Work starts on the AV system

Roddy Gye (GHA Group), Karen Butti (Inspecting architect), and Ollie Jenni (AV specialist) reviewing the positioning of the new speakers

Work is starting on 15 September on our church's new audio-visual system, whose main purpose is to enable us to share services and events online, but which will also result in a major remedying of the current sound system. Our application for the Church of England's version of listed building consent, which gives full details of the solution, can be seen here. There were some questions asked about the number and positioning of speakers and cameras, and we are grateful to Robert Bowles (who is about to start a major addition to the organ, you can just see the additional pipes right, on the office roof) who added some expertise to our answers.

GHA have been many years in the business, and have provided large and small churches with audio-visual solutions. Some of their customers include Holy Trinity, Clapham, Westminster Abbey as well as a church in West Croydon.

The current project plan shows a completion date in early October. 


If you'd like to help operate the new system, training will be available late September, early October. There will be two levels of training  - every day use and super-user - and we would like to have several people trained at both levels. Drop a line to Nick Jenni on

Organ Scholar Shawn Li appointed

CHS is delighted to announce the introduction of a organ scholarship for young aspiring organists connected with music in our community. Following an audition and test process in March, we are pleased to say that the award has gone to Shawn Li, who starts the post immediately.

The responsibilities of the post include playing the organ at services, accompanying the choir, and developing choral conducting experience.

If you haven't had a chance already, please do take the chance to congratulate Shawn on his award and welcome him to the community.

When he heard about his success, Shawn said "I’m honoured to be offered this great opportunity at the Church of the Holy Spirit.  Music is a central pillar of Christian worship and plays a great part in services at CHS - with the guidance of the Director of Music Andrei, I will strive to play my part and rise to the challenges. I’m really excited and looking forward to working together with everyone in CHS family." 

CHS Director of Music, Andre Lebed commented "It is a pleasure to extend a formal welcome to Shawn to the musical team at CHS - he is a great asset and we look forward to supporting him further as he progresses towards the Oxford and Cambridge organ scholarship trials in 2020. Encouraging and supporting young talent in church music is a key part of us contributing to the health and longevity of the wider church community. Thank you all for helping us do this." 

Mtr Helen looks back at Holy Week

From ‘Hosanna’ to ‘Crucify Him’ to ‘Alleluia!’ – our Resurrection Story

The journey through Holy Week began with our Palm Sunday procession from Bonneville School to the Church, reading scripture, singing hymns and waving palms.  Our Pal Sunday service then continued in church with an adapted narration of St Matthew’s Passion, with actors silently and subtly providing some additional pause for thought.  Our narrator this year was local actor, Maggie O’Neill who was delighted to have been asked to join us.  Our thanks to her and to all of our actors for providing us with such a “moving”  “tangible” and “accessible” retelling of the greatest story ever told.

In the weeks leading up to Palm Sunday, we welcomed classes from Bonneville Primary School to church to ‘Experience Easter’.  This is an interesting and interactive method of retelling the Passion story to young children. On the paper palm crosses that we made and then strung up across the high altar, the children were invited to write prayers for difficult situations in their lives or across the world.  We shared a deeply holy silence in the church as they were making these prayers.  Holy Holy Holy.

Seder Meal

On Holy Tuesday, we hosted our annual Seder Meal, with food prepared by and all donations going to the Ace of Clubs. Thirty three of us – Jews, Christians, and people of no faith – joined together to remember Passover.  The curate was given her first shot at presiding at the meal, which she enjoyed hugely, warmly supported by Murray Glickman and Mike Manson, the seasoned Seder professionals. Sarah Miles and Nicola Kingston worked their magic with all the various preparations and Anna Rowsell and her merry band provided us with beautiful music to round off a lovely evening. We raised £320 for the Ace of Clubs. Thank you to all those who made this evening such a success.

Maundy Thursday & Good Friday

A heartening number of our congregation came to worship over the course of these two days.  We shared some deeply holy moments as we washed feet, remembered the Lord’s Supper, enjoyed the silence of the BEAUTIFUL Garden of Watch, before making our way to Good Friday and the contrasting shouts of ‘Crucify Him!’

Our Good Friday events began in the morning with our children’s workshops and creation of the Easter Garden and ended, five hours later, with Fr Christopher’s Meditations on the Cross. Many thanks to all the volunteers who came to help us with our Good Friday services, particularly Sara Spillett, Mother Louise, and  Sarah Miles (who imagined and the directed the making of the stunning garden, after some late night making and baking of a whole load of dough for our hot cross buns).


We sent out an Easter card to our congregation this year, thanking them/you for all the support given to us over the last year and also sharing some of our highlights. If you did not receive an Easter card and would like to receive information from us in future, please do let Sara Spillett know by emailing  and we will ensure you get one next year!

It’s been an extraordinary year for us and we hope and pray that the risen Christ will continue to lead us in life-giving love to those in our midst who need us most.  

CTiC pilgrimage to Westminster Abbey

On Wednesday 4 April a group of approximately 25 Claphamites met at the tomb of the Unknown Warrior at the West Door of Westminster Abbey for a pilgrimage
around the Abbey. Orga
nised by Rosemary Nutt of St Peter's Church, the ecumenical group included representatives of (at least) 6 of the Clapham churches and were expertly guided by Canon Anthony Ball (yes that's right, he's Canon Ball!) and Kath, one of of the Abbey vergers. We stopped at some of the key points in the Abbey for some historical background provided by Kath and some prayerful meditation from Anthony Ball. These included the exquisite Italian mosaic "pavement" near the altar steps, the choir stalls and poets corner as well as the final resting places of Kings and Queens of England. 

It was interesting to be there just as the Abbey was closing for the evening and the hubbub of visitor voices slowly died down over the course of our pilgrimage. One highlight was to see - in Easter Week - the mural of "doubting" Thomas, his outsize arm reminding us that a relic of his arm was once housed in the Abbey. Our visit concluded with a beautiful service of Compline (night prayer) by candle-light in the atmospheric chapel dedicated to St Faith.

Message from the Bishop of Southwark

At this difficult time following the events on London Bridge and in Borough Market last night it is important that we join together in strong prayer for all those who were affected by last night’s events, especially for those whose lives have been changed by the terrible events on our streets. Please also pray for the emergency services as they respond to the needs of those affected, seek to keep us safe and care for the injured. Pray for the coming of God’s Kingdom in our troubled work.

Our Dean has written this prayer which I commend for your use:

Loving God, when terror came to our doorstep, and stalked our streets you were there with us in the fear and agony. Remain with us and with all those caught up in the horror of these events, the injured and distressed those who died and all who seek your peace which passes understanding. Amen. 

My thoughts and prayers are with those affected by last night’s attack and with you all especially today.

Swedish teen visit

Eighteen years ago Alexandra Sundman worked at CHS as a young volunteer from Sweden, and so it was a particular delight to welcome the Revd Alexandra Skeppstrom Sundmann, along with 20 of her confirmation group to the parish and to the 10:30 service on Sunday, at the end of their Ascension weekend visit. They all worship at the Brännkyrka church in the southern suburbs of Stockholm.

PCC Awayday

We elected our new PCC in April and we sent them off for their away-day on Saturday 13 May

We have four members who are new to the PCC (Sam, Amanda, Will and Deborah) and new wardens (Paula and Rosemarie who now join Alan in a Trinitarian Triumph of Church wardening – very strong and stable 😉 ).

The day was spent discussing and reflecting on our essential calling and how to serve church of the Holy Spirit, the whole parish and the wider church. During the day the PCC was likened to a delivery service, a cycling team and a gyroscope!

There were, of course, the obligatory team building games which involved hilarity, competitive spirit and (am sad to report) cheating! (see left)

By the end of the day the PCC had written their own collect which will be used at the PCC meetings for the coming year:

Loving God,
You pour your spirit on all your people.
Open our hearts and minds,
Inspire us with your wisdom; and
Give us peace, courage and guidance;
So that in our ministry we may serve our community,
promoting equality and justice with love
In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen

We were delighted to hold the Archdeacon of Lambeth's Deanery Visitation Service on 3rd May where we welcomed all the churchwardens from the whole area, they filled the church, sang with gusto and pledged to  dedicate themselves to their ministry and office for the coming year. It was lovely to see everyone fill the church and we had lots of positive comments on our new chairs -which were all needed.

CHS Seder Meal

A most moving evening of ritual, remembrance and celebration was had by all who came to our Seder Passover Supper Celebration, hosted by Mother Ruth and Rabbi Murray. 

Our delicious food was provided and prepared by the Ace of Clubs, and the curate received her training in preparing Seder plates, under the meticulous tutelage of Sarah Miles.  

Our music group shone brightly, as usual, playing for us throughout the evening.  Joy! 

Bonneville School - an Easter Experience

YouTube Video

Who is running whom ragged? Mtr Ruth introducing one of 4 classes from Bonneville School to the mysteries of Easter. 

There is a prize of an Easter egg to anyone who can guess what she is explaining in this video.  Answers by midnight on Saturday 15 April 2017 to

Robes Project at CHS

The Robes Project organises night shelters during the winter months for homeless people, providing a place of safety to sleep, an evening meal and breakfast to people who would otherwise be on the streets.

This winter CHS has hosted the Robes project for the first time and we were the venue for 15 guests on Saturday nights from Saturday 4 February to Saturday 18 March. Due to a double booking in the Contact Centre, Robes was at Ace of Clubs on 25 March.

Hosting the night shelter would not be at all possible without all those members of CHS and CTiC member churches who have volunteered their time and catering skills on Saturday evenings and Sunday mornings as well as those who have spent their nights on camp beds listening to varying decibels of snoring!

Our guests have been a challenging group – punctuality and time keeping have not been their strong points, and volunteers are to be commended for keeping a brave face when there have been more volunteers than guests when the dinner has been served. But despite this, it has been a pleasure having our guests and I’m sure we have volunteers who have acquired new knowledge of different countries, cultures and languages.

If you have not had an opportunity to volunteer this winter, I’m sure that the project will be returning to CHS next winter, as well as to other venues in and around Clapham, so be sure to look out for the volunteer recruitment drive nearer the time.

And should you wish to spend a night out under the stars, the Robes sponsored sleepout is on Friday 24 November 2017. Sarah Miles

Thank you to all of the volunteers, to team leaders Sarah Miles, Anna Long and Mtr Ruth, and thank you to Sara Jenni for managing the huge task of the rota for all those volunteers from lots of different churches and areas.

Any queries can be directed to

2017 Giving Campaign Launched with call to action

On Sunday 20 November, feast of Christ the King, at all the day's services, the 2017 campaign was launched to generate the resources to make possible our mission as a church.

See here the Gift of Giving which was presented by Mtr Ruth, Andrew Chevis (treasurer) and Rosemarie Jones (stewardship team).

There are plenty more people to reach, so please share this with others!

Parishioner talks about Holy Spirit at St Paul's

Dr Jane Williams, who was a parishioner here in Clapham, spoke at St Paul's Cathedral on May 1st about the Holy Spirit.

New assistant curate at Holy Spirit

Good News, everyone! 
The Harknetts are coming to Clapham.   

Helen Harknett will be ordained deacon at Southwark Cathedral on Saturday 25th June (the Feast of St Peter and St Paul AND the day of the Abbeville Fete).  The very next day will be her first day at Church of the Holy Spirit as Assistant Curate (full-time).  

Find out a little more about the Harknetts here.

A year in the life of a Clapham priest

An exhibition of photos essay that brings to life, through images, a year of ministry by a London priest, Rev Kit Gunasekera, vicar of our neighbouring parish of St James' Clapham. 

The exhibition venue is gallery@oxo (below the Oxo tower) on London's South bank from Thursday 3rd March- Sunday 20th March. 11-6pm. Admission Free.

More details on their website here.

Write like a spin doctor? That would be a miracle.

Six eager learners gathered round Sara Spillett's kitchen table on Monday.  Our aim?  To glean words of wisdom about the art of writing news stories.  Who from?  Our local expert, Glenn Hickling, copywriter and writing coach. 

Find out how it went by reading Margi Mahoney's report here.

Glen has offered to run a second course soon. We'll keep you posted.

Letter from Mother Ruth following open meeting

We held an open meeting on Wednesday 27th January to present the PCC’s proposed plan for adapting the church building, to answer questions and to listen to each other’s views.  Read on

I thought we were all one in Christ? a response to the Primates statement

Today the meeting of Anglican primates issued a statement acknowledging the differences between churches within the Anglican Communion over issues of sexuality and the definition of marriage.  
They then agreed to sanction the U.S. Anglican church for their commitment to the full-inclusion of LGBTQ people by barring them from the decision-making process of the Communion.  They expressed their hope that this decision would strengthen church unity.  I am not sure what definition of unity they are applying – how can unity can be strengthened by excluding one part of the Communion – surely that is dis-union? 

I applaud our brothers and sisters in the Episcopal church for their bold commitment to the gospel of inclusive love illustrated by the parable that Jesus told of the lost sheep: how can the 99 sheep be whole if they exclude the 1?

The PCC of this church will be reviewing the new LGBTI Mission initiative over the next few months as a prelude to deciding whether or not to support it.  I hope they do.

In the meantime do read the response of one Episcopalian priest from California published in the Huffington Post by clicking on the link below.

Carols by Candlelight

We had a full church for Carols by Candlelight on Sunday afternoon, 13 December.

Read about it here.

Robes Sleepout - Undercover Report

Want to know what it was like? Here's an unofficial report just for you.

Sparrow Schools (South Africa)

We welcomed this wonderful choir to CHS on Saturday 21 November, and look forward to them joining us for our Parish Eucharist on Sunday 22 November at 10:30.

Youth Jam

Message from Katy: MASSIVE THANK YOU to the lovely folk who came along to the Youth Jam on 20th September. We all had lots of fun and earned our medals (quite literally!) as part of the music club. We chatted about what instruments we play, why it is fun to do music, what kind of music we like to do AND even learned some cool rhythm and song games! 

There are plans being hatched for the next event so keep your eyes peeled for more info- the more the merrier. In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Katy Thomson (via the church office

Sixty-strong choir and soloists sing Fauré Requiem for peace

Find out more

Magnificat recording at CHS now available

Read more about the recording from the publisher Convivium here. The recording took place in May - read about it here.

Big changes on funding the church

In a courageous move, the Diocese of Southwark is moving to a new model, in which parishes (that's us) decide how much money to give them to fund the clergy. 

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