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.

When the history of the late twentieth century is written I think that a prominent place will be given to the rise of management theory and of the business school. In all sectors of human endeavour, from business through to Government, charities, schools, societies, etc, it is taken as read that the leaders need to set a strategy, to plan and manage resources and people in order to meet the goals they set themselves. This mania for planning has also affected our personal lives: we plan and control our children’s development through careful selection of play activities, for instance, or we use the internet to control and filter those we want to meet as friends or romantic partners. We frequently expect that if only we put in enough effort at planning we can be in complete control of our lives. Choice and control are seen as the highest goods.

And yet, many things happen to us which show us, sometimes shockingly, how little control we actually have and how our plans fail.  We are affected by accident or illness. Someone we love betrays us. Someone or something unexpectedly brings us more joy than we would have thought possible. If we try to control too much, we cannot cope with bad shocks, or be open to good ones.

There is much ambiguity about planning in the Bible.  We are called upon to be prudent and to be good stewards of the riches given to us, which involves planning. But many other passages in the Bible pour scorn on human attempts to plan and control. The Holy Spirit works in the church often by surprises: new people coming through the doors bringing new gifts and talents, for instance.

We have a St Stephen’s planning morning on 15 November (see Notices below) to begin a process which every church in the Diocese is undergoing, of looking at where we are spending our time, money and energy, and whether we might find better ways of doing so.  I have been wondering how we might plan and strategize in a distinctively Christian way. Perhaps we can begin by asking ourselves where we most clearly see God at work at St Stephen’s, where the church feels most alive, and how we can build on those things. Conversely, are there also areas of our life together which feel less vital and open to God? Please come along on the 15th and contribute to our process of prayer and discernment.

Rebecca Lloyd

After the 10am parish service, please stay for tea and coffee in the Hall

Services and events Sunday 26th October.

8am: Holy Communion (BCP 1662) Sermon: The Curate
10am: Sung Parish Eucharist. Sermon:  The Curate

Music and hymns at 10am.
Processional Hymn: 267 Thou whose almighty word.
Gloria: Mathes Mass for Congregation and Choir.
Gradual Hymn: 460 Help us, O Lord, to learn.
Offertory Hymn: 377 Angel voices, ever singing.
Setting: Mathes Mass for Congregation and Choir (Sanctus, Benedictus & Agnus Dei)
Lord’s Prayer:   Estonian.
Music during communion: Played by the Royal Academy 80ties Reunion Alumni Trio: Verity Steele-violin, Beata Toyka -piano & Bernhard Schunemann-cello.
Recessional Hymn: 497 Let All the world in every corner
Voluntary: Vaughan-Williams  March (Folk Songs from Somerset) from English Folk Song Suite

Services during the week

Monday to Friday:    8.30am; Silent Prayer followed at 8.45 by Morning Prayer
Wednesday:                 9.45am: Holy Eucharist

Sunday 2nd November

8am: Holy Communion (BCP 1662)  Sermon: Revd Peter Westwood
10am; Sung Parish Eucharist.Sermon: The Vicar
6pm:  All Souls Memorial Service with out Choir and the lighting of candles for those who have died in the past year. Sermon The Vicar.


The Copleston Centre (a member church in our Dulwich Deanery) is helping to start a Credit Union by organising a mass opening of Credit Union accounts in order to generate publicity and provide the basis for increasing awareness and availability of affordable lending to people in the area.In order to open an account you must live or work in Southwark, Lambeth, Camden or Westminster (the boroughs where London Mutual operates. You need to invest a minimum of 7 pounds of which 2pounds is an admin fee and 5 pounds goes in to your account. Application forms for this are available from our Vicar.(this week is the last chance to help with the launch)

 Thursday 30th October, 6.30pm Garry Weston Library, Southwark Cathedral. Faithfully Feminist: An Interfaith Dialogue – Professor Tina Beattie and Rabbi Deborah Young-Somers talk about the highs and lows of being a feminist woman within their faith tradition.

Do you want to be involved in planning the future of St Stephen’s? Do you have ideas about what we do well and what we could do better? Where do you think we as a church should concentrate our energies over the next year? Come along to a workshop on Saturday 15th November from 10am to 1pm (prayers from 9.30) to discuss our church and our life together. For more information speak to the clergy.

 Save the date … the Curate will be offering an Advent course exploring different methods of prayer. These will be on Tuesdays 25th November, 2nd and 9th December. Each session will run twice, once in the afternoon and once in the evening. More details to follow.



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