Weekly Newsletter, 6th June 2024

Dear St Mary’s, 

It was a joy to worship with you last week as we began our stewardship series with a beautiful sermon from Louise Wallis. This Sunday (9th June), Revd Tim Scott will lead and Revd Ola Franklin  – a retired priest in our congregation – will preach at our 9am Holy Communion and again at 10.30am Morning Worship as we continue our series on giving. 

There will be supervised children’s groups at the 10.30am service, and for those unable to join us in person this Sunday, we will livestream the 9am Holy Communion service to Facebook (facebook.com/StMarysE17). We hope you will join us as we continue to look at the theology of stewardship as we approach Big Giving Week, 17-23 June (details below). 

Welcoming Revd Ola Franklin

Last Sunday we were thrilled to formally welcome Revd Ola Franklin, who has been attending St Mary’s for a number of months now but who only recently received the required legal permission from the bishop to be able to preach and take services at St Mary’s. Ola has had links with our parish for over 30 years and was a licensed lay minister (Reader) in the parish before being ordained in 2009 and then ministering in Harlow and Woodford Bridge. She retired last year and we are delighted that she has returned to Walthamstow. Ola will occasionally preach and take services at St Marys, including this coming Sunday. Please pray for her in this new season of her life and ministry. 

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 

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 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. 

No Morning Prayer on Thursday 13th June
Please be aware that we will not say Morning Prayer on Thursday 13th June. We typically say Morning Prayer every weekday in the side chapel of St Mary’s at 8.30am. We also livestream Morning Prayer to Facebook (facebook.com/StMarysE17). 

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 Class 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 is led by a member of our clergy team. To join us, email 

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 by standing order, to make a one-time gift to St Mary’s or to increase an existing standing order.

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, and yet it costs us over £250,000 per year to manage and maintain our buildings, which are places of welcome, ministry and encounter throughout the week. And while we’re working hard to increase the revenue we receive from outside hires, the majority of our income is from donations. 

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 goal of keeping our buildings open in the week? You can give via our website (www.stmaryswalthamstow.org/donate) or via the Parish Giving Scheme which allows us to automatically reclaim Gift Aid – just go to www.parishgiving.org.uk and search for ‘St Mary’s Walthamstow’. 

EcoTip: Green Investment Declaration 

Campaigners are urging Churches and faith groups to increase investment in climate solutions through a new global initiative, the Green Investment Declaration, which launched this week. Supported by UK charities Operation Noah and JustMoney Movement, the declaration aims to get signatories on the road to green investment, with the goal of having faith groups invest at least 5% of their assets in climate solutions within five years. Globally, Churches manage billions of pounds of investments. And a key to ensuring the rapid phase out of fossil fuels – the primary source of planet-heating greenhouse gases – is to invest in cheaper and cleaner alternatives for transport, energy generation and industry. The Diocese of Truro in the Church of England is already investing 10% of its portfolio in renewables – could our diocese, the Diocese of Chelmsford, be encouraged to do the same? Learn more about the campaign at collab.faithinvest.org/green-investment-declaration

Please pray this week for: 

  • The people God is bringing to St Mary’s – for growth in faith and connection 
  • Revd Ola Franklin and her ministry at St Mary’s
  • The upcoming General Election in the UK 
  • Those in need of healing and restoration 
  • The Ven Elwin Cockett, our Archdeacon, who has announced he is retiring 
  • Campaigners working for justice around the world 
  • People who have been driven from their homes by war, poverty or climate change 
  • Those receiving medical treatment 
  • People living in Gaza, Israel, Ukraine and other places of war and violence 
  • Our Big Giving Campaign as we seek to keep our buildings open every day to all
  • Global leadership on climate change, poverty, peacemaking and other urgent issues 
  • More people to know the love of God in our community and around the world 
  • Young people in Walthamstow who are caught up in gang activity  

Next Week in the Welcome Centre (10-14 June):

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

Stowtellers, 7.30pm-9.30pm  

Hula Fit, 6.30pm-7.30pm
Walthamstow Welcomes Cafe, 10am-Noon 

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

Sing & Sign, 11am-1.30pm 

Reflection: Sabbath Rest 

Revd Jacintha Danaswamy writes: 

Last week, my family and I were privileged to travel to Italy during the school half-term holidays. It’s such a beautiful country to explore, and we discovered and experienced so many amazing sights, sounds and tastes. In between visiting stunning churches, historical wonders and choosing from the many flavours of Italian ice-cream, we slowed down and paused, and we stopped. There were moments of gently breathing in our beautiful surroundings, our precious time together, knowing that each restful breath was rejuvenating and filling us with a sustaining stillness to carry into the busyness of life.

In the Bible we are offered many examples of Sabbath rest, a rest that not only replenishes but draws us closer to God, redirects our focus and sight, and encourages us to listen deeply and pay attention. At the very beginning of creation, in Genesis 2, God rests on the seventh day, and we are reminded in Exodus 20:11,

‘For in the six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.’ 

Intentional rest, Sabbath rest, is a spiritual exercise that can be easily lost in modern contemporary life. If it is not included in our life rhythms or routine, it can require preparation or practice. As Christians, when we think about how we live in the world, we look to Jesus. We look at how he lived, how he cared for people, how he challenged injustices, his teachings and actions, and his deep love for the world. When we look to Jesus, we see his life was punctuated with moments of rest and prayer. In Matthew 8: 23-26, Jesus rests in a boat during a furious storm, and in John 4:6, ‘…Jesus tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.’ 

In Mark 6:31, Jesus says to the disciples,

‘Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.’’’ 

This encouragement and invitation to rest is offered to all of us, and is echoed loudly in Matthew 11:28-29: 

‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.’

I pray this week you will experience Sabbath rest, you will feel refreshed and energised, and in moments of weariness or anxiousness, you will hear Jesus’ invitation and be filled with God’s restful peace.



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