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
Today we are celebrating the Feast of Peter and Paul. It is traditionally believed that they were martyred on this day in Rome in the mid-60s AD under the reign of Nero, although the Bible doesn’t tell us this.
St Peter and St Paul are, of course, two key figures of early Christianity. St Paul worked tirelessly to spread the faith throughout the communities of the Mediterranean and to bring all into the family of the God of Israel. St Peter was one of Jesus’s closest disciples and seems to have been the natural leader of the group. Jesus appointed him pastor to the community of friends who, after the resurrection, became the first church: ‘On this rock I will build my church’. So in a way it’s quite odd that of these two important men neither gets his own proper festival in the church’s year, but they have to share. It’s even odder when you think that the relationship between the two Apostles appears to have been difficult. In Galatians 2 Paul rails against Peter, accusing him of hypocrisy for eating with Gentiles only if there were no Jews present to challenge him. They seriously fell out over one of the most important religious and moral issues of their day: did people need to become Jews first in order to become Christians, or were Gentiles accepted on their own terms? Who belongs? It is unclear whether they ever agreed on this issue; it seems likely that they continued to argue right up until their twin martyrdoms for the faith.
I find this example of disagreement strangely comforting. It can sometimes seem in the media as though our church is uniquely in peril at this time, torn by disagreements on issues including women’s ministry and the full acceptance of LGBT people – who belongs? Yet even these towering Apostles disagreed with one another, even while heading together for martyrdom, and the church survived and prospered. We don’t need to think that the only alternatives for us are total agreement or schism, and neither do we need to retreat into ‘niceness’. We can stand up for our views and even express them in the strongest terms, all while remaining in charity and communion with those who disagree.
After the 10am parish service, please stay for tea and coffee in the hall.
Sunday, 5th July
8am:Holy Communion (BCP – 1662). Sermon: the Vicar
10am: Choral Eucharist with Footsteps for children: Rebecca’s First Mass. Sermon: the Rev’d Mandy Hodgson, Rector of Streatham
Music and other details for this service are contained in our special order of service.
12pm: Holy Baptism: Eloise Knolles
Services during the week
Monday to Friday: 8.30am Silent Prayer followed at 8.45 by Morning Prayer
Tuesday: 3pm Memorial Service for John Gibben
Wednesday: 9.45am Holy Communion
Saturday: 12noon Wedding with Holy Communion (Shavaun and Ariyo)
2pm Wedding with Holy Communion (Gaby and Phil)
Sunday, 12th July
8am: Holy Communion (BCP – 1662). Sermon: the Vicar
10am: Sung parish Eucharist with Footsteps for children – Sermon: Revd Rebecca Lloyd
Our Curate, the Revd Dr Rebecca Lloyd, will be ordained priest in this church of St Stephen’s on Saturday 4 July at 11am. She will be ordained by the Bishop of Woolwich alongside the other two curates in this area of her generation. This is the first time in the history of St Stephen’s that we have been asked to host an ordination. Rebecca will then – for the first time – preside at the Holy Eucharist on the following day, Sunday 5th July at 10am. Please pray for Rebecca at this time of preparation, and for her future ministry as a priest here at St Stephen’s and beyond. TROT LAVELLE, OUR READER, HAS STARTED A COLLECTION FOR A GIFT THAT WILL BE PRESENTED TO REBECCA ON THE OCCASION OF THE FIRST EUCHARIST HERE ON SUNDAY 5TH JULY.
The Bible Study Group meets on Mondays at 10.30 am in the church. Our subject is The Lord’s Prayer which we shall be exploring using the Pilgrim Course booklets. Everyone is welcome. Please speak to Hazel Kimber after the service for more information.
“Out and About” Club Reminder. If you would like to join us on Monday, 5th October for our half-day trip to The Poppy Factory preceded by coffee in Richmond Park, please don’t forget to bring your £5.00 (non-returnable) deposit on Sunday, 12th July! The £10.00 cost includes a light lunch.
On Sunday 29th November (Advent Sunday) the Bishop of Woolwich will be coming to St Stephen’s for a Confirmation service. Please speak to one of the clergy if you are interested in affirming your Christian faith in this way. There will be preparation sessions running on Wednesdays at 4pm for young people (12+) and at 8pm for adults, on the following dates: 7 and 14 October and 4, 11 and 25 November. You can also attend these sessions to learn and discuss more about Christianity even if you choose not to be confirmed, or just want a refresher.
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 0776 810 5460. Also anyone willing to join up as a Friend would be most welcome. Membership costs just £5 a year.
The local Christian charity Pecan has a job for a COMMUNITY FUNDRAISER (AND SOCIAL MEDIA GURU) at a salary of £22,273 pro rata, part-time (18 hours/week). Please view the job description, person specification and how to apply on their website at: www.pecan.org.uk/get-involved/vacancies