Dear Friends at St John's.
This is just a brief note to thank you all for your kindness and friendship to me and all the family over the last nearly 7 years we have been with you. We have shared many blessings and some significant challenges along the way.
I have been genuinely touched by the numerous cards, gifts and messages of love we have recieved in recent weeks-thank you for your generosity in welcoming me into your lives. It has been a privilege and delight to be your Rector.
My prayers are with you as you discern the way forward over the coming months. This is not an ideal way to say goodbye especially to a community I have come to love and respect. But for the moment, until we can meet together to worship together again this is all we have.
So goodbye for now and God bless.
And thank you from all of us
Jenny, Mark, Kate and Helena
A poem sent in by Gill Sharpe
This is the time to be slow,
Lie low to the wall
Until the bitter weather passes.
Try, as best you can, not to let
The wire brush of doubt
Scrape from your heart
All sense of yourself
And your hesitant light
If you remain generous,
Time will come good;
And you will find your feet
Again on fresh pastures of promise,
Where the air will be kind
And blushed with beginning.
by poet/priest, John O”Donohue
Bishop Jonathan and Archdeacon Moira have recorded Pentecost messages for the people of the Croydon Episcopal Area and they have asked us to share them with you all.
The links to the videos are shown below
Bishop Jonathan: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XcWrPHLRs4c
Archdeacon Moira: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQR8LStRIc0
With all good wishes,
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has launched a free national phone line as a simple new way to bring worship and prayer into people’s homes while church buildings are closed because of the coronavirus.Daily Hope, which is available from today, offers music, prayers and reflections as well as full worship services from the Church of England at the end of a telephone line.
The line – which is available 24 hours a day on
0800 804 8044 –
has been set up particularly with those unable to join online church services during the period of restrictions in mind.
The service is supported by the Church of England nationally as well as through the Connections group based at Holy Trinity Claygate in Surrey and the Christian charity Faith in Later Life.
Callers will hear a special greeting from the Archbishop before being able to choose from a range of options, including hymns, prayers, reflections and advice on COVID-19.
Options available include materials also available digitally by the Church of England’s Communications team such as Prayer During the Day and Night Prayer, updated daily, from Common Worship, and a recording of the Church of England weekly national online service.
A section called Hymn Line offers callers a small selection of hymns, updated daily. An option entitled ‘Hymns We Love’, provides a hymn and reflection and is based on an initiative by the Connections group
Bishop Christopher and the CTG are very aware that this period can be a difficult one for some households and the Metropolitan Police have asked us to share these numbers which we are pleased to do. The message from them, as from the attached document from the National Safeguarding team is that we should all be vigilant in our care for others at this time.
For more information about support services that are available, go to https://www.met.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/daa/domestic-abuse/
In addition, the National Safeguarding Teams Guidance on Domestic Abuse can be found at https://www.churchofengland.org/safeguarding/promoting-safer-church/domestic-abuse-and-covid-19
Please feel free to share this information widely with others in your churches and communities.
As always, the Safeguarding team are available to provide advice regarding safeguarding matters and referrals.
I hope you all keep well and safe over the coming weeks.
With a heavy heart, the Bishops of London and Southwark have had to make the difficult decision to close all church buildings completely in order to try and stop the spread of the virus in London. St John's church building will therefore be closed completely for the time being. This means that no one will be able to enter the building to ring the bell to remind people that prayer continues during the week, not even the Rector, and there will be no service on Sunday to live-stream to our Facebook page.
But Prayer does continue, just not in the church building. And St John's Church as a community of Christians is still very much open and active - and you can be part of it, or if you prefer simply to enjoy what we have to offer.
All our resources are on St John's website.
Prayer walking resources are in the section headed Prayer Walk Worship. And although we will not be meeting physically for worship, short versions of our notice sheets will still be available on the website, so you can look at the readings and prayers for the week, and pray for those on our Prayer List and our Year's Mind remembrance.
Please let Amanda know if there is someone you would like to be included in our Notice Sheet Prayer list
(don't forget that you need their permission before their name is included)
You can use the Prayer walk anywhere - even within your own home - please continue to pray for friends and neighbours and send those photos to Amanda!
And if prayer is not your tradition, why not use it anyway without the suggested prayers as an opportunity to practice Mindfulness- setting aside a regular time each day - even just 10 minutes, could offer some structure and space for you in an otherwise fragmented day. Prayerful and Mindful pictures to Amanda are all welcome!
Amanda is also including in the website some pictures we already have from inside the church, just to remind you of how glorious the building is, and how wonderful it will be when we can meet there again.
And why not try Bible Reading? We are very grateful to Peter Graystone for making some of his Bible Reading notes available to us for this website. And if you click on the Bible Reading page you'll find additional resources there too.
Although we cannot use our church building at the moment,
be reassured that someone is praying for you! And it's not just your Rector and clergy who can pray! Why not take this opportunity to intentionally pray for those you would have sat alongside on a Sunday morning - and why not give them a call to let them know they are in your thoughts and prayers. And remember that God, who loves you more than you can hope or imagine is with you, wherever you are.
Although we cannot hold public worship in the building at St John's, the prayer life of the parish will continue. Let's do some some Prayer Walking. This begins with a short prayer and you can do it at home at any time, alone or in company (make sure you follow government guidelines)
Just 2 rules:
1 You don't have to go far or fast! It's easy to do at home - in your house or in your garden, or just admiring your balcony or window-box! If you pray while you're out for your once-a-day exercise, please ensure you remain socially distant from anyone else doing the same.
2. Take a photo of something you notice along the way and email it to Amanda firstname.lastname@example.org to share on the website page. It would be great if you could include a brief comment or a prayer to help inspire and encourage others.
Keep an eye on our Prayer Walk Worship page which can be found on the link below to see where our journeys have taken us!
Leaflets with suggested prayers for the Prayer Walk are available to download from the link below. If it is safe to do so, you could also pick up a paper copy from the box at the church door.
You can do your prayer walk at any time that suits you - doesn't have to be on Sunday, and you may prefer to walk alone or in company with just one other "contact".
You can do Prayer Walking anywhere - but please pray particularly for friends and neighbours in Selsdon at this difficult time.
Whenever and however you choose to Prayer Walk, please do send Amanda your photo so we can share our experiences together and experience our worship "in community".
Why not us this time to try some bible reading ?
There are lots of brilliant schemes to help you
Please click below to go to our Bible Reading page where you will find useful links:
A great resource is A church near you where you can find live streams of services please click on the link below for more info
A few tips fron Susan Oakes who runs our
Meeting God In Silence service on a Monday evening:
I pray for others - and the prayer walk liturgies are helpful - and then still my mind, using the words from Psalm 46 ”Be still and know that I am God” you can repeat them and each time remove words so ”Be still and know, Be Still, Be” . I find this helps to take my focus from the worries in my mind and direct them more to a focus on the presence of God.
Sitting in nature and listening to only the birds and the wind reminds me of the beauty and steadfastness of God’s creation and his love for us just as we are.
I have found it very calming.
I hope that helps
The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu has live streamed a short prayer time on his Facebook page . It includes the Lord’s Prayer and two Taizé Chants and is around 10 minutes long. Across the country cathedrals, parish churches and non-traditional church gatherings are adapting to the challenges posed by the restrictions on public gatherings to help limit the spread of infection in different ways.The Bishop of Chelmsford, Stephen Cottrell, said: “The Church has never been a building, it has always been a people.“We are about to discover what that means.“From this Sunday onward the Church will meet as usual, but it won’t be happening in our buildings.“It will be happening in our hearts and in our homes.” “Amidst the anxiety over coronavirus, people are focusing on a message of love, hope and kindness.”
Nationally the Church of England is expanding the number of digital and print resources to support people praying at home and growing in faith in new ways.More than 300 live streaming services have been added to AChurchNearYou.com and this week the Church’s digital team has held webinars with around 200 churches to inspire and support them to use digital platforms to reach their communities during this time of social distancing.The Church’s “Time to Pray” app, which includes simple daytime and night prayer services, is now free to everyone and an accompanying daily audio offering on SoundCloud and iTunes was launched on Friday, with the Archbishop of Canterbury leading worship.In addition to the #LiveLent reflections, which are available both in written and audio form, there will be a new series of mental health reflections.Finally, the Church’s smart speaker apps provide a range of prayer and other Christian resources for people to access at home.
Come, O Spirit of God, and make within us your dwelling place and home. May our darkness be dispelled by your light, and our troubles calmed by your peace; may all evil be redeemed by your love, all pain transformed through the suffering of Christ, and all dying glorified in his risen life. Amen.
We continue to pray for those who have been deeply affected by Coronavirus, in this country and around the world, and for all those involved in treating people and preventing the spread of infection, and those who are feeling anxious at this time.
The advice to follow good hygiene practices continues, including:
Further information about the virus and advice to people who have the symptoms is available through, https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
Information from CofE website: https://www.churchofengland.org/coronavirus
Please see attached link to take you to the online versions of the Selsdon Gazette for all the info on the area and local groups.
Selsdon Contact is a neighbourhood care organisation that provides practical help, advice, support and information to the local community.
A Face book page set up by local residents who are happy to help in this time of need.
If you feel you need someone to talk to during this daunting time please see link for more info
The Salvation Army runs 'The Vine' foodbank in New Addington. This is located down the lane between
11 & 13 Salcot Crescent
, New Addington.
The Vine is open for donations on Tuesday and Friday evenings from 7-8pm and for food referrals on Wednesday and Saturday mornings. We operate a voucher system for food parcels. Vouchers are issued by local churches and schools, a number of local authority departments and the Citizens' Advice Bureau.
Please call 01689 844136 for more information
The Church of England updated Guidance for Churches on Coronavirus – can be found by clicking on the link below.
Our Parish Safeguarding Officers are:
The Revd Jenny Rowley: Tel 0208 657 2343
Amanda Sinclair: Tel 07958 682103
Susan Tilley: Tel 0203 853 7448
Or email: email@example.com
Diocesan Safeguarding Advisers contact details:
Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser, Kate Singleton firstname.lastname@example.org
0207 939 9423 Mobile 07982 279713 (for urgent matters out of hours)
Assistant Diocesan Safeguarding Advisers, Marie Daly and Louise Vernon
Marie Daly email@example.com 020 7939 9441 Mobile 07946 255295
Louise Vernon firstname.lastname@example.org 020 7939 9462 Mobile 07946 255622
Information about where to get help with child and adult safeguarding
NSPCC Child Protection Helpline: 0808 800 5000 (lines free and open 24 hours).
Phone if you are worried about a child.
Child-line: 0800 1111 (lines free and open 24 hours). Phone if you are a child or
young person and are worried about anything.
National Domestic Violence Helpline: 0808 2000 247 (lines free and open 24 hours).
Phone if you are experiencing domestic abuse.
Samaritans Helpline: 116 123 (open 24 hours). Phone if you feel you are struggling
to cope and need someone to talk to.
Action on Elder Abuse Helpline: 080 8808 8141
( free phone Monday to Friday 9-5pm).
If a child or vulnerable adult is in danger please call 999
We aim to create a safe environment where children and young people are nurtured and protected and where all people, and especially those who may be vulnerable for any reason, are able to worship and pursue their faith journey with encouragement and in safety.
To this end St John’s follows the policies and guidelines set out in the Diocesan publication A Safe Church, a copy of which can be accessed on the link above to view the church’s policies and protocols on
· Safeguarding Children and Young People
· Safeguarding Adults who may be Vulnerable
· Domestic Abuse Policy
· E-Safety Protocols
St John’s follows the national legal and procedural framework for safeguarding children and vulnerable adults and Church of England policy and practice. We will respond promptly to any complaints made and will always work in close partnership with the diocesan safeguarding team, police and social care services where children or vulnerable adults have been harmed or are at risk of harm or mistreatment. Our primary aim is to provide safe recruitment, training and support to our voluntary and paid workers with children and vulnerable adults.
Social Care Institute of Excellence (SCIE)
The Church of England’s National Safeguarding Team has commissioned the Social Care Institute of Excellence (SCIE) to help improve how the Church treats people who have been abused or are at risk of harm. It is seeking the views of people with first-hand experience to find out what a good response from the Church should look like. The results of this survey will complement learning from independent audits by SCIE of safeguarding arrangements in all Church of England dioceses across the country. Information on this survey can be found