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Friday, 27 February 2015

Licensing Service

Yesterday I was licensed by the Bishop of London at St Stephen, Walbrook, as (half-time) priest-in-Charge. I was also commissioned by Bishop Richard as (half-time) Associate Vicar for Partnership Development at St Martin-in-the-Fields. I will be welcomed into the latter role during the 10.00am service at St Martins on Sunday. I also led the midweek Eucharist at St Stephens earlier in the day and gave my first sermon.

The service of Choral Evensong was shared by the congregations and communities of St Stephens and St Stephens, representatives from the Worshipful Company of Grocers (Patrons of St Stephens), City clergy and others, the congregation of St John's Seven Kings, representatives of the London Internet Churchcommission4mission and Sophia Hubs Limited, together with many family and friends. 

The Bishop of London spoke about "a transforming vision of a wider us." Giving a sneak preview of the sermon to be preached by the Revd Dr Sam Wells, Vicar of St Martins, on Sunday, he said that we have a message of "faith in the face of fear, hope in the face of death, and love in the face of suffering." Sam says that through partnership development "we want to find abundance in scarcity, we want to expand our programmes and deepen our common life so we too can be a blessing to communities beyond ourselves."

In my sermon at the midweek Eucharist I quoted George Monbiot, who wrote in a recent article, that individuation – the focus on the meeting of our individual needs - ‘is exploitable’ and therefore social hierarchies have been ‘built around positional goods and conspicuous consumption.’ As a result, ‘we are lost in the 21st century, living in a state of social disaggregation that hardly anyone desired but which is an emergent property of a world reliant on rising consumption to avert economic collapse, saturated with advertising and framed by market fundamentalism.’

In this messy world our partnership development will seek to "enrich common life and culture, alleviate and in time eradicate poverty and injustice, and promote love, joy and peace." 


Felix Mendelssohn - How Lovely Are The Messengers.

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