What does the future hold for St. Stephen’s Church?

30th November A5aYou are invited to an Open Meeting at St. Stephen’s at 7pm on Monday 30th November to discover the answer.

There will be wine & light refreshments followed by presentations led by The Reverend Jeremy Allcock, vicar of St. Stephens, and the church architect Colin Kerr of Molyneux Kerr Architects

For some time there has been concern about the future of this historic church. Not only has St. Stephen’s aging structure been in great jeopardy but without some £450,000 in essential repairs there was a fear that St. Stephen’s would no longer be able to play its important role as both a vibrant, much-beloved church home for many area residents but also as a thriving centre for some 80 hours a week of community activities.

However, there is good news! The Heritage Lottery Fund has awarded £251,500 toward the essential structural repairs.  In addition to the lottery funding, a further £112,00 has been raised from church reserves, donations from the congregation, further grants and support from the Hereford Road Association.

The Revd Jeremy Allcock says:
“Although we face quite a few challenges ahead, we are greatly encouraged by all this wonderful support. However, as before in this church’s history, saving the building is going to need a collective effort from the whole neighbourhood. So we would like to share with you the good news but also explain our plans for the future with all our friends in the community.”

Celebrating our Heritage Lottery Fund Grant

english_landscape_blackWe are delighted to announce that the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has awarded St. Stephen’s a substantial grant to undertake essential structural repairs. We have received an initial award of £36,000 for the development stage, and on successful completion (of which we are extremely confident), a further £215,500 will be awarded. In addition to the HLF grant, a further £112,00 has been raised from church reserves, donations from the congregation, further grants and support from the Hereford Road Association. This takes us a long way towards our total project budget of £450,000.

Since 2004 the Parochial Church Council of St. Stephen’s have been faced with growing structural problems within our buildings. This has required extensive investigations and costly remedial repairs. It became apparent that a long-term solution was required. The scale of the problems and the necessity of a planned intervention has been acknowledged and supported by Historic England who in 2014  placed St. Stephen’s on their Heritage at Risk Register as a Category A priority.

In response to this huge challenge, we have worked with our architect and structural engineers, to develop a plan to secure and preserve the structural integrity of our Grade II listed building.

The HLF grant and other monies raised means we can now move towards implementing those plans hopefully in 2016.

If you would like to know more please come to our Open Meeting at 7pm on Monday, 30th November.

Remembrance Sunday

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On Sunday 8th November, St. Stephen’s welcomed members of the Royal British Legion Paddington Branch for an Act of Remembrance and the laying of wreaths at the war memorial in the church. The ceremony also included representatives of the London Fire Brigade, the Metropolitan Police; St. John’s Ambulance Service and the Salvation Army (Portobello Road).

In the 75th anniversary year of the Battle of Britain, we recalled the famous words of Winston Churchill – ‘Never before in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.’ – reflected in the poem written by the Battle of Britain pilot, Flight Lieuftenant William Walker, and now inscribed on the Memorial Wall at Capel-Le-Ferne.

Here inscribed the names of friends we knew,
Young men with whom we often flew.
Scrambled to many angels high,
They knew that they or friends might die.
Many were very scarcely trained,
And many badly burnt or maimed.
Behind each name a story lies
Of bravery in summer skies;
Though many brave unwritten tales
Were simply told in vapour trails.
Many now lie in sacred graves
And many rest beneath the waves.
Outnumbered every day they flew,
Remembered here as just ‘The Few’.

Freya Fasanya and Morgan Jones, both aged 8, presented a posy of  poppies at the war memorial with the following words:
We bring these poppies on behalf of all children
to say thank you for all those who have died
in order that we might live in freedom and peace.

Harvest

 

Harvest 2015-4In October, St. Stephen’s Church and St. Stephen’s CofE Primary School both enjoyed special celebrations for Harvest at the church.

Both the church and school communities gave generous donations of food and toiletries to support the work of the Upper Room.

This week pupils from the school personally delivered about 40 carrier bags of groceries to support their amazing and vital work with the homeless and the vulnerable.

Community Mission Co-ordinator Appointed

We are delighted to announce that Mike Moritz has been appointed as our new Community Mission Co-ordinator and he will be leading our mission outreach on the Brunel estate – the ministry formerly led by Polly Haigh as the Eden Team Leader.

This is a part-time appointment and he will be joining the staff team in December. He will be working with our existing team of volunteers and our partners at Westbourne Park Baptist Church/Family Centre to maintain some of the existing programmes and to develop new initiatives and ideas.

Mike has enormous experience in teaching, working on charitable projects with young people, and mission projects at their current church. His interests include roller skating, playing the drums and making short videos for his own YouTube channel!

He and his wife Katie will be worshiping with us on Sundays and hope to become very much part of our church community.

We look forward to them joining us – please do all you can to make them welcome.