Big Giving Sunday, St Mary’s Summer Festival and the Wisdom of Jesus (20/6)

Dear St Mary’s,

Last Sunday, our churchwarden Natalie Burwell spoke movingly about giving, drawing on ideas of relationship and caring for loved ones. This Sunday (23rd June), Revd Tim Scott will preside at our 9am Holy Communion with Rob Duddridge preaching, while at 10.30am, Revd Jacintha Danaswamy will lead and speak at our shorter monthly Intergenerational Service as we conclude our series on stewardship. This week is Big Giving Sunday, and we hope you will consider donating to St Mary’s as we strive to keep our buildings open as places of ministry and encounter throughout the week. You can give via our website (, via the Parish Giving Scheme ( and also via the tap-and-go donation points or the white cash donation box at the back of church.

There will also be evening prayer in the church at 6pm. 

St Mary’s at Saturday’s ‘Creation Cries Out’ Service and Restore Nature Now March
The family-friendly Restore Nature Now march ( will take place in Central London this Saturday 22nd June, gathering at Park Lane at Noon and marching to Parliament Square for a 2.30pm rally, calling on politicians to properly address the climate and nature crises. St Mary’s will travel together to the march as well as to a pre-march ecumenical service called ‘Creation Cries Out’ at Farm Street Church in Mayfair from 11am to Noon organised by A Rocha, Operation Noah and other Christian charities. If you are interested in attending either the service or the march – or both – contact Cameron Conant at or Mike Forbes at . Mike Forbes will be outside Walthamstow Central station near Costa at 11.15am this Saturday, holding a St Mary’s sign and looking for anyone who wants to travel together to the march. 

Register Your Child for Children’s Ministry Groups at the 10.30am Sunday Service We are so grateful to our children’s ministry team who lead groups for children ages 2-11 in the Welcome Centre on the first, second and third Sundays of each month at 10.30am, with the fourth Sunday an intergenerational service in the church. If you are new to St Mary’s or haven’t yet registered your child for Sunday groups, we encourage you to do so. It is important that our Children’s Ministry team is aware of any allergies that your child may have and for our team to have contact details for all parents and carers. Please sign up here to register children ( 

No Morning Prayer on Friday 21st June 
There will be no Morning Prayer on Friday 21st June due to a lack of clergy availability. We usually say Morning Prayer in St Mary’s side chapel weekdays at 8.30am and all are welcome. We also livestream Morning Prayer to Facebook ( 

Citizens UK General Election Accountability Assembly: Monday 1st July, 5.30pm 
St Mary’s is a founding member of Waltham Forest Citizens, which is our local Citizens UK alliance – a collection of schools, faith institutions and community groups that listen to each other and the wider community and then act on the things we want to change, from youth violence to low-paid work. On Monday 1st July, 5.30-7.30pm, Citizens UK will meet with leaders of the main political parties at Methodist Central Hall to seek a working relationship with them and to hear their responses to our manifesto. A group from St Mary’s will travel to the assembly together; to reserve a ticket, email .  

‘A Better World is Possible’ Concert at St Mary’s on Saturday 6th July, 7.30pm 
St Mary’s will host a concert in support of Ukrainian orphans on Saturday 6th July at 7.30pm. Conducted and written by our very own Jonathan Rathbone, ‘A Better World is Possible’ was originally performed as part of St Mary’s reopening celebrations in early 2023 after our extensive regeneration project. The London Forest Choir will sing with special soloists also scheduled to perform. Tickets are available on the door for £10 (£5 for under 16s). The concert is being underwritten by Ron Hopson, a member of St Mary’s congregation. 

St Mary’s to be a General Election Polling Station on 4th July + Register to Vote 
We are delighted to announce that St Mary’s will once again be used as a polling station, this time for the General Election on 4th July. As members of Citizens UK, we are encouraging everyone who is eligible to vote to do so. Please remember that you must also bring a valid photo ID in order to vote on the day. 

New to St Mary’s? 
We have been thankful to see so many new faces at St Mary’s over the past few months, and if that’s you, we would love to hear from you. If you could fill out a Welcome Card at the back of church and put it in the white donation box, it will help us get to know you better. We also host newcomers events a couple of times per year and it would be brilliant to be able to invite you to our next one. You can also email us at

St Mary’s Summer Festival on 20th July, 11am-5pm: Sign up to Volunteer 
On Saturday 20th July, St Mary’s will host a day-long Summer Festival, 11am-5pm, with a craft fair in the church, churchyard tours, a children’s play area in the Welcome Centre run by the Toy Library, an outdoor food court, talks, workshops and an evening ceilidh dance at 7.30pm (if you’re reading this newsletter on email, we have attached our Summer Festival flyer). We are looking for volunteers to help us greet people, clean and support on the day. This will be a wonderful way to engage with each other and with the wider community as we bring our version of a church fête to Walthamstow! Interested? Sign up to volunteer here or email Dan Copperwheat, Operations Manager, at

Support St Mary’s as Part of Big Giving Week
This week is Big Giving Week, a moment when we encourage our congregation, wherever possible, to give financially. Aside from being able to reclaim Gift Aid as a registered charity – and aside from clergy stipends and housing, which are funded by the Central Church – St Mary’s receives no direct, ongoing financial support for the day-to-day running of our buildings from taxation, the Council, or from the Church of England, yet it costs over £250,000 per year to manage and maintain our buildings, which are places of welcome, ministry and encounter. Would you consider supporting St Mary’s with a new or increased monthly donation, especially as we continue to operate in a deficit budget with the aim of keeping our buildings open in the week? You can give via our website ( or via the Parish Giving Scheme, which allows us to automatically reclaim Gift Aid; go to and search ‘St Mary’s Walthamstow’. 

EcoTip: Ways to Stay Cool ( 
Though we have yet to experience the dangerous heat that countries like India and the US are currently enduring, it’s good to be prepared when hot weather does arrive as well as to know how to help others. As the burning of fossil fuels continues to create the conditions for hotter, more severe weather around the world, it is important to keep in mind that heat can cause serious medical problems and even death in some circumstances. A member of our congregation, Tom Greenhill – a chartered engineer with a background in renewable energy and expertise in cooling buildings – has created a brilliant website with ideas for keeping you and your home cooler this summer. Check out Tom’s website at

Please pray this week for: 

  • All refugees as we mark World Refugee Day and Refugee Week 
  • Candidates preparing for baptism 
  • Those undergoing treatment or in need of medical care 
  • St Mary’s as we work to increase donations and keep our buildings open in the week
  • Efforts to combat disinformation in our politics and common life 
  • People experiencing discrimination 
  • Christian communities around the world, especially those facing persecution 
  • Efforts to bring people/ communities together to facilitate healing and reconciliation 
  • An end to the fighting in Gaza and Israel 
  • Our ministries and outreach as we seek to show the love of Jesus Christ to all 

Next Week in the Welcome Centre (24-28 June) 

Daphne & Friends Baby Loss Group, 10am-11am 
Pilates, Noon-1pm 
Waltham Forest Community Choir, 7.30pm-9.30pm 

Nothing scheduled (if you would like to hire space in the Welcome Centre on Tuesdays, contact us at ). 

Walthamstow Welcomes Cafe (help with confusing paperwork), 10am-Noon 

Baby Massage, 10.15am-12.45pm 
Boggle Beats, 10.30am-11.15am 
Food Cycle (Free Community Meal), 6.30pm 

Sing & Sign, 11am-1.30pm 

Reflection: Wisdom 

Revd Tim Scott writes: 

I read an article recently suggesting that more people than ever are turning away from watching or listening to the news, describing it as depressing, relentless and boring. This comes at a time when billions of people around the world have been involved in elections and in this country we see or hear news of the election campaign through many different forms of communication. We have rightly been holding in our prayers those who are seeking election as we long for a society which is less divided and enables all to flourish.

We may be able to turn the news off or move beyond the soundbites but we are still left with the question: How should we be living our lives in today’s world when often things seem overwhelming?

There is a well known passage in Luke 4:18-19 where Jesus quotes the prophet Isaiah. It is often know as Jesus’ Manifesto:

‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,

   because he has anointed me

     to bring good news to the poor.

He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives

   and recovery of sight to the blind,

     to let the oppressed go free,

to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.’

It is interesting to note that prior to this, Jesus has experienced the Spirit coming down on him at his baptism and has been driven by the Spirit into wilderness where he wrestled and courageously faced suffering and temptation. I want to suggest that it was a combination of the work of the Spirit within Jesus, and Jesus’ own wrestling with things, that produced a wisdom which enabled him to focus clearly on the way he lived his life. 

It was a wisdom which enabled him to live, enabling others to be free. It was a wisdom which enabled him to engage in political discourse. It was a wisdom which enabled him to care deeply for people. 

Maybe such wisdom would enable us to watch difficult news with eyes of compassion, hope and protest, rather than averting our eyes. Maybe such wisdom would enable us to go beyond the soundbites and hear the voices of hope and courage. Maybe such wisdom would enable us to see that feeling overwhelmed is also a time to realise we cannot do everything on our own and thus to discover our need for each other, and our need for God. 

Maybe such wisdom helps us answer the question: How should we be living our lives in today’s world and how might we live in a way that enables others to be free? 

With my love, thanks and prayers,


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