Sunday Services, Sponsor a Bible and Self-Care as Stewardship (27/6)

Dear St Mary’s,

Last Sunday, we marked the end of Big Giving Week and our four-week series on stewardship with lovely services led by Revd Ola Franklin and Revd Jacintha Danaswamy. 

This Sunday (30th June), we’ll share Holy Communion at 9am with Revd Alan Moss presiding and preaching, while at 10.30am, Revd Jacintha Danaswamy will lead and preach at a child-friendly Morning Worship service – however, please note that there will be no supervised children’s groups this week as this is the fifth Sunday of the month. 

This Sunday, our youth group will meet in the Welcome Centre lounge at 5pm and there will also be evening prayer in the church at 6pm. 

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 St Mary’s 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. 

Remembering Janet Hyde 
We sadly learned this week of the death of Janet Hyde. Many will know that Janet was a longstanding member of our congregation who for some time now has been unable to join us in person due to mobility issues. We have yet to hear about funeral arrangements and will share them when we do. Please pray for Janet and for all those who knew her and loved her. 

Citizens UK General Election Accountability Assembly: Monday 1st July, 5.30pm 
On Monday 1st July, 5.30-7.30pm, our Citizens UK alliance 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 General Election manifesto. A group from St Mary’s will travel to the assembly together; to reserve a ticket, email .  

Vespers Returns on Wednesday 3rd July, 7.30pm 
Vespers is our Wednesday evening contemplative service – 40 minutes of poetry, stillness, prayer, reflection and music. It’s a beautiful candlelit space where many have gathered over eight years. With changes to our team, Vespers has moved to a monthly rhythm, meeting on the first Wednesday of every month with communion celebrated after each gathering. Join us for our next Vespers gathering this Wednesday, 3rd July, 7.30pm in St Mary’s. 

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

‘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). 

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. 

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, live music, talks, workshops and a ceilidh dance at 7.30pm. 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

EcoTip: Climate Hustings with Candidates Tonight at Harmony Hall, 8pm 
The group MP Watch will host ‘Walthamstow Climate Question Time’ tonight (27/6) at Harmony Hall, 10 Truro Road, E17 7BY, 8pm. The hustings will feature local parliamentary candidates answering questions about the climate and nature crises. Tickets are free and can be booked through (search ‘Walthamstow Climate Question Time’). 

Please pray this week for: 

  • Janet Hyde, that she may rest in peace and rise in glory, and for all who loved her
  • Those who are medically vulnerable as we experience hot summer weather 
  • All who enter our building next week to vote
  • Teachers and school staff as they prepare for the end of term 
  • Campaigners lobbying the government to restore nature and stop funding fossil fuels
  • Areas of violence and conflict around the world, including Gaza/ Israel and Ukraine 
  • People of integrity to restore confidence in government and public life in the UK 
  • St Mary’s leaders, clergy and congregation as we seek to share Christ’s love with all 
  • An increase in citizen engagement and for high voter turnout this General Election 
  • Our bishops, Lynne and Guli, and for our archbishops, Justin and Stephen 
  • Peace in our community and around the world 
  • Our churchwardens, Natalie Burwell and Nevil Osborne 

Next Week in the Welcome Centre (1-6 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 ). 

Nothing booked for Wednesday – if you would like to hire the Welcome Centre for a class, event or meeting, email Louise Wallis at

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

Sing & Sign, 11am-1.30pm 

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

Reflection: Self-Care as Stewardship  
Natalie Burwell, our churchwarden, writes: 

This week sees the eighth and final session of our Sanctuary Mental Health course at St Mary’s. I’m going to miss everything about these Thursday evenings – the sunlit stillness of the church before we gather, the voices and insights of our group, and working with Fiona, who combines empathic leadership with next-level setup and hosting skills.

Our topic last week was self-care, defined as ‘any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health.’ This might look like napping, exercising, laughing with friends, or taking a moment to breathe air deep into our lungs.

We discussed a theological perspective on self-care and an invitation to think of it as stewardship of ourselves. We are part of God’s creation, too – just as worthy of care and tending as a garden, a loved one in need, or our planet home.

Dr Hillary McBride, a psychologist and therapist said, ‘Instead of seeing self-care as something that is selfish or takes away from the work that God is doing in the world, we can think of it as an extension of how God wants to bring love into creation. Thinking about self-care as a way to be more loving in the world is just an extension of offering, to ourselves, the love that we offer to so many other people.’

After all, Jesus commanded us to love our neighbours as ourselves. He didn’t say ‘instead of’!

Is there resonance with our recent sermon series on stewardship and giving? God shows us mercy and pours out blessing, and we are called to keep those gifts flowing, in whatever form that takes in our lives. We are built for giving and receiving grace. And as created beings, we also have limits. Stresses and strains and challenges in life can contribute to our thriving, or they can wear us right down. Sometimes we break down – mentally, physically, spiritually.

The idea of self-stewardship feels helpfully objective to me. Perhaps this is a practice of seeing ourselves as God does, with tender eyes. God knows us and loves us anyway, through all the times we try and fail, in all our weakness and strength. This Sunday we’ll hear about a woman suffering from haemorrhages for 12 years who cares for herself by reaching out to Jesus in hope. In her healing, she is returned to her community, freed up to give and receive blessing. 

In our life as a church together, may we be a community of blessing and of realness, where we look at each other and ourselves with eyes of love, the way God does. Amen.

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