Sunday Services, 20th July Ceilidh Tickets and the Faith of St Thomas (5/7)

Dear St Mary’s, 

Last Sunday, we had the privilege of welcoming Sophie into the Church as she was baptised in a lovely service led by Revd Jacintha Danaswamy. 

This Sunday, 7th July, we’ll celebrate Holy Communion at both of our Sunday morning services with Revd Tim Scott leading and presiding and Revd Jacintha Danaswamy preaching at 9am and 10.30am, with supervised children’s groups at 10.30am. 

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

Save the Date: Revd Jacintha Danaswamy’s Ordination to Priesthood, 28th September 
Revd Jacintha Danaswamy, who was ordained a deacon last year at Chelmsford Cathedral, will be priested on Saturday 28th September at 10.30am at St Edward’s Romford, and will preside at Holy Communion at St Mary’s on Sunday 29th September. A group from St Mary’s and St Gabriel’s will travel to Romford to support Jacintha at her priesting in September. We will share more information soon as to how you can join us for Jacintha’s ordination service. 

Register your Child for Sunday Children’s Groups 
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 Wednesday 10th July 
There will be no Morning Prayer on Wednesday 10th July 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 ( 

Tickets Available for 20th July Ceilidh at St Mary’s 
Join us on Saturday 20th July from 7.30pm as we bring St Mary’s Summer Festival to a close with a ceilidh featuring the band Stroma (purchase tickets here or go to and search ‘Walthamstow ceilidh’). Tickets are £12.50 for adults and are free for Under 12s. Whether you’re familiar with ceilidh dancing or a total beginner, it should be a brilliant time. 

Sponsor a Bible for St Mary’s Primary School Leavers 
Every year, we give a Bible to Year 6 leavers of St Mary’s Primary School. It’s a gift from the church that we hope will bless them throughout their lives. If you would like to sponsor a Bible for £10, you can give via (please write in the notes section that your donation is for a Leavers’ Bible) or via the tap-and-go system at the back of church. You can also put a cheque or cash in a marked envelope and leave it in the white box at the back of church, or if you’d prefer, you can make a direct bank transfer (please note the reason for your donation); our bank details are: Co-operative Bank, St Mary’s Church, Parish of Walthamstow; Account Number: 65579372, Sort Code: 08-92-99. 

Celebrating Revds Tim & Linda Scott’s Silver Wedding Anniversary, Sunday 7th July Revds Tim and Linda Scott were married in St Mary’s 25 years ago in July and would love it if you could stay for a few extra minutes after the 7th July service to celebrate! The Scotts will provide cake after the 9am service and prosecco and cake after the 10.30am service.

EcoTip: Call on Waltham Forest and Other Councils to Ban High-Carbon Advertising 
Earlier this year, Edinburgh Council banned the promotion of fossil fuel-powered cars and exotic holidays on council-owned advertising spaces in a bid to boost efforts to decarbonise. Campaign groups Possible and Badversiting are now encouraging other councils to follow Edinburgh’s lead and ban high-carbon advertising on council-owned land and advertising spaces. With major oil and gas companies continuing to explore for new fields despite dire warnings from climate scientists  – and with other high-carbon industries continuing to behave as if we don’t need to nearly halve global greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 in order to avoid the worst consequences of global warming – could Waltham Forest Council sign up to the campaign? Join the campaign here or visit to learn more.

Please pray this week for: 

  • Sophie, who was baptised last week 
  • For our new Prime Minister and newly elected MPs, that they may serve with integrity
  • The mental health of young people 
  • Those struggling with the cost of housing as well as those in need of housing 
  • Asylum seekers in this country and around the world 
  • Critical elections in France, the United States and elsewhere 
  • Friends and family of Janet Hyde and all those who mourn her loss 
  • The Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty and all efforts to stop oil and gas expansion
  • Our clergy team at St Mary’s and in the Parish: Tim, Alan, Jacintha, Andrew, Vanessa
  • All who care for and teach children, including St Mary’s children’s ministry team 

Next Week in the Welcome Centre (8-12 July) 

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

Tai-Chi, 7pm (this Tuesday evening class has just started and still has spaces available; if you’re interested in attending, email Alex Jukes at ). 
Stowtellers, 7.30pm-9.30pm 

Welcome Cafe (free 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: The Faith of St Thomas 
Revd Jacintha Danaswamy writes: 

Recently, I’ve been reflecting on the people, community, and places that encourage us in our faith: our families, friends, the people we meet, the conversations we have and the prayers we share. Since childhood, growing up in Ireland, the lives of saints – especially St Brigid, St Patrick and St Columba – have inspired and nourished my relationship with God. Coming from a mixed heritage family, and with a parent from Tamil Nadu in South India, I also have a deep affinity with St Thomas the Apostle, the patron saint of India.

Thomas is known as the Apostle to India. After Pentecost, he is said to have travelled across Persia, China and to the Malabar coast of India, sharing the gospel and love of God with each community he met. The Feast of St Thomas takes place on 3rd July, a date also known as Indian Christians’ Day, and across the world Thomas is remembered and celebrated.  

Thomas is often more commonly known as ‘Doubting Thomas’ – the apostle who didn’t believe, who doubted Jesus’ resurrection, the person who needed to see proof. In John 20: 24-29, which was one of the readings chosen on Wednesday for the Feast of St Thomas, Thomas says to the disciples, ‘Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.’  

To think of Thomas as just a sceptic is to miss so much of who Thomas was and how devoted he was in his faith. In John 11, when Jesus decided to return to Judea to heal Lazarus, even though it was very dangerous, Thomas says, ‘Let us also go, that we may die with him’. Thomas deeply loved Jesus and at the Last Supper when Jesus comforts his disciples, it is Thomas who says, ‘Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?’ And Jesus answers him, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’

Thomas always asks the difficult questions, the questions many think but are afraid to ask. In his doubting and uncertainty, we may recognise ourselves, our own moments of questioning, the times we are unsure and need reassurance and encouragement. 

In Thomas we see the fullness of a life of faith – his devotion and love, his courage and truthfulness, his doubts and his dedication. As we celebrate Thomas this week, we remember he is also the patron saint of architects and builders, we remember his life, the places he travelled to, offering an invitation to grow in the love of Christ, and we remember him as a builder of the Christian Faith with Christ as the cornerstone. Thomas the apostle who recognised Jesus’ divinity when he cried out, ‘My Lord and my God!’ When reflecting on St Thomas, Malcolm Guite’s beautiful poem ‘St Thomas the Apostle’ is helpful:

‘We do not know… how can we know the way?’ 

Courageous master of the awkward question,

You spoke the words the others dared not say

  And cut through their evasion and abstraction.

Oh doubting Thomas, father of my faith,

You put your finger on the nub of things

  We cannot love some disembodied wraith,

  But flesh and blood must be our king of kings.

Your teaching is to touch, embrace, anoint,

Feel after Him and find Him in the flesh.

Because He loved your awkward counter-point

The Word has heard and granted you your wish.

  Oh place my hands with yours, help me divine

  The wounded God whose wounds are healing mine.

I pray this week as we celebrate St Thomas, you will be encouraged in your faith, in the people and places around you, and in knowing that you are lovingly held by God.



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