Please find below our June newsletter. From July it will be more of a bulletin but there’s a lot to report at present. If you have anything fairly brief to share next month let me know in advance of July.If you have any messages (electronic or otherwise) for Katharine please send them to me and I will forward them on.
Message from Katharine
There are so many people to thank for my great leaving celebrations: the planners and shoppers, the hospitality teams and clearers up, the children for their words, the musicians for their music. Thank you friends and thank you for inviting me to be part of the story of St Giles’ all those years ago. We have had our ups and downs but it has been great fun and a joy to grow in faith with you all.
Thank you for the very generous cheque and the book of messages. As Tim said, there is shopping to be done when moving house. The sofas are on order and I can’t wait to go hunting for a large kitchen table to sew and socialize at. It will be exciting to find a new ministry in Salisbury in the fullness of time.
May the God of love protect and guide us.
Churchwardens’ update on the interregnum
As every school pupil knows, the interregnum is the name given to the period which ran from the execution of Charles 1 in 1649 to the restoration of Charles ll in 1660. Not so many people know that interregnum is also Church of England speak for the period from the departure of the old rector or vicar till the arrival of the new one. As of Katharine’s departure on 29 May, St Giles’ is now in an interregnum.
Funnily enough, there is a St Giles’ connection between the two interregnums. Oliver Cromwell (of the first interregnum) was married to Elizabeth Bourchier in 1620 in St Giles’. We expect the commemorative stained glass to be placed in St Giles’ at some point in our own interregnum. Another echo of history is that theatres were closed during the first interregnum – fortunately we are now starting to see theatres open again just as our own interregnum begins.
The best news is that the first interregnum lasted for 11 years whereas ours will thankfully be much shorter. As we have mentioned before, the Church of England approach is to have a substantial gap – maybe a year or more – between the departure of the old incumbent and the arrival of the new one. The recruitment process incorporates a number of procedural steps which make it difficult to shorten this by much in practice, however energetic the parish is in trying to do so. We have already gathered input from our stakeholders, prepared a full draft of the parish profile document, engaged with the diocese and arranged the mandatory unconscious bias training for the PCC to enable selection of the two PCC representatives on the interview and selection panel. There are additional procedural steps to follow such as a formal meeting with the Bishop of London, but this is how the latest timeline looks:
- October / November – advertisement in Church Times
- November – panel shortlisting and prospective candidates visit
- 14 December – Interviews with panel & provisional offer made
- Around the beginning of Lent – Collation & Installation
In many ways, life at St Giles’ continues as normal during the interregnum. The churchwardens exercise legal power over the administration of St Giles’ during this period and thankfully do so with the support of the PCC and officers, Jake as administrator and all the volunteers who give their time to running the church, services, book fairs and events. Organ music and choir continue as ever under the direction of Anne. We are fortunate to have Alex as curate, and Alex will take some of the Sunday services and provide a contact for pastoral care. As part of her preparations for leaving, Katharine set up a rota of clergy to make sure that all Sunday services are covered. In addition, our ecumenical partners have kindly offered their help as needed.
We would like to thank all those who gave their time and energy to organising and running the leaving events for Katharine. They were a fitting tribute to Katharine and to all she has accomplished at St Giles’. I think we all felt that Katharine was leaving behind a strong and caring community at St Giles’ and one with enough confidence and identity to embrace the positive aspects of the interregnum, however much we miss Katharine.
Our wardens: Lorraine Mullins, Gail Beer and Tim Middleton
Message from our Curate, Reverend Alex Norris
As I said in my sermon on Trinity Sunday (the first Sunday of our interregnum) it is such a privilege to be able journey with all of you through this next phase of the long distinguished history of St Giles’, which we are fortunate enough to be sharing together at this time, and I know, with the support of God we will have nothing that we should feel anxious about.
These next weeks and months will of course hold some uncertainty, but the life of the church and St Giles’ will continue, as we hopefully come out of the restrictions that have been placed on us because of the pandemic, and then when can look to return to some sense of normality, whilst we may choose to keep some of the changes we have made for the better for the longer term.
Whatever we choose, whatever we do, know that God is with us all.
Having had such a wonderful time at Iskele last weekend, I am looking to do another meal in due course, which will be better publicised, as I appreciate the publicity for the last meal was rather lost among all of the leaving arrangements for Katharine. Hopefully more can join the good number that came last week!
As mentioned in the notices, I am generally in the parish on a Wednesday late afternoon / early evenings and if anyone needs to see me please do drop me a line and we can make the necessary arrangements to catch up. If the matter is more urgent please do call me.
With every blessing for the Trinity Season,
Simon Freeman’s poem for Katharine (read on her final Sunday)
A Curlew Calls
A curlew flew across marsh and meadow.
Rich fabrics were fashioned into the life of a priest
who walked with us, through storied walls and windows.
Candles reeled. Fresh seed was sown, and still grows.
An artist’s brush spread light on chapter and verse.
A curlew flew across marsh and meadow.
Confessions were heard, but none of us knows
the grief she observed or the pain she eased,
listening between storied walls and windows.
Colourful tales were told. Laughter still flows
in aisles where fairs were held. We joined the feast.
A curlew flew across marsh and meadow.
Food was banked, organs schooled, sopranos
soared, angels cleaned. Bread, wine and peace
were shared, within these storied walls and windows.
New furniture now, new lives and librettos,
to furnish this house and a new home for our priest.
We walk with her across marsh and meadow.
A curlew calls — new stories, walls, and windows.
Please send me any photos you may have taken during the leaving receptions and we’ll add them to the photobook.
The next Book Fair…
…is penciled in for the last week of July and much (possibly all) of August. We’ll let you know when the dates are confirmed.
Thank you to the Cleaning Angels…
…for dusting, wiping and brushing the church yesterday into fine shape, so to speak. Please contact Diana (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you’d like to take part when they next meet following 1pm Private Prayer on Thursday 1 July. Your light labours will be rewarded with tea and cake.
Square Mile Churches events, 10 June
The City of London Deanery (of which St Giles’ is a member) has launched its new website www.squaremilechurches.co.uk. Please go and check it out. You can also see all the events that are taking place for the reopening of the city, taking place on the 10th June.
The Music team are also open to receiving hymn suggestions for our services, as well as other music. So if you have anything you would like to suggest please do contact Anne Marsden-Thomas (email@example.com) and let her know.
Festival at St Giles’
We welcome back the Summer Music in City Churches Festival from from 17th to 26th June. The festival’s theme will be SUNSHINE AFTER RAIN: concerts filled with joyful, optimistic music to lift the spirits, with some interludes for reflection too. Click here to view the programme and buy tickets.