ONE – a biblical discussion on racism, ethnicity and injustice

The UK’s recent race disparity audit has spotlighted realities about ethnic disparity
that many have experienced first hand for decades.
We are more ethnically diverse than ever, but differences in our treatment and quality of life are stark.​
Asian and Black households are more likely to be poor and to face persistent poverty than other ethnic groups. Achievement at school tends generally to track economic advantage, but black Caribbean pupils seem to face a consistent disadvantage, even in wealthier homes.

​Despite significant reductions in the last ten years, black men are still three and half times more likely
​to be stopped by police than white men.

What might be even more disappointing to those of us who call ourselves Christians is that our churches are not immune to racial discrimination—and too often fail to live out a biblical vision for ethnicity and racial inclusion. 

So how can we address these challenges in both our churches and broader society?

ONE aims to help churches hold biblical conversations around these issues.
​These discussions might only be a first step …..  but no journey was ever achieved without  it.

The resources on this page will help churches hold and pursue this conversation.

ONE: a panel discussion, and discussion starter ….

Weekly Update 24/3/2021

Dear Church Family,

I’m writing this on the day of National Reflection, the 23rd March 2021; a year from the start of lockdown on 23rd March 2020. It’s a day to stop; to lament our losses; and to give thanks for what’s been good.

Wonderfully, for our comfort and encouragement, we’re coming up to the day(s) that changed the world even more than the 23rd March 2020 – It’s arguable whether the day that changed the world most was the day of Jesus’ death (Good Friday) or the day of Jesus’ resurrection (Easter Sunday).It’s a ‘false dilemma’ really because the two days belong together. Being God the Son, Jesus’ resurrection was inevitable; the amazing thing is that the He who made us should choose to die for us to become His friends!The two days cannot be separated. The resurrection of Jesus declares the success of Jesus’ death to remove the barrier of our wrongdoing.This Easter Sunday we’ll be looking at the eyewitness records of the resurrection, from John chapter 20. In John 20:31 John tells us why he has recorded them:
“so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.John 20:31
John’s logic is compelling: the evidence leads to faith, which brings Life

Please come and hear the evidence for the resurrection; meet some people who know Jesus is alive, and meet the God who has given His life so that you may have life with Him.

Join us this Easter weekend starting with our online Good Friday service on the 2nd April at 10:30 am and on Sunday 4th April at 10:45 am for our in-person, in the main Church building, and online Easter Sunday Celebration.

Your brother in Christ,
Ian

Weekly Update 17/03/2021

Dear Church Family,

Analysts speak about the three phases that follow a disaster: the response phase, the recovery phase and the reconstruction phase.

According to this, we’re coming out of the response phase and are entering the recovery phase. And how much it is needed. We’re all more weary than we probably think. Twelve months of changes and the accumulated grief of lost loved ones, and lost opportunities and freedoms, drain us emotionally and psychologically.

Christ Jesus’ invitation is encouraging:

Come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

Ultimately He is offering us the rest of the new creation or heaven – in Genesis 2:2 God rested on the 7th day of creation and that day never ended. Hebrews 4:9 tells us ‘there remains a Sabbath rest for God’s people’ – eternal life in His presence as co-rulers of His perfect kingdom. And in this age he is offering the rest of peace with God.

This rest is particularly needed as the tragic deaths of George Floyd and Sarah Everard have reminded us – this world is neither a fair, nor a safe, place.

While we wait for the full rest that Jesus promises, we want to do all the good we can to make this a better world; a fairer, safer place.

We can play our part by joining the Diocesand Evangelical Union’s discussion of racial equality and inequality on Wednesday 24 March. Please note that this is a week later than advertised in the last newsletter.

To join the meeting please write to info@southwarkdeu.org and you will be sent a zoom link. 

This evening, Wednesday 17 March, we’re going to be praying for fairness and safety on our streets. Please join me through the mid week link below on this newsletter. 

Your brother in Christ,

Ian

Spring 2021 Programme

Spring & Summer programme 2021

Jan 10 Acts 13:1-12 Share the light

17 Acts 13:13-52 The light of the world

24 Acts 14:1-28 The inextinguishable light

31 Acts 15:1-21 The light of grace

Feb 7 Acts 16:6-40 One light for all

14 (½ term) John 1:1-18 Wes Illingsworth

21 (½ term) John 12:20-26 Wes Illingsworth

28 John 18:1-11 Wes Illingsworth

Mar 7 Acts 17:1-15 The light of the word

14 (mothering) Isa 52:13-53:3 A despised sacrifice

21 Isa 53:4-6 A victorious sacrifice

28 (bst) Isa 53:7-9 A willing sacrifice

Apr 2 (Good Friday/Easter hol) Isa 53:10-12 A vicarious sacrifice

4 (Easter)

11 (holiday club)

18 1 Chronicles 1:1-27 & 9:1-2 One Kingdom for all

25 1 Chronicles 10-12 Start of the kingdom (Saul-David)

May 2 (bank hol) 1 Chronicles 13-16 The arc in the kingdom

9 1 Chronicles 17 The covenant & the kingdom

16 1 Chronicles 18-27 The Temple & the kingdom

23 (pentecost) 1 Chronicles 28-29 Handover of the kingdom (Solomon)

Mid week programme Spring 2021

Jan 13 Tone & feel & repetition tools Ian G.

20 Quotation/allusion tool Nick G.

27 Bible time line tool Adam W.

Feb 3 Share & prayer Ian G.

10 Who am I? & so what tools? Arnold A.

17 Half Term 

24 One2One Jn 1:1-18 Wes 

Mar 3 Share & prayer Ian G.

10 One2One Jn 17:11-44 Wes

17 One2One Jn 12:20-26 Wes

24 Share & prayer Ian

Christian Institute Week of Prayer

As we come to the end of the Archbishops’ “Prayer for the Nation” prayers, the Christian Institute has invited us to join them in a further week of prayer for the nation. Details can be found here.

Call to pray for the nation

Dear Sisters & Brothers,

I hope that this finds you well. I’m aware that inevitably we’ll be in different circumstances and have different feelings at the start of this second lockdown.

But the Lord is still working out his good purposes for us as His people and we can be sure of this. And we have been called to pray for our nation –

On the 1st of November, in recognition of the crisis we are living through, the Archbishops of our denomination wrote to all the clergy in the Church of England, in these words:

“Bearing in mind our primary vocation as the Church of Jesus Christ is to pray and to serve, we call upon the Church of England to make this month of lockdown a month of prayer. More than anything else, whatever the nation thinks, we know that we are in the faithful hands of the risen Christ who knows our weaknesses, tiredness and struggles and whose steadfast love endures forever.

Above all we recall people to some of the fundamental spiritual disciplines that shape our Christian life. How we do this is up to each congregation and person. During the first lockdown we cheered for the NHS every Thursday. During this second lockdown we invite you to fast in a way appropriate to you as well as pray for our nation every Thursday, for its leaders, its health and essential services and all those who suffer.”

The Archbishops, in consultation with the House of Bishops, then decided that this call would take the form of an invitation to every Christian to pray at 6pm every day, beginning this Thursday 5 November for the period of this present lock-down. In order to stimulate this time of prayer, where it is possible, churches are encouraged to ring a single bell at 6pm.

Our denomination the CofE has made available some very good prayers to use and I am pleased to be able to commend them to you as we at Holy Redeemer Streatham seek, by God’s grace to get behind this call to pray for our nation. We can find these prayers here:

Prayer Booklet.

Your brother in Christ,

Ian

Racial Equality Report

  Racial Equality – Holy Redeemer Church, Streatham

We were asked by the PCC to talk to the church family about their experiences of racial Equality in our church and the wider community following the death of George Floyd and the inequalities and unconscious bias, which was highlighted in society.

The aim is to enable us to preach the gospel more effectively, conscious of the effect our words have on our diverse congregation.  Also, our aim is for the words Jesus preached to be endorsed by the church family; to be loving, caring and help one another.

So, we asked ourselves ‘What is racism?’  It could be defined where someone treats you differently because of your colour, ethnicity, nationality, or race.  This could mean that they treat you differently or unfairly.  This could be a learned stereotype that is automatic, unintentional, deeply ingrained, and able to influence behaviour.  It can range from subtle comments to overt action and hostile, derogatory, negative racial slants and insults.

We are all aware of the inequalities in the wider community.  We hear it on the TV everyday which affect the lives of minority groups in our society.

Saying we are not racist is no longer good enough, we all need to do more to eradicate racism.  This means standing up as an ally and actively promote equality.  We must speak up as racial inequality is not acceptable in our society today.

Our findings within the Holy Redeemer Church:

We contacted the congregation in the newsletter and the church notices, contacted members by email, WhatsApp, and telephone.  Face to face communication was difficult because of Covid-19 pandemic and the restrictions it has put on us all.  Between us we received responses from approximately 20% of the congregation.

Most of our findings were positive, and we found that most people think racial inequality does not exist and they have not experienced it within the church setting and they feel included in the church.  Some people found it difficult to talk about racism and some found it emotionally draining and did not want to talk about it, as it could affect their mental state.  One comment was that we need to be careful of our teachings and some of the stories used from commercial books that occasionally depict black in the negative and white in the positive context (especially in a Sunday school setting).

 Below are some of the questions asked and answers given.

QuestionsAnswers Given
Do you feel comfortable to express your cultural ethnic identity in church?  e.g. dress code.Responses were that they were comfortable to express their cultural identity.  However, disappointment was expressed with some who were not happy with those inappropriately dressed when they are playing an active part in services. 
  Do you feel you can discuss racial issues with (a) church leaders (b) congregation?  Responses were that they feel they can approach Ian and the PCC members; many have done so in the past.  They think Ian is open to discussion. It was also felt that the Church would be a constructive place to discuss racial issues.  
  Have you experienced any racial discrimination within the church or at events?    Most people did not experience and racial discrimination in church.
Do you feel as though you are a valued member of the church?Everyone we spoke to felt they are valued and included within the church family, which has improved over the years.  
Do you feel opportunities are made available or are accessible to you to have an active role in the church?  The majority we spoke to felt opportunities are made available but fearful of lack of support or being thrown in at the “deep end” which can be embarrassing. Others responded that opportunities were available to a certain extent and more could be done to involve more people in different ministries and it was felt that the church leadership did not have confidence in the congregation although this is slowly changing.
Do you feel the church is sensitive to or recognises racial issues?The replies were that the church may not fully understand the sensitivity to racial issues and how it affects people from minority groups daily. Also, that the church recognises racial issues, but the subject is not given much airtime.  
Do you feel the church understand or emphasise with racial discrimination that ethnic groups face?  We found that the leadership has a limited awareness of the experiences that minority groups face, as different groups face different types of discrimination.  As a church we could do more to listen to each other’s experience and other prejudices such as ageism.  
Do you feel that your race plays a part in how you are welcomed or interacted with at the Holy Redeemer?  We found that everyone is welcomed and greeted equally, and that race did not come into it.
Do you think that you have enough knowledge about race relations and discriminations?  Would you like to learn more?  Some people said that they did not have enough knowledge about minority groups, race relations or the history.  Others said they had enough knowledge about it. Some said they would welcome more information as there is no limit to how much we should seek to understand each other’s experience, our own prejudices and repent on them.
Have you ever witnessed racism within the church?Some people said they come to church to worship and leave.  If it is there, they would not know, and they have not seen it.  Others said they have not witnessed it in the church but have in the wider community.
Would you feel comfortable to challenge racism?  Some people would challenge racism.  Some would challenge in the church and at work, but in the community, some were reluctant because of safety and depending on the situation.  

Suggested recommendations:

  1. The fact that we did not find any major problems within the church family, we should encourage open discussion and awareness, especially about what is happening in the wider community so that we can support, care and pray that attitudes may change for the benefit of all.
  2. PCC members could have open discussions on racial inequalities so that we are aware and can pray for the church family in the workplace who are susceptible to institutional racism. 
  3. PCC could encourage church family to support and care and pray for each other, so that we can effectively proclaim the gospel and make disciples for Christ.
  4. We need to maintain a demographic mix on the PCC that mirrors the demographics of the church family.
  5. The church family could be encouraged to bring their prayer requests to Ian if they are experiencing challenges at work or in the wider community and to speak up should they experience racism within the church.
  6. The PCC should remain vigilant about future problems that may arise and develop their awareness, so that they can support the church family in a positive manner.
  7. The PCC should ensure that training is given to church family who are willing to get involved with church ministries.

Summary:

We hope the PCC members find this information useful, so that it can assist us in the various ministries within the church.

Report prepared by:

Shirley Wallace & Velma Robinson

Updated: 13 September 2020

AGM Reports for the year ended 31 December 2019

Ministry Reports -Year ending 31 December 2019

** Copies of the Annual Accounts available on request, please email the office**

  • Vicar’s Report
  • PCC Report
  • Home Groups
  • Special Events
  • Safeguarding
  • Women’s Ministry
  • Horizon Club
  • Friday Reds & aLIVE
  • Cornhill
  • Trips & Activites
  • Little Nippers
  • Sunday Reds

Vicar’s Report 2019-2020
It has been a year of two halves. The first half seeing new ventures with the Men’s w/end at Shatterling Barnes, and the Church family w/end planned at the same venue together with the away day with Andrew Sach, and a Church family holiday at the Keswick Convention planned. Only the men’s w/end took place before Covid hit us all. The family w/end away and Keswick had to be cancelled and the away day held on zoom. Our Church’s 5 year plan has been formed and presented.

Since Covid, 7 months ago, the Church family has moved ‘online’ for our Sunday and midweek meetings and coffee after Church, and we are grateful for the time and technical skill, and creative ability that John and Lizzy have poured into our online meetings, together with all who have been recording prayers, readings, interviews and talks for these.

During the year, it has continued to appear that the project to reorder the main building has been neglected. This is not the case. The PCC has been working tirelessly to progress the planning applications for Eardley Road, and in May this year, Permitted development approval was given. We are still progressing the full planning application for the Hall and end of terrace house. And considering an extended Permitted Development application which would allow for the hall to be redeveloped allowing for 100% more units. Work on the flat rooves of the main building has been set back by very bad work done by Acrypol, and this needs now to be re-done. Acrypol have sold to Cromar. They recognise that the work needs to be re-done, but we are one of many badly done jobs and it remains to be seen what will happen. We are working on the tower repair and inspection and repair of the internal ceiling of the Church in the hope that we will be able to have a Carol service in there this Christmas.

Our thanks to Hiba Cameron and Jon Lee, our wardens, John Sanni, our treasurer, and Heri Cameron who has been our secretary for over 5 years, and has just handed over to Tania Loke. Our thanks are due to the home group leaders, members of the PCC, children’s teachers, and to the musicians, caterers and all who make HRS the Church we are. Our thanks also to Celeste Mupanduki who keeps us running, and to Lois Haggar for her one to one work and small group work with the women of our Church. And finally, thanks to Denise, for patiently looking after the Vicar and acting as unofficial women’s and children’s worker.

It has been great having Paul Greenhalgh’s ministry while he was on placement with us for his Cornhill training. Paul has moved to do a PGCE in Cambridge, and teaching the children at STAG Church Cambridge.

Looking ahead, we are hoping to be able to have a holiday club in the second week of the Easter holiday, and a holiday Keswick 2 this summer.

PCC Report
The PCC met 15 times while the Standing committee met 5 times this year. The PCC discussed the Church’s 5 year vision to Reach (proclaim Christ); Grow (make disciples); Serve (the community); and Support (resource ministry). We have been working on the planning applications to maximise the value of the Eardley Road Hall, and looking at ways to get back into the main building. We explored an application from a couple from the US interested in joining the ministry team, but COVID -19 pandemic prevented this. Due to restrictions brought about by the COVID -19 pandemic, the PCC has also discussed and implemented online Sunday service via Youtube, online mid week bible study meetings and youth meetings via zoom. The PCC meetings are also now being held via zoom.

Please give thanks to God and pray for all who have served on the PCC this year (Ian Gilmour our vicar and chairman, Hiba Cameron and Jon Lee, our Church Wardens, John Sanni, our treasurer, Heri Cameron our PCC secretary, Lynn Andrews our safeguarding officer, Julia Wallace, Elizabeth Lee, Lois Hagger, Sumbo Adeyemo, Velma Robinson, Shirley Wallace, Nick Grindle, Cecil Devonish and Coral Devonish, Paul Greenhalgh and Steven Oakley). We are thankful too for Sumbo Adeyemo and Heri Cameron who are retiring from the PCC.

Home groups
God tells us to ‘consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing but encouraging one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.’ (Heb 10:24). Acting on God’s instructions, 3 evening groups and 3 day time groups have met over the last year. During C-19, a central group has met on zoom for meditations on the Psalms in lockdown. There have also been three Christianity explored / evangelistic groups meeting, the last of these online. In our home groups we’ve followed the Sunday sermon series (John 13-17 & Colossians 3), trained in explaining the good news of Jesus (Two ways to live) and enjoyed digging into the prophecy of Zechariah. Our home groups are the primary pastoral care network of the Church, and C-19 has shown their value more than ever, as leaders and members have cared for each other.

Special events
The pandemic has stopped many things, among them the Church w/end away at Shatterling Barnes and a Church family holiday at the Keswick Convention in the Lake District. But we’ve enjoyed a men’s w/end at Shatterling Barnes in October, and we’re hoping to arrange a holiday at the Keswick convention 24-30 July 2021. Our 2020 holiday club had to cancel, but we’re hoping to run one in the second week of the Easter holidays 2021. Please pray for these and put the dates in the diaries.

Safeguarding – Lynn Andrews
The Safeguarding Team consists Rev Ian Gilmour and Lynn Andrews who are joint Safeguarding Officers for the church.  Church Safeguarding is a permanent item on the PCC agenda when general issues of safeguarding are discussed.    The Holy Redeemer’s Safeguarding Policy is available on the church’s website.  Those who have a role in leadership in the church whether through children’s ministry, Pop-in and are expected to complete the Southwark Dioceses safeguarding training

As a church we want to ensure that the children and vulnerable adults in our church and community are protected and we recognise the calling and duty to love and care for the vulnerable and marginalised and protect all from abuse.

Women’s Ministry – Lois Hagger
– Co-led a weekly morning women’s group with Denise on either Tuesday (winter) or Wednesday (autumn) depending on who could make it. We studied Revelation, Christian Concern material, Colossians and sermon prep for John’s gospel. We averaged 3 – 6 ladies each week.
– Led a fortnightly evening Wednesday women’s group which started in autumn. I used the material prepared for the morning bible study. 
– Met with 3 – 5 women to read the bible and pray.
– Organised the Welcoming team, and ran a training morning. I’m usually at the door each week to assist in this ministry.
– Joined Ian in January to assist with Christianity Explored
– Attended the Tuesday Horizon group for the Bible talk and exercise after with the aim of evangelism and encouragement.
– Assist in kitchen duties at Little Nippers on Monday

Horizon Club
The Horizon Club has become very settled and has made satisfactory progress in terms of attendance. There has been a continuous increase in the numbers attending the Bible Discovery session and also in the Exercise session. Regarding the Bible Discovery session there has been on average 14 to 15 attendees and 27 to 29 for the exercise session. Unfortunately due to COVID-19, these meeting came to an end in March.

Friday REDS & aLIVE – Paul Greenhalgh
Praise God for another great year with our Friday groups. REDS (5-11s) and aLIVE (11-18s) grew both numerically and in spiritual maturity throughout 2019.

Our c. 15 Friday REDS enjoy learning a Bible truth each week, singing their favourite songs (Super Saviour being their chart topper), hearing about Christian heroes of history, eating their body weight in custard creams, and burning it all off with energetic games.

Later in the evening our 15-20 aLIVE group members come along to chill out at the end of a busy school week. A new pattern of meeting began in the autumn term. We have regular features including Bible study, discussion groups, addressing common questions asked of Christianity, team challenges, and book recommendations. Perhaps most encouraging of all have been interviews with various members of the church family, and the chance to ask them questions about living the Christian life. Thank you to those who have subjected themselves to a grilling!

In 2019 both groups followed the same teaching pattern: Christianity Explored for Youth (Mark’s gospel); 1 & 2 Samuel; and a Bible Overview, based on Vaughan Roberts’ excellent book God’s Big Picture.

One off events for the REDS included the Knights of the King Holiday Club in July and our annual Autumn Light Party in October. The former was massive fun for the 50 children who came, and for all the leaders too. This was despite temperatures soaring to 38℃ on our second day!

Some of the aLIVE Group enjoyed a week of teaching from John’s gospel at Quantock 3 Summer Camp. Later in the year, we also enjoyed a trip to Westminster Chapel and Capital Youthworks Sorted event in November. It was a smashing day of teaching from Romans 8, and an encouragement to meet with hundreds of other 14-18s from across the south-east.


As ever, huge thanks go to all those who have been on the team leading the groups each week: Lynn Andrews; Katy Brock; Rosie Egena; Ian & Denise Gilmour; Erin Goddard; Carol Lake; and Steph Tonna.

Cornhill – Paul Greenhalgh
My studies on the Cornhill Training Course continued throughout 2019, first completing F1 and F2, before starting Cornhill Core from September. Cornhill shares Holy Redeemer’s conviction that when the Bible is taught, God’s voice is heard. The course then aims to equip people to unashamedly and faithfully teach God’s word.  In practice this meant receiving lectures to familiarise us with Bible books and key doctrines. Personal highlights in 2019 included studying Isaiah, Ephesians, Revelation, and the Sovereignty of God.

Throughout 2019 I was also regularly preparing and delivering Bible talks to a small group, where we seek to offer useful feedback to sharpen each other as preachers. I am grateful for the feedback I’ve received on talks in Colossians, Ecclesiastes, Exodus, Isaiah, John, and Romans.

Our learning at Cornhill is designed to dovetail with opportunities to put it into practice in the local church. At Holy Redeemer this has meant continuing to teach the children and youth, and the opportunity to preach occasionally. I’d like to record my thanks to Ian especially for allowing me these opportunities, and his godly mentorship throughout 2019. Thank you too to all the church family at Holy Redeemer for your patience, encouragement, and  prayers.

Trips and Visits – Paul Greenhalgh
During the Easter holiday a number of the church family enjoyed a day out together to Greenwich. The sun shone as we enjoyed a boat ride down the Thames from London Bridge to Greenwich Pier. After investigating the foot tunnel under the Thames, we whiled away a happy few hours picnicking and playing games in Greenwich Park. After an hour in the National Maritime Museum it was time to head home, but not without first stopping to enjoy an ice-cream!

Around 30 adults and children also enjoyed the early May Bank holiday at Bible-by-the-Beach in Eastbourne. We enjoyed excellent Bible teaching for all ages from speakers including Don Carson, Lee Gatiss, Ed Drew, and Mark Pickles. There was also plenty of time to chat over what we’d heard and share our lives together for a few days.

Little Nippers
There has been good attendance at Little Nippers over the last year averaging 30 children and their carers. It has been especially good to have church members attending the group – Lisa Oakley and Ian Andrews has started a regular social gathering after the group which meets at the Railway. This opens more opportunities for building relationships and evangelism. Rosamunde Ganpatsingh, Eileen Ahmed, Joyce Welcome and Lois Hagger have continued as faithful helpers in the kitchen.

Sunday Reds
Sunday Reds has grown since last year which is both very encouraging and presents some challenges. There is limited space in the Vicarage now. 3-5’s meet in the Vestry, 6-11’s and 11-14’s meet in the Vicarage. The Sunday School teachers have been wonderful and have put a lot of preparation into their lessons and faithfully taught the children over the year. We have about 14 teachers but will lose about 4 of them for various reasons by the Summer. We are talking to various people about taking up the roles that will be vacant. We are still using the Click curriculum  for under 11s, and the 11-14s have changed over  to the Mustard Seeds curriculum. We have had a Sunday School training session in October.

Pages:12345»