Online Service for 5th Sunday of Easter

Date: May 10, 2020

Dear Friends,

Our various services for today can be heard here:

This week we have extra hymns, and sung psalms, for those who like that
sort of thing.

*Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of
God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. And he said, “Behold, I
see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of
God.” *

Tomorrow we shall hear of the martyrdom of St Stephen, but we read this
account in the light of Eastertide. For we are charged to hold the new
light and life of the empty tomb across the weeks of this strange spring
into the celebrations of the Ascension (21st) and Pentecost (31st May).

And tomorrow we can offer our prayers with particular delight because the
Eucharist shall be celebrated at St John’s for the first time since the
22nd March. (How strange that seems!) Whilst you cannot join us in person
as yet, as all the churches in the diocese still remain closed to public
worship, we are grateful to the Bishop of Southwark for allowing us to move
my private celebration of the Eucharist from the Vicarage, back to where it
should be – to the altar of the church. Tomorrow morning the bell will be
rung, and the sacrifice of praise will be offered as it has been for well
over a century. Please do join us in prayer tomorrow morning. The audio
services will go online tomorrow morning here:

Our order of service attached: Easter 5 Online.pdf

Some things to ponder:

– You might have noticed a certain augmentation in our musical offering –
the daily services in the previous week, and our services tomorrow will
have hymns by the Choral Scholars of St Martin in the Fields – featuring
our very own Lydia Ward! Tomorrow’s services will have sung psalms, and
perhaps even a Gloria…

– I continue to upload Morning Prayer, occasionally offering a short
thought for the day on our Old Testament readings. It was a delight to have
completed the Book of Exodus this morning. If Exodus is a bit of a mystery
to you, then I encourage you to make a cup of something and watch this
brief video:

– Likewise, on Sundays, we are reading from the Book of the Acts of the
Apostles. A similar video can be found on that book:

– The Bishop of Kingston continues to offer a weekly video homily here:

– For something a bit different, I commend the VE Day service offered by
the utterly irrepressible Marcus Walker at St Bartholomew the Great,
Smithfield. Of course, Marcus used the words and hymns as directed in 1945.

– Mea culpa! Whilst I have enjoyed marking the Red Letter Days, the Feast
Days of the Church Kalender, in the ups and downs of the previous week, I
neglected to make mention of some of the (admittedly optional) lesser-known
commemorations of the faith. Therefore, I include a little write up of
those who were missed out, and a particular apology to local devotees of
Julian of Norwich. commems aprilmay.pdf

– Perhaps like many of you, I am trying to radically reduce my intake of
online content, so for those who can’t bear any more online videos or my
dulcet tones, might I commend *Gilead* by Marilyn Robinson? Recommended by
both Rowan Williams and Barack Obama, published in 2005, it might be the
most significant novel relating to the Christian faith in the last 20
years. And if you like it, there are three more in the series. (If you can
think of any other recent significant religious novels, do let me know!)

A gentle reminder that we are entering Christian Aid week, so please do
consider supporting them online:

It was a joy to have the bishop’s permission to pray in the church,
offering the Eucharist this morning. We are still not yet open to the
public, but this will hopefully be a familiar sight again in the due
course  – a picture might appear below.

With kind regards,


Service times


8:15am Holy Communion (BCP)
9:00am Children's Service - Twice a month
10:15am Sung Eucharist