Weekly Newsletter, 13th June 2024

Dear St Mary’s,

It was wonderful to hear from Revd Ola Franklin, a retired priest in our congregation who preached last Sunday as part of our series on giving and recently received permission from the bishop to take services at St Mary’s. This Sunday (16th June), Revd Tim Scott will lead and preside and Natalie Burwell will preach as we share Holy Communion at 9am and again at 10.30am. There will be supervised children’s groups at 10.30am and evening prayer at 6pm. For those who are unable to join us in person, we will livestream our 9am service to Facebook (facebook.com/StMarysE17). We hope to see you this Sunday at St Mary’s! 

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. If you are not yet registered to vote, you must register by 11.59pm on Tuesday 18th June; you can register online at www.gov.uk. Please remember that you must also bring a valid photo ID in order to vote on the day. 

St Mary’s to Attend 22/6 ‘Creation Cries Out’ Service and Restore Nature Now March

The family-friendly Restore Nature Now march (restorenaturenow.com) will take place in Central London on 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

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

Volunteer in St Mary’s Churchyard + London in Bloom Judging 

It’s not surprising that so many people enjoy visiting our beautiful churchyard every week, much of which is down to the work of head gardener Tim Hewitt and his team of volunteers. We were so proud that last year St Mary’s Churchyard won ‘Churchyard of the Year’ in the London in Bloom gardening competition, and the churchyard will be judged again this week as part of that same yearly competition. If you would like to volunteer in the churchyard – no skill or gardening experience is needed! – email Tim at . Tim is usually in the churchyard, Tuesday-Friday, 1-4pm, and available to work with volunteers. 

Changes to St Mary’s Opening Times in June

Froth & Rind’s last day at St Mary’s was on 1st June, however, our new Ruttle & Rowe cafe will not be up and running until at least July. What this means is that there will be at least a month-long gap in cafe provision which limits our ability to manage the building during the week. While Morning Prayer, Sunday Services and other worship will continue uninterrupted, much of St Mary’s ancient building will be closed to the public, Monday-Saturday, 9am to 4pm. However, our Exhibition Space will remain open during the day as part of the E17 Art Trail (1-16 June) with access through the side door that leads into the Exhibition Space. Thank you for your patience as we navigate these complexities – we’re keen to get our entire building back open to the whole community, during the day, as soon as possible. 

Support St Mary’s as Part of Big Giving Week, 17-23 June

From 17-23 June, St Mary’s will celebrate Big Giving Week, encouraging 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 (stmaryswalthamstow.org/donate) or via the Parish Giving Scheme, which allows us to automatically reclaim Gift Aid; go to parishgiving.org.uk and search ‘St Mary’s Walthamstow’. 

Discerning Ministry Opportunities Near the High Street: Saturday 15th June

All are invited to pray on Saturday 15th June at 53 Falmer Road, E17 3BH, 11am-1pm, as part of a small group discerning possible ministry opportunities around the High Street. Drop in or stay for the whole time. The meeting will be led by Donna Gwilliams and will be supported by David and Janie Beales who are experienced in helping people discern ministry opportunities. A small group is also meeting every Wednesday at Rio’s Coffee Lounge, 296 Hoe St, 7:45-9:15pm. For details, email

EcoTip: Go Electric 

Though our politicians still need to make green technologies more affordable – especially for the most vulnerable in society – many people will nevertheless be in a financial position to ditch fossil fuels and go electric, and will likely save money over the long term in doing so. 

While walking, cycling and taking public transport are the most sustainable travel options, for those who need a vehicle for work or other reasons, an electric car is better for the air we breathe than a petrol car is and over its lifespan produces fewer planet-heating emissions. 

Likewise, getting rid of gas for home heating and cooking is needed if the UK is to meet its climate targets, with electric hobs and cookers healthier and more environmentally friendly than gas, and air-source heat pumps an increasingly affordable alternative to gas boilers, especially with government incentives (there are now grants of up to £7,500 for homeowners interested in replacing existing fossil fuel heating with more efficient, low-carbon heating systems such as air source heat pumps; search ‘Boiler Upgrade Scheme’ at www.gov.uk). 

Please pray this week for: 

  • The proposed ceasefire in Gaza and the cessation of violence in Israel/ Gaza 
  • Clergy, lay leaders and staff at St Mary’s and across our Parish 
  • Our bishops, Lynne and Guli, and our archbishops, Justin and Stephen  
  • Revd Alan Moss and others ministering on housing estates around the UK 
  • Preparations to reopen the cafe at St Mary’s, as well as for our July Summer Festival 
  • The health and wellbeing of children/ young people in Waltham Forest and beyond
  • Those who are unwell in body, mind or spirit 
  • Those who are discerning a call to ordination 
  • International aid workers serving in areas of war and conflict 
  • Those in our community and around the UK who are struggling financially 
  • Our ability to keep St Mary’s buildings open to the whole community 

Next Week in the Welcome Centre (17-22 June) 

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

Nothing booked in this Tuesday 

Hula Fit, 6.30pm-7.30pm

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 (Help with Confusing Paperwork), 10am-Noon 

Reflection: ‘Small is Significant’ 
Revd Alan Moss writes: 

Last Thursday, 6th June, I had the privilege of being a part of the very first Chelmsford Diocese Estates Church Network conference, which was held in Great Baddow. The Chelmsford Estates Network has been around for several years but has recently found renewed energy and ties in with the wider National Estates Church Network (NECN). The NECN brings together churches across the country who work and minister on estates of all kinds, but especially those in areas of significant deprivation, much like Attlee Terrace in Walthamstow.

The theme of our conference was ‘Small is Significant’ and the aim was to celebrate the faithful, sometimes difficult, and often very unglamorous work and ministry on social housing estates that many give their lives to to see the love of God impact the very margins of our society which many others avoid. So often we see endless resources poured into megachurches across the nation, where too frequently success is defined in terms of ‘bums on seats’, when the work of smaller parish churches are struggling because they aren’t ‘trendy’ enough. But we are beginning to see the tide change!

Back in February 2024, the Church of England had its General Synod where the whole Church came together to make commitments, set policy and vision for the CofE’s wider international mission. One particular motion passed with unanimous approval (which is almost unheard of), stating that the Church of England General Synod will, ‘Dedicate itself afresh to the goal of achieving a loving, serving and worshipping Christian community on every significant social housing estate[…].’ (Synod Motion GS 2345)

This motion may seem like a small thing, but it represents a seed of transformation and hope. When we think of where hope is birthed, I doubt many of us think of the environment of a low-income estate or the grubby stairwells of a tower block, yet it was in the first-century equivalent that hope embodied was raised. Jesus was known as the Nazarene by many, and it was this unlikely origin that threw so many people off because Nazareth was not the place where prophets came from, and certainly not a place the Son of God would be associated with! Even the disciple Nathanael says in John 1:46, ‘Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?’. Yet this is where the seed of eternal salvation was nurtured.

Over and over again in scripture, God calls all the unlikely people from the most unlikely of places to bring hope and transformation to the world around them. As I sat and listened to the challenges, heartbreaks and joys of those working on estates across our Diocese, I realised that these places are our modern-day Nazareths and it’s here that hope is nurtured and spreads into the wider community. 

As we think about stewardship at St Marys over the next few weeks, let’s remember our call to go to the ends of the earth investing in the places that others forget and avoid. May we know the significance of the small places and the transformation and hope they hold. 

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