globally important work of Kew Gardens relating to the environment, biodiversity and climate change.

I am very grateful to Peter Hart for all that he has done in recent years as area Dean and as ecumenical Borough dean, and we all wish him well as he moves onto his new ministry in Worcester. I am grateful too, to Marian Mollett for all her vital work as Lay Chair. We now thank Alex for his willingness to serve as area Dean in the years to come and we pray for him in this ministry that the deanery may play its full part in the emerging patterns of God’s mission across the Richmond and Barnes deanery.

+Richard Kingston

Our Churches are Open!

Churches are now allowed to open to the public for private prayer and reflection and for services. 

These services will be different from normal in so many ways. There will be social distancing in place and a whole host of other measures to ensure that the congregation and clergy remain safe.  Some of the Churches in the deanery will be able to cope easily with these measures some may not.

The Archdeacons of our Diocese, have written to clergy and
churchwardens this week and said:
The re-opening of churches is permission and not compulsion… So we say to you, please allow yourselves adequate time to prepare for a resumption of public worship. 

Not every church needs to recommence public worship before the summer. We might see public worship only partially restored before the autumn.

Please keep revisiting this page for details of when our Churches are opening for worship.

St Michael and All Angels, Barnes

Mid-week services also resume and may be especially appropriate for those who would prefer smaller gatherings than on Sunday:
9.00am Morning Prayer every day (except Friday)
Noon Mass on Wednesday
9.30am Mass on Saturday. 

The church is open every day (except Friday) from 8.45am until dusk for personal prayer.

St Mary, Barnes

Public worship resumes from 5th July with the following services on Sundays:
8am Holy Communion (BCP)
10am Parish Eucharist
11.30am Parish Eucharist

6pm Evensong 
To manage numbers, please email office@stmarybarnes.org or call 020 8741 5422 if you plan to come.

The Church is usually open for private prayer 9am-5pm each day.

All Saints, East Sheen

8am Eucharist resumes from 12th July.
10am Eucharist resumes from 5th July. This service will be live-streamed on Facebook
12 noon Eucharist resumes from 12th July.

Zoom services will continue as follows:
6pm on Weekdays Evensong
10am on Thursdays Morning Worship

The Church is for private prayer open 10am – 5:30pm, Monday to Saturday and 12noon – 5:30pm on Sundays.

St Mary the Virgin, Mortlake

10am Eucharist resumes from 5th July.

The Church is for private prayer open from 12 noon to 2pm each weekday.

Christ Church, East Sheen

The Church is also open for private prayer 2pm – 4pm every day.

Some pictures from the first day of opening at Christ Church, East Sheen

St Philip and All Saints with St Luke’s, Kew

Services will resume from 19th July as follows:
9:30am Sundays at St Philip and All Saints
10am Thursdays at St Luke’s

St Luke’s is open for private prayer 10am-11am on Thursday 16th July

St Anne’s, Kew

10am Eucharist resumes from 5th July. This will also be live-streamed via Facebook. Seating capacity is limited to 60 so you are asked to apply to come to church by emailing the parish office at saintannekew@gmail.com giving the full contact details for yourself and members of your household who will be attending.

The Church is open for private prayer Monday to Friday between 10 and 11am.

Richmond Team Ministry

Services will resume from 19th July as follows:
9:30am St Mary Magdalene
9:30am St Matthias
11am St John the Divine

The Churches in the Richmond team ministry are open for private prayer as follows
Saturday 11 July
St John the Divine 10am – 12noon
St Mary Magdalene 10am – 12noon
St Matthias 10am – 12noon
Sunday 12 July
St Matthias 2pm – 4pm
St Mary Magdalene 2pm – 4pm
Tuesday 14 July
St John the Divine 9:30am-12:30pm

St Peter’s, Petersham

Sunday services will resume from 5th July as follows:
8am Holy Communion (BCP)
9:30am Parish Communion
Recorded Sunday services will be made available to view on YouTube in July and August.

St Richard’s Ham

is open for private prayer every Sunday between 10 and 11.30am.

Holy Trinity Richmond Celebrates 150 Years

A Whole Year of Celebration!

Keith Nurse writes in the latest edition of the Cornerstone:
The first Service at HTR took place on 18 June 1870, so this year is our 150th anniversary! Our plan was to have our main celebration on 20 June, the nearest Saturday to this, although it now seems likely that we will need to change this. The idea was to have a church morning together followed by lunch, and in the afternoon the Bishop of Southwark, Christopher Chessun, would join us for a Service of Thanksgiving followed by tea. We were also hoping to arrange other special events during 2020, which we will keep under review as the year unfolds.

The 28 August 1869 edition of the Surrey Comet reports on the laying of the Foundation Stone of our church on 26 August by Princess Mary Adelaide of Teck, a granddaughter of George III, grandmother of Edward VIII and George VI and great grandmother of Elizabeth II. The report explains that towards the end of 1868 “… a number of persons, feeling
the need of more Church accommodation in St John’s parish, owing to the great increase of population, consulted together and formed a committee for the purpose of promoting the building of a new district
Church, to be called the Church of the Holy Trinity.” The committee made its first appeal for subscriptions in November 1868, so it’s remarkable that the first Service took place little more than 18 months later!

The report describes in some detail the physical plans for the church and the funding needed, as well as the laying of the Foundation Stone, an event attended by some 2,000 people that ended in interesting fashion! – “The Princess had hardly left the place before several men – the attention
of the police and of the committee being temporarily diverted – commenced, in a very rough manner, pulling the festoons and wreaths to pieces, in order to secure the flowers of which they were partly composed. Probably it was done for the purpose of securing something, however frail, as mementos of the occasion, but it might have been done in a more becoming manner.”

The 150th Anniversary Celebration service can be viewed here.

Unfortunately the Coronavirus pandemic put a stop to the events that had been planned for the anniversary weekend. Rather than seeing this as a negative, Holy Trinity have decided that instead they will have a whole year of celebration, culminating in a big celebration on Trinity Sunday 2021. In that year Holy Trinity will not only have events but also some challenges the first of which challenges you to come up with 150 things to be thankful for over the next year.

Check back here for more events and challenges as they happen.

Reaching Out Beyond Social Media

Daily Hope Phone Line from the Church of England

Daily Hope offers music, prayers and reflections as well as full worship services from the Church of England at the end of a telephone line.
 

The line – which is available 24 hours a day on 0800 804 8044 – has been set up particularly with those unable to join online church services during the period of restrictions in mind.

Visit www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-parishes/daily-hope-phone-line

The service will continue as lockdown eases to support those who will find it difficult to return to Church.

 Justin Welby said: “Daily Hope has been a lifeline for tens of thousands of people in the last few months. We’ve heard stories of people using it who are regular church attenders and those who aren’t. That’s a testimony to the vital importance of Daily Hope.

“I have been praying for those who have used the phone line, and written to us, that God would bring them comfort, not just at this time but in the weeks and months which follow.The Church will continue to look to serve older people, and those who can’t easily get out to a church building. I look forward to seeing how Daily Hope can go from strength to strength as lockdown restrictions are eased.”

Dial-a-Sermon from St Luke’s and St Philip’s, Kew

St Luke’s and the Barn Church, Kew have set up a phone line for parishioners to ring in and listen to the weekly sermon if they don’t have access to the internet.

Read https://bryonytaylor.com/2020/04/21/creating-a-dial-a-sermon-system-for-those-not-online/  to find out more.  (If you decide to do the same please click here to set up your Twilio account. It will give St Luke’s and you $10 free credit.)

Rev James Hutchings from St Mary Barnes delivering parish news to those without email.
There are ways of belonging to a worshipping community at this time that do not rely on a broadband connection, writes Lorraine Cavanagh in the Church Times. Click here to read full article.

Update from Kingston Hospital Chaplaincy

I am afraid I can only offer an update from a distance because I am working from home as an assistant chaplain at Kingston Hospital.  In happier days I work on site for 20 hours a week – my main responsibilities being the coordination of the “on call” chaplains and the chaplaincy volunteers as well as covering and supporting the lead chaplain in planning, teaching, strategy etc.  I focus particularly on bereavement and supporting those at the end of life.

Fortunately, the Chaplaincy has 3 younger chaplains who are maintaining on “on-site” presence every day and the five “on call” who cover the nights do this by telephone – as you can imagine this is really quite challenging.

Kingston Hospital were very quick at responding to this pandemic and in the early weeks of lockdown the Hospital was very much geared to the Covid situation.  This involved teams of doctors, nurses and support staff needing PPE much of the time and working round the clock to care for those who were affected by the virus.  This was really gruelling work.  There was a need to keep the footfall of the Hospital at a minimum to prevent the further transmission of the virus.  Some departments were closed down and staff either worked from home (and over the telephone) or were transferred to the areas that needed more staff.  My “on site” colleagues spent time in their PPE in intensive care or Covid wards.

Kingston was part of the South West London region – where there was significant combined planning and communication.  The Chief Executive gave a daily bulletin on video and often had videoed conversations with key people throughout the Hospital.  This was an excellent way of keeping in touch with everyone and allowing people to feel really connected.  The boroughs of Kingston and Richmond accounted for far fewer deaths and infected patients than the other areas in the South west region.

At present there are very few patients in Intensive Care and the other wards are moving back towards their original specialisms and the Emergency Department which saw a huge slump in attendance is now have a more normal attendance.  It is also now possible in some circumstances for a relative to be allowed on the ward to visit a family member at the end of life – often with the support of chaplaincy and followed up by the “on call” chaplains.  We have managed to produce a monthly newsletter and regular phone calls to keep connected to our volunteers and we have been involved in a variety of funerals, with all the challenges and constraints that need to be in place.

Along with a huge number of other people I have felt very unsettled over the last weeks and finding working from home very difficult.  I need to pay tribute to all the front line staff (chaplaincy included) who have worked fearlessly, professionally and compassionately over this pandemic and also to thank my colleagues who are working from home as well and all those in our families and communities who pray regularly for all our Hospitals and Care Homes.  Kingston Hospital will remain on full alert for several more weeks but there is a gradual move back to the normal life of the hospital and there is an attempt to begin to face the backlog of thousands of missed operations and appointments.

But everyone has to really vigilant.  It is very probable that with the necessity of social distancing I may not be back on-site til 2021 – there is no going backwards – much has been learnt about infection control – and how hospital staff can reform to face the complexities of a very dangerous virus which affects us all.  I hope to update you again in a few months.

I hope you all remain well and in good spirits – please keep Kingston Hospital in your thoughts and prayers

The Revd Judith Roberts, Kingston Hospital chaplain and Associate priest at St. Michael’s Barnes

Coronavirus

our Area Dean writes:

This current situation is serious, and I am sure that we are all responding as best we can, locally. Let’s be faithful in prayer for each other, and share across the deanery our joys and our sorrows.

Let’s use the media at our disposal to share our prayers, our concerns and our good practice. And let us rejoice in our God who loves eternally, heals and comforts our bodies and our souls and sends his Spirit to inspire in us creative and practical ways to demonstrate her presence in the world.

However we worship and pray together over the coming weeks and months, we start with the recognition that God is with us and binding us together, wherever we are, whatever we are doing, and whatever is going on.  Christ’s Church will continue to gather, and Christ’s love will be shown in acts of generosity and care to those who live around us.

Our Deanery Chapter is still meeting regularly via Zoom!

Say the Lord’s Prayer Twice Daily

It is so important in these difficult times that we are there to offer hope in the face of fear. As we hold onto hope whilst facing reality, I want to invite you to pray together for our nation and for all those affected by the coronavirus at 1pm each day. Please pause in whatever you are doing and say the Lord’s Prayer and again at 7pm. Where it is safe to do so perhaps you could light a candle in your window each evening as a symbol of Christ’s light in our world at this dark time.
The Bishop of Southwark, Rt Revd Christopher Chessun

Click here for some liturgy and prayer resources from the Church of England.

Children’s Worship Online Across the Deanery

Online Resources to Help You and Your Children Worship at Home

Visit www.going4growth.com for lots of ideas to help your children spritually
Visit www.messychurch.org.uk/resource/worship-fun-family-prayer-time for a Messy Service at home
Visit www.facebook.com/messychurchBRF for regular live Messy Church
Visit https://www.diddydisciples.org/thechurchathome for worship and storytelling resources for babies, toddlers and young children.
Click here for free resources for families to worship at home (no need to subscribe).

Junior Church Online at St Anne’s Kew

St Anne’s have recognised that school closures, restrictions on travel and new work patterns will be causing real challenges for those who care for children. Wanting to support families, St Anne’s are aiming to provide Junior Church online! The new Junior Church YouTube Channel will share a Bible story, message, activity and prayer each week for families to watch together. Participating families can sign up for an email containing a suggested activity or two, along with the link to the week’s teaching.

They are also using Zoom to get the KS2 kids together for a chat and getting the parents together too.

Contact Emily Norman (emilynorman.re@gmail.com) to find out more and see above for her introductory video.

Singing God’s Praises at St Luke’s, Kew

The children of St Luke’s are still enjoying their regular singing sessions with Mary Noyes (St Luke’s Musical Director). See below for one of her songs and visit www.stlukeskew.org/sing-your-praises for more.

Sing along with Mary to Lord of the Dance!

Visit www.stlukeskew.org/childrens-activities for a weekly activity sheet based on Sunday’s lesson. St Luke’s children are meeting via Zoom every Sunday at 10am.

Virtual Junior Church at the Barn Church, Kew

Children at the Barn Church are still gathering for Junior Church via Zoom at 10am every Sunday. They are saying hello, creating a prayer then finishing with coffee and biscuits.

Sunday Activities from Holy Trinity, Richmond

As part of the Sunday’s Worship at Home, Holy Trinity are producing a weekly children’s activity sheet (click here). Also click here for some more resources for children’s worship at home.

L.O.C.K.D.O.W.N.
is a time to:-
L-isten to God’s voice and reflect. 
O-bey His word and His teachings.
C-all on Jesus name and be calmed.
K-now what is the purpose of all this.
D-well in His presence. Do not panic.
O-ffer a prayer for everyone’s safety.
W-ait and be patient. This too shall passover.
N-uture our personal relationship with Him.

Family Home Worship from St Mary the Virgin, Mortlake

Visit stmarymortlake.org.uk/for-families for some worship ideas for children.

Online Junior Church from Richmond Team Ministry

Click here for the Richmond Team Ministry Junior Church YouTube channel with youth worker, Helen Williams. Email helen.williams@richmondteamministry.org for more details and visit www.richmondteamministry.org/youth.

Eaglets Toddler Group continues via Zoom

The Eaglets group at St John the Divine, Richmond continues with a live session by Zoom every Tuesday afternoon at 3:30pm.
All adults with babies and toddlers are welcome to joi for a  Bible story, songs and rhymes.
Email helen.williams@richmondteamministry.org if you would like to take part.

Virtual Youth Group and Sunday Club at St Peter’s, Petersham

A Reflection on Faith from St Michael and All Angels, Barnes

Recorded as part of as part of the Diocese of Southwark’s series of Pentecost videos,