Mortlake Crematorium has been supporting the local community for 80 years. It marked this occasion with a Full Circle Festival on Saturday 29th June celebrating life. On the hottest day of the year, there were over 40 contributors including local community groups, bereavement charities, hospices and Richmond and Barnes Deanery.
With talks and behind the scenes tours, a chance to pick your funeral hymns, guidance on planning an LGBTQ funeral and plenty of time to sit in the shade and chat, it was an inspirational day. A real community fair that broke down the taboos around death and dying.
St Micheal and All Angels held a Pet Service in the Vicarage Garden on Sunday 16th June to celebrate the animals who share and make our lives special. A total of 51 adults, 38 children, 14 dogs, 2 cats, 2 hamsters and 1 snake were blessed!
How do we model our faith to our children? The children we live with, those we encounter, those we attend church with? What example do they have to follow? How would they know who God is to us, and how this shapes the way we live our everyday lives?
Inspired by these questions and also recognising that the Church’s contact time with children on a Sunday morning is comparatively brief, Richmond Team ministry thought it important to help equip carers and those who have contact with children so that they can support them more confidently – and enjoyably! As a result, they organised a ‘Faith at Home’ workshop on Saturday 18th May.
It was a day for the whole family to attend and experience all sorts of fun, creative and relevant ways of sharing faith and connecting with God. The day itself will comprise two sessions. The morning session had around 20 different ‘stations’ to experience, supported with some explanation and understanding about the ‘what and why’. These stations were for families to do together, but those attending without a family were also able to join in with one. The afternoon session looked at ‘ritual’, through the lens of the Jewish tradition of Shabbat. It used the five elements of; bread, wine, water, light and blessing.
The attendees enjoyed an inspiring and creative day with Victoria Beech of GodVenture. The group began by thinking about their family and used playdough to represent this. They went on to consider the importance and value of Ritual, for all ages, within their own families. They thought about what they could apply to their own worship time, both as individuals and as family, being mindful of being inclusive of all. In the afternoon they looked at a model of faith as; trusting, believing, imagining and doing. They experienced different ways of praying creatively and sharing Bible stories. It was a useful time and one lady commented on how she found that, for her, using fewer words was really ‘freeing’ as she prayed that afternoon and she found it to be quite a revelation. It was a day well spent giving lots to reflect on. Thanks to all who supported, attended and prayed.
St Phillip and All Saints in Kew (the Barn Church) wanted a practical way to spread the word of God that would involve all age groups and the wider community. To this end, they have created a community garden. Young and old within the Barn congregation have worked together planting, digging and watering with benefits to all.
The garden will be formally opened on Sunday 2nd June and will be a place for everyone to rest a while in the shade of God’s love and creation.