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Prayers and Reflections

When I was a little girl I loved the anticipation and excitement of Advent, most of all the daily early morning ritual of opening a new window in my Advent calendar. Every day before breakfast a new picture would present itself, perhaps a cheery robin or a shopping basket full of goodies, a snowflake or a toy trumpet, a tree bauble or a Christmas pudding, each image building up a picture of the celebrations to come on Christmas Day. The final window was the most exciting of all, usually large double doors in the centre of the calendar which opened to reveal a glorious nativity scene, Mary and Joseph with the new baby Jesus tucked up in the manger, surrounded by angels and farm animals and surprised shepherds. And not a chocolate in sight! As I grew older and started secondary school I decided to leave the Advent calendar behind and light an Advent candle instead. Each evening before bed I would sit quietly watching the flickering flame burn down towards a new day, an early and accidental introduction to meditation and ‘being present in the moment’. There is something very stilling about candle light especially in the gloom of a December evening, it’s warm, soothing glow falling like a soft blanket over the day just gone. I still light a candle to mark my journey though Advent, its light illuminating my hopes, soothing my fears and bringing Christ’s promises to the fore as I look forward with renewed anticipation and excitement to life beyond Covid 19.

So many people are already ahead with their Christmas decorations, with trees up and lights on, meeting an understandable need to bring some cheer in to what has been a dark and difficult year. But hope is in sight, and with the promise of a vaccine on the horizon, Advent this year has the potential to resonate more deeply than usual. The current lockdown is almost at an end, and the temptation to get ahead, to busily catch up with all we’ve missed, will be great; no doubt there will be shopping to do and preparations to be made for those longed for family reunions. But if we can just stop for a moment each day, light a candle and pause to reflect and ponder and be soothed by the light, we may notice the signs of Christ’s coming with greater clarity. As we anticipate the promise of vaccination in the new year we can hear afresh those comforting Advent words of the prophet Isaiah: “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness – on them light has shined.” Christ our Redeemer is on his way, risen with healing in his wings, and we have so much to be thankful for. There is finally a light at the end of the very long tunnel which has been 2020, and we look forward now with great anticipation and with hope-filled longing to a new dawn and the coming joy and peace of Christ’s new birth. With every blessing for a happy, holy and light-filled Advent.

We continue our prayers for all of you.

Rev Anne Crawford

Click here to read previous meditations and reflections.

Advent and Christmas Services around the Deanery

Services for Advent Sunday are below. Keep checking back for details of Christmas services around the Deanery.

Advent Sunday, 29th November
4pm Advent Carols from St Michael and All Angels
– Advent Evening Prayer via Zoom including pre-recorded music from St Michael’s choir. Email admin@stmichaelbarnes.org to join.
6:30pm Advent Carol Service from All Saints, East Sheen – streamed live on Facebook
6:30pm Advent Carol Service from St Anne’s, Kew –  streamed live on Facebook. The service will explore through music, anthems, antiphons and readings the great Advent theme of longing for light. Music by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, Josquin des Préz, Orlando Gibbons and James MacMillan will intersperse the readings and prayers. 
6:30pm Service of Music and Readings for Advent from Richmond Team Ministry – streamed live via  the St Mary Magdalene Facebook page.  Music by McDowell, Joubert, Bach and Knight Click here for the Order of Service.
6pm Southwark Cathedral Advent Procession – All are welcome to join this special service online to mark the beginning of the season of Advent. The Cathedral Lay Clerks will lead everyone from darkness to light, in the candlelit Cathedral as we celebrate the biblical figures heralding the birth of the Messiah. Click here.

Sunday 6th December
5pm Advent Music and Readings by Candlelight at St Luke’s, Kew – join this traditional Advent service in person or via Facebook.

Click here for Christmas Services from Holy Trinity, Richmond.

Click here for Christmas Services from St Anne’s Kew.


We are delighted to be holding an Open Meeting with Lucy Abraham from Glass Door on Thursday, 26th November at 6:30pm via Zoom. Lucy will be talking about the current situation for rough sleepers locally, Glass Door’s intended response in line with the Covid related restrictions and the support that churches and individuals can give to Glass Door. The session will last for an hour with an opportunity for questions.

Please email deanerysynod@gmail.com for the Zoom link.

Advent Talks, Discussion Groups and Trails around the Deanery

Liturgy of the Ordinary from St Michael and All Angels, Barnes

This year, St Michael and All Angels has an Advent theme of prayer and spirituality at home, inspired by the amount of time we have all had to spend at home this year.
Rev Stephen Stavrou writes:
“Our sermons, books and discussion groups seek to help us connect our faith with the daily practice of living. To see the sacred in the secular and secular in the sacred.”

They recommend two books for Advent reading (see below) and will be holding Advent book groups via Zoom. Please email admin@stmichaelbarnes.org if your are interested in joining.

Advent Journey from Christ Church, East Sheen

Each day during Advent receive by email a daily reflection based on an image poem or text, following the themes of change, uncertainty, light and hope. Each day there will be a simple activity or craft. Please email russenbergerjudith@gmail.com if you wish to take part.

Advent Talks from All Saints, East Sheen

This year All Saints, East Sheen are looking at the Nativity and Person of Jesus – what the Gospels say about his birth, what Jesus says about himself, and why these things matter to our faith. There will be a bit of preparatory thinking for each session.
The talks will be at 8.00 p.m. on Tuesdays 24th November and 1st, 8th, and 15th December. Please email alexbarrow1@gmail.com for the link to the Zoom meeting.

Advent Meditations from Richmond Team Ministry

Each Wednesday during Advent clergy from Richmond Team Ministry will each lead a short reflection on the theme of Advent, which is
concluded by saying Compline together. Click here for the order of service for Compline.

The reflections will be at 7.30 p.m. on Wednesdays 2nd, 9th, 16th and 23rd December. Click here to contact Richmond Team Ministry for the meeting link..

Advent Book List from Richmond Team Ministry

The Richmond Team Ministry clergy have put together a short recommended Advent booklist.
Prayer, Where to Start and How to Keep Going by Stephen Cottrell
No one ever becomes an expert in prayer, but this little book sets out to help become more open to God’s presence, which is the heart of prayer.
Let it Slow, an Advent Calendar with a Difference by Stephen Cottrell
Christmas can be one of the most joyful but stressful times of year. This guide offers another way to approach December.
Heaven in Ordinary, a Poet’s Corner Collection by Malcolm Guite Everyday events and encounters, landscapes and poetry, stories, memory and a sense of the sacred: the musings of a poet’s mind
Frequencies of God, Walking through Advent with R.S. Thomas by Carys Walsh
28 reflections on Thomas’s poetry as a guide for this season, exploring themes of waiting, accepting, journeying and birthing.

Christmas Trails

Look our for Christmas windows and displays in homes around Richmond, Mortlake and Ham as Churches encourage us to display the joy of Christmas. Holy Trinity, Richmond are even having a competition (click here)!

Mission Advent Calendar from Holy Trinity, Richmond

During Advent Holy Trinity, Richmond are highlighting the various aspects of mission they support. Every day they will highlight a person or organisation they are connected with, and a new one will be revealed each day. Click here daily to find encouragements for your faith and ways to pray for mission during Advent.

Online Advent Calendar

Online Advent Calendar produced by a group of clergy gives a daily
reflection, a reading, pieces of art and music for each day during Advent, starting Sunday 29th November. Good for the soul and easier on the waistline!

Lockdown Pictures and Bells

Daily Bell at St Mary Magdalene, Mortlake

A single bell has been rung at St Mary Magdalene, at 6 o’clock each evening since the beginning of the current lockdown.

On All Saints Day, the Archbishops wrote to all the clergy in the Church of England. In this letter, they stated their conviction that the first and primary response of the Church at this time was prayer.
“Bearing in mind our primary vocation as the Church of Jesus Chris is to pray and to serve, we call upon the Church of England to make this
month of lockdown a month of prayer. More than anything else, whatever the nation thinks, we know that we are in the faithful hands of the risen Christ who knows our weaknesses, tiredness and struggles and whose steadfast love endures for ever.

The Archbishops, in consultation with the House of Bishops, decided that this call would take the form of an invitation to every Christian
and person of goodwill to pray at 6 pm every day, beginning on Thursday 5 November for the period of this present lock-down.

In order to stimulate this time of prayer, where it is possible, churches are encouraged to ring a single bell at 6 pm.

Daily Lockdown Pictures from St Mary the Virgin, Mortlake

Lockdown day 8

St Mary the Virgin, Mortlake is posting daily pictures of the local area on Facebook and Twitter.

Worship is Online Again but our Churches are Open

Churches across the deanery are again saying morning prayers and celebrating the Eucharist behind closed doors but churches are still open for private prayer and reflection. See below for service and opening times.

Rev Anne Crawford from Richmond Team Ministry writes:
“We feel bereft that we cannot come together and take bread in to our hands and remember in ways which strengthen us, inspire us and comfort us, especially when life is difficult and we are fearful. But we have been this way before, and we learned a lot about what it means to be the Body of Christ when we cannot gather physically together, and we can be re-assured that God will be with us and will make his presence felt as we navigate our way forward and do our best to care for each other and for those who look to the Church for help, support and

Holy Trinity Barnes

Visit htbarnes.org at 10am and 6pm on Sundays or click here if you miss the service.

St Michael and All Angels, Barnes

Sunday – Sung Mass 10.00am Facebook and You Tube
Monday – Morning Prayer 9.00am Zoom
Tuesday – Morning Prayer 9.00am Zoom
Morning Prayer 9.00am Zoom
Mass 12.00pm Facebook and YouTube
Thursday – Morning Prayer 9.00am Zoom
Morning Prayer 9.00am Zoom
Mass 9.30am Facebook and YouTube

Email admin@stmichaelbarnes.org to join Morning Prayer via Zoom

St Mary, Barnes

Click here for morning prayers and Sunday services –
8am Holy Communion (Book of Common Prayer), 10am Parish Eucharist: , 6pm Evensong. The church is open 9:30am-4pm daily and Rev James Hutchings will be in the church around midday each day (except Friday)

Holy Trinity, Richmond

Click here to join Holy Trinity, Richmond 10am every Sunday .

St Anne, Kew

Click here to join St Anne’s, Kew 10am every Sunday. Join St Anne’s for Morning Prayer via Zoom at 8:45am every day except Sunday (email nigel.worn@gmail.com).

St Richard, Ham

Click here for Sunday Sermons from Rev Simon Coupland and regular reflections from Rev Sarah Atkins. The church will be open for private prayer on Sunday mornings between 10 and 11.30 am, with social distancing. Pictures, prayers and Bible verses on the screen aid in quiet reflection with a 20-minute rolling programme.

Christ Church East Sheen

Click here for weekly Sunday videos. The Church is open for private prayer 2-4pm every day and additionally 10am-12noon on Sundays.

All Saints East Sheen

Click here for 10am Eucharist on Sunday mornings. Evensong at 6pm on weekdays and Morning Worship on Thursdays at 10am continue on Zoom. Email alexbarrow1@gmail.com if you wish to join.

St Mary the Virgin, Mortlake

Click here to join live worship, 10am each Sunday. The church is open for private prayer 12 noon to 2pm each weekday.

Richmond Team Ministry

Live streamed service on www.facebook.com/StJohntheDivineRTM 10am each Sunday. Visit www.richmondteamministry.org/messages for links to virtual services, sermons, thoughts and other useful resources. There is morning prayer from Monday to Thursday via Zoom email admin@richmondteamministry.org.
Churches in Richmond Team Ministry will be open for private prayer and reflection as follows
St John the Divine will be open on:
Tuesdays, 9.30am – 12.30pm
Saturdays, 10.00am – 12.00noon and
Sundays, 9.30am – 10.30am
St Mary Magdalene will be open on:
Wednesdays, 9.30am – 11.00am
Saturdays, 10.00am – 12.00noon
Sunday 8 November 8.00am – 11.30am,
Sunday 15 November 8.00am – 9.30am.
St Matthias will be open on:
Saturdays, 10.00am – 12.00noon.

St Luke’s and the Barn Church, Kew

Visit www.stlukeskew.org/sermons and www.stlukeskew.org/prayers for weekly sermons and intercessions. St Lukes, Kew is open 11-11:30am each Sunday for private prayer. Visit www.facebook.com/stlukeskew each Sunday 11am for “Prayer Half Hour” with ogran music. St Philip and All Saints is open 9:30-10am each Sunday for private prayer.

St Peter’s, Petersham

St Peter’s is open for private prayer each 9:30am-12 noon each Sunday.

The Church of England

Click here to watch weekly online services from the Church of England

Sunday Services from the Bishop of Southwark’s Chapel and Southwark Cathedral

From Sunday 8 November Bishop Christopher will be streaming a Eucharist from his Chapel at Bishop’s House at 9.30am.  It can be found on the Diocesan Facebook and YouTube feeds and on Bishop Christopher’s Twitter feed

Southwark Cathedral will continue to stream Morning Prayer from the Cathedral each day at 9am.  Night Prayer will continue to  be streamed at 8pm Monday to Saturday and at 6pm on Sunday.  The Sunday Eucharist will be streamed at 11am.   These can all be found on the Cathedral website and the Cathedral Facebook and YouTube channels. 

Live Streamed Services Bible Studies and Prayer Meetings from around the Country

Visit AChurchNearYou to find local churches who are live streaming services, Bible studies, prayer meetings

Remembrance Sunday Across the Deanery

Although public worship was not allowed on Remembrance Sunday, churches across the deanery remembered the fallen and gave thanks for their sacrifice with Acts of Remembrance outdoors and private prayers inside church.

Glassdoor Across the Deanery

Glass Door Meal Service Starts – 9 November 2020

Click here to donate to Glass Door

Homeless charity Glass Door usually operates a circuit of homeless night shelters in Richmond & Twickenham, including at St John the Divine and St Matthias, Richmond and Christ Church and All Saints, East Sheen. Due to COVID-19 the communal shelters cannot be operated this year so instead, to offer some form of support and respite, a 7-night a week hot food service will operate from the Vineyard Richmond from Monday 9 November until April. Guests will be able to access a hot meal, somewhere to warm up for a few hours and practical support from the Glass Door case workers.

As the night shelter network stopped back in March, we now need help in spreading the word to those who could benefit from the service. If you see someone regularly sleeping rough in your neighbourhood we’d really appreciate it if you could print and share this leaflet to let them know the service is available. Glass Door is an amazing charity and alongside the emergency services like the food services they have a fantastic record of helping people into long term accommodation.

Click here to read more about Glass Door’s plans for the winter 20/21.

Click above picture to find out how to join in this year’s Sleep Out (or In) appeal.

Rev James Hutchings is Sleeping Out in October

Rev James writes:
“Glass Door do brilliant work, I’m so blessed to have a roof over my head, and I’d like others to have the same chance. So, on 2 October 2020, I will be joining Glass Door Homeless Charity’s Sleep Out to bring shelter and support to men and women affected by homelessness.

I’m raising money for Glass Door because I know they are doing good work to support and shelter those in our community who are at an absolute crisis point. Glass Door welcomes everyone as their guest, giving them some stability before helping them make the necessary steps and move off the streets for good.

While running winter night shelter in a shared space may not be possible, Glass Door is committed to finding ways to ensure that individuals in need can find safe shelter, a hot meal and a warm welcome.”

Click here if you would like to sponsor him.

It’s not too late to take part yourself, either sleeping out at Duke of York Square (still allowed with covid regulations) or in your own garden with a virtual livestream to join in with.

Rev James Hutchings from St Mary’s, Barnes spent the night of 2nd October sleeping on the rectory floor instead of the usual gathering in for the Glassdoor annual sleepout in Duke of York Square.  He hoped that even that mild discomfort would sharpen his awareness of of what it must be like to be homeless in London on a night of terrible rain and what it must be to not have a secure place to live.

From Rev Anne Nickson, Richmond Team Ministry – 18th May:

At the beginning of lockdown, as our churches were required to close, we were unable to continue to offer accommodation in our buildings as part of Glass Door’s Winter Night Shelter. Thankfully the government stepped in to work with homeless charities to provide accommodation to protect these most vulnerable people and keep them safe as the crisis deepened. Sadly, this government aided assistance came to an end as lockdown began to ease and as you will be aware the numbers of homeless sleeping rough on our streets is increasing by the day.

This desperate situation will only continue to worsen as we move towards the winter and we obviously are eager to continue to support Glass Door in appropriate ways so that both guests and volunteers stay safe. At the moment – and the situation constantly changes – it seems very unlikely that night shelters as we have offered them in our churches over the last three years will be able to open, but there will be opportunities to support the homeless by working with Glass Door in other ways. Our coordinators are keeping in regular contact with the directors at Glass Door so that when the time is right we can step up and offer the help which is needed.

If you would like to know more about Glass Door then please see their website at www.glassdoor.org.uk

GlassDoor is starting to plan night shelters for the 2020-2021 season – they may not be operating rotating shelters as usual in the Borough of Richmond upon Thames, but are working hard to think about alternatives.

At our January synod meeting we agreed to give £2,000 to Glass Door to support the 2019/20 and 2020/21 seasons of their work in Richmond churches and their letter of thanks is below.

Update From Glassdoor – 23rd March

Shelter guests now all moved to hotels! (Apart from a few guests in the Kensington and Chelsea circuit) Glass Door shelters shut so all guests and volunteers can safely go into self-isolation.

Update From the Vineyard Community Centre – 23rd March

We are pleased to say that the government’s initiative to temporarily home rough sleepers in hotels has been initiated in Richmond and that the higher health risk of the Glassdoor winter nightshelter has now closed.

With others, we will continue to support the needs of this group with food and essentials as they now also have the possibility of staying indoors.

Our borough foodbank service continues and is very likely to increase in demand. We are in touch with our local authority to see how vulnerable groups can best be supported.

Winter 2019-20

The winter night shelters are now open until April 2020. In the Richmond Circuit the following churches will be hosting one night each week:

Sundays at St Marys, Ferry Road,Teddington
Mondays at St Elizabeths, The Vineyard, Richmond
Tuesdays at Vineyard Life Church, The Vineyard, Richmond
Wednesdays at All Saints, East Sheen Avenue, East Sheen
Thursdays at St John the Divine, Kew Road, Richmond
Fridays at Christ Church, Christ Church Road, East Sheen
Saturdays at St Matthias, Friars Stile Road, Richmond

St Michael and All Angels will host one night of the Hammersmith circuit. (A circuit is a group of 7 churches – close together in distance – who open their doors, on the same night every week, from October – April, each year offering the homeless a hot meal and a bed for the night.)

Please prayer for the men and women who will stay at the shelters and for the the volunteers and caseworkers that will help the guests to better lives.

If you would like to volunteer, please contact Megan Preston (megan@glassdoor.org.uk). For enquiries about donations and anything financial, please contact Ian Foster (ian@glassdoor.org.uk).

Individuals looking for shelter will be able to register online, by phone or by dropping into the Vineyard Community Centre. Visit www.glassdoor.org.uk/Pages/Category/shelter for more details.

If you are concerned about someone over the age of 18 that you have seen sleeping rough, you can send an alert via StreetLink who connect people sleeping rough with the local services that can support them.

On Sunday 2nd February, St Mary Magdalene reported:

After the first 60 days of this Glass Door Homeless Charity season, 422 men and 88 women have been helped with a hot meal and a bed for the night – a 20% increase thanks to a 5th circuit.

Since June 2018 caseworkers have worked with 950 individuals and helped 114 into housing and 38 into employment.

Would you be able to provide any of the following for our Glass Door guests (travel size particularly wanted): deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes, face wipes, body wipes, sanitary towels, tampons, lip balm, hand cream, anti-bac gel. Please pop into the baskets at the back of St John’s or St Matthias or them into the Parish Office, Ormond Road. Thank you.

Waitrose have kindly donated oranges which have been made into delicious Marmalade, which went on sale at church this morning with profits going to Glass Door.

The Glass Door team at St John the Divine who opened their doors on 7th November

Our first evening of the new night shelter season with Glass Door. Delicious butternut squash soup, lasagne, red cabbage and peas, lots of donated fresh bread, chocolate crispy cakes made by a local school and cakes made by one of our church families.

We welcomed 20 guests in from the cold, for a hot healthy meal and somewhere safe to sleep. Case workers are on hand to support the guests in their next steps.

Thank you all for showing God’s love in action

All Saints and Christ Church, East Sheen thank Waitrose for their generous contribution towards the costs of the Glass Door night shelters.

Sleep Out 2019

On Friday 4th October more than 320 individuals slept outside at Duke of York Square in Chelsea to raise funds to run the network of local emergency winter shelters for people experiencing homelessness.
They included Rev James Hutchings from St Mary’s, Barnes (right) and our Archdeacon John Kiddle.

The total raised to date has reached over £191,000 – the highest amount raised within a week after the event, which has taken place the first Friday of October every year since 2013. Glass Door is hoping to surpass the £200,000 target before the end of the month.

Winter 2018-19

The winter night shelter project in across the deanery in partnership with GlassDoor was hosted by St Matthias and St John the Divine in Richmond and All Saints and Christ Church in East Sheen. The project has now ended and the shelters are empty…..

The work continues throughout the year click here to find out how NextDoor are looking ahead to next winter.

  1. Glass Door Update to Deanery Synod 5th June 2019
  2. We had 158 guests in our shelters – ⅓ from the UK, ⅓ from the EU and ⅓ from the rest of the world . Guests included 58 women, the highest percentage of the four circuits. However some women would just come for the meal and then go..
  3. 35 people have been rehoused.
  4. Large numbers have been reconnected with benefits and family.
  5. The Glass Door project was mentioned in a recent council meeting. This year the council have been very supportive of the project unlike three years ago.
  6. Issues arising this year that GlassDoor are addressing for next year:
    1. Need to consider disabled access
    2. Need to make closer links with women’s refuges
    3. Training in mental health issues so issues with guests can be spotted. It was noted the police needed training as well as the volunteers.
  7. The Deanery hosted 4 out of the 7 nights in the Richmond circuit and the level of volunteering has been wonderful.

One guest was quoted as saying “I had no home and lost my business but GlassDoor turned my life around”.

As the GlassDoor shelters closed in April, Father Peter Hart asked us to pray…

…for the guests who may have returned to sleeping rough or sofa-surfing.

… for all those who have been rehoused, found work, had their benefits sorted out, put back in contact with family, had their documents restored – a blessing for them.

…for the staff and volunteers at the Vineyard Centre, Richmond as they continue to offer support and practical help throughout the year.

We should also give thanks….

…for the amazing volunteers who have made the winter night shelter project in partnership with GlassDoor possible‏.

…for an amazing community response to the project. Not just from the Churches but from the wider community and local schools.

…five months of welcome, fine food and good company