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Easter Letter 2018

Happy Easter from all of us at the Church of the Holy Spirit!

Easter is for us a rejoicing in God’s ability to bring life out of death and joy out of sorrow. It is also a time to honour and give thanks for the abundant sharing of resources – both God’s and our own.

This letter is to thank you for all that you have done in the past year to support the flourishing of God’s work in our community.  Without you, none of this would have been possible.

So what have you helped God to achieve this year?

Christmas Joy!

Let’s begin with Christmas.  

Christmas is a crazy time here, busy and joyful.  This year we held:

Parties (Christmas dinner, crackers, St Nicholas, presents, music, games) for our older people, for young people, for 150 recently arrived Syrian refugees.

Interactive workshops and Christmas services for our local primary school and the Brownies and Guides from the whole district.

Carol singing for our homeless shelter and at our local residential care homes.

Our winter night shelter ran from November 2017 – 2018.

Gifts were bought for our refugees, our food bank users, our elderly, and money was raised for the work with unaccompanied child refugees in Calais, our local homeless, and children living in poverty here in the UK. 

It was an extraordinary time and I was overwhelmed by your generosity and commitment to caring for the most needy in our community.

Not just for Christmas…

But, of course, the work that we do carries on all year round.

Our vision is to love and serve the Young and the Old, the Poor and the Stranger in our midst.



Welcoming the Stranger

This year we have become heavily involved in the work of the local Refugees

Welcome project.  We have resettled 21 families (mainly from Syria) and will be welcoming a further 8 families this year.   We help with welcome, befriending, community integration, speaking English, providing household items, clothing, toys, games and bikes and fundraising. We particularly need help for trips out for the children, TV licenses, access to computers and phones and assisting with heating bills – our families feel the cold! You have been astonishing in responding to calls for everything from baby gros to TVs, sofas to winter coats.  A special thank you to those who have stored, sorted and most of all transported items to our new neighbours.

Being Good News for the Poor

Homelessness is on the rise in London and we work all year round with our Local Homeless day centre Ace of Clubs and host a church-based night shelter from November through to April each year.

We also collect donations for our local Food Bank every week.

Including our Elderly

Every Tuesday morning the church is full of silver haired locals chatting, eating cake, doing the Macarena, playing Bingo and generally having fun.  We lay on activities like craft work, flower arranging, and cooking and have regular visits from a manicurist who pampers our older ladies.

On Thursdays we have a short Mass followed by lunch, again enjoyed by our older parishioners who are picked up and taken home on both days.

Once a month we take music into the local Supported Living home and have a good old fashioned music hall sing-a-long the residents there also love to join us for special occasions: Shrove Tuesday pancake flipping, Christmas partying etc.

Our pastoral visiting team phone and visit our elders regularly and help out with shopping trips, hospital appointments etc.

Valuing our Young

We have for years run a youth servers programme and Sunday School but we now also offer:

Holy Molies: a toddler group on Tuesday mornings

Ready Steady: activities for our older kids on Friday evenings

Pram Service: for babies, toddlers and their parents early on Sunday morning – with breakfast

We have many one-off activities throughout the year: hot cross bun making, pancake races, Ascension day BBQs, Film and Quiz nights aimed at our young people.


This is an area of growth for us and we are excited to be thinking about the many news ways in which we might serve, engaged with and treasure our young people. As ideas begin to hatch, we’ll be on the hunt for more youth-hearted people and resources to support this important work.

Social Justice and Outreach

We regularly visit our local schools and our neighbours on the Notre Dame Estate.  We are deeply engaged in ecumenical work through Churches Together and Inter-Faith work through Faiths Together in Lambeth.  We contribute to London Living Wage and Affordable Housing campaigns through Citizens UK and this year have launched an LGBT inclusion campaign that has received enthusiastic support from other local parishes.

Bread and Butter

Of course we also run study groups, we baptise, marry,
bury, we prepare for First Communion and Confirmation, hold four services each Sunday,

Morning Prayer and mid-week mass, run the Abbeville Fete, organise concerts, work with Christian Aid and the Children’s Society, support the bereaved, the lonely and the mentally ill in our parish.

At the heart of all this there is the joy of welcoming and encouraging so many wonderful people from our community – both those who are Christian and those who are not – and working together to release all our gifts to love and serve this place we live in.

This year we have seen real change and we excited about all that can be done in the year ahead with your support.

WHAT NEXT?

If you would like to learn more, get involved in any of our work, become a part of our worshipping community or if you can support us financially please click here or  contact treasurer@holyspirit-clapham.org,uk

We have had an extraordinary year at CHS – thank you for all that you have done to help make it happen.

With love and thanks

Mother Ruth