Marking Life Events Together

Brian with Archdeacon Luke Millar at the launch of Brian’s book

For many people, one of the most difficult things about the last 18 months has been not being able to meet together easily to celebrate or mark an occasion. This has included the things normally associated with church life – people gathering for christenings, weddings, funerals. Not surprisingly, now that the rules have relaxed, we have had a number of these events again at church. (Be in touch if you were hoping to mark an occasion at church – we’d love to help!)
 
We’ve had numerous funerals over the summer – and rather than opt for the smaller crematorium chapel for a short service, many families have wanted to gather a larger number of people within the space of St John’s. Later in November we have plans to hold a general memorial service at St John’s for those who have lost loved ones over the pandemic. We’ve had a lot of families come forward for christenings for their “lockdown babies” – and many of these have been private christenings to help with managing crowd numbers, taking pressure off space in our Sunday services. (Hopefully, we can reverse this trend soon – as baptisms in our services are wonderfully joyful occasions for all of us and not just the family concerned). And this last week we managed our first wedding for nearly two years – congratulations Dean and Truly on their wedding this last Friday. One wedding which had already been postponed several times and was planned for July had to be postponed again at the last minute as the groom contracted Covid! Thankfully, he has recovered well, and we hope the couple can enjoy their big day now planned for next year.
 
This last week a few of us were able to attend another event which had been postponed due to the pandemic. Brian Grumbridge, our Treasurer, had been working on a history of St Olave’s church on Hart Street and on Thursday, Brian was finally able to launch his book. St Olave’s is a hidden gem close to Tower Hill, surrounded by the high rise offices of the city. While visiting for the launch of Brian’s book I learned a lot – for example, St Olave’s is where Samuel Pepys attended and was later buried. Congratulations to Brian on his achievement, and for finally being able to get his book out for others to read and enjoy.
 
David Maclure