Welcome to St Paul's Church Grove Park, Chiswick
We would be delighted if you came to worship with us in this church which has been used for Christian worship since 1872. Christians of all denominations are welcome here, as are those searching for God and indeed the simply curious. Our main act of worship is at 10am on Sunday and during this service, there is a creche for children at the back of the church. We have a large hall adjoining the church which is available for anyone in the local community to use. Click the Community Hall button to find out more.
We usually collect donations in church to take to a local food bank, but at the moment we are not able to do this for obvious reasons.
Click on the Charities button below for more information.
STAY SAFE AND STAY HOME
We do hope you can join us for our Sunday services via Zoom. Please talk to Sue Hearn on 07958 414638 or email@example.com about how you can do this. The service sheet is below, and it will also be shown on screen during the service.
St Paul’s is closed to the public for services or private prayer until further notice. Michael will continue to say Morning and Evening Prayer privately as before and he prays for us, as we do for one another, in the days to come.
The service sheet for each week's Zoom service is below, as well as Rev Michael's thoughts. You can read any of the the previous weeks' sermons by clicking on the Coronovirus Support button above.
We would very much like to be able to reach out to anyone in the local Grove Park community who is self-isolating, or might need any other support, such as help with delivering food or medicine. Sue Hearn is the co-ordinator for this at St Paul's, so please do contact her if you are able to volunteer or if you are in need of help. Her phone number is 07958 414638 and her email firstname.lastname@example.org. It will be more effective, safer and easier to manage, if we can co-ordinate help within our own neighbourhoods. So if you are a volunteer from another part of Chiswick or London, please consider trying to find a support group to join that is closer to home. Your local church may well be a good place to start! There is more help on our Coronovirus Support page.
A PRAYER ABOUT THE CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK
Keep us, good Lord,
under the shadow of your mercy
in this time of uncertainty and distress.
Sustain and support the anxious and fearful,
and lift up all who are brought low;
that we may rejoice in your comfort
knowing that nothing can separate us from your love
in Christ Jesus our Lord.
We are now running a series of Saturday Socials on Zoom, which all are welcome to attend! This programme of talks and concerts began in May, and if you would like to join us for any of them, please get in touch with Sue Hearn on 07958 414638 or email@example.com to receive your Zoom invitation. The talks begin at 5:30pm and are all on Saturdays.
May 2nd: Working with the Weir Academy by Peter Capell
Peter Capell has been working since 2013 as part of the training team for the group of wheelchair racing athletes coached by Jenny Archer and multiple Paralympic gold medallist David Weir. Peter will talk about the work of the Academy, the range of athletes involved and how it relates to wider aspects of life for young
May 9th: Front Room Recital by Ben and Bea and Maddy Chappell
A wonderful recital by Bea, Maddy and Ben Chappell. They played some duos and trios by Bach, Tchaikovsky and Piazzolla to name but a few. This lovely concert ended with an opportunity to discuss the pieces and ask questions, as well as socialise. What a wonderful opportunity to enjoy some gorgeous music in the comfort of our own sitting rooms!
May 16th: My Career in Musical Theatre by Mike Reed
Mike will be playing live some of his favourite pieces of music on the piano and taking you on a quick trip through his musical life so far.
May 23rd: Politics and Government in the Time of Coronavirus by Julia Langdon
The Covid-19 crisis has created an extraordinary political scenario, both nationally and internationally. None of the politicians now obliged to perform on the world stage has seen anything like this in their lives. What does it mean for British politics? Who is doing well and who less well? Who is having “a good war” as we say in the lingo? What will the electorate make of it all and what are the long-term implications? Julia Langdon, who has worked at Westminster since Boris Johnson was six years old. She will set the scene for the questions that are already being asked about the pandemic in Britain and try to offer suggestions for some of the answers.
30th May: Si Lawley (aka Surtees) hosts Isolation Island Discs Guest tbc!
6th June: Local History, Grove Park and Chiswick by James Wisdom
James is from the Brentford and Chiswick local history society and will talk about the history of the area surrounding the church.
13th June: Si Lawley (aka Surtees) hosts Isolation Island Discs Guest tbc
20th June: Living in London Through the Blitz by Bill White
27th June: The Love of Scuba Diving in the UK and Abroad by Cecilia Thwaites
POEMS IN A TIME OF CORONAVIRUS
We are running a Zoom group for sharing poetry and prose to help us get through the coronavirus crisis. This has been inspiring, thought-provoking and a brilliant way to connect with those who are isolated. You can join the group by phone as well as via a video link, please email email firstname.lastname@example.org if this appeals to you. We have put the poems we read each week into an anthology and you can read them by clicking on, and downloading the pdfs below.
During the coronavirus pandemic, St Paul’s is not receiving any donations for the collections that would usually be taken during our Sunday services, and sadly we do have some expensive and essential repair work to do in the church. If you would like to make a donation to our funds during the crisis – either as a thank you for a Zoom social session you have attended, or for any other reason – then you can find out how by downloading the pdf below. Thank you very much!
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK
Thoughts for the Sunday after Ascension
We think about the Ascension of Christ on this Sunday - the triumph and rule and kingship of Christ as proclaimed in our prayers and hymns. We think of Jesus as one who prays: he prays in the gospel story for protection for the apostles, and for all who follow them. He prays for the church today, as this is his role, his work following the resurrection and ascension. The letter to the Hebrews tells us that ‘Christ ever lives to make intercession for us.’
I have mentioned before a wonderful statue of Christ praying for God’s people, which is at the east end of St Andrew’s Church in Fulham Fields. It is a powerful image, with Jesus standing with his hands outstretched, inviting us to join him in this ministry of prayer. And in these days running up to Pentecost the church encourages us to pray that the Spirit will be with us, and help us to be faithful people of prayer.
The New Testament refers to Jesus as the great high priest. This is because in his day the Jewish people had a community leader
known as the High Priest. This figure was attached to the sacrificial system based at the Jerusalem Temple. Once a year the High Priest entered a special place in the Temple called the Holy of Holies, to pray on behalf of the people. Early Christians wanted to say that Jesus had taken on this role, once and for all. Through his death, resurrection and ascension he had passed through the veil separating earth and heaven, for all time. And in heaven Jesus is busy praying for us, with divine energy and fire.
There are elements of the Ascension story which are puzzling, , including Jesus disappearing in a cloud, and seemingly going away. But the New Testament wants to say that at the Ascension Jesus goes to be with the Father, in order to be with us, to be more intimately present with us for ever. He changes from an earthly perspective to a heavenly vantage point. And the cloud in the story we heard in Acts speaks of presence, not absence. In the Scriptures clouds symbolize the presence of God, God with Moses, God with Jesus at the Transfiguration. The cloud indicates God’s presence here, and in later Christian mysticism. Among Christian mystical writings there is the 14th century English book, the ‘Cloud of Unknowing.’ In this book the Cloud symbolizes the deep and mysterious presence of the divine. We enter this through commitment to a life of prayer.So when Jesus enters the cloud at the ascension he is taken into the very life of God.
Coming back to Jesus’ prayer at the Last Supper we find him praying for protection, for wisdom and trust, and for unity. He
prays that the Spirit will come and bring strength and comfort, energy and love to all who follow him. He knows that the disciples are going to desert him during the night, and that they and all who follow will face difficult choices, temptations and challenges. Jesus prays that we may come through them, to find the joy and peace of eternal life.
Some people think of the Ascension as another bereavement for Mary and the friends of Jesus, but in their time of prayer together they come to see that they are being asked to let go in order to receive the fullness of his love and presence., and the promised gift of the Spirit.
We praise and bless you, risen and ascended Lord: help us to share in your ministry of prayer, and to know your presence and love in these challenging times. To you Lord Jesus, with us to the end of the age, be honour and glory, now and for ever. Amen.