Welcome to the website of the parish church of St Stephen, South Dulwich in South East London, England. St Stephen’s is a parish church of the Church of England, and aims to be a broad and inclusive church valuing formal liturgy, challenging preaching, and fine music but aiming also to serve its community and parish. We are striving to make Christ’s presence real in our community. Our postal address is: St Stephen’s Church College Road SE21 7HN Telephone: +44 20 (or from the UK 020) 8693 3797 E-mail: ParishOffice@ststephensdulwich.org
Thought for the week
July 4th is the feast day of St John Vianney (1786-1859), known as the Curé d’Ars. A saintly priest who did much to help re-establish the Roman Catholic Church after the French Revolution, he was widely known for his piety and pastoral care, and people travelled great distances to speak with him. He is the patron saint of and an example to all priests.
There is a very touching story told by a priest named the Cure d’Ars, living in a French village. Every day a poor old labouring man on his return from his work used to leave his spade, hoe, and pickaxe at the door, and come and kneel and sit for hours in the little church. One day the priest stopped him, and said: “What is it, my friend, that you find to say to Our Lord in these long hours that you spend with Him?” “I say nothing, Sir,” answered the old man, “I look at Him, and He looks at me.”
This definition of contemplative prayer is still often used by spiritual directors today. As Christians we tend to think of prayer as something very active, as talking to God, or perhaps at God, making God aware of our needs and desires and wishes for the world. And, indeed, this is one type of prayer and a very necessary one. But there is also within the Christian tradition going back centuries a more contemplative type of prayer, one in which words become insufficient and we practice just being in the presence of God. If you feel drawn to this type of prayer, perhaps try it for a short period, beginning with five minutes. Sit and look at God and imagine God looking at you.
Not everyone finds this type of prayer helpful, and that is fine: different types of prayer suit different types of people. But I think that all busy people can benefit from becoming a bit more contemplative in our daily lives. How often do we really slow down, taste our food, and give thanks for it as a gift from God? How often do we make time simply to gaze at something beautiful, a flower, a painting, a sunset, a loved one? August is often a month when we slow down a bit. Perhaps we can also make time just to sit and stare for a while.
After the 10am parish service, please stay for tea and coffee in the hall.
Services and events on Sunday 2nd August
8am: Holy Communion (BCP – 1662). Sermon: Rev’d Peter Westwood
10am: Sung Parish Eucharist Sermon: Rev’d Peter Westwood
Hymns and music.
Processional hymn: 418 Father, Lord of all creation
Gloria: David Thorne Mass of St Thomas
Gradual hymn: 594 The Lord’s my shepherd
Offertory hymn: 311 Lord enthroned in heavenly splendour
Setting: David Thorne Mass of St Thomas
Recessional hymn: 455 Guide me O thou great Redeemer
Voluntary: Norman Gilbert Epilogue
Services and events on Sunday 9th August
Music and hymns tbc
8am:Holy Communion (BCP – 1662). Sermon: The Vicar
8.45am:Interment of Ashes (Patrick Spencer)
10am:Sung Parish Eucharist Sermon: The Vicar
Services during the week
Monday to Thursday: 8.30am silent prayer followed by 8.45am Morning Prayer
Wednesday: 9.45am Holy Communion
We have an active faculty application (equivalent to a planning application) to make some alterations to the corridor between the church and the hall, addressing some concerns over safeguarding during weekdays. If you have any questions about this please speak to one of the churchwardens.
There will be a new rota for roles assisting at the main Sunday service beginning on 2nd August. If you are usually on the rota and haven’t received a copy, please contact the office
On Saturday 5th September Woolwich area (our part of the Diocese) is holding a Lay Conference entitled ‘I will build my Church (but I need some help)’. It is designed to help people improve what they do and use their gifts, and looks to be a very interesting event. More information from Martin North Mnorthlaychair@aol.co.uk or Christine Ridgwell email@example.com, see the poster in the porch, or speak to one of the clergy.
Kingswood House is a gem of local history at the heart of this Parish. It is in desperate need of Friends to help it survive and flourish. At present it has no Secretary and no Treasurer. If anyone feels they can help please contact Jane Wenlock on 07768 105460. Also anyone willing to join up as a Friend would be most welcome. Membership costs just £5 a year.
The Bible Study Group will meet in the Church at 10.30am on Monday. All welcome.
The Kingswood Festival will be on Sunday 9th September this year. More details nearer the time.
Fikelela Lunch – Everyone is invited to lunch at the home of Ruth and Ray Cousins on Tuesday 11th August 12.30 for lunch at 1.00pm to meet Ann Hodge who is our link with the church in Rhondesbosch which makes the parcels for the Grannies. These grandmothers are raising their Aids-orphaned grandchildren on very limited pensions. We request a donation of £10 for the fund. Please contact Ruth on (020) 8670 4673 by Monday 10th, AM. 33 Hitherwood Drive, SE19 1XA.
Council of Christians and Jews, South East London Branch – Annual General Meeting with Seasonal Refreshments Tuesday 11th August 2015 at 8.00 pm Refreshments from 7.45 pm at Bromley Synagogue, 28 Highland Road, Bromley BR1 4AD