Songs of Praise

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This Sunday St. Stephen’s will host a ‘Songs of Praise’ service in which several members of the congregation will be choosing their own favourite hymn or worship song, and sharing with the congregation the reasons for their choice.

This comes at the end of a series of services where each Sunday the different preachers have chosen a favourite hymn or song and spoken about their themes, theology or spiritual significance. Choices have included:

If you would like to know what has been chosen for this Sunday come along and join us at 11am, Sunday, 10th June – everyone is welcome!

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Overflowing with thankfulness

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During the school half-term holiday, over 50 primary aged children enjoyed a fun and exciting holiday club organised by Westbourne Park Family Centre, supported by St. Stephen’s Church, and hosted at St. Stephen’s CofE Primary School.

Club Xpress meets at St. Stephen’s School every Friday evening but also during each school half-term break.  Along with the adult staff and volunteers, over 15 teenagers – many of whom have been former participants at the holiday clubs – help run many activities and support the younger children.

The theme for the holiday club was ‘Overflow with thankfulness’ – Colossians 2 v7. This included a wide game in Kensington Gardens where the children overcame barriers to thankfulness – such as Envy, Greed, Selfishness – to pass on 276 thank you letter’s expressing their gratitude for things as varied as the weather, their families, their homes and God. A wall of thankfulness was created at the school which was added to throughout the club.

The club was inspected by Ofsted during the Friday sessions and the inspector seemed very impressed by what she saw.

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Car Wash!

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On Saturday, 19th May – while the rest of the world was watching the Royal Wedding – a group of 10 young people, ably assisted by some of their parents, undertook a fund-raising car wash outside the front of the church.

In brilliant spring sunshine, and with military efficiency, they worked extremely hard to polish and preen, inside and out, a stream of cars for 5 hours.

While their cars were washed, the owners consumed home-made cakes, tea, coffee etc, before being re-introduced to their cars, now in near showroom condition – and in some cases that was quite a challenge!

All customers went away pleased and impressed, and donated generously . Thanks to all who made donations and to those who worked so hard.

The young people are raising funds towards the cost of going on summer camps and in total hope to raise £1500. So all donations are welcome, and watch this space to hear about future fund-raising events.

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Prayer Tree

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As part of our commitment to praying ‘Thy Kingdom Come‘, we invited people to write prayers and hang them on our Prayer Tree.

The Sunday congregation on 13th May wrote prayers and hung them on the tree. Throughout the following week, children and staff from St. Stephen’s CofE Primary School also brought prayers.

Prayer tags were made available in the garden all week and neighbours, passers-by and tourists all took the opportunity to write and hang prayers in the tree.

By the end of the week well over 200 prayers were colourfully decorating the tree – all inviting God’s Kingdom to come – into our lives, our church, our school, our neighbourhood and our world.

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Thy Kingdom Come

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From Ascension to Pentecost, we are joining in with the Archbishop of Canterbury’s international prayer initiative to pray ‘Thy Kingdom Come’.

After the ascension of Jesus, the disciples stayed in Jerusalem, as he had commanded, and prayed as one until the Holy Spirit came upon them with great power on the Day of Pentecost – Acts 1 v14.

Now we join for 10 days in praying for God’s kingdom to come – waiting to see the Holy Spirit act with great power.

On Saturday, 12th May the church will be open for prayer from 10am to 10pm for anyone who wants to pop in.

“Gracious and generous God, almighty and ever merciful, we turn to you with care and concern for our world…”