Annual Parochial Church Meeting
Report from St Nick's
30 April, 2007 - 9 March, 2008
The highlight of the worshipping life of St Nick’s this year was probably Midnight Mass. Ninety-eight people were in church, of whom only about five didn’t live close by.
We were also very glad to welcome Ann Easter to preach for us on St Nicholas Day, and to have a wonderful solo performed by Kathryn Copeland and accompanied by Andrew Brown. The other memorable aspect of that day was the amount of people who were here from All Saints in a year during which we actively encouraged the congregation at St Nick’s to attend All Saints’ Day at All Saints, and the congregation at All Saints to attend St Nicholas Day at St Nick’s. The links between the two churches were further strengthened throughout the year with PCC meetings alternating between the two churches and numerous occasions when other members of the Staff Team either preached or presided at St Nicholas. It was a delight to have Fr John preside at Mass for the first time at St Nick’s in June, in the week following his ordination as a priest.
Thank you also – as always – to Fr Alan, for his wisdom and guidance concerning life beyond the Blackwall Tunnel Road.
The Parish Confirmation at All Saints was another great parish occasion. From St Nick’s, Amy and Jack Rudelhoff, Stevie Craddock-Harrington and Sam Atkinson were confirmed. Levi and Courtney Ajoku have just embarked on their confirmation preparations from St Nick’s and we pray for them and wish them well.
We have always been incredibly fortunate with the quality of the music at St Nick’s, thanks to Andrew Brown and Mike Ludlow. They have also been nobly assisted by Fr Tom Slater and Michael Keyte and we thank them for their generosity in always providing cover when needed.
There was something definitely in the air this year on the musical front. John Baker, through Leabank Project, organised 5 concerts at St Nick’s between 22 May and 21 November with musicians coming from ‘Trinity College of Music’ and the ‘Bible Way Gospel Singers’, and Michael Keyte, with the ‘London Transport Choir’, also organised a concert here on 6 October. These were much appreciated by their audiences and brought live music of high quality to the Aberfeldy.
In the hall the stairs to the stage were completed by James Stewart, and the first phase of the sound system was installed. A group of people from St Nicholas have been involved in taking bookings for the hall which - apart from the Lunch Club – have ranged from private bookings to the recent Young Leaders’/Leabank Project ‘Film Club’. The booking out of the hall has been an important component in our ongoing aim to secure the financial viability of the Church Centre.
Rita Bohle, Molly Earl and the Management Committee of the Lunch Club have kept the club going three days a week throughout the year with their hard work and consistently delicious cooking. Rita and Molly particularly excelled themselves at the very well attended Christmas Dinner which was declared the ‘best ever’! Anyone of pensionable age who lives in Tower Hamlets is welcome, so please spread the word if you think of anyone you know who might appreciate it.
In the course of the year Edie Warren, Doll Young, and Lizzie Martin died. So too did Margaret Carlin from the Lunch Club. We send our love and condolences to their families. May they rest in peace.
We are all well aware of having quite a way to go in building up the congregation at St Nick’s, but it felt good to be putting up our wonderful new notice-boards in June and spending an afternoon leafleting the parish about the church in August. Thinking of imaginative ways to encourage people into the life of the church remains a clear priority.
Thank you – as always – to our St Nick’s Churchwardens, Margaret and Joyce, and to all the members of the Parish Council, for their commitment, time and work. Margaret in her role as Pastoral Assistant has also continued with valuable work on the chaplaincy-team at Mile End Hospital. Joyce has been overseeing our church rotas and thank you to all those who have participated on a Sunday morning.
Thank you also to Estelle, Lystra and Kathy for their work in the Sunday School. It’s always challenging to run a Sunday School when numbers vary greatly from week to week, but they have soldiered on with a real sense of commitment to the youngest members of the church.
This year on the St Nick’s Council we appointed sub-groups working on topics such as worship, the fabric of the building etc. To date this has proved a valuable way of ensuring that the many aspects of the life of the church are not forgotten, and we are hoping to develop this as we encourage people to think about areas of the church’s life where they would like to contribute. During the first three Sundays of Lent 2008, three members of the congregation gave talks about their lives and their sense of the part that God had played in them. Each was striking, moving and very well received by the congregation as a whole.
Just this last week the paper-work came back from the Diocese that allows us to do weddings once again at St Nick’s. It felt like another step along the way following the opening of the building in 1998 and the re-dedication in 2000. With it being the day after the 29 February, we must spread the word and await the calls…
1 March 2008