Weekly Newsletter, 16th May 2024

Pentecost Sunday, Saturday’s Big Community Quiz and ‘Movement’ 

Dear St Mary’s, 

We had a powerful service last week as Jess Hall preached as part of Christian Aid Week, inspiring us to think about the work of liberation and the ways in which we, as Christians, are called to go about it. 

This Sunday 19th May, we’ll celebrate the great Church festival of Pentecost with two services of Holy Communion at 9am and 10.30am, with supervised children’s groups in the Welcome Centre at 10.30am. Revd Alan Moss will lead and preside, Revd Tim Scott will preach, and the music team will lead us in extended worship. 

It was at Pentecost, after Jesus had ascended into heaven, that something extraordinary happened – the Holy Spirit descended like tongues of flames on the disciples, allowing each of them preach in other languages to the gathered crowd which included people from ‘every nation under heaven’ (Acts 2:5). It was in this context that the Church was born – a multicultural Church and one in which, as St Paul would write, ‘There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus’ (Galatians 3:28). 

In an increasingly divided world, Pentecost is a powerful reminder of the unity that comes through Jesus Christ and the call on the Church to reflect God’s love for all.

There will be evening prayer in the church at 6pm, as well as St Mary’s youth group, which is in the Welcome Centre at 6pm and open to young people Year 7 and up.

St Mary’s Big Community Quiz Night: This Saturday 18th May, 7.30-10.30pm

We’re encouraging everyone to come along to our big quiz night this Saturday 18th May at 7.30pm. It promises to be a fun night, whatever your quizzing ability! Our Big Community Quiz is aiming to raise funds for St Mary’s, but it will also be a great opportunity to get together, have fun and meet new people. We will be running a cash bar and you can also bring your own nibbles. Get a team together and join us! Tickets are £10 per person and available here: https://tinyurl.com/smwqz

Walthamstow Welcomes Café: Help with Confusing Paperwork 

Our Walthamstow Welcomes Cafe is open every fortnight, on alternate Wednesdays and Saturdays from 10am to Noon in the Welcome Centre, and is open to all. The goal is to help people with confusing paperwork, which could include making a blue badge application, filling out a PIP form, accessing Transport for London services or something else entirely. The team is also happy just to have a chat. While the cafe is next open on 29th May for drop-ins, people can also book in advance, and the next bookable slots are on Saturday 8th June. To book, visit our online calendar here or visit the Walthamstow Welcomes page on our website (stmaryswalthamstow.org). 

Marriage Preparation Class: Sunday 9th June at St Mary’s, 2-4pm 

Are you getting married soon? If so, we would love to have you join us for our Marriage Preparation Course on Sunday 9th June, 2-4pm, in St Mary’s Church. Marriage preparation is a fun, relaxed time to talk about the things which matter most to you about your relationship and your marriage. Led by a member of our clergy team, each couple sits at their own table so conversations are entirely private. In between, there are short talks to reflect on alongside a series of questions to explore. The afternoon includes tea, coffee, biscuits and a chance to meet other couples. To join us, email our administrator Josie at

St Mary’s Summer Festival on 20th July: Save the Date, Sign up to Volunteer 

On Saturday 20th July, St Mary’s will host an all-day Summer Festival with activities, talks, food, tours and performances across all of our sites, including the Welcome Centre, Welcome Garden, courtyard, churchyard and in the church itself. Our activity programme has not yet been finalised, but we’re looking for dozens of volunteers to sign up now to help us greet people, clean and offer 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! You can sign up to volunteer here or email Dan Copperwheat, Operations Manager, at

EcoTip: Restore Nature Now March in Central London on Saturday 22nd June

The Restore Nature Now march will take place in Central London on Saturday 22nd June, gathering at Park Lane at midday and marching to Parliament Square for a 2.30pm rally which will include talks from well-known campaigners. The UK is one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world, and organisers are calling for a doubling in financial support for nature and climate-friendly farming, an end to fossil fuels, new rules that require big polluters to pay for climate and nature recovery, an environmental bill of rights and more. Christian groups will be involved in the march, which promises to be family-friendly, and we would love to bring a group from St Mary’s. Interested? Email Cameron at

Please pray this week for: 

  • That more people would experience God’s presence and love this Pentecost 
  • That we would be filled with the Holy Spirit this Pentecost 
  • For peace in our world, particularly in areas of intractable conflict 
  • For people suffering from addiction or mental illness 
  • For reconciliation where there is division 
  • For our bishops, Guli and Lynne, and our Archbishops, Justin and Stephen 
  • For people and churches in areas of conflict and violence 


Natalie Burwell, our Church Warden, writes: 

We are in Mental Health Awareness Week, and this year’s theme is ‘Movement—Moving More for our Mental Health.’ I am reminded of Jacintha’s beautiful reflection last week where she wrote, ‘There is a joy in movement’.

Today at St Mary’s a cohort will meet for the second session of the Sanctuary Course, learning together about faith and mental health. We call to mind our own life stories and what has contributed to our flourishing or languishing. And we think about church and what it means to be a place where people experiencing mental health challenges can find belonging, feeling safe and supported and inspired.

Corin Pilling, Director of Sanctuary Mental Health Ministries, has mused on this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week theme. He says it’s very clear that physical activity can be beneficial to our wellbeing. But when he first saw the word ‘movement’ in the description, ‘It caused me to think about how every small action to raise awareness and create communities responsive to mental health involves us building a movement. Together, we build a movement when we can all offer a contribution to our collective wellbeing.’

Corin writes, ‘A movement exists because change is needed and it works best when we can all find a way to get involved, and we can ask ourselves: This is where we are now—where is the next step on the journey?’

But sometimes I find I need a little help to get moving. I am thinking of a moment during the period when I was carer on my wife’s cancer journey. I was sitting alone on our orange sofa, and my spirit was willing me to get up and do more things, but my body simply said, ‘No. That’s not happening’. It had become hard for me to stand up and take a step, much less keep moving. 

As we come to Pentecost this Sunday, we find the disciples living in the aftermath of their beloved friend’s violent crucifixion. In Jesus’s supernatural resurrection and glorious Ascension, they have been faced with a reality so stunning that it is virtually unspeakable. Some theologians say the disciples show signs of trauma, especially when they gather in the Upper Room —  perhaps grieving, certainly working hard to assimilate such great change.

This Sunday we will hear about the wonderful Helper who comes to transform their lives yet again and enable them to take the next step on their collective journey: the Holy Spirit who is breathed into their situation. The disciples are empowered to speak of the wonders of God to people of the world in all their difference. And we witness the start of a very great movement for the life and the health and the redemption of a suffering world. May we all be equipped and inspired to join in!



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