Easter Eggstravaganza

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The Common Cup returned to St Edmund’s this morning, two years since it was suspended at the first lockdown. The Church family came together to celebrate again the Resurrection, filling the church. It was good to welcome back some for whom this was their first venture back to the church and also a number of dogs who had accompanied their owners. At the end of the service, a brood of coloured chicks in a basket were taken around the church, as Lesley distributed one to each person present. Tucked inside, a chocolatey eggy surprise was concealed.

© 2022 St Edmund, Chingford

Farewell to James

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When James Gilder first came to St Edmund’s to be our Assistant Curate, few could have imaged what the ensuing 2½ years would bring. The COVID pandemic brought a different kind of curacy, responding to the challenges of being an open church during lockdowns even when our buildings were shut. Never short of ideas, and a determination to reach out to the local community and particularly those isolated during these strange times, he was the driving force behind successful events such as our 2019 Pancake Party and helping the parish to achieve its Eco Church accreditation. The online social ‘More Tea, Vicar?’ was his brainchild, and he channelled members’ creativity to make a new mosaic for the church. On Sunday, we said a sad farewell before he took up his new post at Wanstead parish. We will long remember his many achievements in building up strong friendships and making a real impact on our church life.

© 2022 St Edmund, Chingford

An Ode to Auld Sooth Chingford – Burns Night and Valedictory 2022

Amidst a glen of thirties houses
Lies a place my heart espouses:
South Chingford, where my angels rolled the dice,
Has been a curate’s paradise.

From up the Mount to the old dog track,
I’ve biked these streets and walked them back.
I’ve delivered magazines, had cups of tea,
I’ve trespassed whilst angry householders shout at me.

I’ve helped you make a big mosaic,
And posted sermons in a letterbox by mistake,
And though we’ve endured a pandemic,
You’ve put up with all of my polemic.

Now, South Chingford may not be that pretty
But it’s my favourite part of this city.
St Peter and Paul may have a steeple
But you see, St Edmund’s has the best of people.

For you bade me welcome, you took me to heart,
You bought me drinks, fed me treacle tart.
And you taught me so much about the art
Of loving.

© 2022, James Gilder
Used with permission

The Care of Creation

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Earlier this year, we were delighted to receive an Eco Church Bronze Award. As part of our commitment to be an EcoChurch, and with the United Kingdom hosting the Conference on Climate Change later this year, today and for the next four Sundays we will be keeping the Season of Creation. This provides an opportunity for us to pray and reflect on giving thanks for God’s creation, but also acknowledging the damage we cause, and focusing on the call for us to take action to protect the earth.

In today’s service we took advantage of the sunshine, and blessed our new pollinator garden. Packets of garden pollinator seeds were distributed and swapped by the congregation so insect life and plant diversity can be encouraged in our own home gardens.

© 2021 St Edmund, Chingford

Eco Church Award

We are delighted to have been awarded a bronze Eco Church award from A Rocha UK, in recognition of our efforts to care for God’s earth in our commitment to improving the environment and combating climate change. All three churches in our Mission and Ministry Unit have now reached this standard. However, the journey continues, there’s a lot of work still to do and lots to think about. Silver here we come!

© 2021 St Edmund, Chingford

He is risen – we are risen

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After a year of living with COVID-19, St Edmund’s re-opened for Public Worship on Easter Day. We intentionally kept the church building closed until the celebration of Christ’s resurrection, in order to stand alongside the local community in its lockdown and to make public health our priority. But the church itself remained active and open throughout with online worship, prayer and pastoral support, doing our bit for the E4 Churches’ Food Bank, as well as keeping the Animal Food Bank going that runs from St Edmund’s serving local needs. Easter was great celebration, with people coming together again in person (socially distanced), but also remembering all we have gone through and those we have lost.

© 2021 St Edmund, Chingford